Category Archives: Councillor Barton Update

Councillor Update

Here is an update of some of my county councillor work for Haslemere over the past weeks.

Serpent Trail Re-Launch

I am Surrey County Council’s representative for the Two Parks Project (South Downs and New Forest). The Serpent Trail re-launch and event was a success due to a very positive partnership between Surrey, Hampshire and West Sussex County Councils, the South Downs National Parks, Haslemere Visitor Information Bureau. The National Trust very kindly hosted the launch event, and Waitrose provided invaluable refreshments.

Serpent Trail 2

Haslemere is Surrey’s perfect gateway to the South Downs and benefits from frequent and fast train links. The joy of the Serpent Trail is that it is a circular route by getting the Number 70 bus (running on Sundays through the Summer between Haslemere station to Midhurst) or the train from various points on the route back to Haslemere.

Serpent Trail

Bus Shelter in Border Road, Shottermill

There is now a new bus shelter at the Border Road bus stop in Shottermill.  The majority of funding for this was through utilising some of my member’s allocation, plus a contribution from Haslemere Town Council with a “top up” from some local PIC (Planning Infrastructure Contribution) monies. The bus shelter blends in very well with the environment and has been installed to a high standard.

Bus Shelter in Border Road, Shottermill

Citizen’s Advice Bureau

Met with volunteers from the Haslemere Citizens’ Advice Bureau. Delighted to fund laptop and microwave for the CAB office from some of my member’s allocation.  Attended staff meeting, learnt that recent benefit changes are having a significant negative impact on residents.

CAB laptop

Kenya Visit

Delighted to meet Jeremiah and Sarah Kibobe who run Magnet High School and Orphanage in the outskirts of Nairobi. They visited local schools in Haslemere recently. The Bartons will be running as a family in the Safaricom half marathon in the Lewa Conservancy to raise money for the TUSK Conservation Trust and Magnet High School and Orphanage.

Kenya Visit

Scouts’ funding

Met the 1st Haslemere Scouts group. With funds from my member’s allowance, they purchased a parol tent, hike tents, an event shelter and a gazebo.  The equipment will be used during the summer at a number of events including the Surrey Scout’s Scoutabout, the Haslemere District Scout’s Muir Challenge, their summer camp in the New Forest, Cub’s Senior Sixers Camp and on a number of hikes; the equipment will benefit about 80 children.

At the moment the scouts wish to attract new adult helpers. 1st Haslemere Scouts are looking for adult volunteers to join the team organising and running the different scouting sections.

There are a number of different roles available including Scout, Cub and Beaver Leaders working with children between the ages of 6 and 14. Each role is different and offers everything from outdoor adventure, sports, developing new skills and arts and crafts to using organisational and management skills, communicating across the scouting movement and working with a variety of people. All roles include lots of fun, are very rewarding and can offer flexibility supported by full training.

If you can help or know someone who could and would like more information about the roles or the scouting movement in the UK, please contact them;

Interim repairs for College Hill

Intervened to arrange next day interim repairs for dangerous potholes on College Hill.

College Hill repair

Haslemere Vision

Dropped into the community planning workshop to consider future uses of the Wey Hill Fairground.

Attendees were asked what ideas they have for this site. We were informed of the legal status of the land. It is common land and whatever Waverley Borough Council decides to do must be for the benefit of the neighbourhood.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT re Haslemere Vision. Hard copies of the final consultation are being distributed to over 8,000 households in Haslemere and the villages. Feedback during this consultation is vital if the final Neighbourhood Plan policies are to be a true reflection of the community’s wishes.  Now is the time for input on some of the key issues and options facing the area we live in.  Please read the booklet (which will be delivered to every household) and fill in the questionnaire, ideally on-line. Go to:

Suderburg – German youth football exchange with Haslemere Town FC U11s

Met Haslemere Town Football Club for their U11s two ‘Friendship Trophy’ games with the visitors from Suderburg, with Cllr Libby Piper (then town Mayor). Provided funding for the team to support the exchange visit.

Teams Football Exchange

Football Exchange

Wey Hill in Bloom Volunteers

Met up with the Wey Hill in Bloom volunteers earlier this month where they were re-planting beds and flower boxes.

Wey Hill In Bloom 1 Wey Hill Bloom 2

Haslemere Town Council: Amenities Committee

Attended this meeting on June 12, 2014. Discussed the possibilities for the green space at the junction of Lower Street and Shepherds Hill. I am very keen that it should become an attractive pocket park, as a valuable green refuge at the intersection of 2 busy roads with a bus stop.  I have agreed £200 of member allocation towards a new tree, and will negotiate with SCC Highways to see how the lower railings on Shepherds Hill could be altered to integrate the 2 spaces. Discussion included planting, a bench, a sculpture or piece of art possibly to mark WW1.

Sickle Mill Estate

Met with residents to discuss the failing bank below the recreation area and the impact on the road surface and drainage. Follow up research confirms that the bank is the responsibility of Waverley Borough Council.  Also raised the very poor state of Sunbrow Road link with Sturt Farm with Highways. Continuing to follow this up.

Polecat Valley

Met with residents concerned about trees overhanging the highway, and drainage issues.

Parking enforcement in Haslemere

Met with Kevin McKee who heads up the Guildford Borough Council parking enforcement team to discuss  the issues raised by residents and businesses of parking enforcement on bank holidays.  GBC have a contract from SCC to carry out the on-street parking enforcement, while Waverley Borough Council are responsible for enforcement in their own car parks. We agreed that Kevin would meet with businesses to discuss concerns in early September. Businesses do have the right to load. Any businesses that experience problems with the parking wardens should get in touch with Kevin immediately. His email:


1. “20 is Plenty” petition presented to the LAC in March, 2014 calling for reduced speed limits in the High Street, Lower Street and roads where requested by residents. I expressed my support for the principle of reducing traffic speeds through Haslemere. Currently many of our streets do not feel safe to walk and cycle, and crossing roads for the elderly and young can be challenging.  There is a record of accidents on Lower Street near the station. The 2005 Haslemere Health Check identified a reduction in traffic speeds as a community priority.

Haslemere Town Council held a meeting of the Planning and Highways Committee on 29 May 2014. The committee voted to submit an official objection to the petition (see link).  Given that the objection was based on out of date and factually incorrect information I requested that the objection letter be withdrawn. I understand this has been done.  The issue of 20mph speed limits will be discussed at the next Haslemere and Western Villages task force. SCC Highways have adopted a new revised policy on 20mph limits.  Existing traffic speeds are required to be 24 mph or less before a 20mph limit can be considered, without additional highway traffic calming infrastructure.

Traffic speed reduction can be achieved by altering the streetscape to alter how drivers perceive the road environment.  I have secured £25,000 of Local Area Committee funding for “gateways” on the entries into Haslemere, with the aim of clearly stating that drivers are entering a built up area and should reduce their speeds.

2. Fosters Bridge flooding issues: the LAC funded report providing a full assessment of the catchment area and the drainage issues is nearly complete. Other reports are also being finalised, Combers’ Triangle and Critchmere Hill.

3. Jetters: There are 165,000 gullies across the county, a fleet of jetting machines clean each gully once a year, with a regular cleaning audit to assess the silt levels in the gullies.  Recent severe storm events have caused gullies to overflow as the drainage system has been overwhelmed. The Lion Lane catchment, surrounded by a steep silty catchment, has experienced flooding issues. An extra £50,000 has been made available for additional jesters, Lion Lane gullies should be jetted during July.

One issue of concern is the lack of coordination between the Waverley Borough Council road sweeping schedule and the SCC Highways jetting schedule.

A 24 hour emergency flooding response team is available where properties or homes are at risk of flooding- See here:,-trees-and-power-cuts

4. Tour of Britain Cycle Race: Stage 7, passing through Haslemere 13 September, 2014. I have discussed my concerns with SCC Highways about the condition of the road surface on the Sturt Road section of the route.

5: Haslemere Vision: I have had input as a member of the policy writing group focusing on transport issues.

6: Haslemere Road Re-Surfacing:

Delighted that SCC Highways has agreed to carry out extensive road resurfacing of A286 and A287 under the flood recovery program.

A286: Haslemere Road, 7.8 km will be resurfaced between Gasden Lane and Highercombe Lane, June-Oct 2014.

A287: Hindhead Road, 2.46 km will be resurfaced between Polecat Lane and Lion Lane, June-Oct 2014.

In addition major maintenance work will be carried out at the currently failing Deepdene Embankment, works planned for Oct-Dec 2014.

7: Road Outside St Bartholomew’s School: Also reached agreement with SCC Highways that the hazardous potholes on Derby Road East outside St Bartholomew’s primary school will be repaired during the summer holidays. SCC Highways will not be adopting the road, but have agreed to carry out a repair to resolve the current health and safety issues for the school and SureStart Children’s Centre.

Waverley Local Area Committee

Attended Waverley Local Committee, Friday, 20th June, 1.30pm

All information re LAC meetings can be found here:

Environment and Transport Select Committee

Attended Committee meeting on June 12, 2014.

Information re this committee can be found here:

Now full member of select committee (vs. previously substitute), raised my concerns that the current SCC sustainable transport activities have a very urban bias – the Local Sustainable Transport Funded Travel SMART programme working in Guildford, Woking, Reigate and Redhill.  Going forward, there is very little, if any emphasis on improving sustainable transport provision in the smaller towns and villages in Waverley.  I suggested a key issue that needed addressing is the lack of connectivity between communities for anyone who does not own a car.  This results in physical, social and economic isolation. SCC Highways acknowledged this shortcoming.

The Waverley Local Transport Plan (shortly to be going out to local consultation) and Local Cycle Plans will be taken through the Local Area Committees going forward.

I also raised the issue of the need for proper integrated transport planning when schools are expanded.


I sent the following statement to the Haslemere Herald.

