Tag Archives: Surrey County Council

Surrey Council Core Brief

Core Brief 05/01/21


The R rate for South East is 1.2-1.4 as of the latest update from gov.uk (23rd December). It’s normally updated every Friday but they seemed to have paused over the Christmas break.

Overall, the 7-day rate in Surrey has gone up 23% from 18-24 December (545.1) to 25-31 December (670.8). This will still be affected by holiday reporting, so is likely to go further in the coming 7 days.

Please note the different time period for the positivity data.

*Positivity – weekly percentage of individuals that test positive.

  7-Day Rate
27 Dec – 02 Jan
7-Day Cases
27 Dec – 02 Jan 
7-Day Positivity*
24 Dec – 30 Dec
England 550.0 309,591  
South East 632.7 58,080 18.9 
Surrey 673.7 8,059 19.3 
Spelthorne 854.3 853 23.8
Surrey Heath 751.4 671 20.7
Epsom and Ewell 740.4 597 20.2
Reigate and Banstead 730.8 1,087 17.9
Elmbridge 715.7 979 19.1
Woking 712.4 718 21.3
Tandridge 709.2 625 19.3
Waverley 623.0 787 17.5
Runnymede 607.2 543 18.6
Guildford 522.2 778 18.7
Mole Valley 482.5 421 15.6


Date National Covid-19 hospital admissions
1st September 2020 496
1st November 2020 9,623
Christmas day 2020 17,701
4th January 2021 26,626

Key messages:

  • The Government has taken the decision to legislate new national lockdown restrictions because of a number of indicators, including the infection rate in the over 60s, the rate at which positive cases are rising and pressures on the NHS.
  • There has been a stark rise in national Covid hospital admissions (see above) and now is the time to take action to prevent our crucial frontline services being stretched even further.
  • Rates are now very high across the board in Surrey. There has been an alarming increase in rates across all age groups, this is particularly serious for the over 60s who are known to be more vulnerable to the virus.
  • We are also able to share for the first time the positivity rates, which is the percentage of tests that are positive in each district and borough. This has increased rapidly in Surrey in recent days. Spelthorne currently has the highest positivity in Surrey – almost one in four tests carried out there are positive. Other districts and boroughs are not far behind. This is a strong indicator that there is real cause for concern.
  • While this lockdown is not entirely unexpected news, it has a huge impact on all our lives and it is not the start to 2021 that we had hoped for. However, it is clear from public health data and the pressure across our National Health Service that these measures are absolutely necessary in order to save lives.
  • I want to reassure everybody in Surrey that the County Council will continue to do everything we possibly can to guide our residents and businesses through this latest stage in our response to COVID-19.
  • Together with our partners of the Local Resilience Forum, we have worked tirelessly to protect residents and equip our frontline services.
  • We will step up support to the most vulnerable, frontline services, and work with our education providers over the coming days, and continue to communicate openly with residents.
  • If people don’t follow the rules now, we are going to see rates rising even higher and the dangerous knock-on effect of that in our hospitals, stretching the NHS and frontline services even further and ultimately more deaths.
  • Despite Tier 4 restrictions in place over Christmas our rates were still going up. The majority of people are doing the right thing and following the rules, but we have to think about the places where people are still mixing with others and make sure we are being extra vigilant.
  • Make sure you are following the correct guidelines on support bubbles (you can only form one support bubble, with one other household – further guidance below). If you are mixing with others outdoors, only meet with one other person, by yourself, if they are not in your support bubble or don’t live in your house. Remember hands, face, space and continue to socially distance in shops and supermarkets. Even if you are wearing face coverings it is important to keep your distance from people not in your household or support bubble.
  • There is hope for the future – the vaccine gives us that clear hope that there is a way out – but the vaccination programme will take time, so we have some exceptionally tough months to get through first.
  • I want to reassure everybody in Surrey that the County Council will continue to do everything we possibly can to guide our residents and businesses through this latest stage in our response to COVID-19.
  • We have been at the forefront of the response here since the first UK transmitted case was reported in Surrey in February last year.

What about the effect on Businesses?

  • This has been an incredibly difficult time for all businesses that will now have to close again. It is hugely frustrating after all the work that has gone into adapting to COVID guidance during the previous months.
  • I am pleased that support is available again from government but there is no getting away from the fact that this will be very tough for businesses. Unfortunately there is a clear public health need and we simply must take measures to stop the spread.


[Refer detailed questions to guidance on the .gov.uk Covid web pages]


You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • attend education or childcare – for those eligible

Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Early Years settings remain open.

Higher Education provision will remain online until mid-February for all except future critical worker courses.

