Author Archives: surreyheathboroughcouncil

Could you be the voice of independence?

Surrey Heath Borough Council has an opportunity for an Independent Person to help maintain high standards of conduct by its elected Councillors and co-opted Members.

The council has developed a Code of Conduct setting out the key obligations of its elected office. The views of the Independent Person would be sought should a complaint be made that a Member failed to comply with the code. Their independent view can be sought at any other stage during an investigation, or by a Member against whom an allegation has been made.

The council is looking for someone already involved in the local community, but not politically active within it, and with an interest in Local Government. No professional background is required but it’s important they have the profile and experience the community would recognise and respect in bringing an impartial and informed perspective to the investigation process.

The appointment will be effective until May 2019 with the possibility that the period may be extended. Appropriate training will be given. Although the appointment is unpaid, travel expenses will be paid for by the council.

Having experience in interpreting codes of conduct would be an advantage, as would knowledge of Local Government.

To ensure a truly independent voice in the role, the law rules out anyone who currently is, or has been within the last five years, a Member or co-opted Member of Surrey Heath Borough Council or its associated Parish Councils, or a close friend or relative of any of those persons.

If you wish to discuss this role please call Karen Limmer, Monitoring Officer on 01276 707304, or if you wish to make an application for appointment, please write with your CV and personal statement, to: Karen Limmer, Monitoring Officer, Surrey Heath Borough Council, Surrey Heath House, Knoll Road, Camberley, Surrey GU15 3HD, or email: karen.limmer@surreyheath.gov.uk

The closing date is Friday 26 February at 5pm.

Join the drive and register to vote today

SHBCSurrey Heath Borough Council is encouraging anyone not yet registered to vote to take advantage of National Voter Registration Drive this week and go online now to register.

On Thursday 5 May 2016 voters in Surrey Heath will go to the polls to elect a Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey. Anyone who isn’t registered to vote won’t be able to take part and have their say.

The deadline to register to vote in these elections is Monday 18 April 2016. Whilst there is still time, it’s running out quickly. The good news is that it only takes a few minutes to register online atwww.gov.uk/register-to-vote. It’s a chance to join the thousands of people across the UK being encouraged to register this week.

Karen Whelan, Electoral Registration Officer for Surrey Heath, said:

“Anyone not yet registered to vote should do so as soon as possible so they can have their say on issues that affect their day-to-day lives. I’d urge people living in Surrey Heath to use National Voter Registration Drive to spread the message amongst family and friends that it only takes a few minutes to complete the form and register to vote online.”

Ben Brook, Head of Performance and English Regional Teams at the Electoral Commission, said:

“National Voter Registration Drive exists because it’s important that anyone who’s eligible, but has not yet registered to vote, does so. It’s easy and quick to do online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. Young people, students and people who move frequently are much less likely to be registered to vote so #NVRD is as important as ever.”

All Surrey Heath properties were sent a letter in Autumn 2015 with details of who is currently on the electoral register for that property.

Anyone living at the property who is eligible to vote, but whose name was not on the letter, should register to vote at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

Local residents who do not have access to the internet can get a paper copy of the registration form by contacting the electoral registration office on 01276 707165.

Voluntary groups awarded more than £160,000 of grant funding

Voluntary organisations in Surrey Heath are to receive more than £160,000 of support in 2016/17 following a decision by Surrey Heath Borough Council this week.

On Tuesday 12 January its Executive approved grants to community organisations and charities dedicated to helping people within the borough.

A total of £162,900 will go towards supporting groups including Surrey Heath Citizens Advice Bureau, Voluntary Support North Surrey, Surrey Heath Age Concern, and Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership.

The grants have been allocated for the past 13 years, with the funding reviewed annually by the council.

The other organisations awarded grants were Surrey Heath Arts Council, Surrey Heath Sports Council, Basingstoke Canal Authority, Camberley Central Job Club and Tringhams lunchtime club, West End.

Cllr Colin Dougan, transformation portfolio holder for Surrey Heath, said: “Voluntary organisations within Surrey Heath are valued enormously.

“They continue to provide vital services – whether helping people in their daily lives, or enriching the community through sport, the arts or access to the natural environment.

