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

 

Elmbridge New Local Plan Exhibition & Consultation

There are four further dates for the public exhibition outlining Elmbridge’s proposals for providing more affordable and social housing.  This is in response to the government’s call for local authorities to produce proposals for meeting housing needs in their areas.

Exhibition Dates
Thursday 18 January, 7-9 pm, at Hinchley Wood School, Claygate Lane, Ditton
Monday 23 January, 7-9 pm, at The Cecil Hepworth Playhouse, Walton
Thursday 26 January, 7-9 pm at Civic Centre, Esher
Saturday 4 February, 10 am – 2 pm at Civic Centre, Esher

Key documents will be available in hard copy and councillors and staff and will be there to talk with you about the proposals.  Key features for residents to consider are around what happens to existing Green Belt boundaries.

The public consultation on these proposals closes on 10th February.  Post  your views here…

With regard to developing in the Green Belt, he Council’s three options are:

British Government orders Green Belt Review

Green Belt CountrysideAs many of you will know, the British Government has told the English boroughs to review their Green Belts with a view to opening land for development.  If a borough refuses to do so then the British government has said it will take direct control.

This has left the Liberal Democrat led Elmbridge administration little option but to revise our own local plan.  We wish to built a broad local approach and the Conservative opposition has been very much involved in every stage of the development.

Before we can agree a new local plan we have to pass though a number of stages and we need you to help in that process so we have published a strategic options consultation.   The document asks many questions and raises a number of issues.

We want to consult as widely as possible and will use every available means to engage with the public.  Part of this process is to have a number of consultations at various stages in the drafting of the plan.  The first drop in sessions will be at:

7pm – 9pm, Monday, 23 January at the Playhouse, Walton
7pm – 9pm, Thursday, 26 January at the Civic Centre, Esher
10am – 2pm, Saturday, 4 February at the Civic Centre, Esher

The events will consist of exhibition boards where the headlines of the consultation document will be displayed.  The evidence base documents supporting the consultation will also be available to review and representatives from Elmbridge’s planning policy team will be on-hand to answer any of your questions.

Your can attend any of the events.  The exhibition will be borough-wide, that is not specific to any particular town.

This process is subject to the agreement to the borough’s council  on Wednesday, 7 December

Successful conviction for removal of protected trees

woodland_english_autumn_sunlitOn Monday, 20 June 2016, James Scott, formerly of Pennyfield, Cobham, was convicted at Guildford Crown Court of breaching a Woodland Tree Preservation Order, contrary to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Tree Preservation Order Regulations 2012.

Mr Scott had felled and burned thousands of trees at Corbie Wood on the Seven Hills Road on the Weybridge/Hersham border.  The borough originally agreed to the clearance of shallow-rooted trees from large areas of overgrown concrete at the ten-acre site, a relic of its wartime past, after many had been made dangerous following severe storms in October 2013. However, he continued to fell trees on other parts of the woodland, despite the fact he had no permission. Following four days of evidence Mr Scott changed his plea to guilty and, after explaining his financial situation, was sentenced to a £500 fine and ordered to pay a contribution of £1,000 towards the borough’s costs.  This successful prosecution also carried a criminal conviction. The borough plans to serve a tree replanting notice on the landowner to restore some of the lost trees and woodland at Corbie Wood.

 

Night Street Lights

Heritage LampsSurrey has 89,000 street lights.  Currently the vast majority of them are dimmed by up to half from 22:00 to 05:30 each night.

Surrey is considering going further in the autumn by turning off some street lights from midnight to 5:00.  The driver of this plan is, of course, to save money – the reduction of CO2 is a welcome bonus but not the reason (there are plenty of actions that Surrey could undertake to reduce carbon emissions but they are not taken).  There is also the bonus of less light pollution.

Surrey wants to hear your views the matter by 2 September.   As usual Surrey, along with with the British government recently, asks for a view without a clear picture of the alternative.  It would have been useful for Surrey to have shown, on its interactive Surrey map, the streets left in darkness and those that will remain lit .

Some answers to your questions.

Tell Surrey your general views on highways by the end of August.

Thames Byfleet Cycleway

Heath RoadThe Liberal Democrats along with its allies in the new coalition administration agreed in cabinet today to proceed with studies to facilitate a path/cycleway alongside the Heath from the station to Brooklands Lane.  This land is held in common and is therefore heavily protected so any proposal with have to be very sensitive to the green space.

Campaigners have been seeking such a development for over two decades and there is still more work to come.

You can check the details here.

Broadwater Path

BroadwaterI learnt today that Surrey’s Countryside Officer has received formal notice of objection to the Broadwater Path from St George’s School on grounds of safeguarding.

I know that many people will be disappointed at this turn of events, especially given that St George’s School already has a public footpath passing through its grounds.

I trust that the matter can be resolved quickly as it was expected that the construction of the path could begin this spring.  This path, walked by many, including me, for several decades, was awarded £110,000 by Elmbridge to enable people with disabilities to progress from Weybridge to Cowey Sale with ramped bridges over the Broadwater and Engine Rivers.

This would only be the first stage because once the path was in place it would open up the possibility of public funding for essential maintenance of the lake, which is pressingly needed.

As ever, I’ll keep you posted with developments.

Outdoor Play Week

Littleworth commonFor many reasons, children nowadays are not experiencing as much active play time as their parents used to when they were young. Outdoor Play Week is all about encouraging children to connect with nature and rediscover the fun and excitement of playing outdoors. From Sunday, 20 March to Saturday, 2 April, children and their parents can join in free events across the Borough:

  • Pond dip at Littleworth Common – Sunday 20 March. Drop in from 10am. Event finishes at 11.30 am.
    Littleworth Common Pond, across the road from Café Rouge on the Portsmouth Road. Nearest postcode: KT10 9AD
  • Hunt for creatures that crawl and swim in your local ponds.  All equipment will be provided and staff will be on hand to help you identify your catch.
  • Xplorer – Drop in sessions – Wednesday 30 March, 10am to 12pm and Friday 1 April, 2.30pm to 4pm
    Coronation Recreation Ground, Molesey Road, Hersham KT12 4QR.
    A family fun challenge suitable for all ages, pre-school to primary. Use a map to try and find secret animals and interesting facts pictured on markers hidden around the park. When you’ve finished don’t forget to collect your certificate.
  • Go Wild with Outdoor Play – Saturday 2 April
    Drop in from 10am. Event finishes at 1pm.
    Brooklands Community Park, Sopwith Drive, Weybridge KT13 0XF
    Explore Brooklands Community Park. Model with junk, make a ball run, hunt for bugs in the woods and try some natural crafts.

All the above events are suitable for all ages.

Why not invite your children to make the most of the many green spaces in the borough during Outdoor Play Week? They can burn off energy, take a close look at the environment and learn to interact and understand the natural world. The outdoors offer limitless opportunities for creativity and free play. Playing outdoors with their friends will develop their social skills. It will also boost their confidence as they learn new things and assess risks.

For further information, please visit elmbridge.gov.uk/shout or elmbridge.gov.uk/countryside or call 01372 474 634.