Crime, planning, parking… lively community meeting in Earlswood

Earlswood gasholder March 2019Surrey Police’s Sergeant Ross Spanton joined Hal Brown, Green councillor for Earlswood & Whitebushes, and Jonathan Essex, Green Surrey County councillor, at a packed community meeting on Monday 11 March.

Around 50 residents attended the meeting at Earlswood Baptist Church, with local crime the focus of the discussion.

Sergeant Spanton gave a detailed, engaging summary of the issues faced by police in the area, ranging from drugs, to burglary and knife crime.

Also covered were arson attacks on cars and youth anti-social behaviour, with the advice on all local crime issues to report any suspicious activity immediately to the police. Sergeant Spanton reassured residents that police presence would be stepped up, with patrol cars acting as a deterrent to anti-social behaviour, in line with the police funding boost following the latest hike in council tax.

Tackling youth crime and drugs

Winning hearts and minds is also key to tackling youth crime and drugs, with Sergeant Spanton stressing the importance of going into affected areas and talking to young people about the dangers and implications of becoming caught up in drug crime.

In this vein, Green councillors have been talking to the YMCA about setting up a youth club, with a youth worker present, to give local teenagers structured activity away from the dangers of gang- and drug-related culture.

Planning: arguing for affordable housing, in the right places

Aside from police issues, Cllr Brown gave residents an update on the planning application for houses on the meadow at Oaklands estate, which was rejected, and the application for flats on Brook Rd, where Green councillors have argued for more affordable housing.

What future for the gasholder site?

Residents were updated on the dismantling of the gasholders on Hooley Lane. Cllr Brown told residents that he had been communicating with gas company SGN over the dismantling plans and the future of the site. SGN has agreed to give a presentation to residents in the coming weeks, with a date to be confirmed. Among the colourful suggestions for the site, a resident argued that a skate park for local children should be considered in the plans for development.

Other issues discussed included the Parking Review and where new yellow lines would be located in the area, the Green Belt, the future of Earlswood Common, and dangerous parking.

This meeting followed a similar community meeting at Redhill Football Club the week before, where the issues discussed included: the Three Arch Road A23 junction; potential expansion of McDonald’s in Salfords; and local crime.

Watch this space for details of the next community meetings in Earlswood & Whitebushes.

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