Vicki Macleod for Weybridge in the Surrey Elections 4th May 2017

On Thursday 4th May, you have a  chance to elect a new councillor to represent Weybridge on Surrey County Council.

Your local Liberal Democrat candidate is long term Weybridge resident Vicki Macleod.

You may know Vicki from her work in our local community, perhaps from her five years chairing the Friends of The Weybridge Centre charity. or as a school governor.

Vicki‘s priority is to give Weybridge a stronger voice for better delivery of the services local people need, including:

  • Better maintained and safer local roads and pavements
  • Local school places for Weybridge children
  • Responsible budget management by Surrey County Council

Many people see Surrey County Council as remote and inefficient with its history of mismanagement. Vicki will work with other councillors to put pressure on the administration for more effective financial management and for budgets that reflect local needs.  Her longer term aim is to see some of the services currently run by Surrey brought into local Elmbridge control.

Read more at elmbridgelibdems.org.uk

 

Looking to improve your business?

elmbridge-business-networkWhether you’re looking to start a new business, or aiming to improve your existing one, the boroughs business grant drop-in session can help. The sessions are an opportunity for local business owners to find out more about Elmbridge business grant schemes – the Elmbridge Civic Improvement Fund and the Elmbridge Start Up Fund – and get help with their applications. The borough will be hosting the next drop-in session on 21 October at the Civic Centre, Esher, from 12pm to 1pm.

The Elmbridge Civic Improvement Fund can provide businesses with free money towards a range of projects, including shop fronts and signage, new street furniture, promotions and marketing initiatives, as well as learning skills and training initiatives. Applications are welcome from any type of business – the grant isn’t just for high street shops!

The Elmbridge Civic Improvement Fund was established in 2009 with the aim of helping to boost the local economy and attract more people to use our local services and amenities. Since then, the scheme has allocated over £830,000 to over 230 local businesses.

If you’re looking to start up a new business, you can receive advice on applying to the Elmbridge Start Up Fund, which can offer up to £1,000 to new local businesses to help with setting up costs.

For more information, please visit elmbridge.gov.uk/ecif. More on the Elmbridge Start Up Fund can be found at elmbridge.gov.uk/startups

High Street Improvements

Town Square-01Not quite this radical proposal but a beginning to the improvement of the High Street.  The cabinet agreed to fund a feasibility study of proposals to alter the northern stretch of the High Street from Elmgrove Road to the Ship.

This proposal has been championed by the Weybridge Town Business Group of which my retail business is a founding member.

The details of the of the proposal are here.  Notice the cost of removing the telephone boxes!  You can see the outline plan here.  It hoped that the funding fro the project itself will come from a variety of sources including CIL.

More trains to London

Southern CrossrailWeybridge could have twice as many trains running up to London with this new inexpensive change to London Waterloo station look at the video.

For my day job I run a national environmental transport charity, based here in Weybridge, which through its campaigning has changed many ways in which we see the world.

Our latest campaign is for a quick and simple alteration to London Waterloo station which will double its capacity and dramatically improve the daily commute for millions. Watch our video and find out more about this exciting campaign.

Baker Street Improvements

Baker Street websiteWithin its 2016-17 divisional highway programme, Surrey has agreed to undertake a public realm improvement feasibility study and public consultation for £8,000.  There is nothing programmed for taking it further next year so it’ll might be 2018 before any changes appear – if that.  In the recent “Vision for Weybridge” survey most people preferred Church Street to be closed to traffic rather than Baker Street but Surrey moves extraordinarily slowly.  That’s why a Weybridge Town Council would be such a good idea.

I will keep you posted as the project develops.

High Street Focal Point

Old Post Office PavementAs a founder member of the Weybridge Town Business Group, my retail business has been based in Weybridge for over twenty years, I am pleased that a further project is progressing.  There is much to do to improve our town centre and while the more ambitious projects, as indicated in a Vision for Weybridge and elsewhere, are being planned it is well to develop smaller projects to keep up momentum.  This is where a town council would help as in Claygate.