If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work.


  • You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one).
  • You may exercise on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.
  • You should not meet other people you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, unless for a permitted reason.

Stay 2 m apart from anyone not in your household.


When and where is the Oxford vaccine roll-out starting locally?

As part of the national roll-out, we will start to receive small quantities of supplies of the Oxford vaccine later this week; supplies will ramp up over the coming weeks and we will gradually roll it out across our sites. 

Supplies will be small to start with and we will gradually roll it out across our sites over the coming weeks – the whole vaccination programme is dependent on the supplies of the vaccine. 

The new vaccine will be easier to store and transport and will enable us to ramp up roving services to care homes, the housebound and so on

If asked we could add:

  • We expect Epsom Racecourse to go live as larger vaccination centre from next week
  • Additional local GP-led vaccination services are going live across the county over next couple of weeks

How is the rollout going?

Across Surrey Heartlands we have been working hard over just three short weeks to deliver the Pfizer vaccine, through our first hospital hub at Royal Surrey, in GP-led community vaccination sites and we’ve just started a roving model to start vaccinating in care homes

NHS staff are doing an incredible job to deliver what it is the largest vaccination programme in our history, at the same time as continuing to be there for everyone who needs care.

This whole programme has been set up really quickly, starting with the over 80s and care home residents & staff as priorities; I would like to reassure any of your listeners that if you are within these groups and haven’t heard directly from us yet, we will get to you soon.  Please help us by not contacting us directly, we will contact you as soon as we can.

The collaboration with local partners has also been incredible and has allowed us to roll this out at pace.

Important to include if you can:

The large increase in cases hospitals are seeing and the emergence of a new variant of the virus also shows that we cannot let our guard down now and even those who have received a vaccine still need to follow social distancing guidance. 

The public have an important part to play to help us do this:

  • please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you;
  • when we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments;
  • and really importantly, please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives.

 This is the biggest vaccination programme the NHS has ever undertaken. It is a huge challenge, and not everything will always go perfectly.

The NHS is well-used to delivering millions of vaccines a year and is moving quickly to roll out this vaccine to those who need it, but it’s important that we remember this will be a marathon, not a sprint.

On pressure on the NHS, and potential of new lockdown measure:

As long as cases continue to rise there will be pressure on the NHS.

Locally whilst our health system, including our hospitals, is under considerable pressure we are holding our own – however the next few weeks are expected to be particularly difficult as we await any direct impact from the Christmas and New Year period on hospital admissions.

I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to follow the guidance and stay at home wherever possible.


Due to the impact of Covid-19 on local NHS services, we are doing all we can as system, to increase capacity. This includes opening more beds and redeploying staff to support our Covid-19 response. As cases of Covid-19 continue to rise we have been working collaboratively as a system to put measures in place that will enable us to prioritise how we provide care to those who are most critically ill.

This is not a decision we have taken lightly but we must focus our efforts on those who need the most urgent and life-saving care. This means we have now postponed many routine and non-urgent elective procedures and operations across our system so we can focus on urgent and cancer care, including caring for those with Covid-19.

These new measures include:

·  Opening up additional beds within our acute and community hospitals to help create additional capacity for people who need to be admitted. This includes plans to open additional beds at the NHS Seacole Centre.

·  Prioritising urgent and cancer care over non-urgent care. This has meant postponing some routine planned elective procedures and non-urgent operations to help create additional bed capacity and free up staff who can then be deployed to support our Covid-19 response.

·  Moving to virtual (telephone and online) appointments for many outpatient services to reduce the number of people travelling to hospitals and other sites to reduce transmission of the virus.

·  Working together as a system, across health and social care, to discharge people from hospitals as soon as they are well enough to leave, with the right support and the right package of care.

·  Working with our independent sector partners (such as private hospitals) to identify any additional bed capacity and any clinical staff that could be deployed to other sites if needed.

·  Temporarily suspending home birth services due to ongoing pressures on the ambulance service which means SECAMB are unable to guarantee a timely ambulance response to those women choosing to plan their birth at home or in a stand-alone midwifery unit should they experience an emergency.

Importantly, patients who have appointments should still attend; if we need to reschedule an appointment patients will be contacted directly. Importantly, primary care services remain open.

For those who need urgent care which can’t be managed via a GP appointment, we would urge people to contact NHS 111 first, either online via www.nhs.uk or by calling 111; please keep A&E for emergencies only.

