Nikki Barton – Independent councillor for Surrey County Council (Haslemere Ward) and Haslemere Town Council (Haslemere South Ward). Serving community interests and not political interests. Haslemere first.
Haslemere Community Store – Opening Thursday 21st May
If you’ve become unemployed, been furloughed or waiting for Universal Credit, don’t go without. The Haslemere Community Store can help you with a variety of food, toiletries and household products available free of charge to support people living in Haslemere and surrounding villages.
The Community Store will operate from Haslemere Hall and will be open Mondays & Thursdays (10.30-12.30 pm).
Sharing an email I received earlier from The MD of South Western Railway.
I wanted to
write with the latest information about South Western Railway to keep people
with an interest in our business updated and informed.
the current Coronavirus outbreak, colleagues across South Western Railway have
been working hard to keep the country moving for their fellow key workers and
those that need to travel.
also been ensuring that those who do need to travel, can do so safely. For
example, when cleaning, they have been paying particular attention to commonly
touched surfaces such as ticket machines, grab handles, and door buttons.
Additionally, to reduce interaction between colleagues and customers we are not
currently accepting cash payments at our ticket offices and ticket machines and
encouraging customers where ever possible, to buy on line.
As you know,
on 10 May the Prime Minister updated the nation on the road map for coming out
of lockdown and recovering the economy. The first step along this road, which
started yesterday, was for people to return to work if they could not work from
home, meaning an increase in those using our services. However, the Prime
Minister also urged people to avoid public transport and so we were not
expecting, and have not seen, a dramatic uplift in passengers yet.
Nevertheless, I want you to be aware of the additional steps we are putting in
place to ensure that those who do need to travel, can so safely.
We are in
the process of introducing measures to promote social distancing on our
stations and trains, through posters and floor markings and vinyls, as well as
through audio announcements and digital media. While we will do everything we
can to help passengers respect social distancing; as the Government itself
acknowledges, there may be some points on a journey where it is just not
possible, such as when boarding or alighting trains.
encouraging our customers to follow the advice of Government and only travel on
our services for essential journeys where other modes of transport are not
available. Where customers do need to travel, we are asking them to plan ahead,
follow social distancing guidance where possible, follow Government advice on
face coverings, and to purchase their ticket online to reduce interaction with
that the coming days may see more customers return to work, from Monday 18 May,
we will be making some increases to capacity. Although we will still be operating
a reduced service, some routes will see services reinstated for the first time
since lockdown began, with other routes benefiting from longer services or some
extra services at peak times. Despite these improvements, with social
distancing in place, capacity will be vastly reduced, so we are urging our
customers to consider alternative means of transport for getting to work, with
our services only being used where there is no other option.
strange to find ourselves directing people away from the railway, but that is
unfortunately what we have to do at present as we try to keep both customers
and colleagues safe.
wanted to keep you updated on the progress we are making with tackling the huge
number of refund requests we have had. We have now received around 29,000
requests for refunds, and through their hard work, our refund team have
processed more than half of those requests. We are continuing to look at how we
can speed up this process to deliver passengers their refunds quicker, as we know
many of them will have seen dramatic changes to their personal circumstances
since lockdown began.
I hope the
above information is useful to you. I will of course keep you updated as the
situation develops. Thank you for your continued support.
Mark Hopwood Managing Director South Western Railway
Please find in this link Surrey County Council’s latest Coronavirus Special Briefing from the Adult Social Care Information and Engagement Team, which the council hopes you will find useful at this time. Information correct as of 14th May 2020.
There will be a phased reopening of most of Surrey’s community recycling centres (CRC) from Monday 11 May. To make sure that each facility can operate in line with Public Health England guidelines, and to protect the safety of our staff and our residents, there will be restrictions in place.
However, there are limits to the numbers of people on each site, changes to what materials are accepted and revised opening hours. Due to the fewer numbers of people who can safely be on site and the impact of potential queuing on surrounding roads, our smaller sites in Bagshot, Caterham, Cranleigh, Dorking and Warlingham will remain closed.
