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July meeting of the Spelthorne / Surrey Joint Committee

July 19, 2019 1:25 PM

The first formal meeting of the Spelthorne Joint Committee since the Spelthorne Borough Council Elections was held on Monday 15th July,

More information on the Joint Committee can be found here - https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/people-and-community/your-local-area/spelthorne/committee

Present at the Committee were the seven County Councillors representing Spelthorne at Surrey, 4 Conservative Borough Councillors, 2 Lib Dem Borough Councillors and 1 Labour Councillor. The meetings are chaired for 2 years alternating between Richard Walsh, representing Surrey County Councillors and Ian Harvey on behalf of Spelthorne Borough Council.

At this meeting, we received several significant updates regarding the successful returns made on £3000 given to Community Safety and the excellent projects they have been working on regarding river safety and anti-knife crime projects in Schools. We also had the Surrey County Council portfolio holder for Highways update on how his portfolio had been able to rethink they way in which it moves forward.

Scrutiny in SpelthorneThere were significant discussions that took place that were worth raising:

1) Rubbish - Caroline Nichols came and questioned the amount of litter found in Lower Sunbury and how we need to be engaging adults in these discussions. We wholeheartedly support her calls and will work with Caroline on this. Coverage of her question can be found here - https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/resident-takes-bag-full-rubbish-16599185. We are in discussions with Neighbourhood Services about the bins locally and rubbish collection and will be happy for any input from residents in our feedback.

2) The future of Stanwell - Mr McCluskey invited the committee to discuss the radical changes to the landscape in light of the Heathrow Expansion. He was particularly disappointed that this threatened the previously approved local Nature Reserve. The committee said that it would take his written comments for consideration. We have proposed a motion on the topic of Heathrow expansion at full council

3) ESSO pipeline - The Pipeline that is proposed to go through large swathes of residential Spelthorne. We are pleased to hear that any health threats will be listened to and we will also consider any reports and comments on this.

4) Eco Park - Cllr Tom Fidler raised the question regarding the state of the roads in the area immediately surrounding the Eco Park on Charlton Lane. Many residents have complained for years about the damaged bridge over the railway and the state of the potholes in the road. Despite the fact that the backlog of roadworks have apparently been cleared, the response informed Cllr Fidler that these roads 'were not a priority'! This despite the site being responsible for the waste disposal for Spelthorne, Runnymede and Elmbridge.

Cross-Party support for the question was received, but any decision appears to be deferred. We will continue to press for proper repairs to the road and assurances that any works make the road more prepared for the heavy-duty traffic that can be expected. We will also dispute this lack of priority which has been given to one of the major routes over Walton Bridge amongst other routes.

5) Community Infrastructure Levy - Cllr Fidler also questioned about the use of Community Infrastructure Levy that has been accruing. The last meeting to discuss the money was 2017 when investment was made in the North of the Borough. We are still concerned about where the money is now and that we can see this money being reinvested where it is needed. We will propose several possibilities for investment. Information on the Levy can be found here -https://www.spelthorne.gov.uk/CIL

6) Transport - We welcome the news that the 442 route has been extended and saved following the savage cuts to public transport across Surrey. This route will serve Stanwell and Staines and the airport which is a good things for residents there. However there is more on transport to come. We are disappointed that despite 45 years of experience in the Transport Industry, Councillor Chris Bateson was not selected for the Transport Task Group. We understand that Councillor Harvey chose himself as the borough representative despite the expertise on offer. We find this disappointing and have asked for clarification as to why

7) Parking - This is something that the committee will play a role in and we are pleased that opposition Councillors have a presence on this Task Group. It is important that we work together across the house for resolution of issues, as we were able to do with the Ford Close decision that was brought to the meeting. We do intend our role as the opposition to be constructive, and we expect the Conservative Administrations at Surrey and Spelthorne to respect this and work with us.

The decision tracker for the meeting can be found here - https://mycouncil.surreycc.gov.uk/documents/s57837/Forward%20Plan%20-%20Spelthorne.pdf

The minutes will also be available here and on the Surrey Website.

More updates on the key meetings we attend will be shared on the website. To get notifications about updates, please go to - https://spelthornelibdems.org.uk/en/subscribe-by-email. You can also find information on our facebook page - Spelthorne Lib Dems and twitter @Spelthornelibde