Cranleigh Society News

Cranleigh Society News

Annual General Meeting news 

We say a massive Thank you to Terry Stewart who has now retired from the Civic Society – he has managed and steered the group with knowledge and vigour. He made sure that our councils listen to us and, along with many others, pressed for improvements in their communications. He has been a force for good talking to our MP Anne Milton and various councillors and officers during his time with us.

We welcome in our new Chairman Trevor Dale.  Having lived in Cranleigh since 1975, Trevor’s interests include serving as a long standing member of Cranleigh Lions Club having been President  twice and is now Membership secretary. He also has been serving as a member of Cranleigh Medical Practice Patient Participation Group and is keen to help further interaction between the community and the Medical Practice. As a retired airline pilot and now a business man and member of the Chamber of Commerce, his passion is to keep Cranleigh special and support Cranleigh residents and businesses to be heard, represented and helped with practical issues. He is never afraid to pick up the phone and try to talk to the right person and get the job done!

Our treasurer, secretary and membership secretary are unchanged, joined by a medical secretary to help out. We have a new recruit  who is a retired architect to specifically examine planning applications and make suggestions about any problems and objections we can and should make, and conditions that must be met.  Our retired Solicitor continues to support us and we now have a retired Geologist joining in whose mission is to make Cranleigh welcoming again.


Cranleigh recycling centre  – It was the tip/dump – soon to be ONLY Recycling, and is up for review of proposed closure later this year-

ACTION NEEDED – since the reduction of opening days the amount of recycling has gone down! – this will not help to keep it open! Surrey CC still needs to save money on its waste services and is looking for other suggestions that will make savings.

Send your ideas and supporting evidence to us or Cllr Andrew Povey and sign the NEW  PETITION at the Handyman’s shop or on the line petition at

Interesting – Government and DEFRA are looking at ways to make manufacturers responsible for their waste; also reintroduce deposit schemes on bottles etc.

In Guildford there is a scheme where items are repaired rather than dumped. The group meets on the second Saturday of each month. More details on –

Park Barn Community Centre
Cabell Road


Drinking Water Asbestos Cement Pipes – concerns

Drinking Water Asbestos Cement Pipes – concerns


Cranleigh Society members have done their best to persuade Waverley Borough Council (WBC) and Thames Water (TW) to renew our drinking water pipes.

We believe this should be planned and completed before the new housing is attached to the network for two reasons – the pipes are 50-70 yrs old and getting close to the end of their lives Due to this frequent  bursts occur causing major disruption . The latest guidelines for new housing also state that the water pressure must be higher than the previous norm.

In addition, you may have seen that Cranleigh Society member Adrian Clarke has recently worked with the Financial Times (article dated 30-March-19) concerning the asbestos cement used in around 29% of Cranleigh’s water supply pipes, some of which contains the more worrying “blue” type.

So the World Health Organisation (WHO) must look into the problem and are looking for funds so that they can. Our MP Anne Milton is aware of the potential issue, it having been raised during the regular ‘flood forums’ that she has established.

WBC have done some investigation and have summarised the situation – Tom Horwood, the CEO of WBC stated “This whole issue keeps coming back to the established view of the lack of harm of ingested asbestos, which we would all like reviewed.”  

Like many other health concerns there is no evidence that stands up at the moment to say there is definitely a problem with ingested asbestos from the drinking water, or indeed that there isn’t. At present, no one knows.

To put you in the picture – The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told Cranleigh Society late in 2016 that, under clause 79 of The Water Industry 1991 (as amended), it is our local authority’s responsibility to risk assess this issue, and HSE gave us help in preparing the hazard report we sent to WBC on 29-Jan-17. The Drinking Water Inspectorate’s (DWI) (and hence Thames Water’s) advice to WBC was based on the following paragraph taken from the 1996 WHO report:

“Although the carcinogenicity of inhaled asbestos is well established, there is no conclusive evidence that ingested asbestos is carcinogenic (1,3,16). ….”