It is totally unacceptable that the SCC Conservative leadership team have yet again ignored the findings of the independent remuneration panel and awarded themselves massive pay rises, without any proper transparent and open discussion.  I am not surprised the panel has concluded that they have no alternative but to resign.

The Conservative party should reflect on the message this sends to the electorate.  I am particularly disappointed that the SCC leadership has chosen to award themselves an extra £200,000 while cutting the funding for small local community projects across the county by the same amount.

Below is a link to a blog from Conservative Home. Although not linked officially to the party, it is run by Paul Goodman, former Conservative MP for Wycombe (01-10) and during that time he was shadow minister for local government.

There is a petition online:

Surrey County Council Community Improvement Fund

Here is the briefing information on the County Council’s Community Improvements Fund 14/15, which sets out minor changes to the fund this year, along with the criteria and guidance, and application form.  When talking to potential applicants, please could you use the new forms attached in place of any forms from previous rounds as these have been updated.  These changes include the following:

  • a reduction to the upper limit of applications to £30,000
  • applications requesting 100% of funding are unlikely to be supported
  • the requirement to demonstrate the wider community benefit of the project
  • the recommendation that all relevant permissions should be in place at point of application (there is a requirement that they will all be in place 12 months from date of decision)
  • the requirement that there is a minimum term of at least 5 years left on a lease (from date of decision), if the application relates to a project that is on leasehold property/land;
  • being able to demonstrate that the project is scalable, in case all of the funding requested is not available;
  • a word limit on sections of the application form to help ensure concise answers.

This fund has been set up to support local community based initiatives which make a real difference to people’s lives.  Bids to the fund can be submitted for requests between £10,000 and £30,000 from 6 May until 25 July 2014. The funding is intended primarily to cover capital costs linked to community infrastructure projects.

Please see below a link to the County Council website for further information. Your local Community Partnership and Committee Officer (CPCO) will be happy to provide advice to applicants:


Food Bank AGM

The Haslemere and District Food Bank will be holding an Annual Meeting at the Methodist Church on Lion Green at 7.30pm on Wednesday 25 June both to celebrate its first anniversary and to account to the many stakeholders who have helped to make the Food Bank a very effective agent for good in our area.

They do not expect the meeting to last more than one hour; they will cover the progress they have made with collection and referral agencies, Food Bank logistics, customer demand and outreach generally. They do hope you can find the time to come along as the Food Bank has touched so many people in many ways. Do please invite anyone else you think may be interested – there is no charge – and contact Chris Gibson on 01428 661462 if you need any further information.

Local Policing Board Session

There will be a Local Policing Board session held on 3rd Sept 2014 between 5pm and 7pm. The venue is to be confirmed. These county sessions have been instigated by the Police and Crime Commissioner and take the form of a stall staffed by local Surrey Police officers and representatives of the Safer Waverley Partnership to give residents an opportunity to discuss policing priorities and local concerns relating to community safety.

Haslemere Councillor Update For Recent Weeks

County Councillor Update March 19 2014


Finalised Spend of Members’ Allocation 2013/2014

  • Haslemere Town Council: Replacement tree bottom of Shepherds Hill: £200
  • Crossways Counselling Service: setting up new couples and families branch: £2400
  • Waverley Borough Council: Waverley Skate parks project 2013: £500
  • SCC Corporate Parenting: Look after children savings fund: £500
  • Haslemere First Responders: 2 full responder medical kits including mobile defibrillators: £2000
  • The Wave Volunteer Project: New hedge cutter: £552
  • Haslemere and District Scouts: Mess tent, hiking tents and events tent: £765
  • Tennyson’s Sure Start Centre:  Wet weather clothing for One O Clock Club: £400
  • Haslemere Town Youth Football Club: Exchange program for parents and children: £500
  • Haslemere Hockey Club: After school hockey program: £2426
  • Citizens’ Advice Bureau: Enhancement of service provision: £600
  • Haslemere Library:  Art and crafts for the Under 5s: £150
  • SCC Travel and Transport Group: New bus shelter at Critchmere/Border Road Junction: £5200

Total expenditure:

  • Revenue £12,876
  • Local Committee Capital £3,888

Multi-Storey Car Park (MSCP)

Invited by Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport to join an MSCP working group following a letter I sent to his offices expressing my concerns about the proposals to push through a MSCP without full consideration of all the facts. Attendees at the meeting: representatives from SWT, Dept for Transport, MP Jeremy Hunt’s office, HTC, WBC, Haslemere Chamber, SCC parking team.

DfT representative explained that the finances of a multi-deck MSCP at Haslemere train station don’t stack up because the additional revenue from any extra spaces provided at the station are included as ‘costs’ rather than revenue.  This is because all day parkers would incur a ‘cost’ in losing their access to free on-street parking having been effectively ‘driven’ into the MSCP by yellow lining and parking restrictions.

SWT agree to pursue the additional 60 spaces on the Jewson’s side of the tracks currently used as a bus depot and to carry out a cost/benefit analysis for a single storey construction at the station. This would be a cheaper option (£2.5 m) and could provide an additional 150 spaces which is it presumed would be filled by those on the season ticket waiting list. I agreed this could a viable be an option if 1) no town wide, all day on-street parking controls were required, 2)  a proper, open and transparent public consultation was carried out, 3) a new planning application was submitted subject to full traffic and environmental impact assessments.

I also stressed that any decision on the MSCP should be made on the basis of what is right for Haslemere, not on political expediency and that I assumed that Haslemere Town Council would consult publicly if it intended to raise the precept/local taxes in order to provide a large contribution to the MSCP.

I continue to believe a holistic transport strategy for Haslemere is needed going forward. The one deck MSCP and the use of the bus depot space should provide an additional 210 spaces at the station freeing parking space on our streets but only for a short period and then what?  In the longer term more parking at the station will attract more cars, increase traffic/congestion and pollution in the town.

There is potential for more creative transport thinking, Haslemere Vision is currently considering these issues. For example, season ticket data shows that a cluster of 338 commuters live in and around Fernhurst, suggesting opportunities for car and taxi shares/hoppa buses. In the longer term, a park and ride may be a viable option given the prospect of large housing developments to the south of the town.

Shepherds Hill/Lower Street

Project Horizon repair: Shepherds Hill to be fully reconstructed starting April 1st, 6 nights of road closure 20.00-06.00 hrs. Courts Hill Road and The Avenue to follow in immediate sequence.

Shepherds Hill/Lower Street Railings: the case has been referred to SCC Customer Care team who deal with complaints across all services.  Haslemere Town Council Planning and Highways Committee has submitted an objection to the railings. The railings were the project of ex-Councillor Renshaw and cost £40,000 (Members allocation, plus Local Area Committee contribution).

Lower Street pavement resurfacing: recent resurfacing was carried out as part of the above project.

Shepherds Hill tree: Agreed that existing split tree should be removed, and contributed £200 for new tree to be planted on adjacent grassy area, however investigations have revealed an air raid shelter too near the surface to plant a significant new tree. New discussions to enhance this ‘pocket park’, options include planting a number of smaller trees, bench and possible art work.

Shepherds Hill angled parking. In January last year this change from angled to parallel parking was over-ruled by the SCC committee as 1) there had been no reported accidents here, 2) it provides vital parking spaces for the shops and 3) it provides vital parking for residents of Lower Street and Shepherds Hill who have no off street parking.

Haste Hill: agreement with WBC and HTC to remove old railings and replace with wooden posts.

Derby Road, St Bartholomew’s School: reached agreement with SCC that potholes will be repaired, anticipated repair date during Easter holidays.

Serpent Trail Launch Event, Friday June 13th, 2014:  Working with SCC and other partners to organise a community walk to celebrate and promote the upgraded Serpent Trail section linking Haslemere to the South Downs National Park.  All will be welcome to join, more information to follow.

Haslemere and train station identified as ‘gateway’ to South Downs National Park as part of Two Parks Project.  Local Sustainable Transport Funding (£150,000) has upgraded the Serpent Bridal path from the Petworth Road, will provide new route signage, support a Sunday public service to Midhurst during summer months and fund a reconfiguration of the train station forecourt to facilitate bus use.

Wey Hill Fairground Public Inquiry Cancelled: Waverley Borough Council dropped their application to redevelop the Wey Hill Fairground site and turn it in to a pay and display car park. I strongly objected to the proposal, and regret the waste of public money in pursuing this application given the very high levels of public opposition that forced a public inquiry to be held.

Letterbox pilot project: Community building initiative as part of Families, Friends and Communities project to increase social capital in a local area.  Haslemere has been identified as a pilot town for Letterbox. The project will start by end of March, and will start with a letter drop, followed by a series of conversations with residents to understand their interests, their needs and what they are willing to do to help others in the area.  Participants in the project will also be offered membership to an on-line community forum.

SCC Highways Strategy meeting: Discussions with SCC transport strategy team on the issue of transport and movement data available for Haslemere, essential for the development of a holistic transport strategy and to support the work of Haslemere Vision. Agreement that data available will be pulled together by SCC intern during summer 2014, data gaps to be identified with a view to further research.

Conservation Area Appraisal for Haslemere: Input as member of CAA working group, following acceptance by WBC executive CAA report will be available for six weeks of public consultation, estimated to start from 14th April subject to approval by WBC’s Executive on 1st April..

