Autumn update

The past few months have been very busy working with residents and key groups on starting to build a master plan for the town. There is a very real opportunity to create an all purpose community hub bringing together healthcare and community facilities such as the library as well as the community and sure start centres and not just in terms of physical buildings but in a way that all of our Weybridge residents can access those services in the best way for them. This work is running alongside the Surrey County Council  consultations on modernising the way in which they engage with the more vulnerable members of our community and I hope everyone will feed back their views.

I recently held a public meeting at the Community centre to listen to your issues. We discussed the Hospital and Library sites (more detail below) as well as parking across the town, traffic congestion, the High Street and recent planning permissions. There was also a number of questions about a possible sale of some of the Churchfield allotments by the Weybridge charity.

I have provided an update below on the latest position wherever I can.
Weybridge is a great place to live and work so please do contact me if you have any issues that you think I can help you with.

Tim Oliver
Surrey County Councillor for Weybridge.

weybridge map

Streetscape 

Elmbridge Council are working with the Weybridge Town Business Group to host a meeting with the businesses directly facing on to the streetscape works area at the Ship Hotel to update and further engage on the plans to improve the pavement area. The project aims to create a small plaza as a focal point with new paving and street furniture to deliver shared flexible spaces for markets. The work will commence very shortly. In addition and to enable further works to be done on the High Street a CIL application has been submitted to request the additional funding required by the extended project.

Brooklands Business Park Accessibility Project

Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership funding has been confirmed for the sustainable transport project that links the business park with the station and town centre. The project is due to start in the financial year 2019/20 . Planning permission has also been granted for the Heath Road cycle pathway following the planning inspectors visit earlier in the year. Further meetings with South Western Railway have agreed improvements for the station package including improving cycle infrastructure, real time information screens, improved pedestrian access and signage. Part of the scheme will also see the resurfacing of St George’s Avenue as early as possible in the project plan.cycle routeThe scheme will provide sustainable transport improvements (cycling, bus infrastructure, walking and station facilities) between Brooklands Business Park – Weybridge Station – the town centre. More details can be found on the Elmbridge website.

Brooklands Transport Study

Surrey highways is gathering evidence from businesses, commuters and customers to understand the journeys undertaken in and around the Brooklands Business Park with a view to developing options and ideas to improve congestion in this vital employment area.

The study, which will be carried out over the next couple of months, will provide detailed data on traffic movements across the major entry and access points across the town and Brooklands. Contacts will be made with key businesses and facilities managers across the park to better understand business need and private bus service provision locally. Surrey Highways have developed a survey to go with a request for anonymous postcode data from businesses  and the results  will be used to help understand Brooklands congestion, develop options for improvements and feed in to wider project across the town

Weybridge Station ramp access

South Western Railway have agreed to provide an estimated cost for the ticket barriers they require before they will reconsider reopening the ramp.  SWR indicated that they currently have no funds to provide for the project so it would need to be 100% funded locally. Many residents use the ramp so once we have details of the likely costs I will see if I can obtain funding.

One Public Estate application -the walk in centre and the Library

Following the hospital fire and Surrey County Council’s long term ambition to improve the library building there is an opportunity to apply for funding to look at maximizing the value of the publicly owned sites in the town centre to integrate services and meet wider economic development objectives.

I am working with Surrey County Council and NHS England on an application for a specialist feasibility study and master plan to be developed in consultation with local stakeholders  to make sure  any development meets resident needs while trying to deliver additional benefits for the town centre vitality and viability. The application for funding will be submitted by the end of November with a likely decision from the One Public Estate team in February 2019. This work sits alongside the CCG consultation, details of which are below :-

Re-thinking out of hospital services – join our conversation

nhs logo

NHS North West Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is working with local health and care partners to launch The Big Picture – an opportunity for local people to join an open and honest discussion about the future of care delivered outside of hospital.

This follows our earlier commitment to engage the public across North West Surrey on our out of hospital and urgent care strategy. Following this engagement we will be better placed to determine the services that will eventually go into the new healthcare facility at the Weybridge hospital site.

big picture

The majority of health and care support happens outside our main hospitals and we know the system isn’t working as well as it could. Increased demand from a growing population, the changing needs of people living with long-term conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, and continual difficulties in recruiting the right staff are all putting pressure on our health and care system. Read the case for change – full version and summary version – which explain why change is needed and the emerging thinking around how we can support people to stay well for longer and reduce the burden on urgent and emergency services.

