Local Issues

Local issues affecting residents of Ashtead

Swan Centre Improvements

The Transform Leatherhead Team wanted you to be aware that Phase 2 of the Swan Centre refurbishment works will begin next week.

This phase will see the completion of works to make the car park more user-friendly and the replacement of the goods and passenger lifts.

The car park works will include fresh signage, improvement of the ramps on Levels 5 – 6 and the installation of new parking charge machines. In addition to pay and display using cash, the new machines employ a flexible check-in, check-out system for credit, debit card and Apple pay users. Users paying by card will no longer have to predict their length of stay, within the 4 hour limit, on arrival.
The car park will remain open and operational during the works and there will be Traffic Marshalls on-hand to direct users.

One goods lift and one passenger lift will be replaced at a time so there will always be one lift in service and these works will not affect the lifts belonging to Sainsbury’s.

Mid Jan - end of February: Car Park works
Mid Jan – end of June: lift works

Phase 3

The third and final phase of these works will take place from June to September 2019 and will include the reconfiguration of the stairwell, new external branded signs and the creation of a brand new retail space within the centre.

Keep up to date with Swan Centre works progress at www.molevalley.gov.uk/swancentre

Heathrow Airport Consultation - Have your say

Residents of Ashtead will have received a document through their door concerning proposed changes to Heathrow Airport, the flight paths and the operation of the three runways if approval is granted.

A consultation is available for residents to give their views and the document can be completed online via www.heathrowconsultation.com. The closing date for the consultation is 4th March.

Public events are also being run in many areas and the closest to us is the one at Bourne Hall, Ewell on Saturday 2nd February between 10am and 4pm.

The consultation does not encompass the helicopter flights which irritate and inconvenience many Ashtead residents, especially during the summer months. It seems there is little we can do about this except to continue to complain to the CAA, the BHA and our MP. Follow this link for more details.

Important SCC Consultations - your opinion counts!

David Hodge, Leader of Surrey County Council has a huge "black hole" to fill with a rumoured £250 million deficit to make up over the next three years. He says that "at this stage it is important that the Council start wide ranging engagement and consultation with our residents, communities, businesses and partners, ahead of setting the budget in the new year. The five specific areas for consultation are described below.

Children's Centres

Our aim is to focus resources on families who need our support most so they get help early and we can try to help them not to need social care services in the future. As part of our overall family resilience approach we want to create a network of hubs around the county which support children right up until they are 11 rather than five as now. With these targeted in areas with most need.

We are consulting on proposals to close some centres but the service is not just about buildings - outreach workers will visit families in their homes and we could work with partners to provide the right help at the right time.

We currently have 58 children's centres. The proposal is for 19 main centres to continue and another eight to become satellite centres. This means that 31 current centres would close and we would seek to find alternative uses for the buildings.

However, in total, there would be 21 main centres and nine satellites, because it's proposed that two new main centres would be opened, one in Horley and one in Dorking, at a site where some family services are already delivered. In addition, another satellite would be established, in Addlestone.


Complete On-Line Survey


Concessionary bus fares

We currently provide benefits over and above the requirements of the national scheme We are one of a few areas in the country still offering bus users both the additional concessions covered in the consultation - free travel on a disabled person's bus pass at any time (before 9.30am and after 11pm on weekdays) and free companion bus passes. Only around two per cent of journeys under the scheme are made before 9.30 in the morning and these proposed changes would bring us into line with most other councils.


Complete On-Line Survey


Libraries and cultural services

More people are using our online services with fewer visiting in person, there's been a 25% drop in visits since 2010. So we're looking at how we can do things differently to fit better with modern life. We also spend more on libraries than similar councils - £14 per person compared with £9.89 for average county council.

We want to hear people's views on how we could reshape services based on some core principles - such as whether libraries could come together with a range of local services under one roof; how technology could be used to offer more access; how libraries enable people to learn and access information; what role libraries could play in strengthening communities and the opportunities for volunteers.


Complete On-Line Survey


Special Education Needs & Disabilities (SEND)

Our proposals include giving support as early as possible and identify needs earlier which would be better for those who need help. We want views on how we ensure children's voices are heard, how we provide support nearer to home and reduce the need for children to go to schools out of the county. We plan to create an extra 350 specialist school places in Surrey over the next two years.

Overall the proposed changes could mean better outcomes for children and families. And at a time when government funding is failing to keep pace with the big increase in children needing help.