Followed up on resident requests including:

  • Street lights out in Whitfield Road Haslemere.
  • Discussions about potholes throughout the town, and in Kings Road, Hindhead Road, Shepherds Hill. Please report all potholes online here. You’ll find the Highways Incident Claim here on SCC’s website here.
  • Referred the double yellow lines parking outside the station to the parking enforcement officers and the police.
  • Request for directional spikes to prevent drivers exiting the train station via entrance would have to be dealt with by Network Rail as the owners of that land
  • Midhurst Road/Hill Road speed checks
  • VAS speed sign on approach to High Street vandalised, waiting for new parts
  • Alley way down to Waitrose from zebra crossing, concerns over vehicle use and lack of hand rail, a problem when icy, referred to SCC highways
  • Verge damage due to parking Beech Road
  • Bus pass information
  • Council tax increase
  • Several meetings with residents as part of the current parking review consultation which ends on April 4th

Notification of requirement for a new school governor. A Haslemere Primary School looking for a governor: One of our excellent local schools is looking for a governor to join the governing body, please do contact me if you would be interested in knowing more.


Various site meetings with SCC highways and parking teams, met with new CHO Robert Mac Pherson, replacing Ian Fowler who is being seconded to Guildford team

Full council yesterday Kingston and RA/Independent Group meetings, Kingston

National Library Day event, Haslemere Library

Dr Helen Bowcock, High Sheriff of Surrey, reception to celebrate her very successful Shrieval year.

Haslemere Herald, reception to open new offices in King’s Road.


Haslemere Vision, Transport group and policy writing.


Parking Review: formal advertising of the parking proposals approved at committee in December began 7th March.

See my blog post last week about the consultation and deadlines to submit comments.

Local area Committee meeting takes place on 21st March. See my recent blog post relating to this here.


Surrey Libraries’ Children’s Book Award: Reading Groups are busy reading the 5 brilliant books shortlisted for this year’s Surrey Libraries’ Children’s Book Award. They are looking forward to a visit from one of the shortlisted authors and will be voting for their favourite book. The winner will be announced at the Award Ceremony at the H G Wells Centre in Woking on 30th April. There is still time for other schools to join in with the Award.  For more information, go to our Book Award web pages – Hashtag on Twitter is #OffThePageAward.

Public Consultation: Review of the Surrey Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP).

We are inviting comments on a review of the County Council Rights of Way Improvement Plan. The Plan was first published in 2007, this is the first review (Copy of Draft here).

We are seeking the views of path users and those with an interest in access to Surrey’s countryside including land managers, owners and neighbouring authorities. Government guidance states that the Rights of Way Improvement Plan should be reviewed once in every ten years, and DEFRA Statutory Guidance (Nov 2002) indicates the Plan should include:

·        context / relation to other plans, statutory duties and responsibilities

·       an assessment of user needs, including duties with respect to people with mobility problems

·       an assessment of the rights of way network based on the definitive statement

·       a statement of action and indication of how the action will be delivered

·        a monitoring arrangement for implementation

The criterion for this review is a ‘light touch’; however there have been changes to a number of linked plans and strategies since 2007, particularly with respect to policy context. Our five key objectives for improving rights of way have not changed.

The Rights of Way Improvement Plan forms part of the Surrey Transport Plan.

Improving and promoting the public rights of way network can contribute towards many County Council priorities set out in the STP and other plans and strategies, including some targets for health and well-being.  Please do forward this on to anyone who may have an interest or may wish to comment.

The Surrey Transport Plan is available on the County Councils web site:

The closing date for comments is Friday of 9th May 2014. You may send comments by email to:

or by post to:  Alec Baxter-Brown, Surrey County Council, Countryside Access, Whitebeam Lodge, Merrow Complex, Merrow Lane, Merrow, Guildford, Surrey, GU4 7BQ (please address comments as ‘Rights of Way Improvement Plan Comments’).

Full list of Surrey County Council duties:

There are a great number of new duties that local government has been required to take on since 2010. Here is a full list of duties attached for your information: New Duties for Local Government since 2010.

Scrutiny Bulletin

February’s Scrutiny Bulletin. It is intended to give a brief summary of the work being undertaken by the Council’s Select Committees, as well as advising you of the dates for the next public meeting of each Committee: Scrutiny Bulletin February 2014.

Councillor Update

Here’s my Councillor update from recent weeks.

1. Waverley Parking Review: parking proposals discussed at Local Area Committee Meeting December 13, 2013.  Necessary changes proposed based on safety, accessibility and efficiency of parking capacity. The statutory traffic order notices marking the start of the 28 day consultation period will be printed in the Haslemere Herald in the first week of March, 2014.  To speed up the decision and implementation process, a special parking meeting, open to the public, will be held on May 9th, 2014 (ahead of the July LAC), 1.30pm, Godalming Baptist Church.

2. Foster’s Bridge: To address the flooding problem, SCC Highways have recently installed six new gullies, and installed larger frames and lids on the six existing gullies to increase the catchment area for runoff. To reduce the debris that currently washes down into the gullies during heavy rains from the railway embankment, a retaining curb has been constructed. In the longer term SCC is carrying out an investigation into the issue and I have secured Local Area Committee funding to carry out any more significant works should they be identified as necessary.

3. Haslemere train station, Multi-Storey Car Park planning application:  Met with Jeremy Hunt to express my concerns about the current application. This letter sent to Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin outlines these issues.

4. David McNulty, Chief Executive Surrey County Council Haslemere visit 17th Jan, 2014 (find briefing note for the visit here). I wanted to show David McNulty that, while the perception of Haslemere held by many I meet up at County Hall that Haslemere is indeed one of great privilege, such a view fails to recognise that Haslemere is also a community facing many challenges including economic hardship and isolation. The aim was for a range of members of our community to be heard first hand by the Chief Executive so that any future strategic or operational discussions, relevant to Haslemere, at Cabinet and Executive level would be based on a more informed understanding.  Helen Bowcock, High Sheriff for Surrey joined the visit.  The feedback from the visit was extremely positive.

5. Members Allocation 2013/14:  Funds allocated to date:

  • £500 Skateboard event, August 2013
  • £500 Looked After Children Fund, contribution to personal savings scheme for children in SCC care
  • £200 contribution to new tree at the bottom of Shepherds Hill to replace badly split old tree
  • £400 Tennyson’s Sure Start Children’s Centre, wet weather clothing
  • £551.20 The Wave, hedge trimmer: the Wave, volunteer group providing free home and gardening help to the vulnerable and elderly
  • £765 Haslemere Scouts: new tents and mess tent
  • £2400 Crossways Counselling, start up costs for couples and family therapy provision

To be confirmed:

  • Approx £5000 bus shelter, Critchmere Ave and Border Road
  • £2000 Haslemere First Responders: 2 full medical kits including portable defibrillators for newly qualified First Responders
  • £TBC Haslemere Hockey Club: schools and disability program
  • £TBC Haslemere Football Club: exchange visit
  • £TBC Haslemere Pavillion Recreation Ground Association:  repairs

Funding the bus shelter may mean that funding for the Haste Hill railings work will not be possible this year from SCC members’ allocation.  To be discussed with HTC to understand if HTC Community Fund/Lengthsman Scheme funding could be used for this project.

6. Shepherds Hill/Lower Street Railings: Held lengthy discussions with SCC Highways. John Hilder, SCC Highways sent the following to residents to explain the SCC position.

I am writing to reiterate my decision, which remains as before, that incurring further public expense on replacing or materially altering the railings installed in Shepherds Hill last year is not justified, and that we will now proceed with completing outstanding works on these and the railings in Lower Street, as well as resurfacing the footway there.

To recap – the then SCC councillor, Steve Renshaw, sponsored the new railings in both roads using his member allocations accumulated over two years.  A consultative group intended to agree the style of the new railings and comprising borough, town and county councillors & officers was established but failed to meet, and the style was eventually selected by WBC planning/conservation officers. There have been complaints about the lack of consultation with residents, but Steve Renshaw, representing the residents of Haslemere, did not require such consultation and SCC Highways would not normally consult residents for this type of project, rather the relevant planning and conservation authorities.

I have agreement from SCC and WBC that if residents approve, planters will be provided for the railings on Lower Street.

6. Youth Task Group, Jan 20th, 2014: discussion of Local Prevention Framework, Services for Young People and the Individual Prevention Grants.

7. Local Area Committee, private meeting, Jan 29th, 2014:

Project Horizon, roads to be reconstructed as part of Program Year 1: Shepherd’s Hill, Courts Hill Road, Weysprings, Sandrock (dates advised as April 2014, but bad weather is causing delay).  It was agreed with the Project Horizon team that the junction area of Shepherd’s Hill and Lower Street will be repaired as part of the Shepherd’s Hill reconstruction.

Family, Friends and Community Support team, highlighted the role of Surrey Information Point- – for care, community and health information and support available locally.  Any local group providing community services is encouraged to include their details on the website.

Surrey Cycle Strategy, Local Area Committees have been given the responsibility of preparing local cycle plans by the end of 2015. I raised the issue of improving provision for cyclists within the road resurfacing project known as Project Horizon.  The SCC Highways team confirmed that Surrey’s cycling team will be involved when resurfacing is planned. It was agreed during the meeting that the Waverley Cycle Forum should be involved in both local cycle plan, and Project Horizon discussions.

8. Additional Highways Information:

VAS speed sign on Grayswood Road approach into Haslemere has been vandalised. Repairs will be carried out in the next 2 weeks.

A number of street lights are not working. Skanska will be repairing in the next two weeks.

Fallen trees are blocking the footpath that runs parallel to the railway line from St Bart’s Church to the back of High Lane. A ‘vegetation gang’ will be working next week to remove these and other fallen trees.

I am meeting with members of the SCC Strategy team to discuss commissioning a full transport/movement study for Haslemere, including some scenario visioning along the lines of the current Guildford City Council project.

7. Meeting with Haslemere Town Council on 30th January 2014: Presented a summary of the above items to the members present.


8. Update from Haslemere Library: National Libraries Day – Saturday 8 February 2014

National Libraries Day is a successful initiative for advocacy; on the day there will be events in libraries throughout the county resulting in media and social network interest. Haslemere Library will be promoting what they do and why it is valuable during their event. Follow Haslemere Library on Twitter, @HaslemereLib.

