Latest council news: Brookwood Cemetery purchased, Christmas recycling, Muslim Burial Ground works continue, French market returns, Arctic veterans honoured, a jungle grows in Woking Park

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Woking Borough Council secures ownership of Brookwood Cemetery
Woking Borough Council has secured the ownership of Brookwood Cemetery by purchasing the shares in the companies which owned the cemetery – Brookwood Park Limited and Brookwood Cemetery Limited.
The Council agreed at a Special Council Meeting that it should secure the cemetery by establishing Woking Necropolis and Mausoleum Limited, as a subsidiary within its Thameswey Group of companies. The commercial terms of this purchase remain confidential.
Leader of the Council, Cllr John Kingsbury, said: “The Council considers Brookwood Cemetery to be a vitally important part of Woking’s heritage and its future. Since the end of the First World War, Brookwood Cemetery has declined in quality due to lack of investment. As the Council, we faced a major challenge: to stand by and see it decline further, despite the best efforts of the current operators; or, to intervene as we have previously done, with great success, in Woking Town Centre. We decided we owed it to future generations to intervene now, despite the challenges ahead.
Brookwood Cemetery is one of the most significant heritage assets in the Borough and it is considered by English Heritage as a site of national significance. The cemetery was founded in 1852 by the London Necropolis and National Mausoleum Company to house London’s dead. In the 1920s, part of the site was sold to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to accommodate the graves of the Commonwealth victims of the First World War, as well as a separate area allocated to the American Battle Monuments Commission for American victims. These war grave areas remain independently managed by the respective Commissions and are not included in the area now owned by the Council.
By buying the shares in the cemetery companies from Diane Holliday, the owner operator of the cemetery, and retaining her and her deputy, Kevin Holliday, to continue to manage the cemetery, the Council has retained the operational expertise that will ensure ‘business as usual.’
Residents and undertakers should continue to contact Brookwood Cemetery direct on all matters relating to the cemetery and not the Council. Please call 01483 472222 or email info@brookwoodcemetery.com
12 December 2014

Everyday waste and recycling tips for a super Christmas!
Father Christmas and his little helper, Lois, have joined forces with Woking’s Everyday Heroes to remind residents to make the most of their recycling services and to also take note of the changes to waste collection days during the festive season.
With so much wrapping paper, food and packaging discarded, Christmas is not just the time for giving, but also for recycling! Over the festive season Woking residents will create a third more waste than usual and almost all of it recyclable.
Last December was the most wasteful time of the year with the lowest recorded proportion of waste recycled, resulting in the majority of valuable recyclable resources sent to landfill, which is more expensive for residents and bad for the environment.
Don’t worry if your recycling bin is full, just put your extra recycling in securely tied carrier bags and place them alongside your blue-lidded recycling bin on your collection day.
Residents are also being reminded that over Christmas your collection arrangements will change to the following:

    Week commencing Monday 22 December 2014 (recycling collections)
    Normal collection day (recycling) – Revised collection day (recycling)
    Monday 22 December – Monday 22 December (no change)
    Tuesday 23 December – Tuesday 23 December (no change)
    Wednesday 24 December – Wednesday 24 December (no change)
    Thursday 25 December (Christmas Day) – Saturday 27 December
    Friday 26 December – Monday 29 December
    Week commencing Monday 29 December 2014 (general waste collections)
    Normal collection day (black bin) – Revised collection day (black bin)
    Monday 29 December – Tuesday 30 December
    Tuesday 30 December – Wednesday 31 January
    Wednesday 31 January – Friday 2 January
    Thursday 1 January(New Years Day) – Saturday 3 January
    Friday 2 January – Monday 5 January
    Week commencing Monday 5 January 2015 (recycling collections)
    Normal collection day (recycling bin) – Revised collection day (recycling bin)
    Monday 5 January – Tuesday 6 January
    Tuesday 6 January – Wednesday 7 January
    Wednesday 7 January – Thursday 8 January
    Thursday 8 January – Friday 9 January
    Friday 9 January – Saturday 10 January

Please place your waste and recycling containers at the boundary of your property by 6.30am on the revised collection day.
For further information about how the Christmas period will affect local waste collections, please refer to the `Waste and recycling collection calendar 2015′ which was sent to all households at the end of November. Alternatively, please visit www.woking.gov.uk/christmascollections
12 December 2014

