Tag Archives: Independent

Meet Maria Mateo – your Independent candidate for Haslemere South Ward

Maria Mateo will be standing as an independent candidate for the Haslemere South ward in the upcoming Haslemere Town Council by-election on 8th June.

More about Maria Mateo here …

My name is Maria Mateo and I moved to Haslemere in 2007 with my young family. I have 3 boys. Before I moved to Haslemere, I worked in The City as a solicitor.

I started volunteering for Citizens Advice in Haslemere in 2009. I’ve also been a driver for the Orchard Club and I’ve been involved with the charity, Haslemere First Respondents. I’ve also been involved with a number of the sports clubs through my children – rugby, football, cricket. I was very actively in the campaign against the parking metres in Haslemere.

I think it is important to listen to the residents and express their views in the town council because some residents don’t feel they’re listened to. I think it is also important to report to the residents and be open and transparent about everything that is going on in the town council.

Delivering leaflets today – Haslemere South Ward HTC by-election – 8th June

Message from Maria Mateo and Nikki Barton: We began delivering our Haslemere Town Council campaign leaflets on Saturday and then stopped campaigning due to the Manchester attack.

Today, we resumed campaigning with a team of great volunteers in Haslemere South sharing the work by helping us deliver our campaign leaflets.

Do let us know if you have a few spare hours to help support our campaign. #VoteIndependent

Maria Mateo and Nikki Barton – Your Haslemere South Ward Candidates

In March 2017,  the local press reported that three elected councillors – half way through their term – have resigned from Haslemere Town Council.

This has caused by-elections to fill these councillor vacancies including one by-election in the Haslemere South Ward (2 vacancies) where Maria Mateo and Nikki Barton live.

Mateo and Barton are your Independent candidates for this by-election.

The by-election will be on Thursday 8th June. As you are aware, this is the same day as the general election.  You will have two ballot papers on this day at The Georgian House Hotel polling station.  One will be to vote in the general election for an MP (one ballot paper, one vote).  The other ballot paper will be to vote in the Town Council by-election for two new town councillors (one ballot paper, two votes for two councillors).

On the ballot paper, which will be a green colour, you’ll see our names – MARIA MATEO & NIKKI BARTON – and there will be no party political logo; after all, we feel in a local election, local decisions should simply be about people, not political parties.

ABOUT MARIA

Maria Mateo

I care about Haslemere. My family have lived here for over ten years. I am actively involved in our wonderful community. I have worked as a solicitor and local adviser with Citizens Advice and now training as a Waverley Supervisor with this charity.

I’m a volunteer and have given many hours to several community groups (Haslemere First Respondents, Orchard Club, and Haslemere Rugby and Football Clubs). I organised a local school’s walking bus.

As your independent councillor, I will be open and transparent, listening to Haslemere residents and representing your views in the Council Chamber.

ABOUT NIKKI

Nikki at HillFest

With experience as your County Councillor, I have a proven track record in putting Haslemere first. I moved to Haslemere South with my family a decade ago and have engaged with the local community through: school governorship; Haslemere Hockey Club; Fringe Festival; Haslemere Vision; Chair – Haslemere Community Rail Partnership.

I will continue prioritising community engagement with openness and transparency.  Never afraid to speak up and my record as Haslemere’s first Independent SCC can be seen via the pages of this blog.

With a wealth of experience and understanding of local government, I will champion good traffic management and child/pedestrian safety as a priority.

Nikki’s Surrey County Councillor Final Update for Haslemere

Surrey County Councillor Final Update

This is Nikki’s final update as your Independent Surrey County Councillor, it has been a real privilege to serve the community of Haslemere for the past 4 years.

Highways Issues

I would like to thank the SCC Highways team for all their input and patient advice during my term in office.

I have held regular meetings with the Highways team, and local residents to discuss a range of local issues as well as giving updates to Haslemere town council.   Other key issues include:

Lower Street:  road safety

Lower Street residents contacted me as they were concerned about traffic speeds, pedestrian safety and disabled access.  I set up a meeting with SCC Highways officers.  Residents proposed a number of measures to address safety issues- including a pavement in front of their properties, a one way traffic system, speed reduction, a ramped access to the high pavement, better parking enforcement and the poor state of the steps accessing the Waitrose car park.

Highways officers response: unfortunately Lower Street is physically too narrow to put in a pavement on the north side, it would only be feasible if a one way system was put in place- but costs and practicalities mean this is not a viable option.  A ramped access, although potentially feasible would be prohibitively expensive.  The Waitrose access is the responsibility of Waverley BC.

