Category Archives: News and updates

News and updates from the Molesey Residents’ Association.

20/03/2017 – Local Councillors Allowances

We have been contacted by some local residents about proposed increases in Councillors’ allowances following the coverage of this issue in a Newsletter circulated recently by the local Conservative party (which they call “The Molesey News”). This article was clearly politically motivated, however, and does not present a complete or balanced account. 

Local Councillors do not receive a wage or a salary as employees, but they do receive an allowance to help meet the costs of representing their communities. All local councils must pay their members a basic allowance, which is paid at the same level to all members of the Council. This is intended to cover their time commitments and incidental costs, and includes an amount to cover outgoings such as travel costs incurred when undertaking duties within the borough, subsistence, and a contribution towards land line telephone costs.

Local Councils are required to review the level of these allowances periodically. At Elmbridge Council the allowances have largely been frozen for many years, and the previous Conservative administration at the Council invited an Independent Remuneration Panel to review them. The independent Panel’s report analysed the issue in depth, and was circulated to all members of the Council. The Panel concluded that the basic allowance in Elmbridge was among the lowest in Surrey, and recommended a one off increase from £4395 to £4942. Although this would amount to a rise of 12% on a one off basis, however, it only represents an average increase of less than 2% a year over the period during which the allowances have been frozen. The Panel’s report is available online, and if you would like to read it I can let you know where you can find it.

The Panel’s recommendations, which would still leave the level of allowances at Elmbridge well below those payable by many other Councils in Surrey, did not appear to be unreasonable, and when the matter was considered at the meeting of the Elmbridge Cabinet on 16 November neither Tim Oliver, the leader of the Conservatives at the Council, nor any other Conservative members, expressed any disagreement or concerns about it, and it appeared that the recommendations had cross-party support.

The local Conservatives’ newsletter did not contain any reference to their party’s more usual approach to this issue. In 2007, the then Conservative leader at Elmbridge Council approved a very large increase of 42% in his own personal allowance along with a large increase in the amounts payable to his Cabinet colleagues. And in 2014 the Conservative controlled Surrey County Council chose to increase their leader’s allowances by almost 60%, so that he received £54,434 in allowances and expenses in the last financial year. This increase was so far above the level recommended by their Independent Remuneration Panel that its members chose to resign in protest. This received considerable coverage in the local papers at the time.

 More recently, in July 2016 the Conservative controlled Spelthorne Council (just across the River Thames from Elmbridge) went through the same exercise involving an Independent Remuneration Panel review of their Councillor Allowances. At Spelthorne, however, the Conservative administration chose to increase the basic allowance by an amount which actually exceeded the increase recommended by the Panel. The basic allowance at Spelthorne will now amount to £5785, which is considerably higher than that paid to Councillors carrying out similar duties in Elmbridge. 

 This background suggests that the approach the Conservatives have belatedly chosen to adopt at Elmbridge is motivated by local political considerations, rather than any point of principle.

 The Conservative newsletter also linked the proposed increase in Councillor allowances with increases in costs for services for the elderly. Again, the reality is somewhat different. The additional expenditure on Councillor allowances will be minimal in terms of the Council’s overall budget, and is offset by the decision taken by the current administration to reduce the number of Cabinet posts from ten to nine. The increase in the cost of meals and transport for the elderly had had to be increased primarily because the Conservative controlled Surrey County Council has chosen to withdraw over £300,000 of grants which they had previously agreed to provide to support these services. In spite of this, however, only a third of this amount has been passed on in terms of increased charges, because Elmbridge Council has been able to increase the Council’s own support for services for the elderly by £200,000.

Finally we would point out that, unlike other Councillors, the Molesey Residents Association requires its members to pay the cost of their election expenses out of their allowances. This means that those costs are paid by the Councillors personally, and not by the Association.

 We hope this has helped to explain the position. 

05/02/2017 Heathrow public consultation – deadline 28th February

Heathrow consultation, deadline 28th February and link to this very useful website and document:

The Department of Transport has launched three important consultations:

– On the 3rd runway
– On airspace policy and other key noise issues
– On night flights

The deadline for responding to the night flight consultation is 28th February.  The deadline for the other two is 25th May.

Below we detail the consultations and include links to short briefings HACAN has produced to help you to respond to each one.

