Election predictions for Guildford and South West Surrey

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In Guildford it could go either way, in South West Surrey there could be a big upset if the great and good stay at home. There is everything to play for.

Yougov predict:
Guildford: Small Conservative win
South West Surrey: Hugely reduced Conservative Majority
Cratus predict: 
Guildford:  Liberal Democrat win
South West Surrey: Conservative hold

Boris predicts: “If the price of loyalty is losing Guildford, then so be it”

 

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Political lobbying company Cratus have called Guildford for the Lib Dems (see their analysis below) and SW Surrey for Jeremy Hunt (no surprise there then). We checked out their team, and were surprised to see former Conservative Minister Stephen Dorell amongst the team, and also surprised to see him urging voters to support Paul Follows! Has he recognised that Mr Follows is a “man of the people” who doesn’t drive a car, let alone an expensive car, uses public transport – when it can be found, isn’t a homeowner at 33 years-old – let alone a Buy to Let landlord with a shedload of homes. And guess what, in addition to his public role – he works and is on PAYE! 
And then we did a double-take to see who the other political heavyweight on the team were other than former Waverley Leader Julia Potts!
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Here are the Associates of Cratus Communications who made the predictions above. Julia potts top row far left is the former leader of Waverley Borough Council.

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We prefer to stick to our friend’s suggestions for voting, and for this, we turn to former Waverley Councillor and local Planning Lawyer Adam Taylor-Smith, who may be supporting Jeremy Hunt, but seems to be urging us to vote Labour rather than Lib Dem this time. Does this mean things are even closer than we think?

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It cannot be true? Is the public following Follows?

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If I’m not careful that young upstart who is leading Waverley Borough Council may be stepping into my well-worn shoes. Shoes that are far too big for him to fill? After all, I am a sitting tenant in the SW Surrey seat. I am an entrepreneur, former Secretary of State for Health, Foreign Secretary, local Landlord,  etc… 

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Ok, so I am 33, I studied at the University of Surrey live in Godalming and lead the Town Council and deputy leader of Waverley Council.  I commute to Guildford to work for BAE Systems Applied Intelligence on Surrey research park (covering Standards, legal compliance and ethical conduct).  I enjoy travelling, cricket and ice hockey and I am a Tenor in the Guildford Choral Society.
As an aside, another motivation for my getting into politics has been my parents. My father is a retired soldier and my mother is an HLTA at a Guildford School. Both have had cancer in the last 5 years and survived – largely due to fantastic NHS staff –  and so access to these services and providing for health services locally is a big deal for me personally. Equally an affinity for the teaching and defence professions is something built into me.

As the Hustings in Farnham follow-on from Charterhouse – is the South West Surrey seat is beginning to look just a little shaky?

Unfortunately, the Waverley Web couldn’t attend the event at The Farnham Maltings, because football and football practice got in the way! Oh, well – boys will be boys.

However, suffice to say our inbox has been groaning under the weight of congratulatory messages from some of those who attended. It cannot have been attended by only members of The Green Party and the Liberal Democrats, can it? Surely not. We would love to hear from the local Tories to give their spin on all things General Election SWS 2019? Don’t be shy.

Claire Mathes wrote saying – Dear Waverley Web.
The warmth in the room towards Paul Follows was palpable. What helps though is that he has a recent proven track record at Waverley Borough and Godalming Town Council of doing what he says he’s going to do, obviously you’d think, but a thing that has been sorely lacking in previous administrations. He is well-informed at ground level and clearly cares deeply about the people who live and work in the area.
Jeremy, I’m afraid, just looked a little clueless.
Teresa Burton-Brown
I went to my first election hustings yesterday, in Farnham. It was very well attended.
Our sitting MP (Jeremy Hunt) looked surprised and uncomfortable to be attacked on his record on the environment, the NHS, education and Brexit. He seemed completely out of touch. For example, when asked what he would do about the climate emergency in this constituency, he replied that he had just put in an order for his own electric car (!)
 Paul David Follows as the Lib Dem/Remain Alliance candidate talked about food banks, affordable housing, proper pay for proper jobs, public transport and his efforts on the council to improve air quality.
He was very impressive and certainly has my vote.
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Charterhouse hustings welcome two candidates – sadly the Labour bloke was working.

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The school enjoys a lively debate with Jeremy Hunt and Paul Follows

Charterhouse was delighted to welcome South West Surrey’s incumbent MP, Jeremy Hunt (Conservative) and Paul Follows (Liberal Democrats) for the School’s first hustings event.

Both candidates took time out of their busy campaign schedules to attend the hustings and present their policies to our pupils. Sadly, the Labour candidate for South West Surrey was unable to attend, but we look forward to welcoming him for future events. The event was well-attended by pupils and teachers alike who commented that it had been a highlight of their year so far.

Deputy Head Boy and A Level Politics pupil, Oba Agboola welcomed the candidates to the school to enormous cheers from the crowd. The event was chaired by A-Level Politics pupils, Gabriel Brown and Anthony Gosnell, and Year 10 pupil, Shiv Pillai. They all did a fantastic job, asking the candidates questions which had been submitted in advance by pupils and staff and then leading audience questions in response. What an incredible accomplishment!

Hard-hitting questions put to the candidates ranged from the UK’s approach to Brexit and whether trust in UK politics was irreparably eroded in light of recent events. Both candidates answered the questions in an informative, professional and dynamic way, and the audience left with many issues to reflect upon.

Charterhouse wishes the candidates the best of luck as they continue their election campaigns.

 

 

 

 

 

Lib Dem Fact Check leaflets.

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The Waverley Web has begun the process of ‘Fact-Checking’ some of the literature that has been dropping through your letterboxes in recent weeks.