Traffic speed reduction was agreed to be the most possible to address.  Traffic speed data analysis along Lower Street indicates an average speed within the threshold to permit consideration of a 20mph zone.  The current financial crisis facing SCC means there is little chance of implementing this in the immediate term, it was recommended residents consider a community speed watch to monitor traffic speeds, and raise awareness of the issue.

An open meeting will be held on May 10th, St Barts School at 6.45pm.

 Lion Lane:  Shottermill Infant School- new pedestrian crossing (photo to come)

Shottermill Infant school governing body requested a zebra crossing to make it safer for children and parents crossing Lion Lane to get to both Shottermill Infant and Junior School.  I gave the proposal my full support and worked with the Highways team to secure funding for the scheme.  Most of the work has been completed, electrical work on the belisha beacon lights will be finished in the next 2 weeks and the crossing fully opened.

 Critchmere: highways drainage

Critchmere residents in recently built homes were experiencing severe drainage issues causing recurring property flooding.  I asked SCC Highways officers to help resolve the issues. After many months of investigation Kirby Homes accepted responsibility for the problem, a new drain culvert was put in preventing further flooding.

College Hill footpath public inquiry successful outcome for the town

The College Hill footpath, used for generations as a safe passage was blocked last year by developers Mr Warner and Mr Robbie. A public inquiry was held and in Jan 2017 the inspector found in favour of the community- the footpath (FP 604) was reopened and now has official ‘rights of way’ status.

At the inquiry I was concerned that the taxpayer was footing the bill for the SCC legal team in the inquiry when the defence case lacked any tangible evidence.  SCC’s legal team agreed to make claim for costs. In April 2017, SCC was awarded full costs of over £7000.

Bunch Lane posts

Residents of Bunch Lane requested wooden posts to protect a section of footpath from parked cars and traffic damage. I secured funding for this scheme.

Old Haslemere Road

Residents requested the replacement of a damaged grit bin.  There are new strict criteria for grit bin replacement, and I provided the additional necessary councillor support to achieve this.

Night light switch off

A number of residents have raised their concerns over the recent SCC cost saving night time street light switch off- in particular along routes used by commuters.  Unfortunately there are strict guidelines for this, I have challenge this and requested an extension until 01.00 hours. I trust my successor will continue this.

Haslemere Train Station

Haslemere Community Rail Partnership – helped organise the official opening of community information hub in the station shop. The partnership has funded a part-time hub manager to coordinate a team of volunteers that will man the shop over the summer months- promoting the town, its businesses, events and surrounding countryside.  The shop has already welcomed many visitors, including a couple of walkers from India who arrived at Haslemere station from London to explore the South Downs without any maps or local information.

Visitors to the Station Hub

The partnership has also funded the clearance and replanting of the flower beds on the platforms and planters to screen the new car park.  Plans include window boxes outside the waiting rooms and an improvement of the station flower beds on Lower Street.

Spring Planting along the platform at Haslemere Station

The SWT funded forecourt works are nearly complete, with unfortunate delays to the paving at the station entrance.

The new trees and hedging plants are beginning to screen the new car park structure, I gave very clear input to SWT during the pre-construction consultation that native species should be used rather than the planned ‘ivy’ walls.

The station travel plan survey identified the need for additional sheltered waiting places for travellers outside the station forecourt to reduce congestion at the station.  A 12 metre bus shelter (3x4m) with some seating and lighting has been ordered for the bus layover on Lower Street.  This should be installed by mid-June 2017.

Agreement has been reached in principle with SWT, SCC and the Station House development to fund a traffic calming scheme at the station to reduce speeds and improve safety for pedestrians- and particularly those using the bus stop on Lower Street.  A design will be drawn up by SCC Highways.

The provision of real time bus information is the final element of the station improvement scheme to be finalised.

Other key community issues and events: 

Marjorie Grey Hall Alzheimer’s Society Day Centre– under threat of closure following the Alzheimer’s Society decision to withdraw from the centre with a mere 3 months’ notice. I attended a number of meetings to see if a community led rescue solution could be found.  SCC provides funded and referral places at the centre, and highly values the provision it provides for a large geographic area of SW Surrey.

A group met with Jeremy Hughes, CEO Alzheimer’s Society. I had discovered other day care centres had been given 6 months’ notice, and asked that the Marjorie Grey centre be given the same to give the chance to save the centre and the services it provides.