“While the council’s funding resources from which to give grants are limited, we aim to recognise valuable work in Surrey Heath.”

The grants awarded were:

  • Surrey Heath Citizens Advice: £80,000
  • Voluntary Support North Surrey: £30,000
  • Tringhams, West End: £15,000
  • Surrey Heath Age Concern: £10,000
  • Basingstoke Canal Authority: £10,000
  • Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership: £10,000
  • Camberley Central Job Club £5,000
  • Surrey Heath Sports Council: £1,500
  • Surrey Heath Arts Council: £1,400

Surrey Heath a top performer for recycling

Surrey Heath is once again one of the top performing boroughs in the country for recycling having achieved impressive recycling rates for 2014/15.

The borough was recently ranked 4th nationally by Defra for its recycling rate of 63.3%. This is the percentage of household waste sent for recycling, composting and reuse.

The statistics are based on data submitted by all local authorities in England in 2014/15.

Surrey Heath’s dry recycling collections cater for a broad range of materials, including: paper, cartons, bottles, cans and aerosols, to name a few, which should all be placed in the green wheelie bin loose.

As well as these materials, the council’s weekly food waste collection is a key element of the service. By collecting food waste separately around 3000 tonnes of food waste is recycled into electricity and compost each year. It’s important that residents separate food waste and place in the caddy provided.

Since 2012, the council has enhanced its recycling service to include separate collections of batteries, small electrical items, shoes and textiles.

Community portfolio holder Cllr Vivienne Chapman said: “We’re extremely pleased with these figures and I would like to thank residents for all their efforts in sorting materials for recycling. Being highlighted as one of the best borough’s in the country for recycling is something we should all be very proud of.”

For more about the borough’s recycling collections visit www.surreyheath.gov.uk/recycling

Free festive parking for late night shopping

Christmas GiftCamberley shoppers can enjoy free parking during late night shopping on Thursdays.

Starting on 19 November and up to 17 December, most of Camberley’s top high street names and fantastic independent traders will open late, giving shoppers a chance to pick up Christmas essentials until8pm.

Surrey Heath Borough Council is providing free parking in its Main Square and Knoll Road car parks for cars arriving after 3pm.

The late night shopping dates are: 19 November, 26 November, 3 December, 10 December and 17 December.

The Atrium is also offering free parking during the same days and times.

A new online service ‘Car Park Spaces Live’ gives updates every 15 minutes showing how many spaces are available in Main Square and Knoll Road car parks.

In addition, a new online prePAY system has been introduced in both car parks, meaning customers can create an account and pay for their parking at home and then they can enter and exit the car parks without needing to use a pay station.

For more information, visit: www.surreyheath.gov.uk/parking

Local residents receive important voter registration information

SHBCHouseholds in Surrey Heath will have received a form asking residents to check whether the information that appears on the electoral register for those living at their address is correct as part of Surrey Heath’s annual voter registration canvass.

The aim of the form is to ensure that the electoral register is up to date and to identify any residents who are not registered so that they can be encouraged to do so.

With Police and Crime Commissioner elections taking place across Surrey in May 2016, this is an opportunity for residents to make sure that when the elections take place they will easily be able to take part.

Karen Whelan, Electoral Registration Officer at Surrey Heath Borough Council said: “Anyone that wants to vote must be registered. To make sure you are able to have your say at the elections next year, simply check the form when it arrives and return it as promptly as possible.

“If you’re not currently registered, we’ll send you information explaining how to do this or you can just go online to apply to register at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote .”

It’s particularly important that anyone who has moved address recently looks out for the form and checks whether they are registered.

Any residents who have any questions can contact the elections team on 01276 707165.

Council offers £500 reward for fly-tipping tip-offs

Fly tipping Deepcut

Fly tipping in Deepcut

Surrey Heath Borough Council is responding to residents’ concerns about fly-tipping in the area by introducing a dedicated resource to tackle the problem.

Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of waste such as builders’ rubble, garden waste and mixed household waste. The recently formed Counter Fraud and Corporate Enforcement team will investigate local fly tipping incidents with the aim of securing prosecutions against perpetrators.

