We wish to confirm, that against what has been said on Walton High Street on the afternoon of Tuesday 4th April 2023 and other comments on social media threads that the changes to the High Street are NOT a Love Walton / Walton BID project. This project is a Surrey County Council project.
As a resident and BID Manager I am upset about the loss of trees and the BID was always going to be part of the future of the High Street and input how implementation of suitable street furniture and greening go back into the High Street to meet the objectives of making the high street a nice place to be – see page 14 of the BID Business Plan – and mitigate the damage of the tree removal.
We can confirm this project is run by Surrey County Council and relates to the feasibility study in 2017 and subsequent report of February 2018.
The public consultation ran in the summer of 2022 this was after in late July 2022, Surrey County Council put consultation notices on various lamp posts along the High Street and the silver frames of the trees outside The Heart and Boots. See the notice here. The Consultation opened on 19th August 2022. The consultation closed on 16 September 2022. Walton BID did not engage in the consultation, because members of WoTTA (Walton on Thames Trading Alliance) the organisation from which the Walton BID was born, had previously been involved in meetings as part of the feasibility study of 2017 and input their ideas about the crossing facilities.
There was public awareness of the scheme, due to the County Councils statutory notice of Temporary Prohibition of Traffic Order, because the notice stated a closure period of up to 18 months.
This was reported by The Walton Society (1) Statement 30th July 2022, (2) Statement 3rd August 2022. The first one made quite a stir on local social media pages, including the very popular Walton-on-Thames and Hersham group.
The reason for sharing all of this is (a) to show it is NOT a Love Walton project, (b) to show that there was a public consultation by SCC, (c) the fact it was raised by the Walton Society meant many individuals would have been available to comment in the consultation and most importantly (d) that events of Tuesday 4th April have been in some form of process by SCC since 2018 and as such SCC needs to respond to questions, not Love Walton.
Love Walton (Walton BID) reiterates it is upset about the loss of trees and the BID was always going to be part of the future of the High Street and input how implementation of suitable street furniture and greening go back into the High Street. To-date we can confirm we have not seen any further plans from Surrey County Council, only the drawings of the scheme of works to the High Street.
Just one of the ideas we have to put forward would be ‘the Friendly Bench’ when appropriate, which brings seating and greening together.
If you are still reading, then Thank-you, if you would like to learn more about what Love Walton IS doing then please visit: https://www.lovewalton.co.uk/ go to the bottom of the home page and sign up for my e-news – no more frequent than monthly.
Here is a link to the latest one from 16 March 2023, we would like to draw your attention to section 7, ‘Keeping you in the loop, strategic projects’ and item (4) Future Vision for the Town Centre. The timeline for this stakeholder engagement – including businesses, residents, employees, councillors, transport companies- for this project is May – July 2023. We hope that each and every person who commented on the Tree Cutting posts – especially about priorities, future of the town centre etc – WILL take part in our survey’s when they are live. Then you and we (The BID) can know for sure your voices have stated your thoughts for Walton Town Centre.