Last Saturday saw the DOROTHY PERKINS store in Farnham close its doors for the last time.
This brings to an end a 50 year-long association of the popular store with our town! – Here are just a few of the others – but fear not there will be dozens of new shops opening soon in the Woolmead and Blightwells developments (with our money) – won’t there?
But .. according to the DP’s store staff – another nice shop is due to take its place?
And… what about Guildford! Where two flagship stores – House of Fraser and Debenhams boasting half a million square feet of retail floor space look set to fail!
Whatever the outcome of takeover talks going on as we type, questions will remain over the sustainability of these two anchor department stores in Guildford, and there will be concerns about the possible economic and fiscal implications, locally, should either fail.
Additionally, current council plans (Guildford BC) for up to 420,000 square feet of new retail space on North Street might now look even more doubtful, especially following the Local Plan examiner’s remarks querying the logic of this allocation, despite GBC’s planning department’s defence of their decision.
Tory councils, with the backing of Surrey County Council, are so arrogant as they play Monopoly with our money! Can’t they read the runes?
House of Fraser, Guildford was refitted and relaunched as a new store in 2000. It waspreviously known as the Army & Navy, and before that Harvey’s. The store includes the Jellicoe Heritage Roof Garden, a water garden designed and installed by the late Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe in 1958 and where customers could once sit and eat enjoying a panoramic view across the town. It was closed for health and safety reasons. It has a grade II listing from English Heritage and, according to the House of Fraser website, has a dedicated gardener.
The car ablaze adjacent to woodland near Keepers Cottage, Cranleigh!
Because most of the time Cranleigh’s single pump machine has been seen racing around the Surrey countryside attempting to cover for other stations that are either unmanned or are running an overtime ban!
Of course, for Surrey County Council, paying part-time (retained) firemen to stand-by in other parts of the county isn’t cheap. It costs shedloads of money to take firefighters out of area! In addition, they are then unavailable to cover their own areas so if an incident occurs in Cranleigh firemen then travel from Dorking travel home again and then trouser even more cash. If the waste of taxpayer’s money wasn’t so serious it would be funny?
You couldn’t make it up?
But then why would Dumb & Dumber at County Towers give a damn. They’re too busy putting the cold steel of council budget cuts right through the heart of our vital emergency services. So much so Surrey’s head honcho in the brigade has been kicked into touch because he’s not prepared to put his name to cuts that he believes will impact on manpower and put Surry’s residents lives at risk. So his loyal staff have banned overtime!
THIS IS A SERIOUS FIRE SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT. FOR GODALMING AND THE SURROUNDING AREAS. STAINES FIRE STATION IS CLOSED YET AGAIN TONIGHT FROM 18.00 – 0.900 DUE TO HAVING INSUFFICIENT FIREFIGHTERS, THE SAME APPLIES TO BANSTEAD – CLOSED.
GUILDFORD, WOKING & CAMBERLEY ALL DOWN 50%.
LET’S ALL HOPE THAT THIS HEATWAVE DOESN’T PRODUCE HEATH FIRES!!
Surrey’s chief fire officer Russell Pearson, a man who wears his honours for “dedicated service to the emergency services” with pride has been thrown out of the service after resisting budget cuts.
That’s the claim of Fire Brigade Union’s after the highly respected chief officer who was featured in this year’s New Year’s Honours was ousted, just seven months later, from his job! Why? Because he warned that reducing fire cover would leave the county’s Fire & Rescue Services unable to protect US, the public.
Well done Dumb – you never let us down – you prefer to fritter away over £50m of Surrey taxpayer’s money on an unpopular retail development in Farnham that commercial backers wouldn’t touch with a bargepole – to compromise our safety wouldn’t you?
Perhaps you haven’t heard Dumber that more than 30,000 store chains in this country are in crisis? Facing such financial stress meaning many more businesses will follow the wave of store closures that are sweeping through our towns and cities – including wealthy Surrey! The very same stores in which you invested OUR money, preferring instead to put our lives at risk?
Recently you asked Surrey residents what their priorities were: We here at the Waverley Web believe – keeping us safe – is a top priority along with caring for the elderly and vulnerable children.
Mr Pearson joined SFRS in 1992 and has served as the county’s chief fire officer since 2007.
The FBU released a statement saying that Mr Pearson will no longer hold his 11-year position and the union fears he was “ousted” due to his stance on further service savings.
A Surrey County Council (SCC) spokesman said in response: “We cannot comment on speculation about individuals.”
“I am in no doubt that the only reason SCC would replace Russell Pearson is so they can get someone in to do a hatchet job, solely to make cuts without any regard to public or firefighter safety,” claims Richard Jones, executive council member for the FBU for the south-east.
