Getting to grips with parking – the basics

Residents’ concern

As a recently elected councillor, I find that parking is one of the top topics that people raise with me. Issues I have been dealing with both before the election and now are:

  • unreasonable and dangerous parking by parents around one particular school in my ward
  • lack of access for waste removal from homes due to inconsiderate parking in narrow residential streets
  • Monday to Friday parking restrictions (single yellow lines) applying to Bank Holidays, not just working Mondays
  • severe parking congestion in the evening in town centre streets – even those with a CPZ
  • absence of turning space at the end of cul de sacs

What to do?

Some of these problems are matters of making information more widely available and better signposting: e.g. Mondays to Friday restrictions apply on Bank Holidays throughout Elmbridge. Or proactively letting diners know there is free evening parking available in Elmbridge car parks. These can be just 5 minutes away from their restaurant destination.

Taking it further

Some parking transgressions are due to lack of consideration or plain selfishness. The net result is that local people suffer at the hands of the inconsiderate!

When appeals for considerate behaviour fall on deaf ears, we need to explore what actions accountable authorities should take. And when this avenue is exhausted, we need to explore how the situation can be transformed.

Improvements in Weybridge

Over the following months your local Lib Dem councillors will be supporting local residents seeking improved CPZ timings in town centre streets. We will also be seeking to ensure that residents in narrow roads do receive bin collections, undisrupted by poor parking. And finally we will be exploring imaginative ways of securing clear pavements and safe parking around problem schools.


Public workers’ pay cap

We believe that the government should end immediately the public sector pay cap and allow public organisations to arrange their own pay structures. For example, Elmbridge borough does not follow national pay agreements simply because we could not recruit the staff we need if we kept pay within the British government’s guidelines. Since the recent dramatic fall in value of the pound the pressures on living standards have been even greater. The English health service is under strain as service demand increases and fellow Europeans begin to leave in anticipation of Brexit. Hospitals are put into the perverse position of having to hire agency nurses because so many full-time nurses are leaving. The British cabinet loves controlling everything. It has jettisoned Europe, it is now attempting to override parliament and it has long since emasculated local and provincial government. The health, fire, education and police services have their own
budgets so why not let them pay what they want and deliver in the way they want without being second guessed by Westminster.

Fighting hate crime

Mary MarshallProposed by Liberal Democrat councillor Mary Marshall, Elmbridge Borough Council passed the motion below at its meeting on 20 July 2016:

“We are proud to live in a diverse and tolerant society. Racism, xenophobia and hate crimes have no place in our country. We, Elmbridge Borough Council, condemn racism, xenophobia and hate crimes unequivocally. We will not allow hate to become acceptable.

“Elmbridge Borough Council will work to ensure local bodies and programmes have the support and resources needed to fight and prevent racism and xenophobia. We reassure all people living in Elmbridge that they are valued members of our community.”

Elmbridge has a long established history of promoting and developing a robust Equality and Diversity agenda. It was the first Borough in Surrey to set up a borough-based Equality and Diversity Forum in 2007, which comprises representatives from statutory, voluntary, community and faith sector organisations as well as individuals with an interest in equality and diversity issues in Elmbridge.

The forum remit covers all areas where inequality and discrimination may exist and includes older people, disability, gender, race, religion and belief, sexual orientation and transgender identity, as well as other broader equality issues. Its mission statement is “to promote equality, celebrate diversity and support good relations in Elmbridge”.

Witness appeal following assault on Weybridge tow path

Surrey PoliceThe police service is appealing for witnesses following an assault which took place on the tow path near Desborough Island, Weybridge at around 7pm on Tuesday, 7 July.

A man was assaulted by a group of teenagers along the towpath and suffered serious facial injuries which required hospital treatment.  One of the male suspects had ginger hair, another female offender had blonde hair and there was possibly an east Asian man in the group.

