1. Ashtead Recreation playground

    Last Saturday (19th March) John Northcott, in his capacity as Chairman of Mole Valley was delighted to open the new facility at the Recreation ground.

    After tireless campaigning by ARC and grants from both the District and County Councils, the children of Ashtead now have a play area to be proud of. Well done to everyone involved, this is a legacy for the people of Ashtead that will be enjoyed for year’s to come.

  2. Ottways Lane and developer contributions – an open response to Councillor Hunt

    You may have received a letter recently from Councillor Chris Hunt concerning the Parsons Mead development and potential funds becoming available for community use.  We would like to correct the misrepresentations in that letter of the Ashtead Independents’ position regarding resurfacing work in Ottways Lane and Grange Road.

    This work is still the top priority for Ashtead as far as Surrey Highways is concerned and would have been done this year had it not been for the redevelopments at Parsons Mead and St Andrew’s. This is because we do not want heavy lorries and other building vehicles riding over new surfaces shortly after they have been laid down. The funding for this work will come from Surrey Highways, and will probably not need any of the funds coming from Parsons Mead and St. Andrew’s developments. Chris Townsend, your Surrey County Councillor, has confirmed with Surrey Highways that Ottways Lane and Grange Road are still the top priority for Ashtead.
    The Ashtead Independents’ newsletter clearly states that £60,000 is already earmarked for the works in the vicinity of the level crossing and suggests that more may become available from the Parsons Mead development – but only a fraction of that money might be used. We are pushing hard for this work to be done as it benefits a vast number of Ashtead residents who use the station as well as those who live the other side of the railway.  Of course the Parsons Mead development will itself generate greater use of the station car park and approaches.

    We agree that the Parsons Mead and St Andrew’s money should be used for improvements locally and in Ashtead. Other than the road improvements mentioned above, we would be very interested to hear your views on what you consider the funds, when they become available, should be used for in your vicinity.

    How many local residents would welcome the installation of pavements in Agates Lane and Skinners Lane, even if such a development was feasible?  Would it not accelerate the decline of Ashtead’s village character?

    We hope this clarifies the Ashtead Independents’ position on this subject, but if you have any concerns please contact either Simon Ling (Village Ward) or Richard Brooke and Chris Townsend (Park Ward), your ward councillors.  We will try to keep you updated as events occur either directly or through our website.

  3. Surrey Tories refuse debate on On-Street Parking charges !!

    At today’s Surrey County Council meeting, 2 motions were put forward – one by the Independent/RA group and one by the Liberal Democrat group – asking that the Council debate the issue of On-Street Parking charges as proposed by the Conservative Administration. Both motions were refused that debate by all Conservative Councillors present – voting being 46 against the motions with 23 for the motions. The Tory Administration claimed that consultation was ongoing and now was not the time for a debate. Any ideas on the best way forward to implement these charges would be considered for each Borough/District.  It was pointed out that over 30,000 signatures had now been received through various petitions across the whole of Surrey stating their opposition to what is being proposed.

    Both motions were referred to the Transportation Select Committee due to meet on May 13th for recommendations to go to the Cabinet meeting in June. It does need to be said that both these meetings are AFTER the Local Elections due on May 5th and one wonders whether that was a key factor in the decisions made at Full Council today!!

    Chris Townsend, Surrey County Councillor for Ashtead, is speaking to local Ashtead Traders tonight (Tuesday) on the latest situation and Ashtead Independents will continue to fight these disgraceful proposals that will harm both the local economy of Surrey but also all the local traders in our villages and towns.

    Further updates will be put on our website as and when they occur.

  4. Independent to Chair PVR Panel on Education & Learning

    Cllr. Chris Townsend has been appointed Chair of the Surrey CC Public Value Review Panel to look into Education & Learning across Surrey. He is the first Independent to be appointed as the Chair of a PVR Panel at Surrey CC. The Panel will be challenging how the Education service is provided; comparing performance with other appropriate authorities; consulting with Headteachers, Governors, other Education professionals and Parents; and building relationships with all involved in Education & Learning. The recent Education Bill currently going through Parliament will be followed with interest with particular reference to Academies, whilst a recent Green Paper on Special Educational Needs will also need to be considered. It is hoped that the review will report in July this year, earlier if possible.

  5. What happened to that late train?

    For some year’s the absence of a service post midnight back to Ashtead has been a source of great frustration to residents. We promised to look into the matter and it did look as if we were going to be able to deliver a much need benefit to the community.

    However, at the 11th hour it seems that this is not the case. The reason is simple but merely increases the sense of frustration. There is agreement to run a late service to Sutton, along tracks that are run by the South East division of Network Rail – however the stretch that runs from Epsom to Dorking and Effingham Junction is run by the Wessex division. They are adamant that they need the extra hour to untake vital maintenance work and therefore will not entertain the proposal.

    We will continue to press for them to change their minds and keep you updated on any progress that we might make.

  6. Sign the e-petition and let Surrey know how you feel about the parking charge proposals

    An ePetition has been set up on the Surrey County Council website against the proposed on-street parking charges. Anyone who doesn't want to pay 70p or 50p a half hour for currently free one hour parking places, and who believes that this proposal will seriously effect the vitality and viability of our towns and villages, should sign this Petition ASAP. It closes on 23rd March We know that all of them are against the proposed charges - this petition could show a joint front- and pass a strong message that Surrey is not happy with this. Please go into the Surreycc.gov.uk website to sign it. Go to <http://petitions.surreycc.gov.uk/ParkingCharges> http://petitions.surreycc.gov.uk/ParkingCharges Thank you for participating

  7. Ashtead Spring Clean – 2nd April 2011

    The Ashtead Spring Clean will take place on Saturday 2nd April 2011. It will only need you to give an hour of your time and we always manage to transform the environment that we live in. If you are interested please have a look at the separate page or contact the ARA