Bulletin by runout

VIEWS: 41 PAGES: 29

									Spelthorne Bulletin

      No. 86

   Spring 2009
Dear Residents,

We are living through troubled times and most of us will have been
affected by the financial down turn in some way. The outlook seems
bleak.

As we come to the difficult task of balancing our budget for the
forthcoming year, and finalising the Council Tax, it is important that
you should know some of the issues before us.

We, like the County Council and the other Surrey Districts, have seen
our grant from central government diminish – the rise for next year
equates to just 31p per resident.

We continue to provide quality services but, in parallel, we also face
dwindling income from our investments – none of which are in
Iceland.

Over the past four years, we have made efficiency savings of around
£5m and recently we have found even more.

We continue to scrutinise not just what we do but the way we do it.
Could we work more effectively, for example, with other Borough
Councils or a range of associated organisations? I can assure you
that we are looking at every option.

We shall continue to work tirelessly to keep quality high and costs low
and I do urge you to read the article on page 15 of the Bulletin which
gives information about where to seek help if you feel that you are at
risk of financial difficulty.

We continue to manage our affairs prudently and, with your support,
we will weather the storm.

Sincerely
Cllr John Packman, Council Leader
For more details please e-mail Cllr John Packman at
cllr.packman@spelthorne.gov.uk or write to Cllr John Packman,
Spelthorne Borough Council, Council Offices, Knowle Green, Staines,
TW18 1XB.
A helping hand for Home-Start and VAIS
The Better Neighbourhood Grant Scheme, which was introduced in
2006, gives each Spelthorne Borough Councillor a budget of up to
£1000 to spend on community enhancing projects in their ward.

Councillor Napper has pledged £200 of her Better Neighbourhood
Grant to the charity Home-Start which offers one-to-one informal and
friendly support for parents with children under five.

Home-Start plan to use the grant to provide a second family support
group in Spelthorne which will give families the opportunity to make
new friends and gain support in their local community.

For more information contact Cllr Napper on 07787 759789 or e-mail
cllr.napper@spelthorne.gov.uk, Amanda Frith at Home-Start on
01784 463200 or e-mail home-startspelthorne@tiscali.co.uk

Councillors Andrew Hirst, Jack Pinkerton, Marian Rough and Steven
Rough have jointly donated £800 from their Better Neighbourhood
Grants to VAIS (Voluntary Action in Spelthorne).

VAIS is the umbrella body linking the charitable, voluntary and faith
organisations in Spelthorne and Spelthorne Council.

VAIS plan to use the money to create a central database which will
hold the details of all the voluntary, community and faith groups in
Surrey. The database will allow VAIS to identify any gaps in the
services provided locally so they can tailor information to groups with
a particular interest.

For more information on VAIS contact Elizabeth Moore on 01784
446358 or e-mail info.vais@spelthorne.gov.uk
Message from the Mayor
The last nine months have sped by so quickly that I can‟t believe that
my term of office will shortly come to an end. I feel very privileged to
have served the Borough as Mayor and I am grateful to you all for the
friendly and warm welcome we have received wherever we have
visited organisations both large and small.

The Mayoress and I have learned a lot as we have gone about our
duties and have been greatly impressed by the talents that so many
of you have. It has also been good to see that so many of you are
happy to support those less fortunate and to share your skills to
encourage others to participate more fully in our community.

It has been a pleasure to work with my nominated charities; To
Transplant & Beyond and the Staines and Egham Sea Cadets during
the year. I hope that the funding raised along with the opportunity to
raise the profile of each organisation will help them achieve their
respective aims.

Finally as we look forward to spending more time with our family we
would like to take the opportunity to wish you all well, thank you for
your support and we look forward to seeing you again in the future.

Kind regards
Simon Bhadye, Mayor

Contact the Mayor‟s office on 01784 446275 or e-mail
mayor@spelthorne.gov.uk

Get involved with conservation
Do you want to help improve your neighbourhood, get some fresh air
and exercise, and make some new friends? Join one of Spelthorne‟s
fantastic volunteering groups and you‟ll have the opportunity to clear
out a pond, build a footbridge, plant trees and wildflowers, manage
woodland, erect bird boxes, go on a guided walk, or even just tidy
your neighbourhood with a good old litter pick.
We‟re very lucky in Spelthorne to have such a dedicated group of
people in Spelthorne Civic Pride Volunteers, Egham and Staines
Conservation Volunteers, Spelthorne Natural History Society, and the
Spelthorne Tree Wardens. Spelthorne Council works with these
groups to organise work days and generally help out where we can.
Events are going on all of the time, so get involved.

