Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Stop Press. November 10th 2011

  • November 25th at Soper Hall.

Meet Caterham Business is primarily a Business to Business exhibition, now in its 5th year, and is designed to help local businesses network with other local businesses. It is also open to members of the public.

BT & Surrey Superfast Broadband will be there to provide information on plans and for you to register interest.

  • Caterham, Chaldon & Whyteleafe team up under Localism Bill, to become a "Front Runner" to create a Neighbourhood Plan, under the Govt's new Localism proposals.

ABC and others are key partners with the parishes of Caterham Hill, Caterham Valley, Chaldon Village Council and Whyteleafe Village Council in a bid submitted with Tandridge District Council's support to the Communities and Local Government Department (CLG). We hope to hear the result by mid December. Groups will then begin to tackle a consultation locally, leading to a Neighbourhood Plan, which should be the subject of a local referendum. If passed it will have to be taken into account in local development and is expected to cover not only housing but services, infrastructure and the local economy.

  • A mini-roundabout will be created over the nights of 16/17 & 18th November at the bottom of Church Hill. This is the last phase of the town's "Shabby to Smart" exercise. It will help traffic make a right turn into Harestone Valley Road, from Church Hill. Sponsors include Caterham School. Additional funds provided by Surrey CC Highways and through councillor support at a key local committee. ( Sally Marks & Others)
  • Tandridge District Council voted to select the Soper Hall Community Centre bid at full council meeting on 21st July. Well done Graham Tapley and the whole team.

( http://twitter.com/CaterhamABC) ( http://www.facebook.com/pages/CaterhamABC/148584348532239)

Soper Hall - A Big Society bid

A bid to retain the Soper Hall for Community use was accepted by Tandridge District Council

Discussions are underway to agree the transfer with Tandridge Council.

Several partner organisations have signalled interest as key users of the building. The image above is based on a proposed enhancement to the building, to provide additional space. Several new potential users have come forward since we began canvassing for support, which further strengthened the bid. Local business owner David Gold helped guarantee funding for the project.

This major initiative was began just over two years ago, when Tandridge District Council originally considered sale of the Soper Hall, in Harestone Valley Road. ABC secured an opportunity to make a case for the transfer of the building to the community and a group was formed, now called the Soper Hall Community Centre Ltd, which has bid to take it over. With the publication of the Government’s Localism Bill, providing communities the right to buy within the concept of "Big Society" (subject to a viable business plan), we have our fingers crossed that this exciting community scheme will proceed.

The Soper Hall was originally built after many donations from the people of Caterham and has had various uses, including the Caterham & Warlingham Urban District Council, until the formation of Tandridge District Council. It is available for hire and other local purposes today. The new government policies supported its retention for community use

ABC as an existing community body has teamed with the Soper Hall Group to strengthen the case and several of our directors now serve on its board.

Discussions with Surrey County Council are under way over the potential to relocate the Valley Library to an enhanced Soper Hall. This exciting opportunity to consolidate community facilities under one roof, near to both of the Valley's supermarkets and 3 hr parking, should help make the centre a thriving place.

Hoping footfall throughout the town and for community groups will benefit.

Victory for local group ( Pic thanks to Kevin Black)

New Mini Roundabout in progress

ABC's project has now led to an approved scheme for a mini roundabout in Station Avenue to help traffic flow for Harestone Valley Road and Stafford Road, with Station Avenue and Church Hill. Feasibility studies were completed this year, via Surrey Highways, plus consultation with local groups. It will allowing right turns into Harestone Valley Road, from traffic coming down Church Hill and avoiding the present trip past the Station and back the other side. There will be night closures and diversions for Nov 16/17 & 18th while the road surface is removed, resurfaced and new lighting & signs installed. Preparation to kerbs and road alignment has already occurred.

The Square completed as part of "Shabby to Smart"

The S2S ( Shabby to Smart) initiative involved a range of street furniture and other items, in key areas of both Hill and Valley. Bins, planters, signs, railings & seats have been replaced or refurbished. The exercise is the result of a team working on details with different groups for the last three years. Final painting of some remaining items will happen this spring. The team working on this includes residents, businesses, plus Officers and Councillors from the Tandridge District & Caterham Hill and Valley Parish Councils.

We regret that Nigel Wilkinson, who was a key member of our team, passed away recently after a short illness. Our sympathies and good wishes go to his family.

