The views expressed here are those of Ian Harvey. Copyright Ian Harvey 2020
THE PERSONAL WEB SITE OF CLLR IAN HARVEY, FORMER LEADER OF SPELTHORNE BOROUGH COUNCIL AND COUNCILLOR FOR THE SUNBURY EAST WARD. MEMBER OF UNITED SPELTHORNE GROUP
2019 Spelthorne Borough Council Manifesto written by Cllr Ian Harvey
We are pleased to outline our policies and priorities for the next four years and ask for your support in continuing to make our Borough even better.
During the last four years we have worked hard to protect and strengthen our finances in the face of cuts being imposed from elsewhere. We are now in a position to concentrate on our future priorities, primary of which is to provide homes for our residents and to make Spelthorne a better place to live and work.
We are of course mindful of challenges such as the proposed expansion of Heathrow and are determined to ensure the best outcome for our residents. Only a Conservative run Council has the experience, confidence and enthusiasm to take Spelthorne forwards for the next four years and into the future thereafter.
A great deal of time and effort has gone into bringing Spelthorne to where it is today -
Leader, Spelthorne Conservatives, March 2019
Our main Priorities:
1 Housing Local Plan and Green Belt
Providing homes for Spelthorne residents is quite simply the number one priority of a Conservative led Spelthorne Council and we are firmly committed to this. We have a clear focus on building homes for our residents, not simply relying on private sector housebuilders. Our current plans will deliver in excess of 620 homes over the next five years. These will include Key Worker, Affordable and emergency accommodation, including a single homeless hostel as well as homes for “open market” rent. Only a Conservative run Spelthorne has the ambition and drive to deliver this.
Mindful of the importance of our Green Belt to the integrity and cohesion of Spelthorne we are working very hard to protect our significant Green Belt assets and a Conservative administration will continue to do so. We are developing our Local Plan with this firmly in mind. Conservatives support Green Belt and will continue to do so.
2 Economy and Transport
Spelthorne Means Business and many businesses have come to appreciate this. Strong economic performance is crucial to a vibrant and stable Borough delivering excellent employment prospects for our residents. Your Conservative run administration has, and will continue to work hard to protect and enhance the financial viability of our High Streets and businesses located in the Borough. We are planning for ambitious regeneration in both Staines and Ashford High Streets.
Pinewood Shepperton Studios have recently shown their commitment to a vibrant Spelthorne with their plans to transform their Shepperton Studios site. We welcome this boost to our economy and employment options, including, crucially, “digital” opportunities for our young people.
An expanded Heathrow Airport offers a once in a lifetime opportunity for boosting our economy and employment opportunities at all levels. We are, and will continue to engage with Heathrow positively to ensure Spelthorne residents gain the maximum possible benefits.
We are pursuing an ambitious plan for a light rail scheme to link Staines with a newly expanded Heathrow in an environmentally sustainable way and continue to press for Spelthorne to be included in Zone 6 and Oyster Card.
We are also mindful of parking pressures, in particular in Ashford. After the election Ashford Conservative Councillors will be working on plans to significantly address this.
3 Tackling Crime and Protecting our Community
We understand how important controlling crime is, including what is often called “low level” such as Anti-
We are also continuing to invest in CCTV cameras and to work unstintingly to make sure Spelthorne is and remains a safe and pleasant place to live.
4 Welfare and Care, including the Environment
We continue to work hard to meet the needs of all our residents. We have recently acquired new SpelRide minibuses, we continue to provide a full Meals on Wheels service and have just finished an extension to the Greeno Day Centre in Shepperton. Our financial stability enables us to continue to support all our residents including the more vulnerable.
We are working on new plans for a replacement Spelthorne Leisure Centre and expect to be consulting further on these in the early summer 2019.
We are caring for the environment and are heavily committed to continuing to do so, including planting 850 trees in Spelthorne as part of our WW1 Centenary commemoration.
We will continue to work hard to maintain and improve community facilities including buildings and open spaces for residents’ enjoyment, including progressing plans to protect Staines Park with “Fields in Trust” status.
We recently brought our grounds maintenance back in house and are seeing the benefits.
We are taking bold steps to enhance the benefit of having the River Thames on our boundary and are developing plans to improve the access and utilization of this asset, including building a jetty and encouraging increased river boat tours and electric day boat hire.
Our financial stability means a Conservative run Spelthorne can and will continue to be committed to Welfare and the Environment.
5 Property Investments and Combatting Cuts
Over the last four years your Conservative Council has successfully developed investment strategies that have not only filled funding gaps that would otherwise have resulted in substantial cuts to services but have allowed us to improve our core service to residents. These sound strategic investments ensure that your Conservative run Spelthorne Council can continue to provide the services that you our residents need and expect. It is these investments that enables us to commit a future Conservative administration to our plans.
For the last three years we have delivered a budget that has NO cuts to services, NO sale of assets, NO use of reserves and below inflation increases in our Council Tax Precept.
We firmly believe that, whilst acknowledging there is always room for improvement, Spelthorne is in a great position to look to a bright future under a Conservative run administration.
This was written by Ian whilst he was still Leader of the Conservative Group in Spelthorne