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?

Is a Godalming Tory jumping on the local residents’ bandwagon​?

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Have the residents of Godalming bounced the Tory-dominated town council into objecting to a planning application it would have preferred to see approved? 

Is one of the Tories now smoothing the way for the Tory-dominated borough planners to give it the go-ahead? 

You will see from the letter below that Godalming Town Council has registered its objection to a development of 262 dwellings on land between New Way & Aarons Hill, Godalming.

No surprise there then after more than 70 people turned up and another 170 registered their objection to development in the GREEN BELT that would join Godalming to Guildford Godalming Town Council backs residents’ fight – plans just not good enough for green belt site.

Or bearing in mind the Waverley Web’s post yesterday – perhaps that would be just what the new Unitary Authority would want? Has Hambledon’s Holder become a bit bolder or is he just demob happy as he prepares to leave ‘Your Waverley?

Councillor Andrew Bolton reminds residents on Facebook that – it is Waverley Council that will determine the application, NOT the Town Council. No doubt, just in case residents dare to think their very vocal opposition is going to make one jot of difference at Waverley Towers. 

Please, Councillor Bolton, don’t treat the voting fodder like idiots! They know full well that it is the borough council’s function to refuse or permit planning applications. Residents aim of turning out in force was to register their opposition, to their town councillors, the people they elected to represent their views. Because like the residents in the East of the borough they know that if it doesn’t move, Waverley officers will recommend developing it, and unless councillors break the habit of a lifetime Tory councillors will follow their lead! Neither were residents asking you to predetermine an application. But just giving you a gentle reminder that it is your function as a Godalming Town Councillor to not only listen but HEAR and act on the concerns. You ignore the mood of Godalming people at your peril. 

To remind them of the lack of funds for Green Oaks and then mention that the developers’ twenty pieces of silver – or as you describe it as 106 monies for infrastructure, could provide “substantial support for Green Oaks School” and that it may not survive without it was not only disingenuous but a disgraceful veiled threat.  Dare we suggest you were more than a little put out that a motion to object came from the opposition? An opposition that is proving itself to be very effective?

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Don’t forget the changes to the Guildford Local Plan for the other half of the field. Guildford’s consultation started on 11 September and will run until 23 October 2018. You can all comment on the proposed removal from the Green Belt here: https://www.guildford.gov.uk/newlocalplan/examination

 

Godalming Town Council backs residents’ fight – plans just not good enough for green belt site.

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Residents, backed by Waverley Councillor Paul Follows ensured that everyone was made aware of the threat of expansion into their treasured green belt countryside at Aarons Hill. 

Last night after a packed meeting Godalming Town Council heard some well-researched concerns and objections from residents and councillors alike. And the townsfolk were rewarded for their efforts getting the backing they had hoped for!

WW can’t help wondering why so many town councillors, who are also borough councillors backed a Local Plan that rolled back Godalming’s green belt in the first place? Could it be because they are Tories – one of whom later gave his Lib Dem colleague an ear-bashing!

A  resident told us that Tory “Town and borough Councillor, Comrade  Stefan  ” I voted for the Labour Party’ Reynolds’  interrupted his Lib Dem colleague after Councillor Follows claimed he was the only Waverley councillor in the room who didn’t vote for Waverley’s  Local Plan which included removing this site from the greenbelt! Following, Follows –    Comrade Reynold retorted – ‘well I didn’t!’ after which   – Councillor Follows was forced to remind him –  that was only because he DIDNT SHOW UP AT THE MEETING TO VOTE AT ALL!’

It seemed the Town Councillors had little choice but to represent their community, with only one abstention coming from the grumpy Steve Cosser (Con Charterhouse). Three Councillors were absent, including County Councillor for Aaron’s Hill Peter Martin. No surprise there then?

The upshot:

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Thanks to the efforts of the people of Godalming round one of the battle to preserve the town from becoming part of greater Guildford has been won. But the war with Waverley planners is to follow.

Godalming town council supported Paul Follows’s proposal to object formally to the development on Aarons Hill. A  formal letter will  be released by the council today (Friday)

Here’s how the Waverley Web has covered the tumultuous events of the past few days.

