Haslemere Centenary Project – Update

I wrote last week about the Haslemere Centenary Project.

Thank you to everyone who got in touch with Ken Griffiths offering to help and volunteer for the project.

Yesterday, a group of volunteers began sanding the flagpole in J.E. Homewood‘s yard. Three sides have now been smoothed down. During the week, the team at J.E Homewood will turn the flagpole ready for the 4th side to be prepared.

The team will meet again next Saturday to sand down the 4th side of the flagpole and to begin painting it. Thanks to Brewers for supporting this project by providing the paint.

If you’d like to be involved in the Haslemere Centenary Project, please let the project team know by contacting Ken Griffiths via e-mail at ken@haslemere.com or telephone 07860 263055.

Haslemere Centenary Project

A group of Haslemere residents, have come together to mark the centenary of the end of the Great War, by creating a magnificent and thought-provoking Memorial to honour and commemorate the local men and women who were killed in the conflict.  This will also act as a reminder to future generations that The Great War affected people of all nations and faiths who gave their lives in defence of freedom and democracy.

Information will be gathered on those whose names appear on local war memorials in Haslemere, Grayswood, Hindhead, Shottermill, Hammer, Camelsdale and Lynchmere and the results of this research will be stored locally on a forthcoming Haslemere & District Memorial website and displayed for all to view.

Local schools and organisations have been invited to take part in a “Poppy-thon” designed to make around 12,000 poppies, which will then be artistically cascaded on netting from the top of St. Christopher’s Church tower.  To add to the spectacle, real red poppies will be planted directly on St. Christopher’s Green to add impact to the scene.

Here are a couple of pictures with pupils from Camelsdale School making poppies for the project.

In addition, and to act as a lasting memorial, plans are in to replace the 35ft high flagpole on top of St. Christopher’s Church at Wey Hill. It fell into decay several years ago and after an estimate of 100 years’ service has been taken down. The Arts and Crafts cross that previously sat on top of the flagpole will also be reinstated and restored to its original gold to become a beacon of hope. The flag of St George will once again fly proudly from the top.

The new flagpole has been cut and is now in Haslemere seasoning. See pictures below. At 35 foot long and 14 inches square at the base it is a beast, weighing in at an estimated 650 kg.

Now we are in the New Year, the project team is asking for your help to start preparing it for painting and we are looking for volunteers to spend a couple of hours of their time over the next few weekends in sanding and painting it prior to its erection on St Christopher’s Church Tower. Perhaps you can help. Please let the project team know by contacting Ken Griffiths via e-mail at ken@haslemere.com or telephone 07860 263055. Also, later in January / February we will be asking for volunteers to help pin the poppies on to the netting. This will be done in the dry and warmth of inside St Christopher’s Church and again we will be looking for people / groups / organisations to spend a couple of hours during the evenings to help us with this. We will of course be providing tea coffee and biscuits for all our helpers in true British fashion.

Volunteers will be planting 10,000 real poppies on St Christopher’s Green and again we will need volunteers to help us. Currently it is planned that as a community, we will plant 120, 84 cell seed trays with poppies on Saturday March 24th. Once planted, they will need to be nurtured in a number of cold, well ventilated greenhouses and we will be looking for volunteers around Haslemere with the spare greenhouse capacity and skills to nurture them for about 5 weeks before we plant them out on St Christopher’s Green.

So, rather a lot to do that will not be achieved without the support of our community.

The community project team, would like to thank the many grant funding bodies, local businesses and individuals from the community who have provided us with the money for this project and we are now within a whisker of the fundraising target of £14,000. For further details on the fundraising for the Memorial project, please go to https://mydonate.bt.com/events/greatwarcentenary/447006 where you will find details on how to donate to this worthy cause.

In the meantime, if you can spend a few hours helping on this community project then please sign up to help us. Go on you know you want to.

Keeping safe when coming to or leaving school/college

Today, I received this e-mail from the Headteacher at St Bartholomew’s School in Haslemere.

Dear Parents and Carers,

We have been notified by our colleagues at The Petersfield School that last Thursday morning there was an attempt to pull a student walking to school into a dark coloured car with heavily tinted windows near the bottom of Bell Hill in Petersfield.

Police have been informed and are investigating.

We have advised all students on keeping safe when coming to and leaving school – walk with friends, avoid dark lonely areas, and if you find yourself in any sort of uncomfortable situation, draw as much attention to yourself as you can and leave as quickly as possible to a public place and alert a trusted adult.

Please reiterate this with your child.

Yours faithfully

Charles Beckerson

Car Damage in the Waitrose Car Park, Haslemere

Last night, November 18th at (estimated) 6.30pm*, a blue BMW drove at speed the wrong way through the Waitrose car park, lost control and skidded into a Mazda saloon before hitting the centre upright of the Waitrose glass trolley park causing extensive damage.

