The @SurreyCounty elections are in 110 days. Prospective Councillors’ Booklet.

The County Council elections will be in May 2013 and our incumbent, Cllr Steve Renshaw, will not stand again as a Conservative candidate.

Here is Surrey County Council’s Prospective Councillors Booklet.

The booklet states:

It is a considerable role to take on but the work is sufficiently rewarding that the great majority of councillors seek re-election, some of them serving for two terms or more.

Cllr Steve Renshaw served one term. He has not been selected by the Conservative party to stand a second term.

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2 Responses to The @SurreyCounty elections are in 110 days. Prospective Councillors’ Booklet.

  1. Victorialeake says:

    Dear Waverley Local Committee Members

    We thought it might be helpful to draw some lessons from the 2012 September Waverley Local Committee Meeting (WLC) on parking in Haslemere, for better WLC meetings in 2013. We think there are five big lessons for you:

    Lesson 1 – Do turn up. A Councillor thought he’d best help the constituents he represents in Haslemere by excusing himself from the discussion on parking (possibly because he would personally benefit from the proposals). We’d like to point out to the Councillor that, despite his conflict of interest, not turning up means you can’t actually challenge proposals that will harm the constituents you represent. (That’s not a good thing, by the way).

    Lesson 2 – Do demand that the author of a report/proposal turns up too. The SCC Officer who authored the parking proposal report in September didn’t turn up to answer your questions. The manager of the parking team, who reports to him, also wasn’t there, though some members of the public saw him watching from a distance. (Authors turning up is a prerequisite for the next lesson).

    Lesson 3 – You are allowed to ask questions at the meeting. Yes, it may be a novel idea, but you should aim to ask some intelligent questions at a committee to check that you’re doing the right thing before agreeing to something. Some examples include:

    · “Residents from Lower Street and Shepherds Hill say that they were were sent a letter by SCC which made it clear that they were not included in your proposals, yet you are presenting data to us on their responses as if they had been. So can we trust the data you’re showing us?” (Answer: No)

    · “What will the impact of this scheme be on roads in the town centre that are not included in the proposal?” (Answer: They will continue to suffer the problems that the roads included in the scheme were suffering, but worse, because of the large car displacement from the proposed scheme).

    · “Is the Parking Team’s estimated displacement of 35 cars, included in the “Committee Response”, the total impact of the proposal?” (Answer: No, it is just SCC’s estimate of the impact of ROPs, but excludes the impact of yellow lining. Councillor Mulliner of HTC has independently estimated the total displacement effect of the proposals to be around 65 cars. We have to offer you an apology here. We wanted to give you an impact assessment ourselves before the September meeting on this, but SCC answered our Freedom Of Information request on 1 November even though the request for information was made on 20 August.)

    · “How should one gauge the impact of 35 or 65 cars being displaced in the town centre?” (Answer: 35 cars amounts to the displacement, using SCC’s car count for each road, equivalent to all of Popes Mead (9 cars), Chestnut Avenue (6 cars), Tanners Lane North (10 cars) and a further 10 of the 27 vehicles currently parked in Courts Hill Road. 65 cars displaced is more than the entire Tanners Lane Waverley Car Park, capacity 50 cars, plus some roads. So, bottom line, it’s a lot of cars in a small area and a very big adverse impact for neighbouring roads.)

    We think you get the gist that this is not a very equitable (in fact, a predetermined) parking scheme. But if you thought that there might not be sufficient time to cover your questions at the meeting, the next lesson is for you.

    Lesson 4 – You are allowed to ask questions prior to the meeting too. That may be alien for some of you, but you can. And, no, none of you did that in September (we checked that with an FOI request too), despite being given plenty of reason to doubt the what was written in the SCC Officers report sent to you, well ahead of the meeting.

    Lesson 5 – Own your own “Committee Response”. SCC Officers told us that the Parking Team write these for you and you don’t even check them before they are published (that’s also not good, by the way). As you now know, some of these “Committee Responses” were both incorrect and discriminatory (SCC proposed that some residents could pay for a season ticket in a car park run by Waverley Borough Council, at £753-968 pa with no guaranteed space and competing with shoppers, for the same hours of parking as residents paying £50 pa for ROPs). The following was explained to us by SCC: “In relation to terminology, in general, some years ago there was a suggestion that Committees should formally agree responses to public questions prepared by council officers. There was a concern that this might lead to a lot of debate which could complicate the process of getting responses to residents. As a pragmatic compromise, it was agreed with the then Area Director for SW Surrey, that they would use the wording ‘Committee Response'” It might be a great shame for you if you were to actually have a debate, but could we please ask that you either own the “Committee Responses” by checking them yourselves, or just don’t call them a “Committee Response” so the public isn’t misled about what they are.

    Now, SCC was responsible for the bungled process leading up to the September parking proposals, and SCC Officers were responsible for the veracity of the report put before you (and your “Committee Response” too, though hopefully you won’t allow that going forward). But you agreed with the proposals at the September WLC meeting without challenging them, despite being prompted to challenge them by your constituents. So you do really need to up your collective game in 2013. On the positive side, your poor performance in 2012 has done wonders for the promotion of Localism in Haslemere. But in the meantime, please don’t let that deter you from making an effort. The public are, of course, watching.

    Yours sincerely

    Jeremy and Victoria Leake

    15 Lower Street
    GU27 2NY

  2. grayswoodcommuter says:

    Brilliant. We are indeed watching, and voting.

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