"WHERE are our ’quick wins?" a councillor has demanded to know, after claiming the Farnham Infrastructure Programme has spent approaching £2 million on consultants since early 2020.
Cllr George Hesse, councillor for Castle ward, hit out after being told his calls for a ’cafe culture’ in Castle Street would be unlikely to win the support of Surrey or Waverley councils at last Thursday’s town council meeting.
He said: "We’re told a cafe culture would conflict with the 20mph limit proposed in the town centre, but why? Castle Street is a racetrack at the moment - to narrow the road would if nothing else slow the traffic, no?
"Why are we being kept waiting? Why not a trial soon?
"It would require very little engineering - we could just move the planters in, as we have done in Downing Street.
"When the infrastructure programme leaflet went out to residents last year, it promised ’Changes are coming to Farnham’. Well, when? Will we all be dead?
"I urge the Farnham Infrastructure Programme to wake up and get on with it. They have spent a huge amount of taxpayers’ money - the people of Farnham want to see some action!"
Cllr Roger Blishen added: "’Quick wins’ is a terrible misnomer. Vast amounts of money has been spent, but nothing’s happened yet - and we’re told it could be another two years before it does. Three years is a rather ’slow win’!"
Responding to Cllr Hesse, Cllr John Ward argued that "cafe culture should be at the bottom of our list of priorities", adding "proper enforcement of parking and clearing of drains is the most valuable thing we could do".
But Cllr Hesse fired back, "How can we put drains and hedgerows above the life and success of the town? Those are standard maintenance jobs - what we need are some initiatives that really show we are moving forward! Drains and hedgerows? Ridiculous!"
Cllr Michaela Martin agreed, adding: "What a waste of £2 million, to spend it on drains instead of something really exciting."
Council leader John Neale called for "higher priority to be given to cyclists". But this was also shot down by Cllr Ward, who added: "There is an obsession that cyclists are more important than cars or people - but it is the pedestrians who spend money in our shops!"
The Farnham Board will meet to discuss the Farnham Infrastructure Programme’s next steps tomorrow (Friday).