“With emergency response times in Surrey at their slowest since 1996, the number of fires we attend and rescues we make increasing year on year since 2015, further cuts are absolutely absurd and show SCC is prioritising monetary savings ahead of public safety.”
In June last year firefighters and union members declared a motion of no confidence and one year on, this motion is still in place.
The FBU says that since 2010 more than £20 million has been saved from SFRS budget, and an additional £661,000 is expected to be saved this year alone.
According to SCC’s Medium Term Financial Plan, savings of £4.075 million and £1.8 million are expected in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
According to the FBU chairman Lee Belsten the service is now “dangerously close to the mark” and its frontline response and emergency control resources will be “decimated” if funding cuts continue.
He argued that staff shortages, as well as reduced resources, means all of Surrey’s fire stations are currently below 20 firefighters, response time remains up to 10% under target, on-call crew are 40% deficient and emergency control staff are up to 50% short.
Overall, the number of firefighters in Surrey have plummeted by 40%, claimed the FBU, resulting in numerous fire appliances being left unavailable in times of emergency because there are not enough firefighters to crew them.
However, a SCC spokesman says: “we have carried out a recruitment campaign and are making a significant investment to our new fire stations, equipment and vehicles to meet the needs of a modern fire service”.
‘Fire service on its knees’
Following the FBU statement on Mr Pearson, an anonymous firefighter said “Russell has been doing an amazing job fighting the cuts, there’s the suspicion that because he is not willing to support the cuts that’s one reason he’s been pushed to the side.
“He’s the right man for the job, he’s passionate about the fire service and doesn’t want to see it get any smaller. The fire service is on its knees, if they bring in any more cuts it will be a case of which station will they close next.
“They are relying on the goodwill of firefighters to come in on their days off. We don’t want the public thinking that we are letting them down, we just don’t have the resources.”
Another firefighter, who also did not wish to give their name, said:“I think the whole thing is disgusting, Russell has done nothing but work hard for the fire service.“If they’ve got rid of him because he doesn’t do what they want him to do, then that seems like an awful way to do things. He’s been pushing back against the cuts and, speaking from the front line, there’s nothing more that the fire service can give.”
There were villagers over there in the east believing that they were to get the new ‘village hospital’ they have eagerly awaited for the past 20 years – and then up pops a weasel!
What’s more it isn’t half a pound of tuppeny rice that is about to buy Cranleigh and the surrounding villages a proposed 60-bed private nursing home, ten social care beds and ten community beds – it was millions of pounds of their money following two-decades of local fundraising.
Decades ago the parish council was duped into handing over a former recreation ground owned by the parish to local charity – Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust – in return for land swapped by a man villagers now describe as a ‘local benefucter.’ Self-same benefucter who has trousered millions for a huge development of 265 homes in Elm Bridge Road.
The CVH Trust was going to build a replacement hospital plus a day hospital and 14 beds following the closure of one of the oldest cottage hospitals in the country on theparish land. Now same trust is going to present its cunning plans to the council to build a nursing home for A-One, a countrywide private care company. It will tell how it will – solve the county council’s social care bed crisis with 10 beds, allowing it to sell off the defunct Long Fields nursing home site in Ewhurst Road. Before its closure three years ago it boasted 50+ beds,. Now thanks to the ‘Charity’ it can trouser the cash from the sale of land to help fill the big black hole at Surrey county towers! This leaves Cranleigh with minus 40 social care beds, but 60 private commercial rate beds costing?
Now there’s a question – how much?
The ten beds community beds are for…? Wait for it, yes, you guessed patients from among the 25 GP practices that make up the Guildford & Waverley Clinical Commissioning Group! So much for localism?
We should also mention that the private for profit THREE-STOREY nursing home, built on valuable parish land also comes with a 26 block of residential flats and… two access – one from Knowle Lane immediateky alongside Whisker Drive the other along the parish owned road to the Snoxhall Playing Fields! What does the parish council get out of this? Pop along and you may find out?
Angry of Cranleigh wrote to us here at the Waverley Web, saying he had just spotted on the parish noticeboard that ‘THE TRUSTWORTHY TRUST,’ as it was depicted in a local magazine recently, is to present its plans to the parish council, tonight Thursday at 7p.m. Council Offices, Village Way.
Perhaps our little spider sould be climbing up said parish council office wall- because when villagers get to hear where their treacle has gone – they may want to climb a few walls too?
Cranleigh gets more like Farnham every day – in a word SHAFTED!
Thankfully Cranleigh and Ewhurst County councillor has come riding to the rescue of the beleaguered county council forced to make savings of £250m over the next three years if it is to stay afloat. We could almost hear his whip cracking against the Tory leader’s back.
