High Street Improvements

Town Square-01Not quite this radical proposal but a beginning to the improvement of the High Street.  The cabinet agreed to fund a feasibility study of proposals to alter the northern stretch of the High Street from Elmgrove Road to the Ship.

This proposal has been championed by the Weybridge Town Business Group of which my retail business is a founding member.

The details of the of the proposal are here.  Notice the cost of removing the telephone boxes!  You can see the outline plan here.  It hoped that the funding fro the project itself will come from a variety of sources including CIL.

Morrisons Deliveries

Morrisons-02Morrisons had applied to have the its delivery times times extended with a variation of condition four (deliveries/servicing) of planning permission 2015/0138 (delivery times) to allow deliveries between 5:00 and 23:00, seven days a week.  This would include bank and public holidays.

Whilst no-one had actually complained about noise following the previous extension and the application was conditional for one year only the it was generally felt that 5:00 was too early in the morning on a Sunday, especially when one felt that the shop only opens at 10:00 on Sunday.   Supermarket logistics are quite complicated especially in the south-east and delivery times are set more for distribution efficiency rather than the time the shop actually opens.

There were moves to allow the deliveries a little earlier than at present but unfortunately the planning committee may only refuse or permit it may not vary the application itself.

The applicant may now appeal against Elmbridge’s decision or submit a less extreme application next time.

Elmbridge Result

For Weybridge Riverside Result

Last Thursday, 118 people stood for election to Elmbridge’s council – representing twelve parties (there was also one independent).  A number were councillors already.  Only 48 could be elected.  The previous council was represented in the following way.

2015 EBC CouncillorsFollowing the elections last Thursday the result is as follows:2016 EBC CouncillorsAs the new council has 12 fewer councillors, one would expect a general of loss of seats for all parties.  Indeed whilst the Conservative party lost the most at 11 seats (10 percentage points loss), the Molesey party (1 percentage point loss) and  the Thames Ditton party lost one seat each.  Hinchley Wood (1 percentage point gain) and St George’s Hill party held steady.  The Esher and Hersham parties gained one seat each (2 percentage point gain).  Last there was one independent now there are none.  The Greens, Labour and UKIP did not gain a single seat and were not close to doing so anywhere in the borough. Labour Oddly enough despite holding their seven seats the Liberal Democrats made the biggest proportional gain – 3 percentage points.

As the Conservative party has lost overall control of Elmbridge the full council will have to come to a decision as to who should form the government of Elmbridge.

Elmbridge General Election

ballot-boxNext May Elmbridge will have a new council as all the present councillors have to stand for reelection.  This is because the number of councillors has decreased from 60 down to 48 and the wards have all changed.  The Residents’ parties wanted to remain at 60, the Conservative party were keen on 48 and I would have been happy with fewer – say 33.    (The number has to be divisible by three).

There are 118 candidates competing for those 48 positions.  Twelve parties in all and only one independent candidate.  Weybridge Riverside will be the most contested ward in the borough with ten candidates.  Although there are twelve parties standing in the borough only three of them will be standing in our ward the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats.  Traditionally (for the last forty year anyway) Weybridge North has returned Liberal Democrats and Weybridge South has returned Conservatives.  Without proportional representation Labour has no chance in Weybridge.  UKIP and the Greens are not standing here.  This time, of course, half of Weybridge South has joined St Georges Hill ward and the other half has joined Weybridge North.

Our ward also has the only independent candidate in the borough.  There used to be more in Elmbridge but governments at every level find it hard to function without parties.

Cashless Parking

Elmbridge parking metersPaying for parking has been has always been a pain.  Does the machine work?  Have I got the correct coins?  Paying electronically with a card seemed a benefit but the transaction charge can be an extra 100% if your stay is short – 20p for a short stay and another twenty pence for the payment itself.

When Elmbridge withdrew the remote payment service over Christmas the problem got worse.  Everyone had to pay by cash and the machines filled up very quickly and stopped working.   Apparently, people were even fined for parking when the parking meters were full.  The online service was reinstated recently with another provider but it is still unacceptably expensive.

I called on the borough to use cashless payment when I first became a councillor and, not before time, Elmbridge is about to begin trials.  I understand that this new system will be semi contactless (proximate swiping) using ordinary credit and debit cards and there will be no charge to the user.  It is due to begin in the station car parks first and, if successful, it will move to the town car parks and on to the various other car parks in the borough.

I also suggested a more effective charging regime to maximise the usefulness of our car parking resources to promote the dynamism of our town centres and the borough transport infrastructure generally but that might require regime change at Elmbridge.

Play for Team Elmbridge

surreyyouthgameslogo2010finalTeam Elmbridge is looking for young sports enthusiasts to fly the colours of the borough at the Surrey Youth Games 2016 at the Surrey Sports Park in Guildford on
18 and 19 June.

If you are aged between 7 and 16 years old and want to try a new sport or compete against other boroughs in your favourite sport, then register online here
Team Elmbridge will be represented across 13 different sports this year so you have plenty to choose from.

To compete for Team Elmbridge you must:

  • Live or go to school in Elmbridge
  • Be the correct age and gender for the sport you wish to participate in
  • Be below county standard in the sport you wish to represent

Don’t miss your chance to have a go at something new or improve your skills in your favourite sport by receiving coaching from professional coaches from local sports clubs. This is your chance to learn new skills and tactics and it is completely free. Once the fun of the Games is over, you might want to continue playing your favourite sport.

Trials dates will take place throughout April and May and if you qualify for a place in Team Elmbridge, you will be attending free training sessions for up to eight weeks to get ready for the Surrey Youth Games. Over 2,000 youngsters from 11 different boroughs compete at the games every year. For some of them, it is their first experience of a county wide competition and an experience not to miss.

For more information on the P&G Surrey Youth Games please contact the Sports Development Team on 01372 474570, email sport@elmbridge.gov.uk or visit the website.

Elmbridge Prospects & Priorities event

Elmbridge logoElmbridge 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

Winter Shelter to Help Homeless People

HomelessTransform Housing & Support will be operating a winter shelter for homeless people from Elmbridge, Spelthorne and Runnymede from 5 January to 31 March. The shelter will run in a Surrey  owned building in Staines and will accommodate up to ten clients a night, offering dinner and breakfast and a safe place to stay. The project follows on from the tri-borough shelter hosted by Whiteley Village last winter. Elmbridge has committed a contribution to the running costs of the project, along with the two other boroughs, whilst a range of locally-based organisations have pledged support of various kinds to help get the project up and running . Visit the transform housing website for more details.

Phone & Pay Service in Council Car Parks

car parks

The phone and pay service operated by Bemrose will no longer be accepted in Elmbridge borough car parks due to contractual difficulties.  Tickets should now be purchased from the pay and display machines.  A replacement pay by mobile service will be available in the new year.  For more information please visit the Elmbridge website.