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:

M25 / A3 Junction – consultation on proposed changes

Dates and times for the Highways Agency Exhibition:
Friday, 3 February – 12 noon to 8pm, Saturday 4 February – 10am to 3pm

Closing date for feedback on the proposals:
Monday, 6 February.

Proposals for M25/A3 junction
The Highways Agency has put forward two proposals for improving safety and traffic flow around the M25/A3 junction (known as the M25/A3 Wisley interchange) and are inviting views from the public.  The two proposed alterations are known as Option 9 and Option 14.

Option 9 – a new flyover to link right-turning movements from the A3 onto the M25

Option 14 – enlarging the existing roundabout, to add more capacity

Information on the proposals and a link to giving electronic feedback can be found here.

If you prefer to respond in writing, you can pick up a hard copy of the questionnaire from one of the two February scheme exhibition events and send it back to the Highways Agency via Freepost.

Exhibitions and consultation

There are two opportunities, on Friday, 3rd and Saturday, 4th February, for local people to see the proposals at a public exhibition at the Cobham Hilton (KT11 1EW), hosted by the Highways Agency. The exhibition gives local residents an opportunity to get more information about the schemes and to ask questions about the proposals.

A point of view
As well as improving safety and traffic flow, the proposed changes claim to be responsive to the following:

  • supporting sustainable travel routes promoted by Surrey County Council and developers
  • supporting economic growth and ensuring the junction can accommodate extra traffic
  • mitigating environmental impacts wherever possible

What a shame then, that the proposals do not take any account of the highly likely knock-on effect of the improvements – such as the bottlenecks that will be increased at the Seven Hills Road / A245 junction, which local workers and residents who travel in rush hour already know only too well.

Other thoughts are:

As part of this scheme, the Highways Agency are also looking at the A3 between Ockham and Painshill. Improvements could include widening parts of the A3 to four lanes, creating an extra lane for vehicles turning left onto the A245 at the Painshill roundabout, and changing local accesses to make these safer and cause fewer delays on the A3.

Elmbridge agrees new waste contract with Amey

waste_managementResidents in Elmbridge, Mole Valley, Surrey Heath and Woking are to receive an improved waste and recycling collection service thanks to a new joint waste collection contract.

As well as a better service, the contract with Amey will save taxpayers more than £2 million a year. It is the first contract of its kind in Surrey, and was part-funded by the Surrey Waste Partnership and supported by Surrey County Council as the waste disposal authority.

The contract covers all aspects of waste collection including household waste, recycling, garden waste, recycling banks, clinical waste, replacement bins and the opportunity to introduce a commercial waste service. It will also include street cleaning and associated activities including street sweeping, bin emptying, weed control, graffiti removal, and fly-tipping and fly-posting clearance. The contract will last for 10 years, with the option to extend.

Improvements, which will be introduced when the new contract begins in each area, include:

  • A weekly collection of clothes, home textiles and small electricals.
  • An improved bulky waste service, including a collection from inside homes.
  • New collection vehicles with enhanced safety features like 360 degree cameras
  • New technology which will give residents the latest information on their collection.

Additionally, food waste will still be collected on the same day each week as waste or recycling, but it may be at a different time as it will be collected by a separate vehicle. If other changes are necessary, such as altering collection days, they will be communicated well in advance to avoid any confusion or inconvenience.

The contract will begin in Elmbridge in June 2017 when the current contract comes to an end. Other Surrey councils have the opportunity to join as the contract progresses.

New Weybridge Conservation area

templemereElmbridge is proposing to designate a new conservation area in Weybridge. In recognition of the unique 1960s built Templemere Estate, the borough has produced a Character Area Appraisal and Management Plan consultation document and is keen to hear the views of local residents and organisations.

A conservation area is defined as, “an area of special interest; the character and appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance”. The character appraisal document provides written definition, analysis and appraisal of what makes an individual area special and identifies actions for protection and improvement. The final document will be used by planners and the local community as a basis for understanding the area, informing decision making, monitoring and management.

There are 25 conservation areas designated in Elmbridge and these include historic town centres at Esher and Weybridge, village greens at Giggs Hill in Thames Ditton and The Tilt in Cobham, a 1920s philanthropic retirement village at Whiteley Village, motor racing circuit at Brooklands and 17th century river navigation channels along the River Wey. Lakeside Drive in Esher was the first example of modern 20th century architecture which was awarded conservation area status by the borough in 2014.

Community involvement is an essential part of any appraisal and the consultation document has been produced as part of a collaborative process involving local residents, amenity and conservation societies and planning officers and was co-coordinated by heritage consultants. There is now a six-week period of public consultation, which will run from 5 December. The appraisal document is available to view on the borough’s website and printed copies can also be viewed in the reception area of the Civic Centre on Esher High Street.

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

Insulate your Home

ecowise_houseAction Surrey has published a series of short films on YouTube and Vimeo showing the benefits of solid wall insulation from the point of view of four Surrey residents. In each film the residents explain how receiving a solid wall insulation grant through Action Surrey made a huge difference to their property’s warmth and energy bills. There is one master film showing all four stories with the four shorter films portraying different housing scenarios:

  • James & Carolina were very acquainted with the problems of excess cold and damp from uninsulated walls.
  • Gillian & Richard are a retired couple who have recently moved into their property.
  • Russell & Christine, landlords of three student let properties in Guildford, discuss how they and their tenants have benefited from insulation.
  • Mark was the first park home owner in Surrey to have his property insulated through Action Surrey’s funding, and he discusses his experience and benefits felt.

The films are available here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXUhjfO5S9tjASRWKpihmNg

https://vimeo.com/163235917

Extension of Heathrow – Have your say

heathrowAs part of its assessment on the proposed expansion of Heathrow airport, the borough held a ‘Scrutiny in a day’ meeting on Friday 16 September at the Civic Centre on the High Street, Esher.

Chaired by Councillor Christine Elmer, the aim of the meeting was to investigate and probe all the arguments surrounding the proposed expansion of Heathrow.  Recognising that there could be significant benefits for Elmbridge residents but that these need to be considered against environmental, transport infrastructure and safety impacts, the councillors heard from a range of stakeholders including Heathrow Ltd, Local Authorities Aircraft Noise Council (LAANC) who updated on air quality and noise concerns, the Council’s Housing Strategy and Enabling Manager and Economic Development Officer, as well as representations from private sector companies in the Borough.

Residents Action Group Elmbridge (RAGE) discussed their views on the proposed expansion of Heathrow with the Councillors at a meeting on Thursday, 15 September.

The borough is eager for Elmbridge residents to have their say. If you want to share your thoughts on the proposed expansion, then please complete the online survey. The survey is available on the Elmbridge website until midnight on 30 September.

Recycling app and search tool

recycle-for-surreyAnother tool to help residents recycle as much as possible was launched earlier this month by the Surrey Waste Partnership. The ‘Recycling App’ is available on the Recycle for Surrey website and by entering a postcode and a specific item of waste the app provides information on how and where the item can be recycled in the borough. Elmbridge is hoping to include the app on their website in the near future.