Godalming residents show Waverley residents how objecting to development in the green belt should be done.

Godalming residents show Waverley residents how objecting to development in the green belt should be done.

 

Will Godalming​ get the traffic​ chaos and Guildford get the bunce?

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Last night Guildford Borough Council decided to forge ahead with its plans to join Guildford with Godalming putting almost 500 homes on the boroughs’ borders at Aaron’s Hill.

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You can read the complete report that was considered by Guildford BC’s Executive when it agreed to waive the call-in procedure and agree to the inclusion in the Local Plan to allow Ashill to build 200+ homes adjacent to the 263+ planned by ‘Your Waverley’ on the green belt boundary between the towns “immediately.’

But new Liberal Democrat Councillor Paul Follows questioned the Guildford Executive’s decision asking how the extra burden of traffic and services on Godalming would be dealt with? It’s the same field – but half the residents would not get ANY services from Godalming!!!! Guildford will provide!

WW wonders why the Conservative councillors, supposedly serving their electors in Godalming are silent on the subject? Surely such an important strategic green belt site in the countryside that is now ‘an urban extension to Godalming’, must be of some concern to them too?

WW has heard that other than Councillor Follows and residents of his ward NOBODY, yes, NOBODY from Waverley attended. Not attending another boroughs executive when it’s this important? 

Also, Cllr Tony Rooth, IND (former Tory, Pilgrims Ward) had a crack at suggesting that the Aaron’s Hill bit be shelved but he was immediately trodden on from a great height by Guildford BC’s chairperson and his successor as leader. But full marks to him for having a go.

 The ‘masterplanning’ bit was obviously a total nonsense. Clearly, a full site plan exists.

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Let’s read that second answer from Guildford again: “We do not envisage that these homes will rely on services provided by Waverley Borough Council, which Guildford Borough Council would normally provide” And presumably not rely on any services from Godalming Town Council either?
• Will they be banned from the Wilfrid Noyce?
• Will they be excluded from the Godalming cemetery next door?
• Will they be uninvited to Godalming Farmers markets?!
• Will all the residents be shopping and parking in Shackleford (whose Parish they are now in)?!

It’s not as easy as Guildford Councillors are suggesting! What’s more, they know it, Waverley planners know it, and WE KNOW KNOW IT DON”T WE? Because more and more people are reading the Waverley Web!

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Godalming residents show Waverley residents how objecting to development in the green belt should be done.

GBC Questions: Supplementary Information Sheet

Godalming residents show Waverley residents how objecting to development in the green belt​ should be done.

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 Residents have decided they will not sit idly by and watch Godalming become Godawfulming or become part of Greater Guildford.

So they have put together a 72-page dossier that ‘Your Waverley’ will have to weigh-in rather than register!

Waverley’s new boy – Councillor Paul Follows – is it only six months since he was elected – seems like years – is, quite obviously, having an impact on the town he serves.  Because the good folk of Godalming are in fight-mode and planners may find it more difficult to support the spread of concrete across the green belt than they first thought? The proposed and combined development – a further 200 plus homes for Guildford would be the largest single expansion of the Godalming settlement boundary.

At a stroke, it would increase the population of Godalming by 4-5% and 8-10% taking the Guildford site into consideration.

objectionsubmitted.jpgResidents say the proposed development by Ashill in Eashing Lane ‘will have profound and long-lasting consequences for the whole of Godalming as well as the surrounding immediate area.’

You can read here why Godalming residents are so incensed by the bid to build 200+ homes on a site which has been included in the Local Plan, by rolling back the green belt.

WW wonders why the Tory councillors were so silent about the land being included in the Local Plan in the first place? 

Godalming Ashill Development is getting the bumsrush from residents.

Here’s the link to the 79 Page Objection Letter

Ignore the people of Godalming at your peril Waverley Planners!

Godalming Town Council will consider the application at the Town Council Meeting on Thursday 6th September at the Waverley Council Chamber.

FactCheck – Your Local Tory leaflet?

People Power or Political Power?

