Prominent local Tory Liz Townsend resigns from the Conservative Party.

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Cllr Townsend – Waverley Borough Councillor for Cranleigh and  Chairman of its  Parish Council has today announced her resignation from the Conservative Party.

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Waverley Borough and Cranleigh Parish Cllr Liz Townsend is now hand-in-hand with former MP Anne Milton in their efforts to put ~an Independent MP for the Guildford & Villages into the seat at the General Election. 

It has been obvious to anyone who watches the Waverley Borough Council meetings on its webcast – sad souls that a handful of us residents are! That Cllr Elizabeth Townsend has become an increasingly independent thinker – and doer. 

Like many councillors before her – her politics came with a small p – but her Dogged Determination to serve Waverley, and in particular Cranleigh residents,  – came with a BIG D. Which sometimes took her out-of-step with Tory colleagues. Particularly with her concerns for the environment.

 Although seemingly overlooked and undervalued by some of her own Waverley Conservative colleagues, she is highly regarded by the public and her colleagues in all the other parties. Cast your minds back to a time when Tory-controlled Waverley refused to allow her to join the influential Joint Planning Committee.  A committee faced with major applications – including Dunsfold Park Garden Village a 2,600 home – development that would have a major impact on Cranleigh and its services.

So it came as no surprise to us, here at the Waverley Web that Cllr Liz Townsend has resigned to-day from the Guildford & Villages Con Assoc – to become, what perhaps she always has been – an INDEPENDENT. 

As Chairman of the parish council,  she single-handedly masterminded Cranleigh’s Neighbourhood Plan – a feat of enormous and time-consuming proportions, as it maps out Cranleigh’s future and underpins Waverley’s Local Plan.

She has fought tirelessly for the people of Cranleigh and beyond, cares passionately about the environment, and the effect development is having on the character of the countryside both on her own patch and on the areas of Godalming, Haslemere and ours here in Farnham. nobody shows more frustration at the loss of habitat, loss of ancient woodland, hedgerows, and TPO covered trees than Cllr Townsend. She has shown herself to represent our beleaguered town of Farnham with exactly the same fervour as her own area. There is nothing parochial in her fight for what is right for the people of Waverley. But faced with a choice of what is right for the country has prompted a once committed Tory to hand in her card.

So let’s all hope that the new Coalition Alliance that is now running ‘Your Waverley’ will recognise her immense skills, and reward her courageous stand – with more responsibility for shaping our borough over the next four years. Because there is little doubt, Waverley’s Tory Group has lost one of its best assets. We wonder what Cllr Potts will have to say now her ranks are being depleted further? Watch this space.

Paul Follows - Lib Dem Godalming

Councillor Paul Follows, Deputy Leader of Your Waverley said:

The cross-party administration of Waverley Borough Council is very pleased to welcome Cllr Towsend to join the governing group of (now) 35 councillors.

Cllr Townsend is known for being a hardworking, principled local councillor and will be, I am sure, an asset to the group in our ongoing work for the residents of Waverley.

It is clear that the Conservative party has in recent months shifted to the right and to a place where moderate, centrist, pro-remain and pro-environment Conservative councillors and supporters feel uncomfortable and ultimately that they have no home. Leaving a party of your own choice takes great courage and many of the group understand that position. There will always be a place for such people in the cross-party alliance whether they sit as a member of a party or as an Independent.

Welcome, Cllr Townsend. Paul Follows

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They’re off nice and early in Cranleigh? Campaigning for the 2019 local elections.

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It’s girl power – where are Cranleigh’s blokes?

Or… perhaps not. As these Tory ladies are calling canvassing  by a new name it’s now called ‘surveying residents.’  And there were silly old us, thinking that surveying was the practice carried out by developers before they start covering the countryside in concrete?

Wannabe Waverley borough and Cranleigh parish councillors are stomping around the streets as they rev up in readiness for next May’s borough and parish elections. 

