Bulletin for October 2023

Dear Members,

It was good to see so many at our meeting on Monday, 16th October.  I do realise that sorting out the intricacies of a Limited Company are not compelling reading or listening, but the more care we take with our outward appearance, the more seriously we will be taken by the powers that be.

Two new Directors were voted in at the meeting:  Hilary Porter and Tony Russell.  Hilary will retain her interest in Health problems generally in our town, will continue with the Access Group and report back on any significant changes that she hears about.  She will also continue with designing her excellent posters and using the barrow in the Swan Centre prior to Open Meeting so as to alert both members and non-members.

Tony will continue to let us know about serious traffic accidents and problems and will keep us abreast of any further changes in medical provision in our area.  This is very likely to involve the Ashlea Practice in Linden House, but we are unlikely to hear more until Transform Leatherhead makes its official appearance.  This same document is likely to include changes in our road layout and Tony will study it carefully and bring the results to our notice.

Talking of which, new Director Tony Russell has been looking into the unsafe situation in Forty Foot Road caused by the traffic going to and from the school but also from the Mid-Surrey Mencap.  He was shocked at what he saw which was a total disregard for normal rules regarding where and how to park.  It is hoped that by requesting a Fire Engine to attend as if to a fire, it could be shown that the road width is simply not enough for it to pass through unimpeded.

Now, an important item:  one of our members, Mrs. Julia Jarrett is organising a litter pick on Sunday, 29th October.  We, the LRA, have some equipment, and MV Waste Management Dept. is going to lend us some more.  The litter spot you personally would like to clear up needs to be decided upon now and you can then contact Julia to see when would be convenient for both of you to collect the picker, the jacket and the black plastic bag.   The equipment contains a small box of plastic gloves, but really I think that stout gardening gloves, if you have any, would be better.   Julia will be in the park between Randalls Road and Station Road between 2 pm and 4 pm on Sunday 29th October and has arranged for MV to collect the bags the next day. Mole Valley gives us £1 per (largish) black plastic bag, which in turn, enables us to sponsor other charitable events.

Julia is very anxious to know who will be supporting her efforts on the 29th. Please complete our contact form with your details and inform her whether you plan to do an “early” pick or an “on the day” pick.

Two further members have offered to help with running our LRA but not to become Directors. They are Anna Graham and Carol Webster.  Anna will keep a watchful eye on our local environment, including some roads, (a bit like Tony), but will include our Public Gardens.  She will concentrate on the “green” areas in Leatherhead, like the Mansion Gardens and other public areas.  Carol has nobly volunteered to overhaul our website and to get rid of inaccurate or outdated material.  She has already started with the Bulletins, putting them in chronological order.  I am hoping to meet up with her soon so as to get other areas sorted out.

This time last year, the hot topic was the new Local Plan.  But, as many of you will remember, this plan was halted in its progress by Mr. Gove announcing possible changes to the regulations as to how many houses councils must provide where this might involve encroaching into protected land, such as the Green Belt. This prompted MV to pause consideration of their draft Plan by the Inspector.  Unfortunately, Mr Gove has yet to confirm the anticipated changes and this has left MV without an up-to-date Plan, which makes MV an attractive proposition for speculative builders and developers.  The Appellants in the Headley Road Appeal fall into this category.   After a Hearing of two weeks in length, the Inspector has now left Pippbrook and will be considering all the evidence presented to him. We are unlikely to hear his decision before Christmas.

I do hope many of you will take advantage of the invitations being offered through the “Arts Alive” month of October.   One event particularly easy to access is the Exhibition put on by the Leatherhead Art Club in the old Chapel of St. John’s school.  This starts on 21st October and lasts until the 28th (10 am till 4 pm).  Conveniently, there is free admission and free parking.

And now for a small bit of really good news – just right to finish with:  one member has been complaining bitterly about the state of the pavements along Poplar Road and part of Forty Foot Road. The bushes alongside had become so overgrown that they covered the pavement, and one tree stump completely blocked any wheeled vehicle from using the pavement in that area.  Now both the Surrey Roads management team and NHS Property have looked into it.  The bushes are now cut back and revealed the fence in its state of disrepair which the NHS Property group plan to mend!

Finally, fans of Greggs donuts and sandwiches will be happy to learn that the whole of the current business is moving into the ground floor of Santander and will be opening up in the new year.

With best wishes to you all,

Caroline (Brown).

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