Please see my latest update of activities in the community since the New Year.
Haslemere Youth Campus
Attended Haslemere Town Council (HTC) meeting (15th January) where a large number of representatives from user groups of the Youth Campus in Wey Hill, including many brownies and scouts, staged a demonstration asking for HTC’s support to remain at the site and to be given a long lease so that they can invest in improvements. Local scout leader Paul Buckler then gave a short presentation outlining their plans. This is the open letter and annexe that were sent to Waverley Borough Councillors by the youth campus stakeholders.
Haslemere Train Station
Very positive meeting with SWT and SCC passenger transport (19th January) the long-term outcome of which will hopefully work towards a more integrated transport strategy.
Issues discussed included SWT/SCC plans for Haslemere train station forecourt reconfiguration to prioritise buses, pedestrian and cycle access- I raised my concerns that the planned changes must be integrated with associated highways improvements on Lower Street, that adequate public information must be given before the works are carried out as they will impact on the current parking in the station forecourt and that although a positive step to promote buses, the current SCC passenger transport review may in fact modify local bus services.
It was agreed that a station travel plan is needed in order to develop a more holistic transport strategy going forward. SCC is currently working in partnership with SWT to draw up a package of travel plans for a number of Surrey train stations – I have requested that Haslemere is prioritised.
The request that Haslemere Visitor Information Centre should have a greater presence at the station was positively received by SWT – I am currently following up on this. The general need for improved signage at the station, including real time bus information, was discussed and should be introduced as part of the forecourt reconfiguration. A bid has been made for funding for a ‘Cycle hub’ for 100 bikes at the station – news on this later in March.
SWT: an additional 18 cycle parking spaces at the station are currently being installed.
Haslemere Conservation Area
Attended Haslemere Conservation Area Review meeting (on 29th January) at Haslemere Town Council. See here for more information about Haslemere’s town centre conservation area.
Attended Haslemere Vision housing workshop (31st January). Once written up, the minutes will be here.
Undershaw/Stepping Stones School
Attended Undershaw planning meeting (4th February) and gave strong support for the planning application on education grounds (my letter to The Herald is here). Very pleased it was approved by Waverley Southern Planning Committee, the final decision is currently with the Secretary of State.
Local Highways Issues
Road safety continues to be an issue in several areas, meetings with residents and SCC highways:
- Three Gates Lane/Church Road/A286 junction to discuss potential safety measures on A286 approach to Haslemere, including providing a permanent electricity supply to the VAS (currently solar powered), adding a small VAS speed sign opposite the Museum and moving the 30 limit signage
- Grayswood to discuss improving safety for pupils in response to school expansion. Agreed to fund dropped kerb outside the school and gateway signage into village. Local residents, the school, and the Village Traffic Liaison Group requested an extension of double solid centre white lines further north on the A286 to improve pedestrian safety. I supported this request, and asked SCC highways and the police to consider this. The request has been rejected on technical grounds.
- Critchmere Lane/Liphook Road junction to discuss pedestrian safety issues, unfortunately the lack of road width backed by the high railway bank precludes adding a pavement, SCC highways agreed to look at additional road markings
- Woolmer Hill School to discuss pupil road safety with SCC schools road safety officer, agreed that best option is manned crossing patrol.
- Shottermill Infant School to discuss pupil safety.
- I have also requested that SCC highways respond to residents’ pedestrian safety concerns at the Sturt Road- Sun Brow/Kings Road junctions and along Scotland Lane.
- Lining outside St Bartholomew’s School have been reinstated following resurfacing. Other lining agreements from the Parking Review 2014 will be carried out soon. The lining team is running behind because of the volume of lining in Farnham. Have requested Haslemere is first on the list in the next parking review.
- Lloyds Bank car park – access to the car park has been blocked causing knock-on effects to parking up College Hill and in Hill Road. The landowner has now installed a railing, blocking pedestrian access down the side of the car park into the High Street. I have been in touch with the Surrey Legal Team regarding the possibility of formally designating this a right of way based on history of use. Have also arranged to meet Waverley’s Fire Safety Officer to assess access.
Other local works:
- Met Vicarage Lane residents about potholes. The road has been included in Project Horizon (Surrey-wide highways improvement program) and is due for repair soon.
- Lion Green footpath confirmed for repair
- Vegetation work at Trout Road roundabout
- Review of other locations raised by WBC and HTC at Manor Close, Oak Tree Lane/Sunvale
- Residents of Sunbrow/Sickle Road continue to face highways issues linked to the the narrow width of the highway and the erosion of the bank below the WBC recreation area.
- Installation of width restriction sign on Woolmer Hill.
