Frimley playground transformed in £50,000 makeover

Surrey Heath Borough Council has announced that,

Evergreen Road play area in Frimley is the latest playground to be refurbished as part of SHBC’s £650,0000 play area improvement programme.

Surrey Heath Safeguarding and Support Portfolio Holder and Parkside ward councillor Cllr Josephine Hawkins officially opened the playground with SHBC Executive Head of Business Daniel Harrison and Senior Business Officer Nicky Sherlow – joined by some happy local children making the most of the new facilities!

Following the £50,000 makeover, children can now enjoy the new junior multi-play unit, a variety of swings, 4-way see saw, rope swing, surf rider, and trampoline.  There’s new safety surfacing throughout, along with more seats and picnic benches.

Cllr Hawkins said: “The playground has been transformed, and I hope local families enjoy using these excellent new facilities. This refurbishment has been achieved through regular consultation with local residents, to ensure it is a fun, friendly and safe place for children to meet and play. Thank you to all those involved in making it happen.”

Last year the Council agreed a Borough-wide playground improvement scheme that will see more areas of Surrey Heath benefit from improved play facilities.  The play area improvement scheme is worth over £650,000, with the improvements due to be implemented over three years.

Playgrounds earmarked for refurbishment/replacement as part of this scheme include:

  • Chobham Road Recreation Ground, Frimley
  • Frimley Lodge Park
  • Lightwater Country Park
  • Loman Road, Mytchett& Deepcut
  • London Road Recreation Ground, St Michaels
  • Old Dean Recreation Ground
  • Watchetts Recreation Ground
  • Whitmoor Road, Bagshot

Surrey Matters e-newsletter for November 2018

No longer delivered as a printed newsletter to Surrey residents, Surrey Matters is now available via email or by visiting the County Council’s website. To obtain a copy emailed directly to you, registration is required.

For those not registered, here’s the front page, and by clicking on the image below you link to the online version on Surrey County Councils’s website.

Surrey Heath Community Groups awarded more than £16,000

Surrey Heath Borough Council announce that,

Three local organisations have been awarded grants totalling more than £16,000 from Surrey Heath Borough Council’s Community Fund.

Windlesham Field of Remembrance, Camberley Judo Club and Beacon Frontline Debt Service had funding approved in the latest round of grant applications to be considered. The Council’s Community Fund Grant Scheme provides grants of up to £25,000 to assist local ‘not for profit organisations’ with the delivery of community projects.

At SHBC’s Executive meeting on 16 October,

  • Windlesham Field of Remembrance were awarded £10,000 towards a project to relocate the War Memorial and landscape the surrounding gardens.
  • Camberley Judo Club had a grant of £5,000 approved towards the cost of buying a minibus, which will be used to help deliver ‘mobile judo’ as an after school club in the area, and assist athletes in attending competitions.
  • Beacon Frontline Debt Service, a charity based at Beacon Church in Berkshire Road, Camberley, were awarded £1,380 to buy 6 laptops and 4 mobile phones for volunteer and client use.

Surrey Heath Support and Safeguarding Portfolio Holder Cllr Josephine Hawkins said: “We are delighted to support these excellent community projects with grants. “Residents across Surrey Heath benefit hugely from the services provided by local community groups.

“I encourage local groups with worthwhile projects who may need assistance to get in touch and find out if they can apply for a grant.”

To qualify for a grant from the Community Grant Fund, applications must fit with the Council’s objectives from the Five Year Strategy and demonstrate benefit to the local community, or a section of it.

Application deadlines are twice a year, on 30 June and 31 December. For more information go to

Think you could be a councillor?

If you do, Surrey Heath Borough Council is running an awareness course for prospective council candidates.

Could you be a councillor?

  • Do you want to make a difference in your local community?
  • Do you want to represent the views of people in your local area?
  • Do you want to help influence the services the Council provide?

If the answer to these questions is yes, you might be the right person to stand as a local councillor.

On 2 May 2019, there will be elections in Surrey Heath for all 35 borough council seats.

Surrey Heath has recently been the subject of ward boundary changes, and this is an ideal opportunity to stand to become a Borough Councillor.

If you would like to find out more, Surrey Heath Borough Council is holding a special event at the Council Offices on Wednesday 31 October 2018 at 6.30pm.

The event is open to all members of the public, and will give you a chance to find out the process of standing for an election, the roles and responsibilities of a councillor and the support available to elected councillors. Serving Borough Councillors and officers will also be at the event to give an overview of what they do.

For more information please call Rachel Whillis, Democratic Services Manager on 01276 707319 or email –

Objecting to a planning application: Mobile Telephone Masts

Alerted to a planning application from Vodafone & Telefonica [O2] for the erection of a mobile telephone mast near the Briars Community Centre in Lightwater, I’ve studied the application, which you can do too, HERE.

A local parish and borough councillor is organising objections to the application. I appreciate why Cllr Katia Malcaus Cooper is doing so. She’s both a Trustee and Chair of the Briars Community Centre, and naturally is protective of the Centre, which describes itself as,

Lightwater is a lovely village in the South East of England with good transport links. Our location is quiet and we have a large outdoors recreation area and are highly affordable for any event you are planning.