Workday programmes are available from the Council Offices, or
contact Cynthia Bendickson, Biodiversity Officer on 01784 446319 or
e-mail c.bendickson@spelthorne.gov.uk

Recycling is still worth it
The markets for recycling around the world are being affected by the
recession but material is still being used.

Of the 10 million tonnes of material put out for recycling last year in
the UK, the vast majority was successfully recycled. In difficult market
conditions, good quality materials will find a user more easily than
poor quality material. You can help to improve quality by making sure
that you only put out for collection the materials specified by the
council for recycling.

Recycling - should be loose and not in plastic bags
Yes - junk mail
Yes - newspapers
Yes - washed plastic bottles (no tops)
Yes - waste paper
Yes - glass of all colours*
Yes - washed plastic milk containers
Yes - shredded paper
Yes - cardboard
Yes - washed cans / tins
Yes - magazines / catalogues
Yes - yellow pages
Yes - envelopes

* not to include light bulbs, window glass or glass kitchen products
such as china, ceramic or pyrex.
On average it costs £45 to landfill a tonne of waste, so it‟s cheaper for
us all to recycle than for the Council to send the same tonne to landfill
and, despite the reported stockpiling of recyclables, Grundons have
assured us that they are still finding markets for the recyclables our
Borough gives them.

Recycling these materials means less global warming emissions are
created in the manufacture of new materials and this is a continuing
concern; recession or not. Materials like aluminium and plastic which
will be scarce in future, must be reused rather than thrown away.

Tell friends, family and neighbours about this advice. There is a lot of
misleading information in the press and you can help us put it
straight.

Garden waste collection changes
We will operate a new collection service of garden waste from
wheelie bins for an annual charge of £35. This service, which will
start on Monday 30 March, will take place every other week.

We are keen to offer the service to as many residents as possible,
however for operational reasons there will be an initial limit of 4000
bins. In addition to this, a sack collection service will be available for
residents who have no space for a wheelie bin. The collection service
operates every other week and your wheelie bin or bag must be
placed at the kerbside by 6am on collection day.

Hire and collection of the bin will cost £35 per year or part year and
this charge is not refundable. Those residents with nowhere to store a
bin will be able to have a reusable 90 litre sack for a cost of £25 per
year. The year will run from 1 April to 31 March.

Garden waste - should be loose and not in plastic bags
Yes - grass cuttings
Yes - hedge trimmings
Yes - garden prunings
Yes - leaves
Yes - small twigs and dead plants
Yes - branches**

** no thicker than 7cm / 3”

For more information on the garden waste scheme or recycling
contact Customer Services on 01784 451499 or e-mail
customer.services@spelthorne.gov.uk

Run the Staines 10k Race
The Staines 10k Road Race is back again for 2009 following another
successful event in 2008. The race, organised by Staines Strollers
and Runnymede Runners with support from Spelthorne Council will
be held at 9am on Sunday 17 May and will start and finish outside the
Council Offices in Knowle Green, Staines. The 2009 event is again
kindly supported by Everyone Active who will be offering a free swim
at Spelthorne Leisure Centre to runners who complete the course.

If you would like more information about the Staines 10k or want to
enter the race, please visit the race website www.staines10k.co.uk or
alternatively phone Leisure Services on 01784 446433. Details of the
route, race information and previous results are available on the
website.

Knives Wreck Lives
You may remember that last October the Spelthorne Youth Council
ran a campaign called Knives Wreck Lives with the aim of helping to
prevent knife crime. There was a tremendous response and it
captured the imagination of many people such as Kevin Pieterson
(former England cricket captain) and organisations such as football
clubs Newcastle United and Portsmouth FC.

