Category Archives: Haslemere first

Noisy Club Session this Saturday 22nd May

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

(Notice from Haslemere Tennis Club)

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

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

Have fun this weekend!
Best Regards
Haslemere Tennis Club Committee

Mayoral nomination

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She was in the initial Covid ‚ÄúHaslemere Help‚ÄĚ core team and she set up the Pharmacy Home Delivery Service.

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

-> major road resurfacing

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

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

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

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

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

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

-> a founder member of Haslemere Vision,

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

-> a School Governor at St Barts Primary School,

-> and a Safeguarding officer for Haslemere Hockey Club.

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

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

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

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

And she led the support for Shottermill Infant School‚Äôs innovative green waste scheme ‚Äď which won a Surrey County Council award by introducing ‚Äúhot bins‚ÄĚ, to compost school lunch waste instead of throwing it away.

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

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

-> Cuts to the fire service in our area,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Votes for Cllr Simon Dear:

Cllr Jean Arrick- Con

Cllr Jerome Davidson- Lib Dem

Cllr Simon Dear- Con

Cllr David Dullaway-Con

Cllr Brgitte Hewett- Con

Cllr Peter Isherwood- Con

Cllr Jacqui Keen- Lib Dem

Cllr Peter Nicholson- Lib Dem

Cllr Melanie Odell- Con

Cllr David Round – Con

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

Votes for Cllr Barton to be Mayor:

Cllr Nikki Barton- Independent

Cllr Isabelle Cole- Lib Dem

Cllr Kirsten Ellis- Independent

Cllr Gary Lloyd- Green

Cllr Claire Matthes- Green

Cllr Geoff Whitby- Lib Dem

Cllr Terry Weldon- Lib Dem abstained

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

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

Road closed

10 May

8pm ‚Äď 6am

For 5 nights

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

Roadworks during the coronavirus restrictions

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tory town plan jibes a bit rich, says Barton

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

Dear Editor, 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cllr Nikki Barton 

Sun Brow Litter Pick

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

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

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

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

Surrey Highways – Severe Weather response

Sharing a severe weather response that has been issued to all Surrey County Council Councillors.

Dear Councillors,

As you may have seen already we are expecting some severe weather later today and tomorrow.  Both days will bring a scattering of heavy showers, accompanied by strong winds  (around 50-60mph) in places. 

With the wet weather and saturated ground conditions we might expect to see some localised short term flooding and a number of trees to fall.  This is likely to cause some disruption to travel. 

To mitigate the potential impact on our network we have doubled our resources across the Immediate Response Service, including general crews and well as tree surgery and gully crews. 

If you need to report a highways emergency please use the emergency number 0300 200 1003.

The report it online functions are still available for non-emergencies.

In terms of flooding specifically;

  • If there is a threat to life ‚Äď call 999
  • If there is flooding across the entire road or pavement ‚Äď call Surrey CC (Highways) – 0300 200 1003
  • If sewers and foul water are involved ‚Äď call Thames Water – 0800 316 9800
  • If a main river watercourse is involved ‚Äď call the Environment Agency – 0345 988 1188
  • If your enquiry is not urgent, please contact our team via flooding.enquiries@surreycc.gov.uk.

Emergency utility works on Wey Hill, Haslemere

From: Surrey Streetworks Team
Sent: 10 March 2021 12:51
To: Nikki Barton <Nikki.Barton@surreycc.gov.uk>
Subject: Emergency utility works on Wey Hill, Haslemere

Dear Councillor,

For your information can I advise you of emergency works being carried out on Wey Hill, Haslemere (Outside property number 22).

SGN need to repair a gas escape. The traffic management that is placed is Two-Way Signals and the estimated end date is the 12/03/2021.

We have requested manual control between 06:30-09:30 & 16:00-18:30 to minimise disruption as much as possible.

I hope you find this information useful.

