Suspended – RMT Strike Monday 9, Tuesday 10, Thursday 12 & Friday 13 March

Notification from South Western Railway that RMT strike action has been suspended

Haslemere’s Neighbourhood Plan


For the past six years, a core group of more than 80 Haslemere Vision volunteers, working on behalf of Haslemere Town Council, have been consulting the community on future development priorities to include in the neighbourhood plan for Haslemere, Shottermill, Critchmere, Beacon Hill, Hindhead and Grayswood.

How and what to prioritise is a key issue in the public consultation, and responses – both supportive and negative – will inform the final version of the draft plan, which it is now the responsibility of the town council to deliver.

As the Haslemere Herald reported in its article, Taking Back Control,
if a majority of residents back it in the referendum, Haslemere Neighbourhood Plan will be enshrined in law and its policies will apply to all planning applications in the area.

Following the consultation process, the plan will be submitted to Waverley Borough Council to invite further comment before submitting it to an independent examiner to approve it for referendum.

If a majority of residents back it in the referendum, Haslemere Neighbourhood Plan will be enshrined in law and its policies will apply to all planning applications in the area.

The adoption of the neighbourhood plan also has important strategic funding implications.

Waverley currently applies a community infrastructure levy (CIL) on all developments, of which 15 per cent – capped in the case of large developments – goes to Haslemere Town Council.

An adopted neighbourhood plan means the town council is given more responsibility for decision making and its share of CIL will rise to 25 per cent with no cap.

The increase in funding will mean Haslemere and the surrounding area can undertake more ambitious new projects or partner with Waverley and Surrey County Council to deliver larger schemes.

Haslemere mayor John Robini, who is chairing the working party taking the plan forward, said: “Our aim is a plan that will help deliver the long-term goals of a balanced and vibrant neighbourhood.”

The plan identifies four key objectives:

* To encourage development that meets Haslemere’s housing needs while protecting the character of the area – in particular to encourage more homes for young people, local workers and downsizers.

* To protect and enrich green spaces and the surrounding natural environment.

* To re-balance road use, limiting the adverse impact of motor vehicles by improving provision for off-street parking and/or alternative forms of transport.

* To protect existing employment and encourage more diverse local employment opportunities to create a sustainable community.

I confirm that the final versions of the Neighbourhood Plan and summary are now up on Haslemere Town Council’s website.

https://www.haslemeretc.org/uploads/1/1/5/9/115942197/final_neighbourhood_plan_ver_2019.10.pdf

https://www.haslemeretc.org/uploads/1/1/5/9/115942197/final_neighbourhood_plan_summary.pdf

Joint statement on coronavirus cases in Surrey and West Sussex

In the last half hour, I have received the statement below from the Head of Surrey County Council’s communications team:

This afternoon the Chief Medical Officer for England announced three further patients who were “close contacts of a known case”, had tested positive for COVID-19. These relate to a man who tested positive in Surrey on Friday 28 February so brings the total number of confirmed cases in Surrey to two. We can also confirm the other two cases in this family cluster have been confirmed in West Sussex. All cases are adults and are not health workers.

Ruth Hutchinson, Interim Director of Public Health for Surrey County Council, and Anna Raleigh, Director of Public Health for West Sussex County Council, have issued a joint statement following the Chief Medical Officer’s update.

They said: “We are working closely together and with Public Health England and the NHS to make sure everything possible is being done to protect people in our respective counties and minimise the spread of the virus.

“We’re receiving regular updates from colleagues at Public Health England who are already making good progress in contacting anyone who has been in close contact with the individuals to provide them with advice about what to do if they start to feel unwell, and how to manage if they are told to self-isolate.

“This work is a key way of minimising any risk to them and the wider public and while this is fast-moving situation we would like to reassure everyone that our county councils and health colleagues are well-prepared and doing all we can to minimise the chances of further cases.

“Anyone who is not contacted directly by PHE should continue to go about their life as normal but take extra care to follow public health advice on simple steps we can all take to help reduce the risk of infection.”