The measures we have put in place will allow us to care for those who need the most urgent help over the next few weeks; we will of course keep the situation under constant review so we can restore these non-urgent services as soon as possible. In the meantime, NHS services are available for those who really need help; spotting problems early is vital, especially cancers, and GPs continue to refer patients who need urgent treatment to hospitals as normal.

Further guidance

SUPPORT BUBBLE RULES – people must follow exact rules:

It is important that people understand the rules for support bubbles.

Not everybody can form a support bubble. You can form a support bubble with another household of any size if:

  • you live by yourself – even if carers visit you to provide support
  • you are the only adult in your household who does not need continuous care as a result of a disability
  • your household includes a child who is under the age of one or was under that age on 2 December 2020
  • your household includes a child with a disability who requires continuous care and is under the age of 5, or was under that age on 2 December 2020
  • you are aged 16 or 17 living with others of the same age and without any adults
  • you are a single adult living with one or more children who are under the age of 18 or were under that age on 12 June 2020

You should not form a support bubble with a household that is part of another support bubble.

If you share custody of a child with someone you do not live with, the child can move freely between both parents’ households. You do not need to form a support bubble to do this.

You can form a support bubble if you are eligible.


Colleges, primary (reception onwards) and secondary schools will remain open for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term.

In the circumstances, the Government does not think it is possible for all exams in the summer to go ahead as planned. DfE will accordingly be working with Ofqual to consult rapidly to put in place alternative arrangements that will allow students to progress fairly.

  • Mass secondary school testing will still go ahead for staff and those pupils (critical worker parents or vulnerable) in school
  • If one parent is a critical worker children will be eligible to attend school
  • Head teachers will have the flexibility to allow children who struggle to access learning remotely to attend school

Road closure on Bunch Lane, Haslemere – Urgent tree works

Please find here the leaflet for the urgent tree works on Bunch Lane, Haslemere. The leaflets will be delivered to local residents and businesses over the next few working days.

Bunch Lane, Haslemere

Road closed

11 January

For 2 days

9:30am – 4pm

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

Roadworks during the coronavirus restrictions

The government and Department for Transport have asked the Highway Sector Council to make every effort to deliver essential highways projects on all local authority highway networks, whilst abiding by the COVID-19 safe working practices. We are therefore carrying out these works in line with central government and COVID-19 safe working practises and in accordance with the CLC Site Operating Procedures, endorsed by Public Health England.

Our sub-contractor will have appropriate procedures in place to ensure their staff can comply with government advice. We would ask that you please respect these workers as they deliver these highways services.

We will continue to keep Surrey moving and all key routes will remain open and safe for key workers.

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 and receive updates of the works on https://one.network/

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,

Drew Buerger

Works Communication Officer

Works Communication Team

Surrey Highways

Reminder: Surrey ‘Be a Councillor’ event for Independents Saturday 16th January from 10am to 12pm

An event for anyone who is considering standing as an independent candidate in the local elections in May 2021, election agents or anyone who has expressed an interest in being a councillor.

This virtual event will provide current and prospective independent Surrey County Council (SCC), Surrey Borough and District candidates and election agents with:

  • Insights to develop your election plan
  • Information to develop themes and key messages for your manifesto
  • Guidance on how to use social media to engage the electorate
  • Provide insight and tips on running your campaign

Due to the sensitivity of the event, individuals will need to sign up and they can do so via the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/133243166899 The virtual conference details will be sent to signed up attendees closer to the date of the event.

We have an excellent group of speakers including:

  • SCC Independent Cllrs Nick Darby, Eber Kington, Nikki Barton and John Beckett
  • Cllr Julia German, Leader Cornwall County Council and Vice Chair of the LGAs Culture, Tourism & Sport Board
  • Cllr Neil Prior, Cabinet Member for Transformation at Pembrokeshire County Council and Deputy Chair on the LGA Improvement & Innovation Board 
  • Cllr Paul Woodhead, Cannock Chase District Council and Leader of Chase Community Independents Group
  • Cllr Jason Zadronzy, Leader of Ashfield District Council and Independent representative on the District Council Network (DCN)

Haslemere partnership wins national award for station redevelopment scheme

Press release

From the Community Rail Network | news@communityrail.co.uk

Haslemere partnership wins national award for station redevelopment scheme

A group of Haslemere community organisations and local authorities have won a coveted national ‘community rail’ award for their work transforming the town’s popular railway station and information hub.   

The Arts Society, Haslemere, Haslemere Museum, and Haslemere Town Council, supported by Surrey County Council, South Western Railway, and other regional partners, fought off strong competition to take home the Most Enhanced Station award, sponsored by Greater Anglia, at the 16th national Community Rail Awards, on 9 December.