An additional 3 months was granted until the end of June, 2017.  A working party has been formed.  To date:  NHS property board has formally agreed to transfer the lease to Haslemere Town Council, securing the future of the building for community day care use.  SCC is continuing to refer clients to the centre, discussions are on-going with various partners and an appeal has been made for donations to a transition fund to help keep the centre going until a new structure has been fully established. Please contact Haslemere Town Council if you wish to make a donation.

SCC youth services: meeting with SCC youth services officers and Haslemere Town Council to agree how to provide additional sessions at the Weycentre in the face of SCC cuts, with the result that there are no SCC funded youth sessions.  It was agreed that priority should be given to sexual health and well-being, HTC agreed to fund a weekly session for a 6 month trial period.  Unfortunately due to SCC cuts, Surrey were unable to provide a key worker for these sessions.

NHS: Stroke services consultation– attended a meeting with NHS managers to discuss local concerns over NHS plans to relocate stroke services to Frimley Park and St Peter’s hospitals.  It is critical that a stroke sufferer receives a lifesaving injection within 2 hours of the stroke. The NHS plans are based on 2 highly unrealistic assumptions that an ambulance arrives immediately on the scene in Haslemere, and also that journey times are 45-50 minutes to Frimley or St Peter’s Hospital.  The South East Ambulance service has been failing to meet its response targets and has been identified as a failing service. We were told by the NHS management that a consultation process was consider these concerns but there was concern by many that the plans were presented as a ‘fait accompli’. Coverage here in the Herald.

Hillfest, Woolmer Hill school music festival- it was a great pleasure to attend Hillfest where a sell-out crowd to listened to the many excellent music acts in the sunshine.

Other council meetings attended include:

SCC Full Council March 2017: Budget– A totally shambolic day in the Council Chamber.  We arrived expecting to vote on whether to hold a referendum to raise council tax by 15% in the face of a financially unsustainable position.  (CIPRA had carried out an official audit that raised serious concerns about SCC financial management, and sustainability).

The meeting was adjourned for several hours. On our return to the chamber it was announced that the 15% hike had been dropped, and we were to vote on a 4.99% rise.  There was no detail of any kind on this new budget, without this vital knowledge I abstained in the vote.  Numerous Conservative councillors congratulated the Leader David Hodge on his success at securing a special deal with central govt.  I asked a question about this “special deal”, and for detail on how much extra money SCC would be getting.  I was told there was no special deal what so ever.

Read press release here: Residents’ Association Councillor asks “Can things get any worse for David Hodge and the SCC Conservatives”

David Hodge’s texts sent to the wrong “Nick” subsequently revealed that a sweetheart deal had been brokered. This was denied by central government and despite 5 SCC MPs holding cabinet positions, I presume was unable to be seen to give financial favours to Surrey. To my knowledge no extra funding has been received, meaning the SCC faces a highly challenging financial crisis.  SCC will be allowed to take part in the business rate pilot earlier than planned.

Brightwells/East Street development, Farnham- although outside my division I am very concerned about the lack of process in the decision by SCC to invest £30 million into a property development scheme when many experts have challenged its viability.  Even SCC audits consider the financial investment is on the margins of viability, justifying the investment in terms of ‘community benefit’ that will accrue.

I asked a question about the moral case for investing £30 million of Surrey tax payer’s money, in a questionable scheme given the county is in financial crisis- with cuts expected to essential services going forward.  I was given an extremely hostile response by Conservative councillors to my question.

Waverley Local Area Committee– Hale Institute, Farnham. Papers here.

Haslemere Town Council– gave county concillor update

Members Allocation: 2016/17 total allowance- £10,296

Waverley Skateparks Open Day 2016 – £500

A Place to Be Youth Group: A Place to Be Yourself project – £300

Tennyson’s Sure Start Children’s Centre: provision of a crèche for Parenting Puzzle course – £452

Woolmer Hill School:  Orchestra Day and Young Musician of the Year event – £680

Crossways Counselling: Equipment for creative counselling sessions – £1280

Haslemere Hockey Club: Schools program – £240

Haslemere Great War: Great War Centenary Flagpole project at St Christopher’s Church – £400

Haslemere Community Rail Partnership:  Train station information hub – £750

St Bartholomew’s School: One Book project – £1500

The Orchard Club: Neighbourhood Lunch Club – £500

Transition Town, Haslemere: Community allotment – £300

Haslemere Citizens Advice Bureau: Purchase a lap top and mobile phone – £580

Woolmer Hill School: Library refurbishment – £2606

Haslemere String Competition: Local competition for talented young musicians on 18th May  – £200

AND FINALLY…

When I look back over 4 years, I clearly remember a shop keeper in Haslemere saying he would bet £100 on me getting elected. He said it was a safe bet as it would be impossible for an Independent to succeed.  He also said that if by chance I did get elected, I wouldn’t be able to achieve much – as I wouldn’t be part of the Conservative ruling majority party.