Never before have we seen such scrutiny applied to a piece of Conservative propaganda as this piece of fiction that was delivered in Central Godalming, and has caused quite a stir on the Godalming Community Facebook Group. Thanks, Elaine for the post!

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Godalming Residents, the Green Oaks PTA and parents have been steaming at the idea that Cllr Andrew Bolton is taking credit for “allowing the school to remain open for a year”, generating 98 comments of outrage in the Facebook Group. Elaine asked the Group: “I thought the Liberal Dems councillor Paul David Follows was the main campaigner of keeping Green Oaks school open? Have I got that wrong?”

 

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It was well known that the Conservatives wanted to close the school, which had caused them some headache over the years, ruining the Education Cabinet member Cllr Peter Martin’s Waverley statistics. No wonder Peter took every opportunity to brief against the school, and apparently urging fellow councillors that the closure was inevitable. This briefing then led to Jeremy Hunt issuing this unfortunate press release reported in the Sorry Advertiser:
Jeramy Hunt backs Green Oak school closure decision as public meeting called. Jeremy Hunt said: “although he sympathised with parents and children, he understood Surrey County Council’s decision. It is a great shame that Green Oaks CofE Primary School is set to close and I fully appreciate the concerns of parents who are understandably worried about what will happen to their children and where they will continue their education.”

Sometimes Jeremy you need to consult the actual people rather than your Tory cronies as to the will of the people!

Godalming Town Councillor Richard Wainwright jumped in to try and defend Peter Martin and Andrew Bolton and received very short shift!

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Richard was also noted for taking credit for the Godalming Neighbourhood Plan, something he admitted was nothing to do with him, although he did apparently amend a line in it at the consultation stage. Bravo Richard!

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Of course Green Oak parents are also furious that the Conservatives  say the school only has a years’ reprieve!

That’s  not what the parents have been told – and is hardly likely to encourage people to send their children there with its future in limbo!

If you receive an election leaflet, from whatever party, do send it in to us at WW and we will be happy to fact check it with you!

Is Waverley’s new boy concerned about his role on the planning committee​?

WHERE IS ALL THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING? AND NOT EVEN A MENTION OF SOCIAL HOUSING…image1

Paul Follows the new Liberal Democrat Councillor elected following  the sudden resignation of Simon Thornton, the recently disgraced Mayor of Godalming and member of ‘YW’ Executive, said on FACEBOOK that he had  deliberately waited a few days before posting on this because of his frustration after a recent  Joint Planning Committee (JPC)

He said:

Several weeks ago we were asked to review a development – the Woolmead in Farnham. 134 homes, no affordable housing (despite our apparently fantastic local plan demanding at least 30%) – and we were told that was because the developers had convinced the borough that the scheme was not viable (also known as they were not making enough money) with the affordable component. We were told an ‘independent viability assessment’ made that all clear – but we were not sent copies of that assessment. I voted against it – but in this incarnation of the council, the application was passed anyway!

So, we asked the officers to ensure that if any more came forward in the future with 0% affordable we wanted to see the full financial assessment as part of our papers. Within two weeks we get another one – this time in Haslemere. Now because these were put on pink paper (confidential) I am not allowed to go into the figures – but let’s just say most firms wouldn’t baulk at this kind of profit margin and then use the sentence ‘not financially viable’ when it comes to affordable.

I made the case that the expert assessment merely formally confirmed what the margin was, it did not and cannot make a judgement as to what level we think it is acceptable to remove the affordable housing numbers. That judgement was for elected councillors. I asked for the application to be rejected – for them to come back with at least one affordable residence because last time I checked there actually are numbers between 0% and 30%. The argument is always for NONE not LESS for some reason.

Several councillors agreed, but not enough. It passed!

Where and when will the Conservatives take a moral stand in this area?

The Conservatives had already watered down their local plan from 40% to 30% in the drafting stages – but now they keep exempting developers from even that!

Oh – and not a Social Housing (better known as Council housing) proposal to be found. Something we desperately need!

DEMAND MORE from your elected councillors because a great many of them are failing you and this community at every turn. Bring on May 2019 so we can start trying to get the council we deserve.