- Maintenance of street lights on Town Hall
- Trying to help address issues of overflowing safety at Nutcombe Lane, Meadway
Waverley Local Area Committee funded Highways Improvement Schemes
- Railings outside Clayton jewellery shop: a replacement model agreed with WBC conservation officer and HTC, date for installation tbc
- Gateway/junction safety improvements at Courts Hill Road/Hill Road: design complete, installation date tbc
- Pedestrian crossing safety improvements Shepherds Hill/Lower Street junction: design complete, installation date tbc
- Gateway/traffic calming A287 and hopefully A286 approaches to Haslemere: in design stage
Other local matters
Attended a meeting with Haslemere Town Council and Surrey Waste Management to discuss the planned removal of the Saturday waste removal service. (Haslemere Dustcart Briefing Note)
Continuing to attend social service/education review meetings for a family with adopted children who are not currently getting the help they need.
To continue to put Haslemere First, always looking to improve the way local councillors work together. Made request to Haslemere Town Council suggesting ways of working more cooperatively and collaboratively by increasing councillor use of social media, joint councillor surgeries and posting recordings of meetings.
Community Pride Fund 2014-15
I have used these funds to provide a new grit bin for Scotlands Close, bike racks at Haslewey and to fund a week of a SCC vegetation gang.
County Councillor Members’ Allocation 2014-2015
Here is a summary of my members’ allocation awards:
Logs for Labour scheme
- Logs4Labour, £300
- Haslemere Library, Children’s Arts & Craft Fund, £150
- Woolmer Hill School, Orchestra Day & Young Musician Of The Year, £600
- 1st Haslemere Scout Group, Camping & Outdoor Event Equipment, £1081
- Haslemere Citizen’s Advive Bureau, New Boiler, £1,836
- Crossways Counselling, Training for Counsellors, £1,800
- Haslemere Vision, £3,000
- St Johns Ambulance, First Aid Equipment, £962
- Haslewey, Brighter Futures Project, £3,000
Environment and Transport Select Committee
Attended E & T Select Committee meeting (agenda here) (on 22nd January). Raised a question concerning the large number of highways projects where matched funding is required, concerned that this will negatively impact on Local Area Committee funding; however, Cabinet Member John Furey assured me it would not.
Met Cabinet Member for Transport and Surrey Communications Strategy team (22nd January) to discuss what lessons could be learned from the recent A286 example of poor communication. Very useful, resulted in the planned development of a county wide protocol including the use of social media, local radio and the Member for Transport. Used social media (Facebook and Twitter) to share daily updates for the A286 roadworks and thanks to everyone who shared the information.
Organised a meeting (26th January) with Living Streets, representatives from Haslemere Vision and SCC Highways Sustainability team. We discussed the options for a street audit to help create safe, attractive and enjoyable streets in the town. I’ll write a separate update about this in the coming weeks.
Residents Association/Independent Group
Attended Independent Group meeting (3rd February) to discuss the council’s budget, which due to a further reduction in central Govt grant will result in cuts to local services. Despite this, SCC cabinet members have recently been awarded significant pay increases. One of the Independents told the BBC here:
Councillor Eber Kington, from the Residents’ Association, said: “This council will not look at ways of saving money on the cost of running itself.”
Meetings of Waverley Youth Task Group (9th & 11th February) awarding contracts for Youth Local Prevention Framework (1 to 1, and community outreach contracts). The priority of the framework is to build the resilience of young people and to remove identified barriers to their future employability as part of Surrey’s early help arrangements. For more information on youth services on offer in Waverley: www.new.surreycc.gov.uk- search: “young surrey”.
Waverley Local Area Committee
Last Minutes from LAC meeting here. Next meeting will be on 20th March in Haslemere Hall and you can view the agenda here once it is ready. Please note the Waverley Local Area Committee is on Twitter, @WaverleyLC.
Surrey PCC Kevin Hurley commissioned YouGov plc to carry out independent research of Surrey people over a series of months to understand public sentiment towards the referendum. The questions asked and the corresponding results are here.
Notice of Surrey Community Action Funders’ Fair on 17th March – Funding Fair Invitation
“Are you looking after someone but juggling too much? The council is launching a fortnight long campaign, on Monday 2nd March to signpost people whose lives are squeezed by caring duties to information and support. It will also encourage them to talk to their GP about their caring role. Across Surrey there are people who spend much of their time juggling a career and running their home, while carrying out caring duties. Often referred to as “sandwich carers”, they will be providing unpaid care, mainly for an older or frail parent or relative, while also helping care for other family members, such as grandchildren. Such a caring commitment can put people under considerable stress, affecting their health and wellbeing.” Also see Hidden Carers here.
The Care Act is the biggest change to English adult social care law in over 60 years. Surrey County Council has a page here intended to help you understand the Act and how the council is responding in Surrey.
YHA Hindhead ceases to be a youth hostel on 31st March this year as the lease has expired and it is going back to the National Trust. YHA Tanners Hatch is also available for Exclusive Hire, group bookings and individual/family bookings. The Youth Hostel is in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty close to Dorking. For further details please see http://www.yha.org.uk/hostel/tanners-hatch and http://exclusive-hire.yha.org.uk/properties/england/yha-tanners-hatch