Fire Services in Haslemere

Today was Surrey County Council’s Full Council meeting.

The meeting papers are here. Please note the petition regarding fire stations (including Haslemere’s) being closed at night. (Item 5 here).

I raised my serious concerns about fire service cover for Haslemere – particularly at night. In the meeting council voted against the 13.000 petition to scrap the cuts to the fire service. This means loss of 7 night time pumps, and reliance on part time, on-call staff overnight.  Already Haslemere fire station is currently regularly unmanned due to lack of staff. We are a high priority station as nearest to the A3 and the Hindhead tunnel. 

This was my question on this matter:

The recently issued Making Surrey Safer Plan purports to “make sure we have the right resources in the right places at the right time to respond when you need us”

Haslemere fire station is a high priority station due to its proximity to the Hindhead Tunnel on the A3 and it’s distance from neighbouring stations. Due to a lack of supervisory managers at Haslemere’s on call unit, wholetime appliances have had to be moved to Haslemere to provide cover over night.

When there have been insufficient wholetime fire appliances available retained/on call appliances have been moved to Haslemere to cover the shortfall.

During August this resulted in “Standby” appliances being moved from their base station elsewhere in the county to Haslemere to provide night cover twenty times.

On occasion, when there have been insufficient resources, the Haslemere area has been abandoned without cover for a period of 24 hours.

At present the Fire Service is struggling to maintain cover at night. This situation will be exacerbated by the cutting of a further 7 appliances at night.

The new Making Surrey Safer Plan

– slashes the night time cover throughout the county, potentially leaving Haslemere exposed,

– increases dependency on an already over-stretched pool of part-time fire fighters, and

– relies on crews backing each other up over long distances at risk to the base station’s primary response area.

 The Plan therefore increases rather than reduces the risk to my constituents’ safety and fails to ensure the right resources will be in the right place at the right time to respond to residents’ needs in emergency.   Far from driving the improvements called for by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate last year, Surrey’s Plan is a roadmap for deterioration in our fire service.

QUESTION 1: Would the leader please explain how, if the plan is implemented in its current form, I can reassure my constituents that they will be safe in their beds at night if the reduction of seven night time appliances across Surrey leaves insufficient resources when 24 hour fire cover at Haslemere cannot currently be guaranteed?

QUESTION 2: Due to the nature of the on-call system, fire crew availability can never be guaranteed.  Staff are already struggling with the extra demands on their time covering the shortfalls. Do you believe the heavy reliance on retained/on call stations is sustainable once there is a further reduction of seven appliances at night?

This is the response I received here:

Response:

1. Surrey Fire and Rescue Service has robust plans in place to ensure it can always deal with emergencies effectively and continually monitors all of its vehicles around the county, using the very latest technology, so that firefighters and equipment are in the right place at the right time. There have been occasions recently at Haslemere when cover has been moved in from other fire stations at night. This has been due to short-notice leavers at Watch Officer level. It is normal practice for the service to move crews and resources around the county based on a dynamic analysis of risk. Just before each shift, highly trained and experienced 999 Mobilising staff work with Duty Officers to assess crewing levels and deploy staff accordingly. The Making Surrey Safer Plan for 2020 – 2023 was approved by Cabinet on 24 September 2019. Under these changes, fire and rescue cover will continue to be provided across Surrey on a 24/7 basis. Fire engines may come from neighbouring fire stations in some areas at night-time, but these will still arrive within the service’s current response standard. The Making Surrey Safer Plan is focussed on re-aligning Surrey’s fire and rescue service in order to put more resources into community and business safety activities, to reduce the likelihood of emergencies happening in the first place. In terms of the Waverley area specifically, the impact on response times is minimal and in fact improves at the weekend under the Making Surrey Safer Plan and overall:

Ø Weekday – no change to arrival of the first appliance to a critical incident

Ø Weekend day – 32 seconds quicker arrival of the first appliance to a critical incident

Ø Night – 10 second slower arrival of the first appliance to a critical incident Page 14

Ø Overall, at all times of day, the arrival of the first appliance to a critical incident will be 1 second quicker These meet the risk assessment which shows that weekend days are the busiest, night times are less busy, and week days remain the same.