I did get elected on a manifesto of openness, transparency and community engagement, and believe I have managed to get quite a lot done for the community over 4 years.

A few of my achievements

  • Regular updates on haslemerefirst.com, sharing all my SCC activities and decisions.
  • Blackdown Lane resurfacedHigh Street conservation area- declutter of all redundant signage, signage upgrade and all street furniture painted black
  • Derby Road East resurfaced- the section of private road outside St Bart’s school until then refused resurfacing
  • Weyhill resurfaced- inexplicably not included in Project Horizon resurfacing program despite being main road through town
  • Student concessionary train fares for 16-18 year olds in full time education- negotiated with SCC officers to extend the scheme to pupils travelling south from Haslemere, previously only those travelling north were eligible
  • Sandrock- new conservation lighting columns along a previously unlit section heavily used by commuters and school pupils
  • Weyhill- new zebra crossing
  • Lion Lane- new zebra crossing serving Shottermill Infant and Junior schools
  • Haslemere Community Rail Partnership- set up the partnership with SWT, and other key community groups to improve the station and promote the town
  • Station travel plan commissioned to develop a more holistic travel plan for Haslemere and the station
  • College Hill footpath reopened following SCC legal challenge to blockade by developers- and I requested the successful claim for appeal expenses against the defendant
  • Stepping Stones school- provided support from SCC education that was vital in securing successful planning permission in an appeal

Thanks very much for reading my blog. I hope you have found my updates useful and I wish the newly elected County Councillor for Haslemere much success representing residents.

Au Revoir …

BBC Surrey interview – What it was like to be a Surrey County Councillor

On Friday, I was interviewed by BBC Surrey, talking about what it was like to be a Surrey County Councillor.

At the end of the interview, I announced that Maria Mateo and I will be standing as Independent Councillors in the Haslemere Town Council by-election on June 8th.

Here is a clip of the interview:

Some Haslemere Highways updates

Here are some Highways/Parking updates for Haslemere –

Lower Street: The current proposed start date for road repairs in Lower Street is 20th January 2017 and the work will be completed at night for 1 day.  However, with the current weather, the repair date could change.

NB Lower Street

Kings Road:  Resurfacing is scheduled for 25th January 2017.  Sometimes 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. This leaflet has been distributed to residents and local businesses and contains more information.

NB Kings Road

Sturt Road: Works are scheduled to complete by the end of January. I will have an exact date by Monday afternoon when I meet with the Surrey County Council highways team.

Residents can also find up to date details of the works on www.surreycc.gov.uk/roadworks

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the council on 0300 200 1003.

Double yellow lines in the vicinity of St Bartholomew’s church: I have met the church and residents about this with Surrey County Council’s parking team. As a result of this, it has been agreed that a parking restriction scheme will be put in place here with yellow lining. It will be implemented this year. I have contacted the parking team to get an installation date.

Extended Double Yellows Hill Road/Midhurst Road: Extended double yellow have been agreed at the junction of Hill Road/Midhurst Road to improve sightlines. I await a date from the parking team.

Haslemere Independent County Councillor Update

Here is an update of my activities as Haslemere’s independent Surrey County Councillor over the past few weeks:

Meetings attended since my last update
Meetings attended at County Hall, Kingston

Mar 15, 2016 Full Council (Agenda, minutes and webcast here)

April 21, 2016 Economic Prosperity, Environment and Transport Board (Agenda and minutes here)

May 9, 2016 Haslemere Station Travel Plan finalising meeting with SCC Sustainable Transport team (link to final STP document)

May 10, 2016 Residents Association/Independents group meeting

May 17, 2016 Full Council (Agenda, minutes and webcast here)

June 9. 2016 Economic Prosperity, Transport and Environment Board (Agenda and draft minutes here)

July 5, 2016 Residents Association/Independent Group meeting

July 12, 2016 Full Council (Agenda here)

Waverley Local Area Committee meetings attended

Mar 16, 2016 SCC Highways Merrow, with Planning team to discuss PIC/SIO6 developer funding available for Haslemere highways schemes

Mar 18, Waverley LAC (Agenda and minutes here)

May 31, 2016 Waverley Youth Task Group, Godalming: presentations by Future Steps providing 1:1 Early Help, and Eikon outreach work as part of Waverley Local Prevention Framework.

