Annual General Meeting:
On Wednesday 12 May Ash Parish council returned to business following the changes in the law which now requires all local councils to hold full council meetings in person once again. In April 2020, during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, local Councils were given new powers to hold public meetings remotely, However, in April 2021 a High Court judgment has now required these meetings to be attended in person as before. The judgment however does still allow for other committee meetings to continue to be online, which is being referred to as Hybrid meetings.
At the Annual General Meeting (AGM), councillors choose which committee they wish to join as well as elect a chairperson for the council and each committee.
Chairperson of the Council: Cllr Nigel Manning
Vice Chairperson of the Council: Cllr John Tonks
Chairperson Finance & Administration Committee: Cllr John Tonks
Vice Chairperson Finance & Administration Committee: Cllr Nigel Manning
Chairperson Planning Committee: Cllr Marsha Mosley
Vice Chairperson Planning Committee: Cllr Jo Randall
At the meeting
During the meeting, the recent upsurge in Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) was discussed. Cllr Nigel Manning told the Council that he had met with Surrey Police and discussed ways in which the Parish Council can help the police. He also advised that a dispersal order is currently in place through parts of Ash Wharf until 14 June 2021, which has been defined by the Police based on historical reports.
Both Cllr Nigel Manning and Cllr Carla Morson advised that they had each written to the incoming PCC Lisa Towsend and the Police Chief constable to highlight these issues. Cllr Carla Morson, who is the newly elected SCC Cllr for Ash, said that she had invited the Chief Constable and the PCC to “come to Ash to talk to the residents to find out the depth of feeling there is in regard to the behaviour that we have got going on, so hopefully it won’t be too long before I get a response”. Cllr Ed Schofield also requested further meetings on this subject and said “it’s a massive issue, and we do need to address it”.
Ash Parish Council will continue to meet with the police regularly and Cllr Manning underlined the importance to report all incidents to 101 and said, “even if the police do not turn up, it’s on the computer. As its crime, the more crime that goes in, the more chance of getting additional resource”, a point which was agreed by all.
During the meeting, residents are invited to ask questions to the Parish Council for a maximum period of 25 minutes. A summary of the questions and responses are as follows:
Some of the new Surrey County Council (SCC) LED Lights on the Aldershot Road A331 roundabout are remaining on during the day, are they timed? They are timed/automated, this will be reported to SCC.
The cardboard waste bins at the Coronation Gardens Guildford Borough Council recycling centre is regularly full, how often are they collected? GBC has been regularly contacted by APC and has been told that these bins are emptied daily. APC has already asked if a 2nd cardboard bin can be provided and a reply is pending. Residents were also reminded they can recycle excess cardboard waste by placing cardboard next to their bin on collection day or take it to one of Surrey’s Community Recycling Centres (CRC).
The recently replaced Shawfield road speed hump/cushion is too high, when lorries pass over them early in the morning it results in a noise nuisance that can be heard by nearby residents. Also, vehicles take off from them, and it is the road that is the problem as there are tramlines along the poor road surface. What is being done about this? SCC has been contacted about this and have conducted a measurement of these newly replaced speed humps and a reply is pending. Cllr Carla Morson said, “It’s certainly something that I am looking into, I have had several messages asking me to get rid of those bumps as soon as possible”. Cllr Morson also said that she’s “neither agreeing or disagreeing with them being there, I need more information to comment fully”. Cllr Marsha Mosley reflected on the reason for their installation and said that these speed bumps “were put in specifically at the request of residents that live in Shawfield road and Vale road following fatalities”. Since their installation, there have been no recorded deaths on these roads as a result of speeding. APC will update following a reply from SCC regarding its investigation into the matter of the speed bump’s height.
Where Longacre meets Shawfield road, the corners sits lower from the main road and do not have drains and as a result, they flood, is this being looked into? APC has asked SCC who advised that SCC plan to install a new gully to tackle this drainage problem. APC will chase SCC on this matter, noting that a nearby gully already in situation is ineffective.
The coping stones along the wall surrounding the library have been removed following ASB, will these be returned? APC staff have removed the coping stones as they had become loose and require re fixing. A solution to re fix these stones more securely should now be investigated by SCC, so they may be returned to their original positions.
The railway bridge near old farm place has two self seeded trees growing on there. This will be reported to Network Rail for removal. Residents can report issues such as these directly to Network Rail via its online webform https://www.networkrail.co.uk/communities/contact-us.
Residents connected to the flats above the shops along Wharf Road have complained that GBC had not collected their bins and as a result refuse is spilling over onto the bank near the canal. There are also concerns over rat infestations. Cllr Jo Randall said that “I did have a report from a resident above the co-op and they have issues with waste, I have taken this up with GBC. When I chase this up tomorrow I will add in the other side of Wharf Road. This is an issue that comes and goes regularly and is a real nightmare”.
There are many silver gas cartages appearing along Shawfield road. Cllr Ed Schofield said that he has also seen this, and noted a regular pile appearing where Shaw field road Meets Aldershot Road. This will be highlighted to Surrey Police.