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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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com or Barry Muggeridge on 07759 619884 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01784 446433.
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