If you just want to do a brief response to any one of them, this should help:

Note: The Department is staging around 20 public exhibitions covering the 3rd runway and airspace consultations.  Here is the list:

Public exhibition to be held in Kingston on Wed 15th February 2017

24/11/2016 – Boat by Molesey Lock – Correction

There were some inaccuracies in our previous newsletter about the large boat which has been moored by Molesey Lock.  It was not correct to describe the boat as illegal, or to suggest that the owner had been ordered to move it (we understand he agreed to do so voluntarily).

Local residents have continued to contact us about the boat, and we will be adding updated information shortly.”

23/11/2016 – New tool for tracking planes flying over Molesey

Today Heathrow Airport have launched a new online tool called xPlane which allows you to find out exactly what kind of aircraft from Heathrow fly over your location, when and how often.
xPlane adds to our other map-based tools, Webtrak and Webtrak ‘My Neighbourhood’, to provide you with more information about the planes using Heathrow’s flight paths.
You can find out more on their website here:


Surrey County Council (SCC) is responsible for local on-street parking controls, and is carrying out a comprehensive review of its town and village on-street parking controls on a rolling programme, looking at each community in turn.  As we reported earlier, SCC’s review of parking controls in Molesey began in April, and we encouraged residents who had concerns about difficulties caused by on-street parking in their roads to contribute their ideas and suggestions to the review.

Surrey County Council (SCC) is responsible for local on-street parking controls, and is carrying out a comprehensive review of its town and village on-street parking controls on a rolling programme, looking at each community in turn.  As we reported earlier, SCC’s review of parking controls in Molesey began in April, and we encouraged residents who had concerns about difficulties caused by on-street parking in their roads to contribute their ideas and suggestions to the review.

The objective of SCC’s review, and SCC’s overall parking strategy, is to achieve a balance by providing sufficient on-street parking provision, subject to controls or restrictions where these are appropriate. SCC also said that one of the key criteria would be if parking at a particular location made the situation more dangerous.

Latest Position

SCC Highways Officers have now completed their review of controls in Molesey. The exercise has taken over 6 months, and they have assessed all requests made by local residents objectively in line with the Council’s overall parking policies and strategy. A number of changes to the current restrictions have been recommended, and these will now be published for formal consultation with a view to introduction in around 6-9 months.

Outcome and Recommended Changes

Many residents submitted requests and suggestions to the review and will be interested in the outcome. Some of the main recommendations are summarised below, but if you want to look at the details:

SCC Report Moleseys and Dittons parking review

SCC Report Moleseys and Dittons parking review Annex

The recommendations include:

Hurst Road: Extension of the double yellow lines on the south side of the road, in order to reduce congestion and blockages on this main road; and the removal of some yellow lines on the north side, near the War Memorial, to provide some additional spaces.

Bridge Road shopping area: Extension of the current limited waiting periods to prevent all day parking on Saturdays; provision of some short stay (30 mins) parking spaces; and provision of some motorbike parking spaces.

Parking on corners: Additional restrictions to prevent dangerous parking on or near corners in a number of roads, including Arnison Road, St John’s Road, Vine Road and Manor Road.

Requests not adopted

The Highways Officers assessed all requests objectively against set criteria and policies, but concluded that a number should not be progressed. These include petitions from residents in a number of roads in East Molesey asking for a one hour “residents’ only” scheme to prevent commuter parking in roads close to Hampton Court Station (including Palace Road, Wolsey Road, Arnison Road and others) to free up on-street space for residents and shoppers.

The officers considered these requests carefully, but concluded that they should not be progressed for a number of reasons. These are detailed in the officers’ report, but the officers concluded in particular that:

  • the residents in these roads generally have significant off-street parking, and the Council’s policy is to introduce permit schemes only where this is not the case;
  • the Council’s overall strategy seeks to avoid introducing restrictions which cause displacement, and the officers concluded that this would cause considerable displacement into streets already under parking stress which do not have off-street parking facilities (such as Kent Road, Pemberton Road and Park Road).
  • as there are already limited waiting provisions in the Bridge Road area it is difficult to conceive that there is a need to create a large number of additional on-street space for shoppers; and the current arrangements also allow space for local workers, who may be on relatively low pay, to park and work in the local area.

