Envisage to Close
It is now some seven years since the Envisage Survey was undertaken and some six years since our Report and Action Plan were published. Since then, the members of the Steering Committee and many of our loyal supporters and helpers have worked hard to try to ensure that the major wishes of our community, as identified in our Report and Action Plan, are promoted and brought into reality.
It was the main principle from the outset that Envisage should not develop into yet another local pressure group inevitably overlapping or competing with the aspirations of existing community groups. Its purpose, rather, was to carry out a survey which would enable those existing groups to have a solid basis of fact about the wishes of the local community which they could use to support policies and proposals to improve conditions in Cobham, Oxshott, Downside and Stoke D’Abernon in accordance with those wishes.
To achieve this, we have worked closely with Elmbridge Borough Council, Surrey County Council, our MP, Dominic Raab, together with the Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust, the Cobham and Downside Residents’ Association, the Cobham Chamber of Commerce, The Federation of Oxshott Residents’ Associations, the Stoke D’Abernon Residents’ Association, Transition Town Cobham and the Churches serving the area.
The results of the survey have also been used in discussion with the companies operating the local rail and bus services; the educational services and those involved in the Free School process; the police; the NHS and relevant local Primary Care Trusts with a view to improving the delivery of their services to the local community.
In the months following the publication of the Report, detailed discussions took place with Elmbridge Borough Council which ensured that the majority of the wishes of the community as emerged from the survey were reflected in the Elmbridge Core Strategy which was approved and adopted by the Council in 2011.
We created a company – Envisage Action Limited – in case one was needed to advance an ambition of the community which was common to all the existing community groups and this has recently come to fruition in its use, under its changed name of The Cobham Cedar Centre Limited (CCCL), to operate the community space provided within the new Cedar Centre and Library construction of which has recently been completed in Cedar Road, Cobham. Surrey County Council has recently granted a lease of that community space to CCCL for 99 years. The directors of CCCL include representatives of CCHT, CDRA, The Cobham Chamber of Commerce, Cobham Combined Charities, Elmbridge Borough Council and Surrey County Council which it is hoped will ensure that its future direction will involve a wide spread of local interest and opinion.
The local charities, Oasis and The Childrens’ Centre will be the first two major occupiers and we hope that the relatively small amount of surplus accommodation will be used on a short term, perhaps once a week basis, by a multiplicity of such organisations as The Surrey Police, Surrey Save, the CAB and Voluntary Action Elmbridge, together with other charitable users who wish to have short-term/periodic representation on a regular basis.
It seems to the members of the Envisage Steering Committee that the setting up of this community company would be a suitable and sensible time to bring the activities of Envisage to a close. We would like to thank all of our Supporting Organisations, who provided funding, encouragement and help in undertaking the project for all their support and generosity and also to those large numbers of loyal and tireless individual volunteers who invested in the project such huge amounts of their time, energy and passion.
Nicholas Driver, Chairman, Envisage Steering Committee.
The Envisage project.
The Envisage project was setup to produce a report recording the views and aspirations of the local community and from that to develop an innovative "action plan" for the Surrey villages of Cobham, Downside, Oxshott and Stoke D'Abernon.
Information has been collected from local residents, businesses and voluntary organisations during 2008 in a bid to find out what residents and organisations like and dislike about the area in which they live and work.
The Envisage Report and Action Plan is available now.
An electronic copy of the report can be downloaded from this website and printed copies can be read at the Cobham Public Library or purchased at The Cobham Bookshop for £5 (to cover the cost of printing).
The area covered by the plan is shown below.