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 10.03.02Guess what? ‘Your Waverley’ intends to get smarter in future about the way it extracts money from developers! You read it here first … remember!

 

 

The 2019 Council elections have arrived at ‘Your Waverley.’

And electioneering has started!

Tory councillors didn’t even attempt to hide their loathing for any challenge or questions from the council’s minority parties at the recent Full Council Meeting. No wonder it took over a week to post the webcast, it burned the master’s fingers, so he went fishing!

That pesky Godalming new boy Councillor Paul Follows has been getting up the ever-widening nostrils of the Tories ever since he set foot onto The Bury’s Hallowed Ground! And.. they don’t even try to hide their contempt … because there’s an election coming on!

You can watch the Potty One’s eyes narrowing and she ummed and ahhd and tells him he will receive a more detailed answer from somewhere, sometime, somehow in the future. WW wonder – does he ever get one?

Screen Shot 2018-07-30 at 13.15.39.pngAt the last two Full council meetings, the Godalming upstart has dared to ask a few simple questions after being  asked to agree more money for the Judicial Reviews – you know the ones Protect Our Little Corner and the Campaign to Protect Some parts of Rural Englands’ fights to be played out soon in the High Court?  

He asked: What are the consequences to the local plan as a whole if the JR’s were successful because obviously, it impacts the Green Belt status of a big chunk of my ward, and elsewhere in Godalming?

Positive or negative – it has consequences and I just wants to know what those were. Is the whole plan undermined, or just parts?

What does he get? – Blank looks and is ignored.

Gone are the days when minority parties, or for that matter Waverley’s residents, were given the benefit of a civil straight answer – in public – and were treated with a modicum of respect. Challenge the tories at your peril, you will be ridiculed for daring to question where and how public cash is being spent.  Ask Gerry Hyman he’s got the T-shirt.

Paul Follows was one of the very few councillors not to vote for the Local Plan, he abstained. His concern, being that it was vulnerable to a JR challenge and that shed loads of public cash would likely be chucked at its defence…which turns out to be the case! 

This week the Godalming upstart was at it again… this time asking questions on the proposed funding for Waverley’s leisure centres. Not too many mind, because Cranleigh’s Boudicca, who has been rewarded with the deputy mayoral role after being kicked out by her ‘colleagues’ as chairman of Cranleigh Parish Council, ruled he had asked enough!! Nothing like a bit of power is there, especially when it has been taken away from you on the home patch!

He had dared to ask why a Press Release was sent out to the Media before the Full Council had an opportunity to comment on the Executive’s decision to spend squillions on new and existing centres? And… he’s a little concerned, despite being generally supportive of leisure facilities, about where the money is coming from and the increasing tax burden on Waverley residents?

Here’s Bramley’s By-Pass Byham, who now wants Bramley to have a leisure centre starting the election ball rolling: Didn’t someone tell the poor old duffer that it has taken many, many, many years to get any money for East Street and it has only just gone into the bank? And nobody is quite sure that his administration hasn’t presided over a white elephant?How did Waverley Conservatives manage to shrink the Brightwells dividend so much?

Oh! and why, because the Executive had only been held a few days earlier, under them there rules, why a debate on the decision could not be held and.. he couldn’t get any answers?  

Why ask another question then Councillor Follows? You know you won’t get an answer… because

YOU ARE NOT A TORY – GET IT!

Here’s your answer – Silly Billy! ‘There is an election coming on Councillor Follows, YW will be throwing money at the public over the coming months and standing up in the council chamber saying stuff like this? Just in case they decide to vote for your lot – or any other lot come to that!

 

 

 

 

Boom – Boom – another 200 houses in Paul Follows’ lap?

Guildford has recently allocated Green Belt for another 200+ houses at Aaron’s Hill/ Eashing Lane.

The Planning Inspector took away the Green Belt on the edge of Godalming at Aaron’s Hill, and due to an overlap of boundaries, one half of this field is in Guildford.
So does Godalming get all the traffic, and Guildford get all the cash??

http://www.guildford.gov.uk/newlocalplan/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=28061&p=0

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A few more of Waverley’s green fields bit the dust!

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