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					Bulletin no.93
Winter 2010
Letter from the Council Leader
Dear residents,

You don’t need me to tell you that next year’s funding for local services is
going to be unexpectedly severe. Prior to the government’s spending review it
had been estimated that we in local government would be facing a funding
gap of around £4.5bn next year. This we are now told will be upwards of
around £6.5bn.

The key element in coming up with a balanced budget is the government
grant to be given to us here in Spelthorne which we hope will be announced
in early December. We know it is going to be cut significantly but we do not
yet know by how much. In the meantime we have been beavering away
searching out even more efficiency savings; do we really need that, can we
do without this, can we join with other organisations to do that? As a result,
we are on track to achieve the £1m+ savings we think we will need to balance
the 2011-12 budget. It hasn’t been easy but is essential. And there’s more.
The Spelthorne element of the Council Tax will again be frozen along with
councillors’ allowances and staff salaries.

So what does this mean for you, our residents? Well, what I can tell you is
that the front line services, central to everyday life, will be maintained. These
are services such as waste collection, recycling, street maintenance, our
services for the elderly including Meals on Wheels, Spelride and community
centres and a range of activities for young people. We are encouraging the
construction of more affordable homes, preventing homelessness and we
have also recently opened the new Benwell Centre (see page 15 for details). I
can’t promise we get things right every time but please be assured that with
the support and co-operation of our staff we will continue to provide quality
services.

In the meantime let us all look forward to the festive season whilst being
mindful of others, particularly our brave servicemen and women serving in
Afghanistan and other trouble spots in the world who will not be with their
loved ones. My thoughts are also with the elderly living on their own, and
those in hospitals.

I wish you all the very best for Christmas and the New Year.

John Packman, Council Leader
Message from the Mayor
Christmas is already upon us and another year has almost passed. I hope
you are enjoying the preparations for Christmas and will be able to spend
some time with family and friends.

The Mayoress and I have been busy attending events in the Borough and we
are very grateful for the warm welcome offered to us. I would also like to
thank the many individuals and groups who have worked tirelessly throughout
the year to make the Borough a better place.

I am supporting four charities during my term as Mayor – Carer’s Support,
Daybreak Respite Care, Staines Brass Band and Midas Plus which supports
charities in Spelthorne. Thanks to all of you who have supported them and I
look forward to continuing, with your help, to raise funds for these very worthy
charities in the latter half of my Mayoral year.

Home movie competition
Staines Cine and Video Society is inviting camcorder owners to enter a new
competition to find the best amateur film maker in Spelthorne. The first prize
of £50 and free subscription to the society will be for the best ‘home movie’ of
up to 10 minutes, made without help from a professional or video club.

The event will culminate in a special show in March next year where the best
entries will be shown and prizes awarded. The closing date for entries is 31
January, 2011.

Contact Tony Valvona on 01252 641570, e-mail valvona.tony@ntlworld.com
or visit the club’s website at www.stainesvideo.co.uk

Spelthorne Together
Delegates at this year’s annual Spelthorne Together Assembly in September
were greeted with a number of changes to previous events. One new feature
was a vote for a community project to receive £1,000. The winner was a
project to hold quarterly coffee mornings aimed at combating isolation and
loneliness in the elderly population. Other changes included a new venue,
Kempton Park racecourse, with more than 30 information stands and up-beat
presentations on working together.

During the main workshop, delegates considered ways of improving
community involvement. Feedback from this will help the local strategic
partnership (Spelthorne Together) to follow the priorities set out in the
Community Plan 2005-15.

Contact Joanne Jones on 01784 446421 or e-mail j.jones@spelthorne.gov.uk
Reader Survey
Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the reader survey in
the last edition of the Bulletin – the information is helping us improve future
editions of the magazine.

Congratulations to Tina Williams from Staines who received a £50 M&S
voucher as winner of the prize draw.

Christmas at the Community Centres
Staines Community Centre
Staines Community Centre will be serving Christmas lunches from Monday
13 December - Friday 17 December. The roast turkey dinner costs £4.95 for
two courses or £6.95 for three courses.

The Mayor and Mayoress will be visiting the Centre for lunch on Tuesday 14
December.

Contact Staines Community Centre on 01784 463073.