The service will regularly review its Community Risk Profile and distribution of resources as population numbers and distribution changes over time to ensure adequate resources are provided. Once implemented from April 2020, the changes will be closely monitored by the service and a dedicated task group which will report back to Surrey County Council’s Communities, Environment and Highways Select Committee for appropriate scrutiny.

2. There is no guarantee of the availability of either whole time or on-call staff unfortunately however the Making Surrey Safer Plan for 2020 – 2023 increases the potential use of on On-Call staff and appliances at night. Two On-Call new starter courses will take place in the lead up to 1 April 2020 (when the changes will start to be implemented), to increase our number of on-call firefighters.

Haslemere Minor Injuries Unit under threat of closure -deadline to respond TODAY, Sept 29th

URGENT Haslemere Minor Injuries Unit under threat of closure-deadline to respond TODAY, Sept 29th.

Dear All,

I just wanted to let you know that the Minor Injuries Unit at the Haslemere Hospital is at real risk of closure,

and that the deadline for the public consultation is TODAY- SEPT 29th, 2019. 

NHS policy is that the current system of three different types of urgent care provision needs to be rationalised as a standard system of “Urgent Treatment Centres” (UTCs), meeting 24 specified standards (including that they should be GP-led, and open 12 hrs a day, 7 days a week).

The implication is that existing Minor Injury Units and Walk-in Centres that cannot upgrade, would be closed- however I believe the facility at Haslemere already provides many services (see the list below) and rather than shut down, should be upgraded to meet the UTC standards.

No decisions have yet been taken concerning our local unit and the unit at Petersfield, but there is a real risk of closure. If both are closed we will all have to travel to either Guildford, Frimley Park or Chichester for treatment of minor injuries and blood testing.    

If you care about saving this vital service in our community please do write today to explain why our Minor Injuries unit is so important to you and your family. 

Please email gwccg.info@nhs.net and copy MP Jeremy Hunt- huntj@parliament.uk.

Best wishes

Nikki

Nikki Barton

Surrey County Councillor for Haslemere

Town Councillor for Haslemere and Grayswood

Existing Services at Haslemere MIU

There is an established MIU which already covers many of the needs of the proposed new centre including: –

Out of hours base

-Standalone Minor injuries….currently 9am -5 pm

-Radiology and Ultrasound on site

-Outpatients and fracture clinic

-Paramedics 24 hrs.

-A Pharmacy 7.30 am to 10.30pm week days .10 am to 5pm Sunday’s

-Community nursing base -Minor Injuries 9am to 5pm

-Telemedicine link to burns and plastic unit East Grinstead

-Pathology Service

These services have been built up over time and they are increasingly being used with an average weekly attendance at the MIU of 200 patients. It is important to note that there is space on the site which can be adapted or rearranged to make room for any additional services or a modular building.

Bunch Lane – road diversion – BT cabling works

From: highways@surreycc.info <highways@surreycc.info>
 
Subject: Reference: ME-710782 – Surrey Highways: TRO Bunch Lane Haslemere

Dear Sirs,

NOTICE: THE SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL BUNCH LANE (D5514) HASLEMERE TEMPORARY PROHIBITION OF TRAFFIC ORDER 2019

SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL PROPOSE TO MAKE the above mentioned Temporary Traffic Order under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, the effect of which will be to temporarily prohibit vehicles from entering or proceeding in that length of Bunch Lane (D5514) Haslemere which extends from its junction with Farnham Lane, northwards, for a distance of 125m. This Order is required to enable BT to facilitate new cabling works, which is anticipated to be completed within 3 days, between 9.30am and 3.30pm, during the 6 month period of operation of this Order which will commence 30 September 2019. Advanced warning signs will be displayed and the temporary closure will only operate when the relevant traffic signs are displayed.

Access for emergency vehicles will be maintained at all times. Access to premises within the affected length of road affected, including access by emergency vehicles to these properties, will be maintained at all times, as will access for pedestrians and cyclists. Alternative Route – St Christopher’s Green, Wey Hill, Weydown Road, Inval Hill and Bunch Lane.

Lower Street – road closure (resurfacing)

Here is an email I have received re Lower Street road closure:

From: On Behalf Of Works Communication Team/EAI/SCC
 To: Nikki Barton <Nikki.Barton@surreycc.gov.uk>
Subject: Lower Street, Haslemere – Resurfacing works (Road Closed)

Dear Cllr Barton

I am writing to advise you that we will be closing the road on the 27 September and the 4 October whilst we carry out our surfacing works.