9: Traffic bulletin: Hindhead Tunnel closures cancelled, Surrey: HIGHWAYS AGENCY News Release issued 31 January 2014

Road users were advised that the planned full closure of the A3 Hindhead Tunnel in Surrey for Friday 31 January and Saturday 1 February were cancelled due to poor weather conditions.

Forecast weather of strong winds and heavy rainfall meant that it would be unsafe to carry out the work and operate a full closure of the tunnel. The closures are required for systems maintenance to be carried out, both inside and outside the tunnel, and these will now be rescheduled.

10: Surrey Uncovered: all the facts at your fingertips

Visit Surrey-i, type “Surrey Uncovered” into the search box, Google style, and have a look at the wealth of insight we have made publicly available.

11. Wey Hill Fairground Public Inquiry: I very much welcome the decision of the Planning Inspectorate to change the venue of the Fairground car park public inquiry from Godalming to Haslemere. GIven the strength of public feeling about the Waverley’s planning application that has resulted in this public inquiry being called, it would be an extraordinary decision to choose a venue outside Haslemere. While I support the inquiry as part of a democratic process via which the community will be given the opportunity to express their views about the resurfacing an area of common land and the installation of lighting columns and pay and display meters, I am most concerned that WBC have set aside £30,000 of tax payers money to fund this inquiry, (initially £20,000 was set aside with, I understand, a further £10,000 recently agreed).

Given the current financial cut backs facing local government services, and the strength of public opposition to Waverley’s plans for the site, I would suggest that a far better use of £30,000 of tax  payers money would be to resurface the site and let it remain as a valuable source of free parking for both commuters and all those that use the short stay parking to visit the public library, shops and businesses in Wey Hill.

I urge everyone to attend the public meeting on April 8th, 9th and 10th to express their views. It will be held at The Royal School, in Haslemere.

Councillor Update: September/ October

SCC Cycle Strategy Survey

SCC’s Cycle strategy survey – – closes on November 1st, 2013. The survey only takes 5 minutes to complete. Please do take part if you’re an individual or you’re part of a cycling club/organisation and you are interested in making our town a safer place to cycle.

I am motivated by the fact our children and young people cannot cycle safely around Haslemere.  Unlike children in towns and cities across northern Europe, most of our children are ferried to school and their activities by car.  Children enjoy less personal freedom and independence, get less exercise, the cars they are driven in pollute and cause congestion, the time consuming taxi service provided by parents and carers creates stress for all and petrol prices continue to rise.

Cycling Haslemere Barton

Clearly the geography of Haslemere, built on hills with many narrow roads presents considerable a considerable challenge to cyclists, but I believe we can improve the situation. Safer crossings, and reducing traffic speeds are a first step to making cyclists and pedestrians feel more confident about leaving their cars behind.

You may interested to listen to Surrey’s cycling debate hosted by BBC last week. Click here for audio.

A new petition calling for a 20mph speed limit in Haslemere town centre has been launched by a resident of Haslemere:

Making Haslemere a better place for cyclists can also bring economic benefits from cycle tourism. Haslemere train station has been identified as a ‘gateway’ to the South Downs National Park within the Two Parks Project (New Forest National Park, and South Downs National Park). Department for Transport Local Sustainable Transport Funds of £150,000 have been awarded to Haslemere as part of the Two Parks Project for initiatives to reduce the impact of traffic on the two parks.  In Haslemere, funds are being used to upgrade a section of the Serpent Way bridle path, improve signage on the route and at the train station, and to support a summer Sunday bus service between Midhurst and Haslemere.

Local Highways Issues

Junction Place:  Met with local businesses and residents concerned about dangers of rat running through the slip road occurring since new double yellow lining has removed parked cars.  The white lining in response has not prevented the rat running.  The loss of valuable on street parking spaces by double lining has also been identified as an issue.

SCC Highways planned to install a bollard at the junction of the slip road with Hindhead Road, which on speaking with local businesses, I understand would impede their client parking and business vehicle access.

I have agreed with SCC Highways that the yellow lining should be removed and the previous situation restored.  The situation will be monitored to assess if a bollard is necessary in the future.

Weyhill Road/Hindhead Road: confusingly not included in Project Horizon, SCC road refurbishment program.  I have agreed with SCC Highways that a full repair of all potholes will be carried out in November, with a micro-asphalt top layer running from St Christopher’s Green to the ESSO garage to be laid in the spring.

Derby Road, St Bartholomew’s School section: Ongoing discussions with SCC Highways and Education departments to find a way to fund repair of increasingly deep and hazardous potholes. Invited Linda Kemeney, Cabinet member for Schools and Education to St Bartholomew’s School.  Very productive discussion on both the school expansion plans, and the state of the road.

Pavements: Several stretches of pavement in the High Street are damaged. Haslemere currently has no funding available from SCC for replacement paving slabs, repairs are being made with tarmac.

Local Area Committee: Funded highways schemes 2013/14

Fosters Bridge: Local area committee funds currently committed for investigation into flooding problem, I will be submitting a bid for additional LAC funding (2014/15) to action any solutions identified.

Critchmere/Hindhead Road junction: feasibility study into traffic management improvements.  In addition SCC highways planning to prohibit left hand turn from right hand spur onto Hindhead Road to improve safety.

Coomers Triangle: feasibility study into one-way system. I have requested that this study be expanded to investigate how to improve safety for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers at Courts Hill Road/Hill Road junction with Shepherds Hill/Midhurst Road. I will be submitting a bid for LAC funding (2014/15) to implement any recommendations.

December Parking Review Issues For Consideration

Weydown Road: issue of dangers caused by double-parked commuter cars raised by residents.  Discussing possible solutions with residents, police and SCC highways.

Residents permit scheme bays: in some locations question over efficiency of use of limited on street parking capacity with resulting negative displacement impacts.

Courts Hill Road west: commuter parking creating access issues for residents.

Junction Place: single yellow lining outside Methodist Church and small row of shops removed valuable customer parking, one hour parking restrictions on Lion’s Mead as church events often exceed one hour.

Bridge Road: displaced cars now double sided parking causing an obstruction, police notices put on fencing to reduce hazard risk.

Kings Road: Yellow lines by The Herons were filled in.

Meetings Attended

Two Parks Sustainable Transport Stakeholder Conference: Brockenhurst, New Forest. Attended in my role as SCC ‘champion’ for Haslemere within the Two Parks Project. A very interesting event looking at the future of sustainable transport in the New Forest and South Downs National Parks, while celebrating what has already been achieved.  Brighton’s Fun Way to the Beach, Beach Bus, and the New Forest bus, cycle and Twizy (one man electric cars) tours,, demonstrated what can be done. Richard Hammond, Chief Executive of Greentraveller, illustrated the power of social media campaigns in promoting sustainable tourism. His message was that selling ‘an experience’, rather than a destination is the most powerful marketing tool.  I believe Haslemere could be marketed using his approach, an idea I discussed with Richard and intend to follow up. You may be interested to view this BBC item, New Forest and South Downs National Parks discuss green transport.

One Team Working Together Workshop, County Hall, Kingston: bringing together members of Local Committee’s and Community Partnership teams aimed at building relations between officers and members, and looking at how stronger links can benefit the residents of Surrey.

Waverley Local Area Committee, Cranleigh. Sept 20th.  Click here for meeting agenda, decisions and draft minutes. Requested that the Surrey Cycling Strategy be given proper consideration on next year’s agenda. The next Waverley Local Area Committee meeting will be on 15th December 2013, in Godalming Baptist Hall.

Haslemere and Western Villages Task Group meeting, Churt Pavillion, Churt: Discussion with SCC Highways and Waverley Borough and Town Council representatives for Haslemere setting priorities for Local Area Committee highways improvements budget 2014/15.  The budget available to the Waverley LAC for highways improvements will not be specified until March 2014 at the earliest, however last year £800,000 was allocated to the LAC to be shared among Farnham, Godalming, Cranleigh and Haslemere and Western Villages. The agenda I have set for Haslemere (some listed above under Funded Highways schemes) includes: improvements to resolve recurring flooding at Fosters Bridge, ‘gateways’ on the approaches to the town, feasibility studies to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety at the Hill Road/Courts Mount Road crossing, the Lower Street/Shepherds HIll junction, and to consider a green way for cyclists/pedestrians avoiding Fosters Bridge in conjunction with a signed network of cycle, walking routes, an additional pedestrian crossing at Weyhill, replacement of the broken railings outside Claytons Jewellers in the High Street, and decluttering to remove redundant signage in the town. I also requested that a refurbishment of the red safety banding on the A286 entering Grayswood should also be included in the priority list, however I understand that this will be carried out during the Project Horizon road resurfacing planned for 2014/5.

Sturt Farm Development, Pre-Planning Application Consultation, Haslewey, Haslemere: Raised my concerns with planning consultants about additional pressure of the 150 planned homes on primary school places, Haslemere primary schools are currently close to maximum capacity, and on traffic flows on Sturt Road.  The lack of an adequate pedestrian path/crossing from Sturt Road to Kings Road in the plan at present is of concern.

Haslemere Vision, 2nd Visioning Workshop, Lady of Lourdes Church Hall, Haslemere: community engagement event. Please take the time to fill in their Engagement Survey.

Various meetings with SCC highways, parking, sustainable transport and transport policy teams at SCC Highways offices in Merrow and in Haslemere

Service for the Judiciary, Holy Trinity Church, Guildford, at the invitation of the High Sheriff of Surrey, Dr Helen Bowcock.  An annual service is held to celebrate the start of the new legal term and to offer support to those responsible for keeping the law of the land. During the service the High Sheriff read an Affirmation of the Shrieval Promise, a tradition that dates back hundreds of years.

Judiciary 2 Judiciary 1

Read press coverage and see more pictures of the Service for the Judiciary here.

