Council Tax

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.

Kevin

Parking in Heathlands

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.

Kevin

Corona Virus Contingency Plans

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.

Kevin

Post Box in Brookwood

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.

Cheers.

Kevin

Parking Review Consultation

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.

Cheers.

Kevin

Missed Bins

I noticed last night as I wandered down Connaught Road that there was a missed food waste bin, and in fact, my own food waste bin was missed on Saturday.

It is vital that missed bins are reported through the Joint Waste Solutions website as the contractor Amey is measured by missed bins that are reported by residents. If a whole road is missed, which can happen for various reasons, and only one person reports it, the stats show that one bin was missed, not a whole road. This is very frustrating when trying to hold Amey to account.

Please report missed bins here: https://www.jointwastesolutions.org/report/report-a-missed-collection/

The system is a bit clunky and generally a missed bin can not be reported until the next working day, and must be reported within two working days.

In general, the service works well, but there are the occasional failures that cause real problems, like the start of December when many bins were frozen which could mean damaged bins if they are forced, staff sickness and a vehicle failure led to a very challenging week of playing catch-up.

Cheers.

Kevin