But the animal tests were done to assess the risk of chrysotile, amosite and tremolite asbestos contaminated talc used as fillers in processed foods in the USA in the 1960s and early 1970s.  Crocidolite (blue) asbestos, the worst one and the one we are concerned about in Cranleigh, was not tested because it is not a contaminant in North American talc deposits.  Also, the asbestos tested was ground down (milled) into mainly sub-microscopic particles in the same machines as would be used for processing talc, so they didn’t contain complete whole fibres as would be the case from bursts in water pipes.  If you’ve got a bit of spare time, Google the reports (references 17, 18 and 19 in the WHO 1996 report) and follow the trail to check out what I just stated.  This would suggest that the 1996 WHO report is irrelevant. No “blue” asbestos was looked for.

A few months ago, in 2018, the latest WHO statement came out (WHO information is always based on their latest update): The link is –

“All forms of asbestos are carcinogenic to humans. Exposure to asbestos causes cancer of the lung, larynx, and ovaries, and also mesothelioma (a cancer of the pleural and peritoneal linings).”

Our concern is risk of peritoneal mesothelioma from crocidolite (blue) asbestos, and this is what we asked WBC to risk assess.

The good thing is that as these failing asbestos cement pipes in Cranleigh are really so old, Thames Water is gradually having to replace them all anyway, so it is only a temporary problem.  Other areas in the UK may be at greater risk, particularly Suffolk/Norfolk and Cornwall, where a much higher percentage of asbestos cement pipes per head of population were installed, and where lower population density and less aggressive soil pH could extend the free fibre risk over a longer period.

Asbestos refers to six unique minerals — chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, anthophyllite, tremolite and actinolite — belonging to the serpentine and amphibole families. … Crocidolite (blue asbestos) was commonly used to insulate steam engines. It was also used in some spray-on coatings, pipe insulation, plastics and cement products.  Serpentine is nottoxic rock. It sometimes contains the fibrous mineral chrysotile asbestos,


The notes below were found on a US web site –
How Does Peritoneal Mesothelioma Develop?
  • Asbestos fibers are ingested. This can happen after being inhaled, coughed up, and then swallowed.
  • The body attempts to filter and remove them, but the sharp fibers can lodge into the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum). The fibers irritate the peritoneum and can cause genetic damage to cells.
  • Genetic damage can keep cells from receiving important signals about when to stop replicating. This causes unchecked cell division and the formation of a malignant tumor. It can take decades for this process to happen.
Cranleigh Society Public Meeting & Annual General Meeting

Cranleigh Society Public Meeting & Annual General Meeting

Tuesday 16th April, Band Room, Village Way, Cranleigh

Cranleigh Society Public Meeting & Annual General Meeting

If you Care about Cranleigh & Surroundings – and would like to help to make a difference – please come along to Cranleigh Society’s Public Meeting & AGM Tuesday 16th April Band Room, Village Way, 7.30 pm. The building is to the right of Cranleigh Leisure Centre.
We are a small group of people making a difference raising concerns about the development of Cranleigh.
We have sociable meetings, small tasks to do, and are completely separate from the political parties or any other group.

We look at planning applications, their conditions, and our infrastructure. 

We have meetings and push improvements with Anne MIlton MP’s Flood Forum, with Waverley Borough Council and with the other three Societies in Waverley.

We go to Parish Council meetings to keep up to date with what is on their agendas.

We are also involved in many local initiatives from lobbying Thames Water to replace all our mains water pipes, Riverfly search, water quality testing, and Cranleigh in Bloom – entering the Nationwide competition this year – help is needed – with all and many more topics.

by the way – there are around 400 of you reading this – but only a few carrying out the jobs.  Please dip in –

thanks for reading

See you there


Council News you may want to read

Council News you may want to read

We have checked Waverley’s Planning Lists for this week.

The one item which is of interest is related to the proposed Knowle Lane Care Home.

An amended application has been submitted showing a change to the vehicular entry, omitting the proposed roundabout and substituting a simple crossroads.

There is an accompanying study which indicates that the revised junction is safe.

We think the changes look acceptable and will be visually less urban than the previous proposal.

There is a speed table included between the new entry and the access to Sainsbury’s so this should restrict the speed of vehicles using Knowle Lane between these points. 

Please note that Cranleigh Parish Council are holding an extraordinary meeting on 11 April to discuss this revised Care Home Application as well as the Financial Times article on asbestos water pipes. We hope to attend this meeting, anyone can attend!