Waverley Local Area Committee Private Briefing:  Wey and Arun Canal, proposals for Compasses Bridge, Surrey cycling strategy, and Surrey schools briefing.

Full Council meeting, Kingston, October 15th.: Click here for agenda and reports pack. spoke to support Lib Dem motion promoting openness and transparency in decision making.

St Bartholomew’s School, Safer Travel Workshop: Presentation by St Bart’s travel coordinator outlining the issues of travel safety, inconsiderate parking and congestion around the school. Parents, staff and local residents discussed ideas including more walking buses, car sharing, increasing scootering and cycling as possible solutions going forward.

Haslemere30 Food Festival: Introduced local schools cookery competition.

Residents Association/Independent Group, County Hall, Kingston:  Finance briefing outlining significant financial pressure on SCC budget combined with a high level of uncertainty as central government funding to local authorities is cut back further (2013, 10% real terms cut in total local govt funding) . Meanwhile demand on education, most notably the need to provide additional primary school places, and social care provisions grows.  Surrey residents receive the lowest Formula Grant support of any county area in England and the third lowest of all English upper tier areas.  Budgets in all SCC departments will need to make significant savings 2013-18.

Rex Cinema Memorial Service, Junction Place. and unveiling of memorial stone at Junction Place. Local resident Mick Bradford has worked tirelessly to research the crash of an RAC fighter plane into the Rex Cinema in 1942 in which 3 young airmen died.

Airmen Memorial Mack Buckler, a local pupil at The Haslemere Preparatory School has made a national award winning short film about Haslemere in the Second World War.

This weekend, the Met Office has issued an Amber WIND Alert which covers all of London & SE England to cover the potential impacts from a low pressure system.  This warning also mentions the potential impacts from the rain. The Met Office warning can be viewed on Hazard Manager. Hazard Manager also has some graphics under the ‘Events’ triangle showing possible tracks of the system.

Gritting: Salt stocks are ready for winter – Surrey County Council’s barns have been filled up with 16,000 tonnes of salt ready for ice and snow this winter. Surrey will also be able to call on more than 40 specialist gritting vehicles and a small army of farmers with tractors and ploughs to clear roads across the county. Haslemere’s salting routes are outlined here. If you are a twitter user, please also follow @surreytravel for up to date information on gritting and weather, as well as other travel alerts for Surrey.

Lion Lane Post Office. I received a letter from the Post Office saying the Post Office branch in The Co-operative on Lion Lane is going to be modernised. This is part of a three year investment and support programme. The new look Post Office is scheduled to open at The Co-operative, Lion Lane on Monday 11th November 2013 at 13.00. It will need to close for refurbishment on Monday 4th November at 17:30.

Councillor Update From Recent Weeks

Councillor update from the past few weeks: 

Shepherds Hill

The worst of the potholes have finally been repaired! The major Project Horizon resurfacing will take place in the Autumn.

The large lime tree at the Shepherds Hill/Lower Street junction has a split in its trunk: I was assured that a 50%  reduction in the crown and a supporting metal brace would be sufficient to save the tree.  Unfortunately, all the branches have been cut (along with an accidental chop of the Christmas tree lights!) and the tree looks very stark.  While regrowth will occur, it will never regain its former glory and a decision needs to be taken whether to replace the tree now, or to plant a new tree next to the old tree that would be removed when the young tree reaches maturity.

Lime Treet Lower Street Shepherds Hill Junction

SCC Highways work gang

Chief Highways Officer for Haslemere, Ian Fowler, manages all local highways maintenance.  I have agreed with Ian to allocate £4000 for 2 weeks of work gang time over the next year. The gang have been working around Haslemere including hedge cutting, sign cleaning, repairing and repainting of the damaged railings outside Clayton Jewellers.

Highways Localism funds

Following discussions with SCC Highways, Haslemere Town Council has successfully bid for £2000 from the new Highways Localism fund to carry out local highways maintenance work.

Parking – Kings Road

Concerned residents in Kings Road have been in contact about the hazard presented by the growing number of cars parked on the bend of Kings Road by the industrial estate.  SCC Highways are planning double yellow lines via a temporary traffic enforcement notice that should be in place by the end of August.

The Kings Road parking situation is the result of inevitable car displacement following recent additional yellow lining and the introduction of resident only parking schemes in Haslemere. SCC Highways are planning to assess the impact of the schemes in the autumn before the December parking review.  An efficient use of limited parking capacity in the town is essential and I am concerned to note some ROP bays are almost permanently empty suggesting a less than optimal use of the available parking spaces.

West Street/High Street: further yellow lining

A number of residents have asked why in addition to the highway, now the kerb on West Street and into the bus layby in the High Street has been painted with repeated double yellow lines, accompanied by enforcement signs on new posts inserted into the pavement.  There have been complaints that the lining is very ugly, and also impacts on the traders as now no stopping to unload at any time is permitted.

West Street No Loading SCC No loading markings West Street

I met with the SCC parking officer to discuss the matter, and plan to meet with the representatives from the Fire service and local businesses in September to understand the full logic behind the new lining.  My initial conversation this week with representatives from the fire service suggests that the main reason why fire engines get blocked on West Street when responding to an emergency is the lack of car driver consideration, rather than loading and unloading vehicles.  The extension of the lining into the bus layby outside the bookshop does not seem to fit with the argument of providing a clear route for the fire engines.

Given that SCC Leader David Hodge recently stated at the recent full council that SCC actively supports local businesses, it would seem important to make sure that unnecessary barriers to trading are considered carefully.

For general interest, here is recent RAC report on parking charges.

Attended Full Council Meeting: July 16th

Meeting of full council, for the agenda, minutes here.

Presentation on World War 1 Commemorations

This is planned for period 2014-18, led by imperial War Museum has website detailing all initiatives

A County Remembers: Surrey in the Great War: SCC Heritage has put in a bid to £10 million Heritage Lottery fund for projects that relate to the impact of the war on peoples lives and society in general.  The SCC application is for a community based research project into the histories of individuals, communities and organisations during the war years, with a focus on engaging and inspiring people curently not acctively involved in heritage.  By working with people of ages and backgrounds the aim is to create a global, accessible and enduring resource which will tell Surrey’s story during the Great War. The research will focus on the following themes: Stories of Survivors: Life in Surrey 1914-18 Serving at Home; Surrey All Over the World.  The names on war memorials will provide a catalyst for a broader research enabling people to explore, discover and understand the impact of the war on their local area and community.  If the SCC HLF bid is successful, Haslemere should be part of this exciting initiative.

Haslemere Town Council: July 18th

Presented an update of all issues to Haslemere town council.

Environment and Transport Select Committee and Surrey Cycle Strategy Workshop

Presentation on Operation Horizon, £120 million investment plan for major road maintenance to replace worst 500km (10%) Surrey roads, delivered through 2 key actions:

Increase road maintenance budget: cabinet has approved an additional £25m funding over 5 years, annual budget increase from £12m to £20m

Contract savings: project will deliver 16-20% saving on existing contract rates, nearly £20m re-invested in Surrey roads.

Discussion on CIL- Community Infrastructure Levy  (replacing existing Section 106 funding) which is paid by developers to the District or Borough Council on a charge per square meter basis.  A percentage of this funding will be transferred to communities which have a Neigbourhood Plan to realise the goals of that plan.

I raised the issue of the Waverley Borough Council Core Strategy which has recently been rejected by the Planning Inspector, and the implication that no CIL funding will be available to the Haslemere Vision if Waverley fail to adopt a core strategy.  It was agreed that in this scenario would present a problem.  Deadline for report to inspector was August 1st. Next meeting with Inspector will be 7th October 2013.

Haslemere Buzz Event

Attended the Haslemere Buzz event where the Chamber of Commerce had invited professional moderators to organise a series of workshops to brainstorm ideas for the High Street. A report will be presented back to The Chamber and working groups will manage actionable ideas.

Surrey Cycle Strategy Workshop

Cycling is a major transport issue both nationally and locally. Surrey is now seen as a cycling destination, with a post Olympic growth in both regulated (road racing, time trials and Ride London-Surrey events) and unregulated (cyclo sportive) events.

The aim of the strategy is to ensure a lasting Olympic cycling legacy and maximise the economic, health, environment and quality of life benefits of increasing cycling in Surrey.

There are main three groups of cyclists, those that take part in on road sports cycling, utility cyclists using a bike to get to work, to the shops etc, and leisure cyclists including families and children.

Meeting the needs of these different groups will clearly be a challenge for the strategy, improving road safety for cyclists is critical. While cycling participation has grown, there has also been increase in cycling casualties in Surrey.

There was an interesting discussion from a range of perspectives.  Councillors representing communities (for example in the Box Hill area) which experience regular road cycle races and training events with large groups/peletons of cyclists, identified the need for improved communications with local residents where there are extensive road closures for events, as well as the need to better manage the relationship between all road users, and between cyclists and residents.

I raised the results of the Haslemere Vision consultation that has identified the need for safer cycling routes in and around Haslemere as a key priority.  To date improvements for cyclists in Surrey have focussed on the main urban centres, Woking, Redhill etc. Clearly given the geography and size of Haslemere, providing better facilities for cycling will be a challenge but I do believe it should be a long term goal that everyone, adults and children can feel it is safe to cycle to school, to work and around Haslemere as others living in towns across Northern Europe currently do.

Project Horizon

Very constructive follow up meeting with Mark Borland who heads up Project Horizon to discuss Wey Hill/Hindhead Road which is not included in the original Project Horizon list of roads, despite its very poor surface condition.  I have asked SCC to look into this and they are currently carrying out a technical assessment of the road to decide if the road base needs repair or whether a surface repair would be sufficient. Mark has agreed to report back to me by August 30th.