Waverley youth task group - Eikon Bus

Waverley youth task group – Eikon Bus

June 17, 2016 Waverley Local Area Committee, Haslemere Hall (Agenda and draft here) See 2 paragraphs below:

Highways Budget 2016/17: Revenue Maintenance £237,173, Capital Maintenance £457, 242
Haslemere and Western Villages Task Group will receive approximately £120,000- to be divided equally. Of these funds 70% has to be spent on highway maintenance. I have been working with the Highways team on the list of priorities- to be finalised mid-July.  To include – drainage and highway surface improvement Sturt Railway Bridge and section of Sturt Road; sections of Kings Road, High Lane and Lower Street (at junction with Sandrock) resurfacing,
Project Horizon resurfacing: Blackdown Lane completed spring 2016, however Liphook Road-Sturt Road has been placed on a reserve list.  I am challenging this decision.

There is wide spread concern among councillors about the lack of information for members about Project Horizon, roads dropped from the list, little if any information about future plans.
Project Horizon 5 year Pavement Maintenance Programme – a new £21m scheme, an attempt to address an unacceptable level of deterioration of pavements.  Waverley LAC members raised their concerns that only one pavement scheme is planned in Waverley 2016/17 (a long stretch in Cranleigh) and that decisions over priorities were not based on local member knowledge.
I was re-nominated as the Waverley LAC committee representative on the SCC Friends and Family Committee

June 21, 2016 Waverley Local Area Committee private informal meeting, Farnham Town Hall

Haslemere Town Council meetings

Mar 17, May 12, June 30 2016 Haslemere Town Council – SCC Highways update and
Haslemere Railway station major works. Minutes/agenda here:

Meeting with HTC and SCC 17Mar16 – Minutes

Meeting with HTC and SCC 12May16 – Minutes

Meeting with HTC and SCC 10JUN15 – Agenda

South West trains are carrying out major improvements, a new cycle hub for 190 spaces is being built, works to improve the forecourt have just started and an additional deck on the station car park will commence in late August 2016.

Agreeing a forecourt design has involved many meetings, and numerous partners – including SWT, Network Rail, SCC Highways and Passenger Transport with input from Station Travel Plan survey findings.

The challenge is how to meet the needs of all station users, when there is such limited physical space – the station built in the 1850s was never intended to cope with 1.7 million passenger journeys/year.  Forecasts indicate passenger numbers will continue to increase, the large housing developments planned for Dunsfold, Bordon, Fernhurst and Midhurst will add further pressure on Haslemere station and the surrounding roads.  Building an additional deck on the carpark will provide an additional approx. 110 spaces, a temporary solution to the need for further parking capacity. I believe we need innovative, creative planning to cope with future demand, while maintaining the character of Haslemere as a small market town.
Disruption during the car park works, while challenging offers potential opportunities for travellers to find new ways of getting to the station- an on-line survey to www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/haslemerestationaccess to see if there is demand for a Hoppa trial for commuters to the surrounding villages.  Passengers can also check out SCC Travel Smart website www.travelsmartsurrey.info for travel information to the station. For more information, read an earlier blog post here.

On June 14, 2016 a SCC/SWT communications event was held at the railway station: SCC Sustainable Travel Team ran Personalised Travel Planning training to passengers, SWT displayed forecourt and car park plans followed by an open community evening event at Georgian House Hotel.  (Link to recent plans).

SCC Sustainable Travel Team ran Personalised Travel Planning training to passengers

SCC Sustainable Travel Team ran Personalised Travel Planning training to passengers

SWT Travel event at the station

SWT Travel event at the station

Station Information Event

Station Information Event

Haslemere Station Community Rail Partnership

Mar 15, 2016 South West Trains stakeholder conference, SWT Basingstoke campus – SWT franchise ends June 2017, they plan to work with community on their franchise bid notably via the Community Rail Partnerships.

Mar 22, April 27, May 25, 2016 Haslemere Community Rail Partnership- established to promote Haslemere railway station as a “gateway” for visitors both to the town and the surrounding countryside, for the benefit of the businesses and town community. Improving the aesthetics and signage at the station forecourt and approaches is also a key goal.  The partnership has now been formally registered with ACorP- the national Association of Community Rail Partnerships.  Benefits include match funding for station forecourt improvements from SWT, with statutory agreement for future franchise holders to continue this funding support.  The previously vacant station shop has now been refurbished as a community information hub.
Haslemere Highways site visits and key issues.

