Surrey council tax rise proposal
The Council’s Cabinet will meet to make a formal tax recommendation on Tuesday 3 February. A final decision will be taken at a meeting of Surrey’s Full Council on Tuesday 10 February.
Leader David Hodge said: “With unprecedented demand for services we are proposing a 1.99% increase, which is the bare minimum we need given that our government grant has gone down £24 million this year. Anything more would mean wasting as much as £2m on a referendum.
“It should be remembered that we’ve saved £260m in the last four years – equivalent to around a quarter of our budget – despite the huge increase in demand for school places and adult social care, with the latter set to soak up all those savings by next year.”
• Growing demand for social care support will cost £18m extra next year alone to meet the needs of around 700 more vulnerable adults
• New care responsibilities will cost up to £150m without increased funding
• Surrey needs 13,000 additional school places in the next five years
• The council has saved £260m in the last four years and plans to save around £330m more by 2019
• Government grant has gone down £24m this year.
Further information can be found in the council report.
January 28, 2015
World-wide audience for Woking ‘ideas worth spreading’ forum
TEDxWoking, a forum for Technology, Entertainment, Design ideas, was attended by 100 delegates and Over 300 viewers from all corners of the world, including Japan, USA, Australia, Iceland and St Vincent, watched the event live via the website in January held at the WWF-UK Living Planet Centre, Woking.
The successful, all day event commenced with a welcome address to delegates from David Nussbaum, Chief Executive of the Woking-based WWF-UK. Focusing on the award-winning building, his short speech outlined how through the smart use of design, materials and technology, it has been possible to create a state-of-the-art building which allows people to live in harmony with nature and still be one of the greenest buildings in the UK. He also described the natural fit between WWF-UK’s values and Woking as the place to relocate the global organisation’s UK headquarters.
The event was comprised of short, inspirational talks delivered by an array of experienced and expert speakers on a range of topics from: environmental sustainability; the relationship between bees, parasites and diseases; effective and innovative teaching methods; the evolution of arts, culture and theatre and its ability to improve people’s well-being; as well as the transformation across a range of topics including self improvement, communications, social media and digital money.
The TEDxWoking theme `transformation’ was inspired by the current verve of the Borough. With the Town Centre landscape evolving into a contemporary city-like street scene, the increase in new businesses choosing to start up and locate in Woking, reinforced with a stronger business development support service and network, Woking is fast becoming the place where ambitious and talented people choose to live, visit and do business.
Launched in 2009, TEDx is a programme of locally organised events that bring the community together to share a TED-like experience. The independently organised event, licensed by TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), featured local voices and TED Talks videos.
TEDxWoking was organised, managed and delivered by Woking Borough Council’s Economic Development Team and sponsored by local organisations and projects: Locally, DreamingFish, Woking Works and Celebrate Woking.
All the TEDxWoking talks will be published on the main TEDx YouTube channel and the official photographs will be available via the TEDx Flickr stream in the near future. Links to both will also be available on the TEDxWoking website at www.tedxwoking.com
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)
27 January 2015
New Year, new energy savings for one Woking resident
Graham Conde of Boltons Lane, Woking has been awarded over £3,700 towards making his home warmer and more energy efficient, through Action Surrey’s `Streets Ahead’ project. Funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and supported by Woking Borough Council, Streets Ahead provides grant funding for Surrey’s residents who live in properties which are not suitable for cavity wall insulation.
Following a Green Deal Assessment of the home, arranged by Action Surrey early last year, Mr Conde was provided with recommendations of how to improve his homes energy efficiency. He was delighted that he could save over £400 per year on their energy bills by installing solid wall insulation. Plus with the financial assistance from Streets Ahead he contributed less than half of the cost himself towards the installation.
With the support of Streets Ahead arranging his preferred installer to provide a suitable quote he is now looking forward to a happy New Year with the solid wall insulation reducing the level of heat being lost through his walls. He commented: “I’m very pleased with the work that has been completed. The workers are very good and very efficient – I have been very impressed by them. The Streets Ahead grant has also helped me out enormously and without it I wouldn’t have even considered getting the insulation done. Hopefully I’ll notice the difference once the work has been completed and will make substantial energy savings, particularly as I am also installing solar panels.”
There are still over 475 grants of £3,500 available, plus additional grants through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) for Surrey’s residents to assist them in the installation of solid wall insulation.”
Neither of these grants are means or age tested, and are purely based on the construction of your home and are on the basis that 50% of the walls which are suitable for solid wall insulation are insulated.
Find out more. Contact Streets Ahead today, call 0333 014 3620 or visit www.actionsurrey.org/streetsahead
26 January 2015
Moorcroft Centre for the Community awarded community star
Moorcroft Centre for the Community, the much-loved meeting place in Westfield, has been crowned winner of the Woking Advertiser’s Community Stars contest.
The scheme that recognises work undertaken to improve life and foster a sense of community spirit in Woking has awarded the top honours to Moorcroft Centre for the Community for its efforts to tackle loneliness.
Staff and volunteers at the centre were delighted to receive the award, presented by Guy Martin, Chief Reporter at the Woking Advertiser.
