Annual Waverley Business Breakfast

Craig McGowan and Eddie Paterson attended this event on Tuesday 12th Feb.

This annual event is the Council’s opportunity to connect with local business and the four Chambers of Commerce (Haslemere, Cranleigh, Farnham and Godalming).

The agenda covered

  • The Council Budget (Peter Vickers)
  • The Local Plan and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) (Elizabeth Sims)
  • The Business Improvement District (Craig McGowan)

An economic profile of Waverley:

  • £4.9bn total business turnover
  • Waverley has one of the highest business densities with 8,200 VAT registered enterprises (ONS 2017)
  • Ranked 1st in prosperity (2016)
  • 91% of businesses in the borough have less than 10 employees
  • 2,900 businesses in rural areas
  • Waverley has 47 business parks

Council budget – very stretched! Waverley collects £38m in Business rates, but only get to keep £2m. You can read about Waverley’s budget here.


Waverley Chambers Meeting

Following the Council briefing above we met with the other 3 Chambers of Commerce in Waverley and Council representatives.  Topics discussed included:

Parking Strategy:  There had been slow progress on the parking review, but discussions had begun in Cranleigh and Haslemere and proposals were also being worked up for Farnham with Godalming to follow. Each area had different pressures on capacity and different issues to contend with. The Council’s team to prepare a scoping document for the review in the next 3-4 weeks, and the aim to complete the review within 2019.

BREXIT: Council representatives are engaged in teleconferences on how local authorities could manage the impact of a no deal Brexit. Issues of concern included transport infrastructure, lorry stacks (impact on A31), congestion, health and social care workers, seasonal workers, recycling processing facilities etc. The British Chambers of Commerce and Surrey Chambers toolkit were recommended. Craig suggested checking Directors and Officers liability insurance documents which should provide protection for businesses if they have done all they reasonably could to act in a proper manner.

BID update: Catherine Knight reported back on Mosaic’s activity on the BID project. Four town workshops had taken place in January with some useful feedback – one of the key issues was parking. The group discussed engagement with the larger businesses particularly the supermarkets, which was varied. The next steps were for Mosaic to come and present to senior managers and the Chambers. Date to be arranged in March

Waverley Council Annual Business Survey: The group was updated on the Waverley Council annual business survey which was one of the new targets in the economic development Strategy. There had been 120 responses to last year’s survey and the 2019 survey had now been launched and would be open through February and March. You can take part in the survey here.