I’ve reported the incidence of fly-tipping down Heath House Road this morning. As part of it is in the road, hopefully it will be gone either today or tomorrow.
A while ago I did report the incidence of fly-tipping down Connaught Crescent by the garages, but I’m not aware of what has happened recently with it. I’ll wander down there and check if it is still there.
Many of you may have signed the SCC petition that a Pirbright resident created a couple of months ago. This is a petition I support and have signed.
Today I have received notification that it has reached the threshold to be formally presented and debated at the Guildford Local Committee in June.
This meeting will be the 13th June, starting at 19:00. Unfortunately, I am unable to attend as I will be at the Finance Task Group in Woking at that time. It’s unlikely I would have been able to speak anyway, however I will have a chat with the Guildford Borough Council Pirbright Councillor, Cllr Gordon Jackson who I know well and make my representations to him. I expect him to attend anyway. I hope this meeting will yield a positive response to the problem of the lights at the tunnel.
After the recent elections, I have now joined the Executive at WBC and have become the portfolio holder for Promoting the Local Economy, HG Wells Conference and Events Centre and Information Communication Technology. A nice little promotion which will give me something new to get my teeth into.
Residents often come to me complaining of potholes in the road, not realising that I can do no more than they can which is report it to SCC. SCC are responsible for highways, not WBC. I’m only an elected WBC Member, and have no aspirations to run for SCC.
In fact, reporting a pothole to me increases the time it takes to get it fixed because it then relies on me reporting it which I won’t do until I’ve seen it myself which usually takes me a while to get round to. Far better to report it yourself using the SCC online web pages.
What I also do occasionally, is make general representations to the Cabinet Member for Highways at SCC who is Cllr Colin Kemp. Cllr Kemp happens to be a WBC Councillor as well, and so I periodically bump in to him in the chamber. He writes a blog and is also active on Facebook and Twitter. He’s been writing recently regarding the problems that come about as we leave the winter period on the roads. Please read some of his posts for an insight into dealing with the road network.
A Pirbright resident has submitted a petition to SCC regarding the tunnel at the western end of the village. His points are valid and I have signed the petition.
The problem at this junction is that on the Pirbright side, there are two feeder roads with traffic lights, and on the Brookwood side, there are two feeder roads but crucially with one set of lights. This does cause a lot of frustration because the well meaning drivers leaving Brookwood via Connaught Road, will pause to allow drivers from Bisley Camp Road / Brunswick Road to go, and the sensors decide that there is no traffic. This in turn means the lights go to red prematurely and the traffic builds up to intolerable levels. It can take 20 minutes sometimes to get out of Brookwood.
The obvious solution has been to add an additional set of lights on the Brookwood side, and I have had conversations about this with WBC officers in the past. The challenge is effectively two fold; a) who pays for the changes, and b) the junction sits in Guildford Borough.
There are no development opportunities that can be used to extract funds from to pay for the improvements. This is a major problem, because finding the evidence to justify the improvements should be reasonably easy, but SCC will simply claim there isn’t the money in the highways budget to do anything.
From my perspective, the junction sitting in Guildford causes further issues. Assuming the petition reaches the minimum numbers required, it will go before the Guildford Local Committee, the next meeting being 13 June. I suspect that convincing the Guildford Local Committee to use their sparse funds to pay towards improvements that are going to have a bigger benefit for Brookwood residents will prove challenging. I will endeavour to keep an eye on the agenda for that meeting and try and attend, although I do have a prior engagement that night already.
The petition may be signed here and I encourage as many people as possible to do so.
Very pleasing to see the roadside parking improvements implemented these past few days that residents and businesses had requested. Down by St. John’s Court, a new bay has been created and double yellow lines put either side of the entrance/exit of St. John’s Court. This will make it slightly safer for those St. John’s Court residents to exit and provide an additional CPZ parking bay.
The businesses in the village had often informed me that they thought trade was impacted during the 13:00 to 14:00 parking moratorium. The five 20 minute bays that have been created outside the launderette and the bakers/Post Office will hopefully improve trade. The 20 minute wait is enforced between 08:00 through to 18:00.
As an aside, glad to see the good job that has been done with the crossing outside the school. That really was a disgrace and I’m grateful it’s finally been resolved.
The Brookwood Lye Roadshow on Wednesday afternoon / evening was a big success in my opinion. I was there, along with representatives from Thameswey and the architects.
63 people, plus a dog came along and saw an impressive visual walk though, and had the opportunity to look at the plans and ask whatever questions they wished. Unsurprisingly, the crossroads was the main area where people had concerns, and I’m grateful that there was no opposition to the actual development, and some good suggestions as to how some areas could be improved. We know the crossroads are going to have some improvements done, which I hope will be completed either before or during the development build out. The crossroads has been approved at the SCC/WBC Joint Committee, but the final plans are still being worked up.
Last night at full Council, we passed a paper called ‘ Earn Your Deposit Scheme’. EYDS is an attempt by WBC to provide genuine help to aspiring house buyers by allowing them to build up a steady deposit while renting a property from Thameswey. At the roadshow, it was very well received, especially amongst the younger generation whom made up just over 20% of people that came along. This is a fantastic scheme and I spoke passionately about it last night, and thankfully, it went through. You can read the press release here.
Hopefully you are sitting down while reading this, and I can’t claim any credit for this, other than to keep making noises to the right people at the right time. A chunk of Connaught Road will be resurfaced next week. The area is the worst pot-holed section, running from Lockswood down to Heath Drive. Works should commence next Thursday and last two days (15-16). My understanding is that the road will be closed between 08:00 to 17:00. The crossing outside the school has been an absolute disgrace for a long time and I welcome this improvement, with luck, SCC will raise the drain at this point so the drop off a cliff sensation when you drive over it will be resolved. I’m impressed that it is being co-ordinated to coincide with the half term holiday, however I suspect there will be a degree of chaos first thing in the morning. Be prepared.
You may have seen the item in the Brookwood Newsletter about the above, and of course I have mentioned it here.
The roadshow is tomorrow afternoon / evening at Brookwood Memorial Halls from 16:00 through to 20:00 and is our chance to look at what is being proposed and feed into the process.
I expect the Leader of the Council, Cllr David Bittleston will be there for the first hour and a half as well as representatives from Thameswey, WBCs housing company. I’m not sure if anyone from highways will be there as they decided to be unnecessarily awkward in my opinion.
I would especially like to encourage young adults to attend as many of the properties here are perfect for that demographic. There will be some information about the ‘Earn Your Deposit Scheme’ which was passed at the Executive last Thursday and goes to full Council this Thursday for adoption. EYDS is WBCs scheme for giving people struggling to enter the housing market a chance. I expect to do a full blog piece on this once it has passed through Council.