Editor’s letter to David Hodge @SurreyCouncil

Dear David

I live in Haslemere and have written to you before regarding the parking proposals in our town. I write again because I care deeply about what goes on in my community.

I run a business and commute to London two or three days a week. I paid a premium to buy a house near the station so that I could walk to the station without the dependence on a car/parking in my commute. My children either walk or travel by bus to get to school. I do not live in a road that is directly affected by the proposals but I am in a road that will be affected by displaced traffic.

I thank Surrey County Council for dropping the retail parking proposals in the town; however, I am not convinced that all day parking is the right solution for Haslemere. It simply moves cars into other streets. There has been no detailed economic research to support the actual need for parking in Haslemere.

In order to try to put the conversation in one place, I and 2 other volunteers set up a website http://haslemereparking.com. Its aim is to be a sensible, open and democratic forum to understand the views of residents in Haslemere. We seek to assess democratically the strength of feeling for or against the proposals. As volunteer Editor, I have actively asked individuals who are supportive of the proposals to come into the forum. Thus far these individuals are conspicuous in their absence. If you have a moment to browse, you’ll read that the strength of feeling against the proposals in the forum is unanimous.

Following your personal intervention you arranged a meeting with Cllr Frost, the Chair of the Local Committee (Waverley) so that stakeholders across residents’ associations, churches, schools and amenities could express their views. I am shocked to hear this meeting started with Cllr Frost claiming that she was being “set up”. It seems that your welcome intervention, rather than helping the communication, has further hampered it. Our parking experience in Haslemere makes me feel that there has not been much change at Surrey County Council since the publication of The Frater Report.

Within Surrey County Council’s Constitution you state that good corporate governance underpins confidence in public services and should be transparent to all stakeholders. The adherence to your values – TrustRespectListenResponsibility – is questionable within the Haslemere parking consultation.

I believe that Haslemere needs a coherent traffic management solution. I do hope that when the Local Committee (Waverley) meets this Friday that the committee members will make their decisions knowing that Item 8 on their agenda is supported by the largest petition (for the avoidance of doubt the 4,636 signatures were against pay & display proposals) that the Local Committee has ever received.

Yours sincerely

 

Áine Hall

Volunteer Editor, Haslemereparking.com

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From: Áine Hall [mailto:removed] Sent: 12 March 2012 11:31 AM
To: ‘David Hodge’
Cc: ‘jeremy.hunt.mp@parliament.uk’
Subject: Haslemere Parking

 

1 comment for “Editor’s letter to David Hodge @SurreyCouncil

  1. milkandonesugar
    13/03/2012 at 20:49

    Perhaps David Hodge should take time to consider how, as Leader of SCC, his position is affected by the justified outcry from the populus of Haslemere. I reproduce an extract of an article from Friday 9 March’s Evening Standard. As David hodge could read, decisons about parking can be expensive to political ambitions,

    “There’s no denying that Philippa Roe knows her way to the top. The 49-year-old mother of two is standing on the highest point of Westminster City Hall, having climbed a roof ladder in her skirt and heels to pose for pictures.

    This week she formally replaced Colin Barrow as council leader after he quit amid the furore over plans for a “nightlife tax” on motorists. It marks a rapid ascent for the former businesswoman who became a councillor six years ago.

    She describes the parking fiasco as a “short hiccup” and vows there will be no extra charging of motorists in the West End on her watch. “I have no plans whatsoever to look at that,” she said twice.

    “We have a congestion issue in the West End. It’s clear we made a mistake in the way we tried to solve it. What I really want to do now is look forward. This is a new era. We have made our decisions on parking. We are not going ahead with the charge.”

    A review of West End policy is under way, but Ms Roe is keen for her leadership to mark a wider change with the past. “I’m just a very different person from Colin,” she said. “We each have our strengths and weaknesses. I’m much more collegiate than Colin.

    “Residents’ associations, business associations, everyone who has a stake in Westminster, I want to talk to. As our plans evolve, I want to make sure that people who are impacted by these proposals have a voice. We don’t have to get everyone to agree. I think it will be a hard task. What we have to do is listen and explain.”

    Hopefully David Hodge will suggest his officers take time to listen.

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