Kind Regards,

Network Coordinator – Waverley

Streetworks Team

Network and Asset Management Group Surrey Highways

Public Space Protection Order in respect of Anti-Social Behaviour

Proposals are being developed for a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) under the provisions of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to apply within the Godalming Town Council area and within the Borough of Waverley.

The consultation period runs from 1 March until 2 Apriland any feedback would be welcomed to ASBPSPO@waverley.gov.uk . Further information is available on the Council’s web site at https://www.waverley.gov.uk/asbpspo

Woolmer Hill Sports Petition, Haslemere

Residents have been contacting me concerned about a petition circulating that suggests that Waverley Borough Council will not be upgrading the Woolmer Hill sports pitches and pavilion. 

This is misleading and factually incorrect. Mayor John Robini has shared the following statement to Haslemere town councillors from WBC Cllr Mark Merryweather,  Portfolio holder for Finance, Assets and Commercial Services.  He wrote:

The Council has not said or done anything that could reasonably be interpreted as a decline in its support for the Woolmer Hill facility (which it owns) or its commitment to the projects and proposals (from WBC and WHSA) to upgrade both the pavilion and the pitches. Quite the opposite in fact: in adapting to Covid and the Government’s inadequate financial response to it, our “revenue” funding sources have been exhausted and so we have pivoted to finding alternative funding to that portion of the overall projects’ cost that has been lost through no fault of our own. The remainder is unaffected.

It would be highly regrettable if any confusion were to be created (even unintentionally) between the Council’s ambition to invest in the facility and how that investment is funded.

The following is a brief update on where we are.

PAVILLION

There are 3 Pavillion project blocks underway:

1. “Main” Works. This covers (i) Feasibility, designs and planning; (ii) the Cadet build works comprising the ground floor extension and remodelling; (iii) the main WHSA build works for the lift, stairs and small front terrace, and (iv) the build stage project costs. Estimated cost: c¬£0.5m, and funding:

  • Up to the 2017/18 budget, the ¬£0.5m estimated cost was to be funded 100% from a ¬£1m Wey Hill project “enabling” budget. However, in 2017/18 that funding was not only cut by ¬£250k but also made conditional on progress of the Wey Hill project.
  • No attempt, let alone progress, was made to secure alternative funding to replace that ¬£250k cut until 2019/20. Alternative sources have been identified and are being progressed sufficient to fund if successful.

2. “Upgrade” Works.¬†This comprises works by WBC on (i) energy efficiency in the plant room, LED lighting and insulation, and (ii) repair or even replacement of the roof. Estimated cost: c¬£95k / ¬£130k

  • No attempt was made to secure funding prior to the 2020/21 budget, when we included a ¬£70k General Fund revenue contribution as part of a package including outside sources. However, that ¬£70k contribution was, reluctantly, one of the 14 contributions that had to be reviewed in the 2020/21 Covid Contingency Revised Budget which the Council passed 49:1:0.
  • Part of the contingency review included prospects for alternative funding, and other sources have been identified sufficient to fund if successful.

3. “Grant” Works.¬†These comprise WHSA projects, supported by WBC, that fall into 2 main areas (i) extended front terrace and second stair; remodelled first floor, and rear balcony, and (ii) side terrace and refurbishment of changing rooms. Regardless of the cost of these proposals, it has¬†always been intended by both WHSA and WBC that they will be¬†wholly funded from external grants¬†to be procured by WHSA (from, for example, Sport England and the London Marathon). WBC have and will continue to support that.

PITCHES

WHSA has ambitions to improve the paying pitches at the facility. As with the Pavillion “Grant” Works, the costs will be wholly funded from grants to be procured by WHSA.

For completeness I should add that:

  • WHSA requested a funding update directly and privately from officers even before the Budget was considered by Council in February, but nevertheless were provided with an appropriate response that communicated the uncertainty of the funding environment; and Liz <Townsend> and I have also recently received representations from WHSA which we’ve passed to officers for assessment and cross matching with previous project & financial data.