Rosie Dettloff age 13, a pupil at the Matthew Arnold School, wanted
to show her support for the campaign so she wrote the following
moving poem:-
You stab, they die – you wave goodbye,
You smile, you cry – they‟ve said goodbye.
The way they act is how you feel,
They get stabbed, they die or heal.
As you cry about their life,
It seems so bad to carry a knife.
As you know that knives wreck lives,
You‟ll think again to carry a knife.

No need to splash out, so jump right in!
Free swimming for under 16s and over 60s starts on 1 April 2009.*

It is part of a two year Government scheme aimed at making people
healthier and more physically active. So, if you‟re under 16 or over 60
and are looking to try something different, then why not free
swimming?

For more details please contact the leisure centres:

Spelthorne Leisure Centre, Knowle Green, Staines TW18 1AJ
Tel: 01784 493493
e-mail: spelthorneinfo@everyoneactive.com
Website: www.everyoneactive.com

Sunbury Leisure Centre, Nursery Road, Sunbury, TW16 6LG
Tel: 01932 772287
e-mail: sunburyinfo@everyoneactive.com
Website: www.everyoneactive.com

*You can swim free every day but only during normal public
swimming sessions.

   Under 8s can only swim when accompanied by an adult.
   You must have an Everyone Active Card to be able to swim
    free of charge. You can register for your free card at either
    Spelthorne or Sunbury Leisure Centre. If you lose your card
    there will be a charge to replace it. Under 16s must be
      accompanied by a parent or guardian when registering for their
      Everyone Active card.

BP Summer
Opera Screening
BP, Royal Opera House and Spelthorne Council are delighted to
announce an exciting event which is not to be missed. La Traviata will
be relayed live from the Royal Opera House to a giant screen at the
BP Sunbury Business Park on 30 June 2009.

This is a free event for all the family so put the date in your diary now.
Further details will be available in the next edition of the Bulletin.

Surrey Youth Games 2009
20 and 21 June
Preparations are once again underway for the annual Surrey Youth
Games. It is the largest youth sports event in Surrey and involves
around 3000 young people from across the 11 Surrey Boroughs,
competing in 10 sports and over 20 events.

In 2008 Team Spelthorne took 22 teams to the games and after some
hard fought competition finished first out of the 11 Boroughs in
Surrey. Come and join in this year and help Spelthorne retain the title.

The table below shows details of the coaching sessions which begin
in April. To join in all you need to do is simply turn up on the day,
complete a registration form and have a go! The first session is free
and full instruction will be given by qualified coaches, so you can be a
total beginner.*

After the coaching sessions teams will be chosen to compete in the
games which are being held in Guildford and Woking on the 20 and
21 June.

To be eligible for Team Spelthorne you must either live or go to
school in Spelthorne. Other eligibility criteria will apply to some
  sports. For up to date information please visit the Council‟s website
  www.spelthorne.gov.uk/surreyyouthgames contact Claire Thrussell or
  Helen Carr on 01784 446433 or e-mail leisure@spelthorne.gov.uk

         sport            time                start    location         school year
                                              date
Mixed                     Saturdays or        25 or 26 Spelthorne
sports   Mini squash      Sundays times to                              Year 6 and under
                                              April    Leisure Centre
                          be confirmed

         Full squash      Sundays times to    26 April Spelthorne       Year 7 and under
                          be confirmed                 Leisure Centre
         High 5 netball   Mondays 5 - 6.30pm 27 April Matthew Arnold Years 5 and 6
                                                      School
         Judo*            Tuesdays 7.30 -    28 April Leacroft Centre Years 3 - 11
                          8.30pm
         Junior           Wednesdays 5 -     29 April Spelthorne      Years 5 and 6
         badminton        6pm                         Leisure Centre
         Senior           Fridays 4 - 6pm     1 May   Spelthorne        Years 7, 8 and 9
         badminton                                    Leisure Centre

         Hockey           Wednesdays 6.30 - 6 May     Staines Hockey Years 5 and 6
                          8pm                         Club
         Boccia -         Saturdays 11am -    9 May   Spelthorne        Year 6 and under
         disability       12pm                        Leisure Centre
         Boccia -         Saturdays 11am -    9 May   Spelthorne        Year 11 and under
         disability       12pm                        Leisure Centre
                          Saturdays 1 -
                          2.30pm and                  Staines Rugby
         Tag rugby                            9 May                     Years 3 and 4
                          Wednesdays 5 -              Club
                          6pm

