Author Archives: Mike Axton

Surrey County Council Consultation on Local Services


Surrey County Council (SCC) has launched a consultation on how it might change some of the services it provides.

SCC says it needs to take some very difficult decisions, and that over the next year it needs to save a further £85m. It has launched consultations on a range of services, and is inviting residents to respond by Friday 4 January 2019.

This could have a very significant impact on the range local services which SCC currently provides, so we would encourage residents to have a look at what they are proposing, and make their views known.

You can find more information about the consultations here.


Unauthorised Moorings

Elmbridge Council has received an update from the Environment Agency (EA).

The EA has instigated legal proceedings, and has ongoing cases against a number of boat owners for failing to comply with “direction to move” notices which they have served, and other offences. The EA stresses that must must follow due legal process, and the timescales can be considerable, especially in complex cases. Dates for the hearings will be set by the court in consultation with the legal advisors for both parties, but the EA anticipate that dates will be set early in the New Year.



Walton Road Car Park Recycling Bins

We have been advised that Elmbridge Council has decided to remove the recycling bins in the Council car parks, including the Walton Road car park, on 4 February 2019.

These bins are popular, and are often filled, and this will disappoint those residents who use them regularly. We have queried whether this change is necessary, but the Council insists that they have taken this step only after careful consideration. They have pointed out that the recycling sites in the car parks often attract both fly-tipping and unauthorised use, which can result in the wrong items being put in the recycling banks. This is both costly and cancels out the efforts of those who carefully separate their recycling. The Council says the need for the bins has also diminished because people can now recycle textiles and small electrical items alongside the weekly kerbside waste collection service although, as we have pointed out, this does not include food cartons, which can currently be recycled in the car park.

Service Disruptions at Hampton Court Station

As regular travellers will know only too well, train services from Hampton Court Station have been diabolical in recent weeks, with delays and cancellations attributed variously to overrunning engineering works, strikes, broken rails and broken-down trains. The Hampton Court service appears to be disproportionally affected by these disruptions – for example, during the recent strikes there were no trains from Hampton Court at all, whereas reasonable services were maintained at other stations (in the past they have at least run a shuttle service to Surbiton). We are raising our concerns with South Western Railway urgently, and are also pressing for them to keep the toilets open later, and to improve the cycle storage facilities, as thefts remain common.

Amidst all this chaos we have been advised that South Western Railway is now planning to install ticketing gates at Hampton Court Station before Christmas as part of an exercise to reduce fare evasion.

Review of Elmbridge Polling Districts and Polling Places

Elmbridge Borough Council is reviewing all polling districts and polling places in the Borough.

As part of the consultation, the Returning Officer, Robert Moran, will comment on the suitability of polling stations within each polling district.  These will be available to view on the Council’s website and through the Electoral Services team, based at the Civic Centre in Esher.

The Council welcomes the views of all residents as it is keen to ensure that its polling districts and places meet the needs of all our residents.

When making comments -please, if possible, offer alternative place suggestions.

The consultation is open from 12 November to 17 December 2018.  You can respond by email to or by post to Electoral Services, Civic Centre, High Street, Esher, KT10 9SD.

The Returning Officer will consider all representations and approve the final scheme on 25 January 2019.  The results of the consultation will be published at



Unauthorised Encampments

Elmbridge Borough Council has been granted a three year protective injunction banning the setting up of unauthorised encampments and fly-tipping on all identified public land.

On 8 November the High Court extended the three-month injunction granted in August for a further three years. The injunction covers all of the Borough’s parks, open spaces and car parks.

The injunction prevents any individual from occupying land or depositing waste as well as stopping anyone from entering, or occupying any part of the land for residential purposes, including caravans, mobile homes and vehicles. This has proved a very effective deterrent during the temporary injunction. It will also prevent the Council from having to obtain court orders for the removal of these encampments, which can take several days to obtain, and will authorise High Court enforcement officers to move people on if they take no notice of the injunction order. Failure to do so can result in imprisonment, fines or seizure of assets.

The Council evidenced large-scale fly-tipping and the cost of clearing it, damage to gates and barriers, lost parking income and the large increase in the number and size of recent encampments as well as the significant impact on communities living adjacent to each encampment and the loss of community facilities during the summer.
2018 has seen an  unprecedented increase in levels of unauthorised encampments in Elmbridge, totalling 27 on public parks and open spaces as well as other recent encampments on private owned land such as Painshill Park. The size of these encampments has also risen dramatically with some encampments being over 60 vehicles in size.

More details will be available shortly on the Elmbridge Council website,

Walton Road – Temporary Road Closure

We have been advised by Surrey County Council (SCC) that there will be a temporary closure of Walton Road between its junctions with Rosemary Avenue and New Road, a distance of 255 metres.

Vehicular traffic will be diverted, west of the closure, via Walton Road, Hurst Road, Riverbank, Hampton Court Way, Creek Road, Bridge Road and Walton Road. East of the closure via Walton Road, Bridge Road, Creek Road, Hampton Court Way, Creek Road, Bridge Road, Riverbank, Hurst Road and Walton Road.

This is to enable SCC to carry out carriageway patching and/or resurfacing.  The closure will operate from 31 October 2018 for a period of 5 days, however works are anticipated to take place over 2 nights between the hours of 20:00-06:00. Advanced warning signs will be displayed and the temporary closure will only operate when the relevant traffic signs are displayed.

More Distortion Under Cover of Putting the Record Straight

Steve Bax seems to specialise in running the MRA down and making or supporting  distorted claims about the MRA and its councillors in his edited Molesey News. We quote what he says in his latest Molesey News:   ‘The MRA’s Summer Newsletter accused us of fabricating the claim in our May election leaflet that the RA and Liberal Democrat led Council had consulted on building thousands of homes in the green belt’.

Now what was actually said in the Conservative Molesey News Spring edition, prior to the May elections,  about Housing:  ‘The Residents Association political parties and Liberal Democrats………they proposed a quick fix of building more than 5000 homes on three large tracts of poor green belt ….’ Also the Conservative Housing spokesman is quoted as accusing the RA/Lib Dems of pressing on with a plan to build over our Green Belt.

The truth is that there was a Consultation document dealing with problems which the Council was facing included three possible options on housing for consideration by the public; 1) High Rise flats. 2) Very Significant Housing in the Green Belt. 3)Relatively small areas of what was considered non-critical Green Belt to be given up for housing.

This Public Consultation document originated from Council Planning officers and the issue of it to the public was agreed by the RA GROUP/LIB DEM Cabinet and was not objected to by the Conservative Group. In fact the document was headed ‘A New Local Plan’-Strategic Options Consultation’. The simple fact is that this was issued to get the public’s views on possible solutions to Housing, Employment, Retail and Infrastructure in the Borough and as such, no plans were therefore in place. Oddly, Bax says in criticism, ‘A local Plan is vital’. The options in the document were then twisted in the Conservative Molesey News as to be actual factual decisions. The Spring edition made no mention of the document being a public consultation paper but presented it as actual RA/Lib Dem decisions.

The Conservative article also states..’Our opponents shamefully referred our leaflet to the police’. In fact it was the Chief Executive of Elmbridge, who is also the Election Returning Officer, who made complaints to the Police and the Electoral Commission about this distortion. By definition of his job, the Chief Executive cannot show bias to any political party and therefore must have taken the view that the Conservative statements were a gross distortion of the Council’s position, which the above facts clearly demonstrate.