5th March 2013
Chairman's Corner

I hope everybody had an enjoyable festive season and received all the goodies from Father Christmas that they had hoped for.

Moving into the New Year and moving on from an extremely wet 2012 is proving to be a little on the chilly side. I am sure the children and the more hardy adults have enjoyed the snowy weather we have experienced so far but unfortunately followed by rather wet and very cold conditions but spare a thought for those of a more delicate constitution and those poor souls who have had to brave the elements in order to go about their normal business.

Deepcut Development:

I guess the main topic of discussion at the moment is the planning application that has been submitted for the Princess Royal Barracks site in Deepcut. This application greatly affects the communities in and around Deepcut, the main issue to my mind is the roads infrastructure, (It hardly exists). I personally found that the statistics provided by the DIO (Defence Infrastructure Organisation), claiming that the road network could readily cope with the increase in traffic to be extremely questionable, and designed to obfuscate rather than to genuinely inform.

When the amount of opposition that has been expressed to the size of this development that has been enshrined in Surrey Heath’s “Core Strategy” is taken into consideration, I hope that SHBC will take the views of the affected communities into full consideration and not ride roughshod over their justifiable concerns. I also hope that all our members have made their feelings (for or against the application) known to the council.

Deepcut Neighbourhood Forum:

Applications for the creation of a Neighbourhood Forum and a Neighbourhood Area in Deepcut (consulted on between Monday 6th August and Monday 17th September 2012) were made to SHBC.

The Executive at the meeting of the 4th December 2012 considered these. Concerns were raised regarding the content of both applications and it was decided to defer the applications to allow for further consultation following receipt of revised applications.

Subsequently, the applicant (Deepcut Neighbourhood Forum) has decided to withdraw the original applications and submit revised applications relating to the designation of a Neighbourhood Forum and a Neighbourhood Area in Deepcut. A public consultation was carried out between Wednesday 9th January until Wednesday 20th February 2013.

Tesco Express in Mytchett:

Tesco are attempting to grace Mytchett with a new Tesco Express, over 700 residents have made it clear that they do not want or need another retail outlet within the village. They are concerned that, if permission is granted, that existing businesses would be extremely detrimental.

Currently there are seven Outlets of this nature (Two of them are run by Tesco’s) within a two mile stretch along the B3411 ( Mytchett Road), four of the seven are actually within the Mytchett settlement area so it is felt that another outlet would be superfluous. Is Tesco trying to take over the world!!

Important Update: On March 13th, SHBC Councillors rejected the Tesco store plans in Mytchett, see Article on getSurrey.

The Four Lakes at Frimeley Green:

The four lakes at Frimley Green once owned by CEMEX have now been bought by Frimley Pits Fishery. The new owners have stated:

“The land now known as Frimley Pits Fishery is private land. The only access is by a key. However, we will be issuing dog walker permits at £10.00 per year from June for that lake only. There is no public access as such and this also extends to the other lakes which will be fenced and gated in the near future. There will be a limited number for Pit 4 from June. There are already a number of dog walkers on the list and we need to see if they are coming back to us first, that will be in June. Applications for a permit for this can be asked for via our web site which is on all of our signs. There will be no dogs on pits 1-3.
We are working in partnership with the Blackwater trust people on projects and that includes working on a car park and access via the Quays to alleviate parking issues in the Hatches.”

On a more general note:

There are moves in government to allow fire and rescue authorities to farm out their full range of services to private companies.
How would private companies cope with situations such as the London Tube bombings in July 2005, or more recently the widespread flooding across the U.K. to which the emergency services were frequently called?

Then there is Jeremy Hunt's plan to force local doctors to open up almost all NHS services to private companies is seen by one eminent QC as anti-democratic and breaks government promises made last year.
There has been such an outcry over this that Jeremy Hunt will almost certainly have to reconsider his plans but there is no guarantee.

And now a Tory MP Tim Yeo who chairs the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, has had to table an amendment to the Energy Bill. Amongst other things, it would require the government to set a carbon intensity target for the power sector for 2030 based on the Committee on Climate Change's (CCC) advice and insists that the target can only be changed if the Secretary of State can demonstrate that there have been significant changes to the original justification for the target.
It would be interesting to know where your local MP stands on these issues.

Finally a few points of interest:

  • European leaders finally agree a cut in the budget for the rest of decade; but guess what; the U.K. will be contributing more than at present.
  • The U.K. loses it triple A credit rating.
  • The Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, has sparked a new outbreak of coalition feuding, calling for fresh welfare cuts in order to protect spending on the armed forces.
  • The Pope leader of 1.2 Billion Catholics steps down.
  • The Duke and Duchess are expecting a new addition to the Royal Family in the not too distant future and it will be graced with the title of Prince or Princess depending on its gender.
  • Dr Juliane Kaminski, of the University of Portsmouth’s Department of Psychology, has shown that when a human forbids a dog from taking food, dogs are four times more likely to disobey in a dark room than a lit room, suggesting they take into account what the human can or cannot see. The study is published in the journal Animal Cognition.
  • Metals contained in nanoparticles can enter into the food chain. Scientists have, for the first time, traced the nanoparticles taken up from the soil by crop plants and analysed the chemical states of their metallic elements. Zinc was shown to dissolve and accumulate throughout the plants, whereas the element cerium did not dissolve into plant tissue. The results contribute to the controversial debate on plant toxicity of nanoparticles and whether engineered nanoparticles can enter into the food chain. The study was published on 6 February 2013 in the journal ACS Nano.

Enough, Enough I say!!
Till the next contribution, have a wonderful spring.

Kevin Daley    (Chair, MFGD Society)