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.