Agenda for Open Meeting 1 July 2013 at 7.30 in the Leatherhead Institute

1. Apologies for absence

2. Minutes of last open meeting 3 June 2013.

3. Matters arising.

4. Correspondence

               1. Mr. Grayling

               2. Mr. Searle from MV Housing Association

               3. Any other correspondence

5. Reports from sub-groups:

               1. Environment Sub-group

               2. Publicity & Membership Sub-group

               3. Planning Sub-group

6. Meetings attended:
             1. LAP,

             2. Judicial review

             3. Fortyfoot Road campaign

7. Meetings yet to be attended

8. A.O.B:

  • Explanation of a calendar rota for watering the plants in town
  • Words about the Parish Church and the LRA joining forces over Open Gardens next year.
  • Floral memorial to First World War victims
  • Drop in for the cycle race
  • Public meeting about the proposed development in Church Road

We have an apology, but …

We read in the Leatherhead advertiser today (June 20th) that Cllr Dickson has apologized to Martin Newey and John Whittaker for stating that the accusations of misconduct made against her had been "malicious." At long last she has admitted: "In particular, I acknowledge that Mr Lingard had concluded that he did not question the integrity of any of the complainants."

Indeed he did not. He actually stated: "I do not question the integrity of any of the complainants nor do I believe that any of them has told me any untruths." In other words, the Lingard Report attributed neither fraud nor malice to any of the complainants. Yet is only after eights months and a recourse to the courts by two of the complainants that an apology is issued to those two complainants.

Yet in the her press statement issued by Mole Valley Conservative Party on 1st October 2012, Cllr Dickson names seven complainants. Are the other five, then, guilty of fraud and/or malice? Clearly Mr Lingard did not think so. Is it not time that Cllr Dickson did the honorable thing and apologized to all seven?

I note Mr Whittaker’s statement in the Advertiser, though I am sorry the newspaper did not print it in full:
"Councillor Dickson’s press statement, with its false allegations against people who made complaints about her conduct, was appalling. She has now (8 months later) apologised. This apology is the result solely of legal action taken by complainants. The Council has always known the true position, but has said nothing about its councillor’s much publicised false allegations. It is a pity also that the Lingard Report has been kept from the Standards Committee which commissioned it."

To all of which I say "Amen!"

It is high time that things were brought into to the open. Not only should the Lingard Report be passed to the Standards Committee, it should, in my opinion, be put into the public domain.

And now we wait ….

How many times have we heard from Longshot spokesmen that the Judicial Review brought by Cherkley Campaign Ltd had no merit and would fail?

Strange then then that such a ‘meritless case’ has taken three days of legal argument in the Royal Courts of Justice and that the judge, Justice Haddon-Cave, has reserved his judgment because, in his words, it is a "serious case" (and, indeed, it is) and he clearly thinks it is going to take some time for him to come to his conclusions and write out his findings and his judgment.

The question of the need for yet another golf course in Surrey has been asked and debated ad nauseam, not only during the Judicial Review, but also during applications for Interim Injunctions and in the local press over the past few months. We learnt today from the Interested Party’s (i.e. Longshot’s) QC that we have been looking at this in the wrong way: of course we don’t need another golf course, but, apparently, we do need a world class golf course superior to any other in the UK!

I guess courses like St Andrews, Gleneagles, Royal County Down, The Belfry, Royal Birkdale, Surrey’s own Wentworth or the many other prestigious golf courses all lack something, for the Cherkley course is to be superior to them all. And won’t we be lucky to have such a superior course in Mole Valley? Good grief – I just noticed a squadron of pigs flying by.

They’ve gone. We now wait patiently for the judge’s verdict. All who attended the hearings agree that the judge was perceptive and has taken great pains to get a grip of the case and that, whatever the verdict is, we can be confident that it will have been properly and fairly arrived at.

Tour of Britain visits Surrey on 21st September

Dear All

As you will be aware, the Tour of Britain is returning to Surrey for the penultimate stage on Saturday 21st September and the race will be coming through Mole Valley  as the stage starts in Epsom and finishes in Guildford . The local launch is taking place on Monday 10th June. Cllr Townsend will be attending the launch to represent Mole Valley . 

At the launch details about the Surrey route will be announced including, we believe, information on the Sprints and the ‘King of the Mountain’ (KOMs) climbs. The first sprint will take place on South Street in Dorking and the second of the climbs will be taking place within Mole Valley going along Coldharbour Lane , the first being on Crocknorth Road in Effingham, just across the border in Guildford Borough Council. 

The majority of the race will be run under a rolling road closure, but we have been advised that full road closures will be put in place for all 3 of the Surrey KOMs. We do not know if the road closures will be mentioned at the launch event on Monday, but have been advised that the traffic orders will be made by Surrey County Council in the next week, at which point notices will begin to appear in the local press. The event organisers and SCC know that communication is crucial and they intend to visit all residents and businesses that are along the closure route to discuss any issues or concerns they might have. 

Attached are maps outlining the location of the road closures for the first two KOMs and also a briefing from the Traffic Management Team at SCC outlining the rationale behind the closures. I hope that this will provide you with some useful information and if you have any questions or concerns, please do let me know and I can ensure that these are raised with the event organisers. 

[UPDATE From WEBMASTER] – the information in the attachments can be found in this post:

Kind regards


Louise Bircher
Customer Service and Communications Manager
Mole Valley District Council
Tel: 01306 879155
Follow us on Twitter @molevalleydc

The Battle Continues

You may have seen the headline “Let Battle Commence” in last Thursday’s ‘Leatherhead Advertiser’.   The report correctly said that two days had been set aside for the Judicial Review (6th & 7th June).  But the review is going into a third day, Monday 10th June.

"How on earth did this get through planning?" was my last Blog (which generated 10 comments).  As one listens to the Judicial Review that question seems more and more pertinent. 

The Cherkley Campaign has been pleased at support given over the past two day by people attending the court hearing (click here to see list).  

If you feel strongly on this – and clearly very many people do – you may like to attend on Monday.  The proceedings will start at 10.30 in Court 19 of the Royal  Royal Courts of Law on the Strand near Aldwich.  

This case is a chance to say to councils across the country that you cannot ignore your officers’ recommendations, your planning policy and the advice of the experts (landscape consultants, CPRE, Surrey Hills Board, NT etc.) on the back of a lot of public relations puff.