Greeno Centre, Shepperton
Come along to the Greeno Centre Christmas party on Friday 17 December
from 2-4pm.

The cost is £5. The Greeno Centre will also be serving Christmas lunches at
12.30pm from Monday 20 December – Thursday 23 December. Please book
your place by 11.30am daily.

Contact the Greeno Centre on 01932 246173.

Fordbridge Centre, Ashford
Christmas lunches are being served at 12.30pm each day from Monday 13
December - Friday 17 December and cost £3.80. Entertainment is also being
provided after lunch, followed by tea and mince pies and a free prize raffle.

Contact the Fordbridge Centre on 01784 243880.

Lord Knyvett’s Hall, Stanwell
6 December 1.30pm - Rah Rah Theatre Company presents Jack and the
Beanstalk. Cost is £2 which includes a cream tea.

7 December 10am-2pm - Jewellery and gift stall for last minute Christmas
gifts.
14 December 11.15am - Town Farm School choir.
16 December 10.45am - Christmas lunch with entertainment and a bumper
raffle. Cost is £3.80.

21 December 11.15am - Christmas quiz and raffle.

23 December 11.15am - Christmas bumper bingo and raffle.

Contact Lord Knyvett’s Hall on 01784 258654

All Centres will close at lunchtime on Christmas Eve 24 December
and re-open on Tuesday 4 January as normal.

Local news - Laleham and Staines

Winter art open day
On Saturday 18 December the Spelthorne Resource Centre, Commercial
Road, Staines Park, TW18 2QJ will be holding a free Winter Art Open Day
from 10am–2pm. Children aged 4-11 will be given the opportunity to make
and create works of art with a festive theme. No need to book.

For more information please contact Leisure Services by e-mail at leisure@
spelthorne.gov.uk or call 01784 446433.

Nativity at the Two Rivers
Come along to this classic tale of the Nativity, depicting the story behind
Christmas at the Two Rivers Shopping Centre on Wednesday 22 December
from 11am-4pm.

The event provides a magical and traditional Christmas atmosphere for all
shoppers at the Two Rivers with the chance to meet and greet some furry
festive friends and learn about the Nativity story. Don’t forget to bring your
camera!

For more information contact Joanna Hall, the Centre Manager on 01784
493300 or e-mail Joanna.Hall@mjmapp.com

Park and stride
Park at Knowle Green and take the hassle out of Christmas shopping. Just a
10 minute walk takes you into the town centre. The Council office car park will
be open and free of charge on the following weekends:

4/5 December
11/12 December
18/19 December

Council office closure
The Council Offices at Knowle Green will be closed from 12 noon on Friday
24 December 2010 until 8.45am on Tuesday 4 January 2011.

If you receive Meals on Wheels and wish to change your arrangements over
the Christmas period please let us know before 20 December on 01784
444265.

For out of hours emergencies, call 01784 446446.

Funding Boost for Shortwood Pond
Spelthorne Council has received a £25,000 funding boost from the SITA Trust
‘Landfill Communities Fund’ for the restoration of Shortwood Pond in Staines
which will take place in three phases from 2010-2012.

The funding is being used for the removal of invasive non-native weeds from
the pond to allow several rare plants at this Site of Special Scientific Interest
to thrive again. One such plant is Brown galingale which is found at only six
sites in Britain. Brown galingale, like many of the plants, needs help to
prevent it being swamped by the alien invader Crassula helmsii which is
spreading rapidly throughout ponds in England and displacing native species.

This project continues the good work started by the charity Plantlife which led
to the re-emergence of 10,000 Brown galingale plants at the pond in 2003.
Plantlife and Natural England have both given advice and support for the
project and Spelthorne Council and Staines Commons Limited are also
providing further funding for the project.

Contact Cynthia Bendickson on 01784 446319 or e-mail
c.bendickson@spelthorne.gov.uk

Saturday Morning Craft Club
The Saturday Morning Craft Club gives children aged 5-11 the opportunity to
take part in art and craft activities, learn new skills and have fun. Held at the
Spelthorne Resource Centre in Staines Park, the sessions run during term
time and places must be booked in advance. The cost is £4.80 per week
(paid termly in advance).