They were recognised for the Haslemere Community Station project, which saw partners come together to develop the station as a gateway to the town and its surroundings, promote rail as sustainable and healthy travel, and boost the area’s social and economic vitality.

The scheme centred around a major revamp of the Haslemere Information Hub, which was transformed from a modest facility only open in the summer to a bigger community space, run by a team of 35 volunteers, now open year-round to make the station a focal point for visitors and the community.  

Project chair Nikki Barton thanked the “wonderful” team of volunteers and station staff at Haslemere for the “huge added value” they had brought to the project.

She said: “We are all totally delighted, it is an exceptional partnership that has come together here. The project started from a very small germ of an idea, but community rail has so much potential to deliver good and positive work, and recognition of that has drawn in partners who had never worked together before.

“For the first time, we got the Surrey Hills AONB, South Downs National Park, and the National Trust all sitting around the table with local community groups to look at how we could use sustainable rail travel to promote Haslemere as a gateway to this beautiful surrounding countryside. Also, the new Surrey Hills to South Downs Community Rail Partnership evolved from this project, which is really exciting.”

The Community Rail Awards, organised by Community Rail Network, recognise the important, often unsung, work by community rail partnerships, station friends, and other community rail groups across Britain. They shine a light on vital projects across this growing grassroots movement, highlighting community rail’s contribution to sustainable mobility, social inclusion, community development, and wellbeing.

The awards were delivered as an online gala evening for the first time with 550 guests, including community rail volunteers, officers, rail industry leaders and government representatives.

Jools Townsend, chief executive of Community Rail Network, said: “Our congratulations go to all involved in the Haslemere Community Station project, which has cemented the station’s place at the heart of the community, and made a major contribution to local sustainable development.  

“The Community Rail Awards recognise the achievements and passion of community rail volunteers, groups and partnerships across Britain. Their tireless efforts connect local people with their railways and stations, bring communities together, and enable more people to access sustainable travel. This contributes to greener, healthier, happier communities, and promotes wider access to opportunity. This couldn’t be more important right now.

“We will be holding up this brilliant example from Haslemere nationally, to inspire more communities to engage positively and draw on their railways and stations.”

Details of all 2020 award winners are on the Community Rail Network website here.

For information on the Haslemere Information Hub, go to www.haslemereinfohub.co.uk.


Notes for editors

For more information, pictures, or further interview opportunities, please contact Nikki Barton at nikki.barton@surreycc.gov.uk.

Community Rail Network – Community rail is a unique and growing national movement comprising more than 70 community rail partnerships and 1,000 volunteer groups across Britain that help communities get the most from their railways. Community rail is about engaging local people at grassroots level to promote social inclusion, sustainable and healthy travel, wellbeing, economic development, and tourism. It involves working with train operators, local authorities, and other partners to bring improvements and help our railways and stations to serve local needs.

Established in 2000, Community Rail Network provides support and advice to the community rail movement. We share best practice and connect community rail partnerships and groups together, while working with government at different levels, the transport industry, and the voluntary sector to champion community rail and share its insights on sustainable transport development.

Community rail is evidenced to contribute high levels of social, environmental, and economic value to local areas. A 2019 study estimated volunteer activity alone was worth £33.2m every year.

See communityrail.org.uk, follow and tweet us at twitter.com/CommunityRail, find us on Facebook at facebook.com/CommunityRail/, or sign up to Community Rail News at www.communityrail.org.uk/news/community-rail-news-sign-up/.

Support available for Surrey families struggling this winter

Surrey County Council will ensure help is available for families struggling this winter, through the Government’s £170m COVID Winter Support Grant.

Surrey is set to receive just over £2m funding as part of the grant announced earlier in November.

It is designed to directly help families and individuals who have been hardest-hit by the pandemic, with the majority set aside to ensure children do not go hungry during the winter months.

The council will receive the first £1m of the funding in early December, with further allocations next year.

Surrey County Council will administer the funds, which must be spent by March 31 2021.

The council, through schools, will ensure support to all 17,000 children in the county eligible for Free School Meals. This will be done through food vouchers sent to the children’s families throughout the Christmas holidays.

There will also be a winter grant to care leavers, and direct support to families of younger children eligible for the pupil premium.

The remainder of the funding – around £200,000 from the first tranche of money – will be given to the Surrey Crisis Fund and made available to residents who are struggling through the winter.

This money will provide support towards food costs and utility bills, but also emergencies such as replacing broken white goods, to guide people away from long lasting debt.

Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council, said: “Throughout these difficult and uncertain times it has been our absolute priority to protect our most vulnerable residents.