Prayers marked next phase of Muslim Burial Ground works
To mark the commencement of works to create a Peace Garden within the recently restored Muslim Burial Ground in Horsell, dignitaries gathered at the site to take part in a prayer ceremony, led by Imam Dr Syed Naqvi, representing Woking’s Muslim community, and Rev Keith Barry, Assistant Chaplin at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.
The ceremony marked the beginning of works to create a Peace Garden within the Burial Ground, and allowed attendees to take a tour of the site, which was first established in 1917, before visiting the Shah Jahan Mosque in Maybury and Brookwood Military Cemetery, where the 27 soldiers originally buried at the Muslim Burial Ground were interned.
Present included The Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Dame Sarah Goad; Mayor of Woking, Cllr Tony Branagan; Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Stephen Williams MP; Jonathan Lord MP; Shah Jahan Mosque’s Imam Hashmi; Commandant of Sandhurst, Major General Stuart Skeates CBE; Chairman of Surrey County Council, Mr David Munro CC; Chair of the Armed Forces Muslim Association, Mohsin Mughal; Chair of Horsell Common Preservation Society, David Robins, and Chief Executive of Woking Borough Council, Ray Morgan.
The Islamic-style Peace Garden will feature 27 birch trees representing each serviceman originally buried at the site, a water feature incorporating a memorial stone bearing the names of those once buried there, bold strips of pink and white heather orientated towards Mecca, two stone ceremonial prayer mats and benches for quiet contemplation. For more information visit www.woking.gov.uk/muslimburialground orwww.horsellcommon.org.uk
12 December 2014

French Market to bring a taste of continental Christmas cheer to Woking
French market traders will be wishing shoppers a ‘Joyeux Noël’ from Friday 19 December until Tuesday 23 December when the popular French Market returns to Woking Town Centre.
Adding to Woking’s festive Christmas shopping offer, food lovers can tuck into a wide variety of tasty treats, including breads, cheeses, cakes, chocolate, mustards and olives. Hungry shoppers who have built up an appetite can enjoy a charcuterie selling French meats and Corsican sausages, whilst those with a sweet tooth can treat themselves to a delicatessen stocked with fresh produce or a freshly-cooked crepe.
The popular market will be located in the heart of the town along Mercia Walk and Commercial Way and will open from 9am until 5pm, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, and from 11am until 5pm on Sunday.
For more information, please contact Ian Young, Market Coordinator at Woking Borough Council on 01483 743208or email ian.young@woking.gov.uk
08 December 2014

WW2 Arctic Convoy veterans honoured by Russian Government
Local veterans of World War Two’s Arctic Convoy have honoured at a special ceremony held in the Council Chamber this month.
Woking Borough Council members joined senior representatives from the Russian Embassy and Royal Navy in recognising Arctic Convoy veterans Douglas Potts, Edward Tann and Reginald Guy with the Ushakov medal almost 70 years after they showed remarkable bravery during the Second World War, when they risked their lives delivering food and supplies to the Soviet Union between 1941 and 1945.
Receiving his medal, Mr Potts said: “I was only 17 and a half years old when I was a Midshipman on board HMS Duke of York, the Flag Ship of the Home Fleet, when we supported a Russian convoy which, on 26 December 1943, was attacked by the German Pocket Battleship, Scharnhorst, and was eventually sunk by the British Fleet. The award of the Arctic Medal will bring back memories of that experience.”
Mr Guy added: “I am honoured to receive the Ushakov medal this evening. I was involved in two convoys, one there and one back. It means an awful lot to be recognised after all this time, but we must also remember those that sadly did not return.”
The Arctic Convoys sailed from the United Kingdom to the northern ports of Arkhangelsk and Murmansk in the Soviet Union during the Second World War.
They delivered essential supplies to the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease programme. The convoys demonstrated the Allies’ commitment to helping the Soviet Union remain in the war following the opening of the second front, and tied up a substantial part of Germany’s navy and air force.
Cargo delivered included tanks, fighter plans, fuel, ammunition, materials and food, and helped relieve food shortages during the siege of Leningrad.
The route of the convoys was considered extremely dangerous due to the proximity of German air and submarine forces, because of the severe weather, and the difficulties of navigating and maintaining the convoys in constant darkness and avoiding drift ice while being attacked. It was described by Winston Churchill as “the worst journey in the world”.
05 December 2014

Explore the jungle-themed play area in Woking Park
Young explorers seeking adventure need look no further than Woking Park, where an exciting new jungle-themed play area has opened.
The fully refurbished and extended play facilities feature jungle-inspired play equipment including multi-play towers incorporating bridges, tunnel, climbing nets, zip-wire and monkey bars; Amazonian steamer play boat; swings; roundabout; see-saw; springers; play house; jungle animal sculptures; balance equipment; water play; sand play and two parallel embankment slides!
Exotic plants and shrubs feature to enhance the jungle experience. And if that’s not enough, there’s even a `spot the jungle animal’ game for younger explorers.
The works also include the creation of an additional fenced `dog free’ picnic area adjacent to the play area.
For more information about the Borough’s 38 play areas, visit www.woking.gov.uk/community/children/child/playareas
02 December 2014

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