Tag Archives: Shepherds Hill

County Councillor Update for Haslemere Q1 2016

March 13, 2016: Surrey County Councillor Update:

MEETINGS ATTENDED SINCE MY LAST UPDATE ( Last full summary was Jan 19, 2016 here.)

Jan 26th, 2016: Attended Economic Prosperity, Environment and Highways Board:  Agenda here. At the meeting, in response to a resident experience survey, I raised my concerns about the Local Area Committee, how it functions, and the need for it to be more user friendly.

Subsequently met with SCC’s Community Partnership Team to discuss (March 7th, 2016). My key concerns: public not clear about purpose and function of LAC, distinction between public and private meeting. LAC is a private committee meeting held in public, should be more of a conversation with residents- too restrictive in terms of discussion, officers’ expertise not always fully used, suggest chair should rotate- current chair in post for 6 years, more use of social media before, during and after meetings.

9th February 2016: Attended Full Council: Agenda here.

In this meeting SCC discussed budgets for 2016/2017 to 2020/2021. Here is a press statement from the independent councillors and residents’ association councillors for Surrey County Council. Also, you may be interested to read my colleague, Eber Kington’s Budget Statement during the meeting.

March 10th, 2016: Attended Economic Prosperity, Environment and Highways Board: Agenda here.  In the meeting, there was a Project Horizon Year 4 discussion. I raised the issue of Blackdown Lane that due to an administrative error was not completed as agreed in the Year 3 program. The Project Horizon team confirmed that Blackdown Lane is on the Year 4 program, a date to be confirmed as due to severe central government grant cuts to SCC the final highways budget has not been settled.

March 15th, 2016: Attended Full Council. Agenda here.


Local Area Committee (LAC) – Community Engagement meeting: how to make Local Area Committee more accessible.

March 3rd, 2016 LAC Private meeting, Farnham:  Agenda items included SCC schools and SureStart Centres

David Hodge, Leader of SCC: Private meeting

Haslemere Conservation Area Appraisal, steering committee meeting, Haslemere Town Council

Had several meetings with SCC Highways team in Merrow

Attended Southwest Trains stakeholder conference, Basingstoke. Working with SWT/SCC/Station Travel Plan. (More below)


Friday, 18 March 2016 1.30 pm, Godalming Baptist Church, Queen Street, Godalming GU7 1BA: Agenda here. You can follow local committee updates here on Twitter and here on the web.


The Haslemere Station Community Partnership has now formally established, via a legal agreement with South West Trains (SWT). Haslemere station is the main transport hub in the town, with over 1.3 million passenger journeys/year. The aim of the partnership, to improve the look of the station with planting, and better signage and also to use the station as a ‘gateway’ to promote Haslemere, its events, community assets, businesses and the wonderful surrounding countryside to both visitors and residents.

NB Station Shop

To date the partnership includes: South West Trains, Surrey County Council, Haslemere Town Council, Haslemere Visitor Information Centre, South Downs National Park Authority, Haslemere Chamber of Trade, Haslemere Fringe, Haslemere Vision and the National Trust. SWT community stakeholder team has match funded any contributions made by partners- to date SWT have awarded £5000, I have awarded £1200 from my SCC Members Allocation.

The station community partnership has been granted a short term lease on the vacant shop at the station. The plan is to create a Haslemere community information point. A team of volunteers, headed by Ken Griffiths has transformed the shop and a launch is planned in the next couple of weeks.

Visual of station shop

Visual of station shop

Haslemere Train Station: I’ve had several meetings with SWT engineers/arboriculture team to discuss the removal of all vegetation along the car park boundary in preparation for the additional deck at the car park. I have been working closely with SWT, pressing for maximum screening to reduce the visual impact of the metal structure. SWT have agreed to plant a screening hedge, with some specimen trees- although behind the current bus layby the pilings for the new structure will be too close to the pavement edge, so no planting will be possible. I am investigating whether a cantilevered, lit shelter would be possible along this section to provide a dry pick up and drop off area for train and bus passengers.

In response to a number of resident inquiries, SWT requires no planning permission for the car park, planning permission is deemed granted by virtue of Part 8 of the GPDO (2015).