Local Highways Issues

I have organised regular site meetings with residents, and SCC Highways and parking teams. Issues addressed include Critchmere – property flooding issues, Hindhead – pedestrian crossing, St Bartholomew’s Church and Tanners Lane – parking and concerns over pedestrian safety, Woolmer Hill – parking/bus blocking,

Three Gates Lane, traffic speed reduction ITS scheme is still incomplete: SCC Road Safety Working Group has explained that this is due to a back log of VAS (Vehicle Activated Signs) installations and the need for traffic management during the works, the 2 funded new VAS on the approaches to Three Gates Lane have unfortunately been delayed for over a year.  Currently planned for July/August, 2016.

Shepherds Hill/Lower Street highways works to improve pedestrian safety, completed May 2016.

Weyhill zebra crossing, works started late June, 2016 – currently the footway has been left purposely unfinished to allow the electricity board and Skanska to go in and supply the columns. Snagging to the unfinished section has been carried out, Keir have been asked to make some changes to improve it. It is hoped the electricity board will be going in very soon to carry out the works.

Bunch Lane, additional wooden posts to prevent verge parking to be installed.

Lower Street/Shepherds Hill pocket park – Town Council have asked to take ownership from SCC, still awaiting confirmation of the legal costs involved.

Some of the local events attended:

Mar 17, 2016 Woolmer Hill School music concert – contributed £680 funding from my members allocation

Left to Right for photograph Susan Stathers (Chair of Governors), Toby U (Yr7), Clare Talbot (Headteacher), Matthew Nash (Head of Music), Mille B (Yr 9), Nikki Barton, County Councillor, Eloise H (Yr 7)

Left to Right for photograph
Susan Stathers (Chair of Governors), Toby U (Yr7), Clare Talbot (Headteacher), Matthew Nash (Head of Music), Mille B (Yr 9), Nikki Barton, County Councillor, Eloise H (Yr 7)

April 19, 2016 Haslemere churches meeting to support local councillors, Camelsdale Vicarage

April 23, 2016 HM Queen Elizabeth II 90th birthday parade, Haslemere (more here)

April 24, 2016 St Georges Parade, Beacon Hill – all local scouting groups

May 2, 2016- Haslemere Charter Fair, judged the Town Crier competition (more here)

May 17, 2016 Brexit Debate – Haslemere Hall, Paddy Ashdown and Lord Forsyth lively debate in a very packed Hall

Paddy Ashdown (Remain) and Lord Forsyth (Leave) with compere in middle of picture

Paddy Ashdown (Remain) and Lord Forsyth (Leave) with compere in middle of picture

May 19, 2016 Mayor making, Sahran Abeysundara confirmed as new Mayor for Haslemere, Town Hall and July 10, Mayors Civic Ceremony, Haslemere Hall

June 16, 2016 Eagle Radio interview on station works and Station Travel Plan

June 29, 2016 Haslemere Vision Community Land Trust meeting, Haslemere Museum

Surrey County Council Members Allocation 2016/17

Haslemere Waverley Skatepark Open Day, August 11, 2016: Provided £500 grant towards the £2,000 costs of the event. The all-day event of workshops and competitions will be open to all skateboarders and bmx riders ages 7-16 years.

Any Haslemere community group is invited to contact me to apply for a grant, please see previous update (here and here) for a list of grants awarded previously.

Surrey CC Post Brexit

Rising demand for essential services while government funding is falling, SCC is being squeezed from both ends and this is set to continue.   Despite plans to save more than £80 million from the SCC budget this year, the increasing demand and cost pressures on SCC services will wipe these savings out.
The increase in demand for social care services account for the vast majority of this, with pressure set to continue.  By 2020 there will be an additional 6,500 Surrey residents over the age of 80 – many of them needing our support.  As the population of the county grows, SCC is also expected to provide thousands of additional school places, as well as improve the road network and dispose of Surrey’s waste.
Surrey is a significant net contributor to the national exchequer, yet receives one of the lowest financial settlements from the government in return.

Haslemere County Councillor Update

Here is an update of some of my county councillor activities for Haslemere for the past few weeks. Update also includes some SCC announcements.