It is intended that Project Horizon schemes will work in partnership to address local congestion and road safety issues, and we agreed that all opportunities to address these issues in the Wey Hill area should be taken when the road is being resurfaced.

Councillor Update – past 2 weeks

Multi-storey car park (MSCP), Haslemere Train Station

Met with WBC Cllr Stephen Mulliner to discuss the possibility of a MSCP at the train station. It is a complicated situation involving a number of parties with South West Trains renting the land from Network Rail which holds the site as part of its regulated estate.  At present no party is interested in funding the project as it is not considered economically viable due to a number of factors including an unfavourable revenue support agreement between SWT and the DoT, and a lack of willingness to invest by SWT as its franchise is up for renewal in 2017.  We discussed the need to find a way forward, particularly if the planned housing developments at King Edward VII in Easebourne, the Syngenta site in Fernhurst and the Bordon/Whitehills town all go ahead putting further pressure on parking at the station.

Also discussed the 20 is Plenty conference attended by Cllr Mulliner.  A number of towns across England have introduced 20 mph speed limits, examples local to Haslemere include Liphook,  Portsmouth and most recently large areas of Brighton. Cllr Mulliner shared that the short message of the conference is easy to state – the public safety and public health benefits of a 20 mph limit are clear and a counter-argument based on increased emissions is weak. Local ’20 mph is plenty’ groups in Surrey, for example in Godalming, have been established calling for speed limit reductions to improve safety and the quality of life for residents. At present SCC does not support 20mph speed limits in towns in Surrey.

Footpath from Grayshott/Hindhead to Woolmer Hill School

Met with residents of Upper Hammer Lane to discuss the routing of the footpath. Siting the path on the ‘north’ side of the lane will require extensive removal of residents trees and vegetation that have been allowed to grow onto the highway verge. There is a strong possibility that the Ministry of Defence will give permission for the path to run on the ‘south’ side which would avoid the need for this clearance. I hope SCC and East Hampshire District Council will continue to liaise to move this project forward to provide a much needed safe path way for children walking to Woolmer Hill school.

Haslemere business vitality

Invited representatives from Waverley Borough Council, Haslemere Town Council, Chamber of Trade and other businesses in Haslemere, including Waitrose to meet to discuss possible initiatives to boost trade.

Footfall in many businesses in Haslemere has fallen significantly over the past year, there is a growing number of empty shop units. All high streets are under competition from internet sales, and general economic recession, but businesses in Haslemere suffered exceptional pressure during the 3 month gas works disruption when the High Street was effectively ‘closed’.  This was followed by two increases in parking charges in the Waitrose car park and one in the Chestnut Avenue car parks, as well as the extension of charging until 7pm.

(Waverley Borough Council is responsible for off street car parks, SCC is responsible for on street parking).

High parking charges were identified by the representative from Waitrose as a barrier to shoppers extending their stay to shop in Haslemere beyond the free hour (60p of the 80p charge) currently refunded by Waitrose. The inconvenience of searching for change to feed the meter was also identified as a reason for deterring shoppers.

A productive discussion looked at possible incentive schemes to attract shoppers, that may have changed their shopping behaviour, back to Haslemere, as well as encouraging people living in the villages and countryside to shop locally.  The Waverley Borough Council representatives supported the idea of a limited period parking charge refund scheme and agreed to take it further with WBC leadership.

In an innovative scheme to support local businesses, thought to be first of its kind in the country, Chichester District Council and West Sussex County Council are planning to introduce a High Street store dedicated to selling local produce ( It would be great to see Waverley and Surrey working together to support a scheme like this.  We are very privileged to enjoy a range of independent shops which give Haslemere its unique character, make it a great place to live and provide local employment. I trust all elected representatives will join me in doing all we can to rebuild economic vitality and prevent our town becoming another ‘clone’ town dominated by national chains.

Visit to Woolmer Hill School

Visit to Woolmer Hill Secondary School, guided by headmaster Mr Armstrong-Harris.  I was very impressed by the atmosphere, the focus and enthusiasm of the pupils, the site and the excellent sports facilities including the Edge sports centre.  The school has a strong academic record, last year achieving outstanding GCSE English results.

Mr Armstrong-Harris shared his vision, that Woolmer Hill school should sit at the heart of the community of Haslemere, providing local children with a local school where they receive an excellent academic education within a nurturing environment.  I look forward to supporting Mr Armstrong Harris where I can.

Haslemere and Sustainable Transport

Met with members of SCC’s sustainable transport strategy team in Haslemere to discuss the next Local Transport Plan (LTP 3) which is currently in draft form. I am encouraged to learn the current draft of LTP 3 includes strategies to encourage more cycling and walking.  A cross sector approach is envisaged.  A modal shift from car use to walking and cycling for daily use and for leisure will bring a range of benefits: environmental ~ reduced pollution and congestion; improved health and wellbeing; economic development ~ via tourism and high street regeneration.

We discussed the need for safer roads to encourage this shift in behaviour away from car use, and the funding sources to make this a reality.  The Local Sustainable Transport Fund, a Dept of Transport fund is one pot available.  SCC have successfully obtained funding for the recently launched Travel Smart online journey planner project at

We discussed the Haslemere and Villages Neighbourhood Plan which is currently being developed by volunteers in the community. Feedback from over 350 participants during the initial workshops in September 2012, and the launch in April 2013 have identified reducing traffic speeds and improving conditions for cyclists and pedestrians as priority issues. Haslemere Vision volunteers are planning to take workshops to a wide range of community groups over the next few months to ensure an inclusive consultation process has been carried out. Officers will be invited to a workshop to observe how community engagement and feedback may support their current policy priorities.

Some support to encourage leisure cycling and walking from  Haslemere as a ‘gateway’ to the countryside is already underway as part of the Two Parks Project (LAC Sept 21, 2012 minutes).  The majority of the £3.81mn budget is being spent within the two national parks (South Downs and New Forest). As Haslemere sits just outside the South Downs Park, it will receive a small proportion of the the total budget. Just under £150,000 is being spent over the next 2 years. New signage for cyclists from Haslemere train station to the South Downs National Park has already been installed. Other elements of the project include a Sunday bus service from Haslemere to Midhurst, real time passenger information at bus stops, bridleway improvement, Serpent Trail signing and rail to bus stop improvement.

Planning to meet with Paul Fishwick, project manager in the Transport Policy Team to see how the Two Parks Project can tie in with a wider sustainable transport and tourism strategy for Haslemere.  I would like to understand how the project can link with the Walkers Are Welcome initiative, a national scheme of which Haslemere is now a member, thanks to the work of the Haslemere Visitor Information Centre.

Waverley Local Area Committee

Attended ‘private’ informal meeting preparation for Local Area Committee meeting that will be held on July 5th in Farnham. Expressed my support for inclusion of sustainability objectives within draft LTP3,  requested that LAC meetings, normally scheduled for 2pm on Friday afternoons, could be brought forward to finish earlier so that committee members could pick up their primary school age children from school, continued to assert that a presumption of openness and transparency should be adopted in LAC task group, and committee meeting terms of reference.

Derby Road- St Bartholomews School

Continuing to work with SCC Highways and SCC Estates department to find a way for the short section of Derby Road to be properly resurfaced to make it safe for nearly 400 children currently attending St Bart’s Primary School and the Tennyson’s Sure Start Children’s Centre which shares the same site.  An urgent solution is needed.

I also want to ensure that SCC Highways will start to provide a winter gritting service for the school, which I understand it currently provides as priority to all other schools in the town, both state and private. Last winter, Derby Road in front of the school was treacherous as the very large water filled potholes froze over presenting a health and safety hazard for pupils and parents.

St Bartholmew’s Primary and Graywood Infant School expansion plans

Due to a shortage of primary school places in the county (SCC needs to provide more school places following a 20% rise in birth rates over the past decade), SCC is asking St Bart’s to expand to take an additional 15 children into reception (PAN, pupil admission number of 60) on a permanent basis.  The school will have 2 forms, 60 pupils, for every year group.  As part of its planning application consultation process St Bart’s must develop a travel strategy/plan to demonstrate how any extra traffic will be managed.

SCC also has plans to expand Grayswood Infant school into a full one form entry primary.  Historically St Bart’s has taken 45 children into reception and held 15 spaces for Grayswood children into year 3.  The expansion of St Bart’s will mean this is not possible resulting in a further shortage of Key Stage 2 places.  As part of the planning application, a public consultation is currently taking place.

A number of residents have contacted me with concerns about the impact of the schools’ expansion on traffic levels in their neighbourhoods. While I support the enlargement of both schools to provide children in Haslemere to provide the needed local school places, the travel plans that will be developed for both sites should address and improve the traffic and parking situation going forward.

Early morning interview earlier this week on BBC Surrey with John Furey, SCC Cabinet Member for Transport, I raised the issue of Derby Road and the safety of pupils. I also expressed my concerns that the Hindhead Road/Weyhill, the main access into Haslemere from Hindhead and the A3 does not appear on the list of Project Horizon roads for resurfacing over the next 3 years.  (SCC Project Horizon). Project Horizon is a new SCC Highways initiative, aiming to spend £100 million over the next 5 years to resurface 10% of the worst roads in the county. In awarding a large, long term contract economies of scale have achieved savings of an estimated £20 million.  I understand the Project Horizon list of roads was drawn up following local consultation, apparently a road show bus came to Haslemere last autumn. This is a BBC article about Project Horizon.

The road surface in Weyhill is in very bad condition, I have been in contact with SCC Highways and agreed an engineer will visit to assess the situation.  If it is agreed the base layer of the road needs replacing, a revision of the Project Horizon list will be needed for Haslemere, with a final decision made at a full Local Committee meeting. If the surface only requires a resurfacing, funds may be found from a source outside the Project Horizon budget. I feel strongly that an upgrade of the road surface through  Weyhill should be a priority, particularly in the light of the recent resurfacing of Haslemere High Street.  A survey report should be sent within the next 3 weeks.