The ambition in North West Surrey is to offer a much more joined-up way of providing care and we want people using our services, their carers and the general public to be involved these discussions. We want to hear what you think about how we can improve and redesign services in the community, outside the main hospitals.

Importantly we will also be thinking about how we support NHS England’s recently published standards for Urgent Treatment Centres – this is the new name being given to all walk-in facilities such as Urgent Care Centres and Walk-in Centres which will improve and standardise how these services are provided.

These discussions will also help to inform the services that eventually go into a new healthcare facility on the Weybridge site. Once we have clearer plans for urgent care services across North West Surrey, we will want to engage the local community more closely around the new healthcare facility. This will include a dedicated group to consider services and the look and feel/design for the new building.

Weybridge Hall

Works are due to commence shortly with regard to this development. It will convert Weybridge hall on Church Street back to its original use of a cinema and the upper floors will be converted into 5 affordable residential flats

The build will take 15 months to complete. This is partly due to the complexities of the cinema fit out but once completed it will hopefully bring more footfall to that end of the High Street.

Local Plan

The Council has carried out a considerable amount of work in preparing its new Local Plan. A Strategic Options consultation (Regulation 18) was published in December 2016 which outlined initial options of to respond to the challenge of addressing  housing need including the release of green belt,  but the Conservative administration that took back control of Elmbridge Borough Council in May from the Liberal/Residents coalition asked the officers to rethink the plan.

A great deal of work has been done to improve the  Council’s Local Plan evidence base as well  including  a Borough-wide Density Study, Urban Capacity Study and supplementary work on the Green Belt Boundary Review. This further evidence base work also includes commissioning a highways consultant to help understand the current highways demands and work on future mitigation requirements.

It is expected that a revised local plan will go out for public consultation next Summer.

Protective Injunction from Traveller encampments

This year has seen an unprecedented increase in levels of unauthorised encampments, totalling 27 on public parks and open spaces as well as other recent encampments on private owned land such as Painshill Park. The size of these encampments has also risen dramatically with some encampments being over 60 vehicles in size. Elmbridge Borough Council was granted a protective injunction banning the setting up of unauthorised encampments and fly-tipping on all identified public land. They are applying to extend that to 3 years.

The encampments caused  large-scale fly-tipping, significant  clear up costs , damage to gates and barriers, lost parking income  as well as the significant impact on communities living adjacent to each encampment and the loss of community facilities during the summer.The injunction prevents any individual from occupying land and/or depositing waste as well as stopping anyone from entering or occupying any part of the land for residential purposes, including caravans, mobile homes and vehicles. It will also prevent the Council from having to obtain court orders for the removal of these encampments, which can take several days to obtain, and will authorise High Court enforcement officers to move people on if they take no notice of the injunction order. Failure to do so can result in imprisonment, fines or seizure of assets.

The Triangle and Manby Lodge School 

I commissioned a safety survey outside Manby Lodge school earlier in the Summer. This confirmed that children and parents found it difficult crossing the road in view of the speed of the traffic. Working with the Triangle residents association we have also progressed installing 20mph signs in the triangle area as well as devising a scheme to redesign the bell mouth at Pine Grove and Princes Road. Funding is currently being sought enable these works to be carried out as soon as possible.

The triangle

Contact me

I will provide further updates over the coming weeks on these important issues and others as they arise,  but please do get in touch if you have any concerns or want to discuss any of these matters further

tim.oliver@surreycc.gov.uk

07803 518933

 

April update

Weybridge Hospital Site
The CCG is finalising its plans to carry out a public consultation over the summer to help shape its out-of-hospital strategy. There will be a range of workshops and events as well as direct communication with key stakeholders including Surrey County Council.
Please let me know your views on what future provision of health care you would like to see on the existing site as well as emailing nwsccg.comms@nhs.netnhs

Dog Fouling
There has been an increase in the amount of dog fouling around the town and in particular near to Manby Lodge School. Please ensure that if it is your dog you clear it up and put it in a public bin or take it home. dog