I wrote about parking at the station here earlier this year.

St Ives School: Year 5, girls very concerned about litter, and the negative impact on the environment. Accompanied year 5 girls on Lion Green, as they picked up several sacks of litter as part of ‘Clean for the Queen’ initiative. I was impressed by how much they cared about their town, and the environment, how well informed they were and how much they wanted to do something to make a difference.

NB Clean For The QueenSure Start Play Bus, Woolmer Hill, met with local mums and tots on the bus. Sure Start Centre provides excellent support for parents and early years children.

NB SureStartBusHaslemere Society steering group meeting – presentation inviting Haslemere Society  to join the Haslemere Station Community Rail Partnership

Haslemere Station Travel Plan: Haslemere Station Travel Plan: Surrey County Council, in partnership with Haslemere Vision has commissioned a Station Travel Plan with the aim of understanding how people get to and from the station, the issues all users of the station experience, and to identify barriers to accessing the station without the use of a private car. A survey of train users, non-train users, local businesses and other key community stakeholders has been carried out. There was a very high survey response rate, over 1600 responses – all data is currently being processed. Two concluding workshops will be held on March 22nd, 2016 in the Georgian House Hotel. I will publish the final report including all recommendations on this site.


Interviewed by BBC Surrey regarding council budget cuts on 3rd February.

Interviewed by BBC Surrey re Shepherds Hill sink hole on 2nd March


Members’ Allocation for Haslemere:

Here is a final list of recipients for my annual spend

  • Waverley Borough Council: Waverley Skatepark Engagement 2015 –  £300.00
  • Haslemere Table Tennis Club: Woolmer Hill Table Tennis Centre – £1,500.00
  • Haslemere Basketball Club, Setting up a new team in Haslemere – £825.00
  • 1st Haslemere Scouts: Equipment and Storage – £1,105.00
  • Shottermill Junior School: Library Refurbishment Project – £800.00
  • Haslemere Station Comm Partnership: Community Partnership – £1,200.00
  • Haslemere Swimming Club: Training Equipment – £550.00
  • Crossways Counselling Service: Counselling Workshops – £1,300.00
  • Girlguiding, Girlguiding: LaSER South Korea 2016 – £450.00
  • Woolmer Hill School: Community Orchestra Day & Young Musician Evening – £680.00
  • The Wave: Family Fun Day – £600.00
  • Haslemere CAB: Enhancement to Services – £986.00


Sandrock. New lighting columns are now installed and connected to electricity.

NB Sandrock photo

Shepherds Hill sink hole repaired. Updates were here and here and also on my Facebook page and Twitter feed. Thanks again to all for their patience whilst the works and investigations were carried out.

Lion Lane Post Office Update. I received this letter from the Post Office about the closure of their operation in the former Coop, now M&S, supermarket in Lion Lane.

NB PO Letter (click on image to enlarge)

South Downs NPA Volunteering Opportunities Map – which enables organisations with volunteer opportunities to promote these opportunities to a wider audience. Here is a link to their website and map.

LittleLumpy is an annual cycling event which raises funds for the Haslemere Fringe. It has 4 routes with a new family-friendly route this year. Early bird discount ends March 2015. Check out the Little Lumpy website here. Their early bird registration fee ends 31st March 2016.


Haslemere Annual Town Meeting with a talk about Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations plus town volunteer awards will be on 23rd March 2016 (click on picture below to read invitation).NB Haslemere Annual Town MeetingSouth West Trains Travel Promotion.

SWT are offering advance off-peak day return tickets for just £15 adults & £5 kids, to over 170 destinations across the South West Trains network! You can save up to 78%*! Runs until 30th April. For more information: www.southwesttrains.co.uk/promotion.aspx

Hindhead Tunnel Story

Can you help complete the Hindhead Tunnel story? Circle Eight have recently announced that its next local interest production will tell the Hindhead Tunnel story from pipe dream to reality. The film will also tell the history of the A3 at Hindhead and will examine the impact the Tunnel has had on the Hindhead area since it opened nearly 5 years ago. They are eager to collect the views, stories and anecdotes of people who live and work in the locality. In particular they would be very keen to view any film or video local people may have of the area in the past and of the Tunnel construction. If you believe you have something to contribute to the film, please contact Michael Orford at michaeleo@btinternet.com or on 01428 644871.