         Basketball       Saturdays 3 - 5pm   25 April Spelthorne       Years 7, 8 and 9
                                                       Leisure Centre
         MLD** football - Thursdays 6 - 7pm   30 April Spelthorne       Years 10 and 11
         disability                                    Leisure Centre
         Hockey           Wednesdays 6.30 - 6 May     Staines Hockey Years 7, 8 and 9
                          8pm                         Club
Boys
sports   Swimming*        Times to be         TBC     Spelthorne        Years 5 and 6
                          confirmed                   Leisure Centre
Girls    Football      Wednesdays 6 -      22 April Matthew Arnold Years 3 and 4
sports                 7pm                          School

         Football      Wednesdays 7 -      22 April Matthew Arnold Years 5 and 6
                       8pm                          School
         Basketball    Saturdays 3 - 5pm   25 April Spelthorne     Years 7, 8 and 9
                                                    Leisure Centre
         Netball       Mondays 6.30 -      27 April Matthew Arnold Years 7, 8, 9 and 10
                       8.30pm                       School
         Hockey        Wednesdays 6.30 - 6 May     Staines Hockey Years 7, 8 and 9
                       8pm                         Club
         Swimming*     Times to be         TBC     Spelthorne   Years 5 and 6
                       confirmed                   Leisure
                                                   Centre
  * restrictions apply to judo and swimming       ** MLD - moderate
  learning difficulty

  Spelthorne Youth Awards 2009
  Where unfound stars can shine!
  Do you know a special young person aged between 5 and 19 who is
  living or going to school or college in Spelthorne and deserves
  recognition for their achievements? Please nominate them for a
  Spelthorne Youth Award by 17 April.

  The categories for these awards are:

        outstanding academic achievement
        personal achievement
        sports achievement
        community spirit
        triumph over adversity
        unselfishness, kindness and bravery

  Anyone can nominate a young person for an award. A nomination
  form is available on-line from Spelthorne‟s website
  www.spelthorne.gov.uk/youthawards or by telephoning Leisure
  Services on 01784 446433.
The winners will be acknowledged at an awards ceremony in May
2009.

Planning - who does what?
Planning involves deciding how to meet development needs and what
new buildings and places will look like. This article explains the
responsibilities of both Spelthorne Council and Surrey County Council
in making those decisions for the Borough.

Spelthorne Borough Council
Customer Services: 01784 451499
e-mail: customer.services@spelthorne.gov.uk
www.spelthorne.gov.uk

Plan making

The Council has a Local Development Framework and its core
strategy will ensure new development, including new homes,
businesses, shops and other facilities, will be provided in existing
urban areas. This will allow the continued long term protection of the
Green Belt. New buildings will be sustainable, for example, meeting
high energy standards and being climate friendly. The plan
also deals with other things including the design of new
developments, flooding, noise, air quality and contamination.

Development Control

Most developments require planning permission and the Council
receives around 1000 applications each year. The Council‟s Planning
Committee makes the decision on larger schemes and less complex
applications are assessed by senior planning staff.

What needs planning permission?

Some very small developments don‟t need planning permission but,
whatever you have in mind, there is detailed advice on the planning
pages of our website. Please visit www.spelthorne.gov.uk/planning
_permission.htm

There is also guidance on design and other requirements. If you need
advice on a house extension we have certain times of the week when
you can meet a planning officer or otherwise we can give advice over
the telephone on 01784 451499.

Will I be told about proposed development?

We always write and tell neighbours about planning applications and,
for bigger schemes, we inform more widely. Some types of
development need advertising on site and in a local newspaper.
Details of all planning applications (including plans) can be viewed on
our website at www.spelthorne.gov.uk/planning_applications.htm

Enforcement

Spelthorne Council has a team that investigates when a breach of
planning regulations is suspected. This occurs when someone is
developing a site without permission or is failing to meet the agreed
conditions of development. If you are aware of something which may
not have permission please let us know.