Dr James Mapstone, Acting Regional Director (South of England) for Public Health England, added: “PHE is providing specialist advice to local authority partners around two confirmed cases in Surrey and two in West Sussex. The four cases are part of an adult family cluster. We are aware of the people they have been in contact with and we are making contact with those people to issue appropriate advice and steps to take if they start to feel unwell.”

Background

  • The confirmed cases are not GPs or health workers. Contact tracing is underway and that includes testing some people. It is not surprising that a GP surgery has closed for cleaning as that is part of the primary care guidance.
  • The tracing and managing of contacts who have had significant exposure to confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus is being co-ordinated by Public Health England.
  • The process starts with a predetermined list of information being collected on each patient. This includes details of any places visited following the onset of symptoms or, in the case of travellers, since they arrived in the UK.
  • This is either done by the clinician caring for the patient or in conjunction with them. Translation services will used if needed to ensure the information is as accurate as possible.
  • Information is also collected about significant contacts – those people in close contact with the case while symptomatic, such household members, fellow travellers etc.
  • Using the available information, all close contacts of the case will be assessed and either categorised into high or low risk.  All contacts will be provided with health advice about symptoms and given emergency contact details to use if they develop symptoms in the 14 days after the exposure occurred.
  • Those considered to be at higher risk will have a verbal assessment of their health and their health will be monitored on a daily basis and they will asked to self-isolate.  Should any of the group report symptoms they will be assessed and offered testing in line with current guidance.

PHE recently used contact tracing successfully in Brighton to track all know cases and prevent any further cases.

If I live in Surrey or West Sussex am I at extra risk because of the recent cases?

  • We ensure that someone with coronavirus doesn’t put others at risk by treating them in isolation and carefully investigating who they had close contact with through contact tracing.
  • Contact tracing is a fundamental part of outbreak control that’s used by public health professionals around the world.
  • If a person tests positive for coronavirus, we speak to the patient to identify anyone who has had close contact with them during the time they are considered to be infectious and go all out to find these people as soon as possible.
  • Once we have contacted them we can then give them the advice they need. If they are in groups considered to be a higher risk, we make sure that we follow up with them daily to see how they are.  If they become unwell we are then able to assess them quickly and take appropriate action.

What does self-isolation mean for people who don’t have symptoms?

  • Just like when you have the flu, individuals should remain at home and should not go to work, school or public areas. Where possible, individuals should avoid having visitors to their home but it is ok for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food. Individuals should not use public transport or taxis until 14 days after their return from Wuhan.
  • Individuals should monitor their symptoms and call NHS 111 (or your national alternative) if they develop any of the following symptoms – fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

There are things you can do to help stop germs like coronavirus spreading:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

There is also an NHS link which contains hygiene and prevention advice: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

We’re currently not accepting interview bids on this.

Original statement published on Surrey County Council’s website here.

Coronavirus update from Surrey’s Director of Public Health

I have been liaising over the last 24 hours with Surrey County Council’s leadership and through them Public Health England (PHE). Below is the latest update, also published here on Surrey County Council’s website. I am hoping to be able to supply more information and guidance for residents in Haslemere as soon as possible – but this is dependent on information Public Health England is able to provide. Statement follows:

Ruth Hutchinson, Interim Director of Public Health for Surrey County Council, said: “I have spoken to colleagues at Public Health England this morning and will remain in continuous contact while we manage the situation in Surrey.

“PHE updated me on their work and steps they have taken since the case was confirmed. They are already urgently contacting anyone that has been in close contact with the individual to provide them with advice about what to do if they start to feel unwell, and how to manage if they are told to self-isolate.

“This vital work will continue throughout the weekend and is a tried and tested method that ensures we are able to minimise any risk to them and the wider public.

“Anyone who is not contacted directly by PHE should continue to go about their life as normal but take extra care to follow public health advice on simple steps we can all take to help reduce the risk of infection.

“I appreciate that news like this can be a cause for concern, so I would reassure everyone that Surrey County Council, together with the NHS and PHE is taking every necessary measure to help reduce the risk of the virus spreading.”