Garden Green Radnor Rd
I was pleased to be able to support a recent application to register the open space at the end of Radnor Road as a Village Green. This is with Surrey County Council for final approval which I hope will be confirmed shortly.green.jpg

Cinema
Approval was recently given for a new cinema in Weybridge! The boutique operator will bring increased footfall to that end of the High Street as well as Elmbridge Borough Council providing affordable flats above.

cinema

Parking
The Weybridge Society have done a huge amount of work on the parking issues in the town centre. I will continue to work closely with them to find a long-term solution, but their excellent research provides invaluable data on the causes of congestion and ways to address it. You can find this at http://www.weybridgesociety.org.uk where you can also sign their e-petition.

Rylston Registry officerylston
There has been much speculation about the future of the registry office and a great deal of local concern about the loss of this well liked facility. Surrey CC are still considering a range of options -including keeping it open – and I hope to provide an update at the Weybridge Society AGM on the 12th April.

Have your say
As the Cabinet member at Surrey County Council for Property and Business Services, I have been keen to engage local partners in looking at what each community wants in its locality.

.weybrIMG_0031

This includes looking at potentially better ways of using our community buildings for the benefit of all residents. If you have any ideas as to how we can make the best use of our public buildings, please do email me on tim.oliver@surreycc.gov.uk

Cycle scheme and roads
The cycle/pedestrian walk scheme from the town centre to the railway station and then on the Brooklands business park is now in its final design stages and ready for submission for central government funding through the local enterprise partnership. The route can be seen on the following link:- https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/155068/Brooklands-Business-Park-Accessibility-Project-Proposed-Cycling-and-Walking-Route-Map.pdf It is hoped that the resurfacing of the top end of St Georges Avenue will be included as part of the funding as the road is currently unsafe for cyclists. SCC will continue to work with Elmbridge to access public funds (CIL money from developers) particularly for repair work to Seven Hills Road. With over 3000 miles of road in Surrey to maintain and enormous pressure on funds from the increasing demand from supporting adult social care and children and adults with Special Education Needs and Disabilities there is simply not enough money at the moment to keep all the roads in the condition we would all like to see them.

Speeding and road safety
We all need to respect our community and in particular make sure it is safe to walk along our pavements and cross our roads. The road safety team will be looking particularly closely at traffic speed in the Triangle area as well as conducting an outside of school safety audit at Manby Lodge (a similar assessment was also carried out at St Georges Junior School recently.prin

 

Please contact me if you have any issues you would like to discuss at tim.oliver@surreycc.gov.uk or 07711 423363

 

 

Rylston Registry Office

I have received many emails and phone calls regarding the future of Rylston, the Registry office on Oatlands Drive both as the County Councillor for Weybridge and as the Cabinet Member for Property and Business Services. I am also aware that a large number of people have signed a petition calling for the building to be saved.

Can I first of all reassure residents that absolutely no decision has been taken to sell the building or redevelop it.

It is true that Surrey County Council are reviewing all of their property assets to ensure that the return on its buildings is optimised. The financial position of Surrey has been well publicised and it is essential that it uses all of its assets to their maximum capability to continue to fund the exponential growth in adult social care and those with special education needs and disabilities. In some instances that may mean knocking down buildings that are no longer required for use by the services Surrey delivers  and perhaps replacing the building with residential units both affordable and social as well as privately owned. The County is obliged to obtain best value at all times in whatever it does but it also has a social obligation to help those residents that need assistance including the provision of housing.

As part of the overall programme of review of the  buildings and land that it owns (which I lead in my capacity as Cabinet member for Property and Business services) it is also reviewing the way in which services are delivered to residents .That includes encouraging greater use of the Surrey website to report issues around the County. Rylston formed part of that review as elements of the registry service can now be delivered on line but also because the demand for the building as a venue for weddings has changed over the past few years as many other attractive venues around the County have become licensed for weddings.

I have made it very clear that no decision on the future of Rylston would be taken without public discussion or indeed would any decision be taken without public support. That remains the case. What I have asked the Registry service to do is to look at the building to see if there are any other appropriate revenue generating opportunities that could sit alongside the Registry service and I will engage with residents if there are any suggestions.

