Sunday Reflection

Yet another good news story for Hambledon:  as was reported at the start of the week, the raffle held by the locally-based Village Spirit Collective to raise money for the Community Foundation for Surrey’s Coronavirus Response Fund achieved a remarkable £1,108.   This more than exceeded expectations – the Collective’s Ian and Alpa Cox were hoping that they might make around £200!

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Latest Updates – Wednesday March 25th

Update from Hambledon Parish Council on Wednesday March 25th.

  • Once again, the focus is on the community-run village shop and post office, which is doing its best to cater for villagers in very challenging circumstances. From today, the shop will only deliver to customers who place their orders online, or by phone if they do not have an email account. No customers can visit the shop, even to place an order or to collect from outside. Orders will then by made up inside the shop and handed to volunteers to deliver to homes across the village. For more details please see http://www.hambledonsurrey.co.uk/?p=12463
  • This new measure requires some explanation. The shop relies on a small number of part-time paid staff and volunteers, some of whom have specific responsibilities as shop management committee members. Many people in Hambledon, as elsewhere, are self-isolating. This will be for a variety of reasons; age, at risk through underlying health issues and – increasingly – because they or someone they are close to has become unwell and they feel they must self-isolate. The pool of experienced people available to manage the shop is diminishing. It is true to say that as much hard work goes on behind the scenes as that that is evident to customers. This not only involves managing stock and placing orders in very difficult circumstances, but enforcing stringent hygiene procedures and keeping up to date with ever-changing Government guidelines. The shop has also enforced strict social-distancing. Last night, with more staff and volunteers deciding to isolate, the shop committee felt it had no choice but to close all services, including the post office counter, at the shop premises and move to a delivery-only service. Its commitment is to maintain supplies to villagers, but even this cannot be guaranteed as time progresses.
  • All Parish Council contacts and information relating to the current Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation, is now available on this website. Please click on the new link on the top right of the opening page entitled Coronavirus Essential Village Information.
  • One of the few joys in the current situation has been the lovely, sunny weather, which is set to last for a few more days. Many people required to stay at home are taking pleasure at being out in their gardens. Please be considerate and DO NOT light bonfires on days such as these, and wait for a dull day and a time when people will not be outside.
  • St Peter’s Church is, of course, closed but worship continues with services streamed on-line. The church has updated its page on this website, listed in the menu under “Organisations”, so please look there for more information.
  • The Merry Harriers is also closed but the village shop would like to place on record its gratitude to Jake Andreou, manager, and Nick Ash, sous chef, both relative newcomers to the village, who have been volunteering at the village shop. The pub has also given all its fresh food to the shop to ensure it does not go to waste. All this is greatly appreciated, and very much in the spirit of Hambledon. 

Relief Road Across The Surrey Hills – Proposal Is Scrapped

Following efforts by the parish council and several Hambledon residents an assurance has been given that the proposal for a new relief road to be built across the Surrey Hills Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty will not be pursued.

An organisation called the Guildford Society had put forward the idea as a means of relieving traffic on the A281 when Dunsfold Aerodrome is developed into a large housing estate. It proposed a new road should be built linking the development with an enlarged Milford station and the A3, routed through the Surrey Hills at Burgate Farm, Feathercombe and Hydestile. See earlier news story here:

The idea was presented to a meeting of the Surrey County Council Waverley Local Committee and Colin Kemp, deputy leader of SCC, said he would ask his officers to consider whether to conduct a feasibility study into the proposal.

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Update On Guildford Society’s Dunsfold Relief Road Proposal Through Surrey Hills AONB

This is an update on an earlier news item regarding a suggestion by the Guildford Society for a relief road linking the proposed housing development at Dunsfold Aerodrome with Milford Station and the A3. Please see http://www.hambledonsurrey.co.uk/?p=11482  for background.

At the time of publishing this news item a response was awaited from Colin Kemp, Surrey County Council deputy leader, who had indicated he was prepared to consider whether a feasibility study should be held into the Guildford Society proposal. Cllr Kemp has since responded in the following terms:

“Although I was aware this idea had been looked into before I was not up to date with this proposal or the details. I am not above being open and re-looking at any proposal to make sure the correct decision that as originally made was correct at the time and the situation has not changed, I will not just say no because somebody else said no, if I am asked a question I will review the situation before giving a response.

This will entail me asking officers to brief me on the original report and findings, I will then ask questions and wait for responses and this is what I am in the process of doing. I will report back to the local committee when I have done this work.

I can only imagine the upset this proposal caused and for that I apologise but I have been asked a question and I will do the work before responding.”

Colin Kemp
Deputy Leader

Parish Council Challenges Dunsfold Relief Road Proposal Across Surrey Hills AONB

A proposal to drive a new road through the heart of the Surrey Hills at Hambledon to relieve anticipated traffic congestion and HGV issues when Dunsfold Aerodrome is developed into housing is being fiercely opposed by Hambledon Parish Council.

The suggestion from the Guildford Society was presented at a recent meeting at Waverley council and despite Surrey Highways officers rejecting the idea, county councillors agreed to give the matter further consideration.

It envisages a new highway from Loxhill on the outskirts of Dunsfold at Hook House Lane, across the hills and fields of Burgate Farm and round the flanks of Hydon’s Ball to emerge on to the Hambledon Road at Feathercombe. It would then use Hambledon Road and Station Lane to reach a new “Milford Parkway” station and the A3

The Guildford Society, a registered charity with the stated aim of preserving and enhancing the environment of Guildford, submitted a written question to the Waverley Local Committee, which comprises members of both Surrey and Waverley councils.