The council has launched an appeal for information page on its new website and are offering a financial award of up to £500 for information that leads to a conviction of those responsible.

Residents are reminded of their duty to prevent the illegal fly-tipping of rubbish that might come from their homes. Household Waste Duty of Care Regulations (2005) state that residents are accountable for any waste leaving their property, including from builders or gardeners they employ to carry out work.

Some residents and businesses have started using the local community recycling sites as dumping grounds. In a number of cases, containers have had to be removed. If there is not an appropriate container at a site and individuals leave material on the ground they are fly-tipping and are liable to prosecution.

Julia Greenfield, Surrey Heath’s Audit, Counter Fraud and Corporate Enforcement Manager said: “People need to be aware they must ensure their household waste is disposed of properly. Any contractor they employ to do building work must have a carrier’s licence to transport waste.
“It’s up to householders who are having work done like double glazing, new kitchens and bathrooms to check that any contractor they appoint to dispose of rubbish from their home, including building and garden waste, has a trade waste carrier’s licence.
“If they don’t have this licence, they are not legally entitled to remove your rubbish.”
Surrey Heath’s portfolio holder for community Councillor Vivienne Chapman said: “We are fortunate to have so many areas of outstanding natural beauty in Surrey Heath and it’s vital that we all work together to help preserve them. I understand that the Counter Fraud and Corporate Enforcement team is currently appealing for information on a large asbestos fly-tip recently found in Chobham. It is disgraceful that someone has chosen to dump this dangerous waste in a rural area. The clean-up campaign associated with this fly-tip will cost in excess of £1000, money which could be better spent on services which benefit the community as a whole.”
If you have any information that could lead to identifying fly-tippers, please contact the council on 01276 707100 or visit www.surreyheath.gov.uk/flytipping  

JobCentre Plus relocates in Surrey Heath

Members of the public visiting Surrey Heath Borough Council can soon access employment services when Jobcentre Plus moves to the council reception at Knoll Road, Camberley.
Front counter Jobcentre Plus services will relocate from their current site in London Road Camberley into the council offices at Surrey Heath House towards the end of October 2015.

To accommodate the move, minor refurbishments at Surrey Heath House will take place from the end of August until mid-October, with the reception remaining open during normal hours while work is completed.

Jobcentre Plus District Manager, John Bowdery, said: “The relocation of Camberley Jobcentre Plus represents a significant enhancement to the service we provide, combining multiple Government services in one location to improve the experience for service users. The move is designed to help ensure we will continue to deliver an efficient public service in Surrey Heath alongside our partners in local government.”

Executive portfolio holder for transformation at Surrey Heath Borough Council, Cllr Colin Dougan, said: “Sharing buildings with partner organisations is one of the initiatives being taken to make accessing public services more convenient while strengthening partnership working and reducing costs to the taxpayer.”
The JobCentre Plus service at Surrey Heath House will operate in line with its existing office opening times of: Monday and Friday: 9am-12.30pm and 1.30-4.30pm, Tuesday and Thursday: 9am-12.30pm and 1.30-5pm and Wednesday: 10am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-5pm.

Council purchases St George’s Industrial Estate

Surrey Heath Borough Council has purchased St George’s Industrial Estate on Frimley Road in Camberley.
The purchase, agreed at a sale price of £8million, has been made to support and promote the local economic growth of the borough, as well as provide for better effective use of Pembroke House located on the site.

The purchase of the estate, comprising 23 industrial units, is expected to generate income for the council in the region of £560,000 per year through industrial use rent, helping against a background of reduced funding for the public sector.
Councillor Moira Gibson, Leader of Surrey Heath Borough Council, said: “The purchase of the estate supports the council’s Property Acquisition Strategy that aims to invest in property assets as well as assisting with the economic development of the borough. Properties are held for a number of reasons including economic regeneration, supporting business enterprise in the borough and stimulating growth, in addition to income generation.

“Acquiring the estate assists with the overall economic wellbeing of the borough, in particular the regeneration of Camberley town centre which is a key priority of the council.”