The feedback I have had shows just how valued Rylston is as a building and as a venue. That helps enormously when Surrey are considering the options as after all Surrey County Council is here to serve its residents.

Ultimately the decision on the future of all of Surreys buildings rests with the Cabinet, but you have my assurance that as the Cabinet member responsible for making a recommendation to the cabinet on any property disposal,  that I am fully appreciative of the strength of local opinion and that I have committed to ensure that any decision on its future will have local public support.

Tim Oliver

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roads and potholes

Understandably there is a great deal of frustration and annoyance at the state of some of the roads in the Weybridge area and indeed across Surrey.

This time of the year normally sees an increase in the reports of defects and potholes on the highway due to the wet and cold weather. Although this type of weather is anticipated during Winter and resources are put in place to manage any peaks in defect numbers, there has been  an unusually high number defects and potholes in the last month or so. The repair gangs have recently been working extra shifts throughout the week and weekend to keep up with the number of defects being reported and Surrey County Council have now added some additional gangs to provide some further resilience in the short term.  They have also added a jet patching machine which carries out a rapid repair treatment.  This type of repair will be mainly used on targeting potholes on some of our residential roads.

There is over 3000 miles of road in Surrey so the Highways team need your help. If you see a pothole on the network then please use the Report it function on the Surrey County Council website.  From here you can also see if someone has already reported a defect by zooming in on the map when trying to ‘locate the problem’.

Seven Hills Road and St Georges Avenue

Having these two roads resurfaced is absolutely at the top of my list of priorities. Unfortunately the pressure on the County budget with the huge increase in demand for adult social care and those with special education needs and disabilities has meant other services have suffered. However,  Surrey County Council have now submitted two bids for funds from the large pot of money Elmbridge has accumulated from levying developers when they grant planning permission (Community Infrastructure Levy). Although this money is held by Elmbridge Borough Council, it is in reality public funds so I am hopeful that the bids will be approved and that works can commence this year. The applications will be considered later this month so I will update after that meeting.

Surrey are also lobbying government to change the way in which highway funding is calculated. At the moment the County receive a set sum per mile irrespective of the volume of traffic using it. That clearly benefits counties with lower vehicle useage and penalises the high density volumes of traffic in Surrey. We will continue to press them hard for fairer funding.

 

 

 

Weybridge blog – Jan 2018

LOCAL BURGLARIES – UPDATE FROM YOUR COUNCILLORS

What are the police doing and how we can help others and ourselves?

Following concerns raised by residents relating to a recent increase in burglaries, Local Conservatives recently had a meeting with Greg Turner, Elmbridge, Spelthorne and Runnymede Police Inspector.

He gave us a comprehensive perspective of all the activities the police have underway to address the recent increase in burglaries and the progress they are making.

After a long term reducing trend, recorded burglary in Surrey and nationally has started to rise this year. It is difficult to compare this year’s figures with those of the previous year because the Home Office crime counting rules have changed. The crimes are typically opportunistic, non-violent, ‘quick in and out’ seeking items such as cash, watches and jewellery. Crimes are typically carried out between 4pm and 10pm.

The boroughs of Elmbridge, Spelthorne and Runnymede have experienced significant increases and the more affluent areas of the Borough, nearest to London, such as Weybridge are attractive to gangs from outside the area (and indeed outside the country).

What Are the Police Doing About the Problem?

Surrey Police has launched a burglary operation: Operation Spearhead. This includes the deployment of extra overt and covert resources, as well as more sensitive confidential ongoing work. Many arrests have been made recently, six within the last two weeks, with a further two charged and on remand in Elmbridge alone. Additionally, Surrey Police is offering the services of specialist Designing Out Crime Officers to liaise with victims and the community and improving their security, and it has also increased its use of social media and “In the Know” emails to raise awareness.

What Can We Do to Help Ourselves and the Police?

