Nikki Barton – Independent councillor for Surrey County Council (Haslemere Ward) and Haslemere Town Council (Haslemere South Ward). Serving community interests and not political interests. Haslemere first.
Please see below an update about this reconstruction work:
From:Works Communication Team/EAI/SCC
To: Nikki Barton <Nikki.Barton@surreycc.gov.uk> Subject: Works postponed: Pavement reconstruction – Beech Road, Haslemere – Traffic delays possible
This is to advise that these works have been postponed due a clash with SGN works. The advanced warning signs will be collected next week and the works will be reprogrammed. We do not have a new date for this work as yet, but will be sure to update you once we do.
Sometimes our 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 is to advise you that we will be carrying out pavement
reconstruction on Beech Road, Haslemere from 17 June (8am to 4:30pm) for
approximately 5 weeks.
The road will remain open with traffic being managed by
temporary lights and the pavement will be closed in sections whilst we carry
out our works.
Leaflets and signs will be delivered over the next few days
to advise residents and businesses of the upcoming works.
Sometimes our 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
This is my first councillor update since being elected to Surrey County Council and re-elected to Haslemere Town Council.
6th May 2019 – received update from South Western Railway regarding electric charging points at Haslemere Station. The update states South Western Railway will be installing eight electric vehicle charging points in Haslemere station car park. Read more here and here.
7th May 2019 – travelled by train and bike to County Hall in Kingston for meetings and to sign Surrey County Council declaration papers.
7th May 2019 – received a Surrey County Council invitation to join a member reference group to support the development of a refreshed Surrey Climate Change strategy. I will sign up to join this group.
10th May 2019 – meeting with SCC highways officer to discuss way of future working together.
11th May 2019 – took part in Haslemere’s Critical Mass Bike Ride. Read my write up here.
13th May 2019 – attended Surrey County Council Residents’ Association/Independent group meeting County Hall in Kingston.
13th May 2019 – attended Haslemere Town Council induction meeting.
14th May 2019 – promoted information online about Members’ Community Allocation Funding to support local community groups. More here.
14th May 2019 – shared information online about road surface dressing works in Lion Lane, Haslemere. More here.
14th May 2019 – met briefly with Haslemere First Scouts and local WBC councillors in Critchmere and Shottermill ward to understand the history of this scout group’s dealings with the previous WBC administration in respect to their tenure at The Youth Campus.
14th May 2019 – attended steering committee meeting for Haslemere Vision, discussing the future of Haslemere’s Neighbourhood Plan.
14th May 2019 – shared a note about the process of Mayor Making here.
15th May 2019 – attended South Western Railway Community Rail in the City at Waterloo station to promote Haslemere’s businesses and beautiful surrounding countryside.
16th May 2019 – attended Haslemere Town Council’s full council meeting. Papers here.
19th May 2019 – a great Little Lumpy event – over 600 riders raising funds for Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice. It was fun cheering the riders as they crossed the line. Well done Ken Griffiths and his amazing team of volunteers – including all the cake makers. I have promised to ride next year, I invite all my fellow councillors to join me!
21st May 2019 – attended my first Surrey County Council Full Council meeting since being elected. Papers here.
28th May 2019 – shared information about Tennyson’s Lane road closure for Thames Water works. More here.
29th May 2019 – met residents and Thames Water on site to discuss the Tennyson’s Lane road closure and major diversion. Major works are being carried out to the main trunk water pipe that supplies a large part of Haslemere. I liaised with the Highways team to agree an improved road management program that will reduce the time Tennyson’s Lane is closed. Thames Water letter here.
29th May 2019 – received notification that the Surrey Hills to South Downs Community Rail Partnership has been officially recognised by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships. The original Haslemere Community Rail Partnership, successfully established in 2015, is expanding to include, as a first step Milford and Witley stations.
30th May 2019 – met with Highways officers on site at the road junction by St Stephen’s Church that is in very bad condition. It was on the winter maintenance list last year, but works were not carried out. I am pressing for a full resurfacing of this busy junction as a matter of urgency.
