1. Chris Townsend’s attack on Conservative led Surrey County Council over parking.

    “We have heard throughout today what this Tory administration of SURREY CC  is all about. It is striving to become a world-class authority, it supports all aspects of Localism and wants to assist whenever possible in helping the Local Surrey Economy.

    So what do they do – they propose ON-STREET PARKING CHARGES with Parking Meters to boot!!

    Having spoken to many residents and traders/shopkeepers in my Division – they are appalled by such a proposal. They see it as a ‘Cash Cow’. There has been no consultation with business-folk or residents but we are now told that the Local committees are going to discuss the proposals and give their views. What if a Local Committee says NO we don’t want this – it does not enhance in any way our economy and locally shopkeepers and  residents are totally against the proposals. Do we expect the Portfolio holder or the Cabinet to say OK that’s fine we won’t introduce it. I think not!!

    A reason for the introduction of such charges apparently is cars loitering/cruising awaiting parking spaces. How ridiculous is that – the A24 in Ashtead is not a road  that sees this in any form – in fact the police might be interested in any such action – we have considerable churn of cars in the areas listed for Ashtead – it’s like the latest Tory suggestion that the recent stagnation of growth in the  UK was down to the winter snow!!

    Also the arbitrary way the parking bays have been selected for on street charges completely undermines the whole proposal. I have in my Division 3 shopping areas, 2 of which are in the proposal and 1 that is not. Funnily enough the one that is not, has the Local Tory HQ right in the middle of the shops. Residents take note of that – remember that!!

    These charges will create major problems at this difficult time for local shops and traders.

    This is an arrogant Tory administration that has not in any way tried to engage with local people, whether residents or shopkeepers, has not considered the relevant charges in any nearby car parks – the charges suggested are out of kilter with local car parks – and they are suggesting putting in Parking Meters which will change the ambiance, the feel of many villages and towns – urbanising these areas. What if there are no car parks near the shopping area – watch out residents there will be a number of cars parked in your road very shortly. And also when mentioning any surplus going back into improving the Highways – just laughter – no one believes this!! Credibility – This Tory administration has NO credibility in this area.

    And as far as World Class – it’s NO Class, and if this Tory administration even think they might win a Most Improved Council Prize – perhaps the judges should be told to speak to local residents and tradespeople who will tell them what they really think about such a Council that doesn’t care and doesn’t listen!!.

    This proposal drives a stake through the heart of Localism and stabs the Local Economy of Surrey in the back.

    The proposal should be stopped immediately !!”

    Chris Townsend – Surrey County Council – February 2011

  2. Tesco Express Deliveries – Success at last

    Following months of efforts by ward councillors David Howell and
    John Northcott, and County Councillor Chris Townsend, we are
    delighted that Tesco finally funded the urgently required road
    improvements to the Woodfield Lane service road by Tesco

    The lorry parking bay has been enlarged and bollards installed to  prevent  delivery  lorries destroying the verge. Timber bollards have also been installed along parts of the verges to prevent vehicle   damage, and kerbs have been raised.

    We are grateful to the officers from Surrey County Council highways team who negotiated the technical and financial arrangements that enabled the work to be carried out.

    The damage that had been done to the local environment was a disgrace but, by spring, the verges  should  be  back  to normal. We ask that residents do not park in the lorry bay, which is for deliveries only.

  3. Parking outrage in Ashtead

    Conservative-controlled Surrey County Council has declared its intention to introduce on-street parking charges throughout the county over the next year. This effectively means that we may well see “controlled parking zones” or meters appearing on The Street, Woodfield Lane and Craddocks Parade. As a result, in order to park we will be required to purchase a ticket which will be damaging to local trade and will inevitably push cars into adjacent residential areas.

    Needless to say, your Independent councillors are totally opposed to this action, viewing it as little more than a tax and having nothing to do with easing a “non-existent” parking problem around the village.

    We are all supporting County Councillor Chris Townsend, who is being highly vocal in his opposition to the move at SCC to try to make the Conservatives  see the damage that this will cause to the village environment. We have set up a separate page on our website to include additional information. Go there now to read Chris Townsend’s speech to Surrey County Council on this matter

  4. 2010 – All change at Mole Valley

    There was an increase in Ashtead Independents representation on the Council in May with the return of John Northcott (Common Ward), also elected as Chairman of the Council for 2010/2011, and the election of Richard Brooke (Park Ward) and Simon Ling (Village Ward). These successes have led to some fundamental changes in the way Mole Valley District Council operates.

    Ashtead Independents now hold the balance of power on the Council and we are committed to supporting greater transparency and community involvement in all decisions made. Our hopes of creating a truly cross-party coalition to face the difficult times ahead, and to reflect the political  choices made by the electorate were initially dashed by those entrenched in “party politics”.

    Whilst this initial setback was disappointing, we eventually supported the appointment of a new Conservative administration based on their agreement to deliver a more open culture, create cross-party working groups for policy development and listen to local residents’ views on the issues that have a direct impact on their lives.

    As we move into 2011 the promised changes are being delivered and have allowed local members to play a far more active role in the running of the Council. Our commitment to this style of administration will continue as we believe that it is the only way to get the best out of the Council.

  5. County Matters – February 2011

  6. Station Improvements at Ashtead

    Your Independent Councillors and the Ashtead Residents’
    Association are pressing Southern Railway, who manage the
    station, to re-install a seat within the enclosure on the London- bound platform and also to make changes to enable the new shelter to be available to customers even when the station is not staffed.
    The current arrangement has provided a new shelter at
    considerable cost, but reduced its usefulness

  7. Congestion near Ashtead Station

    We are pleased to report that, after continued lobbying, Surrey County Council has carried out the first stage of a study to determine the feasibility of widening the stretch of Woodfield Lane from the station to the mini-roundabout.

    Investigations have confirmed that there are no underground services that would need to be moved, thus reducing the potential cost of the works. The proposals would not damage the trees but would allow two-way traffic alongside parked cars.

    There is already £60,000 available from developer contributions for work around the station, with more available from the Parsons Mead development   We are  pushing hard to ensure that further funds are found for this   project.