PrePAY car parking comes to Camberley

SHBC Pre-Pay ParkingSurrey Heath Borough Council has introduced a new online prePAY system in its multi-storey car parks.

Car park users, whether for business or leisure, can now register for an account which allows them to enter and exit the car parks without having to pay at a pay station.

By topping up their online account using a credit or debit card, the new system will allow users to pay for their parking upfront, therefore avoiding the need to carry cash, or queue to pay on exit.

In conjunction with the Ticketless Barrier Controlled Systems already introduced in these car parks, where access barriers capture number plate information as vehicles enter, the new prepay system aims to make parking easier and reduce congestion around Camberley town centre.

Leigh Thornton, Executive Head of Business for Surrey Heath Borough Council, said: “We were looking at upgrading the existing equipment, so it was a good time to see what technology is available, and how we can make the whole experience of visiting Camberley even better for our customers.”

The seamless parking solution is delivered in partnership with NewPark Solutions and ADVAM, and is in operation in Camberley’s Main Square and Knoll Road multi-storey car parks.

It offers a fully manageable online account, with auto top-up, and email and text credit notifications available.

An added benefit of the prePAY service is the council will be able to use the data to gain an insight into how the car parks are being used. This will allow them to further improve the service, and also provide personalised loyalty bonuses or parking promotions to users.

Leigh Thornton added: “We’re really excited to be offering this new solution, making it a lot easier for residents, visitors and businesses to use the parking facilities.”

The new online prePAY system will operate alongside the existing ticketless cash payment system at the relevant car parks.

To further improve the experience for those looking to park in Camberley Town Centre, Surrey Heath has also launched a new online service, Car Park Spaces Live. This web page updates every 10 minutes to show how many spaces are available in the car parks. In conjunction with the PrePay solution, users can now see where a space is available and enter and exit the car park without the need to pay at a pay station.

For more information go to http://www.surreyheath.gov.uk/parking

Calling All Budding Writers, Buskers and Open Mic Participants!

Surrey Heath Museum’s festival ‘A Century of Sound’ takes place this year between 9th and 16th September.  The festival aims to celebrate the musical heritage of the area – past and present.  With a whole host of famous names from music, theatre and the arts originating from Camberley including hit band Bros, there is certainly something to celebrate.

As part of this week long celebration, we are looking for buskers to play in The Main Square and Park Street in Camberley where busking pitches will be available for daily street performances.  A performance is anything that’s found to be entertaining – musical performance, storytelling, clowning, juggling and magic – use your imagination.

There will also be open mic slots available at Camberley Theatre on Friday 11th September.  Open mic sessions give you a chance to perform.  Whether you are a seasoned performing pro or just love to entertain – applications from all are welcome.  Be creative with your performance – music, poetry, magic, comedy – the sky is the limit!

The best performance at the open mic night wins a prize and a star spot at Over The Moon taking place in The Mall on Saturday 12th September.  Hosted by music entrepreneur Ivan Chandler, Over The Moon is an acoustic showcase featuring new and emerging local talent, with a performance by international musical theatre star from Camberley, David Ribi.

For the budding writers out there, we also have a literary event called PUSH.  Hosted by the editor of PUSH fanzine, Joe England from Blackwater, it promotes new literary work and is a platform for new writers.  The evening will feature readings from PUSH contributors along with a Questions and Answers session.

If you would like to be involved, you can submit a short piece of fiction or a poem which if selected, you can read out on the night of the event.

For more details about A Century of Sound and links to apply to perform please visitwww.acenturyofsound.com

 

Extra measures put in place to deter future incursions on Heatherside

In response to the recent traveller incursion on Heatherside recreation ground, Surrey Heath Borough council will be adding to the existing security measures in an attempt to avoid a similar situation happening again. These include extra “dragons teeth” barriers or “kissing gates” to stop vehicles accessing the park via the footpaths , replacing some of the bollards with stronger, thicker versions and adding extra bollards in the gap next to the toilet block.
The council is keen to stress that, even with these new measures in place, making the site completely incursion proof without significantly compromising the park’s aesthetics and accessibility to the public is extremely difficult. However, these extra measure should go some way in discouraging any future incursion attempts.