Notices

LRA Meetings

The LRA meeting schedules are published on the LRA website. It would be useful for the proposed agenda to be posted up in advance. This would allow those that cannot attend the opportunity to send in their views in advance and then the Chairman could make these opinions know to the meeting delegates.

In addition, it would also be useful if the minutes of the meeting were published on the LRA website to allow those LRA members that did not attend the chance to find out what is going on. This should also apply to committee meetings; these should be minuted and made available to rank & file members. This will show that the organisation is transparent and not run by an isolated bunch of individuals with their own agenda.

Car Club for Leatherhead

One possible way to reduce congestion & parking in & around Leatherhead would be to introduce a Car Club. The concept & operation of Car Clubs are described on this web site :

http://www.carplus.org.uk/carplus/whatcarplus.htm

Guildford & Sutton both have car clubs. MVDC should get involved & promote such a scheme.

What do Leatherhead Residents think of this idea?

The Green Mole Forum is also looking at this idea. Visit their site to see what they do.

Church Street

I have looked at the plans (they are available in the Help Shop) and have the following comments:

1. It will be nice to see the pavements and road surface renewed, but …
2. Accessability to the town by lorry or even large van could be impeded by the strong curve in the road around the “civic space.”
3.It is a real shame that the three established trees should have to go, that the 8 that are to be planted are all down one end and that there is no shade planned for the semi-circle in front of the theatre.
4. Are the bollards there to stop people parking on the pavement? I am not sure of their function.
5.Although the outside eating areas for the café and the restaurant will be pleasant, I am concerned that other, similar businesses in the town have been denied that luxury!
6. Finally, and no doubt a small point, but I could not understand why traffic lights were drawn on the draft plans outside Canons, as opposed to Gascoigne-Pees.
7. I would also have liked to have seen a lot more flower beds, as we have at the moment.

Council moving from democracy

Peter Seaward, chairman of Bookham Residents’ Association, has kindly given our Association to publish this copy of the letter which appeared in last week’s Leatherhead Advertiser:

…………………………………………………

The letter published in the Advertiser on December 13 from Councillor Malcolm Johnson titled “More transparency and a lot less talk” omitted to record the fact that the focus groups he refers to consisted of a total of just 18 people, according to the ABA report.

From a Mole Valley population of 80,000, this is hardly enough to justify the undemocratic changes now being enacted.

The words below are comments from John Pagella, deputy chairman of the Bookhams Residents’ Association and reflect the disappointment and disillusionment felt by our organization, and, I suggest, other similar bodies in the Leatherhead area over this whole process:

“There is a sad inevitability about the whole process.   Increasingly, our public life today is managed as a parallel world for the convenience and satisfaction of those within, with little real understanding or regard for the attitudes and day-to-day concerns of the wider population outside that it is meant to represent.

“Consultation is managed on their terms and regard for local opinion is invariably confined to accepting the views they hear when it coincides with what they intend to do, and ignoring those views for the rest of the time.

“Will forums add anything?   I rather doubt it.   

“If our elected representatives paused for a moment, they might reflect on the fact that residents’ associations locally have greater democratic legitimacy than they do.   Our membership in Bookham covers about 50% of the population.   We count our membership in thousands.   They manage to get elected on votes in the hundreds.   It would be nice to get back to the days when the former Leatherhead Council was run on non-political lines.   I can’t see it happening, I’m afraid.”

Peter Seaward,  Chairman of the Bookhams Residents’ Association, Atwood, Little Bookham.

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