Residents should only use the CRCs if they absolutely need to, and must check for the latest information before they travel at surreycc.gov.uk/recycling or by calling 03456 009 009 as these arrangements are subject to change.
As outlined in DEFRA guidance, journeys to waste sites are only allowed under the lockdown restrictions if the waste materials cannot be stored at home without causing risk of injury or harm to health. Please see the Government’s guidance about essential travel (GOV.UK)
As you will be aware, there has been a significant focus on COVID-19 swab testing in line with national guidance. This has been developing and progressing swiftly at a local level and in response to the guidance and the requirement to expand the testing capability quickly, a core group of system partners from Health and Care Partners has been set up. This group will co-ordinate the delivery of coronavirus testing to all eligible people across Surrey.
The team is working hard to review and target priority areas first, with a view on using all the options available to build resource to meet the demand. The council is aware that this approach needs to be urgently stepped up and will be updating you as we continue to develop plans for achieving this target.
Who is eligible for a test?
Essential workers living or working in Surrey, who are self-isolating either because they have symptoms or someone in their household has symptoms, are eligible to register with Surrey’s testing hub.
Essential workers are those outlined in the Government’s list of essential workers prioritised for testing. We continue to expand our testing capacity to include new groups as part of the Government’s phased approach.
We are building up the testing capacity to ensure that all care home residents and staff with symptoms are being tested. This will be rolled out shortly to include all care home residents and staff, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not.
The safety of residents and patients is our priority and we are working at pace to ensure we can meet the local need. We will update on progress. In the meantime if you have any specific comments or queries, please do email – email@example.com
Since the Prime Minister announced social distancing measures to slow down the spread of COVID-19, a set of restrictions on daily activity to contain the spread of the virus were introduced.
All non-urgent dental activity has stopped in line with the changes to people’s everyday lives that the Prime Minister has signalled. In light of public health infection control measures and continuing concerns about NHS dental care staff safety, NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE/I) has made significant changes to the delivery and operation of our dental services in the South East region.
The number of people joining Surrey libraries has doubled since library buildings closed as part of the coronavirus lockdown, according to the latest figures from Surrey County Council.
On top of this, over 4,000 online books, comics and magazines were downloaded last month – ten times the average number of downloads a month. Proving that despite buildings being closed, the county’s libraries are still very much open.
Thousands of children across the county have been enjoying Digital Rhyme Time sessions on Facebook.
To make the most of their ‘libraries from home’, Surrey residents can find lots of activities and resources for both children and young people, as well as adults on this website.
Community recycling centres to remain closed for now
Surrey County Council and the wider Surrey Environment Partnership are keen to see services getting back to normal as soon as possible and we are working with our contractor to develop a plan to re-open our Household Waste Recycling Sites (HWRCs) as soon as it is safe and practical to do so.
The government advice is clear that the public should Stay Home and only make essential journeys at this time. This will protect the NHS and save lives. Therefore, community recycling centres will remain closed until this advice changes.
Waste staff are key workers performing a vital service and protecting household collections is our priority. We are ensuring other higher priority waste services, such as kerbside collections, are maintained and our CRC staff are now supporting short-staffed household collection crews and making sure those crews still have somewhere to take refuse for disposal.
We would ask residents to please hold onto any excess waste. Surrey Joint Waste Solutions has a number of tips on how residents can manage your waste more effectively.
In a letter to Ministers yesterday, the County Councils Network (CCN) has reinforced the message that unless restrictions around the lockdown are changed the CRCs need to remain closed. But it adds that should the Government’s restrictions around essential travel change, Council’s would do everything they could to support the reopening of sites and would manage this safely.
It also stresses that in light of staff having been redeployed to household waste kerbside collection there is a fear across Council’s that reopening CRCs would affect this vital service. The CCN outlines that there is a strong case for continuing to prioritise garden waste and bulk collections of household waste before HWRCs are reopened.’
