Here is an update of my recent meetings and some local highways issues.
LOCAL HIGHWAYS ISSUES
- Haste Hill, recently resurfaced under Project Horizon as scheduled. Inexplicably, Blackdown Lane has not been resurfaced at the same time, despite being originally included as part of the Haste Hill Project Horizon scheme. The explanation from SCC is that the relatively recent naming of Blackdown Lane, (previously unnamed) has meant that only the Haste Hill section has been resurfaced. Understandably a number of residents have raised this anomaly with me, given the very poor state of Blackdown Lane, and the high volumes traffic using this route. I am pressing the SCC highways leadership to reconsider this decision.
- Lion Lane resurfacing, a local resident has complained that Lion Lane has been resurfaced again, despite not being in need of this work having been relatively recently treated. Unfortunately I inherited a list of roads to be resurfaced that became part of a fixed highways works program. I consider a number of these roads fail to meet the required “needs” criteria while other roads are in far greater need of attention, for example Wey Hill and Derby Road East were not included. I successfully lobbied for both these roads to be resurfaced in addition to the existing list.
- Railings replacement currently ongoing, High Street: a number of shop owners are frustrated that the works are taking so long, given the congestion and upheaval caused by the traffic lights. Of specific concern is the apparent short working day of the railing work crew. I have raised this with SCC highways management for their response as this is clearly an unacceptable situation.
April 23, Economic Prosperity, Environment and Highways Board, County Hall (formerly Environment and Transport Select Committee) County Hall, Kingston
11 May: Independent/ Residents Association meeting, County Hall, Kingston
11 May: Sustrans, SCC Place and Sustainability team to discuss possible station travel plan, County Hall, Kingston
15 May: Haslemere Visitor Information Centre, Haslemere Town Council to discuss Haslemere tourist information at train station at Haslemere Museum. Haslemere train station is the transport hub for the town, with thousands of people passing through as passengers and dropping off every day- the station has the highest passenger count of all stations in the SWT network, and there are a growing number of walkers arriving in Haslemere by train, particularly from London to explore the beautiful surrounding countryside.
17 May: Little Lumpy charity bike ride, The Edge, Haslemere
18 May: Economic Prosperity, Environment and Highways Board, County Hall, Kingston
18 May: Visit to Stepping Stones School, Hindhead with Linda Keminey, Cabinet Member for Schools and Learning. Students gave excellent tour and provided an excellent tea. Also visited Undershaw to see progress of major works to renovate and restore author Conan Doyles house. Recent decision by Sec of State not to challenge the granted planning permission is excellent news. The expanded Stepping Stones in Undershaw will be provide an exceptional facility offering outstanding education for children with special learning needs, as well as enabling the local residents and the wider community of Sherlock Holmes fans the chance to visit the restored home of the infamous local writer.
19 May: Full Council, County Hall, Kingston
2 June: College Hill, meeting with residents and SCC Highways to discuss parking, potholes, speeding and overgrown vegetation
2 June: SCC Highways team meeting to discuss delayed highways projects, expressed my frustration at the delays which are linked to design team resources: SCC highways offices, Merrow
June 3: Attended Half Moon Estate Residents’ Association AGM and presented plans for a traffic calming initiative at the junction of Hill Road with Shepherds Hill. This came about as a result of a police speed check showing speeds of up to 59mph in a 30mph speed area.
June 5: SWT Stakeholder Manager and Haslemere Visitor Information Centre team to discuss promoting Haslemere as a tourist destination by providing visitor information at the train station. This was very positively received by SWT, with the agreement to provide a local events board and visitor information leaflet rack at the station. Discussed the recent East Hampshire Community Rail Partnership, a partnership initiative between E Hants CC and SWT to promote train based tourism between Liphook and Rowlands Castle, a map promoting each station town on the route has been produced. In addition there has been an investment in making each station in the scheme more attractive, with planting etc. It would be very positive for Haslemere to be included in this scheme – given all Haslemere and countryside has to offer, I am continuing to take this forward.
June 8: Brighter Futures course at Haslewey (funded by my members allocation 2014-15), met participants in the course aimed at helping the long term unemployed get back into work.
Here is a testimonial from an attendee:
When I started the ‘Brighter Futures’ course in mid May, I had been unemployed for five months and despite applying for roughly twenty to twenty-five jobs a week, I had only a couple of interview offers in that time. This was having a very negative effect on my confidence and self esteem. Since then I am amazed at how my confidence has risen dramatically, in just three to four weeks. And I have a much more positive outlook on life and searching for work too.
This is because I have used the course content to alter how I percieve people and hopefully change their perception of me too.
Week 1 – Lumina Spark with Anna Lewis
This sets out my personality traits, which outlines personal strengths and tries to pinpoint weaknessses interacting with other personality types in the workplace. Complimentary personalities work much better together than conflicting types.
Week 2 – CV – Anna Lewis
Guidelines on how to form a CV to appeal to employers. And the importance of the covering letter in addition to the CV.
Week 3 – Volunteering and Interview Techniques
The focus of this week is the astounding amount of differing volunteer opportunities there are for everyone. I found that I was rather ignorant of the many different ways to volunteer. The positive impact it could have on my self confidence is good from a work search pespective too. And the possibility of adding new skills to enhance my CV.