Run by Woking Borough Council, Moorcroft Centre for the Community welcomes dozens of members daily for lunches, treatments, therapies, exercise classes, social activities and events.
Moorcroft Centre for the Community was one of ten nominees that went forward to a public vote. Challengers for the accolade who received runner-up certificates included fundraiser Nicola Tait who raised £100,000 in five months following the death of her partner Kris Cook; Diane Fagence for her role in championing a number of sporting events in the Borough; and war veteran Bill Moore who continues to organise Remembrance events at the age of 90.
In addition the receiving the top award, Moorcroft Centre for the Community was presented with four tickets for a tour of the McLaren Technology Centre courtesy of the F1 giant who sponsored the contest alongside RaysIndian and the Ambassadors Theatre Group.
Four Centres for the Community in the Borough, open to residents of all ages are: St Marys Community Centre (Stream Close, Byfleet), The Vyne Community Centre (Broadway, Knaphill),Moorcroft Community Centre (Old School Place, Westfield) and Parkview Community Centre (Off Blackmore Crescent).
22 January 20
Sign up for the Surrey Half Marathon
The Surrey Half Marathon, the biggest closed-road half marathon in Surrey, is taking place on 8 March 2015 from it’s new permanent home, Woking Leisure Centre.
6,000 people of all running abilities will enjoy a 21km loop on closed scenic roads through the countryside around Woking. 12 bands and four water stations along with route will keep runners motivated and hydrated. Runner will also benefit from chip timing, a free mobile phone app, affiliated charities, post race nutrition and great community support along the route.
Kids can participate in a 2km closed-road run starting and finishing under the main race gantry. All finishers will receive a medal.
There are still places available for adult and child runners, so secure your position in the start grid today!
“There are now less than 50 days to go to the Surrey Half Marathon” announced Race Director Toby Jenkins. “Places at this great event are limited, so sign up and get training!”
If you have already registered to take part why not take a look at our Charity Partners: Woking Sam Beare, WWF, Harrison’s Fund and Shooting Star CHASE. All four charities offer runners great support during training and on race day.
Road closure details are available on the Surrey Half website, so if you live in the local area do take a look to see if the event might affect your travel on Sunday 8th March. http://surreyhalfmarathon.co.uk/road-closures/
To learn more about the event and to register, please visit www.surreyhalfmarathon.co.uk
20 January 2015
Boundary Review recommendations announced
The independent Local Government Boundary Commisssion for England has today (Tuesday 20 January) published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Woking Borough, subject to approval by Parliament. The Commission’s final recommendations propose that Woking be represented by 30 councillors, six fewer than the current arrangement. The recommendations also propose that those councillors represent ten three-member wards across the Borough.
Following considerable represenation from both the Borough Council and local residents, the Commission made changes to its original draft proposals. These included:
• renaming `Sheerwater’ to `Canalside’
• extending the `Canalside’ ward west to include properties around Morrisions Supermarket
• moving Old Avenue, Hollies Avenue and Woodlands Avenue to the Byfleet and West Byfleet ward
• extend the `Knaphill’ ward to include Carthouse Lane
• incorporate Mayhurst Avenue, Crescent and Close and East Hill in the `Pyrford’ ward.
Cllr John Kingsbury, Leader of Woking Borough Council, said: “”However, these recommendations will make voting fairer with each of the ten wards having three locally elected members that will mean everyone across the Borough has the chance to vote in local elections.
The proposed new arrangements will be laid before Parliament in the coming months and will come into force for the all out Borough elections in 2016. Once confirmed, the Borough Council will conduct a comprehensive review of polling places. Full details of the final recommendations are available to view on the Boundary Commission’s website.
20 January 2015
Fight the flab and cut tooth decay – it’s time for sugar swaps
Did you know that there are seven sugar cubes in a can of fizzy pop? From sugary cereals to after school snacks and puddings in the evening, it’s surprising just how much sugar there is in some of the food and drinks we give children every day.
This can damage their health because sugar means extra calories which cause fat to build up and this can lead to heart disease, some cancers and type 2 diabetes. Don’t forget that eating too much sugar can also cause tooth decay.
To help you and your kids cut back on sugar all you need to do is sign up to Change4Life Sugar Swaps to find out about healthy alternatives. There are loads of great ideas to help you throughout the day:
• Breakfast swap – some cereals are full of sugar so why don’t you try out some healthier alternatives such as porridge. You can add some chopped banana to make it the perfect start to the day for you and your children.
• Drinks swap – swap those cans of fizzy pop for sugar-free drinks, water or lower-fat milk.
• After school snack swap – replace chocolate, cake and crisps with carrot sticks or unsalted nuts to keep the kids going through until dinner time.
• Pudding swap – you can still enjoy a treat in the evening by making a healthy blackberry and apple crunch with some oats and low fat yoghurt. There are lots more tasty pudding recipes on the Change4Life website.
To find out about more ways to reduce your family’s sugary intake and receive your free pack full of tips and money off vouchers, visit the Healthy Surrey website.
07 January 2015