HIGHWAYS UPDATE

  • Tanners Lane, met with St Bart’s parents, carers and children to discuss concerns about road safety when crossing near Chestnut Ave car park. Arranged SCC highways team site visit, and agreed to take forward a request for a pedestrian crossing and alterations to Lower Street, Tanners Lane junction to reduce turning traffic speeds.
  • Wey Hill, Tesco lights met with SCC highways to discuss safety following tragic fatality. Further meetings with safety audit team to look at lights and crossing planned. Agreed yellow hatching at Lion Lane/Wey Hill required.
  • Vicarage Lane re-surfacing complete.
  • Damaged railings under Fosters Bridge to be replaced with the work beginning this week.
  • Footpath (604) Map Notice of Modification Order. This Order, made on 4 November 2015, if confirmed, as made, will modify the Definitive Map and Statement for the area by adding a footpath from Lower Street/ Petworth Road beside Lloyds Bank, Haslemere (Grid ref SU 904328) in a south-westerly direction for 52 metres to College Hill (grid ref SU 904327).
  • Old Haslemere Road/Park Road posts to be installed to prevent verge damage
  • WBC/SCC partnership work to resolve bank slippage, drainage and highway damage on Sunbrow Ave has been started.
  • Lower Street: Concerned residents’ request for safer crossing from bus stop to station will be addressed in the station forecourt re-design (see below). A request for a zebra crossing here has been declined as there is no funding available
  • High Street de-clutter completed, posts all painted black, West Street- several obstructive posts with ‘no loading’ signs removed, signs attached to property frontage or existing posts to reduce West Street street clutter.
  • High Street, referred concern to highways team re poor utilities surface with black tar over cobbled surface. Thames Water have been asked by SCC to replace the cobbles.
  • Sandrock, agreed installation of lighting columns- to be installed before year end.
  • West Street, negotiating with SCC to replace existing lights with conservation lighting columns.
  • Weysprings, drainage issues resolved by installation of French drains
  • ‘Gateway’ scheme, Shepherds Hill/Courts Hill Road/Hill Road junction complete- requested traffic speed data to assess impact of traffic calming scheme. Further measures to be pressed for if speed reduction not significant.
  • ‘Pocket park’ at Shepherds Hill/Lower Street junction, plans for ramp access to create accessible green space unfortunately to be dropped as health and safety regs would require railings around the top of the existing small wall so not feasible.
  • Haslemere train station forecourt, meetings with SWT and SCC to discuss improvements, with specific focus on improving pedestrian access to bus stop on north side of station next to The Sewing Room.
  • Waverley Parking Review 2015 now out for consultation. See which roads are covered and have your say.

NOTE: The council now has a new online reporting system for any rights of way problems, which SCC is encouraging everybody to use.  This way both the reporter and the receiver can keep track of the issue(s) they have logged.  I have attached a link to it for you if you would like to use it in the future. https://rightsofway.surreycc.gov.uk/

COMMUNITY VISITS

  • Shottermill Junior School visit with head to see the work of the school.
  • St Bartholomew’s Primary School, talked to year 6 about democracy and the political system.
  • Attended the town’s memorial service and laid a wreath on behalf of SCC.
Remembrance Service November 2015 Haslemere

Remembrance Service November 2015 Haslemere

HASLEMERE STATION TRAVEL PLAN: PARTNERSHIP SCC, SWT and HASLEMERE VISION

Tender process under way for station travel plan.  The aim: to research how and why people travel to station using different transport modes. The goal: to improve station access and identify practical ways to increase pedestrian, cycle and public transport use.

SCC MEETINGS

Submission by: Cllr Nikki Barton 

  • At a recent meeting of the Waverley Local Committee it was reported that there are some highway improvement schemes that have been sitting in pricing with Kier since June 2015, some of which have been carried over from last year. It was reported that this was widespread across the county. I would like to ask the board for some more information regarding this issue. In particular I would like to understand what is causing this log jam within Kier, and the steps that are being taken to resolve these issues. I understand that Kier’s pricing schedules are highly complex and that the costing is high relative to other counties. I would like to request a full explanation of Kier’s pricing rates for highways schemes, and how these compare/benchmark with other county councils. Furthermore I understand that Kier, unable to deliver the schemes with their own workforce is subcontracting work out, with significant cost implications for the county. I would also like to request a full breakdown of both how much work Kier is contracting out annually (in terms of manpower and costs) and the marginal increase in costs added to any highways scheme as a result of this subcontracting.