To facilitate this we will need to close the road from 9:30 until 16:00 on each Friday to enable us to park our lorry near to the site.

There will be no access for vehicles during this time.

Outside of the above closures, we will continue to use three way lights until the end of the works.

You and your residents can also find up to date details of the works on www.surreycc.gov.uk/roadworks

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us on 0300 200 1003 or email works.communication@surreycc.gov.uk.

Kind regards

Works Communication Officer

Works Communication Team

Local Highways

Update on Sun Brow roadworks

Dear Cllr Barton

Please find attached the leaflet for the surfacing work on Sun Brow, Haslemere.  The leaflets are due to be delivered tomorrow (6th September).

The works are scheduled to start on 18 September under a road closure and will take place over 3 days, from 8am – 4pm.  

Please see the attached leaflet for the extents of our work.

Sometimes our plans have to change, often due to bad weather or problems on other works in the same programme which can have a knock on effect. If anything changes with the details of these works, we will let you know. You and your residents can also find up to date details of the works on https://roadworks.org/?113903164

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us on 0300 200 1003 or email works.communication@surreycc.gov.uk.

Works Communication Officer

Works Communication Team

Surrey Highways

Email: works.communication@surreycc.gov.uk

Update: Lower Street works, Haslemere

I am sharing an update regarding works on Lower Street, Haslemere. The works within Lower Street itself are complete and the team have now moved into the garage area.

Prior to the works starting the team carried out site investigations of both the pipe systems and ground conditions. The ground condition survey had shown mild asbestos levels that were not sufficient to cause concerns with regard to safety. However, when the team started digging in the garage forecourt today, they found much higher concentrations of asbestos. As a result of this works had to cease.  

The team now need to get positive confirmation it is asbestos, then assess the risks posed, and then proceed with appropriate measures in place to safely continue their works – this process may take some time. In the interim period the team will be working in other areas to maintain progress of the overall job at hand.

Southern Gas Networks – Major Works on A286 Grayswood Road, Haslemere

Please follow the link below to the Surrey County Council website where you will find information about the planned Major Southern Gas Networks works on Grayswood Road, Haslemere. Works are planned from 7 October 2019 to 3 November 2019.

https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/roadworks-and-maintenance/roadworks/a286-grayswood-road,-haslemere-sgn-works#204126

Surrey’s Greener Future – Call for Evidence – Surrey County Council – Citizen Space

Overview

Scope of the inquiry

Surrey’s Greener Future Task Group will focus on Surrey County Council’s recent declaration of a climate emergency and the actions the council needs to take to achieve net zero carbon emissions as soon as possible. The task group will also consider the role residents need to play in their local community and the wider impact of other public sector organisations and the private sector on the county’s environment to develop a system-wide position.  

Written Submissions

We want to hear from Surrey residents, businesses and partners so we can write a call for action. The task group will be reporting its findings to Council in December 2019 and will base its recommendations on the evidence you provide so this is an excellent opportunity to influence the council’s future strategy.

The task group welcomes written evidence on some, or all, of the points below by Sunday 15 September in no more than 2,000 words. You can use links to other sources to support your submission. You can submit evidence using this web page, by emailing democraticservices@surreycc.gov.uk  or in writing to Democratic Services, County Hall, Room 122, Kingston upon Thames, KT1 2DN using the form at the foot of this page.

Your information including your views, will be collected and used to identify the actions needed to be taken by Surrey County Council to achieve net zero carbon emissions. The Task Group will also use your views to consider the role of residents and the impact of public sector and private sector organisations on the county environment, as well as for research and statistical analysis. It will be shared with the members of the Surrey’s Greener Future Task Group as well as disclosed (including your name and contact details ) and published on Surrey Says https://www.surreysays.co.uk.  Our lawful basis allows us to process your personal data when it is necessary for us in the performance of our public tasks and in the interest of the public. It will be retained for the life of the Surrey’s Greener Future project requirements. See more privacy information https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/your-privacy/corporate-privacy-notice

Read more here.

