Green Motion to improve Surrey’s investment strategy agreed

Surrey County Council has agreed changes to its multi-million pound property investment policy to ensure that it is environmentally sustainable and will help address the affordable homes crisis – thanks to a Motion tabled by Green County Councillor Jonathan Essex at a Council meeting on Tuesday 5th December.

The Motion won the backing of Councillors from across the Council chamber, following minor amendments proposed by Conservative Councillor Tim Oliver.

Cllr Essex said:

“When millions of pounds worth of public money and assets are being used in this way, strong rules are required to protect the environment and ensure social benefits.

“It is good news that the County Council has committed to provide genuinely affordable housing, so that public sector workers can afford to live here and provide the services we all depend on.

“And it’s great that this policy now also covers environmental standards, including reaffirming our existing commitment to protect Surrey’s Green Belt from development.

“I am pleased that my motion won support from across the Council chamber, and look forward to working with the County Council to ensure these standards are applied to all of our future investments, including the proposed development of new homes on public sector sites.”

The Motion, including Cllr Oliver’s amendment, now reads:

Council notes:

That on the 16 November 2017 the Council Overview & Budget Scrutiny committee agreed that our property investments should be guided by an environmental and social governance policy, agreed and confirmed in writing, as does our pension fund investments.

Council resolves:

That ESG policy be agreed with a commitment an aspiration that this should be applied to all of the property-related investment decisions made by Surrey County Council, both through its local authority property company Halsey Garton and by itself, including for its developments on publically owned sites in Surrey.
In addition, this Council:

  • reaffirms its commitment to provide genuinely affordable housing on suitable sites and in compliance with the requirements of the local planning authority;
  • that investments to reach BREEAM standards rating of Excellent or higher as appropriate for each application determined by the Local Planning Authority;
  • reaffirms our existing commitment to protect the green belt in accordance with both national and local policy; and
  • for these commitments to continue to be scrutinised in public.
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Recycling or incineration? Surrey’s waste turning point

  • Would you put a bit of effort into separating out your recycling if it meant less need for incineration?
  • Do doorstep collections work best or should residents be asked to take recycling to centres?
  • Do you agree that we might need to build a new waste facility on the Green Belt?

Choices we make now will have a real impact on what happens in Surrey for years to come.

Surrey County Council is consulting on its new waste plan. But the consultation is a nightmare in terms of not saying what it means and being totally impenetrable.

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Council proposes to ‘safeguard’ Redhill Aerodrome… for housing

At its meeting next Thursday, 9 November 2017, Reigate & Banstead Borough Council’s Executive will discuss the latest draft of the Council’s Local Plan and whether to send it for consultation and submission to the Secretary of State.

Since the previous version of the Local Plan was consulted on, the Council has added a new Proposed Policy Approach: ‘MLS2 Safeguarding Land for Development Beyond the Plan Period’.

The Council is earmarking Redhill Aerodrome for housing development after 2027.

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Shedding light on Surrey’s secret billion pound property plan

Surrey’s Green and Liberal Democrat Councillors have revealed that Surrey County Council is in the process of planning housing and development across dozens of sites, in a secret deal that could be worth more than £1bn with a private sector partner.

The County Council is in the process of tendering a contract for a ‘Joint Property Joint Venture Partner’, which is described as “a unique opportunity to offer development delivery and service expertise across a raft of property development projects”.

The project would see Surrey County Council, along with a large number of public sector partners, releasing land and vacant sites currently owned by the County Council and others into the Joint Vehicle. The value of the project is estimated to be between £250m and £1.5bn, over a 15 year period with 32 sites currently identified and potentially 100 more under consideration.

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Stop Surrey’s urbanisation – by protecting our Green Belt

Locally we are facing a potential deluge of new large-scale housing proposals over the next few years as a requirement of the Government’s drive for greater housing numbers in the South East,  inevitably in London’s Green Belt.

These could include the proposals for a Garden Village at Redhill Aerodrome or another large site currently being considered in the emerging Tandridge Local Plan.

It is important to remember that in future years, planning applications will be submitted for these developments and once the Green Belt is removed from a Local Plan then it may be virtually impossible to resist them.

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Big Green Autumn Party

Join us on Friday 6 October for a party at Reigate’s liveliest new venue, The Yard at Reigate Station. This is a fabulously  atmospheric and quirky new venue just ONE MINUTE from Reigate station.

There will be live music from Ian Machecek and Rebecca Riedtmann.  You can buy drinks at the cash bar – and feel free to bring your own food.*

This is a chance to have fun, thank everyone who has helped with our campaigns this year, and to raise some funds to continue working for a Greener and Fairer East Surrey.

When: 7.30-11pm, Friday 6 October 2017
Where: The Yard, 3a Holmesdale Road, Reigate, RH2 9QN

Tickets: £5 on the door or book via Eventbrite and secure your place

*There are plenty of excellent takeaways in Reigate – including a fish and chip shop and Chinese restaurant very nearby. For vegans, Monsoon in Woodhatch deliver and are happy to prepare vegan options and Pizza Express now has a vegan cheese available.


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Surrey Greens welcome Tory U-turn on tip closures

Green County Councillor Jonathan Essex has welcomed the decision by the Conservatives in Surrey to drop their plans to close four Community Recycling Centres (CRCs). The change of heart happened after huge opposition from thousands of Surrey residents.
The County Council will, however, proceed with its plans to reduce the opening hours of CRCs across the county, as well as to drop the daily free waste allowance for residents. The proposals will be confirmed at the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 26 September.

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Green motion prompts County Council rethink on Recycling Centres

Surrey County Council will now explore alternatives to closing four Community Recycling Centres and reducing the opening hours of the others, thanks to a motion tabled by Green County Councillor Jonathan Essex at the Council meeting on 11 July.

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Local committee funding slashed as Surrey County Council faces £24m overspend

Redhill East Green County Councillor Jonathan Essex has today criticised Conservative-run Surrey County Council for making huge cuts to the Reigate & Banstead Local Committee budget, at the same time as the County Council announced a projected £24m overspend for the current financial year.


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Surrey Greens oppose Tory plans to cut recycling centres

Surrey County Council is consulting on proposed changes to Surrey’s community recycling centres. The Conservative-run Council says that its proposed option is to close the recycling centres in Dorking, Warlingham, Bagshot and Cranleigh, and to end the daily allowance of waste that can be disposed of for free.

The proposals include reducing opening hours at the recycling centre in Earlswood from 7 days a week to 5 days a week.

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