 Response: 

  • In response to this question, attached is a report detailing performance and progress of this years ITS programme. This provides an overview of works to date of the £4m 15/16 ITS programme, and confirms good progress with over 54% of schemes already constructed. However, it also identifies areas for improvement including how schemes are commissioned and delivered and improving efficiency within the Transport Infrastructure team.
  • The report also provides details of Kier’s resources and pricing. In summary all of the ITS programme is delivered via a range of ten specialist sub-contractors and there are currently no issues with resource availability. Sub-contracting is the normal practice for ITS works, as it requires a degree of specialism and the resource requirement varies from month to month.  To ensure value for money, the majority of schemes are priced using a fixed “Price List” The price list was tendered on the open market and Kier proved to be best value when compared to their national competitors. The fixed “price list” must be used by all of Kier’s specialist supply chain and can only be adjusted each year by inflation, with no additional cost permitted. We are currently undertaking a detailed value for money exercise of the Kier contract, which will be reported to the December EPEH Board, however, if you have any concerns about scheme costs please share with the Area Highway Manager and we will include this cost data with our own value for money exercises. 
  • We recognise that the delivery of ITS schemes remains an area of concern with members, and would be keen to work with the Local Committee Chairs to see how these can be delivered more effectively in the future.

Haslemere and Western Villages Task Group, November 13th, Highways budget forecast and discussion of prioritisation of ITS (Integrated Transport Schemes) for next financial year. Speed reduction and road safety improvements will be our priorities for Haslemere going forward although significant highways budget cuts are expected 2016/17 that will have a negative impact.

SWT stakeholder conference: Basingstoke campus, October 13, 2015 

Discussions on challenges facing the network, ridership increasing, train overcrowding, old track infrastructure is a significant limiting factor.  The points outside Woking present a pinch point in the system, limiting the number of trains per hour that can run to Haslemere, a future multimillion £ investment will be needed to overcome this issue. South west trains franchise is up for renewal 2017.

SOME SCC NEWS UPDATES

Plastics Recycling Campaign                                                    

A county-wide campaign launched on Monday (2 November) to encourage Surrey residents to recycle more plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays. Everyone in Surrey can recycle plastics from each room in the house. That  includes yoghurt pots, margarine tubs, fruit or vegetable trays and every type of plastic bottle. Once recycled they could be reborn as new items like furniture, children’s toys, a football shirt or even another bottle.

Recycling of plastics is important for the Surrey Waste Partnership as only 27% of household plastics are currently recycled in the county.

If every adult in Surrey recycled one more plastic bottle a week it would taxpayers more than £218,000 a year. To find out more, visit the Recycle Surrey

SCC recycling

NHS Health Checks Campaign Continues

Over 17,000 people in Surrey have now had their free NHS Health Check so we’re  looking to build on that success with further communications activity throughout November. Residents aged 40-74 with no history of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke or kidney disease will be reminded that they are eligible for a free NHS Health Check.

Check at a nearby GP surgery or pharmacy. As people get older, their risk of developing these problems increases, but an NHS Health Check will pick up early signs. This allows them to take action to improve their health.

Please encourage residents in your area to visit the Healthy Surrey website to find out how to book an NHS Health Check.

Healthcheck

Surrey Alliance Homeless News: Surrey Alliance Oct 15 news

Latest News from Stagecoach: see link here

Crossrail: Crossrail public consultation

Letters from Police and Crime Commissioner’s office 

Applications for funding are welcome

Each Surrey County Councillor receives a members’ allocation of £10,600 per year. This year’s must be allocated by the end of February, 2016.  Funding applications must meet the following criteria:

  • projects must benefit the community and be inclusive and accessible to all
  • meet the Council’s agreed policies or priorities
  • one off projects
  • supported by the local County Councillor
Excluded or restricted projects:
  • political organisations
  • delivery of the national curriculum
  • on going revenue costs
  • statutory obligations of other authorities
  • retrospective bids are discouraged

Please contact me if you would be interested in applying for funding for a community project at nikki.barton@surreycc.gov.uk.  The application process has been simplified and is now a straightforward process.  Once an application has been agreed, funding is transferred to the applicant within 2 weeks.

In past years some Haslemere organisations (to name but a few) that have successfully applied for funding include The Citizens’ Advice Bureau, First Haslemere Scouts, Haslemere Hockey Club, Haslewey, Woolmer Hill, Haslemere Library.

CAB laptop bought with contribution from SCC

CAB laptop bought with contribution from SCC

SCC has funded arts & crafts project at Haslemere Library

SCC has funded arts & crafts project at Haslemere Library

SCC has funded Haslewey Brighter Futures course

SCC has funded Haslewey Brighter Futures course