Author Archives: admin

Noisy Club Session this Saturday 22nd May

Ultra-X Trail running races at recreation ground this Saturday!

(Notice from Haslemere Tennis Club)

Expect some loud music and activity at the recreation ground this Saturday whilst our morning club session is on.

Ultra-X have kindly given us notice that they will be starting their series of 4 races from 06:00 through until 10:00am on Saturday morning, with some loud music and a generator to power their electrics, gazebos set up and a start/finish arch set up at the Northerly end of the rec. It should be quite a spectacle and hopefully won’t interfere too much with your tennis concentration! 🙂

Have fun this weekend!
Best Regards
Haslemere Tennis Club Committee

A message from South Western Railway as passengers return to the railway

From: SWR Stakeholders
Sent: 17 May 2021 18:22
To: nikki.barton@haslemeretc.org
Subject: A message from South Western Railway as passengers return to the railway

Dear Nikki,

I thought you might be interested in the below press release, which sets out the work we at South Western Railway have completed since the start of the pandemic to improve and upgrade our network. As you can see, improvements range from extra waiting shelters to better Wi-Fi. 

As restrictions lift further and people begin to return to the railway, I am sure that this announcement will be of interest to your constituents 

If you have any questions, please let me know. 

Best wishes,

Phil Dominey
Senior Regional Development Manager

South Western Railway (SWR) is looking forward to welcoming customers back to a more punctual, reliable and energy efficient network, following a year-long programme of extensive improvements made possible by low passenger numbers.


Since the first national lockdown in spring last year, passenger numbers on SWR’s network have remained consistently low compared to pre-pandemic levels. However, SWR has continued to run reliable services for people who need to travel and stepped up cleaning regimes to keep customers safe.
At the same time, SWR took the opportunity to work on initiatives that would have otherwise taken much longer to deliver, and created more disruption, had they been attempted when passenger numbers were at 100 per cent.


To list a few:
• 1456 train doors have been checked – and, if necessary, fixed. Doors that don’t open and close safely and smoothly can cause delays.
• Seven “Duty Control Managers” have been employed to lead the Control Room and make journeys smoother.
• 48 stations have been completely repainted, brightening up customers’ journeys.
• 280 new benches have been rolled out, 40 new waiting shelters have been installed across 30 different stations and 15 waiting rooms have been refurbished, allowing for a more comfortable passenger experience.
• All 187 SWR stations now have Wi-Fi, and there has been a 23 per cent increase in onboard connectivity speeds, meaning better access to the internet.
• 10 stations have been made more accessible, and safer, via automatic doors, smoother pavements, sturdier handrails, new ramps, and anti-slip tactiles and treads.
• 160 additional cleaning staff are helping to keep trains and stations clean, with thousands of litres of a long lasting disinfectant being used.
• And 16,180 light bulbs have been changed to LEDs, reducing energy use across the network by 21 per cent.
This comes as RMT members voted overwhelmingly for a deal to end the long-running dispute over the role of the guard last month, which had caused significant disruption to customers.
Claire Mann, SWR’s Managing Director, said:
“While our customers were away, we’ve taken every single opportunity to improve our services.
“We have made real progress and continue to work hard to transform what is one of Europe’s busiest networks. We’re investing heavily in our network, our people, and our local areas to improve the quality, safety, and reliability of our services, and better meet the needs of customers and our communities.
“We exist to connect people – with family, with friends, with employment, with experiences, and with opportunities – and we can’t wait to welcome our customers back to the railway as soon as they are ready to travel with us again.”


Mobile Coronavirus testing facility in Haslemere

A mobile Coronavirus testing facility is being established in Weydown Road Car Park, Haslemere, from Tuesday 18 May to Thursday 20 May.  

Testing is available to all those with COVID-19 symptoms, but must be pre-booked online. Booking for this site is open from 5pm the evening before and on the day.

Residents should book on the national testing portal: visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call the NHS on 119.

Those without an appointment will be turned away.

You can walk into the testing centre, but will still need a pre-booked appointment.

Mayoral nomination

It was an honour to be nominated for the position of Haslemere Town Mayor yesterday evening at the Mayor Making meeting of Haslemere Town Council. I was nominated by a councillor colleague, Councillor Isabelle Cole. The nomination was unsuccessful. I am sorry that the meeting was not audible to residents who viewed the meeting online via the town council’s Facebook page. This is the text of her nomination:

I nominate Councillor Barton to be Haslemere’s next Mayor.

