This coming Saturday at 11 o’clock, I along with my Heathlands Councillor colleagues will be running an online surgery.
I appreciate not everyone has access to Facebook, but it’s the easiest way right now for us to get some information out there and answer any questions about the ward et cetera.
Feel free to ask any questions up front or on the day via the message function.
Frustratingly, after months of excellent service by our bin crews, things have taken a turn for the worse this week.
Yesterday a number of roads in Horsell were not collected, and today a chunk of Connaught Road in Brookwood has been missed. The Horsell roads were collected today, and I’ve been assured the Brookwood bins will be emptied tomorrow.
The Ops Manager will run through Brookwood to check in the morning, and I obviously will be on the case quickly if this isn’t done by lunchtime.
I can only apologise and try to get next week back to good normal.
I’ve been in contact with various people regarding the ponies, including our County Councillor.
Essentially, I’m not particularly bothered by the ponies being on the land at the crossroads, however I do draw the line at the fence being electrified, as that is dangerous.
The issue has been reported to the Health and Safety Executive but officers do not hold much hope that anything will be done by the HSE.
Surrey are unlikely to do anything as land owners and in any case the land is currently in the process of being sold to Woking Borough Council to enable the improvements to the crossroads and the housing development I’ve discussed in the past.
What is currently being proposed, and is something I support, is that a field within the Brookwood Farm area be licenced to enable Travellers to safely keep their ponies temporarily. This makes a lot of sense, as the land has traditionally had ponies grazing there, which is good for the environment, and it provides the borough with an area that illegally grazing horses elsewhere can be easily moved to.
Still leaves me frustrated that the law is not on the side of the law abiding resident, but unfortunately, we are where we are.
As many of you know, and some have written to me about, Travellers have left two ponies grazing on the square piece of land at the crossroads. This land is owned by Surrey County Council
I have informed our Neighbourhood Officer and our County Councillor who has notified the Estates team.
I doubt anything will be done as it’s likely this is a short term deal.
I try to take the positives from it and hope that SCC will not now need to do their annual dose of maintenance and the cost savings are more than the cost of any repairs to the fencing that may possibly have been caused.
You’ll remember that WBC sent a letter about a month ago saying that everyone in the borough would receive a copy of the Woking News & Mail for a few weeks as a method of getting information and news out to all residents, especially vulnerable residents that may not have access to social media et cetera.
Brookwood residents will have wondered since then, why they haven’t received a copy. The rest of the borough has received the WN&M now for three weeks.
After the second edition never made it to Brookwood, I enquired with both the marketing team at WBC and the MD of WN&M and at the time, no one knew why, but would make enquiries.
Two weeks later, and we still haven’t received a copy, and I still have no idea why, but I am continuing to try and find out what’s gone wrong.
EDIT @ 11:00. Amazing how the world works, a copy of the WN&M was posted through my door this morning.
The new municipal year has begun which means Council Tax falls due.
This will be collected as normal, however if you are experiencing difficulties right now and think you won’t be able to make payments initially, please contact the Council on 01483 755855.
It may be possible to agree alternative terms or suspend payments until the situation improves.
There may also be some benefits you are entitled to claim and they will be able to help by sending you in that direction.
People should not allow this particular bill to further their worries right now, the Council will help here.
WBC have temporarily suspended all parking charges in municipal car parks. Not particularly exciting as there are no shops or restaurants open to visit, but possibly handy for any key workers that need to be in town.
With regard to residential and CPZ areas, my understanding is that people may park without fear of being ticketed unless they park in such a way that the parking is dangerous. Permits will be extended to cover the period that ended up being free.
If anyone does receive a ticket for safe parking during the CPZ times in Brookwood or anywhere else in Heathlands that is not dangerous, please let me know.
Woking Borough Council has been figuring out how best to support the community and businesses during this unprecedented time. Critical services have been identified and contingency plans have been put into place. Unfortunately, much of the cultural programme of events, including Party in the Park have been cancelled to allow those staff engaged to be redirected to the front line.
On the Council website, the following has been published. Please read carefully: https://woking.gov.uk/coronavirus
Some people have asked about how to volunteer to help and if anyone is co-ordinating groups and volunteers. If you head over to Volunteer Plus, you can register your support: https://volunteerplus.org.uk/opportunity/woking/community-support-volunteer-covid-19-489
I’ve also been informed that whilst the waste collection service is holding itself together at the moment with a slightly raised sickness level, it can’t be guaranteed this will be the case over the next couple of months.
Around 20 agency staff have been brought on to the books for the next three months to try and ensure there is a wider pool of resources. These people are due to start induction in the next few days. If things get tight, non essential collections will be scaled back, i.e. textiles, WEEE et cetera.
Above all, please keep yourselves safe, follow Government advice and look out for each other.
I had a number of people contact me when the post box was suddenly removed from the centre of the village a couple of weeks’ ago.
The loss of service was a key concern as well as the perceived stripping of historical assets within the village. The post box was a ‘GR’ which would have been installed during the reign of King George V, so between 1910 and 1936.
The issue isn’t a Council matter, however I quickly contacted Jonathan Lord MP and between us compiled a letter to The Royal Mail lamenting the loss and asking for the service to be reinstated and if possible, receive our old post box back.
I am pleased to say that Jonathan has received a letter back from The Royal Mail confirming that the post box will be relocated to outside the new Post Office / Bakers something confirmed by the staff in the Post Office.
It will be several weeks though until it is reinstated.
Good news that. Brookwood is the only village left in the borough with a ‘proper’ telephone box and having the period post box back in place compliments that.
Thanks to all that contacted me.
Last year I spent some time working with our County Councillor, Cllr Azad and the SCC Parking Team looking at parking restrictions in the ward. This was in response to requests from residents on how things might be improved.
This went through the Joint SCC/WBC Committee last year and only now has it reached the stage where it is ready for consultation. To that end the following link will take you to the documents that detail the proposals. https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/parking/local-news-and-updates/woking/woking-parking-review-2019
For the Heathlands ward, generally the proposals are spread across Woking South and Woking South West divisions.
The consultation opens on Friday 17 January for four weeks and the link to respond is included on the above page.