Over the years the centre has had numerous improvements, all down to an active management committee. So, yes, I fully understand the desire not to have infrastructure so close to the centre.

I’m ambivalent about the application, seeing the siting of the mast as inconsiderate to the centre, but am generally supportive of having a mast. Why, well, where we live we’ve been in a significant not spot for many years. Also, mobile phone coverage has for a long time been very poor, often connections have dropped, and getting a signal has sometimes not been possible. The mobile signal has improved in the last year or so, still not great, I think maybe because of mast upgrades elsewhere in Lightwater. I  see a much improved phone signal at where I live with this mast.

There are extensive supporting documents for the planning application from the agents for Vodafone and O2, and I’ve read most of them. I can see why they want to place the mast where they want to, as it provides the best mobile signal coverage to the largest number of properties. I hadn’t quite realised how much trees degrade a phone signal, and so the siting recommendation looks to minimise their effect.

The mast and associated cabinets are too close to the road, and will certainly be an eyesore in that location. My recommendation is to move the mast siting further away from the centre, nearer to the Briar Avenue / Broom Field island. The mast and cabinets could easily be placed behind the pavement in the grassy area near when the dog poo bin is located. I know it’s not moving the mast that far, but I consider it’ll be visually less impinging on nearby homes and the Briar Centre.

Below are the map of the proposed location, a plan view of it’s exact location, the objection notice, and my photo of an alternative location. Click on images to expand.

Objecting to a planning application: Highways

Now that I’m no longer a borough councillor, it’s a lot easier to stay away from planning disputes. While being a councillor I never served on the planning committee of the borough council, preferring the freedom to develop evidence to either support or help reject a planning application.

It takes considerable time and in some cases emotional energy to argue a case. For example, I argued that Lakeview Care Home’s planning application in Lightwater Road that the building was too large, and that importantly there was insufficient car parking provision. From memory it was turned down three times, and only accepted when the car parking provision was considered acceptable.

Subsequently, I think I’m correct here; the building has the capability to host regular staff training and staff meetings. Car parking on site is soon overwhelmed, such that it results in inconsiderate parking on Lightwater Road. That issue is now being addressed with a Surrey Highways application for double yellow lines to stop on street parking. This application will be discussed at the meeting of Surrey Heath Local Committee on October 4th at Portesbery School, Newfoundland Road, Deepcut, GU16. Meeting begins at 6.0 pm. [Click on image to link to agenda]

I ought to say that my view of Lakeview Care Home is wholly positive. It’s an excellent and well run facility. I even know of a couple of residents there.

Surrey Heath Council attend Revo Manchester, plus Be Inspired video

Surrey Heath Borough Council [SHBC] announce their attendance at Revo Manchester on 18-20th September that offers opportunities to connect and do business with experts from the diverse retail property and placemaking community. See SHBC’s Be Inspired video at end of press release.

The regeneration of Camberley is bringing a revitalised place to one of the most affluent catchments in the South East of England.

Led by a forward-thinking management team and elected members, Surrey Heath Borough Council (SHBC) has invested £140 million into Camberley to drive regeneration and economic growth.

SHBC will be attending Revo Manchester, 18 – 20 September 2018, Manchester Central.  Visit us on stand number 84.

Karen Whelan, Chief Executive, Surrey Heath Borough Council said:  “SHBC’s significant regeneration projects in Camberley are driving prosperity in the town and creating a vibrant place for our local communities to enjoy.   The regeneration work is also creating exceptional new commercial opportunities. Come and see us at Revo to find out more.”

Cllr Richard Brooks, Deputy Leader, Surrey Heath Borough Council said: “We are looking forward to attending the Revo exhibition next week to provide an update on the substantial progress that has been made on Camberley’s regeneration projects.  These projects are transforming the town and creating a great place for our local communities and businesses.”

SHBC’s investments have already seen the unique acquisition of The Square shopping centre, commencing its refurbishment programme within the first year of ownership.  Followed by an ambitious set of projects to improve the roads, pavements and street scene.  A redundant office building has also been purchased to create 116 high quality town centre apartments with proposals to re-deliver new business space.

SHBC is also currently in the process of sourcing an innovative developer partner for the London Road site.  Situated fronting the London Road, opposite the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the 5.5-acre site has the potential to create a mixed-use development.

The regeneration work is supported by a comprehensive events programme, grant schemes for independent businesses and cultural and enrichment projects to ensure Camberley is a key destination and experience.

Be involved

  • 19 September 11:30am – 12:30pm, Cinema: Karen Whelan, CEO, SHBC will be participating in the panel discussion ‘Are shops killing the High Street?’
  • 19 September 4pm – 5pm, Stand 84.  Camberley drinks reception. Join us for a glass of Stovells’ Wild-crafted Gin, an artisan gin produced within Surrey Heath in Chobham.  Talk to Officers and Members from SHBC about Camberley and the opportunities available.

Find out more

Watch our ‘Camberley Be Inspired’ short film