Successful Public meeting of Cranleigh Society

Successful Public meeting of Cranleigh Society

Cranleigh Society public meeting and AGM was well attended and well received too

Below is a message received before the event

To Cranleigh Civic Society AGM  from MP Angela Richardson      

Firstly, may I say “thank you” to everyone involved in Cranleigh Civic Society for all of the work that you do. You will know that I was a Parish Councillor in Cranleigh for two and a half years and I do know the pride that people in Cranleigh take in their village and it continues to be my pleasure to share that with you.

I am sorry that I cannot be with you this evening, detained in the House as I am today for votes. I look forward though to meeting some of you on 4 February 2022 for the next meeting of the Cranleigh Flood Forum.

I hope we can continue to make progress there in getting the statutory organisations to understand the practical issues and concerns that residents have on flooding in this part of the constituency.

I continue, of course, to welcome the input of the Civic Society on all matters flooding in the interim.

You will by now have seen the proposals for the new Waverley Borough Council boundaries and how they affect both Cranleigh wards. The proposal is that Cranleigh North polling district should move from the Shamley Green ward into Cranleigh East and Cranleigh Rural, broadly to the south, from the Alfold ward into Cranleigh West.

In some ways, these changes are sensible in that they bring more of Cranleigh into the sphere of the two Cranleigh wards that cover the village. Perhaps it may have been better to have reduced the number of councillors in Waverley; if that had been done, it is possible the greater part of east and west could have been a single Cranleigh ward rather than continuing to divide the village’s representation. But that isn’t the route the council has chosen and there are arguments on all sides.

What I would encourage people to do is to visit the Local Government Boundary Commission for England and have their say on what they think of the new ward boundary proposals.

We have recently heard the news that Waverley Council intends to make good on its promise to replace Cranleigh Leisure Centre that was made several years ago. I was involved in these discussions as a Parish Councillor. We have also heard that this will be constructed on the Village Way car park so as not to break continuity of service with the current centre and cost the council money.

In principle this seems sensible but clearly the construction phase of this new centre is going to bring problems to Cranleigh and a detailed Construction Methodology will be needed to ensure that the vehicles and materials can be brought on-site with the minimum of impact to the rest of the village. That will be quite a challenge.

Such is the challenge of bringing any infrastructure to a village such as ours. Providing infrastructure is vital – but it is also expensive and it causes inconvenience during construction. We all want to see infrastructure investment in Cranleigh, and I am always happy to work with Waverley Borough Council when it comes to bidding and obtaining government funding.

I wish you all a productive and enjoyable evening and thank you once again for everything that you do.

AGENDA INCLUDED voting in the Officers of Cranleigh Civic Society; presentation by WEY & ARUN CANAL TRUST including about development along Elmbridge Road; presentation about Cranleigh Village Hospital’s heritage cottage and the need to try to save it; presentation by Clerk to Cranleigh Parish Council Beverley about the taxes Cranleigh is receiving because of all the housing developments; and a presentation from Rosemary French OBE about Cranleigh’s business, the Christmas lights, and the development of Knowle Park for the community. 

Chairman Trevor outlined the many issues that have been concerning us all over the last two years, looking carefully at the faces of those assembled and observing agreement for those concerns. Cranleigh society members have done all they can to bring problems to the notice of those who can fix them.  He expressed thanks to all those who support CCS and also to Kathy Plank for the lovely Christmas card design, given in support of trying to save Cranleigh Village Hospital Heritage Cottage.  Trevor pointed out that Thames Water are having to replace some water mains and that they happen to be asbestos cement – so replacing these is a very good thing. For road closures Trevor suggested people use the website one.network/uk tap here for the link. Zoom into the map!  He pointed out that the bridge on Elmbridge road is now on the agenda to be repaired, which may cause disruption!  CCS supporters are carrying out water sampling and reporting to Surrey Wildlife Trust, especially either side of the sewage works. If problems arise SWT will investigate, they say.  He talked about Cranleigh medical practice, their concerns and ours. There isn’t a Patient Participation Group (PPG) at the moment, we are hoping this will be remedied.  There is an important initiative by the Government to encourage Councils to look at all publicly owned and managed buildings, with a view to renewals, energy efficiency and reducing costs.  Called One Public Estate it could mean new buildings or updated old ones having multiple uses.  An example would be that Godalming Town Council has moved into Godalming museum.  CCS is being consulted with and we are representing your views as best we can.

