The Rainbow Alliance now running ‘Your Waverley.’

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Always nice to have the Deputy Leader in the centre!
Can you spot who is really in charge?

The new Rainbow Coalition Executive of Farnham residents, Liberal Democrats, a Green and amazingly a Labour Councillor. In Waverley! Here’s the momentous press release. We say momentous, as for the first time it includes quotes from all Group Leaders!
Apparently, the Leader and Deputy Leader roles will ROTATE every year. Now that’s got our heads spinning!

Farnham Residents – John Ward – Leader (Farnham)
Liberal Democrats – Paul Follows – Deputy Leader (Godalming)
Farnham Residents – Andy Macleod – Planning & Policy Services (Farnham)
Farnham Residents – David Beaman – Health Wellbeing & Culture (Farnham)
Farnham Residents – John Neale – Place Shaping, IT & Customer Services (Farnham)
Liberal Democrats Anne-Marie RosomanHousing and Community Safety (Godalming)
Liberal Democrats – Mark Merryweather – Economic & Community Development (Farnham)
Green Party – Steve WilliamsEnvironment & Sustainability (Godalming)
Labour Party Nick PalmerOperational and Enforcement Services (Godalming)

Liberal Democrats – Chair of Joint Planning – A Cranleigh Lib Dem to be nominated.

We understand the Rainbow Alliance offered an Exec seat to the Tories, but they declined. They liked the idea of 4 more years playing childish opposition politics rather than grown up co-operation.

Here at the Waverley Web, we are seriously impressed with some of the new intake, Labour’s Nick Palmer was MP for Broxtowe in Nottinghamshire (1997 – 2010) before losing to Anna Soubry, with plenty PPS experience in the Dept for Environment, Dept of Trade and Industry and Business. We believe he currently works for Compassion for World Farming in Godalming.

The Green’s Steve Williams was a former Labour activist, expelled from the party (one of the Godalming 3) for supporting Dr Louise Irvine in the General Elections. He seems to be chair of The South West Surrey Compass, the brains behind the cross-party campaigning which has eventually been so effective in sweeping away the Tories. Their catchphrase is:
9781916489905“Southwest Surrey Compass is part of a national organisation which aims to be ‘the home for everyone who wants to be part of a much more equal, democratic and sustainable future’.

Steve Williams is a co-editor of the book ‘A New Way of Doing Politics’ alongside Louise Irvine, Susan Ryland and Penny Rivers. Available in all good Waterstones here!

 

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YES, WE CAN. 

 

 

 

You are all invited to run ‘Your Waverley.’

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The cross-party Rainbow Alliance of Labour, Greens, Lib Dems and Farnham Residents’ met to raise a glass and then get down to hard work writing the new policies for running Your Waverley. And yes, anybody could be involved. You don’t need to be a paid-up party member to be involved and shape your new council.

Crazy bonkers stuff? Different – yes – crazy no! Will this herald the changes we have all been waiting for? 

Just look at this fun-packed agenda from last Saturday below:

A Working Agreement for Waverley:
With Waverley Borough Councillors

Andy Macleod, Farnham Residents

Paul Follows, Liberal Democrats

Steve Williams, Green Party

Nick Palmer, Labour Party

Plus contributions from other Waverley Councillors: Farnham Residents, Liberal Democrats, Green Party, Labour Party, Independents on their personal election story and key priorities.

11.15am Replenish your coffee and…

Group Discussions: Key Issues

• The Way Forward for Waverley
What are the key borough-wide issues that should be priorities for SWS Compass?

How do we support and inform our borough councillors?

• An Agenda for Godalming
What are the key issues for Godalming?

How do we support and inform our Town Councillors?

• An Agenda for Haslemere
What are the key issues for Haslemere?

How do we support and inform our Town Councillors?

• An Agenda for Farnham
What are the key issues for Farnham? How should progressives work with and through the Farnham Residents?

• The Godalming Compass
Looking ahead to the next edition of our magazine – said by some to have laid the groundwork for the progressive victories in Godalming.

12.00pm Feedback from Groups (5 mins each)

12.30pm Notices: Future Events – Planning

We look forward to seeing these discussions in the Council chamber next week! Indeed it must be the first time WW has had to tag The Labour Party as relevant in South West Surrey!

Just one criticism. Well, they did say everyone could help run Waverley!

We are well-aware Cranleigh – dubbed by the Tories as – “Poor Old Cranleigh,” is not considered to be a town. However, surely the wannabe new town, which is predicted to have another five thousand new homes within and nearby its conurbation should have its place on the new administration’s Agenda? The eastern villages have been the dumping ground for new homes for long enough.

Now a major developer is unloading further phases of its development sites to housing associations because they cannot sell homes already built. Why? Because the eastern villagers are being swamped with new homes. Homes built on flood plains.

Will Godalming Tories’ wish be granted?

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The Tory election machine has gone into overdrive in a bid to oust the single opposition voice that Godalming people have taken to their hearts and minds.

But as you will see from the picture below the Tories have more than Cllr Paul Follows to worry about. He has been joined by other local hopefuls wearing the Liberal Democrat yellow rosette, seeking seats in the town and borough councils.

One of the local issues they have highlighted is the proposed loss of the Godalming Surestart Children’s Centre axed recently by Surrey County Council.

As Nelson Mandela said:

“History will judge us by the difference we make to the everyday lives of children.”

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The group above recently met with Dawn Bellman and her ‘Surestart’ team and was very impressed by their commitment and support to the community.

Sure Start Children’s Centres give help and advice on child and family health, parenting, money, training and employment.

They are a “one-stop shop” offering their own services as well as signposting to other professional or services, eg. Family Information Service, Food Banks, Job Centre Plus and The Citizens Advice Bureau.

