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 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.

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

Full of Life Celebrations at the day centre

olderpeopleIn celebration of ‘Older People’s Day’ on 1 October 2016 the day centres are holding special lunches and events. Centre members are being encouraged to bring along a friend to enjoy a three course meal and entertainment, and to join in with the celebrations.

If you would like to join the centres in their celebrations why not make an enquiry with the centre manager. New faces are always welcome and there are plenty of opportunities to take part in a range of activities; you can learn how to use an iPad, join an art and crafts group, take part in one of the many exercise classes, become a volunteer or make use of the hairdressing facilities.

The centre is in Churchfields Close. For the Centre’s contact details please visit the Elmbridge website.

For any further information about the Community Support Services please visit the website or call the team on 01372 474552.

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.

Dementia Carers Coffee Morning

Dementia Care-01Surrey Library Service is organising a Dementia Carers Coffee morning in Weybridge for people with dementia and their carers.

The Alzheimer’s Society will be attending and there will be dementia navigators to help with questions, plus information on library services we offer relating to dementia and other areas.

It will take place at 10 on Friday, 19 September 2016 in the Weybridge Centre, Churchfield Place, KT13 8DB   For any queries, please call: 0300 200 1001.

Heath Path

Heath Road

Another step on the way to safe travel for pedestrians and cyclists between the town and the station along Heath Road.

Surrey has never pushed for a path here because it was always considered too difficult to get permission from the owners for a path on the common.  Despite the general reluctance to make the move, I pressed for approaches to be made to the owners of the land. Officers from Surrey have now approached the owners who have given their approval in principle.

There are many more steps ahead. However, gaining this permission in principle is probably the most important.  We are now moving ahead on seeking sources of funding.  There are currently more financial pots available than there were previously. Two examples are the Community Infrastructure Levy- CIL – and the M3 Growth Fund.

Easter Egg Hunt by bike

Cycling cycle cyclistThis Sunday is Weybridge’s annual Easter Egg Hunt – by cycle.

Starting from the Hand & Spear at the station at 10am on Sunday the Easter Egg Hunt will take us on a tour of the area looking for hidden Easter eggs.  In teams of two or three cyclists, and using a map and a clue sheet we will have two hours to find as many answers as possible.

Teams can consist of two or three members.  Don’t worry if you don’t already have a buddy to ride with, you can be paired up with someone suitable at the start. There will be no fixed route, but expect to cycle around 20 miles or so.

The finish back at the station by about noon.  There will be prizes, kindly provided by Woking Cycle Users Group.

If you want to come, just turn up.  If you have questions or need to contact the organisers on the day call 07930 320 241.

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.

Hospital Trust Merger

Church Street HospitalThe boards of Ashford & St Peter’s Hospitals and Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trusts have decided to pause their proposed merger planning to allow more time to focus on the financial position.

In the light of the significant pressures on the English Health Service, both financially and operationally, both trusts have work to do on their own individual areas of challenge. In addition, both trusts need to ensure that we take account of the national and regional policies as they change and become clear.

Current predictions however mean that the merger plans – as they are currently described – would not be able to realise the expected benefits needed to make the merger viable, and thus the benefits to patients. The deteriorating financial position at Royal Surrey is a significant contributing factor, which both boards have taken into account as part of their review of the current situation.