@SurreyCouncil’s David Hodge comment re Haslemere parking via @getsurrey

At 12.30pm today the Surrey Advertiser had a live web chat with David Hodge. I submitted a question about Haslemere parking. Here is a summary of the conversation relating to parking.

You can submit your questions to the leader by logging in via the comments box above, (by Stuart Richards 12:31 PM)

Surrey Advertiser news editor Tony Green is also on hand with some questions, (by Stuart Richards 12:31 PM)

I’m pleased be here today and I’m looking forward to answering your questions. I won’t be able to give you the lottery numbers for tomorrow!, (by David Hodge 12:33 PM)

There goes our audience. Welcome David. How successful would you describe your first 12 months at the helm? What difference has your leadership brought?, (by Tony Green 12:33 PM)

I believe my leadership has brought clarity around my concept of one team, that everyone at the council is there to help the businesses and residents of Surrey, (by David Hodge 12:35 PM)

One of the first things you did was scrap parking charges proposals for areas across the county. Why was this important to you? Clearly they were very unpopular, (by Tony Green 12:35 PM)

I believe it was right decision for the local businesses, particularly when some businesses were struggling. It’s important that local people can park outside shops. I believe that the last 12 months have demonstrated that this was the right decision from the feedback from members, the public and business groups, (by David Hodge 12:38 PM)

As a follow-up to that, here’s a question from Aine Hall on Facebook.
In May 2012 you announced that you were setting up a transport group for Haslemere (http://news.surreycc.gov.uk/2012/05/21/group-set-up-to-look-into-transport-issues/). You said:
“It’s clear there are transport issues in Haslemere that need to be addressed, including parking, but I believe the best solutions will come from residents and other stakeholder groups in the town, because they know their community better than anyone.

It is now November and no transport group has been set up involving residents and stakeholder groups.

Your Local Area Committee for Waverley recently advertised parking proposals that have far reaching consequences for our town. These advertised proposals for Haslemere are based on questionnaires that were sent to approximately 3% of the town’s population with responses representing the views of just 1% of the town’s population.

My question to David Hodge: Is it reasonable to propose such far reaching changes for our whole community based on the smallest participation in a consultation process? (by Stuart Richards 12:38 PM)

The discussions are still ongoing and we are working with the local committee, keeping abreast of developments. We are continuing to listen about local issues. The parking review was looking at the big picture for Haslemere looking around the issues of parking at the station which is important to the future of parking and this is where the parking group contribution will be critical in the way forward. (by David Hodge 12:42 PM)

Following on from that, I think people may be concerned that few people are engaging with the county council on issues that affect them. What options are available to you to ensure more people take part in these consultations? (by Tony Green 12:43 PM)

I want local people to get involved to make constructive comments on how to make the best possible decisions for the town of Haslemere. We need people to make comments and help us to make the best decisions for Haslemere, (by David Hodge 12:45 PM)