  • It is not only the Police who prevent crime. There is nothing better than a community that has engaged, vigilant residents who look out for each other and report things that look out of place. Dial 101 for non-emergencies. 999 for crimes about to happen, in progress, that have just occurred or if someone is in immediate danger. The police will never criticise someone for calling the wrong number in good faith.
  • We all need to consider whether our own home security arrangements are effective and appropriate to the property and contents. In many cases, big houses with expensive contents have inadequate security, which increases the risk of becoming a victim. Police guidance can be found at this link: https://www.surrey.police.uk/advice/protect-your-home-and-belongings/burglary/

Residents should consider such issues as:

  • Window and door locks
  • Remote monitored burglar alarms
  • Security cameras, both indoor and outdoor (wireless ones are now highly affordable)
  • Security doorbells
  • Access, particularly from the rear of properties where ladders, garden furniture and single-story extensions have all been used to gain entry.

and of course you should find out who co- ordinates YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH SCHEME or if there isn’t one then how about setting one up ?

Tim Oliver

 

 

Weybridge Blog – Dec 2017

Since my election in May as the County Councillor for Weybridge, I have picked up a wide range of issues affecting many of our residents. Inevitably these range from individual concerns to matters that affect the whole area, but both are equally important.

It is my intention to use this website to provide regular updates on local issues as my key priority going forward is to inform as many people as possible of what is happening in the town as well as taking soundings from stakeholder representatives, such as the Business Guild, Weybridge Society and residents associations, with a view at to getting as much agreement as possible on the way forward where there is a clear public impact.

As always, I very much welcome feedback either by posting on this blog web page, by emailing me at Tim.Oliver@surreycc.gov.uk or by contacting me on my mobile on 07711 423363.

Lastly, could I would please ask you to share with anyone that you think may be interested in this blog web page.

 

Weybridge Walk-in Centre

Many of us were shocked when the walk-in centre and the doctors’ surgeries accidentally burnt down earlier in the year. The facilities were well used and much appreciated by the people of Weybridge, so it is not surprising that there has been much speculation since then as to what will be re-provided on that site with many people claiming that a decision has already been taken not to re-provide the walk in centre.

That has been denied by Dr Claire Cunliffe, the Chairman of the Clinical Commissioning group who ultimately will be responsible for that decision who recently confirmed to me: –

“We have definitely not made any decisions about the full functions that will happen from the new building and Weybridge. We have said loud and clear to a public audience of over 800 hundred residents and Councillors that there will be an NHS building rebuilt on that site and a public consultation on the options for what will going in it apart from the GP surgeries. A rebuild will take around 3 years during which time the temporary buildings cannot house anything other than GP surgery and treatment rooms due to size constraints on the site. This was obviously our priority to return primary care services to the 25,000 patients. Over the next year there will be consultations with stakeholders including the public about what else goes in the building.”

I will make sure that details of the public consultation are widely publicised across the town when they are released.

 

Parking and Parking Restrictions

A full review of parking across Weybridge was carried out earlier in the year. I am aware that many residents were unhappy with the proposals that came out of that review which sought to balance the preferences of residents with those visiting or working in the shops and businesses. The limited amount of spaces in car parks forces people to use the side roads which understandably limits parking for residents.

Historically, there has been a review every three year but a recent meeting of Surrey County Council and Elmbridge Borough Council it was agreed that there will be a review every year so where there have been unintended consequences following from the recent review, I hope that we can look to rectify them.

I would welcome any comments on any particular issues that you have faced since the changes were brought in

Please find the link for Surrey’s parking review below:

https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/parking/parking-reviews

 

Roads

I’m working hard with officers at Surrey and Elmbridge to find a solution to the poor state of some of the roads in Weybridge, in particular St Georges Avenue, Haines Bridge and Seven Hills Road. I will provide a further update in my next blog.

 

Weybridge library

The library is well liked and well used and it is absolutely the intention of Surrey County Council to retain it as a community facility.

However, the building needs modernisation and the current proposal is to replace much of the mechanical and electrical installation to give it a renewed life and to look to re-clad the outside with a more modern feel. Whilst the library would remain on the ground floor it may be possible to include a cafe or some other type of public space to maximise the benefit to the local community.

As recently reported in the press, consideration is also being given to relocating the Registry Office to the second floor of the building. Although the location is not as attractive as the current site at Rylston, many people are tending to use one of the many licensed premises across the County people for marriage ceremonies. By moving it into the centre of Weybridge though it should bring in more footfall which will benefit local retailers.

tim elmbridge

 

 

Brooklands Cycle Scheme

The County has a bid in for funding from the local enterprise partnership to develop a cycle path from Brooklands business park to Weybridge railway station and from the railway station into the town centre. This will provide a safe route for both cyclists and pedestrians, not only will this be attractive but hopefully this will also encourage more people are to walk or cycle rather than use their vehicles or public transport.