Building Regulations

These deal with how structures are built and cover matters such as
structural integrity, fire safety, energy conservation, ventilation, sound
insulation, drainage, electrical safety and other technical issues. They
provide valuable assurances that your building work meets a number
of important safeguards and requirements. Non-approved work can
be dangerous, affect the value of your property and could lead to
prosecution, so always check with the Council before undertaking any
building work. Most developments need both planning permission
and approval under the Building Regulations. For further information
please call 01784 446359.
Trees

Preservation Orders are placed on trees under specific threat.
Applications have to be made to fell or undertake work on protected
trees and any trees over a certain size in any of the Borough‟s eight
Conservation Areas. Surrey County Council is responsible for street
trees.

Local Development Framework

On 26 February 2009 the Council adopted its Core Strategy and
Policies development plan document. It was the culmination of
several years preparation involving extensive public consultation and
a lot of public support for its key principles. The plan was formally
„examined‟ by a Government Inspector at a nine day hearing last
September who declared it ‟sound‟.

Spelthorne is one of only 35 or so authorities in the country to have
adopted a core strategy under the Government‟s new form of plan-
making called Local Development Frameworks. The Borough is the
first Council in Surrey to have a combined core strategy and detailed
policies document adopted.

This success is being quickly followed by a separate planning
document which allocates 11 major sites in the Borough for new
uses. It will be considered at a hearing in May this year before the
same Inspector.

These plans place the Council in a strong position to meet the future
needs of local residents and businesses in a sustainable way.

Surrey County Council
Contact Centre:
03456 009 009
www.surreycc.gov.uk
Plan Making

The County Council produces plans for minerals (including gravel)
and waste proposals. It also produces a Local Transport Plan to deal
with highway and transport issues. The Council also has a role in
economic assessment and supporting strategic planning activity.

Development Control

The County Council is responsible for deciding planning applications
for minerals and waste proposals. It also is able to decide all its own
planning applications including those for building works at schools in
Surrey.

Safer schools
Matthew Arnold Secondary School in Staines has picked up the
Surrey Safer Schools Award. This is a new award designed to help
secondary schools develop and improve all areas of safety and crime
prevention.

Among the projects Matthew Arnold School worked on was a „speak
out‟ anti-bullying programme and a project to clear an overgrown
alleyway at the side of the school. The award was presented to
Jackie Pearson, the Head of Matthew Arnold School, by the Mayor of
Spelthorne, Cllr Simon Bhadye.

For more information, please call the Community Safety team on
01784 451499 or e-mail communitysafety@spelthorne.gov.uk

Watch website
A new Neighbourhood Watch website has been launched which can
be found at www.spelthornenhw.info. It provides crime prevention tips
and information on how to set up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

The website also has useful links to Surrey Police, Trading
Standards, Spelthorne Council and others. Most importantly it links to
the Spelthorne Youth Council website so that young people can
easily make contact, remaining anonymous if they prefer.

Don’t make springtime, breaking in time
Give thieves a hard time by making sure cars are locked securely and
nothing is left in view – even if the car is in your driveway. Laptops
and sat navs are popular with thieves as they can be passed on
without delay. If they must be left, put them in a glove box or boot but
make sure no one is watching while you do this. Mark your property
with your house number and postcode – UV marking pens are
available from Police Stations and the Council Offices.

Car parks that display the „Park Mark‟ safer parking scheme signs are
worth looking out for when away from home as they are safer and
better lit. There are 12 of them in Spelthorne.

For more information please contact Vic Smith, Crime Prevention
Design Advisor, 01784 444269 or e-mail v.smith@spelthorne.gov.uk

European Parliamentary elections and
Surrey County Council elections
4 June 2009
Make sure you are registered to vote now. Anyone finding that their
name is not included in the Electoral Register still has time to apply.
The deadline for receipt of application forms is 19 May 2009 and
these forms are available from Electoral Services at the Council
Offices.

Polling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm but if you are
unable to get to the polling station to vote on 4 June 2009, you may
apply for a postal vote. Again, please contact the Electoral Services
Office to obtain a form or you can get one from the Council‟s website
(www.spelthorne.gov.uk). The deadline for receipt of postal vote
applications is 5pm on 19 May 2009.
Further information and advice is available from the Electoral
Services team who will be pleased to help with your enquiry. Call
01784 446238/01784 446232 or e-mail
electoral.services@spelthorne.gov.uk

Have you tried our day centres?

