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ZOOM in on the UK Oil and Gas debate tomorrow at Surrey County Council? Oh! No you can’t!

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POSTPONED

Here’s the link below. So Zoom in and watch democracy at work?

And… you still have time to write to your county councillors to stop this madness! All the links are listed below. Oh! No you don’t!

 

A Planning and Regulatory Committee Webcast meeting to be held by Surrey County Council on Thursday 21st May at 10.30am to consider the UK Oil and Gas application at the eastern end of High Loxley Road The site abuts the parish of Alfold’s boundary, so the paish council is urging villagers to listen-in.

Alfold Parish Council, alongside other Parish Council’s, district and town councils including Waverley orough Council have registered their strong objections on many grounds, including the impact of Alfold’s residents, local infrastructure, traffic safety and the scheme’s sustainability, being just a few reasons.

The Parish Council is not permitted to make representations at the Committee meeting but can be present (albeit virtually) to hear the arguments both for and against the proposals.

After all, why would it be allowed to have a say about such a controversial scheme right on its doorstep? Perish the thought!

Alfold Parish Council were expressly told that the application would be heard at the June meeting butwith just a few days notice heard that the application has been brought forward to Thursday May 21.

The Webcast link to the meeting is here > https://surreycc.public-i.tv/…/p…/webcast_interactive/486609 , and you should not need to register beforehand to listen in.

The Case Officers report can be viewed here > https://mycouncil.surreycc.gov.uk/…/Officer%20Loxley%20Repo…

If you have any comments to make on the application, please email Surrey County Councillors : victoria.young@surreycc.gov.uk; david.harmer@surreycc.gov.uk; nikki.barton@surreycc.gov.uk; andy.macleod@surreycc.gov.uk; peterj.martin@surreycc.gov.uk; andrew.f.povey@surreycc.gov.uk; stephen.spence@surreycc.gov.uk; penny.rivers@surreycc.gov.uk.

https://drillordrop.com/2020/05/06/covid-19-recovery-must-not-increase-climate-risk-government-adviser/

Here’s just one Alfold resident’s comments.

 

Dear Councillors

 

As you will hopefully now be aware there is significant opposition to these Proposals for UKOG for this Oil/Gas Drilling Application.

There are SO many reasons to simply say NO and you have to look at the many Neighbour, Business, Parish and Borough Objections as well. SCC has an obligation to listen to the Locals and Elected councillors and if they do not on Thursday we will all know that Democracy has left us and the 2021 elections will focus US ALL on this particular application as a strong reason to rethink previous voting decisions. There are many of us here that will ensure we do inform via social media and other sources, if this decision is taken to go ahead. I promise to do all I can to ensure that local residents are given the information they need to understand –  if you decide to go ahead with this Application.

I will not repeat the long list of Objections from the MANY that have posted on the website – Yet seem to have no impact on the Planners… I have to ask the question ( As I have on many occasions)  – What do they know that we don’t ?? Desk Based assessments are all good and well – But for goodness sakes there has to be some sort of communication – and there simply isn’t.. It leaves residents feeling their views are irrelevant and there is no Democracy.

It is incongruous that this application is being heard during this lockdown surely if footballers can play on a pitch with no contact YOU could have visited the site and seen the roads and local properties that will be affected within 500mtrs of the site, and yet you have decided  NOT to truly see the impacts it will have on the local communities and businesses in Dunsfold and the surrounding villages. This is an AGLV and adjacent to the AONB and this has to have some significance – not the insignificant impact that seems to be stated in the SCC Officers report…. Maybe if you live in Kingston it is not relevant– But it IS to those that will have to live with here in the East of the Borough.

It is well known (despite SCC Highways lack of objection) that these roads are totally unsuitable and unsafe in any sense of the word and 3 or 5 way phasing Traffic lights are not going to mitigate the chaos this is going to cause for however long this takes. It is a joke to even suggest they will be removed from 7pm – 7am (PLEASE!!)  Sites such as these should be established close to major Highways and NOT country lanes and small minor A roads – which the A281 is as we ALL KNOW.

