Productive meeting with Waverley leaders

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Cranleigh Society representatives met with Waverley council leaders – Councillors and officers –  for the second time on behalf of Cranleigh’s residents.

We pursued many of your worries and were given the councillors’ and officers’ replies.  Due to the number of topics covered there will be more than one post on this website.

n.b. Waverley Borough Council employs Officers to carry out the Strategic plans of the Senior Officers plus our Councillors. Many plans take years, even decades to be carried forward by which time we the public are sometimes somewhat surprised!

WORKING TOGETHER

CCS asked the Council to make an annual presentation to all residents groups (e.g. in December) to explain current Objectives for the next Fiscal year with stated expenditure plans. 

In reply, WBC asks that all the residents’ groups contact each other and work together as well as working with our local Cranleigh Parish Councillors.

We pressed for a more active role, along with our councillors, in the early stages of thinking.

The council says that they are doing a total review regarding improving information to all residents.  They will re-activate email Newsletters on the website.  (You can search many newsletters at  https://www.waverley.gov.uk/site/)

DRINKING WATER PIPES

CCS asked WBC to challenge Thames Water. We believe all the old asbestos cement pipes (as much as 29% of our pipes)  should be replaced urgently.   They burst very often and are made of fibres that might cause health problems in the future.

WBC officer replied that he had an extensive conversation with Thames Water recently and in such circumstances they undertake a risk assessment process. Thames Water will prioritise in the areas where the system is failing but works are aligned to their budget.

WBC stated that they had sought legal advice that confirmed that WBC was complying with its legal responsibilities. The Parish Council’s recent letter to the Secretary of State was welcomed.

ACTION – Cranleigh Civic Society and members could lobby their MP Anne Milton on this issue. 

WBC’s position is that whilst there is no evidence that deteriorating water mains pipes cause harm WBC cannot “require” TW to act.  BUT WBC agree that the disruption caused by so many bursts plus all the new housing is very inefficient.

CRANLEIGH RESIDENTS SUFFERED FROM NO WATER RECENTLY DURING A LONG HOT DROUGHT

WBC officer provided an update: Recently, demand outstripped supply. An electric pump that fed the reservoir failed and Thames Water supplied tankers to top up the reservoir. (n.b. Thames Water’s contract as a provider is with the government and not WBC. OFWAT is the regulator in England and Wales.)

WBC help where they can and have responsibility only for knowing and ensuring that the water is safe to drink.

Meanwhile in Cranleigh a pipe burst, and  TW did supply bottled water, eventually. However they weren’t able to co-ordinate with the community affected well.

ACTIONS – CCS & Cranleigh Parish Council need to help put a plan in place to help residents.    WBC Officer to contact TW and suggest they develop their own database of vulnerable people in the area.

Also Residents can contact Thames Water   https://www.thameswater.co.uk/Help-and-Advice/Customer-Commitment/Priority-services   

SEWERAGE ISSUES

CCS asked WBC about the capacity of the sewerage works and the problems with the treated outflow into Cranleigh Water; our sometimes dry  “river”  which is said to be too high in phosphates

CCS asked: why has planning permissions been granted when the water and sewerage issues have not been resolved?

CCS said that there was yet to be a full discussion with regard to the sewage treatment and we have a copy of a letter  written in both 2017 and 2018 to which there has been no response.

CCS asked whether the permit issued in 2009 was still in use?  CCS believes that there could be a contravention of the Water Common Framework Directive if Thames Water’s actions and inactions knowingly led to a “class reduction” in river water quality status.

WBC have told us they will meet with TW soon to discuss, and therefore were unable to provide us with comment on the above at this stage.

CRANLEIGH LEISURE CENTRE

Waverley have an outside expert consultants’ report (2017) advising on the best way to improve and maintain all the leisure centres in Waverley.  Their remit  includes pleasing the public and making a profit for the partner.  A recommendation is that Cranleigh Leisure Centre will benefit from a rebuild; CCS is aware that the “plant” the pool, the roof and the air conditioning are all past their replace by dates.  How, when, where and at what cost has yet to be decided.  The amount of money from current Section 106 receipts has been decided and Cranleigh will benefit.

We have been informed there will be a consultation “soon”.

ACTIONS   look out for consultation and engage with the process.

That’s the end of our first set of topics, please feel free to comment. The next instalment will be shared here soon.

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Nominate Your Best Neighbour Of 2018

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Neighbourhood Watch and their sponsor Co-op Insurance has just launched a nationwide search to find and celebrate some of the best and most considerate neighbours of 2018!

We thought it would be nice to share the positive side of life here in Cranleigh so we’re sharing their message here:

Neighbourhood Watch are urging people to nominate the most deserving good neighbours and there is also an opportunity to put forward your ‘Hero Next Door’ for a true act of heroism.
Neighbourhood Watch and Co-op Insurance are working together on these exciting awards and anyone can nominate their good neighbours today!

We’re talking about the local heroes in your street and community whose acts of kindness and neighbourliness really set them apart.

We want to recognise the people who are making such a vital contribution to community life and encourage others to follow in their footsteps.

You don’t need to be a Neighbourhood Watch member to nominate and the person you nominate doesn’t need to be a member either.


Click here to join inbefore nominations close on September 5 – and you’ll be taken to the nomination form where you can share your stories of great neighbourly activities and acts of kindness.