Complete On-LIne Survey


Community Recycling Centres

The financial pressures we're facing are severe so we have no choice but to look again at whether savings can be found at community recycling centres. We have to consider closing some centres which are used by fewer people and process less waste.

Surrey currently has 15 Community Recycling Centres - three options are being considered in the consultation:

1. Closing four smaller, less-used centres in Bagshot, Cranleigh, Dorking and Warlingham and increasing the number of days a week that Leatherhead, Camberley and Caterham open from six to seven. The four centres only handle around a tenth of the total waste.

2. Closing six smaller, less-used centres at Bagshot, Cranleigh, Dorking, Farnham, Lyne (Chertsey) and Warlingham and investing savings into opening the remaining nine centres seven days a week while also increasing the number of staff and looking at improving facilities and technology. Less than a fifth of waste is handled by these six centres.

3. Closing the same six centres and changing the opening times at the remaining nine. Between October and March they would open for five days a week avoiding closing at the most popular times. Savings would be invested in opening the centres seven days a week from April to September when opening times would also be extended into the evening where possible. In addition the number of staff would be increased and improvements to facilities and technology considered.


Complete On-Line Survey

I know that some of the proposals will not be popular but we have to change how we do things. We need to target the resources we do have in the areas where we can make the biggest difference to people's lives. By working together with other organisations across Surrey and working better with communities, we can provide best possible support with the resources available to us, especially to those that are most vulnerable.

The council will be publicising the consultations widely and will provide members with materials that you can use to promote the consultations. We'd appreciate your help with raising awareness of the consultations with residents, communities and organisations in your area.

Kind Regards

David Hodge CBE
Leader of the Council"

With such a pressing need to cut costs one does cynically ponder on whether these proposals are already set in stone, and much will depend upon the volume of resident and Councillor response to the proposals. Once the links to these consultations are published we will ensure these are highlighted on this site and we encourage everyone to respond. Apathy will just be a "green light" for these proposed cuts to go ahead.

Mole Valley Youth Awards 2019

Do you know anyone aged between 11 and 18 who goes to school or lives in Mole Valley and deserves to be recognised?
Nominate them now at www.molevalley.gov.uk/youthvoice and book your free tickets at Dorking Halls for the Awards Ceremony on Friday 22 March 2019 to see if they win an award!

Run by Youth Voice councillors, the event shines a colourful spotlight on the achievements of young people in Mole Valley. It’s a glittery, glamorous evening with several live performances by talented young people.

Entry closing date is Monday 4 February 2019.

Successful nominees will know by the end of February. The awards will take place at Dorking Halls on Friday 22 March 2019.

It’s a free event, and everyone is invited!
Entrants must be aged 11 to 18 on 31 August 2018.
Entrants must live or go to school/college in Mole Valley
Youth Voice councillors cannot be nominated, as they will be assessing the nominations.

To nominate someone visit the web site www.molevalley.gov.uk/youthvoicemolevalley.gov.uk/youthvoice

Woodfield Lane Apartments Construction

Planning Application MO/2016/1934

Residents may have noticed that work has commenced on the new apartments at the foot of Woodfield Lane by the shops. At the moment the work seems to be demolition of some kind.

Having raised this with the Council, Local Ashtead Independent Councillor and Cabinet Member for Planning Policy, David Harper reports:-

"It would appear that not all the pre-commencement conditions that the Inspector imposed when granting planning permission have been discharged notwithstanding what appears to have been the commencement of development, (i.e. demolition).

Given the history of the site and the sensitivities around it, a Temporary Stop Notice has been drafted. It is with the Legal Team at the moment for checking. It is proposed to serve it today (Thursday). The Temporary Stop Notice lasts for 28 days during which no development should take place. In the meantime we will ask for the pre-commencement conditions to be discharged."

David later reported that when Enforcement Officers first went to serve the Stop Notice there was no-one on site, and it is a pre-requisite of the Notice that it must be served personally, not just left.

If any resident sees work being undertaken on the site please let the Webmaster or Council Planning Enforcement Officials (01306 885001) know as soon as possible in order that the Stop Notice can be served.

The other factor being viewed is the seemingly permanent position of vans within the parking bays outstaying their allotted stay time. This too has been raised with the Council's Civil Enforcement Officers.
We can't stop the building going ahead as plans were agreed by the Planning Inspectorate, despite having been unanimously rejected by the Council's Development Control Committee, but we endeavour to ensure all the requirements and conditions of the plans are fully enforced and that residents are inconvenienced as little as possible.


Page 1 of 5