Bulletin for June 2024

Dear Members

For many of us, this last month has seen a marked up-turn in activity related to the Transform Leatherhead project.   Firstly, on 13th May, there was a meeting between the Leret partnership (MVDC and Kier) and a small number of recognised local consultees, of which the LRA was one.  This was to be followed by consultations with members of the public, but these meetings had to be postponed once the General Election was announced.    A new series of dates in July has now been announced as follows – “The Jam Place” on the 11th and 20th July, the former Clinton’s Cards shop in the Swan Centre on the 13th and the 16th and a Zoom meeting, again on the 16th.   More detail is contained in the revised notifications that are being posted to all.

It will be interesting to see whether the proposals have changed from those shown to us on the 13th May, which certainly caused us even more concern than previous options put forward.   However, it is for you the residents of Leatherhead to voice your own opinions and so I recommend that you attend one of these consultations, as after a decade of little real progress it does appear that “Transform Leatherhead” might be close to actually coming to fruition.  It is important therefore that you comment on the latest proposals that might actually get built.  If in addition to expressing your views to the Development Partnership at the meeting you attend, you have the time to email me your views when you get back home, I would be most interested to hear of them.

Moving now on to other items:  I am delighted to see the refurbishment of the former Santander Bank in the High Street is completed and very smart it looks with a new roof and windows and fully redecorated.  It grieved me (like many others, I am sure) to see it swathed in protective plastic month after month.  From the Planning Department, I also read that the lime trees between the Theatre and Waitrose are to have a stay of execution and will instead receive a stiff prune.

I am, however, sorry to have to tell you that all ideas for improving the Plough Roundabout with four large planters have had to be shelved.   It transpired that neither our District Council nor the County Council were prepared to take ownership of them and if the LRA had done so the public liability insurance complications were too complex to be practical.  It is a great pity because we were offered grant funding to provide both planters and plants.

One of our Directors is particularly vigilant when it comes to our roads and pavements.   Both he and one of our Councillors have complained long and hard about the state of the road leading to the Recycling Depot “the tip.”   For a road leading to a public facility and used by both enormous lorries as well as private cars it is very poorly maintained, narrow and full of deep holes.  It has been in this parlous state for a very long time and it really should be brought up to a reasonable standard.

Another area involving tarmac is the path running under Waterway Road Bridge, part of the Riverside Path.   It is a mass of mud, not at all conducive to walking, and far too wide to just jump over.    This path also has steps leading down from Waterway Road.   It is quite a steep drop and these steps, in addition to being very slippery in wet weather, do not even have a solid hand rail to help those who use them.

As you already know, we have two police officers coming to talk to us at our meeting on Monday 5th August.    Out of interest, I went to the website called <surrey.police.uk/area/ your-area/surrey/news-search-Leatherhead/surrey> and looked at the crime figures for various places in our area.   Sadly, I noticed that Leatherhead High Street seemed to have the highest amount of theft, although other, nearby areas were equally disheartening for other types of crime.    Please don’t forget that the reason P.C.s Keen and Storey have been asked is so that we can put questions directly to them and they will probably make suggestions to us.   So, either come with questions you would like answered or send them to me in advance and I will pass them on so you can be sure of a comprehensive response.

With all best wishes,

Caroline (Brown, Chairman)

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