There is has never been any sort of Cumulative Assessment of the impact on our roads from ALL the developments in the Area – each seems to have to be taken on its own merits – Surely SOMEONE in SCC Highways has to work out the TOTAL increase on the Highways (A281 and local roads) – Is that too much to ask for?

There are issues with The Water Framework Directive 2011, Light Pollution and noise which will affect the local residents and businesses. The potential of local tremors to many of the Grade II listed buildings in the areas has not been considered, nor the Environmental Habits Impact.

No consideration has been taken as to the impact on the Dunsfold Park current use as an Operational Airfield and its future use as a Business Park and Housing Village. The construction traffic alone will bring these minor roads to a standstill.

Finally SCC and WBC have all signed up to the Climate Change Emergency… How does this fit in with this? I understand that there is a need for locally sourced Gas/Oil so we are not importing from the Middle east etc… But this is not the answer – It is the destruction of the countryside that is the life and blood of THIS  country and I would have hoped that during this Pandemic that someone would have thought about this – The Countryside SHOULD be protected for what it can produce during times such as these – when we may need to look at producing our OWN food and not importing, when we can protect those Green Spaces which are the LUNGS of this great country – Do not Dig it all up for Housing/ Oil/ Gas. We need to look at sustainable means of supplying our energy – We need to look at means of making our Homes sustainable, we need to look at Building homes where people have access to all the facilities they expect and an infrastructure that supports them moving.  I happen to live in a Grade II listed building and looked at trying to be greener – But I am afraid I do not have £16K up front to do it ( You only get minimal repayments over years from the Government) We simply do not seem to have a Joined-up Policy on this it is just Build New homes regardless… Dig up the country-side for Gas/Oil – PLEASE  Think about this in a joined up way – not a piece meal way or you and this Country will fail massively

It is time we looked at the BIGGER picture and stopped looking at these short term solutions that TICK boxes.

Please Look at this with the views of the people that will have to deal with this for the next 5 years and remember that we will be voting and I really hope you can bear this in mind on Thursday

Look forward to the ZOOM event. I am just a private person who has only lived here for almost 6 years – But I love this place and I want the best for it. I have no political affiliations – I just care about what is happening here and I am afraid I am really angry about this an many other applications  and feel we have lost our Vote, our SAY in what is happening to a place we feel so much about – Please listen to us all – We care.

 

Kind regards

Denise Wordsworth

DWL ASSOCIATES

Have you wondered why the decision to close recycling centres and libraries have​ been deferred until October?​

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To Dump or not to dump – that is the question?

Recycling Centres – v – Children’s Centres.

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WELL, IT’S REALLY QUITE SIMPLE: BECAUSE THERE’S AN ELECTION IN THE OFFING.

 

Will he? Won’t he? Try and snatch his badge back?

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Has Surrey CC leader candidate Dr Andrew Povey taken his plans for global domination too far?

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Since managing to persuade The Guildford Conservative Association that he should re-enter local politics once more  – Dr Andrew Povey has done pretty much s** all for the people of Ewhurst & Cranleigh.  But then that wasn’t his reason for going back, was it?

He had a score to settle with David Hodge, for daring to jump into the seat he left after receiving a Vote of No Confidence from his Tory colleagues. And, don’t let him fool you that the vote wasn’t official! since when did Tory’s wash their dirty linen in public? The Tory group had been working behind the scenes for months to get rid of their Little Povey. He, of course, thought otherwise saying, Deputy Hodge had resigned because they were  “seeing things differently.” Now with a score to settle, MLP – wants to grab his badge back.mylittlepovey2

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Now, Dr Povey is claiming that “Overall life will be better for the people of Surrey.” Presumably meaning – under his control?