Next Steps

The Council’s intention to introduce the changes recommended in the Highways Officers’ report will now be advertised, and is subject to formal consultation. Depending on the outcome of the consultation exercise, the recommended changes would then be introduced in around 6-9 months.

If you have any queries in the meantime, please contact Councillor Stuart Selleck (

08/09/2016 Heathrow noise pollution over Molesey

Following my meeting with Dan Foster Special Projects Manager “NATS” National air traffic services at Heathrow.

Summary of the meeting.

  1. Heathrow have purchased 50 noise monitors which they want to place in the surrounding boroughs .Molesey being one of them. They are looking for secure open spaces in Molesey and the surrounding areas .This could be school Fields, Parks, large rear gardens, etc . The MRA need your help on this, if you know of any secure open places please forward to me at I will pass them on to the Heathrow noise forum and NATS.
  2. I will be seeking talks though the MRA with the airlines that affect us in Molesey and making recommendations’ that they use different away points in the their take off corridors which is 3 Kilometers wide  and we can all share the burden in the mean time.

Cllr Tony Popham


06/09/2016 Lights on Hampton Court Bridge

All residents should be aware that the lights on the bridge are being upgraded.  Richmond Council have removed half and  installled temporary lights, in order to maintain visibility on the bridge at night.  The original lanterns are being refurbished. 

Surrey County Council will replace the other half of the lights as part of a second phase later in 2016. 

06/09/2016 Tesco’s Bags of Help grant scheme

Tesco’s Bags of Help grant scheme has made changes to its exciting new grant programme funded through the money raised from the 5p bag charge in Tesco stores in England, Wales and Scotland. The programme will now support local good causes and grants, and up to £5,000 will be available to support projects which will ‘promote community participation in the development and use of outdoor spaces’.

The types of project funded are very broad and you can find some examples on our website here. This could be delivering a community event in a local outdoor space, installing seating or play equipment in a school grounds or hospice to buying items such a football nets, balls and coaching sessions for a local community football club. We will also cover costs such as co-ordinators to manage volunteers, staff to lead nature walks, or training sessions, website development for publicity and promotion and workshops to inform about the environment.

As this is a rolling programme throughout the year, voting for projects will be happening continuously in Tesco stores. Three projects from each area will be shortlisted to go to the public vote each month. If your project gets the most votes across all stores in your region, you will win the grant amount you requested from us up to a maximum of £5,000. If your project is second, you will win up to £2,000 and if your project is third, you will win up to £1,000.

Apply NOW or find out more on For support or any queries contact your local Enabler on or by telephoning 01273 022320.

06/09/2016 Council Seeks Views on the Impact of Proposed Heathrow Expansion

Elmbridge Councillors are reviewing the impact of the proposed Heathrow expansion and are seeking the views of local residents.

The debate on the potential expansion of either Heathrow or Gatwick airports has been taking place for many years as Government ministers express concerns over noise and air pollution.

In the meantime, Elmbridge Councillors have been assessing the impact of the potential extension of Heathrow on the residents and businesses of the Borough.

In January 2016, the Council established a ‘Task and Finish’ group which has been considering the impact on Elmbridge of Heathrow’s potential expansion.  A ‘Task and Finish Group’ is part of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee. It is established for the purpose of conducting an in-depth review of any service, policy or issue that affects the Borough. The work recognises that there could be significant economic and service benefits for Elmbridge residents but these need to be weighed against the environmental impacts and the effectiveness of any mitigation measures and assurances about flight paths and hours of operation.

Chaired by Councillor Christine Elmer, the considerations of the Group have been focussed on areas such as noise, air quality, economy, housing, transport infrastructure and safety.

Commenting on the aim of the Task and Finish Group, Councillor Christine Elmer said; “We are very aware that the expansion of Heathrow is an emotive topic for the residents and businesses of Elmbridge and as a Group we are eager to consider in depth all aspects of this debate. As such we are analysing issues such as noise, air pollution, transport infrastructure and safety with experts in order to determine the implications for Elmbridge.”

In addition to hearing from experts from all aspects of the debate, the Heathrow Task and Finish Group would like to hear from local residents on whether they would like Heathrow airport to have an additional runway. The survey can be accessed on the Council’s website and closes at midnight 30 September 2016.

The Heathrow Task and Finish Group is expected to deliver its report by the Autumn.