The car then drove off leaving behind numerous mangled trollies and a broken glass covered area.

Waitrose reported the incident to the police and Waverley Borough Council last night and the damaged area was cordoned off overnight.

A clean up operation has been carried out this morning.

Clean Up Operation in Waitrose Car Park

Clean Up Operation in Waitrose Car Park

Clean Up Operation in Waitrose Car Park

If you saw anything please contact Surrey Police with information.

*Please note time change from 7.30pm to 6.30pm. A shopper got in touch and wrote: “I was in Waitrose at 18:50 and the accident had already happened. I think the time should read 18:30?”

Consultation – Surrey Waste Local Plan

Please see below information that Haslemere town councillors have received from Surrey County Council.

Surrey County Council is undertaking a public consultation on the new Surrey Waste Local Plan (SWLP) between 1 November 2017 and 7 February 2018.

The draft plan provides the Vision, Strategic Objectives, Draft Policies and Proposed Sites which are intended to guide the future of waste management facilities in Surrey until 2033. The draft plan includes a total of nine potential sites for waste management facilities.

Following this consultation Surrey County Council will be publishing and consulting on a pre-submission draft local plan which will then be submitted to the Government for independent examination.

To make it easy to comment and to help Surrey County Council to understand views on the approach they have taken, they are hosting a survey on the consultation portal ‘Surrey Says’ (https://www.surreysays.co.uk).

Ken and Simon smashed their running and fundraising targets

Local haslemerians, Ken Griffiths & Simon Bowyer, both Trustees of Haslewey, completed The Great South Run today in order to help the fundraising for the Haslewey Community Post Office reach its target.

Not only did they complete the run but, they both smashed their target times of two hours. And! Not only did they smash their target times, they also smashed their fundraising target. To date, through both on line donations and cash in hand, they have raised £1,984.

If you wish to savour the moment with Ken and Simon, then please do look at the attached couple of photos.

Ken and Simon supporting Haslewey’s Community Post Office

Ken and Simon with Great South Run Medals

If any of you have held back in donating, thinking that the poor deluded old boys (their words, not mine) will never make it, then you can still donate on-line at https://fundraise.charitycheckout.co.uk/haslewey/cf/The-Wey-Hill-Community-Post-Office

Community Volunteering at Haslemere Station

Big thanks to the community volunteers who helped this morning clearing the bedding on the platforms at Haslemere station. We’ve more to do and will send a call-out after half term.

Here’s a before and after picture from today:

Station Platform Bedding Before

Station Platform Bedding After

And, a picture of the community volunteers. Thanks!

Haslemere Community Volunteers

Haslemere will be open during gasworks starting in January

This is a post written yesterday, shared from the Haslemere & District Chamber of Trade & Commerce. The Chamber aims to foster economic growth in and around Haslemere by supporting its members through an expanding range of activities. Here is the application form to join. You can follow them here on Twitter –  @HaslemereChmbr.

‘WE’RE STAYING OPEN’ AS GASMAN COMES TO TOWN

Utility companies are lining up for fresh projects involving roadworks around Haslemere – but this time they are taking note of concerns voiced by residents and local business.

Early next year, Southern Gas Networks (SGN) plans to start upgrading 11.5km of gas mains in and around the town. Later in the year, Scottish and Southern Electricity (SSE) is planning a vital cable renewal.

This morning, town councillors, the chamber president and an emergency services representative met with SGN and SSE for an outline of the proposed works and plans to minimise any impact on households, businesses and services.

With still-fresh memories of road closures and business disruption during – and after – previous gas main upgrades and road improvements, council and chamber stressed the importance of demonstrating that Haslemere is open for business.

SGN’s preliminary plans show a total of eight separate projects where gas mains need upgrading to meet modern standards of safety and reliability. Wherever possible, this will be done by inserting plastic liners into the existing pipes – a technique that is less disruptive for customers and road users.

Work on some of these projects is expected to start in January, with all scheduled for completion by August. Final details of the projects and their timings are expected to announced soon.

SSE, meanwhile, plans to close Lower Street in the summer to replace a major electricity supply cable.

Chamber President David Goddin says: “The good news for local business is that most of the SGN proposals do not directly affect the retail and commercial areas. However, the need for temporary traffic lights and diversions may cause delays on some routes.

“With the town council we have asked for informative signage to help avoid perceptions that Haslemere is difficult to visit. In the months ahead, council, chamber and individual businesses will need to work together to send out a strong message that the town is still open. This can be achieved through a combination of joint promotions and publicity via businesses’ websites and social media channels.

“I would welcome comments from chamber members and any other local businesses who have concerns about the impact of proposed works – or who have suggestions for promoting the town in the year ahead.