 The people of Cranleigh & Ewhurst sent him back to County Towers because among other things, he pledged he would prevent the onward march of developers? Did he? NO! He told them he would protect their local services – did he NO! Children’s centres closing, the Cranleigh dump reduced hours and up for closure.? What did he – almost – succeed in doing when he was the leader?

Almost succeeded in putting in parking meters in every town and village street in Surrey. And, it is believed, he bought thousands of meters and it cost the county council a shedload of money. Though the figure was never revealed – so another bit of dirty washing that didn’t get hung out on the public line?

Still, fear not readers. There are plenty of other contenders for the Head Honcho at SCC – or so we hear.

Here’s a little run down – if you want to pop down to Bet Fred. Be Quick. We are putting our money on Tim Oliver – however, don’t put a heavy bet on – the WW has never won an argument yet!

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Tales of the unexpected as Surrey’s Mr Tickle resigns.

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The tales from various ladies at political and community events are coming in thick and fast…

mrtickle.jpgGodalming’s Surrey County Councillor Peter Martin resigns as Chairman.

But you know – if you’re a Tory in True Blue Surrey, you can get away with almost anything? Unless, of course, if Miss Backlash gets to hear of it?

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And here at the Waverley Web, we have heard more… and we are tickled pink, so much so, we fell off our web.animated-spider-image-0201

 

Has Hambledon’s Holder’s thrown a hand grenade into the​ future viability of ‘Blightwells Yard’ in Farnham?

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Here’s our sticker book!

And below is one Farnham resident’s thoughts. Brightwells_storecounter

Sir,

– In July this year, the Government published a review of the problems facing retail in town centres. The Grimsey Review Part 2 had a title which said it all: The Vanishing High Street.

For the first time, we have been able to hear something of these concerns expressed openly in the Waverley Council chamber. Last week there was a meeting concerning the borough’s economic strategy, which has been recorded and is available to see on Waverley’s website (Tuesday, September 11’s meeting of customer services and VFMO).

Here’s an excerpt: Has Hambledon’s Holder become a bit bolder or is he just demob happy as he prepares to leave ‘Your Waverley?

Councillor Holder raised several significant issues at the meeting, one of which indirectly is of concern to Farnham. His suggestion was that the chief executive should draw up plans if Surrey County Council should cease to exist and be replaced with four new unitary authorities. We have to question that in such an event, whether Surrey’s demise would place Crest Nicholson Sainsbury’s Brightwells scheme in jeopardy? The Farnham Theatre Association (FTA) understands from Waverley leader, Julia Potts that legal documents have been signed to the effect that Surrey County Council will meet the cost of the retail element of the scheme, once the development is completed.

Possibly to allay Waverley’s fears that its long-cherished Brightwells/East Street scheme might fail, councillor Holder has another plan up his sleeve. He has invited the Chinese Cultural Attache to visit Waverley with the assistance of Mrs Lucia Hunt (wife of our MP). She will address the Chinese delegation in mandarin to explain what Waverley has to offer Chinese tourists. Demonstrably, she will be able to explain that there is a wealth of beautiful scenery and historic architecture, but of course, no public theatre. Councillor Holder’s declared aim is to boost tourism in the borough and to bring visitors to our failing town centres. Could he possibly be considering Farnham with its Brightwells problem and that Chinese money might be the answer to the conundrum?

An open letter of mine was published in the Farnham Herald some weeks ago, which asked for thoughts and ideas about what would be best for Farnham if the retail element of the Brightwells development failed. FTA has always been clear. We propose a combined theatre/cinema operation as the focus for Brightwells (as described in the Farnham Society’s 2016 concept: Brightwells Restored). As the only purpose-built venue of this kind in Waverley, it could attract visitors and tourists to the whole borough, in support of our retail traders. Does anyone have better ideas? If so, please let us hear them!

Anne Cooper, (Farnham Theatre Association chairman), Nutshell Lane, Upper Hale

Do we really need Surrey County Council, because it would appear it is sinking fast?​

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Surrey County Council will not have sufficient reserves to meet its funding gap in 2019-20 unless it acts now, accountants have warned in a report.

