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

 

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.

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.

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.

 

Night Street Lights

Heritage LampsSurrey has 89,000 street lights.  Currently the vast majority of them are dimmed by up to half from 22:00 to 05:30 each night.

Surrey is considering going further in the autumn by turning off some street lights from midnight to 5:00.  The driver of this plan is, of course, to save money – the reduction of CO2 is a welcome bonus but not the reason (there are plenty of actions that Surrey could undertake to reduce carbon emissions but they are not taken).  There is also the bonus of less light pollution.

Surrey wants to hear your views the matter by 2 September.   As usual Surrey, along with with the British government recently, asks for a view without a clear picture of the alternative.  It would have been useful for Surrey to have shown, on its interactive Surrey map, the streets left in darkness and those that will remain lit .

Some answers to your questions.

Tell Surrey your general views on highways by the end of August.

New Charges at the Dump

Charlton-Lane-Eco-ParkSurrey has found itself caught between the recent increase in demand for social services and the dramatic reduction in British government funding.  Coupled with the Surrey’s failure to plan for a rainy day it has meant that Surrey has decided to reduce its spending in other areas. From 1 September 2016, charges will be introduced for some non-household waste at the Charlton recycling centre.

What type of waste will be charged for?

  • Tyres from cars, motorcycles and all other motorised vehicles
  • Waste from construction, alteration or repair of your home and garden such as plasterboard, breeze blocks, bricks, rubble, soil, stones, turf, ceramic bathroom fittings, tiles. You will have a free daily allowance of chargeable waste from the construction, alteration or repair of your home and garden of one bag OR one item OR one sheet of plasterboard. Thereafter charges will be applied.

What are the charges?

  • £5 per tyre or part tyre
  • £4 per bag or part bag of chargeable waste; or per item or per sheet of plasterboard
    • Bags no bigger than 50cm x 77cm
    • Items such as a concrete fence post, ceramic bath, cistern, paving slab
    • Sheets of plasterboard no bigger than 120cm x 240cm
  • If these materials are loose, a charge of £50 will apply per car load
  • Full list of the types of waste that will be charged for

Will there be any exceptions to the charges?

You will have a free daily allowance of chargeable waste from the construction, alteration or repair of your home and garden of one bag OR one item OR one sheet of plasterboard (see size restrictions above).

Bicycle tyres will be accepted free of charge.

What methods of payment will be available?

Payment can only be made by Visa or Mastercard debit and credit cards. Cash, cheques and other credit cards such as American Express or Diners Club cannot be accepted. Payment will need to be made before you are given access to the chargeable containers.

Highway Grass verges

Grass Verges

Following another Surrey funding crisis.  Surrey has proposed reducing the number of cuts each year from the present  ten  a year down to seven a year.  Elmbridge provides this service on behalf of Surrey and the cabinet had to decide between the following options.

  1. Carry out reduced level of cutting to the revised Surrey client specification (within the level of funding offered by Surrey);
  2. Maintain the existing frequency (which would incur an additional cost to the borough of £3,597 a year for the remainder of the contract, in addition to the funding provided by Surrey);
  3. Increase the frequency to twelve (which would require a growth item in the highway verges budget of £28,534 a year for the remainder of the contract); or
  4. Hand back to Surrey.

The cabinet discussed the four options in respect of the Surreyservices and mindful of the current budget position, agreed that option 2 above should be supported. It was noted that this option would incur an additional cost to the borough of £3,597 a year for the remainder of the contract.

The new administration has still to contend with the appalling state of the grass cutting contract inherited from the previous administration.

Town Meeting on Parking

Double-yellow-lines-on-a-road-and-pavement-curb-2101582Following the disturbing lack of engagement of residents, businesses and other interested parties by Surrey in its review of parking in Weybridge, your local Lib Dems decided to host a consultation meeting in the Weybridge Community Centre, Churchfields Place at 8:00pm, on Thursday, 14 July.

Discussion will include off-street and on-street parking policies; safety, parking on main roads; the balance between shoppers, workers and residents; and, the most effective way to ration available spaces.  It will also discuss approach to individual streets such as Curzon Road, Grenside Road, Pine Grove Road and Wey Road.  It will be an action filled event and school drop-offs etc will also be discussed.

Surrey’s parking review for Weybridge was up for decision at the Local Committee meeting on 27 June.  Cllr Andrew Davis argued that the consultation process should involve more presentation and dialogue with local residents before a set of firm proposals was put forward. He was supported by colleagues across all parties.  This resulted in the local committee agreeing that Surrey officers should discuss and amend the proposal in direct consultation with your Weybridge councillors at the end of July.

The previous proposal are here.