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.
Surrey County Councillor for Weybridge.
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.The 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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