If you notice sudden building activity going on in a garden near you or an outbuilding that appears to be used day and night, inform the Planning Department or your local Councillor.
Building of a garden outbuilding can start without a planning application. Applications to the Planning Department for an outbuilding to be constructed within the confines of a rear garden are increasing. Frequently, the plans include running water, connection to the electricity supply and sewage. Some include two of the facilities and some none. They are described as a garage or a games room or a work room sometimes a business office.
Lib Dem Councillors on Surrey's Police and Crime Panel have criticised the Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner for appointing a £53,550 a year Deputy against the views of the cross-party Police and Crime Panel.
The Police and Crime Commissioner, Lisa Townsend, and her proposed Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Ellie Vesey-Thompson, recently attended a confirmation hearing with the Police and Crime Panel and answered questions from Panel members on her suitability for the role.
Sunbury Common & Ashford Common have experienced a large increase in crime since the police community support officers were removed by Theresa May. This mistake has now been recognised & police community support officers are being recruited again.
However it is local residents who are the eyes & ears of the police & we are all much safer when we look out for our neighbours. That is the basic idea behind Neighbourhood Watch, which has done so much to combat crime. Some roads in Sunbury Common & Ashford Common already have an active Neighbourhood Watch, but the majority do not.
If you would like to set up a Neighbourhood Watch in your road please write to firstname.lastname@example.org where help and advice will be provided.
Two of the current causes for local concern are the number of burglaries & thefts of catalytic converters from vehicles parked in the street. If you see or hear anything suspicious please always dial 999 immediately. It is better to be safe than sorry.
At the recent Surrey County Council election, you may have noticed that in the run-up to polling day, mysteriously, money suddenly became available to produce a rushed programme of patchwork road repairs throughout the Borough. Rather than producing a proper thought out programme of work, Tory-run Surrey County Council went for a cynical "look good in the short term" approach. They also promised further investment in our roads and to address the poor state of our pavements too - finally acknowledging there is a serious problem with the condition of both.
Liberal Democrats welcome long-overdue investment in these areas which have deteriorated continually throughout the entire time the Conservatives have been in charge at Surrey. We will hold them to account for these election promises made to our residents and will continually monitor the neighbourhood.
For over a year now progression, albeit slow, has been made in respect of the Local Plan. It is not without controversy and very soon some difficult choices will have to be made.
Liberal Democrats have long been critical of the unrealistic housing target being foisted upon Spelthorne Council by the current Government, with a completely inflexible approach from them on the matter. If not reversed or amended this situation is likely to force the Council into making a very unpalatable choice; releasing some Green Belt land for housing together with significant high rise development in Staines to meet these imposed targets. Even if the Council were to max out building in Staines this still might not be enough.
Liberal Democrats do not believe that unrestricted development right across Staines town is the right answer. It would dramatically change the face of the town, for the worse in our view, and fail to capitalise on the Town's best asset, the river frontage, for the benefits of its residents. Local Councillor Chris Bateson is being pragmatic on the subject. In an effort to win cross-party support he is promoting the idea of zoning Staines so that any high rise building if agreed would be placed well back from the riverfront. This would protect the Town's most precious area which can then be looked at to develop as an attractive place for people to visit and utilise.
Chris states that right across the political spectrum of the Council, people have expressed immense dissatisfaction at the failure of the Government to recognise that the housing numbers they seek cannot be delivered. Apart from infrastructure issues, the idea to cram as many people into the town in a mass of high rise flats is not what I believe local people want. Whilst some high rise building may be inevitable, they should be proportionate and other areas of the Borough taking their fair share.
Commencing on 18 May and running through until 29 June, Spelthorne Residents will have a chance to have their say, on how they would like to see a future Staines look. Many agree that the Borough's major town needs both revitalising and modernising to take it forward for future years.
Spelthorne is developing a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) following a Government strategy to improve walking and cycling across the country. The process involves developing walking and cycling networks which can be developed over time. Including:
"Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs), as set out in the Government's Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, are a new, strategic approach to identifying cycling and walking improvements required at the local level. They enable a long-term approach to developing local cycling and walking networks, ideally over a 10 year period, and form a vital part of the Government's strategy to increase the number of trips made on foot or by cycle" (DfT, 2017)"
We came within 7 votes of winning the by-election in Staines South
May I take this opportunity on behalf of Rob Millist and myself, to thank all those in Ashford, Staines and Laleham who voted for us and for change at the local elections on May 6. In the Staines South and Ashford County Division I was pleased to gain a very creditable second place securing 1,238 votes and increasing my vote share from 12.4 % in 2017 to 33.3 % in 2021. This represented a swing away from the Conservatives of 12.4 %
Rob Millist was even more unlucky and came so close to winning in the Staines South Borough by-election, losing by just 7 votes after a recount.
We are indebted to those who placed their faith and trust in both of us at this election. We will both continue to be active in the community and I remain a Borough Councillor for the Staines South Ward on Spelthorne Borough Council. I am here as always to act for and in the best interests of my residents and Rob will continue to campaign alongside me in the Staines South Ward.
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