“SGN has assured us that all the proposed work is essential, and is part of the Health and Safety Executive’s drive to have all cast iron gas pipes within 30 metres of properties replaced by 2032. Some of the pipes, we are told, date from the early years of the last century.

“It is clear that SGN has learnt a lot since its last visit to Haslemere and it is now placing much more emphasis on engagement with all stakeholders. The company is planning a major campaign to communicate with residents beforehand and to check that their installations are safe after reconnection. Customers can expect to be without gas supplies for an average of 4.5 hours.

“Turning to Lower Street, we are told this has to be closed to through traffic for the duration because the road is too narrow to accommodate a working site and a carriageway. It is most unfortunate that the cable  was not replaced at the same time as the closure for gas main replacement. This is a key thoroughfare and closing it for any length of time could have serious repercussions.”

Haslemere Community Rail Partnership – call for volunteers this Thursday

ACoRP – the Association of Community Rail Partnerships – is the membership body for almost 50 community rail partnerships, representing over 80 community rail lines across the UK, as well as more than 1,000 station adoption groups.

The Haslemere Community Rail Partnership was established in October 2015 with the purpose of promoting Haslemere and its surrounding countryside, to promote rail travel to the town as a more sustainable travel mode and to improve the station and forecourt environment. You can read more about it here in this town council document and here in a past update on this blog.

In Haslemere today, I spent a few hours weeding and tidying the flower beds on the platform. There is more work to be done!

If you are free for an hour or two on Thursday morning from 9am, please do come along with gardening gloves for some gentle weeding. I’ll bring a flask of tea for us to share.

Waverley Housing Need Target Overstated by 29% or 2,500 Houses

NEWS RELEASE 12 October 2017 from the Surrey branch of CPRE:

WAVERLEY HOUSING NEED TARGET OVERSTATED BY 29% OR 2,500 HOUSES
A new report commissioned by the Surrey Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) shows that the housing target of 590 houses per annum, 11,210 homes over the life of the emerging Local Plan to 2032, which is expected to be imposed on Waverley Borough Council as a result of the recent Planning Inspector’s Examination-in-Public, is overstated by at least 29%, equivalent to a total of 2,500 houses.

The conclusions of the McDonald Report, based on a comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of the relevant factors, are that the principal reasons for this significant over-statement are:

1. The assessment of Woking’s unmet need, half of which the Inspector wishes to impose on Waverley, is unsound, being based on a mixture of out of date information and uncertain assumptions. The Report notes that the assessment is derived from an untested estimate of the Woking Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) put forward in representations to the Inspector made on behalf of developers. Reassessment of Woking’s housing need, in the context of the West Surrey Housing Market Area, of which Woking, Guildford and Waverley are all part, is now due. In the meantime, there is no reliable basis to reach any conclusion on the quantum of Woking’s unmet need nor to impose any of it on Waverley. The report recommends that 83 houses per annum – 1,577 homes in all – should be deducted from the Inspector’s housing target for Waverley.

2. The Inspector’s 25% uplift over Waverley’s agreed demographic housing requirement of 396 homes per annum (to improve affordability for market housing) is arbitrary, unsound and severe, says the report. It adds 99 homes per annum – a total of 1881 homes – to Waverley’s housing target. The report concludes that an evidence-based affordability adjustment would not be more than be 13%, which would add 50 homes per annum, or 950 homes during the Plan period. This would further reduce by 931 homes the Inspector’s assessment of Waverley’s housing requirement.

These two important adjustments would reduce the Inspector’s housing requirement for Waverley by 2,508 homes to a total of 8,702 over the Plan period, removing the 29% over-statement.

Anthony Isaacs, Chairman of CPRE Surrey’s local Waverley committee, said: “The impact of these changes would be of fundamental importance during the life of the Plan period. They would contribute to Waverley’s new Plan being declared ‘sound’ and would help to ensure that throughout the Plan period the Borough would be able to control development under its own sound plan rather than one under threat of excessive housing numbers rendering the plan out of date for lack of a 5-year housing supply.”

These findings are being presented to the Waverley Consultation on the Local Plan changes, which expires on 20 October, and also to the Planning Inspectorate and the Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government.

Mr Isaacs continued: “In addition to the McDonald Report findings CPRE’s understanding of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is that Waverley’s housing numbers, when arrived at, must be considered in the light of the Green Belt and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) constraints. The Green Belt comprises 62% of the land in the Borough, and the AONB (including some Green Belt) and Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV) together comprise 77% of the land. As the emerging Local Plan has already allocated areas of Green Belt and AONB to meet housing needs, which we believe is in itself wrong, the higher targets coming from the Inspector will only lead to further erosion of those statutorily protected areas”. -ENDS

Press contacts: Colin Hall, CPRE Waverley, Tel: 01252 793422; Andy Smith, Director – CPRE Surrey, Tel: 07737 271676.