Background

  • The tracing and managing of contacts who have had significant exposure to confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus is being co-ordinated by Public Health England.
  • The process starts with a predetermined list of information being collected on each patient. This includes details of any places visited following the onset of symptoms or, in the case of travellers, since they arrived in the UK.
  • This is either done by the clinician caring for the patient or in conjunction with them. Translation services will be used if needed to ensure the information is as accurate as possible.
  • Information is also collected about significant contacts – those people in close contact with the case while symptomatic, such household members, fellow travellers etc.
  • Using the available information, all close contacts of the case will be assessed and either categorised into high or low risk.  All contacts will be provided with health advice about symptoms and given emergency contact details to use if they develop symptoms in the 14 days after the exposure occurred.
  • Those considered to be at higher risk will have a verbal assessment of their health and their health will be monitored on a daily basis and they will asked to self-isolate.  Should any of the group report symptoms they will be assessed and offered testing in line with current guidance.

PHE recently used contact tracing successfully in Brighton to track all known cases and prevent any further cases.

If I live in Surrey am I at extra risk because of the recent cases?

  • We ensure that someone with coronavirus doesn’t put others at risk by treating them in isolation and carefully investigating who they had close contact with through contact tracing.
  • Contact tracing is a fundamental part of outbreak control that’s used by public health professionals around the world.
  • If a person tests positive for coronavirus, we speak to the patient to identify anyone who has had close contact with them during the time they are considered to be infectious and go all out to find these people as soon as possible.
  • Once we have contacted them we can then give them the advice they need. If they are in groups considered to be a higher risk, we make sure that we follow up with them daily to see how they are.  If they become unwell we are then able to assess them quickly and take appropriate action.

What does self-isolation mean for people who don’t have symptoms?

  • Just like when you have the flu, individuals should remain at home and should not go to work, school or public areas. Where possible, individuals should avoid having visitors to their home but it is ok for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food. Individuals should not use public transport or taxis until 14 days after their return from Wuhan.
  •  Individuals should monitor their symptoms and call NHS 111 (or your national alternative) if they develop any of the following symptoms – fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

There are things you can do to help stop germs like coronavirus spreading:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

There is also an NHS link which contains hygiene and prevention advice: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

We’re currently not accepting interview bids on this.

Public Health England and Surrey County Council statement on confirmed COVID-19 case in Surrey

This evening, the BBC reported a patient at Haslemere Health Centre (which has been closed for “deep cleaning” since this morning) is the first to be reported to be infected with the coronavirus in the UK. BBC article here.

Surrey County Council is continuing to work together with partners including Public Health England (PHE) across Surrey and the UK to monitor and ensure preparedness for the Coronavirus outbreak.

Dr Alison Barnett, Centre Director, Public Health England South East, said:

“Public Health England is contacting people who had close contact with confirmed cases of COVID-19. One of the latest cases is a resident of Surrey and we’re working closely with NHS colleagues in that area as well as Surrey County Council to manage the situation and help reduce the risk of further cases.

“Close contacts will be given health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details to use if they become unwell in the 14 days after contact with the confirmed case. This tried and tested method will ensure we are able to minimise any risk to them and the wider public.”

Interim Director of Public Health for Surrey County Council Ruth Hutchinson said:

Surrey County Council is working with health colleagues to do everything we can to stop the virus spreading and ensure the people of Surrey are protected.

“Good hygiene is the best prevention and there are some simple steps you can take to protect you and your family by washing your hands regularly and thoroughly and if you cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.

“If you have recently been to one of the affected countries and are feeling unwell, you should phone the NHS 111 helpline for further advice straight away – please don’t go to your doctor or a hospital. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

Notes to Editors

  • Surrey County Council, PHE and the NHS are well prepared to deal with coronavirus. Our priority is to safeguard local communities which sometimes involves taking preventative measures to help reduce the risk of further cases.
  • We cannot comment further on individual cases due to patient confidentiality.
  • Details on testing are published daily at 2pm and includes a breakdown of negative and positive tests https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public
  • For more information and advice on coronavirus (COVID-19)

PHE https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/

NHS https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Temporary Traffic Order – The Avenue, Haslemere – SGN gas main replacement works

