Weybridge town meetings

In my May 2018 election literature I promised to run town meetings, if elected.

My ambition is to try and establish a kind of forum where residents and businesses in Weybridge can come together on a regular basis and talk about the kind of Weybridge we want for the future.

Why did I want to do this?

I am committed to trying to enable generative and creative conversations. Conversations which bring people in at the early stages of developing anything new in the town.

All we need is YOU!

We need your ideas, your input, your voice and your help.

  • Shape what happens to the town.
  • Influence and support ideas and plans.
  • Get support from the others and the council for for your own ideas and projects.

We will talk about:

  • The spaces we use.
  • How we get about.
  • How we support people and keep them safe.
  • Our local economy and business.

And we want to know from you:

  • What do we love that we want to protect?
  • What do we need to make better?
  • What would we rather do without?
  • What can you do and what help do you need from the council?

Let’s bring the community together and create a future for Weybridge that we all want.

Anti-social behavior – what would you do?

Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner has been tasked by the national government to consult with the people regarding community remedies (see below).  You can add your views in this survey.  The survey is not very rigorous and I found the first question hard to answer properly but at least one can make further points in the comments box.

A community remedy document is to be produced with the opinions of the people of Surrey in mind. This document will be a list of options, chosen by the public, which will be available to victims of low-level crime and anti-social behaviour. One of the priorities is to put victims at the heart of the criminal justice system, and this aims to do that. Victims should see see justice more quickly, and offenders will face immediate and meaningful consequences for their actions.

Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

Section 101 of this act stipulates the following:

Each local policing body must prepare a community remedy document for its area, and may revise it at any time.

(2) A community remedy document is a list of actions any of which might, in the opinion of the local policing body, be appropriate in a particular case to be carried out by a person who—

(a) has engaged in anti-social behaviour or has committed an offence, and
(b) is to be dealt with for that behaviour or offence without court proceedings.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2), an action is appropriate to be carried out by a person only if it has one or more of the following objects—

(a) assisting in the person’s rehabilitation;
(b) ensuring that the person makes reparation for the behaviour or offence in question;(c) punishing the person.

(4) In preparing or revising the community remedy document for its area a local policing body must—

(a) have regard to the need to promote public confidence in the out-of-court disposal process;
(b) have regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State about how local policing bodies are to discharge their functions under this section;
(c) carry out the necessary consultation and take account of all views expressed by those consulted.

Pruning time

It may seem early in the year to get out in the garden, but now is the perfect time to cut back trees and hedges near streets that could cause nuisance, obstruction or danger to pedestrians or vehicles.  Vegetation from your land needs to be maintained by you.  If you have bushes that grow onto the footway they must be cut back to your boundary at all times.

If, when walking around Weybridge, you pass a bush that extends beyond the boundary and over the footway report it to Surrey now.

Cutting back roadside hedges and trees

Last year, the Surrey received 8,476 calls from people reporting overgrown hedges, many of which related to vegetation on private land.

Graham Banks, Surrey’s arboricultural team leader, has some tips to help to maintain your roadside hedges and trees.

  • You can cut vegetation well back at this time of the year. If you leave it to later in the year, cutting is best limited to new growth. You may need to do this several times during the summer to avoid causing an obstruction or inconvenience to pedestrians.
  • Evergreen Lawson and Leylandii conifers can only be cut back to live wood if they are to sustain growth.
  • Take care to avoid disturbing nesting birds. The main nesting period is between early March and late July, so check ahead of cutting, especially when using machinery. If you do find a nest, avoid causing any disturbance and leave the hedge concerned until the nest is empty.

20’s Plenty

A number of streets in Weybridge have speeds lower than 30mph – they are mainly private streets but Portmore Park is a 20mph zone too.  I think that all urban streets should have a 20mph limit – excluding classified roads.

20mph sign

Surrey’s Conservative-run administration has rejected a call by the Liberal Democrats for Surrey’s speed limits policy to be changed to make it easier for 20mph zones to be introduced where evidence says they are required and they are supported by local residents.

Liberal Democrat Environment and Transportation spokesperson Councillor Stephen Cooksey (Dorking and the Holmwoods) said: “In May 2006 Surrey unanimously approved a motion on 20mph speed limits initially proposed by Liberal Democrat Councillor David Goodwin. That motion said that where appropriate Surrey should consider reducing speeds in urban and rural areas through measures such as creating 20 mph zones and called on Surrey to produce a report on the effectiveness of the introduced 20 mph zones with recommendations for any future development of road safety policy.

“In the six years since that motion was passed, and only three 20mph schemes have been implemented in the whole of Surrey.

“Evidence has shown that reducing the normal residential speed limit from 30mph to 20mph would make roads much safer, that 20mph speed limits decrease child pedestrian accidents by 70% and that half of the people hit by a car at 30mph will die whilst only 10% of people hit by a car at 20 mph will die.

“Whilst neighbouring councils such as West Sussex and Kingston have successfully introduced 20mph zones, Surrey’s Conservative administration has failed to make progress.

“I hoped that Surrey’s Conservatives would join with me and my Liberal Democrat colleagues in wishing to improve road safety by introducing 20mph speed limits where evidence says they are required and they are supported by local residents. I am sorry that the Conservatives do not think that the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders on Surrey’s highways is an important priority.”