Are you over 50 and looking for something to do with your spare
time? Our day centres offer a wide range of exercise classes,
activities, holidays and more.

They are:

Churchill Hall, Sunbury            01932 784232
Fordbridge Centre, Ashford         01784 243880
Greeno Centre, Shepperton          01932 246173
Lord Knyvett‟s Hall, Stanwell      01784 258654
Staines Community Centre           01784 463073

Dates for your diary:
Greeno Centre:
17 March St Patrick‟s Day lunch and Irish folk duo
9 April     Easter Party
23 April    St George‟s Day lunch
21 May      20th Year birthday celebrations

Churchill Hall:
17 May     May Fayre

Healthy eating/cookery course for men
In partnership with Age Concern Surrey, our day centres are looking
to offer a healthy eating/cookery course for retired men. The course is
aimed at men who have little knowledge of food and preparing food
but would like to learn more. The course is free but you would be
required to commit to an eight week programme.

If you want to know more, please call 01932 246173.
Spelthorne Personal Alarm Network (SPAN)
SPAN is primarily aimed at older or disabled people but can be used
by anyone who wants to feel safer in their own home. If you need
medical help or want to deter unwanted callers at the door, you can
get help at the touch of a button.

For further information contact the SPAN Office: 01784 444277.

Ring the changes
Surrey County Council‟s telephone number has recently changed to
03456 009 009. Please visit www.surreycc.gov.uk/contactus for more
details.

Calls to an 03 number from any network will cost no more than those
to 01 or 02 numbers, and also count as part of any call package. The
cost of a call to the old 0845 number will depend on the network.
Please check with your provider.

Using your fireplace
With heating bills going up, more people are turning to natural coal
fires.

Most of Spelthorne is in a smoke control zone which prohibits smoke
emissions from chimneys. However, this doesn‟t mean you can‟t use
your fireplace – you could use a smokeless fuel.

To find out if your house is in the smoke control zone, or for further
information and advice visit www.spelthorne.gov.uk/smoke or ring
Pollution Control on 01784 446251.

National Concessionary Bus Pass
A new scheme was introduced last year which enables over 60s to
travel on buses free anywhere in England off peak (9.30am - 11pm)
Monday to Friday and anytime at weekends and Bank Holidays.
Also holders of the over 60s pass (blue stripe) are able to travel free
within most Surrey Boroughs from 9am Monday to Friday. Disabled
pass holders (orange stripe) are able to travel within Surrey without
time restrictions.

If you are over 60 or are disabled and live in Spelthorne you can
make an application.

For more details call us on 01784 446464
or e-mail buspasses@spelthorne.gov.uk
or get an application form from:
www.spelthorne.gov.uk/csp_bus_passes.htm

News in brief

Have a tree planted
Spelthorne Tree Wardens are a volunteer group that supply and plant
trees for £30 each, inclusive of a stake, a tree tie and a strimmer
guard. They are able to plant in private gardens or business premises
and also on roadside verges or other open spaces (they will obtain
authority from Surrey County Council).

To order your tree, call David Woods on 01932 786806.

It’s show time
This year‟s Surrey County Show will be at Stoke Park Guildford on 25
May opening at 9am.

Among the entertainments on offer are pig and donkey
championships, a horse show and some gravity defying
entertainments including trucks that jump stacks of cars. There are
bands, country sports and loads of shopping too all of which
contribute to a terrific day out.

For advance tickets at a discount of up to 30%, please call 01483
890810 or visit www.surreycountyshow.co.uk
Computer courses in Stanwell
County Council are offering a free 10-week computer course for
beginners. To qualify for the course you need to be an adult living in
Surrey with fewer than five GCSEs and have lived in the UK/EU for
the past three years.

The course will be held on Thursday mornings from 10am - 12noon at
Stanwell Village Hall.

For more information on this and other free courses including yoga,
healthy eating, healthy cooking, get on in your community or improve
your confidence contact Lesley Stark, Community Learning Organiser
on 07875 123088.

