Lib Dems highlight ‘unsafe’ care homes in Surrey

Liberal Democrat county councillors have expressed their concern after it was revealed that 6 care homes in Surrey are rated as “Unsafe” by the Care Quality Commission and have contracts with Surrey County Council. The information was revealed following a question tabled by Cllr Hazel Watson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council, to the Conservative Cabinet this week.

Read more on the Surrey Lib Dems website here.

Annual Day Trip to Worthing

I’ve been involved in supporting this annual Godalming coach trip, organised by Churches Together since 1996. It was a ‘Grand Day Out’ despite the weather!

From left to right: Gillian Martin; Gwen Wheatman; Derick Randell; Jackie Tickner; Penny Rivers; Pam Powell; Barbara Stokes.

Save Surrey’s Tips – petition

We the undersigned call upon Surrey County Council to reverse its decision to close Community Recycling Centres (CRCs) at Bagshot, Cranleigh, Dorking and Warlingham, and oppose its plans to significantly reduce the opening hours of all other CRCs across the county by two days per week, and introduce further charges for the disposal of waste.

“We believe that the closure of these amenities and reduced opening hours of others could lead to an increase in fly-tipping leading to further costs for boroughs, districts and landowners as well as the blight to the environment.

“We call upon the County Council to ensure that all sites remain open, with no reduction in opening hours or increase in charges”.
Click here to sign the Petition

Waverley Local Committee: Decisions

Details of Surrey County Council’s Local Committe for Waverley, with agenda, minutes and decisions, can be found here.

The Highways Update (Item 74) is particularly interesting where the budget has been cut by 90%

Onstreet Parking fines have generated a ‘surplus’ of £63,637 which is delegated to the Local Committee to spend. There was much parochial lobbying for this money, particularly from the Farnham Councillors, from where most of these fines were generated. The officers recommendation was not to spend it on roads at all, but a vegetation gang to keep highways clear of overhanging foliage. After much debate this was eventually agreed,

Government Rates U-Turn impacts Surrey

Surrey County Council set to overspend by £24 MILLION – see Lib Dem news here.
“The new government has also dropped plans to allow councils to retain their business rates next year, which the Conservative administration anticipated as a potential lifeline for the county council when the budget was set in February.” This is incredibly significant for the Council going forward. The Local Government Finance Bill never made it to the Queen’s Speech.

George Osbourne promised Councils in 2015 that they could keep the £26billion raised in Business Rates in lieu of the Block Grant. He billed it as “embarking on the biggest transfer of power to our local government in living memory.”

Now there is not only no power, there is no money either.

A link to the Council’s budget monitoring report can be found here:

Cuts Hurt!

Today I wrote to the Surrey Advertiser:

In your newspaper last week, you featured the closure by Waverley of the public toilets in Farncombe and Godalming. I would like to commend Steve Cosser and the members of Farncombe Initiative and their mission to keep them open and I am pleased to add my voice, along with all those who have contacted me, to theirs.

The current severe budget cuts to essential local services made by Conservative-led councils at Waverley and Surrey are hurting us. Councillors who voted for these deep cuts know what public services cost, but they do not comprehend what the services are worth. We need good quality services – street lighting, decent roads and pavements, effective waste disposal, reliable education and health services. Most recently, we have been reminded just how much we rely on our police and fire services. These public servants are more than essential, they are vital.

All cuts hurt. Austerity as a policy has failed us and the costs will be high to repair the wounds to our society.

We have seen the havoc cause by deregulation followed by outsourcing of services. Something has gone badly wrong with the provision of services in our country, we must rise to the challenge and build a better way of life that is fair for all.

Cranleigh Tip proposed closure

Surrey County Council has just launched a consultation on Shaping Surrey’s Community Recycling Centres -2017. Please submit your views at this online survey here.

The main changes are:

1. Ending the free daily allowance of non-household waste

2. Closing CRCs on two weekdays so all sites are open for five days a week

3. Ensuring CRCs in Camberley and Farnham are only used by Surrey residents

4. Permanent closure of four smaller CRCs – Bagshot, Cranleigh, Warlingham and Dorking

5. Restricting users of vans, trailers and pick-ups to larger CRCs only

There is no doubt that the increased traffic to the Witley Recycling Centre will impact on Godalming users (not to mention the daft increase in pollution), with longer queues in and out of the site and more traffic on back roads and A281.  With at least 1500 new homes planned for Cranleigh at the moment (without Dunsfold Park’s 1800+) it seems there is no lack of demand for the facility in Cranleigh!

The Lib Dems on Surrey have issued this press release, rightly highlighting the environmental issues. Cllr Stephen Cooksey said: “These proposals are a green light for flytipping in Surrey. The Conservatives at County Hall are making it harder and harder for people to do the right thing and dispose of their waste responsibly. The environmental consequence of discouraging the use of Recycling Centres would be very significant. Furthermore, these plans are being pushed by the Conservatives because of the financial crisis at County Hall caused by their failure to persuade their Conservative central government to provide a better funding settlement.”

North Street Street Party

North Street Farncombe Street Party
I attended a wonderful community get together on Sunday at North Street Farncombe. The street shared food, played egg and spoon races, piggy back and three legged races. The more daring tried egg catching and flour diving!