For more information or to book a place please contact Customer Services on
01784 451499 or e-mail customer.services@spelthorne.gov.uk
New court helps potential Paralympian
Spelthorne Leisure Centre has had a new Boccia court marked in its sports
hall to enable a potential 2012 Paralympian to train near her Spelthorne
home.

Jessica Hunter is a current member of the England Boccia team and has
been selected for the GB Boccia talent programme which aims to fast track
Boccia players who have the potential to make it to the London 2012
Paralympics. The Spelthorne court was marked after funding was obtained
from Spelthorne Council, GB Boccia and Spelthorne Sports Council. As well
as benefitting Jessica, the new court will be used by the Spelthorne Disability
Sports Club and local residents.

For more information about learning to play Boccia or Spelthorne Disability
Sports Club, contact Leisure Services on 01784 446433 or e-mail
leisure@spelthorne.gov.uk

Local News - Ashford, Stanwell and Stanwell Moor

Ashford’s Christmas extravaganza
Ashford on the Map Christmas Market will be taking place on Wednesday 8
December in the multi-storey car park in Church Road from 5pm.

There will be stalls, mulled wine and mince pies plus fairground rides and a
raffle. The Salvation Army Band will be leading the carols organised by the
Rotary Club of Ashford and Father Christmas will be visiting with gifts for the
children.

Come and enjoy this free community event.
If you are interested in being involved with this event please contact Pat
Amos on 01784 241673 e-mail amos60@btinternet.com or Barry
Muggeridge on 07759 619884 e-mail barrylandrover@yahoo.com

Dig It - Stanwell
Dig It is a community ‘grow your own’ project run by Stanwell Community
projects group offering free courses and planting materials. Everyone is
welcome. To join, please contact Elizabeth from Surrey Lifelong Learning
Partnership on 07970 932563.

Thanks for the baskets
The members of Ashford on the Map Committee would like to say thank you
to the people who arranged the hanging baskets in Church Road in Ashford
this summer and the winter baskets last year. They helped create a wonderful
community atmosphere. Thank you all once again.

Stanwell Health Centre
Work is underway on the Stanwell Health and Community Centre in Hadrian
Way. The Centre will be home to the St David’s family GP practice and will
also have a library, coffee shop and pharmacy. The Centre is due to be
completed in May 2011.

Stanwell New Start
An outline planning application has been approved for phases 2 and 3 of the
Stanwell Regeneration scheme. Read more details in subsequent editions of
the Bulletin. For more information call Deborah Ashman or Karen Sinclair,
Joint Heads of Housing Benefits and Housing Options on 01784
446206 or e-mail: d.ashman@spelthorne.gov.uk or
k.sinclair@spelthorne.gov.uk

Local news - Charlton Village, Halliford, Littleton,
Shepperton and Sunbury
Eco Park at Charlton Lane
Two planning applications relating to the retention of existing waste facilities
and the development of an Eco Park at Charlton Lane have been submitted
by SITA Surrey Ltd to Surrey County Council.

Surrey County Council oversees waste disposal issues and is responsible for
deciding if planning permission shall be given. Spelthorne Council is one of
the groups being consulted about the applications and its Planning
Committee will be agreeing the Council’s response.

Visit www.spelthorne.gov.uk for the latest information regarding the two
planning applications.

London Irish planning applications
A Public Inquiry will be held in spring 2011 following London Irish Rugby
Club’s appeal against the refusal of two recent major planning applications.

The first application was to demolish the clubhouse, driving range and other
structures on the Hazelwood Gold Course site in Croysdale Avenue, Sunbury
to develop five adult and 12 junior rugby pitches plus a clubhouse for London
Irish.
The second application was to demolish the existing stand and clubhouse in
The Avenue, Sunbury and replace it with a mix of 194 houses and flats, a
care home, a site for a potential future health centre and the provision of a
new neighbourhood park. Consultation with local groups and residents’
associations has already started on additional information which has been
submitted as part of the appeal. The letters which were submitted by the
public on both planning applications will automatically be sent to the Planning
Inspectorate as part of the appeal process.

To find out the latest information on the appeal visit www.spelthorne.gov.uk or
call 01784 451499.