Having carefully read through this one, it would appear the Lib Dems have forgotten one very big achievement. It hasn’t mentioned that for the first time fo years, residents can now watch a webcast without interruption. Councillors are sitting, and have been told when to switch on their microphones and the public can actually hear the debate.

It is also very noticeable that webcasts are put up almost immediately, during the previous administration it sometimes took almost a week!

The WW applauds you. But sincerely hope that the LD eye doesn’t come off the Waverley ball due to a General Election?

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Come on Jeremy – don’t be a wimp – get out there and meet the guys and gals running ‘Your Waverley?’

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It cannot be true – can it? SW Surrey’s MP and local entrepreneur has taken fright and refuses to do local constituency work for Waverley residents?

Has he lost his bottle now that the Potty One isn’t head honcho at The Burys? 
Why does ‘YW’s’ Deputy Leader Paul Follows have to resort to trolling the Farnham Herald to get a response from Jeremy Hunt?
After all – aren’t our local politicians supposed to forget politics with a big P and work together and co-operate on the important issues that affect the future of our borough? Has he ever heard of the saying:

‘People before Politics?”

Has the MP for Guildford & the eastern villages deigned to meet the new Rainbow Coalition? If not – why not? After all, although Anne Milton has lost the Tory whip, her constituents have some very worrying and pressing issues pending on her patch. Issues, that require a good working relationship with the new leaders of Waverley Borough Council.
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Screenshots from Farnham Herald’s Facebook page proving the rather desperate lengths that the Waverley administration are now going to!

The fightback​ has begun to deal with anti-social behavior – “and make Farncombe great again.”

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 Take two determined local councillors’ – a good helping of local residents – and the police – mix them together and what do you get? The start of a concerted effort to fight back against the anti-social behavior of a minority of Farncombe youngsters. Let’s face it – what is happening in Farncombe is happening all around Waverley’s towns and villages.

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Here at the Waverley Web, we have heard from dozens of other town and village folk, particularly the elderly, who are now fearful of leaving their homes at night.

Now a meeting – chaired by Godalming Councillor Penny Rivers – has brought one local situation to a head – and work is underway to engage with, both young people and the statutory authorities to make Farncombe, Fit and Fab again.

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KA-POW!

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In three short paragraphs, Waverley’s new Deputy Leader has put the kybosh on CPRE and POW’s fantasy of working with the new Waverley Dream Team in order to quash Waverley BC’s requirement to take a share of Woking BC’s unmet housing need.

In less than a month since taking over at Waverley, Councillor Paul Follows has met with Anthony Isaacs and Bob Lies, (CPRE & POW’s head honchos respectively), listened to their arguments, assessed their plan and found it wanting.

No surprises there then!

Whilst the Waverley Web entirely understands the New Broom’s desire to be seen to be listening to the voices of dissent, it didn’t take him long to detect and highlight the holes in the dastardly duo’s argument, which leaks like a colander.

No doubt Messrs Isaacs and Lies won’t take a blind bit of notice of Councillor Follow’s pithy assessment of the risks they are running. Why would they? After all, it’s not their money they’re frittering away on feckless and frivolous arguments. Not on your nelly! It’s ours – the poor, beleaguered Waverley Council Tax Payers’!

And for those of you who are still under the illusion that these bumbling buffoons only have the best interests of the residents of Waverley at heart, let us attempt to reset your perception:

• CPRE & POW claim they are seeking to remove the Woking unmet need number and not quash the whole of the Local Plan.

• The problem with that, as Councillor Follows pointed out in his recent letter to them, is that the Court is highly unlikely to get involved in setting housing numbers.

• The Court of Appeal’s task is simply to consider whether the Inspector and, subsequently, the High Court Judge erred in law in how they applied the Woking unmet need amount to Waverley.

• If the Court of Appeal decides that they did err, it will remit the decision back to an Inspector and the process will begin all over again!

Meanwhile, all reasonable and sensible advice leads to the conclusion that this high stakes strategy carries a very real risk of:

• increasing, not decreasing the future target
• strengthening the argument in favour of consenting the planning appeals against Waverley in the short term
• increasing the uncertainty that currently surrounds the draft Local Plan as a result of the appeals.

Of course most people – including councillors – are concerned about the housing targets and housing delivery in the Borough but the difference between them and CPRE and POW is that they aren’t engaged in a game of high stakes Russian roulette with other peoples’ money!

Suffice to say if Messrs Isaacs and Lies’ great gamble doesn’t pay off they are going to be as popular in Waverley as skunks that have rolled in fox poo!

The Deputy Waverley leader’s response ( below). 
The hearing on Monday 24th June will be webcast here, so pull up a chair and bring some biscuits! The background of the case is on the Court site here.

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Paul Follows chats to Waverley​ electors.

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What do we want? Councillors who turn up for meetings. Councillors who are – not one of or are amused by the term  – ‘CHINOS’ – ‘Councillors Here In Name Only.’

OR Councillors who are admitting they are “paper candidates” who have been dragooned into standing.

When do we want it? NOW.

Vote Cllr. Paul Follows – Godalming Central & Ockford – May 2nd 2019

One of the ‘fun’ things about elections – having to record election videos!

We have several about to be sent around soon – but as the only Liberal Democrat sitting councillor, I have first pick on what I wanted to talk about.

CHANGING THE COUNCILLORS JOB DESCRIPTION.

  • That means being there for residents.

listening to residents showing up for meetings and actually making a meaningful contribution on behalf of the people I represent.

It is something I am incredibly honoured to have been doing for almost two years now – and as you will see, something we expect from all our candidates.

And PS. Yes maybe one day I will stop blinking and randomly nodding during videos- but apparently, it’s not today!

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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