SGN Works – Sickle Road, Dale View and Sun Brow

From: Surrey Highways: TEMPORARY PROHIBITION OF TRAFFIC ORDER 2019

Dear Sirs

SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL PROPOSE TO MAKE the above mentioned Temporary Order under Section 14(1) and (7) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, the effect of which will be to a) prohibit vehicles from entering or proceeding in that length of Sickle Road (D5522), Haslemere that extends from its junction with Dale View (D5522) to its junction with Sun Brow (D5522); b) suspend “THE SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL SICKLE ROAD (D5522) AND SUN BROW (D5522) HASLEMERE TEMPORARY PROHIBITION OF TRAFFIC ORDER 2019” in its entirety.

This Traffic Order is required to enable SGN to carry out gas mains replacement works. These works are anticipated to be carried out within 6 weeks of the 6 month period of operation of this Temporary Order that commences on 09 September 2019. Advanced warning signs will be displayed and the temporary closure which is anticipated will be required for 24 hours each day, will only operate when the relevant traffic signs are displayed. Access for pedestrians; dismounted cyclists and equestrians will be maintained at all times. These works will be carried out in phases of 50m length so to maintain access for emergency services, residences and businesses on the affected length of Sickle Road (D5522), at all times up to the point of closure via the vehicular diversion route which will be Dale View and Sun Brow.

Over one million people to save hundreds, as new ‘16-17 Saver’ launches, cutting cost of rail travel for teenagers

Press release from South Western Railway

  • Half price 16-17 Saver launching next week for 1.2million 16 and 17-year olds
  • Young people set to make average savings of £186 every year
  • Railcards boost education opportunities and help communities and businesses by making travel cheaper for young people

The Department for Transport, together with the rail industry, has confirmed the brand new 16-17 Saver will launch next week, guaranteeing half-price travel for young people in England and Wales.

Whether starting or returning to sixth-form or college, beginning an apprenticeship or entering the world of work, teenagers can start buying their discounted tickets on Monday 2 September.

It is forecast to save young people and their families an average of £186 every year and is set to boost education opportunities, communities and businesses with young people able to travel more affordably.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris, said:

“The brand-new Saver means that a generation of rail passengers can now benefit from cheaper fares, keeping money in their pocket and helping them get to school, college and work. 

“We want to create a railway system that’s fit for the 21st century and provides a reliable, punctual journey. It’s tempting to say fares should never rise, but the truth is that if we stop investing in our railways then we’ll never see it improved.

“Through the Saver, the 26-30 Railcard, the trialling of single-leg fares on LNER and a record £48 billion investment in the railways, we are focused on providing passengers with the frequent, reliable and affordable journeys they deserve.”

The launch comes as the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) confirmed that over 327,000 people are now saving a third off their journeys after purchasing the 26-30 Railcard, saving an average of £19 per month since it launched in January.

Today’s announcement means that passengers aged between 16 and 30 will now benefit from significant savings on their travel.

Available for purchase for £30 online at www.16-17saver.co.uk, the 16-17 Saver will be on sale at 9am on Tuesday 20 August. From this date, up to 1.2 million young people are eligible for the 50% discount it offers on most rail travel, including peak and Season tickets.

Robert Nisbet, Director, Nations & Regions at Rail Delivery Group said:

“The launch of the 16-17 Saver, in partnership with the Department for Transport, demonstrates the rail industry’s commitment to providing the best value fares for all customers. 

“There are 1.2m people aged 16 or 17 years in Great Britain – working together, we want to ensure they can access affordable rail travel with the new 16-17 Saver”.   

David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges said:

“This rail discount for 16 and 17-year olds is a huge step in the right direction and will help to alleviate the financial pressures facing young people and their families across the country.

“Many from disadvantaged backgrounds find themselves making difficult choices about their future based on how much their journey to college will cost, increasing the pressures of staying in education.

“Travel costs should never be a barrier to education, today’s announcement will give a much needed helping hand to thousands who rely on rail travel to access education and training.”

The new Saver means that young people are now eligible for a child fare until their 18th birthday. It is valid across England, Wales and services into Scotland.

The root and branch review of the rail industry, led by Keith Williams, is looking at fares reform and affordability for passengers. It is intending to publish recommendations by the end of this year, with the anticipation that reforms will begin during 2020.

January 2020 will be the seventh year running the Government will have capped fares in line with inflation. Since 2014 fares have, on average, remained below the annual inflation cap.

ENDS

  • The 16-17 Saver can also be purchased by calling 0345 301 1656.