Various techniques to impress employers and calm oneself down at interviews. It emphasised the importance of the job being right for both parties, not just the employer.
What’s changed for me?
1. Due to the changes made to the CV I am receiving a lot more interview offers.
2. Feel a lot better about myself, especially getting interviews. Don’t feel like an invisible unemployable old man now.
3. My Lumina Spark report stated I could be introverted. (I already knew this) Seeing it in black and white made me consider how I interact with others, and as a result I am very comfortable expressing myself more in a group than I would of in the past.
4. The group itself is easy going and light-hearted, we all appear to get along. I work better in an informal group, also improving social skills as a bonus.
5. I recently had an interview, where I used aspects of all three weeks of the course. The new improved CV got me the interview. I thought about if i had a rapport with the interviewer, and tried to engage him on a more personal level when I felt I did not see eye to eye. I got very nervous, as usual, but used the experience of the previous weeks interview role-play to calm myself down and have a relatively stress free interview. I am convinced this would not have happened a month ago.
6. Have a ‘can do attitude’, we just have to know anything is possible, set goals and have the will to achieve them.
I really want to thank you for giving me hope for the future, when I started I was at a very low point. Brighter Futures could not be better titled in my opinion.
June 9: SCC Place and Sustainability team to discuss station travel plan/street audit, County Hall, Kingston
June 10: Haslemere Town Council and SCC local highways officer to provide highways update
June 10: Waverley Youth Task Group private meeting to discuss future youth services provision, there challenging times ahead with cuts planned in local provision. The Burys, Godalming
June 10: Haslemere Conservation Area Appraisal update meeting, Haslemere town hall
June 11: Economic Prosperity, Environment and Transport Board, County Hall, Kingston
June 12: SCC Waste Group, Haslemere Town Council to discuss public information strategy in preparation for withdrawal of Saturday morning dustcart service in Wey Hill carpark. Service to be discontinued autumn 2015. The service currently costs £30,000 per year. The mix of waste put in the dust cart has been analysed, finding that a high % of this waste could be recycled, but instead ends up in costly and environmentally damaging landfill. Discussed the need to ensure WBC recycling bins at Wey Hill regularly emptied and confirmed that residents can leave additional recycling on kerbside for collection. Additional blue wheelie bins can be ordered from WBC free of charge by phone and on WBC website. CCTV surveillance will monitor any potential fly tipping at Wey Hill car park.
June 12: Waverley Local Area Committee, private meeting. Godalming
June 15: Magna Carta celebration, Runnymede. Fantastic event organised by SCC and the National Trust, held on the meadow in Runnymede next to the River Thames to commemorate 800 years since the signing of Magna Carta, the foundation of British democracy. Here are some pictures from the event, including artwork, St Catherine’s winning flag ad the new Magna Carta brown tourist sign.
Each school in England invited to enter flag design competition, winning flag for Surrey was designed by St Catherine’s School.
June 17: SCC highways design team site visit to discuss highways projects for Haslemere. I have secured Waverley Local Area Committee funding for highways improvements schemes that aim at improving road safety by focussing on speed reduction at the main “gateways” into the town.
Works to replace the railings on the corner opposite the town hall started on June 29th, after a very frustrating delay of over a year. The other “gateway” schemes will follow on from this. I have also asked that the works include the long overdue snagging of the Shepherds Hill and Lower Street railings. This was a project implemented prior to my election, and cost the tax payer £46,000.
June 17: Haslemere Vision steering group meeting, provided update on travel plan proposal, which will involve partnership working between Haslemere Vision, SWT and SCC.
June 22: SCC highways cycling officers and Waverley Cycle Forum members site visit Haslemere to look at possibilities for cycle improvement schemes in Haslemere. SCC has agreed a Surrey Cycling Strategy, with local communities encouraged to identify local cycle priorities.
June 22: SCC highways meeting to discuss additional schemes, agreed to fund additional 2 weeks of vegetation gang, general signage de-cluttering and rationalisation.
June 22: Grayswood School, site visit with school head, Grayswood Traffic Liaison Group representatives and SCC highways officer to look improving pedestrian crossing safety outside the school. Agreement on new drop kerbs, new parking restrictions are needed – agreed we would request these additional lines to be raised for approval at the June 26, Local Area Committee.
June 23: Scotland Lane residents to discuss concerns about overhanging trees and traffic speeds, agreed to request SCC highways officers for tree assessment.
June 25: Stepping Stones governor meeting, attended as a guest
June 26: Waverley Local Area Committee, Upper Hale, Farnham
June 29: Theatre Monkey’s end of term show, another fantastic production by local children in Haslemere Hall
Appointed to new role for the Waverley Local Area Committee: Family, Friends and Communities Champion
NEW HASLEMERE HUB
I received information recently about a new and exciting initiative in Haslemere called Haslemere Hub for local small business owners. Their meetings are every Tuesday at 11am at Haslewey. Every week there will be an interesting and insightful workshop/presentation followed by a chance to meet fellow local independent businesses. Their meetings finish at 1pm so little time away from your projects. On twitter: @HaslemereHub. On Facebook here.
Transition Haslemere’s summer activities are all listed here.