Resurfacing

Digger’s Bridge.  The bridge by Weybridge station has been resurfaced – big improvement.  However, even when driving across it I noticed that it was very bumpy. This worries me because it seems that it was a full resurface and not a skim.  When a highway is given a full resurface it is usually very smooth – like Holstein Avenue where I live.  Even a cyclist cannot feel any bumps because the surface is as smooth as glass.  Because bridges are difficult to resurface given their location, I would have thought one would not want to maintain the location too often and therefore a full resurface would be provided.  Is the recent work a poorly done full resurface or a halfway measure?

Weybridge Point.  Place where Walton Lane, Weybridge meets Thames Street was been recently resurfaced.  Could this be an opportunity not to replace the overly “main highway” road markings used in the past?  I know that it is a bend but it is in a 20mph zone.  If it has to have markings could they at least be minimal?

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.

 

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.

Lost Tree

Monument Tree websiteRemember this tree?

One of the trees planted by Morrisons to replace it has been removed because of damage and needs to be replaced.

Monument  New Tree website

Condition nine of the original decision notice relating to the Morrison store clearly states, inter alia, that:

If within a period of five years from the date of planting any tree, that tree, or any planted in replacement for it, is removed, uprooted or destroyed or dies, another tree of the same species and size as that originally planted shall be planted in the same place, unless the borough gives its written consent to any variation.

I have had this followed up with the borough’s planning enforcement team.

Housing

monopoly_housesThe new Elmbridge administration is to energetically pursue the rebalancing of housing in the borough.  Elmbridge’s population is growing rapidly by national standards and the number of household is increasing even faster.

The cost of housing in Elmbridge compared to the average salary is the highest in the South-East of England (after Camden, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster).  It is nigh impossible for young people who have lived in Elmbridge all their lives to buy a new home here and even renting is out of reach for many. In order to do so most have to leave the borough.   Imagine if it were expected that English people had to move to Belgium, Wales, Scotland or France to start a family.

The administration is studying various mechanisms that will allow our housing stock to be increased without the national government taking away Elmbridge’s investments in housing in the future (as it has done in the past).

Elmbridge requires more of each size of house except in the category of houses of five bedrooms or more.

What would you like Elmbridge to do regards to housing?

 

Pot Holes

Pot Holes Baker StreetThe care taken to fill pot-holes has been taken to a new level by Surrey.  Now flat-bed maintenance vehicles just stop above a hole and drop tarmac into it.  A sort of fly-by hole filling.  Not really true but it certainly looks like it.

The road surfaces are slowly improving in Surrey but from a very low base.  There are four basic reasons why Surrey is in this fix:

  1. It has reduced its real terms revenue year on year for decades – never saving for a rainy day. So it has insufficient funds to meet its obligations.
  2. Surrey’s budget management is appalling – although I am told it is finally beginning to understand how bad it is and might one day begin address the problem.  Fortunately Elmbridge is better managed.
  3. The management of the highways has been inefficient largely because of the lack of staff and political considerations.  To counter this Surrey gets little help from the British government compared to other counties.
  4. The British government has rapidly reduced its returning of funds actually raised in Surrey – business rates and revenue support.

We need a radical new way of funding highway maintenance and construction because our quality of life depends on a well designed well funded transport network .