No point waiting for the starters’ gun is there? Get out their girls, start mixing with the voting fodder. By the  sounds of it all is going well according to the very ambitious – Ewhurst’s Angie of I’m a Cranleigh parish councillor, then a borough councillor – and I’m on my way up the greasy Tory pole to Westminster – because I bag loads of  dosh for them all over the Guildford and the East – Tory patch so I can become Annie’s replacement? But first – I have my eye on keeping the Tories in power at Waverley?

Don’t they have enough CRANLEIGH people over there to speak up for the New Town? Let us hope here in Farnham we can manage to stump up a few true locals?

We’ve heard over here there is a groundswell of Independent, Residents’ Associations and Liberal Democrat candidates out there seeking to snatch some of those seats in a bid to change the face of Waverley’s Tory dominance. Go girls go.

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Cranleigh Parish Councillor Angela Richardson, Waverley Councillor and Parish Chairman Liz Townsend and Waverley’s Deputy Mayor Mary Foryszewski out pressing the flesh with Cranleigh’s voting fodder. 

 

 

Have ‘Your Waverley’s’ planners been hit by pre-election fever?

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Only days after Farnham Residents and a Liberal Dem- go on the attack over unsuitable development in the borough – every planning application except one is REFUSED!

Despite officers recommendation to grant everything on the Eastern Area Planning Committee and immediately afterwards on Southern Planning’s Agenda – councillors UNANIMOUSLY REFUSED EVERYTHING – except the expansion of cold store warehouses for storing fruit canes at Tuesley Farm, Godalming!

Never has there been such a U-Turn of views since that major one on the road to Damascus!

First to go down the Waverley plughole – was the application to build homes in the beer garden at Ewhurst’s Bull Pub. Developers want to remove pub extensions including the popular skittle alley and beer garden and replace with five homes.

The loss of the gardens, the proximity to homes, a huge loss of trees, in the middle of the Conservation Area, were all considered by Waverley planning wally’s as ” causing less than significant harm!”

What does that mean exactly – planning gobbledegook for –  yes, it will spoil the pretty Ewhurst green area, but no matter because it will increase Ewhurst’s housing supply and put another few notches on our five-year land supply.

Villagers were having none of it and spewed out 130+  letters to say so. They claimed it was an asset stripping exercise of a treasured community asset, which would cut the heart out of a community that was already producing its quota of new homes.

“To grant this would be a bad day for the borough and a bad day for Ewhurst,” said an objector.

Everyone on the planning committee, yes, everyone, spoke against the development and argued against officers, who claimed, “the benefit would outweigh the harm.” Councillor Kevin Deanus said Alfold residents met annually on his patch to grieve the demise of their local pub The Crown Pub saying officers’ claims that The Bull  would be “conserved and enhanced” by the development, was a nonsense.

Some called the developers “greedy” others argued the loss of 18 trees to “provide a big blob of property” would be a travesty!

Moments after it was UNANIMOUSLY REFUSED. Down went another application recommended for approval to convert stables into a home in Upper Ifold, Dunsfold. Officers referred to it as a windfall, councillors described it as a “rotten apple.”

Following swiftly on officers thought they were home and dry with a development to squeeze two homes into the back gardens of 114-118 Horsham Road, Cranleigh because a previous scheme was refused for three three-storey properties.  Arguing it was no longer backland development as the Crest Nicholson 120/+90=?? homes were under construction behind the Horsham Road in Longhurst Park!

Cries of ‘garden grabbing’, loss of more trees, the huge impact on neighbouring properties, and a harmful change to the to the area, was challenged by officers who claimed there were no highway objections and similar development had occurred nearby.

Cranleigh Councillor Liz Townsend argued that Cranleigh had already reached its target of 1,700 homes just a few years into the Local Plan. “And, where’s the bat survey for this important wildlife corridor, she asked?

Wow! Is election fever rearing its ugly head in ‘Your Waverley?’

To be continued…