The Conservative-run  County Council, operating in the second richest borough in the country was accused last year of agreeing an alleged “sweetheart” funding deal with the government after it planned a 15% council tax hike.

However, perhaps the Waverly Borough Cllr for Hambledon had his facts right when he dropped this little bombshell into a recent council meeting of Waverley Council? Maybe, just maybe, we are watching the beginning of the death throes of county towers? Perhaps local government final salary pensions should be finally ditched to get our local authorities back in the black, instead of slashing and burning our services?

Listen here to a clip which has sent shivers down the back of doomed Surrey County Council.

Has Hambledon’s Holder become a bit bolder or is he just demob happy as he prepares to leave ‘Your Waverley?.

The new report says this year’s £36m funding gap could rise to £94m by 2021. Probably even further if it continues with Leader David Hodge’s present economic strategy. But fear not Surrey taxpayers, he said Surrey was “taking all the right steps”.

Finance warnings have been issued at other councils across the country, with East Sussex planning to strip services to the “legal minimum” and Northamptonshire warning of “radical” service cuts.

In a report commissioned by the council, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) said Surrey’s gross expenditure was expected to increase by 6.5% over four years, but funding would rise by “only 2.4%” over the same period.

It warned this would lead to a funding gap of £36m in 2018-19, rising to £86m by March 2020 and to £94m by March 2021.

The Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Surrey Chris Botten said:

“The CIPFA report says Surrey’s finance function is not fit for purpose. It is “too passive” and cannot provide the leadership required to address the current financial pressures in Surrey. 

The CEO Joanna Killian called in CIPFA because she was concerned to ensure that the finance function was strong enough and on the evidence of the report has taken the appropriate steps to put things right. 

The trouble is, it is seven years too late. Because the quality of financial reporting has been poor, and because of the reported “passivity” residents will face more sudden, deeper cutting service reductions because SCC didn’t start addressing the changing funding regime until a couple of years ago. The wasted years will leave a legacy of much-reduced services which will genuinely shock residents.

A classic case of too little, too late.”


Further Reading:
11.05.18 – Surrey Advertiser – What do councillors cost ratepayers per year copy

10.05.18 – Haslemere Herald – Councillors claim nearly £2m in expenseshttps://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-england-surrey-45552324

 

Has Hambledon’s Holder become a bit bolder or is he just demob happy as he prepares to leave ‘Your Waverley?

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Councillors and officers looked like rabbits caught in a set of headlights as the member for Witley & Hambledon threw this little missile into the meeting of the Overview & Scrutiny Value for Money Committee.

No doubt, Cllr Holder (Witley & Hambledon) is willing to help sabotage the county council because he’s preparing to join the big band of Conservative councillors intent on leaving the 50 strong Tory contingents at Waverley. Presumably in these discussions at a meeting yesterday on the borough’s future Economic Strategy he is predicting the demise of Waverley Council too?

So will  ‘Your Waverley’ be gobbled up by  Guildford and Woking?

WW bets that Surrey’s Leader – ‘Hodge the Bodge’ will be keen to scotch this?

 

 

After 50 years in Farnham – another major chain store​ ​ closes its doors!

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?

Here’s what Farnham people think about our local authorities cunning plan to invest our money in more shops and restaurants.

The number of business and retail units in Waverley being turned into homes is reaching alarming proportions.

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 was previously 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.

See also: Comment: It Is True – The Number of Empty Shops in Guildford Is Increasing

Were Cranleigh firefighters around to fight this blaze near woodland?

 

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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! 

You can read it here: Dumb and Dumber do it again?

Dumb and Dumber do it again?

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%.

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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. 

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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.”

  • Fire service close to ‘decimation’
  • Fire cover ‘halved’ in Camberley
  • Woking cover cut six times

Funding cuts

“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”.

Surrey is now the county with the lowest number of fire service staff per headcount of population

‘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.”

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