Notification of Future Events/Meetings
1st June 2019 – planting session for Wey Hill In Bloom. Volunteers are asked to meet at 10am outside Haslewey.
Surrey County Council is facing cuts across many of its services.
Documents published in March 2018 suggested the council was looking to cut the budget by around £2.3 million by 2021, chiefly by reduced spending on libraries, but the cabinet papers from October 2018 indicate a larger cut is now planned. (Source here.)
I talked with Emily from Haslemere Bookshop about why the library service is so important to her. Emily grew up going to the library and it started her love of books from a very young age.
Should Haslemere’s fantastic library be at risk at any time, we will of course work together as a community to save it.
It is a challenging time to be standing for election as a Surrey County Councillor. The council itself has significant challenges. In the past few years, note:
Failure to deliver some of the most basic services (Failed Ofsted inspection of Children’s Services, Failed HMI inspection of Fire and Rescue, cuts to local highway budget)
Poor Financial Management (CIPFA Report)
Cuts to Services
High spending on high level permanent and interim staff and the rejection of an RA/Independent proposal for the open monitoring of the high salary costs
Additional allowances for Conservative councillors
There has never been a greater need
for Independent councillors who are able to scrutinise and challenge decisions
free from party politics.
The council is composed of 81 elected Councillors, and in all but one election since 1965 the Conservative Partyyhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surrey_County_Council has held the majority- there are currently 59 Conservatives, 9 Independent/Residents Assoc, 9 Lib Dems, 1 Labour, 1 Green. And, 1 vacant seat.
I am contesting the vacant seat.
More detailed reading below:
Residents will no doubt be aware of the poor state of Surrey County Council’s finances. It is of course partly the result the Government’s reduction of the grant funding allocated to the County Council, but an independent Report by the well-respected Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), and commissioned by SCC itself, has severely criticised the County Council for its financial management and budget planning. https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/surrey-county-council-faces-unbridgeable-15161504
January 2019 SCC
Fire & Rescue service declared Inadequate
Following on from
the 2018 Ofsted Report which severely criticised SCC’s Children’s Services as
failing, an Inspection by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and
Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has reported that SCC’s Fire and Rescue service is
“Inadequate” at efficiently keeping people safe, and is failing to make the
best use of its resources. This is further worrying evidence of a
council failing in the delivery of some of the basic services which it is
legally required to provide. https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/surrey-fire-rescue-rated-inadequate-15575032
Spending on High Level Temporary Staff
At a time of cuts
to services it is interesting to note that over the past year SCC has spent
almost £2.5 million on temporary and interim staff, mostly on high level
salaries. In one case SCC paid a recruitment company over £294k “to
source and manage an interim Adult Social Care director” for a year.
voted down an RA/Independent recommendation to “amend the Terms of Reference of
the People, Performance and Development Committee to provide for the monitoring
of the costs of senior management salaries, interim appointments and
redundancies” thus rejecting openness and transparency in regard to senior
Closure of Children’s Centres
Additional charges for household waste – construction wood and roofing felt, despite concerns over am increase in fly tipping
The free travel concession for disabled pass holders will no longer start at 9.00am but will in future start at 9.30am on weekdays, all day at weekends and on bank holidays
Further cuts to the local highway budget, the money allocated to fund locally determined highway maintenance work & improvements. So more bad news for our highways
Children’s Services rated as Inadequate by OFSTED in May 2018
May 2018 Surrey County Conservatives Vote Themselves More Money
At the May 2018 Surrey County Council Meeting, the Conservatives
voted to create four new Deputy Cabinet Member posts to be filled by Conservative
county councillors, with an allowance each of £10,000. In addition, and
despite an Independent Review Panel recommendation that allowances be not paid
to all Committee Vice Chairmen, the Conservatives also decided that they should
continue to be paid.
In 2013, Haslemere voted for its first ever Independent Councillor
for Surrey County Council.
Vote for Nikki Barton to turn that bottom corner of South West Surrey white again.