CCS representative Chris explained the progress of our mission to save the Cranleigh Village Hospital Heritage Cottage.  The 15th century cottage, at the front of the buildings, is falling into disrepair and unused.  It is not able to be used for any clinical purposes.  The last uses since the takeover by the NHS has been as a meeting room with teas and cakes for medical staff.  We are working on the NHS Property Services to receive an agreed lease with them. A new body will apply to raise grants to conserve the fabric of the building, then bring it into uses for the benefit of Cranleigh and District residents.  Primarily a Heritage project, it will also provide spaces for various meetings, including for health and wellbeing groups.  These in turn will provide small income streams to pay for running the building and towards further upkeep.

Wey & Arun Canal representative Roger gave a spirited explanation of the development of the canal network across the UK, especially the section that touches on Cranleigh. Roger gets his hands dirty with the renovation work.  The route includes sections of the rivers Thames, Wey and Arun and is 23 miles with many locks. The bridge on the Elmbridge road near to the Recycling centre is to be increased in width to provide a proper footpath.

Clerk to Cranleigh council Beverley Bell explained all about the tax money that Cranleigh in receiving over the time of the new housing being built and occupied.  It’s a complicated story which she made palatable and everyone was very interested and impressed.  Known as Section 106 and CIL monies some of the money that has come in has been spent on items that the council had debated and think Cranleigh residents want such as improvements to the play park.  The actual sums can be viewed on CPC web site – click here.  

Councillor Liz Townsend, represents our residents on 3 councils – Parish, Borough and County.  Within these she has various ‘Portfolios’ i.e. responsible for topics such as the Leisure centre rebuild and the development of Dunsfold aerodrome.  For Cranleigh she is working on 2 interesting projects at the moment – gates and modifications to allow Fountain Square closures for weekends, and 20 mph limit for the High Street.  She also works on various budgets that could be used to upgrade the High street paving. Her work includes working with an outside consultancy firm named WELLNORTH (CIC) to look at additional health and wellbeing projects to help us all. There are many opportunities to be explored and pinned down, then public consultations will be carried out. Liz spoke about Run Common and the various problems that have been encountered.  The huge expense to highways Surrey County Council (SCC)  has been necessary due to the bridge being undermined and not being safe. To make a complaint/report about any issues that SCC deals with  Liz pointed out that the SCC website has a good easy way of reporting – click here to see.

Rosemary French OBE spoke about the business community in Cranleigh and of course how they have struggled throughout lock down, but they have been magnificent in stumping up for the renewal of the Christmas lights, at huge expense.  They hope it has brought cheer to the residents. She spoke of the events in the High street to attract people to Cranleigh, especially the Artisan markets on the first Saturdays in each month to date.  These will resume soon – hopefully March.  They have also installed a footfall counter since June 2021 and this is showing when people are using the High street. Black Friday killed trade.  But the markets boost it.  The Chamber of commerce has a FaceBook page – click here to find out more.

Rosemary went on to present facts and figures about the exciting development of Knowle Park. It’s hard to imagine the completed part at the moment but is going to be a great asset once done.  It is being done with full support and advice of Environment Agency and Surrey Wildlife Trust.  Many key features are being maintained, improved and protected.  It will be free to use, and the maintenance should be funded by the rent received from 2 properties given to the trust by the landowner.  There will be plenty to enjoy – adventure park, lake with island, lawn for performances, and osier beds for allowing willow to grow for baskets, and channels for Littlemead brook.  There will be filter beds to take run off from the hills.  Their Facebook page can be found here.

thank you for reading this far, and we hope you find the links useful – do save them!

Very best wishes to you all from the team at Cranleigh Civic Society.

Cranleigh FLOOD FORUM Friday 4th February 10.30 am

Cranleigh FLOOD FORUM Friday 4th February 10.30 am

Cranleigh FLOOD FORUM Friday 4th February 10.30 am

Cranleigh Society and MP Angela Richardson invite your comments and queries

Cranleigh Society has organised the venue, the Band Room, for the next Cranleigh Flood Forum.

We will be asking questions of the panel on your behalf.

The meeting will be chaired by local MP Angela Richardson and include representatives from local county, borough and parish councils, the environment agency, Surrey Wildlife Trust and Thames Water.

Unfortunately, due to Covid carefulness, the venue will preclude attendance by all of those who would like to attend.

If you have a particular reason to be present, will you please let us know and we will try to make it possible.

Please let us have any comments and queries as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, the venue does not have internet access so ‘virtual’ sharing of the meeting will not be possible on this occasion.

We look forward to your comments as soon as possible please, so that we can ask the panel in advance – that way they come with their answers and we can progress from there. 

thank you

please email membership@cranleighsociety.org