Changes to Surrey’s Recycling Centres

Please see this link re SCC’s Recycling Reduced Hours. Also see here for information about recycling in Haslemere.

Parenting Puzzle Course

Please see here about the Parenting Puzzle course organised by Tennyson’s Sure Start Centre on Wednesday 4th May 2016 12.30pm – 2.30pm. Crèche provided. To be held at The Hen House.

Shepherds Hill – Thursday Update

Yesterday, I updated residents via my Facebook page saying I was working on new signage for HGV diversions away from residential roads. I also shared the update that Technics Group, a Surrey ground radar specialist, would be on site for the survey tomorrow.

This morning, I met with the contractors on site. Here is a positive update relating to the repair of Shepherds Hill:

The ground penetrating radar investigation was carried out this morning.

GroundRadar2The void is estimated to be 6 cubic metres. This means SCC has a full picture of the extent of the void and will go ahead and repair the hole. A foam cement filler for the hole is planned for tomorrow, Friday 25th February. Please note, foam cement takes 24 hours to harden. I have requested that SCC highways re-tarmac over the weekend as a matter of urgency in order to get Shepherds Hill open.

ground radar1New additional HGV diversion signage was installed at key junctions this morning.

HGVDiversionOnce again, thank you to residents for both your patience and feedback during this process.

Best regards Nikki

Update 2nd March – Shepherds Hill has re-opened

Shepherds Hill Update

Here is an update for you on the Shepherds Hill road closure in Haslemere. Please also look at my Facebook page where I have been posting interim updates here and via my twitter feed here.

Thank you to everybody who has emailed me regarding the Shepherds Hill closure. I can only say that I share your collective frustration that Shepherds Hill is still closed and we still await a full diagnosis of the extent of the void.

Sink Hole

I have been in constant contact with SCC and Thames Water for updates and progress reports since the hole was discovered.  Initially, it was presumed responsibility for the sink hole lay with Thames Water. From a surface view the hole looked like a wash out hole linked to the loss of soil/substrate by water. The weekend work that Thames Water promised failed to materialise, apparently the team was diverted to a pollution issue that took precedence. Eventually Thames Water did come on site, sent CCTV cameras into their sewers and drains and having spotted a couple of leaks, carried out the necessary repairs.

SCC Highways then took over the site, sent CCTV cameras down the hole with the expectation of pouring foam concrete down the hole. However, during last week, it became apparent that the void was more substantial than expected – rather a series of mini caves. Subsequent investigations in the sink hole have revealed remains of brick walls suggesting the basement or foundations of an earlier building – old maps show an old building at this position. There may be a link with the bunker under the grassed area by the zebra crossing.

SCC plan to send a ground radar camera into the sink hole, however, 2 electric cables belonging to SSE have been seen hanging in the void and the SCC team is unable to work without the SSE team onsite. I understand the SSE team did not attend the site as expected at the end of last week or yesterday so the SCC Highways team have had to be called off the site each time. SCC Highways have found that the highway is cracking at some distance from the sink hole mouth.

A key priority is the safety of both the SCC workman carrying out the work and the public. The scale of the void combined with the presence of electricity cables has further complicated the issue and means that the problem will not be resolved as quickly as hoped, or anticipated when the sink hole was first discovered. Unfortunately the utility companies are under no legal obligation to attend the site if other higher priority issues arise.  I hope this information is helpful. I am speaking with the highways team every day for updates and will of course continue to let you know when I have more news.

Best regards Nikki

Shepherds Hill Roadworks

The Shepherds Hill roadworks began two nights ago in Haslemere.

Shepherds Hill roadworks

The work needs to take place at night as this is an A-road and is a full re-surfacing. I have been contacted by residents on Twitter, Facebook and by e-mail complaining about the noise. The “siren” noise is due to the vehicles reversing and cannot be disabled for health and safety reasons.

There will be no weekend work.

The Lower Street/Shepherds Hill junction will be done on Monday and Tuesday night.