You can also share the link to the nominations page by cutting and pasting it from below.

https://joinin.coop.co.uk/opportunities/159

So nominate your good neighbours today!

To read more about the awards  click here.

With best wishes,

Neighbourhood Watch

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Civic Society Strengthens Cranleigh Plan

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The Cranleigh Civic Society has responded to the Draft Cranleigh Neighbourhood Plan by proposing a number of additions to strengthen the Plan:

1. The Policies MUST be strengthened to ensure they can be enforced on Developers: “developers should be encouraged to ….” is far too weak. Developers MUST be held to firm policies, otherwise they will try and evade them.

2. The Plan must have policies on Roads and Infrastructure. This is the greatest threat from building 1,700+ houses in Cranleigh. Since the A281 goes through Cranleigh Parish, it is vital to state that the A281 and other access roads to Cranleigh should be subject to a major study to determine how traffic congestion – as a result of the increased housing development in Cranleigh and Dunsfold – can be relieved. There should be a clear policy on how Cranleigh will pressure Surrey County Council and Waverley Council to improve Infrastructure and Roads.

3. There must be clear policies on the building of the Care Home, and the move or expansion of the Leisure Centre, since these are the major expansion of facilities for Cranleigh. The Plan must support the building of the Care Home, to include staff accommodation, BUT priority must be given to Cranleigh residents since a large proportion of the funding has been donated by Cranleigh residents.

4. The Leisure Centre should be expanded rather than being re-built in another location, by extending the building into the staff car park – and tennis courts if necessary, in order to provide changing rooms for Male, Female and Families. The pool should be improved, but it must retain spectator seating. A Sports Hall would be a good
benefit if there is space.

5. The Plan should state that Cranleigh residents should get priority for Affordable Home allocation.

6. 3 storey buildings should be avoided, such as the ones at Crest Nicholson and Hewitts, since these impact the privacy of nearby existing buildings.

7. Development sites must retain as many existing trees, hedges and natural features to retain the site’s character. All Planning Applications MUST include a scaled landscape and tree plan showing trees proposed for removal and new trees.

8. A replacement building must not appreciably increase mass, height or scale compared to the existing building, and be compatible with the street scene and scale.

9. The Snoxall Fields should be protected as an Area of Special Visual Interest, apart from the Care Home Site.

10. The increased homes in Cranleigh and Dunsford will put severe pressure on parking for shopping. The Society is against building a multi-storey car park on Village Way.

11. There must be no further loss of employment sites for commercial, light industrial and entrepreneurial use, with the loss of Hewitts – and the Astra House and buildings must not be demolished for housing.

12. The Waverley Plan has dictated that Cranleigh MUST build 1,700 houses by 2032 – but we have had over 1,700 Planning Applications already – and the great majority have been given Planning Approval. So what is going to happen for the next 14 years? There MUST be firm policies that NO Planning Applications – apart from windfall sites should be approved.

Please let us know if you have any comments for improvements.

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Asbestos Cement Fibres in Tap Water…& what to do

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As members of the Society you will be aware that 29.6% of our drinking water pipes are made of asbestos cement, that they are coming to the end of their “lifespan” and that bursts are becoming more frequent.

You are also aware that when bursts occur, asbestos fibres are released into the drinking water pipes.

We continue to put pressure on Waverley Borough Council (who are the body responsible for the delivery of safe drinking water) and Thames Water to replace ALL these pipes.

Some residents have asked what they can do in the meantime to ensure that the water they drink is free of asbestos fibres.

The water filter jug market leader is Brita but they confirmed to us that their products do not filter out asbestos so we looked elsewhere and you may like to consider a ZeroWater product.

We have had lengthy discussions with ZeroWater in the UK and USA and you may wish to visit www.zerowater.co.uk – and possibly their US site www.zerowater.com

They have have advised us that independent testing confirms that their products filter out virtually all asbestos fibres.

Also, their products are inexpensive with current prices being £24.99 for a 7 cup capacity and £44.99 for a 23 cup capacity – and you also receive an electronic testing device so you know when to change the filter.

So, while we continue to fight the good fight with the powers that be, you may wish to invest in a ZeroWater filter jug!

Oh, we must not forget the “legal bit”! We are suggesting, in good faith, that you look at the merits of a ZeroWater filter jug but the Society does not accept any responsibility and/or liability for this product.

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HELP RESTORE CRANLEIGH WATERS – YOUR LOCAL RIVER

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Please sign up to help restore our local “Rivers” –  Cranleigh Waters!  Will you join in so that the water flows better and the wildlife come back?   We all want and need a thriving river. It starts with counting what’s there at the moment.

SURREY WILDLIFE TRUST

Surrey Wildlife Trust has secured some funds to do some much needed restoration works but really need volunteers to help on the following days :-

Wednesday 29th August 10am till 3pm

Saturday 15th September 10am till 3pm

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP PLEASE CONTACT GLEN  SKELTON YOURSELVES AT

glen.skelton@surreywt.org.uk

“The project: In partnership with Thames Water, Surrey Wildlife Trust are working to restore the Cranleigh Waters back to a thriving river. To do this we need your help. We are recruiting volunteers in the area to join our team of regular Riverfly monitors who sample the aquatic life that lives on the river bed” 

Please also consider joining Surrey Wildlife Trust – they are amazing and there are not enough staff to look after everything that needs to be cared for.

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