Full details are available on the following link below: https://www.travelsmartsurrey.info/cycling/district-and-borough-cycling-plans/elmbridge-cycling-plan

 

Traffic around Brooklands Business Park

The business park undoubtedly contributes significantly to the local economy quite apart from capturing a huge amount of history in the Brooklands motor and aviation museums. Unfortunately, the ever increasing volume of traffic in the area causes major congestion at almost all times of the day.

I have therefore commissioned through the highways team at Surrey a traffic study which will look at the primary causes of the congestion and hopefully come up with some ways of improving traffic flow. You may well have seen the recent announcement by highways England that they intend to reconfigure the junction with the A3 and M25 and we will see if there is anything arising from that reconfiguration that may benefit the Byfleet Road.

What of course would help is if there were a better public transport system and I am in discussions with key businesses at Brookland’s Park Business Park to see whether we can make more effective use of a shuttle bus system.

Streetscape

Funding has been made available to de-clutter part of the pavement from the Ship Hotel towards the centre of the town. Hopefully this will be the first stage of improving the pavements and overall the appearance of the High Street. Local businesses that are planning on upgrading their shop fronts should consider making an application for a grant to the Elmbridge Civic Improvement fund on the link below: –

 

Speed of Traffic

The congestion through the High Street may in part be a result of the phasing of the lights and the highways officers will have a look at this. However, the reverse is true in most other areas with most of issues relate to people driving too fast around the town.

Most of the objective evidence confirms that the lower the speed of the driver the less accidents that occur and the less injuries caused to pedestrians. I am aware that many residents would like to see a 20mph limit across the whole area, though there remains an issue around enforcement other than self-control by the driver. Again, I have commissioned a traffic speed survey to be carried out in the triangle area (Princes Road and the area around Manby Lodge) which has become a rat run for people wanting to avoid Queens Road.

 

Stakeholder Meetings

I recently had the first of what I hope will become regular meetings with a number of stakeholder organisations. This includes Paul Povey the Chairman of the Weybridge Business Guild as well as representatives from Wey Road, Portmore Park residents, the Triangle residents, the fairway residents. I hope the next meeting in January will include even more representatives.

I think this will be a useful forum for discussing both local issues and initiatives and to make a good way to make sure that the whole of Weybridge is fully engaged.

I would welcome contact from any other organisations that would like to join those meetings.

 

Surrey County Council

In May I was appointed to the Cabinet of Surrey County Council with the Property services and Business services portfolio. Business services covers the delivery of HR, Finance, IT, Legal and Procurement etc. and is mainly internally focused whereas property services includes all the county’s assets.

As government funding to local authorities has decreased to the point where it is now effectively non-existent, councils have had to look at other ways of raising revenue. This includes business rates and of course council tax but increasingly local authorities have looked to invest in property. Whilst Surrey has been one of those authorities its primary focus now is to look at his own property estate. Over the years the county has released a number of buildings that are surplus to the current requirements of the services it delivers, and we should be looking at ways in which those buildings can either be brought back into use and let commercially, converted to residential accommodation for affordable or social housing or redeveloped again for much-needed housing across the county. Obviously, any proposals will need to be approved by the local planning authority, Elmbridge Borough Council, but during 2018 there will be a full review of all the property owned by Surrey County Council and plans formulated on how to optimise its use to the benefit of the Surrey residents.

Elmbridge Local Committee Agenda can be below: https://mycouncil.surreycc.gov.uk/documents/g3918/Agenda%20frontsheet%20Monday%2008-Dec-2014%2018.00%20Elmbridge%20Local%20Committee.pdf?T=0

Please take a look at my YouTube video:

https://youtu.be/RlNj6q3S1iE   

where I set out the Councils strategy on how to make the best use of its property assets.

 

I will provide regular updates about what I am doing for Weybridge but in the meantime, thank you for reading my blog and I hope you have a pleasant break over the Christmas period.

 

tim portfoli

Tim Oliver

Cabinet Member for Property and Business Services

Surrey County Councillor for Weybridge