Latest council news: litterbugs, young people’s awards, community levy, Operation Winter, apprenticeships

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Squash those litterbugs

The second phase of an initiative to reduce the amount of litter dropped on our streets and catch litterbugs has begun. Throughout November, Woking Borough Council is working in partnership with private company, Kingdom, to target litterbugs by increasing visible patrols within Woking Town Centre and surrounding areas.
Anyone spotted dropping litter will receive an on-the-stop Fixing Penalty Notice and fined £75 or face prosecution, which carries a maximum fine of £2,500 if convicted in a Magistrates” Court. The fine must be paid within 14 days, reduced to £50 if paid within 10 days.
Although the campaign focuses on items of smoking related litter, such as cigarette packets and butts, matches and silver foils, Kingdom will also have powers to serve Fixed Penalty Notices for other environmental offences, such as dropping any type of litter, smoke free offences and dog fouling. Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environmental Control, said: “Sadly, far too many people think it’s alright to dispose of their litter on the ground, despite the fact there are plenty of bins provided. Litter is a serious problem which costs councils thousands of pounds to clear up each year. To help deter people from littering, we are working in partnership with Kingdom, to tackle the problem head-on.
“The message to visitors to the Town Centre is clear – Woking doesn’t tolerate litter and if you’re caught dropping it, then expect to be fined.”

Know a young person with the ‘eXceptional’ factor?
Nominations are welcomed for the 2015 Young People’s Civic Awards Scheme, which aims to promote and reward community spirit in young people aged up to 18 years of age.
The scheme, run by Woking Borough Council, recognises children and young people who have achieved exceptional success, in areas that are not normally recognised by formal accreditation.
Nominees are being sought in the following three categories:

      • Outstanding Contribution to the Community – this includes work in areas such as helping older or disabled people, working with children, fundraising for good causes and getting involved with voluntary organisations.

 

      • Triumph Over Adversity – this includes endurance and bravery, such as overcoming disability or helping a parent or family member with a disability.

 

    • Outstanding Achievement – this covers excellence in many fields – sport, music, drama, and visual arts – particularly in less academic subjects that are not normally recognised or rewarded in other ways.

Speaking about the initiative, the Mayor of Woking, Cllr Tony Branagan, said: “There are many young people in our community that show commitment and dedication to go ‘above and beyond’ to help others that are less fortunate people to be honoured for their. The Young People’s Civic Award Scheme allows us to celebrate and thank them.”
The scheme is open to all children and young people, up to the age of 18, who live or attend school or college in the Borough. All nominations are judged by a panel, which typically includes representatives from the Local Education Authority, the Police, the voluntary sector, Sport Woking, Woking Borough Council and Woking Youth Council.
All young people nominated for an award will receive a certificate acknowledging their achievements. The winners will be invited to attend the Mayor’s Civic Reception to be held on Friday 24 April 2015.
The deadline for nominations is Friday 23 January 2015. Application forms are available from Julie Northcote, Democratic Services Officer on 01483 743053, or by emailing julie.northcote@woking.gov.uk

Levy to aid local community needs
Woking Borough Council has adopted a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) that will secure contributions from developers towards infrastructure provision. New developments will be charged a levy, with funds raised used to support the development the local community needs, such as children’s play provision and transport improvements.
Councillor Graham Cundy, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning Policy, said: “The adoption of the Community Infrastructure Levy will mean that new developments will be charged a standardised non-negotiable levy, rather than being negotiated on a case-by-case basis, as per the Section 106 legal agreement system, which is currently operated.”
The Council consulted with local residents and businesses on the draft Community Infrastructure Levy between Monday 11 July and Friday 30 August 2013. The comments received were taken into account before the document was finalised and sent to the Secretary of State for Examination.
To allow developers time to take account of the new levy in their development proposals, the levy will be introduced from 1 April 2015.
For further information about the Community Infrastructure Levy, please visitwww.woking2027.info/infrastructure or by contacting Woking Borough Council’s Planning Policy Team on01483 743871 or email planning.policy@woking.gov.uk

Operation Winter swings into action
Surrey County Council’s fleet of gritting lorries were in action last month after road surface temperatures plunged.
Ahead of winter, Surrey stockpiled 16,000 tonnes of salt, prepared 39 hi-tech gritters and signed up an army of farmers equipped with spreaders and ploughs. In addition nearly 1,800 roadside grit bins were filled. New hi-tech weather forecasts will give Surrey drivers even better protection from ice and snow this winter with the
introduction of route-specific forecasts that focus on which roads will be coldest and need advance salting rather than whole areas.
The innovations are part of Surrey’s winter preparations, which have seen the county council
• Stockpile 16,000 tonnes of salt to treat roads across the county.
• Do practice runs with the council’s 39-strong gritter fleet.
The gritters are supported by two mini spreaders to get to difficult-to-reach areas, as well as an army of 51 volunteer farmers equipped with spreaders and ploughs and local charity Surrey 4×4 Response to help out if the snow is particularly heavy.
Residents can find out more on the county council’s website
John Furey, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “We’re ready to keep Surrey moving when winter hits, and this year we’re even better prepared thanks to our new route-specific forecasts and even more accurate salt spreaders.
The SurreyTravel twitter feed will provide updates on gritting activity, roadworks, road closures and traffic information.

More than 100 new apprenticeships created
A Surrey County Council drive to create apprenticeships has raced past the 100 mark. Almost 90 firms have now committed to fill 115 apprentice roles as a condition of securing their contracts. Places have been created across an array of sectors, including hospitality, social care and vehicle maintenance.
The news comes less than six months after the procurement team set a target of filling 170 apprenticeships to support the council’s efforts to promote economic growth.
The council revealed that it also had helped 600 teenagers into apprenticeships since the previous year’s Career Fair through a cash incentive scheme. Surrey County Council’s deputy leader Peter Martin said: “It’s great news that our purchasing power is helping young people get on in their chosen career.
“I have no doubt that many more businesses will work with us to provide apprenticeships that put young people on the path to a successful career and create the skilled workforce they need to thrive.”

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