Tag Archives: Haslemere

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.

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

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.

Update on Lower Street roadworks

From: on behalf of Works Communication Team/EAI/SCC <works.communication@surreycc.gov.uk>
Sent: 14 August 2019 14:20:36
To: Nikki Barton <Nikki.Barton@surreycc.gov.uk>
Subject: RE: Road works Lower St Haslemere

Dear Nikki Barton

Thank you for getting in touch. Firstly I would like to provide some background on the purpose of this work and the complications this scheme has presented.

The works on Lower Street involve construction of new drainage and are primarily to remove a flood risk to a property where the highways drains pass beneath it, by rerouting our pipes. This involves digging a new pipe through private land in a restricted area, between two houses and a garage parking area, through a retaining wall, along a footpath and to a chamber.

There are a great deal of utility services underneath the road surface (please see below pictures and map) and ultimately it is these services which actually dictate what is possible. Due to the significant amount of underground services the team are using a vacuum excavator as this is a far safer way for our team to remove spoil than a conventional digger. Using this equipment mitigates any risk to their personal safety, which is of utmost importance to us.

We have gatemen present at each end of Lower Street, their role is to remain at either end of the road and ensure the public do not enter the live works site. The area the team are working in is outside of a property called Tisa Cottage. Whilst they may not be visible from either end of the road, I can assure you that the team are on site, working extremely hard on a daily basis and are making progress.

On Monday I was advised that the team had got to a point where they have found the unknown buried pipe and this has determined the level for the rest of the works. Our engineer believes they have found a route through the services to allow installation of the new pipework and the team on site are working towards this. There are difficulties with some of the existing pipes which the new pipes need to be connected to, as they are encased in brick. This may mean that the team have to dig further to achieve the connections or do something a little differently. The excavations are a bit larger than initially hoped for but unfortunately this is unavoidable. Please see attached a copy of the original plans for this scheme which should demonstrate what the team set out to achieve.

Looking at the original plans it is clear that this a particularly difficult site with many utility services, this makes progress slow and the design has to be adapted to suit what is unearthed. The team had previously investigated as thoroughly as possible having camera surveyed the drain runs and used ground probing radar to identify services and hence a probable route for the new pipes, however it is only when the ground is actually excavated that the realities of the situation are revealed.

The equipment being used, the width of the road and the size of excavation required mean that a road closure is necessary. Another reason, that may not be immediately obvious, is that live traffic cannot run too close to the hole due to the pressure that is transmitted to the sides of the excavation by vehicles. We really don’t want to close roads unless we have to and do not make the decision lightly. There are many variables we have to consider including the site operations, the size of the road and the safety of both the travelling public and our work force. For Lower Street this criteria meant a closure.

Please see attached site diaries from the 7 and 8 August which detail work progress with photographic evidence of work taking place. Please be advised these site diaries belong to one individual on site and their start time does not necessarily reflect the time that everyone was on site.

The lead engineer on this project is satisfied with the progress on site. Considering the difficulties the team have faced, they are working extremely hard and going the extra mile where necessary to support the residents living in the works area, whilst carrying out their work to a good standard. I hope this help to reassure you and your residents that work is taking place and progress being made.

In view of the above, I will be updating our road works map pop-out with a PDF document that explains the work and has pictures of our progress so far. I hope that this will highlight to the public the challenges the team have faced on this scheme and the extent of works being carried out. I’m hoping that explaining what we are trying to achieve will justify the length of time we need for this work and why it is essential that the road is closed whilst we carry out the work.

I would be very grateful if you could direct your residents to the information on roadworks.org and if there are further queries please could they be sent to us in the Works Communications Team.

Kind regards

Works Communication Officer

Works Communication Team

Surrey Highways

Tel: 01483 404618

Emergency Utility Works; Church Lane, Haslemere (Thames Water)

Sent: 15 August 2019 08:18:38
To: Nikki Barton <Nikki.Barton@surreycc.gov.uk>

Subject: Emergency Utility Works; Church Lane, Haslemere (Thames Water)

Dear Councillor,

For your information can I advise you of emergency works being carried out on Church Lane, Haslemere (outside Haslemere Health Centre).

Thames Water need to repair a water leak in the carriageway. The traffic management that is placed is a Road Closure and the estimated end date is the 20/08/2019.

I hope you find this information useful.

Kind Regards,

Network Coordinator – Waverley

Network Coordination Team

Network and Asset Management Group

Surrey Highways