Leader reaffirms commitment to improve the quality of life for all residents and vows to stand firm against government’s unrealistic targets on new homes
At last night’s Annual Council meeting, the Leader of Tandridge District Council, Councillor Martin Fisher, set out the Council’s vision for the next year.
He renewed its commitment to create a, “sustainable future for the area – in terms of employment, retail and leisure,” and announced his decision to join the Council’s Health & Wellbeing Board, “demonstrating my personal commitment to prevention work and the contribution we make to the health and wellbeing agenda.”
Councillor Fisher also committed to supporting businesses in the district by ensuring Tandridge receives, “the investment it needs to allow our settlements to prosper and our businesses to grow.”
He reaffirmed the Council’s determination to stand firm on the promises made in the creation of its Local Plan which will be considered by the Planning Policy Committee on 3 July.
“The report will set out the proposed location for the Garden Community, which will deliver the best answer to the huge dilemma posed by the desperate need to provide homes for our children and much needed infrastructure for the district, while protecting the natural environment which we all value.
I am confident the publication of the proposals will put to rest the scaremongering stories about the size of any proposed community. It will be no more than 4,000 homes, built over at least two decades and will include affordable rent, as well as shared ownership – real homes for people to bring up their families and make a life in.
Let me be crystal clear – we will not accept a scheme which does not do this or which fails to deliver the infrastructure needed to make the new community sustainable.”
In regard to the unrealistic housing targets set by government, he said he expected a battle with developers: “They will use all the weapons in their arsenal to increase the numbers in the final plan. But we will hold firm. The numbers which this district can accommodate will not come near the current delivery target of 9,400 by 2033, let alone the revised targets from the government which represent an unacceptable increase of 37% on that number.”
He also celebrated the Council’s achievements of the past year. This included the delivery of new council homes in Bletchingley and the expansion of the Wellbeing Prescription service, a free service supporting the health and wellbeing of residents which is now one of the largest in the country and led to the Council and its partners being nominated for a national award.
He also announced the Council will continue to fully fund the Council Tax discount scheme which supports low paid residents, which is only offered by 10% of councils in the country.
He concluded: “There is much to do, but working together and with the support of our staff, I am confident we can achieve our goals and provide the leadership and services our residents expect, need and deserve.”
To read key extracts from the Leader’s speech or watch a video of the full speech, visit www.tandridge.gov.uk/leader.