I am proud to be part of the British system of democracy –  and it is my understanding of democracy that I as a Town Councillor must in local affairs represent the views of the people and be their voice.
I know that if they could vote in this Mayor-making, the person they would vote for would be the one who gained more votes than any other Town Councillor in the local election of 2019 –  they would vote for Nikki Barton.

Without disrespect to Councillor Dear, who has been our deputy Mayor for the past 2 years, and also nominated, and though I recognise that he has readily organised local initiatives such as cleaning the public toilets and painting bike racks and bollards to smarten up the town, which have certainly made a difference it seems to me that these are things which only make a cosmetic difference.

The things that Councillor Barton has accomplished are things which make a significant difference, and which are recognised as such by the people of Haslemere – who hold her in high regard because of her achievements.

Nikki was elected to Surrey County Council in 2013, after being inspired by her own community-wide struggle to prevent parking meters being installed throughout Haslemere. Two years later she was elected as a Haslemere Town Councillor, and for the past 8 years she has served the town tirelessly across both councils.

Her achievements during this period are too many to list now, but I would like to mention a few:

She has established and chaired both the Haslemere Community Station and the Surrey Hills to South Downs Community Rail Partnership, winning Haslemere a National Network Rail award for most improved station and I had the privilege of working alongside her on behalf of the Arts Society

In response to the Covid crisis, she introduced fresh fruit and vegetables to the Haslemere Food Bank, winning funding from Waitrose to do so, at the same time as being an active founder member of the Haslemere Community Store.

She was in the initial Covid “Haslemere Help” core team and she set up the Pharmacy Home Delivery Service.

As Haslemere’s Surrey representative, Nikki secured funding from Surrey Highways for many projects across Haslemere and Grayswood, including:

-> major road resurfacing

-> new crossings outside Woolmer Hill, and Shottermill Infants School

-> and an upgraded path by Weydown car park, as part of a new safe network for pedestrians and cyclists

-> a lollipop lady for Grayswood School- again I worked alongside Nikki on this

She played a lead role in the successful campaign to save the The Hunter Centre for people with Alzheimer’s disease

And she successfully lobbied Surrey County Council to allow the outstanding Stepping Stones school to expand in Hindhead.

At the same time as achieving all of these things, Councillor Barton has also been active as:

-> a founder member of Haslemere Vision,

-> Haslemere’s representative on the Waverley Cycle Forum,

-> a School Governor at St Barts Primary School,

-> and a Safeguarding officer for Haslemere Hockey Club.

That is truly the story of a councillor who works tirelessly and selflessly for the people of Haslemere.

Nikki has also demonstrated a genuine concern and commitment to Sustainability, and to tackling the current Climate Crisis.

She served on the working party that wrote Surrey County Council’s climate change policy, and is an active member of our own Town Council Climate Emergency Working Party.

She engages regularly with the local community though the Haslemere Climate Collective, and has taken part in mass cycle rides through Haslemere.

And she led the support for Shottermill Infant School’s innovative green waste scheme – which won a Surrey County Council award by introducing “hot bins”, to compost school lunch waste instead of throwing it away.

As an Independent Councillor, Nikki has always put Haslemere’s residents and community groups first. Despite often facing criticism for speaking out, she has challenged the established ways of local politics, and has advanced the causes of local democracy and transparency.

She has been unafraid to call for more public scrutiny around issues, including:

-> Cuts to the fire service in our area,

-> Lack of adequate budgets for mental health provision in Surrey,

-> Party politics at the expense of the local community’s wishes.

Over many years, Nikki Barton has proven herself time and again to be a dedicated, hardworking and highly effective servant of our town- Nikki’s track record demonstrates her ability to bring different stakeholders together on a non- partisan basis to serve the community.  I believe Nikki’s strengths as a positive, collaborative highly professional councillor would be a unifying force- bringing the council together for the benefit of the town.

As she steps down from Surrey County Council, she has more time to dedicate to the Town Council.

She would make a wonderful Mayor for the people of Haslemere, and I am very proud to nominate her.