Shepperton Big Tree Night
For many in Shepperton, it wouldn’t be Christmas without Big Tree night,
when the community gathers for a evening of carol singing under the
Himalayan Cedar Tree in Shepperton High Street.

It’s an event that has delighted generations for more than 20 years.
Organised by the Jubilee Church, this year’s event will include Themba
Theatre.

Jubilee Church’s lead elder Dave Webb-Peploe will compere and Chris Swift,
Rector of St Nicholas Church will say a few words on the meaning of
Christmas.

Shepperton Big Tree night will take place in its usual spot by the ‘big tree’
near Natwest Bank in Shepperton High Street on Wednesday 15 December
at 6.30pm.

Contact Stephen Morris on 01932 232574 (day) or mobile 07761 473198
(evening).

Carols in the Meadow
Join us for ‘carols in the meadow’ from 6.30-7.30pm on Tuesday 14
December in Orchard Meadow, Thames Street, Sunbury on Thames.

For more information contact Gerry Ceaser, Chairman of Friends of Sunbury
Park on 01932 785841.

Good design matters
Each year more than 500 people in Spelthorne extend their home and for
many people their first concern is the extra room that will be created, rather
than what it will look like outside.
An extension is likely to be the biggest investment you will make after buying
your home, but if it doesn’t look good from the outside, you may fail to add
value to your home and possibly make it more difficult to sell.

Good design matters. It not only affects you but also your neighbours and
often those living in the wider area. This is why the Council is producing
guidance on the design of extensions and new residential development.

We have just finished a public consultation on a first draft and will be
consulting people again in February and March on a final draft. We hope to
adopt the guidance in April.

The guidance sets out the five key steps to successful design and contains a
lot of practical advice on various types of extension from single storey rear
extensions to major roof alterations. It has over 40 photographs and
illustrations as well as helpful checklists. It will be invaluable for anyone trying
to obtain planning permission for an extension.

Even if your extension is small and permission is only needed under the
Building Regulations, it will help you achieve a good design and maximise the
value of your home.

If you are planning an extension in the next year or so, have a look at the
document to get ideas on how to make your extension look good. This is not
about spending more money but simply getting the overall design and
detailing right.

Talk to planning staff before you go to the expense of drawing up detailed
plans for a planning application. The Council’s planning staff are always
happy to provide informal advice.

For more information on the guidance please see the link on the front page of
the Council’s web site at www.spelthorne.gov.uk or call Customer Services
on 01784 451499.

The Benwell Centre, Sunbury
The newly built Benwell Centre in Mitchison Court, Sunbury has now opened,
Monday to Friday from 9am-3pm. Everyone’s welcome. Come along and try
one of the following activities, which cost £3.50 per session for members and
£4.50 for non members and include:

    Art on Mondays and Thursdays
    Bowls on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays
    New age curling on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays
   Bingo on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

Our restaurant is also open to everyone Monday to Friday 9am-3pm and at
weekends from 12noon-2pm. There is a lot more besides, so please call
01932 784232 for full details.

There will be a formal opening ceremony on 25 January 2011.

Rubbish and recycling collections over Christmas
We are pleased to tell you that your rubbish and recycling days will remain
the same over the Christmas break. Your bin must be placed kerbside, with
the lid closed, by 6am on your scheduled collection day.

Contact customer services on 01784 451499 or e-mail
customer.services@spelthorne.gov.uk

Nominate a dedicated volunteer
The Spelthorne Civic Award Trust wants to hear from individuals or voluntary
organisations about volunteer helpers who could make worthy recipients of a
Spelthorne Civic Award. The criterion for an award is that the volunteer has
given dedicated voluntary services for a minimum of 12 years in the Borough
of Spelthorne.

The deadline for submitting nominations is 31 January 2011 and awards will
be presented on 11 April at Spelthorne Council.

Nomination forms are available from the Trust Secretary, Mrs Carol Davies
on 01784 255432 or e-mail candodavies@tiscali.co.uk

Top tips for a green Christmas
Follow these simple steps for a greener Christmas……

   Turn off Christmas tree lights when you go out to reduce carbon dioxide
    emission and minimise fire risk.

   Turn down your thermostat by a few degrees and put on that lovely new
    Christmas jumper.

