Haslemere Herald letter. Is it any wonder I am cynical?

From: JL Nobbs [mailto: removed] Sent: 09 November 2012 2:56 PM
To: editor@haslemereparking.com
Subject: FW: Letter

Dear Editor

My latest missive to the Herald for your excellent website, if you should see fit of course!

Best wishes

 

Julianne

 

From: JL Nobbs [mailto:removed] Sent: 06 November 2012 14:45
To: ‘Haslemere Herald’
Cc: ‘david.hodge@surreycc.gov.uk’; ‘clerk.htc@haslemere.com’; ‘Nikki Barton’
Subject: Letter

 

Sir

 

What is it about Surrey County Council and this obsession with stopping people parking on the street or at least doing so without paying?  Don’t they understand that not everybody can afford to pay for parking in the town every day and many of these people rely on their cars because there is inadequate public transport.  At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the reason why so many people objected to Surrey County Council’s original proposals was that if they went ahead, where would all the cars park?  Even if you ignore the issue of commuter parking, there are those people who live and work in the town who can’t afford to park in one of the car parks and if even if they could they would considerably reduce the spaces available for shoppers.  When SCC withdrew their original proposals they promised to move swiftly on the two or three roads that were desperate for parking controls and where consensus had been reached and consult adequately on the rest, taking a long-term holistic view considering ALL the parking needs of the town. They have failed miserably.

The biggest outrage of all is that under the new proposals, Beech Road will go from not wanting any change to effectively becoming a private road because SCC has persuaded residents that the threat of displacement from the double yellow lining on Three Gates Lane was so severe they needed ‘special rules’ that allowed them residents permits, even though most houses have two or more off street parking spaces.  Patients, visitors and workers at the Haslemere and District Hospital and Health Centre will no longer be able to park on Beech Road 11-14.30pm if the on-site car park is full.  Beech Road is not used by commuters but Cllr Robert Knowles, Leader Waverley Borough Council, and member of SCC Waverley Local Committee is a resident of Beech Road.

Meanwhile, in Wey Hill, Waverley Borough Council are completing a pincer movement by attempting to get permission to resurface the ‘Fairground Car Park’ and start charging there.  Who is the winner here?  Certainly not the town.  Indeed, I am beginning to think that neither SCC nor WBC values the businesses that drive our economy or certainly not those in Haslemere.  During the gas mains works, having had no constructive help from WBC, town councillor Melanie Odell and I requested a meeting with the Leader, Cllr Robert Knowles and Parking Portfolio Holder, Cllr Carole King, to discuss how they could help desperate businesses in the town while the works were in progress.  Both are Haslemere councillors and yet they insisted they were too busy to meet us in Haslemere and that we had to travel to Godalming if we wanted to meet with them.  Small business owners everywhere will recognize the impact of taking time out of one’s business, especially in today’s harsh economy.  The meeting was also attended by a representative of Waitrose.  As a result of our discussions with Cllrs Knowles and King, Waitrose emailed them a suggestion on how to proceed.  They received no response.

Then recently, the Town Council forwarded me an SCC questionnaire asking for feedback about streetworks carried out by utility companies, such as the recent gas mains replacement works.  Apparently a Streetworks Task Group has been set up to look at what impact they have on the towns where they take place.  So far so good – except the questionnaire sought the views of parish councils on the effects on residents and completely ignored the effects on businesses.  It was only thanks to the excellent relationship the Chamber has with the Town Council that we were aware of this Task Group at all.  And who is the Chair of this Task Group?  Cllr Pat Frost, who also chairs the Waverley Local Area Committee where the parking proposals will be discussed.  Is it any wonder I am cynical?

Yours sincerely

 

Julianne Evans

President, Haslemere Chamber of Trade