Shepherds Hill

Requested the date for the resurfacing of Shepherds Hill, which will be refurbished under Project Horizon. The surface continues to deteriorate and I am concerned that if the date for the work is as late as March 2014 after another winter, a more substantial repair will be needed in the interim to improve driving and cycling conditions.

Round Up 27th May – 9th June, 2013

1. Highways Localism Funding: Meeting at Town Hall with representatives from Haslemere Town Council,  SCC Highways and Localism team to discuss HTC submitting a bid for Highways Localism funding.  Pot of £20,000 funding to be shared between 21 Town and Borough Councils in Waverley for minor local highways maintenance, not within SCC usual remit. Slightly confusingly the scheme was previously called the Lengthsman Scheme.

Although the deadline is tight, we collectively agreed that HTC should submit bid for £2000 to pay for a week of a fully equipped work gang that could carry out small tasks, for example, sign cleaning, railing repair etc. around the town.

2. Dangerous condition of Derby Road in front of St Bartholomew’s School: interview with Haslemere Herald.  The short section of Derby Road that runs between Church Lane and High Lane is ‘un-adopted’ and therefore not maintained by SCC. One estimate for repair of this section of road is £11,000 which would have to come out of school education budget which I believe is inappropriate given St Bart’s school is a local authority school.

Re-contacted SCC Highways, and SCC Estates department to understand SCC position.As the main frontager on this section of highway, St Bartholomew’s School is responsible for maintaining the road.  SCC Highways could technically serve a section 230 enforcement notice on the school to repair the road.  However, clearly SCC is not able to serve notice on itself as the ‘owner’ of the school estate.

Very positive support for my position from MP Jeremy Hunt in the Haslemere Herald.

3. Support for Haslemere Businesses:  Received a letter from owner of High Street business setting out the current crisis facing shops and businesses in Haslemere High Street.

Sent invitation to the 5 Haslemere Borough Councillors, Haslemere Town Council and Chamber of Trade and other businesses to meet to explore how, as elected representatives of the community, we can work together to support the economic vitality of the community. Meeting planned for next week to discuss possible initiatives.

4. South West Area Briefing for Local Committee Members, Shalford Village Hall. 

Haslemere is part of the Waverley Local Area Committee (LAC), which also covers Farnham, Cranleigh and Godalming.  9 county councillors and 9 borough councillors sit on the Waverley LAC.  The South West Area of Surrey also includes the Guildford LAC. There are 11 LACs across the county of Surrey.

SCC’s Community Partnership Team provides the support link between county councillors and the LAC. From May 2013 the dedicated Waverley LAC contact is David North, Community Partnership and Committee Officer, Delia Davies as Local Support Assistant.

Decision-making at SCC takes place at 3 levels. Countywide policy making takes within the cabinet led by the Leader David Hodge and the Deputy Leader Peter Martin. The work of a number of select committees support and inform the work of the cabinet. Local area committees are intended to work closely with local residents, partners and businesses and provide input to both the work of the cabinet and select committees.

LACs make decisions about highways, the local prevention framework for young people, library opening hours and rights of way (a quasi judicial function).

Residents in Haslemere have had some very challenging experiences of the Waverley LAC over the past 16 months, in particular during the attempt by SCC to introduce pay and display to our community.  The Community Partnerships Team how they plan to improve how the LAC functions, including greater investment in public participation with the introduction of professional public address systems, information leaflets and posters, clearer format for agenda, reports and minutes and improved web presence.

The Chairman/woman will be given greater discretion over the running and management of meetings, and in addition to the public questions at the start of the meeting may take a public question at the start of the item on the agenda if it relates to that item.  It will be made clear to the public that LAC meetings are private decision making meetings held in public.

The public deadline for submitting a formal question/statement before an LAC meeting will be shortened to 4 working days, petitions must have a minimum of 30 signatories (or at Chair’s discretion) with 3 minutes allowed for the presentation of the petition (at Chair’s discretion).

5. Funding sources for community projects

Member’s Allocation: Each county councillor/member receives an allocation of £12,876 revenue funding per year to support projects that provide a benefit to the community and meet SCC agreed policies/priorities.

Local Committee Capital Funding: each LAC has £35,000 allocated for 2013/14, how this is shared between the 9 councillors in the Waverley LAC  will be discussed at the first informal LAC meeting on June 14th.

Community Improvement Fund, £1 million : 2013/14. Applicants can bid for between £10,000 and £50,000.

All projects have to meet the following criteria: Improve community facilities, make a real difference to people’s lives and encourage self reliance.

The closing date for the first round of applications is 28 June, 2013 with decision taken on 11 Sept, 2013.  The second round is open to bids from 28 June, 2013 closing date 19 November with a decision on the 4 Dec, 2013.  Please contact the Community and Partnership Officer if you would like any more information about this scheme.

6. RAF/Rex Cinema Crash Memorial: Herald photo shoot with Mick Bradford and Libby Piper at the site of the planned memorial for the young pilots who died when the RAF bomber tragically came down over Gibbet Hill and crashed into the old Rex Cinema next to the current Eden Hairdressers. Mick is planning to start fund raising for the memorial stone, and we discussed the possibility of a storyboard at the site.

7. Haslemere Vision: Afternoon working with Haslemere Vision engagement group on preparing a number of workshop activities to be taken to different community groups to work with them to understand what they would like to see in the Haslemere and Villages Neighbourhood Plan.

Evening meeting in Haslemere Hall with a number of volunteers representing range of groups in the town to explain how they can make use of the interactive workshops we have designed.  Please contact Haslemere Vision if you would like to get involved.

8. Shepherds Hill: Further contact with SCC Highways about the state of Shepherds Hill, residents and Haslemere Town Council concerned, in particular risk of damage to Festival of Speed vintage cars and motorbikes travelling through Haslemere.

9.  Parking: Residents in roads receiving parking permits received their letters this week setting out zones and payment information. Review in December parking review at the LAC meeting. 5 June 2013 ROP Letter Haslemere.

10.  Annual Report for Countryside Access/Rights of Way SCC has recent published its latest Annual Report for Countryside Access/Rights of Way. The report aims to give an outline of how SCC goes about managing public access to Surrey’s countryside and to give some facts and figures on the County Council’s work for the period 2012/13. You may view the report here.

Week May 20th – 25th, 2013, Councillor Summary

Week May 20th -25th 2013

Attended Annual General Meeting of Full Council: Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

David Hodge re-elected as Leader, Peter Martin re-elected as Deputy Leader. David Munro replaced Lavinia Sealy as council’s Chair and civic head of the county.  David Munro stepped up from Vice Chairman to take the Chair position, with Sally Marks filling role as Vice Chair.   The Council is made up of 81 County Councillors, 58 Conservative, 9 Residents Association/Independents, 9 LibDems, 3 UKIP, 1 Labour, 1 Green. The full cabinet was announced. View the full webcast of the AGM here.

David Hodge set out the key aims for the next 4 years: improving Surrey’s roads, investing in schools, boosting apprenticeships, care for vulnerable people and the local issue of litter which he stated blights people’s lives.

Eber Kington challenged the decision by the Leader to award David McNulty, County Council Chief Executive, a bonus of £100,000  to be paid in 2018 on the proviso that certain performance-related targets be met, in a secret meeting. Independent group intend to challenge this. (Surrey Ad article on this subject.)

Met with officer responsible for Local Area Committee to discuss how experiences of Haslemere during parking debacle could provide learning for SCC. One positive outcome is that specific training given to Chairs and Vice Chairs of all Local Area Committees. The meeting protocol has also been adapted to allow members of the public the opportunity to speak (albeit with limited rights) during the debate on an agenda item as it happens.

Afternoon Session: Market Place

Attended exhibition of key services provided by SCC, which are very wide ranging. Including: Community Speed Watch Team, partnership between police and community to monitor traffic speeds, Travel SMART programme initiative to provide local people with more travel choices, help cut carbon, calories and cost.  Transport for Surrey, including Surrey Rail Strategy, to be produced by Arup, looking at overcrowding, rail capacity, faster journeys and longer trains.  It will also look at the Crossrail 2 project which will liberate considerable capacity at Waterloo and will impact on Haslemere. Surrey Telecare Service, a 24 hour service using simple equipment to help potentially vulnerable people live more independently in their homes. SCC Cultural services, including Surrey Arts, Heritage, Libraries and Community Learning.  Surrey Fire and Rescue Service.  Adult Social care services, and Children, Schools and Families services.

Spoke with officers responsible for services to understand how Haslemere can benefit more from what they offer, planning to link local providers of these services in Haslemere, including the voluntary sector, with the key SCC officers via a series of meetings in Haslemere.

Wednesday May 22nd, 2013

Confirmed meeting between Haslemere Town Council and SCC Highways Localism Team with a view to Haslemere submitting a bid for share of £20,000 funding for local highway maintenance.

Met with Mick Bradford at the site of the 1942 RAF bomber plane crash into the Rex cinema which stood next to the current Eden hairdressers in Weyhill.  Mick has spent many hours researching this very dramatic event in Haslemere’s history and has uncovered many photos, including photos of the 3 young British pilots killed in the tragic accident.  We discussed the siting of a memorial stone under the tree opposite the site of the Rex, and the possibility of a story board so that everyone can learn about the event. I have contacted SCC heritage services to understand if there is any funding for the story board.

Mick is planning to raise funds locally for the memorial as a fitting tribute to the young pilots who died. A memorial service will be arranged once the funds have been raised and the stone is installed.