I hope the inconvenience of the noise will be nothing like as great as the joy of having a pothole free road!

Councillor Update

Here’s my Councillor update from recent weeks.

1. Waverley Parking Review: parking proposals discussed at Local Area Committee Meeting December 13, 2013.  Necessary changes proposed based on safety, accessibility and efficiency of parking capacity. The statutory traffic order notices marking the start of the 28 day consultation period will be printed in the Haslemere Herald in the first week of March, 2014.  To speed up the decision and implementation process, a special parking meeting, open to the public, will be held on May 9th, 2014 (ahead of the July LAC), 1.30pm, Godalming Baptist Church.

2. Foster’s Bridge: To address the flooding problem, SCC Highways have recently installed six new gullies, and installed larger frames and lids on the six existing gullies to increase the catchment area for runoff. To reduce the debris that currently washes down into the gullies during heavy rains from the railway embankment, a retaining curb has been constructed. In the longer term SCC is carrying out an investigation into the issue and I have secured Local Area Committee funding to carry out any more significant works should they be identified as necessary.

3. Haslemere train station, Multi-Storey Car Park planning application:  Met with Jeremy Hunt to express my concerns about the current application. This letter sent to Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin outlines these issues.

4. David McNulty, Chief Executive Surrey County Council Haslemere visit 17th Jan, 2014 (find briefing note for the visit here). I wanted to show David McNulty that, while the perception of Haslemere held by many I meet up at County Hall that Haslemere is indeed one of great privilege, such a view fails to recognise that Haslemere is also a community facing many challenges including economic hardship and isolation. The aim was for a range of members of our community to be heard first hand by the Chief Executive so that any future strategic or operational discussions, relevant to Haslemere, at Cabinet and Executive level would be based on a more informed understanding.  Helen Bowcock, High Sheriff for Surrey joined the visit.  The feedback from the visit was extremely positive.

5. Members Allocation 2013/14:  Funds allocated to date:

  • £500 Skateboard event, August 2013
  • £500 Looked After Children Fund, contribution to personal savings scheme for children in SCC care
  • £200 contribution to new tree at the bottom of Shepherds Hill to replace badly split old tree
  • £400 Tennyson’s Sure Start Children’s Centre, wet weather clothing
  • £551.20 The Wave, hedge trimmer: the Wave, volunteer group providing free home and gardening help to the vulnerable and elderly
  • £765 Haslemere Scouts: new tents and mess tent
  • £2400 Crossways Counselling, start up costs for couples and family therapy provision

To be confirmed:

  • Approx £5000 bus shelter, Critchmere Ave and Border Road
  • £2000 Haslemere First Responders: 2 full medical kits including portable defibrillators for newly qualified First Responders
  • £TBC Haslemere Hockey Club: schools and disability program
  • £TBC Haslemere Football Club: exchange visit
  • £TBC Haslemere Pavillion Recreation Ground Association:  repairs

Funding the bus shelter may mean that funding for the Haste Hill railings work will not be possible this year from SCC members’ allocation.  To be discussed with HTC to understand if HTC Community Fund/Lengthsman Scheme funding could be used for this project.

6. Shepherds Hill/Lower Street Railings: Held lengthy discussions with SCC Highways. John Hilder, SCC Highways sent the following to residents to explain the SCC position.

I am writing to reiterate my decision, which remains as before, that incurring further public expense on replacing or materially altering the railings installed in Shepherds Hill last year is not justified, and that we will now proceed with completing outstanding works on these and the railings in Lower Street, as well as resurfacing the footway there.

To recap – the then SCC councillor, Steve Renshaw, sponsored the new railings in both roads using his member allocations accumulated over two years.  A consultative group intended to agree the style of the new railings and comprising borough, town and county councillors & officers was established but failed to meet, and the style was eventually selected by WBC planning/conservation officers. There have been complaints about the lack of consultation with residents, but Steve Renshaw, representing the residents of Haslemere, did not require such consultation and SCC Highways would not normally consult residents for this type of project, rather the relevant planning and conservation authorities.

I have agreement from SCC and WBC that if residents approve, planters will be provided for the railings on Lower Street.