This mini project is to refurbish the paved outlyer outside the old post office by replacing the telephone boxes, cycle racks, air pollution monitoring box and loos with removable planters and seats etc.   It is planned that small events could occur at this spot throughout the year.

Cashless Parking

Elmbridge parking metersPaying for parking has been has always been a pain.  Does the machine work?  Have I got the correct coins?  Paying electronically with a card seemed a benefit but the transaction charge can be an extra 100% if your stay is short – 20p for a short stay and another twenty pence for the payment itself.

When Elmbridge withdrew the remote payment service over Christmas the problem got worse.  Everyone had to pay by cash and the machines filled up very quickly and stopped working.   Apparently, people were even fined for parking when the parking meters were full.  The online service was reinstated recently with another provider but it is still unacceptably expensive.

I called on the borough to use cashless payment when I first became a councillor and, not before time, Elmbridge is about to begin trials.  I understand that this new system will be semi contactless (proximate swiping) using ordinary credit and debit cards and there will be no charge to the user.  It is due to begin in the station car parks first and, if successful, it will move to the town car parks and on to the various other car parks in the borough.

I also suggested a more effective charging regime to maximise the usefulness of our car parking resources to promote the dynamism of our town centres and the borough transport infrastructure generally but that might require regime change at Elmbridge.

Gateways Signs Grant

Lamppost bannersAccording to the applicants the Weybridge Town Centre Signage project will help to improve the look and feel of the town centre, improve footfall and further embed the success of the business group working with the borough to create a positive outlook for the town. The project will erect twelve Welcome to Weybridge lamp column banners and two Welcome to Weybridge gateway signs that will help define the town centre and support the environmental improvements to encourage residents to shop locally and support Weybridge town centre shops.  The picture here is indicative there is no visual of the proposed lamppost designs or gateway signs in the application.

As far as I can see, this expenditure is discretionary in that there is no legal requirement to provide these facilities.  This grant is therefore not replacing mandatory funding from elsewhere.

For more information click here.  Give your view on our giving a £3,900 grant for this proposal here. Other projects seeking grants here.

Free business networking breakfast

Elmbridge business networkJoin the Elmbridge Business Network for a free breakfast networking event and Annual General Meeting on 9 March in Esher.

This free event provides an exciting networking opportunity with like-minded SMEs from across the borough to meet new contacts, suppliers and potential future business customers.

The business network is also pleased to welcome speaker Patrick Ebbs from ChangEnable who will deliver a business masterclass on: ‘Sales Pitches: Body Language Can Make The Difference.’

In addition you can find out more about the Business Network, share your ideas about how the network can support local businesses and get involved as a representative for your local area by joining the committee at the Annual General Meeting that will be held between 9:30 and 10am, after the event.

Date: 9 March 2016
Time: 08:00 – 09:30 (The Elmbridge Business Network Annual General Meeting will run post event from 09:30 to 10:00am for any delegate wishing to attend)
Location: Civic Centre, High Street, Esher KT10 9SD
To sign up for this free breakfast event please click here

Parking in Weybridge

Double-yellow-lines-on-a-road-and-pavement-curb-2101582Do you have views on parking in Weybridge?  Anything from obstruction on the main roads, lack of spaces at the station, cost of permits, dangerous parking on corners.  I want to hear your views.  Do give me your views in this survey now.

Surrey is about to review parking arrangements in Weybridge and it plans to only do this once every four to five years.  Our chance for any change, if any, comes now – let’s take it.

I am on the Surrey committee that decides on any changes so I want to hear your views and help engender a debate because I know that views differ from person to person and we need a solution that has most people’s support and understanding.

Surrey has created its own survey.  If you complete the last question – relating to specific concerns please copy me in (by copy and pasting your response into an email to andrew @ davroche.com).  Surrey’s questions are quite ‘broad brush’ questions their survey needs to be in by 17 January 2016.