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Morning spent having drive around with Ian Fowler, SCC highways officer for Haslemere to understand the highways issues. Ian is going to be a great help with the detailed problems that arise.  He explained that an annual pothole check is carried out by Paul Cooper, and white spray is painted around holes that need repair.  Any pothole greater than 40mm deep should be repaired within 5 days, any pothole less than 40mm deep and assessed as needing repair should be repaired within 28 days.  Any holes reported by members of the public are visited by the May Guerney contractors or Ian, if assessed as needing repair the hole area is sprayed orange and the same criteria above applied. The most effective way to report a pothole is the pothole online or in the case of emergencies by calling SCC on 0300 200 1003.

I raised my concerns over the quality of pothole repair with both Ian and Richard Bolton, SCC Highways. It is clearly an issue, the extreme winter conditions have resulted in more ‘temporary’ repairs, there was an approx 50% increase between Jan and April 2012 and Jan- April 2013 with over 7,500 reported defects per month. I will continue to press SCC on quality of the service May Gurney provides. (Additional reading on this subject: Environment & Transport Select Committee, 7th February 2013 & SCC Cabinet meeting, 26ht March 2013, Item 10).

SCC is responsible for maintaining highway verges and hedges, however, no budget has been set aside for this. There is an expectation that the councillor will use some of their £5000 Community improvement fund to pay for this work. Ian explained that given the lack of budget for cutting, SCC has no option but to issue enforcement notices to households where their trees and bushes cause a problem on highways and footpaths.

Visited Derby Road where the section outside St Bartholomew’s primary school is in a very bad state. The road is currently unadopted and SCC has no legal obligation to maintain the road.  All properties with a frontage are legally obliged to maintain the road to a good standard. St Bartholmew’s is the main frontager. I share the concern of the school that it does not seem logical for a Local Authority school that has seen a growing pupil population to use its precious financial resources to pay to fill potholes so that its children can get to school safely. Winter maintenance and gritting is another issue that needs to be addressed. I intend to press for SCC to improve the state of this section of Derby Road.

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Continued dialogue between Lower Street/Shepherds Hill residents and SCC over railings.  Have secured agreement from SCC for planting where residents request on Shepherds Hill, and have obtained agreement from SCC to consider providing planters on Lower Street.  My goal is to work with the residents to find ways to improve their streets despite the new railings.

Contacted SCC Estates department to understand the legal implications/SCC responsibility for safety in Derby Road situation where children cross from SCC pavement to Local Authority school.

Arranged to meet with representative of Transition Town Farnham at Transition Town Haslemere Green Drinks on June 6th, Royal Oak pub to discuss their successful Green Ways Cycle Route project.


Residents in the roads receiving Residents’ Permits have been sent this letter (Part 1 & Part 2).

There will be no parking items on the Local Committee agenda until December 2013 in the parking review. Changes in Weydown Road will be reviewed at this time apart from access protection markings which could go ahead before December.

Next update

Next update will be in two weeks.

Second Week as Haslemere County Councillor

Induction day 2: Monday, May 13th, 2013

Second induction day at County Hall, Kingston, including sessions on Environment and Infrastructure, Customers and Community, Adult Social Care, Children Schools and Families, Code of Conduct and a session on ‘Listening to our Customers’.

Frustrated that most of the day spent listening to presentations on SCC facts and figures on services provided, when more useful would have been sessions with experienced re-elected councillors to give practical advice for newly elected members, e.g., how to respond to problems raised by constituents, the funding pots available to Haslemere, how to draw up bids to apply for funds as some have imminent deadlines for applications etc.

Attended Independent and Residents’ Association group meeting. Confirmed I will sit on Local Area Committee and will for now be a substitute for Environment and Highways Committee.

Highways and Transport team meeting: Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Met Highways & Transport team, John Hilder (Area Highways Officer, South West), Richard Bolton (Local Highway Services Group Manager) and David Curl (Parking Strategy and Implementation Team) at the Surrey CC site at Merrow. The site is shared with SCC highway contractor May Gurney and Skanska, SCC lighting contractor.  There is also an on site laboratory for product testing.

Was shown the high tech pot hole call centre with 4 large screens showing live information including local weather, incoming calls and e-mails reporting holes, and real time pot hole repair team location. You can report by logging a pothole online or in the case of emergencies by calling SCC on 0300 200 1003.

Discussed introduction of residents’ permits scheme in Haslemere in late May/early June.  Expressed my concern about some elements of the scheme.  Agreed that where a residents’ parking permit scheme does not function properly it can be assessed and withdrawn under the December 2013 Parking review.

Highways team explained that Waverley Local Committee makes decisions on Highway Improvement Schemes (ITS) in the four areas of the Borough (centred around Haslemere, Cranleigh, Godalming and Farnham).  The ITS schemes collectively form the Waverley Local Transport Plan (LTP).

Expected allocations to Waverley for 2013/14 are as follows:

  • £262,000 ITS capital, (usually directed towards ITS schemes)
  • £262,000 Maintenance Capital, (intended for capital maintenance work but can be directed towards ITS)
  • £317,000 Maintenance Revenue (can be used for ITS schemes or capital maintenance.
  •  Total allocation: £814,000

Looking forward to the training session on June 4th to understand how councillors prioritise their local improvement schemes and how to bid for a share of this allocation.  I understand that whilst other Local Committees share the pot equally between member Councillors, the Waverley Local Committee shares the allocation following negotiation between members of the Local Committee.

Local transport plan (LTP) task groups represent the four areas of Waverley, Haslemere is represented by the Haslemere and Western Villages Task Group.

The 2013/14 priority list for the LTP Task Group:

  • £20,000 reserve funding for the Lengthsman Scheme (a new initiative where parish and town councils invited to bid for funding to organise enhanced highway maintenance works for themselves)
  • £15,000 Implement Parking Review Recommendations
  • £15,000 Jetter hire for 3 weeks to clean drains
  •  £10,000 Ad-hoc signs, bollards, etc by local team
  • Total £60,000

An additional Community Pride fund of £5000 is allocated to each councillor for community enhancement.

Haslemere Vision: Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Attended the Haslemere Vision organising group meeting.

Woolmer Hill footpath link with Grayswood/Hindhead: Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Site visit with Ferris Cowper, East Hampshire County Councillor, to route of proposed footpath for Woolmer Hill pupils walking to school from Hindhead/Grayswood which crosses from East Hants into Surrey.  Agreed to work together to finalise last section of the route, and to liaise on other cross boundary issues, for example bus services between Liphook and Haslemere.

Lower Street/Shepherds Hill railings: Thursday, May 16th, 2013

In response to local residents’ complaints about new railings installed in the Shepherds Hill (and recently in Lower Street) conservation area, agreed with SCC Highways that works should be halted.  Site visit held with John Hilder (Local Highways Manager), Sarah Wells (Waverley Borough Council Conservation, Planning Projects Team Leader) and Daniel Payne (SCC Supervising Engineer).  Concluded although there are real concerns that the railings fail to meet the Haslemere Design Statement requirements that “any development should be sensitive to the quality of surrounding environment”, it would be a waste of taxpayers’ money to remove the new railings. Residents however will choose their preferred colour and SCC has agreed, as a gesture of goodwill, to replant gardens on Shepherds Hill damaged during installation.

It is clear that lessons need to be learnt from this situation, and all parties agreed that in future, proper consultation with residents must be carried out when any proposals are brought forward.

Meeting Mayor, Haslemere Town Council: Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Met Cyndy Lancaster (outgoing town mayor) to discuss matters arising including Highways Localism Fund.

Mayor Making ceremony: Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Attended Mayor Making in the evening: the election and swearing in of the new Town Mayor, Libby Piper, in the Town Hall.  Thanks were given to out-going mayor, Cyndy Lancaster, who has done a fantastic job working for the town during her year of office.

Several Conservative party members commented on how effective the use of social media had been in the election campaign.  The fun party atmosphere on the steps of the Georgian Hotel on polling day, and the number of younger voters was noted. Held firm on my view that HTC meetings to discuss grant allocations should be held in public, not as currently in private/exempt.  A presumption of openness should be upheld for all meetings unless agreed by all to be of particular sensitivity.

Residents’ Association, Derby Road & Weydown Road: Friday, May 17th, 2013

Met Chairman of the Derby Road/Weydown Road Residents’ Association to discuss the need for additional lining on the lower part of Weydown Road.  The current situation, with cars parked on both sides of the road, is causing safety problems. The lining proposed should not result in any significant displacement. Agreed to discuss with David Curl.

Also discussed the dangerous pothole situation on Derby Road in front of St Bart’s school. This stretch of Derby Road is currently considered by SCC to be ‘unadopted’ and so not maintained by SCC.  Agreed to discuss with SCC Highways to find a solution.

Highways Localism Fund: Friday, May 17th, 2013

Discussion with Lynne Martin, Senior Project Manager, SCC Environment and Infrastructure to understand how Haslemere can benefit from a share of a £20,000 Highways Localism fund to be divided among 21 Waverley parish/town councils by the Local Area Committee.  Highways Localism fund is intended for minor highways maintenance such as vegetation clearance, extra grass cutting etc.  Agreed to meet with Lynne and Haslemere Town Council representative to put bid together before May 31 deadline.

Mentor Meeting: Friday, May 17th, 2013

Met with Carmel Millar, my SCC mentor in Haslemere today.  Carmel is head of Human Resources.  Joined by Richard Oldham, Manager Haslemere Hall and Cyndy Lancaster. Agreed investment in building relationships between Haslemere and SCC is needed. Carmel has asked me to give a testimony in SCC training session on organisational Values and Culture.

Discussion also focussed on SCC’s misperception of Haslemere as ‘wealthy commuter town’, I shared with Carmel that a foodbank is starting in the High Lane Community Centre.

Longdene Road: Friday, May 17th, 2013

Contacted by a resident concerned that SCC Highways were planning to stop cars turning left from bottom of Longdene Road towards Weyhill.  Email sent to David Curl for clarification.

Next update

I will aim to write a councillor log at least every two weeks.