NOTICE: THE SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL THE AVENUE (D5512) HASLEMERE AND PUBLIC FOOTPATH 16 HASLEMERE TEMPORARY PROHIBITION OF TRAFFIC ORDER 2020

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 pedestrians or any person proceeding by any other means from entering or proceeding in –

(a) that length of The Avenue (D5512) Haslemere, also known as Public Footpath No. 16 (Haslemere), which extends from the property boundary line between property Nos. 37 and 39 The Avenue to the property boundary line between the properties known as “Hollydown” and “The Tree House, 1” Woodlands Lane;

(b) that length of Public Footpath No. 16 (Haslemere) which extends from its junction with D134 Farnham Lane to the property boundary line between the properties known as “Hollydown” and “The Tree House, 1” Woodlands Lane.

This Order is required to enable SGN to carry out gas main replacement works, which is anticipated to be completed within 5 weeks, between 7.30am and 5pm, during the 3 month period of operation of this Order which will commence on 11 March 2020. Advanced warning sign will be displayed and the temporary closure, which is anticipated to be in force 24 hours per day, will only operate when the relevant traffic signs are displayed. Pedestrian access to premises within the affected lengths of the footpath will be maintained at all times. Diversion Route – Public Footpath No. 16 (Haslemere), D134 Farnham Lane, Public Footpath No. 108 (Haslemere) and D5512 The Avenue otherwise known as Public Footpath No. 16 (Haslemere).

Event: Climate Change Members Session

Earlier this week, I attended a Climate Change Members Session at Surrey County Council’s office. I tweeted a few slides during the presentations.

In this link, you can read all the slides from the presentation.

Haslemere’s fire service update

At the SCC full council meeting in October 2019, I raised concerns about the lack of night fire cover in Haslemere and the cutting of 7 night appliances across the county. Haslemere’s geography means there is further pressure as stations provide fire cover for each other, however, it is a long way to drive to Haslemere for other stations to provide cover. Haslemere is no longer considered a priority fire station despite proximity to the A3 and Hindhead Tunnel.

This was the question I put to full council last October:

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 its 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?

I am pleased that Denise Turner Stewart, Cabinet Member for Community Safety Fire & Resilience, accepted my invitation and met fire officers on Friday 14th February at Haslemere Fire Station to hear their concerns. Also, in attendance was the assistant fire chief officer. I am overwhelmed by the dedication of fire crew and how they have worked as a team in the face of more and more stretched resources to keep offering a fire service for Haslemere. I am worried going forward about the impact of the new transformation.

The team accepts there need to be new ways of working however, personally, I am very concerned about night fire cover and response times in Haslemere.

Denise listened. The firefighters and I are truly grateful she took the time to do so. She has agreed to stay in touch, reflect on the conversation and monitor the stats (response times and crew availability) following this meeting. The new changes come into effect on April 1st over response times and issue of night cover.

South Western Railway announces compensation package for customers affected by December strikes

From: South Western Railway
Date: 18 February 2020
T
Subject: South Western Railway announcement on compensation for December 2019 strike

Dear Nikki,

I am writing to you to let you know that today we are announcing an additional compensation package for customers affected by the strike on our network in December 2019.

We did our utmost to keep passengers moving during December and carried over 80% of the number of passengers we normally would have done at this time of year. However, I have listened to customer feedback, and given the duration and intensity of the strike, we are now offering additional compensation, over and above the normal delay repay arrangements.

Full details of the compensation arrangements can be found in the attached press release or by visiting: www.southwesternrailway.com/december-2019-strike-compensation

Yours sincerely,

Mark Hopwood
Managing Director
South Western Railway 

SCC Emergency contacts in the event of flooding

If anyone contacts you that they are flooding, we have put together the below emergency contact numbers for residents to use so they are calling the correct agency for their situation.

If there is a threat to life – call 999

If there is road flooding – call Surrey CC (Highways) – 0300 200 1003

If sewers and foul water are involved – call Thames Water – 0800 316 9800

If a main river watercourse is involved – call the Environment Agency – 0345 988 1188

If your enquiry is not urgent, please contact our team via flooding.enquiries@surreycc.gov.uk.