Cllr Simon Dear (elected Mayor): was nominated by Jerome Davidson (Lib Dem) and Seconded- David Round (Cons)

Votes for Cllr Simon Dear:

Cllr Jean Arrick- Con

Cllr Jerome Davidson- Lib Dem

Cllr Simon Dear- Con

Cllr David Dullaway-Con

Cllr Brgitte Hewett- Con

Cllr Peter Isherwood- Con

Cllr Jacqui Keen- Lib Dem

Cllr Peter Nicholson- Lib Dem

Cllr Melanie Odell- Con

Cllr David Round – Con

Nikki Barton nominated by Isabelle Cole (LD), Seconded Gary Lloyd (Green) 

Votes for Cllr Barton to be Mayor:

Cllr Nikki Barton- Independent

Cllr Isabelle Cole- Lib Dem

Cllr Kirsten Ellis- Independent

Cllr Gary Lloyd- Green

Cllr Claire Matthes- Green

Cllr Geoff Whitby- Lib Dem

Cllr Terry Weldon- Lib Dem abstained

Road closure on Grayswood Road, Grayswood – Carriageway pre-patching works

Please find attached the leaflet for the pre-patching works on Grayswood Road, Grayswood. The leaflets will be delivered to local residents and businesses tomorrow.

Road closed

10 May

8pm – 6am

For 5 nights

Please see the attached leaflet for the extents of our work.

Roadworks during the coronavirus restrictions

The government and Department for Transport have asked the Highway Sector Council to make every effort to deliver essential highways projects on all local authority highway networks, whilst abiding by the COVID-19 safe working practices. We are therefore carrying out these works in line with central government and COVID-19 safe working practises and in accordance with the CLC Site Operating Procedures, endorsed by Public Health England.

Our sub-contractor will have appropriate procedures in place to ensure their staff can comply with government advice. We would ask that you please respect these workers as they deliver these highways services.

We will continue to keep Surrey moving and all key routes will remain open and safe for key workers. For more information visit Roadworks and maintenance during the coronavirus outbreak – Surrey County Council (surreycc.gov.uk)

Sometimes our plans have to change, often due to bad weather or problems on other works in the same programme which can have a knock on effect. If anything changes with the details of these works, we will let you know.

You and your residents can also find up to date details and receive updates of the works on https://one.network/

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us on 0300 200 1003 or email works.communication@surreycc.gov.uk.

Tory town plan jibes a bit rich, says Barton

Last week, I submitted a letter to The Haslemere Herald which formed the basis of a front page story in the paper here. Here is my letter in full:

Dear Editor, 

In their recent letter to the Haslemere Herald, former Conservative Town Councillors Fay Foster and Cyndy Lancaster questioned my endorsement of John Robini in the forthcoming elections. They stated that the process of the Neighbourhood Plan was apolitical and that Cllr. Robini’s record of leading the working party over the last two years should be kept out of the campaign trail.   

They are correct that the Haslemere Vision team has managed the process with the utmost independence, objectivity and professionalism for many years prior to his leadership. However, Mrs Foster and Mrs Lancaster should not forget that the previous Town Council, the formal ‘sponsor’ of the Neighbourhood Plan did not uphold these same rigorous, non-political standards.  As the only non-Conservative out of 18 Town Councillors between 2015 and 2019, and as a founder member of Haslemere Vision, the community group with a cross section of more than 80 volunteers that developed the draft Neighbourhood Plan, I had a ring-side seat.  I witnessed the ‘old-guard’ Conservative Council actively work against Haslemere’s best interests, as clearly expressed by the community in the wide-ranging public consultations carried out by Haslemere Vision. 

In Conservative run Town Council meetings I witnessed protected greenfield sites being promoted for large scale housing developments with no meaningful reference to public consultation or to the Neighbourhood Plan team. Haslemere Vision’s surveys, completed by many hundreds of residents demonstrated the community’s categoric desire not to permit development on the town’s highly valued green ring of countryside and its acknowledgement that the trade off to meet housing need numbers was a higher density of building within the settlement area of the town. Indeed 89% of the surveyed public voted against any large housing developments on that countryside.  

I witnessed the Conservative Council’s same blatant disregard for the public’s views as Waverley Borough Council prepared the new Local Development Plan (LPP2), which sets the course for the town until 2032. With rare exceptions, Haslemere’s then Conservative Borough Councillors pushed for protected greenfield sites to be included in LPP2 in direct contradiction to the community’s stated priorities.  The first version of LPP2 was indeed so flawed in relation to Haslemere that the Conservatives’ own Waverley leaders had to stop it going to final approval and send it back for more consultation. 