The police is determined to find those responsible and bring them to justice.  They are carrying out a full investigation and local officers are carrying out inquiries in the area as well as reviewing CCTV opportunities to track down the offenders.  The police has also stepped up patrols in the area to provide a visible deterrent.

Anyone with information is asked to call Surrey Police on 101 quoting reference 45150059450 or by using the online reporting system.  Alternatively the independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Police Share of Council Tax

Police-on-patrol-001The Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, Kevin Hurley, says that following extensive consultation with local residents he has decided to propose a 1.99% increase in the police share of council tax for the coming year, rather than pursue a referendum for a 24% increase.

One of his six priorities as Police and Crime Commissioner is to give local people a greater say in how they are policed. From the beginning of his research into the idea of a referendum on a significant increase in the police share of council tax to mitigate against continued funding cuts and allow us to invest in better policing, he said that it would be the views of the public that would make the decision. It is their money and their police force. A referendum would cost over £1m to hold and he would not put that money on the line if he was not certain that a majority of residents would support the proposed increase.

Having surveyed and spoken to thousands of people over the last few months, it is clear that, whilst there is a consistent level of support from around a third of residents for paying a significantly bigger amount towards policing in their council tax, the majority view remains against that decision and instead in favour of the smaller increase of 1.99%. That has made his final decision on our budget proposals very simple. He says that he is grateful to everyone who has taken the time to have a say.

Money is the biggest issue facing Surrey Police. From his first day in office he has been lobbying the national government to either protect service levels by merging forces or if not, to provide more funding to where it is most needed. We receive the second lowest level of funding per head of population in the country and independent analysis shows that we are losing out on as much as £6m government funding every year that we need to keep the county safe.

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.

Walton Lane Lorries

Walton Lane action on over weight lorries has had a response from Surrey on replacement signage at Walton Bridge

Surrey proposes a road sign along the A244 on the western (lower side) side of the new bridge which along with providing directional details for drivers of the Walton Lane junction does warn drivers of the 7.5 ton weight limit. In addition Surrey says that a new sign will be installed on the opposite approach to Walton Lane along the A244 for traffic heading north – away from Walton. These signs will be enforced by two round weight limit signs located at the junction of Walton Lane with the A244 on both sides of the road.  Surrey says that theses signs will be installed in mid-February once all of the groundworks have been completed where the signs are to be installed.

We still need to get the signage at the western end improved.

Surrey Police working with Elmbridge

Elmbridge and Surrey Police carried out a successful week long joint operation before Christmas to tackle problems that were raised by residents through the neighbourhood policing panels.

During the week 28 people were dealt with for speeding at locations across the borough, as well as this 32 cyclists were caught cycling on pavements and received words of advice, eight people were dealt with for jumping red lights, 15 for not wearing seatbelts and 26 for using a mobile phone whilst driving. Local officers also seized a vehicle for not having insurance.  Police and Elmbridge also undertook ten joint patrols across the borough.

If you have any concerns please attend Weybridge’s neighbourhood police panel. The next panel meeting is 7:30, Thursday, 6 March 2014 in St Georges School

Cycling in Weybridge

To reduce congestion we need as many journeys made by cycling as possible. To encourage people to cycle we need residential streets with 20mph limits and main roads with well designed cycling facilities.  Weybridge is no exception.

What does putting cycling first do for us? It helps to reduce crime and congestion and it increases our health and well being. All at minimal cost.

It does not mean that we have to cycle if we are unable or unwilling to do so.  It simply encourages and enables others to so  – reducing our journey times.

We need to follow the Danes, Dutch and others in planning for a safer and more pleasant place to live.

Desborough Island

Desborough Island

Perhaps anticipating the notoriety that parts of Desborough Island have gained recently in the national press, Weybridge’s local police has been concentrating hard on providing high visibility patrols during the third quarter of this year; with the intention of making the island a safer, better, more pleasant place to visit.  If you have any comments on the parkland click here