While restrictions remain in place and travelling to a CRC is not deemed to be an essential journey, the CRC’s need to remain closed.
We understand that this is inconvenient, and Surrey County Council is committed to extending CRC opening hours once the current restrictions are lifted.
Help for charities supporting relief effort
Surrey County Council has announced a £100k contribution towards the Community Foundation for Surrey (CFS) to supplement their Coronavirus Response Fund that offers support of up to £5k to smaller charities and voluntary bodies.
Already more than £350k in emergency funding to help our most vulnerable residents has been distributed by The Community Foundation for Surrey (CFS), a philanthropic charity which brings together local donors to support voluntary groups across Surrey providing vital services.
Calls continue to come into the Surrey County Council Community Helpline at a rate of 200 per day.
The next focus of offering help will be highlighting a telephone befriending service for those feeling isolated and lonely. Several volunteer groups are waiting behind the scenes to offer this support to residents. 0300 200 1008.
Council Leader Tim Oliver visited the Community Food Hub at the Guildford Spectrum to see the relief being coordinated to Surrey’s most vulnerable residents with food boxes. Watch the video here.
In Haslemere, a local group of 300+ volunteers called HaslemereHelp is supporting residents with shopping, collecting prescriptions and befriending. This amazing effort has been supported by collaboration with John Robini – the town mayor, the town clerk, Haslemere Health Centre, local supermarket Waitrose and local residents” associations. Here are HaslemereHelp’s contact details:
When someone dies, there are many decisions and arrangements to be made. Unfortunately, these decisions and arrangements are required at a time of great personal distress and sadness.
Surrey County Council is working with local funeral directors, faith groups and supporting charities and they will be able to support you through the process in the coming days. It’s more important than ever that you take the time to look after your own needs too.
When faced with bereavement we normally look to our friends and family for support. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing situation this may not be as easy as it normally would.
As we deal with higher volumes of deaths, we must ensure that decisions are made as quickly as possible, while remaining mindful of the individual circumstances and wishes of each deceased person and their family.
We’re working with local funeral directors, faith groups and supporting charities who are on hand to help and support our communities through this difficult time.
With Surrey History Centre closed to the public, staff across the service have worked incredibly hard to develop a range of activities, learning resources and projects:
Covid Diaries They are inviting people to share their experiences of life during the lockdown by keeping a ‘Covid Diary’ and also sharing their photographs with us of how life has changed so rapidly across the county. Full details of the project will be found here.
BBC Surrey and Sussex have taken up the story and will be feature a piece this Saturday morning around 10.15am.
Educational and Online Activities There is also a wide range of online learning resources and activities for all ages available via the website
Following the government announcement yesterday (17 April 2020) that there is now an extreme shortage of PPE, Surrey County Council is urgently appealing for volunteers to help supply items for Surrey’s frontline workers.
With demand for PPE nationally and globally
reaching unprecedented levels, social workers, care home staff, volunteers and
items such as gowns, aprons and masks which skilled volunteers may be able to
assist with, based on a Public Health England standard.
Leader of Surrey County Council, Tim Oliver said:“As a county council we continue to do all we can to source more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline workers to ensure they have the right protection against Covid-19, but there is simply not enough supply coming into the county, indeed nationally, and this situation is now very urgent indeed.
“That is why we are now appealing to the wealth of skilled and talented people across the county – from university students to business owners and seamstresses, who may be able to assist us in producing personal protective equipment, such as gowns and masks.
“This is a time when so many communities are pulling together. I hope the public will hear our call and come to our aid so we can do all we can to protect our frontline workers who are working so tirelessly on our behalf.”
County Council is stressing that all items will need to be made to a
specification outlined by Public Health England. Please get in touch to discuss
how you can help and we will then provide this ASAP.
Surrey County Council would still welcome
contact from businesses who are able to support and would also encourage them
to email us directly with any offers of support.