6. Youth Task Group, Jan 20th, 2014: discussion of Local Prevention Framework, Services for Young People and the Individual Prevention Grants.

7. Local Area Committee, private meeting, Jan 29th, 2014:

Project Horizon, roads to be reconstructed as part of Program Year 1: Shepherd’s Hill, Courts Hill Road, Weysprings, Sandrock (dates advised as April 2014, but bad weather is causing delay).  It was agreed with the Project Horizon team that the junction area of Shepherd’s Hill and Lower Street will be repaired as part of the Shepherd’s Hill reconstruction.

Family, Friends and Community Support team, highlighted the role of Surrey Information Point- www.surreyinformationpoint.org.uk – for care, community and health information and support available locally.  Any local group providing community services is encouraged to include their details on the website.

Surrey Cycle Strategy, Local Area Committees have been given the responsibility of preparing local cycle plans by the end of 2015. I raised the issue of improving provision for cyclists within the road resurfacing project known as Project Horizon.  The SCC Highways team confirmed that Surrey’s cycling team will be involved when resurfacing is planned. It was agreed during the meeting that the Waverley Cycle Forum should be involved in both local cycle plan, and Project Horizon discussions.

8. Additional Highways Information:

VAS speed sign on Grayswood Road approach into Haslemere has been vandalised. Repairs will be carried out in the next 2 weeks.

A number of street lights are not working. Skanska will be repairing in the next two weeks.

Fallen trees are blocking the footpath that runs parallel to the railway line from St Bart’s Church to the back of High Lane. A ‘vegetation gang’ will be working next week to remove these and other fallen trees.

I am meeting with members of the SCC Strategy team to discuss commissioning a full transport/movement study for Haslemere, including some scenario visioning along the lines of the current Guildford City Council project.

7. Meeting with Haslemere Town Council on 30th January 2014: Presented a summary of the above items to the members present.


8. Update from Haslemere Library: National Libraries Day – Saturday 8 February 2014

National Libraries Day is a successful initiative for advocacy; on the day there will be events in libraries throughout the county resulting in media and social network interest. Haslemere Library will be promoting what they do and why it is valuable during their event. Follow Haslemere Library on Twitter, @HaslemereLib.

9: Traffic bulletin: Hindhead Tunnel closures cancelled, Surrey: HIGHWAYS AGENCY News Release issued 31 January 2014 http://www.highways.gov.uk/news/press-releases/traffic-bulletin-hindhead-tunnel-closures-cancelled-surrey/

Road users were advised that the planned full closure of the A3 Hindhead Tunnel in Surrey for Friday 31 January and Saturday 1 February were cancelled due to poor weather conditions.

Forecast weather of strong winds and heavy rainfall meant that it would be unsafe to carry out the work and operate a full closure of the tunnel. The closures are required for systems maintenance to be carried out, both inside and outside the tunnel, and these will now be rescheduled.

10: Surrey Uncovered: all the facts at your fingertips

Visit Surrey-i, http://www.surreyi.gov.uk/MainMenu.aspx type “Surrey Uncovered” into the search box, Google style, and have a look at the wealth of insight we have made publicly available.

11. Wey Hill Fairground Public Inquiry: I very much welcome the decision of the Planning Inspectorate to change the venue of the Fairground car park public inquiry from Godalming to Haslemere. GIven the strength of public feeling about the Waverley’s planning application that has resulted in this public inquiry being called, it would be an extraordinary decision to choose a venue outside Haslemere. While I support the inquiry as part of a democratic process via which the community will be given the opportunity to express their views about the resurfacing an area of common land and the installation of lighting columns and pay and display meters, I am most concerned that WBC have set aside £30,000 of tax payers money to fund this inquiry, (initially £20,000 was set aside with, I understand, a further £10,000 recently agreed).

Given the current financial cut backs facing local government services, and the strength of public opposition to Waverley’s plans for the site, I would suggest that a far better use of £30,000 of tax  payers money would be to resurface the site and let it remain as a valuable source of free parking for both commuters and all those that use the short stay parking to visit the public library, shops and businesses in Wey Hill.

I urge everyone to attend the public meeting on April 8th, 9th and 10th to express their views. It will be held at The Royal School, in Haslemere.