   Opt for a real Christmas tree with a root that can be planted. Artificial
    trees can be re-used but they are not recyclable and have often been
    shipped great distances.

   Recycle and reuse your wrapping paper and Christmas cards and avoid
    buying glossy or foil wrapping as this can’t be recycled.
    Consider sending e-cards - they’re free and can be personalised.

    Buy an organic turkey and local products to minimise your carbon
     footprint. Farmers’ markets sell local merchandise. Freeze or compost
     the leftovers.

    Christmas shopping: take the bus or train to go Christmas shopping and
     re-use old shopping bags.

    Buy gifts locally to reduce your carbon footprint (4000 tonnes of
     products are shipped from China each Christmas) this also helps local
     and UK business.

For further information please call Francesca Nesbitt on 01784 446308 or
e-mail f.nesbitt@spelthorne.gov.uk

Get composting this autumn
Compost the waste from your garden clean-up and turn your leaves, prunings
and dead plants into free food for your garden.

Order a home composting bin from only £14 (RRP £39), available in two
sizes (220 litre/330 litre), delivered free to your door, guaranteed for 15 years.

Visit www.surreycc.gov.uk/getcomposting or call 0844 571 4444

Fraud hotline
If you think that someone is wrongly claiming Council Tax or Housing Benefit,
please tell us on 01784 446224 or visit our website at
www.spelthorne.gov.uk/benefi t-fraud

Council Tax discounts
Following on from last summer’s amnesty on single person discounts, the
Council has now concluded its investigations and a further 57 people were
found to be claiming an incorrect amount. This has resulted in an additional
£30k being reclaimed by the Council, bringing the total amount reclaimed to
£65k for the current financial year.

Residents must inform the Council of a change in circumstances within 21
days. If you think you may no longer be entitled to a discount, you should
contact the Revenues Team immediately on 01784 446490 e-mail
ctax@spelthorne.gov.uk

Scores on the Doors
Are you eating out in Spelthorne over the Christmas season? Before you go,
check out the restaurant’s hygiene rating at www.spelthorne.gov.uk/scores.
Scores on the Doors shows the hygiene ratings for all food businesses in
Spelthorne including restaurants, pubs, cafes, take-aways and supermarkets.
Food businesses are given a star rating from 0 to 5. The more stars a
business has the better their hygiene standards will be.

Other ways to check the scores:-
Mobile phone users can text ‘SOTD’ followed by the business name or town
to 60060.
iPhone or android phone users can download a free app by searching for
'Food Hygiene'.
Users of the 3GS iPhones can also use the radar function to point their phone
at a nearby food business and get its star rating.

For more information contact the Environmental Health team on 01784
446291.

Taxis safety
All taxis (showing an illuminated sign marked ‘taxi’) and minicabs must be
licensed by the local authority – these include stretch limos and chauffeur
driven cars. Don’t use unlicensed minicabs - if you’re involved in an accident
in an unlicensed vehicle you might not be covered by insurance.

Look for an identification badge issued by the Council, which is only issued to
drivers who have had a proper criminal record check. Make sure that the
vehicle has a plate on the back of the car with the registration number and an
expiry date.

When booking a private hire car (minicab), ask at the time of booking what
the fare will be and tell someone where you are going and what time you
expect to be home. If your plans change, let them know and ask the driver
who he or she is waiting for when the car arrives. Keep your mobile phone
accessible, charged and topped up with credit.

24-hour taxi ranks are situated in the following places:
❄ South Street, Staines, outside Communications House
❄ Gresham Road, Staines outside Staines station
❄ Station Approach, Staines outside the entrance to Staines station
❄ Mustard Mill Road, Staines near Waitrose Supermarket
❄ Church Road, Ashford, outside Ashford Police Station

Late night ranks are situated in:
❄ Clarence Street, Staines about 30 yards west of Church Street
❄ Thames Street, Staines in the bus lay-by outside Debenhams store
❄ High Street, Staines in the bus lay-by (South side)

Contact Spelthorne Council’s Licensing Team on 01784 446439 or 01784
444202.

Winter advice
Last winter many people helped keep pavements and public spaces near
their homes clear of snow. However, some people were put off doing so
because of the fear they may be sued if someone were then to slip on the
cleared area.

