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.

 

Community Safety Survey 2016 – Have Your Say

Elmbridge business networkResidents, businesses and community groups in Elmbridge are being asked their opinions on community safety in 2016 to influence the priorities in Partnership Action Plan for the coming year.

The Elmbridge Community and Safety Partnership has published a new survey for 2016/17 to obtain the views of residents and businesses on the fear of crime and anti-social behaviour as well as the actual level of crime being experienced.

This is not a statutory survey but will support the development of action plans for the Elmbridge Community and Safety Partnership in the coming year.

This survey is running from 1 February to 1 March 2016. A summary of the results will be put onto the Elmbridge website within the Community Safety section in April 2016.

Please tell us your views by completing this short online questionnaire, which can be found at here

If you have any community safety issues or would like any further general information, please contact Elmbridge Borough Council on 01372 474399 or email communitysafety@elmbridge.gov.uk.

Elmbridge Joint Enforcement Team

Elmbridge-Crime-Summit

Elmbridge Prospects & Priorities event

Elmbridge is putting on a prospects & priorities event on Thursday 14 January from 6pm at the civic centre, High street, Esher, KT10 9SD.

There will be an informal drop in session from 6-7pm offering residents the chance to talk about local issues followed by a presentation at 7pm. This will be presented by the leader and chief executive and will inform you of the borough’s plans for 2016/17 with a question and answer session to follow.

Because of limited seating capacity please register for the presentation part of the evening. Alternatively, you can contact Elmbridge by email at corporatepolicy@elmbridge.gov.uk or call 01372 474376

 

Door to door sales people and the law

door to door salesThere have been a number of calls regarding door to door sales by young people.  Some are polite but others may show their frustration in conversation.  If you do not wish to buy any items, please feel free to say no.  If you are threatened (very unusual), abused or intimidated, please call the police on 101 or in an emergency 112 if you are in any immediate danger.

People selling any goods door to door must be in possession of a Pedlars Certificate.  The certificates are issued by the police office of the area where the applicant resides, Pedlars Act 1871.  They are valid throughout Britain.

For the application, the police require two forms of identification, one with a photograph; the other showing an address where the applicant has lived at for at least 28 days within the district they are applying for the licence. The applicant must be aged over 17. The police need this information to check identity and that the applicant is of good character before issuing a certificate.

Please note that having a pedlars certificate is in no way an indication that the goods for sale are of merchantable quality.

The pedlars certificate must be made available for inspection by:

  1. Any justice of the peace; or
  2. Any constable or officer of police; or
  3. Any person to whom such pedlar offers his goods for sale; or
  4. Any person in whose private grounds or premises such pedlar is found.

It is an offence not to produce the certificate in the above circumstances. It is an offence to trade without a certificate.

In cases of selling foodstuffs door to door, the seller should be in possession of an environmental health authority licence and should, in respect of perishable food, have refrigeration units available.

You should consider contacting the police on 101 if you get a call from hawkers who cannot produce valid certificates. They may be selling counterfeit or sub-standard goods or be charging exorbitant prices to elderly or vulnerable people.

Bins

Bins Overfull Desborough webIf you have gone for a walk in Weybridge you can’t go far before you find a bit of mess around a bin.   Indeed, you can find litter strewn around even if there is no bin. The new Churchfield Meadow has litter hidden in the long grass as does Desborourgh Island (shown here) and Weybridge Point for example.  I have contacted the cleansing department on a number of occasions and the stock reply is that the Conservative borough administration has decided on a limit to the number of bins.  That limit is now reached.  The same applies to dog bins.  The only way that extra bins may be placed in Weybridge is if bins in other places are removed. As no other bin is deemed underutilized there is no prospect under this administration to increase the number of bins.

Rubbish Crushing Bins WebBins in certain parts of the town are collected daily but some bins are used seasonally – either across the year or across the week.  One resident told me of a bin they saw around Wimbledon.  This bin compacts the rubbish so they have a very large capacity and they can also notify staff when they are becoming full. They only need to be emptied when full so require far less maintenance then ordinary bins.  This could be a cost-effective remedy.

If you know of any bins that are often overflowing or if you know of a bin which seems never to be used then please get in contact.

I have also been asking about the food waste bins which appear not to be fox proof.  I have asked for the number of bins in the borough, where they are located and how much they cost to install and maintain.

I know that people should take their litter home but unless we can stop people dropping litter we have to provide facilities for them – otherwise our environment will be scarred.

Fly-tipper in town

Fly tippingPlease be aware of fly-tipping in Weybridge.  A Claygate resident posing as a Landscape Contractor has been operating as an illegal waste carrier and dumping the waste he collected on quiet country lanes and beauty spots across Surrey. The borough has had to cover the cost of clearing these tips which often obstruct the roadway.

By handing your waste over to illegal waste carriers you can be held liable so please do check the credentials of anyone offering to away your rubbish and report anything suspicious you may see here.

Anti-social behavior – what would you do?

Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner has been tasked by the national government to consult with the people regarding community remedies (see below).  You can add your views in this survey.  The survey is not very rigorous and I found the first question hard to answer properly but at least one can make further points in the comments box.

A community remedy document is to be produced with the opinions of the people of Surrey in mind. This document will be a list of options, chosen by the public, which will be available to victims of low-level crime and anti-social behaviour. One of the priorities is to put victims at the heart of the criminal justice system, and this aims to do that. Victims should see see justice more quickly, and offenders will face immediate and meaningful consequences for their actions.

Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

Section 101 of this act stipulates the following:

Each local policing body must prepare a community remedy document for its area, and may revise it at any time.

(2) A community remedy document is a list of actions any of which might, in the opinion of the local policing body, be appropriate in a particular case to be carried out by a person who—

(a) has engaged in anti-social behaviour or has committed an offence, and
(b) is to be dealt with for that behaviour or offence without court proceedings.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2), an action is appropriate to be carried out by a person only if it has one or more of the following objects—

(a) assisting in the person’s rehabilitation;
(b) ensuring that the person makes reparation for the behaviour or offence in question;(c) punishing the person.

(4) In preparing or revising the community remedy document for its area a local policing body must—

(a) have regard to the need to promote public confidence in the out-of-court disposal process;
(b) have regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State about how local policing bodies are to discharge their functions under this section;
(c) carry out the necessary consultation and take account of all views expressed by those consulted.

Pruning time

It may seem early in the year to get out in the garden, but now is the perfect time to cut back trees and hedges near streets that could cause nuisance, obstruction or danger to pedestrians or vehicles.  Vegetation from your land needs to be maintained by you.  If you have bushes that grow onto the footway they must be cut back to your boundary at all times.

If, when walking around Weybridge, you pass a bush that extends beyond the boundary and over the footway report it to Surrey now.

Cutting back roadside hedges and trees

Last year, the Surrey received 8,476 calls from people reporting overgrown hedges, many of which related to vegetation on private land.

Graham Banks, Surrey’s arboricultural team leader, has some tips to help to maintain your roadside hedges and trees.

  • You can cut vegetation well back at this time of the year. If you leave it to later in the year, cutting is best limited to new growth. You may need to do this several times during the summer to avoid causing an obstruction or inconvenience to pedestrians.
  • Evergreen Lawson and Leylandii conifers can only be cut back to live wood if they are to sustain growth.
  • Take care to avoid disturbing nesting birds. The main nesting period is between early March and late July, so check ahead of cutting, especially when using machinery. If you do find a nest, avoid causing any disturbance and leave the hedge concerned until the nest is empty.