GED HALL – Conservative
Speaking with residents I am getting a mixed bag of issues both national and local.
For local issues, parking on Tower Road and up at the Devil’s Punchbowl has been raised by quite a few people, but the main issue I am seeing is the huge amount of housing which Waverley is planning to build all over the AONB and sports fields in Hindhead.
People, regardless of politics, are outraged that Hindhead is being used as a political football for Waverley Borough Council to try to get the Local Plan Part Two passed by the inspector.
Residents highlight not only the protections of the land being completely ignored by the council, but also the lack of proper infrastructure to support such a huge rise in the number of households in our area.
For national issues residents have mainly highlighted the steep rises in energy bills, which is a knock-on effect of the war in Ukraine pushing up global energy prices – a serious worry to residents as they see a huge leap in costs when they fill up their car or open up their electricity bills.
JULIAN SPENCE – Lib Dem
During the past month I have met many of the residents of Hindhead and Beacon Hill, with many responding to our recent survey of concerns and issues.
The rising cost of living is their number one concern and they can’t understand why the government has introduced measures helping second-home owners rather than a simple reduction in VAT which would bring down fuel bills and help those most in need. This echoes a wider disillusionment with the double standards of the Tories in Westminster and many traditionally Conservative voters are telling me ‘never again’.
The second biggest issue is the NHS and especially the difficulty in getting appointments with GPs.
There’s exasperation that the Tory government’s planning system doesn’t allow local councillors to consider NHS capacity when deciding on planning permission.
Many residents are frustrated by the state of our roads and have spoken to me about speeding on our small streets and lanes. They feel Surrey County Council’s attitude to speed limits is unsympathetic compared to the policies of other counties.
Concern about climate change is also very strong and there is a lot of anger at the government’s decision to overrule local councils and allow gas drilling at Dunsfold.