Each Centre is required to offer core services to all families from pregnancy right through those important early years until the child is at school, directly reflecting the needs of the local community.

In January, Surrey County Council announced plans to close 31 children’s centres across the county, but at the 11th hour postponed closing recycling centres until after the elections! A cynical attempt to dupe residents into believing they were safe.

The 100 % Tory controlled Cabinet voted to close the centres along with reductions to some bus travel concessions citing the need to save money due to government cuts.

However, it managed to find over £50m to fund 28 new shops in the Brightwells Yard development in Farnham. A scheme shunned by private investors. 

In a public consultation, 86% of respondents disagreed that children’s centres were an appropriate way to make savings.

It is still unclear to staff, families and the public what will happen. The group pictured above are demanding answers. 

Here at the WW – we await any communication from the Godalming’s Tory hopefuls.

Godalming’s starter for 6.

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Councillor Paul Follows, Godalming’s’ new boy on the block, wants to reinstate planning committees at Godalming Town Council!

Reinstate? Did we hear that correctly? You cannot be serious!

Clucking Bell! Why doesn’t a town like Godalming operate a planning committee? An important part of the grass-roots democratic process?

Even the smallest parish councils hold regular meetings to consider their planning applications. Meetings that are held in public, where neighbours and applicants or their agents are given an opportunity to comment, provide information and answer any queries the committee and the public may have.

So why we wonder doesn’t a town council, whose membership includes a leading light in the of the Association of Parish & Town Councils, a former senior honcho at Waverley borough council, who has donned the Mayoral robes for a second time, think a planning function is unnecessary? A Councillor who rocks up at other parish councils advising them how to operate and conduct their business.

Tell us, someone, please? 

Here are Councillor Follows Quick 6 To Fix in Godalming. Most of which would apply to every other town and village in Waverley.

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But,  Cllr Follows –  could you possibly add another to your list and make it 7? Just for your younger and older residents, who are falling all over the place in the badly re-instated roads and pavements in Godawfulming. A selection of pictures which are included below. We know it is a county council responsibility, but perhaps you could whisper, if you dare, into the ear of County Cllr Peter Martin, because we know he never listens to our complaints, but will listen to you!

The pictures below were all taken AFTER, the Surrey County Council roadworks were completed!! 

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A Waverley Liberal and a Tory unite.

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paul_carole_farnham.jpgIt took an unlikely duo of a Godalming Liberal Democrat and a Farnham Conservative to overthrow officer approval for a development that reduced the number of affordable homes by 5 at Green Lane Farm, Badshot Lea in Farnham last night.

It might have been a sight to behold as Councillor Paul Follows proposed rejection of the scheme seconded by Carole Cockburn – except of course the webcast went down…again…and again throughout the debate.

However, the vote was still narrow – won by just 9 votes to 7.

The developer was asked to reduce their affordable housing contribution from 40% – agreed at the time of Waverley’s draft Local Plan in June 2016. Since then Waverley Tories took it upon themselves to change their draft plan down to 30% affordable housing with the aim of asking for greater S106 contributions for infrastructure – that is of course when they can remember to ask for them!
The developer had already taken account of the policy when purchasing the land beyond the greenbelt claiming  ‘exceptional circumstances’ to gain consent for 45 homes  – granted at appeal. It now wants to change the housing mix by adding several larger detached homes and tacking on a load of conservatories. It is believed, this would add over £1-1.5million to the developer’s profits by permitting the changes.
Changes that the officers were quite happy to rubber stamp with the support of seven Tories. 

Pity Farnham Councillor Chris Storey was prevented by the borough solicitor from reading out an -email sent a planning officer? 

He said “We are well used as members of this planning committee to being threatened with appeals by developers. But perhaps my fellow councillors would like me to read out an e-mail sent by this developer…

… when he was suddenly stopped in his tracks by the solicitor saying “It would not be sensible to do so.”

Why?

If developers are using threatening behaviour to councillors or officers, why shouldn’t the public be told?

This Inspector’s decision was deeply unpopular with councillors and officers alike, but none more so than for  Councillor Carole Cockburn who had walked every inch of Farnham with colleagues to devise Farnham’s Adopted Neighbourhood Plan. A plan which had been well-supported by the residents of Weybourne and Badshot Lea, and whose views had now been trashed by a Government Inspector – and not by Waverley.

She said “The people who live there will soon see for themselves how much the place “STINKS – IT JUST STINKS!” The band sits between the sewage works and the rugby field. Funny that! She was quite happy to consent to a similar site on a floodplain adjacent to a sewage treatment works in Cranleigh!

However, a man who can always be relied upon to stick up his mitt, that is of course if he’s awake! Councillor Michael Goodridge – who said his colleagues should set aside the “emotional baggage of fewer affordable homes and grant the application.”

Now let’s see this developer get this through at appeal too!

Do you remember when the WW did a little fact checking on The Tory’s efforts to keep ‘IN TOUCH’ With Godalming’s electorate?

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Well, we have just completed a little FACT CHECKING exercise on  Waverley Liberals’ efforts in its latest Newsletter –  FOCUS.

 

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We have FACT-CHECKED this document – which gets 10/10 for accuracy and more important gets 10/10 for refraining from hogging all the praise for saving Green Oaks School instead makes reference to the ‘partnership’ fight between Lib Dems, residents and Green Oaks PTA.

You can read the Newsletter in Full by clicking on the link below.

Waverley Focus Summer 2018

In the interest of fairness and balance here is our post that FACT-CHECKED – VISION FROM THE GODALMING CONSERVATIVES.

Caption competition – Help the Local Tories with their leaflets?