He tried to dislodge Hodge the Bodge earlier this year, but failed… miserably… though he argued it was NOT unanimous!
Whilst back-stabbing is a popular sport at county towers, there is no-one more adept at the practice than a Povey! A man who we hear never bears a grudge!!!
Suffice to say, Surrey County Council’s female finance director picked up her Radley and walked – along with her plump final salary local government pension giving just 24 hours notice! Temper, temper!
But in trots our little Povey eager to ride on the back of misfortune to point yet another blunt stick into Hodge’s eyeballs, accusing him of “not running sustainable budgets and there being a while elephant in the room!” More like a rat in the run?
He says” “I am concerned, I have been in business for 30 years and one thing in business you learn over everything else is that you follow the money.”
You hit the nail on the head there Councillor Povey, because if anyone followed the money you did!! Ask Guildford MP Anne Milton?
He continues:‘You take it to bed with you,(what the money, or the budget?)you take the medium term strategy to bed with you to read again and again. Those that don’t, end up like Carillion or Northamptonshire County Council.”
He then waxed lyrical about the finance director’s departure flashing up lots of red lights, and issued a stern warning to his colleagues!
“A finance director leaving at short notice is another warning you need to take account of.”
Do we see another attempt by the Povey Pony riding to the rescue, to unseat Hodge the Bodge?
Needless to say a SCC spokesperson said that finance director Sheila Little “has decided this is a good time to pursue other opportunities, and we wish her well.” An interim director has been apointed and a new director will be in place in the Autumn.
Any politician who starts a diatribe with … “I’ve always been clear” is a guarantee that what he is about to say is anything but… and resembles MUD!
Here’s David ‘Autocue’ Hodge reading a statement about the launch of Surrey County Council’s new vision – it’s only a draft vision he hastens to add – because what he really wants is YOUR VISION! What should Surrey look like by 2030? Well, you know what to do then –read about it here and complete the survey here.
Will the reckless officials of Surrey County Council, who only last week squandered the opportunity to receive £380,000 from Taylor Wimpey to provide school places in Farnham – ignore the anger of Godalming residents at the proposed closure of ‘Green Oak School.
Click on the link below to read of the Farnham debacle!
There’s no doubt about it- Andrew Povey’s bid to dislodge the Hodge who believes he has a right to the throne has made him mad. In fact, he is madder than mad Jack, winner of last year’s Mr Mad man competition!
The Cranleigh & Ewhurst County Councillor failed miserably in his bid to oust the Leader of Surrey County Council from his head honcho role! He predicted David Hodge’s seven-year stint as the Tory leader of the council was over. He believed his fellow councillors needed some “fresh thinking” and some “new ideas” and he was THEIR MAN!
Sadly his colleagues appear to have disagreed with DR P – so his current bid to dislodge Hodge failed!
Watch out, Sir Percy! The daggers are out and the Twit is now twittering. He’s now blaming YOU for putting volunteers in to help keep the county’s libraries open!
Many of our followers have been trying, without a great deal of success, to understand the Adult Social Care element included in their recently received council tax bills.
One man’s efforts and his response from Waverley Borough Council are included below, but we respectfully suggest that you walk over to the fridge and pour yourself a very large glass of Sauvignon Blanc or your favourite tipple. Because if you can understand the explanation then you are a better man than me, Gunga Din!
Click on the link below for Waverley’s explanation when all will become clear…?
Letter sent to Surrey County Councillor Wyatt Ramsdale
Sent: 22 March 2018 18:51
To: Wyatt Ramsdale CLR
Subject: Re: Council tax
I’ve attached a copy of a letter I have received from Waverley.
Nowhere does it say on the face of the rate bill that the % shown for Adult Social Care (ASC) is a percentage of last years total bill and that the overall increase is 5.99%.
Everyone I have spoken to can’t work out how the increase in the ASC is shown as 3% when it is obviously 64%.
In the world within which we, other Surrey and Waverley Coucil’s, live a % is assumedto relate to the corresponding figure on the same line from the previous year, not another figure.
On a recent holiday, I was reading “The Hidden Reality” by Brian Greene which discusses various theories of multiverses and importantly whether the same physical and mathematical laws would apply to different ones.
I can only assume that somewhere on the flight I passed through some sort of barrier into an alternative universe that employed a different version of basic arithmetic.
It is clear that this presentation is to fool the casual ratepayer who doesn’t check the maths that the Surrey % increase is 3%. A cheap sleight of hand trick.
In two of the local authorities, I worked for I wrote the computer programs for the production of rate bills and if I had produced a table like that on a rate bill the heads of Finance would have been horrified at my lack of presentational ability.
(we have redacted the name at the request of the resident)