In a covering letter, Alistair Smith, chairman of the society, wrote: “The link scheme we propose, some 12 kms long, is likely to be complex, expensive and controversial, as part of it would necessarily pass through some sensitive countryside and would need to be treated appropriately”.

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Annual Village Meeting – Positive Reports And A Chance To Set Up Community Speed Watch

A successful Annual Parish Meeting was held last week (Apr 25th) with a record attendance and lively debate, particularly on the issue of speeding in the village and measures that can be taken to prevent it.

A packed Village Hall heard from Inspector Gary Smith, Surrey Police’s Waverley Borough Commander, who spoke of how his force is having to combat budget cuts and reduced officer numbers. Despite these restraints he was upbeat in his appraisal of policing in the borough, which has the lowest crime rate in the county.

He listened to concerns expressed about speeding on Hambledon’s narrow roads and the rat-run and HGV issues on rural Salt Lane and Markwick Lane. He said that funding cuts limited what measures can be taken and pointed out that other areas suffered from greater speeding problems than Hambledon. That is where resources will be directed.

But he said he and his officers would work closely with villagers if they decided to set up a Community Speed Watch. Some residents signed up to this at the end of the meeting and others may do so if they wish at the Village Shop. Or please email parish councillor May Grove on grovemum@aol.com

The scheme would need at least six volunteers giving and hour or so a week and they would receive police training in the use of speed detection devices. Motorists caught speeding would be sent warning notices. The scheme would also be a way of providing data about speeding in the village.

More details can be found here

The meeting, hosted by the Parish Council, heard a report of its activities over the last 12 months from chairman John Anderson, who also thanked Paul Pattinson, who has stood down after 12 years as a councillor. He is replaced by Robin McKeith, who was welcomed to his new role.

All of the village’s many clubs and organisations gave positive reports about their activities.

Two days after the meeting the annual village clean-up took place, followed by a barbecue outside the village shop.

 

 

Annual Village Meeting Will Hear From Police Commander And Discuss Speeding

Hambledon’s Annual Village Meeting, hosted by the Parish Council at the Village Hall this Thursday evening,  is to be addressed by Inspector Gary Smith, Waverley Borough Commander for Surrey Police.

He will give an overview of policing in the borough as well as deal with concerns about speeding traffic in the village.

The Parish Council has been exploring various road traffic initiatives and has held meetings with police and Surrey County Council highways engineers in recent months. However, it has been made clear that no traffic calming measures are likely to be introduced.

Budget restraints and a lack of statistical evidence to indicate that Hambledon has a speeding problem have been cited as reasons why the village can expect little in the way of new measures. The council had been exploring a proposal for a 20mph speed restriction in the centre.

The Annual Meeting will provide an opportunity to ask questions of our borough commander as well as hear more about what the Parish Council has been trying to achieve.

There will also be an opportunity to consider whether Hambledon wants to set up a Community Speed Watch where volunteers, with police training, use detection devices to check on the speed of vehicles in the village. Those caught above the limit are sent warning letters.

This would also be a means of determining whether speeding is a real issue and not just anecdotal and would help reinforce the case for traffic calming measures.

The scheme would have to be run by villagers and without sufficient volunteers it will not happen.

Those interested in taking part will be asked to sign their names at the end of the meeting, which will also hear annual reports from the Parish Council and village clubs and organisations.

Refreshments will be served from 7.30pm and the meeting starts at 8pm. (See previous news item for more information)

Details will also be given about taking part in the annual village clean-up, which takes places on Saturday (April 27th) followed at around noon by a parish barbecue outside the village shop.

All are welcome at the Annual Meeting, the clean-up and the barbecue.

Annual Village Meeting and Parish Clean-Up and Barbecue – All Welcome

Hambledon’s Annual Village Meeting takes place on the evening of Thursday April 25th and all are welcome to come along.

This is an opportunity to hear a round-up of the past year’s activities from all of the village organisations, clubs and groups as well as a report from the Parish Council, which hosts the meeting.

Refreshments including wine, tea and coffee will be available from 7.30 and this is a chance to chat to village friends and neighbours before the meeting itself starts at 8pm at the Village Hall.

There will be a short presentation concerning the efforts made by the Parish Council to address concerns about speeding in the village and other local traffic issues.

Residents may like to consider whether they want to form a Community Speed Watch Group. A minimum of six volunteers would be required. Speed detection devices would be provided by Surrey Police together with appropriate training.

Full details of this scheme can be found here: www.communityspeedwatch.org

Further details will be provided at the meeting. Mary Grove, a parish councillor, can be contacted in advance for those who wish to register at grovemum@aol.com

Although the parish council can make the necessary arrangements with Surrey Police and register the speedwatch group, it is for villagers to step forward and volunteer if they want this initiative to succeed.

Despite widespread concerns across the village about speeding, both Surrey Police and Surrey County Council Highways engineers have stated that there is no gathered evidence to support this belief. It is highly unlikely that any traffic calming measures can be introduced in Hambledon until there is data to support the proposal. Community Speed Watch is one way in which such evidence may be gathered.

The Village Meeting is followed two days later – on Saturday April 27th – with the parish clean-up ending with a community barbecue outside the Village Shop at noon. Volunteers are asked to collect litter in designated areas for which they can register at the Village Meeting. Bin bags and litter grabs will be provided and all rubbish will be removed by the local authority.