The Government has clarified the situation advising that it's highly unlikely
that you would be sued as long as you are careful and use common sense to
make sure that you don't make the pavement or pathway clearly more
dangerous than before.

Visit our website at www.spelthorne.gov.uk/winter_advice.htm

MEND – new session starting in January
MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do it!) is a free fun programme for kids to
become fitter, healthier and happier!

If you have children 7-13 years old and you are worried that they may be
overweight then call Helen Durbridge on 01784 446261 to find out more
about the next MEND programme or visit www.mendprogramme.org

Spelthorne Youth Theatre
Spelthorne Youth Theatre is a vibrant drama club where children are in
control. If you would like to develop your confidence, acting and directing
skills then SYT is the place for you.

For those aged 8-15, the sessions are held at Stanwell Youth Centre on
Monday evenings and cost just £3.50 per week (paid each half term in
advance).

To book your place call 01784 446433 or e-mail leisure@ spelthorne.gov.uk

Leacroft Youth Centre
This Youth Centre offers a range of activities for 11-16 year olds.

These include boot camp fitness classes, sports coaching sessions,
Spelthorne Glee Club and Urban Dance sessions. Sessions cost £1 and take
place on Monday and Tuesday evenings from 7-9pm.
For more information please contact Leisure Services on 01784 446433 or
e-mail leisure@spelthorne.gov.uk

Spelthorne Youth Awards 2011
Do you know a special young person aged between 5 and 19, living or
learning in Spelthorne, who you feel deserves recognition? If so, you may
wish to nominate them for the Spelthorne Youth Awards – closing date 31
March 2011.

The categories are:-
✬ personal achievement
✬ triumph over adversity
✬ academic achievement
✬ sporting achievement
✬ arts achievement
✬ community spirit
✬ unselfishness, kindness or bravery

Anyone can nominate a young person for an award, nomination forms are
available on-line from our website at www.spelthorne.gov.uk/youthawards or
by telephoning 01784 446433.

The category winners will receive a Young Person’s Achievement Award in
the form of an engraved trophy and a cheque for £50.

The ceremony will be held at Spelthorne Leisure Centre next spring.

Skate nights are back
Come down to Spelthorne Leisure Centre and brush up on your inline blading
and skate boarding skills. Suitable for beginners as well as more advanced
skaters aged 11-19, each session costs £5 and runs on the second Saturday
of every month from 6-8.30pm during the autumn and winter.

For more information contact Andy Holdaway on 01784 446214 or e-mail
leisure@spelthorne.gov.uk
Winter is the best time for tree planting
Tree Wardens are independent volunteers who are authorised by Surrey
County Council to plant trees on road verges as well as in residential
gardens.

Most trees are supplied and planted for £30 which includes a stake, tie
strimmer guard and watering hose. Trees are usually between six and 10 foot
high.
For more information contact Dave Woods on 01932 786806.

Strictly Spelthorne
Starting in the New Year! Strictly Spelthorne is a 10 week course in dance for
adults.

For more information call Leisure Services on 01784 446433 or e-mail
leisure@spelthorne.gov.uk

Don’t fall foul of the law
Do you have a problem with dog fouling in your area?
In certain areas, owners can face fines of up to £500 if they fail to clear up
after their dog. Most supermarkets now sell, or supply at the checkout, bio-
degradable bags.

To report dog fouling call 01784 446411 or e-mail
streetscene@spelthorne.gov.uk

Age Concern - volunteers needed
We are looking for volunteers to visit older people in Spelthorne as part of our
befriending service or help with our social clubs, gardening or transport
service. If you are over 16 and can regularly spare a hour and a half or so,
please contact Debbie Fuller on 07872 818216 or 01784 444200.

Sign up for our e-newsletter
Spelthorne Council produces a fortnightly newsletter which is e-mailed to
residents. If you would like to go on the mailing list please e-mail
news@spelthorne.gov.uk

Looking for something for children to do at half term?
Come along to the Resource Centre for our Art Open Day on Saturday 19
February 2011, 10am-2pm. Look out for more information nearer the time.

For more information e-mail Leisure Services at leisure@spelthorne.gov.uk or
call 01784 446433.

				
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