Fast forward to May 2019 and I am no longer a lone voice on the Town Council because, following the elections, the previous working party of just two Conservative Councillors was replaced with a cross-party mix under John Robini’s leadership. Glaring questions were soon asked as to why the previous working party had only supported bringing forward the Neighbourhood Plan for its next stage of consultation by insisting on the settlement boundary being moved to eat into protected countryside.  Why were they not concerned with reflecting the community’s wishes and why did the draft LPP2 not reflect those wishes either?  These concerns were amplified in the context of a local declaration of a Climate Emergency with its implications for protecting our countryside and the environment. 

Thankfully the new Council, under the leadership of Mayor Robini, provided more balanced support for the Neighbourhood Plan process. The working party was expanded and included councilors from all parties who worked closely with each other and with Haslemere Vision to genuinely listen to the community once again and finalize a draft Neighbourhood Plan that reflected residents wishes to the greatest extent.    

I am at a total loss as to why certain Conservative Councillors would persist in actively working against their own community’s wishes and argue for large scale development on protected greenfield land and support both specific and general proposals that local residents vociferously reject.  The arrogance can at times be astounding as we saw when 2 Conservative Councillors tried, at the 11th hour, to overturn the community endorsed Neighbourhood Plan to revert to their earlier version which included the development of our green fields.   

If former Conservative Councillors Foster and Lancaster really want to understand why I am endorsing Councillor Robini for the County Council, they only have to look at the indefensible approach of the Conservative Council that has not respected the priorities of their own residents.  I am not party political, nor a member of any political party but  I can endorse John Robini as an individual who has listened to the community and who has acted with integrity to support the last stages in finalizing the Neighbourhood Plan and the principles of protecting our precious countryside against unacceptable development.  

Cllr Nikki Barton 

Sun Brow Litter Pick

I was delighted to go out litter picking on Sun Brow on Friday with the Love Haslemere Hate Waste team, Transition Haslemere and councillor colleague, Claire Matthes.

This was the first time using the grabbers, portable bins and safety gilets I was able to fund with my Surrey County Council Members Community Allocation.

Huge thanks to the brilliant girls who worked so hard to clean up our town- all from St Bartholomew’s Primary School.

Sadly there was so much litter so, there are plenty more litter picks planned.

This week’s Surrey Heartlands Covid-19 Vaccination Programme Partner Update

NHS now inviting those aged 44+ to have their vaccination
People aged 44 are the latest age group to be invited to book their Covid-19 jab, from today.  Around half a million 44-year olds will receive a text inviting them to get their jab through the national booking service.  This comes alongside the latest figures that show that more than two thirds of people aged 45 to 49 have now received their first vaccination.  The decision to move to people aged 40-43 will be set out in the coming days with the NHS vaccinating in line with JCVI advice and as supplies allow.  As with previous age groups, those who prefer to wait to receive an invitation from their local GP service are able to do so.  

Surrey Heartlands vaccination programme – some numbers

As at Sunday (18-Apr), Surrey Heartlands had delivered around 680,000 vaccines via local GP sites, Hospital Hubs, Community Pharmacies and the Vaccination Centre at Epsom Racecourse. Of these around 160,000 are second doses. Overall Surrey Heartlands continues to perform well and in many areas is exceeding the national average.  For example, for people aged over 55 uptake of first doses exceeds 80% and is almost 100% for those aged 75-79. For second doses, the story shows a similar picture for most age groups.  

Second doses

Second doses are routinely offered around 11 weeks from the first dose being given. A Local GP-led vaccination site will contact individuals by text or by telephone to arrange an appointment to receive a second dose. In exceptional cases some people will be invited earlier. Please don’t contact the CCG or your GP practice about your 2nd dose appointment unless you’ve not been contacted by the 11th week. Please be patient.  If you do need to contact us, details are available on our website:  www.surreyheartlandsccg.nhs.uk or via our vaccination enquiry line 0300 561 2500 (Monday-Friday 9.00 am – 4.00 pm).  Those who booked via the National Booking System will have made their second appointment at the time of booking.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
You can find a comprehensive set of FAQs on the local programme on our website here  
Useful links FAQs NHS.UK Covid-19 vaccine GOV.UK Covid-19 vaccination programme Data release Information on priority groups