ASHTEAD RECREATION GROUND UP-DATE (20 August 2018)

(1) CLEANING UP:  It has now been established after talking with the managing director of the cleaning contractor that  they did allocate resource on the Friday night who did in fact attend. He has, however, admitted that the instructions he provided were not, in hindsight, sufficiently specific. This resulted in them only doing a superficial clean of the grass pitches omitting the woods and bushes and other areas on that night. They have apologised. I understand that this contractor has not let MVDC down before, and has acted very quickly to clean up after other unauthorised encampments. I am confident lessons  have been learnt.

 

(2) SECURITY: One of the concrete blocks at the Barnett Wood Lane entrance had been nudged slightly, so as a precautionary measure an MVDC van has been parked there as well.Three more blocks have been ordered, two to go on top of the existing to prevent dragging and one to block the Woodfield Lane entrance. This will permit a mower only, but it is acknowledged that the temporary no vehicular access could be a problem if there was an emergency on the  Recreation ground. The blocks were to be placed later today or tomorrow morning. This  precaution is also being taken at several other sites in the District at Kennel Lane, Lower Road, the Chrystie Recreation Ground, Cock Lane and Cannon Court. A block is also being placed down on the Woo Field opposite the Recreation ground and top soil is being delivered to vulnerable points with a view to creating a barrier and longer term building a bund. The new secure gates are on order but are not available from stock because of the high demand this summer from the supplier.

 

(3) INJUNCTION: Some residents have wondered why MVDC did not obtain a District-wide injunction from the High Court as Elmbridge BC has recently done. This is a lengthy and costly process and the order applies for just three months. This was obtained because Elmbridge had experienced a much larger number of unauthorised encampments (27 so far in 2018) and have reported a catalogue of concerns raised by residents and businesses over damage to public spaces, fly-tipping, human waste, anti-social behaviour and the daily disruption to people’s lives and livelihoods caused by the encampments. This is a possibility that will continue to be considered by MVDC lawyers, but it was felt an injunction was unlikely to be granted this year as the District has not experienced the same level of disruption as the  other authorities who have been successful in the High Court.

Cllr David L Hawksworth CBE

Leader, Ashtead Independents”