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Alun Stafford Rec croppedToday Tandridge District Council announced the work that will be happening to replace the footbridge over the railway at Stafford Rec Caterham. Unfortunately, the press release doesn’t spell out the true impact on the residents in Caterham Valley and the failure of the Council.

The Council has agreed that the play equipment in the Stafford Rec will be removed right at the start of the school holidays.

The Children’s play area this summer will be one spinner and half a zip wire – fail!

Dorinda Cooper, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Valley Ward says “The Council have failed the residents by letting Network Rail walk all over them. We requested that the dates change in the first instance, or that, Network Rail temporarily relocated the existing play equipment for the duration of theworks. We escalated this through Nick Childs who is Conservative Chair of the Community Services Committee, the relevant officers and even the Councils Chief Executive. All have failed”

Alun Jones says “I was shocked that having looked into this in detail, it emerged that Network Rail had said Tandridge Council had been “super co-operative” and that at no point had they challenged on the date or on any extra costs required to make sure the facilities would be available to our local residents. The play areas will be replaced in the autumn, after the school holidays. The council have simply rolled over and failed the residents”

“What has shocked me more is that the latest press release glosses over what it will mean to the park. It says some play equipment will be retained. This is one piece of equipment plus one end of a zip wire – which isn’t very useful without the other!

“The communication from Network Rail and their Project Managers has been inadequate. No residents are aware of the detail unless they attended the library – for which only 4 days notice was given, that there will be parking prohibition in place for long stretches of Stafford Road from Burntwood Lane to facilitate crane and lorry movements.”

“It is clear to me that the residents have not been at the heart of making this decision. If they were the Council will have negotiated on behalf of the residents, amended the timing or relocate the play area temporarily and ensured a temporary crossing over the railway for the duration of the works was available. The council has completely failed to keep local councillors informed, failed to get Network Rail to live up to their responsibilities and failed the residents and young people of Caterham Valley.

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