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January 2004 Phase II Works cladding and snagging finished

February 2004 As both Councils must be accountable for the way they spend our money, Leatherhead AHEAD has written two letters to the Chief Executives of Surrey County Council (Mr Paul Coen) and Mole Valley District Council (Mrs Heather Kerswell):

Letter 1 asks for the total breakdown of the cost of the Phase II works now that they are finished.

Letter 2 (Completion of Leatherhead Phase 2 works - Review) points out that SCC and MVDC have achieved NONE of the aims they wanted to achieve with Phase II, i.e. better access to the High Street for everybody, improved access for the disabled in wheelchairs and people with pushchairs, and a focal point for the town. Instead we have a desolate structure which obscures the view of the High Street from the top of Bridge Street (and vice versa), a pavement on the More shop side much steeper than it was, and a set of ramps not used by anyone.

12th March 2004 Second AGM of Leatherhead AHEAD held in the Green Room of The Theatre. Lucy Hanson, the new Town Centre Manager, was the guest speaker. 2nd AGM, chairman's report

15th March 2004 As there had been no response from the Auditor (Mr Andrew Bostock of KPMG) to Andy Cole’s letter of 25th April 2003, or to his chaser letters of 20th September and 24th November 2003, the Chairman of Leatherhead AHEAD wrote to the Auditor, sending a copy of our Review of the Phase II works and asking for a thorough post-completion audit of the works to be carried out.

Although we continue to believe that the obstruction (the ramps) in the crossroads area serves no purpose for the town and solves none of the problems of lack of access and parking, we met SCC Councillors Helyn Clack (new Executive for Transport) and Bob McKinley to show them that there were safety concerns with the ramps that needed attention. We gave them a document showing the major issues, and we have now received a letter clarifying their position as follows:

Letter from SCC Councillor Bob McKinley dated 18th March 2004

…..The position now is that we accept the need to improve the ramps in a number of ways - many of which you have highlighted. In particular we must tackle the problem of steps that vary in their levels and the question of demarcation between pedestrians and vehicles outside the Abbey National (incidentally, thank you for your specific suggestion for dealing with this). Some other matters have been raised by you and in our discussions generally and we now need an overall assessment and suggested ways forward from our officials. This will then come before the Local Committee to authorise the necessary works.
(We) are concerned that work should go ahead just as soon as authority has been given for the precise steps needed. …..

29th March 2004 Reply to our Review from SCC Chief Executive Mr Paul Coen attaching a report by Mr Roger Archer-Reeves, Local Transportation Director, commenting on the items raised.

3rd May 2004 Reply sent to Paul Coen challenging the statements in his letter of 29th March,

4th May 2004 We have written again to the Auditor (Mr Andrew Bostock of KPMG) reminding him that we are still waiting for a reply to our letter dated 15 March. We also sent him a copy of our correspondence with Paul Coen.

22 June: Leatherhead Forum - Environmental Audit - print off the questionnaire and have your say by completing this survey received from MVDC and sending it back either via the Leatherhead Help Shop, 25-27 High Street, Leatherhead marked for the attention of Heather Ward, or by post to Rod Shaw, Mole Valley District Council, Pippbrook, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 1SJ. Deadline 19 July 2004.

29 June [added to website 15 Jul]: Reply from KPMG to our letter of 15 March in which we provided a copy of our Review of the Phase II works and asked for a thorough post-completion audit of the works to be carried out (reminder sent 4 May). It concludes [their punctuation]:
"We have, concluded on the basis of the evidence made available to us, that no further action is required of either the County Council, or ourselves, in respect of the matters you have raised with us.
Whilst I recognise that our findings may come as a disappointment to you, I would like to thank you for taking the time to bring these issues to our attention"

8th July A report in the 8 July edition of the Leatherhead Advertiser includes quotes from Leatherhead AHEAD on the parking problems being caused by some Travelodge customers. A meeting of interested parties is being held - report

9th July Paula Sabine provides notes of the points put to two top officers from Surrey County Council Transportation Department who accompanied her and Mike Lewis and John Howarth (President of Leatherhead Chamber of Commerce) on a two hour walkabout in Leatherhead town centre on 9th July.

last updated 15 Jul 2004