Highest employment ever

UnemploymentIt has taken some hard choices – and the remarkable effort of millions of people and business around the country – but this marks another positive step on the road to a stronger economy.
There are two million more people in private sector jobs, fewer unemployed young people, long term unemployment is falling and we have more women in work than ever before.

The only way we have been able to play our part in turning the economy around is by taking the long view.  Back in 2008-09 who would have thought the Britain would have the highest growth in Europe (bar Iceland) and the seven highest in the OECD (after Chile, Iceland, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand and Turkey).

But, in my view, we have a long way to go.  Part of the solution is to ensure that any government at the national level is elected with the majority of the voters.  It is unlikely that the recovery would have happened if the Liberal Democrats had not stepped up to provide Britain with a strong and stable government in tough times.  The coalition was elected with 59% of the vote.  There has not been a British national government elected with a backing of over 50% of the vote since the 1930s.  Indeed, in peacetime the present coalition was elected with more support than any other government since the Liberal landslide in the 1860s under Gladstone.

British voting since 1832

Morrisons back again

Morrisons Lorry-02Morrisons withdrew their previous application to relax the planning restrictions on their site (the reference number for the previous application is 2014/0484).

Now Morrisons has applied again to reduce the conditions imposed at the time of the original planning permission.  Their proposal last time is contained in this letter.

Morrisons’ current application is 2014/1892 and their letter explains their new proposal. The differences, as far I can see, is as follows:

Night time delivery
The first application requested that deliveries be allowed all night as long as they were governed by the quiet delivery system.  This time they are not extending the deliveries overnight but they want to abolish the quiet delivery system in the evening.

Sunday, public and bank holiday deliveries
The first application requested deliveries at all times.  This time Morrisons is requesting deliveries from 9:00 to 16:00 without operating the quiet delivery system.

Plant Noise
I can see no difference between their two requests to the loosening of the noise restrictions.

It is interesting to note that Morrisons initial planning application for a store was refused and then they applied again with a modified proposal which was permitted.  This time their initial request for the removal of conditions was withdrawn and the new application is reduced in scale.

Many local people objected to such a large supermarket in the town centre.  Others, who supported the development, did so with the proviso that a number of concerns were met with the appropriate conditions. One of those concerns was the increase in noise and the other the possible increase in movement of lorries during the night.

Morrison wants to remove these conditions because it feels that they are unnecessary and unduly onerous.  Many people have told me that Morrisons should have raised this matter during its original application – it accepted it then and should do so now.

Make sure your views are known by emailing tplan@elmbridge.gov.uk, quoting reference 2014/1892, before 20 June 2014.

Please remember that I am a member of the West Area Planning Sub-committee and the Planning Committee (the committees to which these types of applications are sent) and it is my duty to examine all planning applications on their merits. Elmbridge’s staff will have already examined the application and I, like them, must only apply planning law.

In a similar fashion, any comments you make will only be considered valid if they are based on planning law.  I can point you to the relevant parts of the law or you can seek help from the Weybridge Society which is very knowledgeable on planning law.

Morrison Noise and Deliveries

Proposed view of Morrisons SmallMorrisons has withdrawn its application for the variation to the planning conditions laid down by Elmbridge.  The reference was 2014/0484  Variation of Conditions 5 (Deliveries/Servicing) and 10 (Plant Noise) of planning permission 2013/1611 (New food store).  There were 228 objections.

 

Bidding for Weybridge CIL Funds

CILElmbridge charges developers a tax for new development known as the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).  You can see how this works here.  The new tax began in April 2013 and has raised around £1m.

The national government has said that this new tax is to be raised for the purposes of providing new or improved infrastructure in Elmbridge.

The money raised has been split so that Elmbridge retains 75% and 25% is given to each town in proportion the the tax raised in each town. So far Weybridge has £22,000 to disburse.

Elmbridge is now taking applications for funding for local infrastructure projects.  Schemes can only be funded if they meet the following criteria:

  • The provision, improvement, replacement, operation or maintenance of infrastructure; or
  • Anything else that is concerned with addressing the demands that development places on an area.

If you want your project to be considered use the Community Projects Application Form and send this to Elmbridge by 23 May 2014 for your application to be considered by the Weybridge Spending Board.

Talk to Morrisons

Proposed view of Morrisons Small

Morrisons will be holding an information event for site neighbours and local residents at 4-7pm on Wednesday, 19 March at the social club in Springfield Lane.  There is more information about the event to the project website later this afternoon (www.morrisonsweybridge.co.uk).

The building is at an important stage now is the groundwork preparation stage should be completed next week.  Morrisons is about to begin the main construction phase   This will see them putting the steel structure for the building in place and then completing the wider building skeleton, followed by internal fit out work.

Morrisons is back for more

Morrisons Lorry-02Morrisons has applied to reduce the conditions imposed at the time of the original planning permission.  See their reasons (Letter).

If you want to know more about this application then click here.  The reference number is 2014/0484.

Many local people objected to such a large supermarket in the town centre.  Others, who supported the development, did so with the proviso that a number of concerns were met with the appropriate conditions. One of those concerns was the increase in noise and the other the possible increase in movement of lorries during the night.

Morrison wants to remove these conditions because it feels that they are unnecessary and unduly onerous.  Many people have told me that Morrisons should have raised this matter during its original application – it accepted it then and should do so now.

Make sure your views are known by emailing tplan@elmbridge.gov.uk, quoting reference 2014/0484, before 21 March 2014.

Remember to tell your friends and neighbours.

Cycling in Weybridge

To reduce congestion we need as many journeys made by cycling as possible. To encourage people to cycle we need residential streets with 20mph limits and main roads with well designed cycling facilities.  Weybridge is no exception.

What does putting cycling first do for us? It helps to reduce crime and congestion and it increases our health and well being. All at minimal cost.

It does not mean that we have to cycle if we are unable or unwilling to do so.  It simply encourages and enables others to so  – reducing our journey times.

We need to follow the Danes, Dutch and others in planning for a safer and more pleasant place to live.

Morrisons

Proposed view of Morrisons Small

 

Morrison’s planning application is set to go to Elmbridge’s planning committee at 7:45, Tuesday, 16 July, in the council chamber at the civic centre.

I am on the committee and I want to hear your views.  What do you think of this?  See the video.  Any thoughts on the plane tree in Monument Road?

Morrisons

Proposed view of Morrisons Small

Morrisons submitted its planning application to the borough on 19 April but the plans have only become available now.  You have until 17 May to make any observations.  Click here to get to the application.  Then type in 2013/1611.  The details are right at the bottom of the page.

Given that this is a very important application and that the borough had the application for over ten days before putting on the website, the length of time given for consultation is too short.  I will be asking for an extension.  In any case, make sure that any observations you might have are submitted before the current deadline.

For more background on this application search “Morrisons” (top left of this page) on this site.