Ponies at the Crossroads

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.

Kind regards,

Kevin

Woking News & Mail

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.

Kevin

EDIT @ 11:00. Amazing how the world works, a copy of the WN&M was posted through my door this morning.

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

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

Railway Station Ticket Barriers

I’ve been informed by the Senior Regional Development Manager of South Western Railway that the gate line at Brookwood station goes live tomorrow morning.

I had further assurances on Monday at a Network Rail / SWR seminar I attended that there will be no impediment to access to Brookwood Cemetery.

Please let me know if you do have any problems accessing the cemetery.

Cheers.

Kevin

Brookwood Lye Road Speed Reduced to 40mph

Many of us drive on auto-pilot and don’t immediately notice changes to the road network as we are so used to our daily drives.

From a safety perspective, I’ve been working for around two years to try and get the speed limit reduced on Brookwood Lye Road. Since I’ve lived in Brookwood, I can recall two fatal accidents, with the last just a couple of years ago.

It was a delimited road which if it didn’t have the relatively blind bend and the scenario where traffic backs up to the bend from the traffic lights, it would probably be quite safe.

However it isn’t safe at 60mph and I’m very pleased to see the limit has now been reduced to 40mph. In December 2017 I asked for a review of the speed limit at the SCC / WBC Joint Committee. You can read my post here. A review was held which recommended a reduction in the limit. To enact this, a full public consultation was required, the net result is that this week the limit has been lowered.

It won’t stop all accidents, but I hope to never see another fatal accident down this road in the future.

Cheers.

Kevin