The second part of this exercise has been the upgrade, working closely with Surrey County Council Highways department, for The Square in the Valley.

Overall we have:
- reduced clutter, to make the area visually more appealing
- fewer railings and greater visibility
- the installation of new planters; and
other measures to make the area more attractive

Join ABC at just £5 per year and be a part of this influential group for Caterham.

The ABC volunteer organisation became a more formal legal entity, in order to bid for and receive grants for Caterham. It is now "The Caterham Community Partnership Ltd" and continues ABC's work and use of the ABC title. A board of twelve directors has been formed, 10 of whom are residents, local business people, or representatives of other community organisations. The other two directors are Councillors; Sally Marks from Surrey and Michael Cooper from Tandridge. A larger management committee, involves up to 20 people from many aspects of life in Caterham, including representation from both Hill and Valley Parishes. The third AGM will be held on February 6th 2012 at the Soper Hall, when directors are elected to serve on its board and latest news provided on all projects.

Throughout the community we have received much support and help, including that from many councillors in parish, district and county councils and significant assistance from officers. It's already been a partnership and that is the intended style going forward too.

A vote of thanks too for all the press help we have had, from Julia at The Caterham Independent particularly but also from the County Border News, Caterham Link, Caterham Mirror and Advertiser and the Tandridge Chronicle.

Join on-line by completing the form here. A confirmation and an invoice will be sent to you. The fee is £5 although more is welcome!

Shop Smart - Caterham's local shopping and business loyalty scheme with Caterham Business Partnership.

Involves over 60 shops and businesses and over 2,000 local people as members.

The scheme offers members a range of loyalty incentives to shop or trade locally. Any Caterham Business may now register on the site with their details and participate in the overall loyalty scheme. It includes a town web site providing information on all the shops and their offers.

Caterham Business Partnership including Andrew Browne, Marc Hansen, Vivien Shiplee, Peter Groom and Chris Windridge lead the project. Anyone interested to join as a retailer, business or service provider should contact windc@mac.com. The scheme has sparked interest from places outside Caterham wishing to host similar initiatives. Part of the SEEDA funding (£10,000), will be available to help with the web site, communications and to create some marketing and business development sessions for participating organisations.

Six local retailer's will participate in individual consultancy from Metamorphosis, a retail consultancy specialising in helping independent retailers. A grant scheme via Skills South East, helps fund the cost if you are quick! In March we will be starting a seminar programme too, open to local businesses, based on a range of topics to help retail and independent businesses.

A Caterham leaflet was distributed in Caterham and surrounding places in the Spring. Entries were included for all shops & businesses who participate.

A Shoppers Passport is coming, with a large cash prize. Details soon.

Sign up via Shop Smart's site and make sure you have a membership card. (Also available from "Apply Here" points.)

The Caterham Festival and other events in 2011

The third Caterham Festival took place between end of May and into early July. It came from an idea from our original ABC exercise and one we are happy to continue to support with others. Andy Parr chairs this group, helped by Barbara Brunsdon and many others. This group is independently funded and managed. Andy Parr has also become a director of the Caterham Community Partnership Ltd.

This year had over 100 separate events, with over 25,000 people involved and included a Street Party, Music (DeFest), Food Market, Open Caterham, Art, Drama, Several races and events with a Sports theme and who knows what the Festival group will introduce next year?

Last year's Arctic December thwarted ideas for artificial snow in the Valley, for the Saturdays before Christmas. The idea is proposed again for 2011.

Youth. Surrey CC's Youth scheme "Street" opened in 8 Godstone Road in Mid 2010 and other projects are active. We are interested in any ideas to help youth groups to help provide information on what's on locally for younger people, plus work experience and volunteer opportunities.

Meet Caterham Business. Graham Tapley launched these events starting in 2006, after the ABC exercise highlighted a need to help local businesses to make contacts and increase their visibility locally. Around 50 local businesses stage a one day local event to promote their businesses, which is open to local people and businesses to attend. The next event is Nov 25th 2011 in the Soper Hall.

Old Rose & Young derelict garage in Croydon Rd
We are involved in keeping pressure on for redevelopment of the old Rose & Young Site, including CPO action if a case should become feasible.

New projects always under review, plus general contact
If you have expertise or a particular interest do please make contact via the chair, Chris Windridge. email:caterhamabc@mac.com