“I’m delighted that funding from the Winter Support Grant will help us to continue to do that. It is vital that support and supplies are always available to those who need them most.

“The coming winter months will prove challenging for us all, but our message to those who are struggling is clear – we are here to help.”

The funding from the Winter Support Grant is only available for a limited time. More information can be accessed on the government website: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-winter-package-to-provide-further-support-for-children-and-families

For further information on the Surrey Crisis Fund, please visit: https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/people-and-community/surrey-crisis-fund

Longdene Road, Haslemere – Surface Dressing pre-patching (Road Closed)

Dear Cllr Barton

Please find attached the letter for the pre-patching work on Longdene Road, Haslemere. Letters have been delivered today.

Roadworks during the coronavirus restrictions

The government and Department for Transport have asked the Highway Sector Council to make every effort to deliver essential highways projects on all local authority highway networks, whilst abiding by the COVID-19 safe working practices. We are therefore carrying out these works in line with central government and COVID-19 safe working practises and in accordance with the CLC Site Operating Procedures, endorsed by Public Health England.

Our sub-contractor will have appropriate procedures in place to ensure their staff can comply with government advice. We would ask that you please respect these workers as they deliver these highways services.

We will continue to keep Surrey moving and all key routes will remain open and safe for key workers. For more information visit www.ourroads.today.

If anything changes with the details of these works, we will let you know. You 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 works.communication@surreycc.gov.uk.

Kind regards

Works Communication Officer

Works Communication Team

Surrey Highways

Surrey County Council Leader & CEO Virtual Resident Roadshows – 1st and 17th Dec

Dear All,

This has been an exceptional year, and in many ways we have been closer and more present in different ways with many of the residents we serve, despite the challenges of getting out and about in our communities. As the year draws to a close, the Chief Executive and I will be running two virtual ‘roadshow’ sessions, inviting residents to submit questions in advance and take part a Q&A. I am grateful that Rob Moran has agreed to chair the panel.

I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to engage with our communities in this way, in what I’m sure will be a lively discussion. If there are any residents that you are in contact, I would be most grateful if you could pass on this link to them, to give them the opportunity to contribute to the session. We will be running two sessions, one at 1900 on 1st December and one at 1800 on 17th December.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Kind regards, Tim Oliver
Leader of Surrey County Council

Locally Supported Contact Tracing Starts in Surrey

Press Release issued 26th November 2020

From today, Surrey County Council will be supporting the national Test and Trace programme by contacting people in the county who have tested positive for COVID-19, if the national programme has been unable to reach them.

Contact tracing is one of the most effective ways of slowing the spread of COVID-19. People who have tested positive are asked who they have been in close contact with while they’ve been infectious. Those close contacts are then alerted by the national Test and Trace programme and given the appropriate advice, so that they can self-isolate and avoid infecting those around them and in the wider community.

Surrey residents who test positive will be referred to the local contact tracing team if the national Test and Trace service is unable to contact them within 24 hours. Relevant data sharing agreements are in place between Public Health England and Surrey County Council to support the programme.  

The overall target set by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) is for 80% of positive cases to be reached by contact tracers. Surrey already has a strong contact tracing completion rate of around 80% through the national Test and Trace service. The local service will ensure that even more people who have tested positive for COVID-19 are successfully contacted.

The local contact tracing team are part of Surrey County Council’s customer services team, and the team have all completed the national Test and Trace training programme. The team will be calling from a local number 01483 404 939 and once they make contact, will complete a contact tracing questionnaire and offer any relevant welfare support or financial assistance advice for the resident’s period of self-isolation. 

For those who have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and living on a low income, help is available from the government via the self-isolation payment scheme. Residents may be entitled to a payment of £500. The payment will be made by their local authority under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme. More information on how to apply for the payment can be found on the Surrey County Council website.

Ruth Hutchinson, Surrey County Council’s Director of Public Health said,

“Contact tracing is a crucial part of our efforts to slow the spread of the virus. We’re fortunate that in Surrey the national Test and Trace service is already reaching around 80% of our residents who test positive. This is an opportunity for us to build on that national effort and use our local knowledge to reach even more people.”

“Our contact tracers have undergone the national Test and Trace training programme and are familiar with Surrey’s local areas and communities. Local contact tracing will ensure we reach as many residents as possible who have tested positive for COVID-19 – making sure they self-isolate and have the support, help and advice they need to keep themselves and everyone around them safe.”

Surrey County Council will be joining local authorities across the UK in local contact tracing, using knowledge of the county and localised data from Public Health Teams, and working in partnership with our district and borough councils to deliver the service.