Air Quality
The Air Quality section of the Council‟s website has jumped in the Air
Quality Bulletin* ranking from 28 to 15 - out of more than 450 local
authorities. Visit www.spelthorne.gov.uk/air_quality

*A trade magazine for local authority staff keeping them up-to-date
with air quality issues.

Calendar of meetings
Audit, 26 March, 23 June* at 7.30pm
Council, 23 April, 21 May (AGM), 25 June* at 7.30pm
Executive, 18 March, 21 April, 19 May, 16 June* at 5pm
Improvement and Development Committee, 2 April at 7.30pm
Licensing Committee, 11 March, 22 April, 20 May, 17 June at
**7.30pm
Licensing Sub-Committee, 8 April, 13 May, 3 June at **10.30am
Performance Management and Review Committee, 2 June* at
7.30pm
Planning Committee, 1 April, 29 April, 27 May, 24 June at 7pm
Standards Committee, 24 March at 7.30pm
Agenda papers will be available at the meetings. (Please note that
you may be excluded from the second half of Council, Executive and
Committee meetings when exempt/confidential matters are
discussed). Other meetings may be held at short notice and
occasionally meeting times may be changed.

At Council meetings there are three separate opportunities for the
public to speak in person: - (1) “question time” near the start of
meetings, covering all Council activities; (2) presenting and speaking
on a Petition; and (3) making a verbal Statement on a
Recommendation from the Executive or a Committee before it is
discussed by Council. In relation to public speaking at Council
meetings regarding items (1), (2) and (3) above, notice of a person
wishing to speak in person must be given to the Chief Executive in
writing by no later than 12 noon three working days prior to the day of
the Council meeting i.e. 12 noon on the preceding Monday for a
Council meeting on a Thursday.

The Council Chamber is fitted with an induction loop for use with
hearing aids. Ramps and lifts are available for users of wheelchairs.
For further information, ask at the Chief Executive‟s Department at
the Council Offices or telephone Committee Services on 01784
446240. For details of your local Councillor for Area Forums, please
telephone: 01784 446281 or 01784 446249.

* These times and dates are provisional as a new calendar of
meetings is proposed from May 2009 onwards. Please contact
Richard Powell on 01784 446240 or e-mail
r.powell@spelthorne.gov.uk

** Please ring Trevor Baker on 01784 446267 one week prior to the
date for confirmation

Fit from 50
The Fit from 50 Programme is an eight week course for men between
the ages of 50 and 65 living or working in Spelthorne. Qualified and
professional trainers from a variety of sporting and health-related
professions will help to inspire you to a more active lifestyle.
The programme is free and will run for eight weeks during June and
September at the Staines and Laleham Sports Club and
Thamesmead School Sports Centre, Shepperton.

For more information please visit www.fitfromfifty.co.uk or call Andy
McKee on 07941 596871 or e-mail andy@fitfrom50.co.uk

Bowled over?
Sunbury Sports Bowls Club would like to welcome both beginners
and experienced bowlers to join.

Bowling is for men and women of all ages and abilities, provides
gentle outdoor activity and a friendly social atmosphere.

Classes for beginners start at the beginning of May and are run by an
English Bowls coach. Once you know the basics there are all kinds of
opportunities to practise your skills and enjoy good company.

For further details about membership, contact David Chatterton on
01932 783092.

Voluntary sector help
Spelthorne Council has passed on a saving of £11,000 from the
reduction in VAT on car parking charges, to further support voluntary
organisations. The Council has also matched this amount resulting in
a total of £22,000.

With the recession in mind, the Council will be working with Age
Concern, the Citizens Advice Bureau, Relate, Spelthorne Crossroads
and Spelthorne Carer/Support to help the most vulnerable in
Spelthorne by providing a range of help including heating for older
people, extra support for carers, debt advice, advice for the family
and other information that is required during these difficult times.
For information contact: Liz Borthwick on 01784 446376 or e-mail
l.borthwick@spelthorne.gov.uk or Brian Harris on 01784 446249 or e-
mail b.harris@spelthorne.gov.uk

Housing benefits
Don‟t forget to tell us of any changes in your circumstances that might
affect your benefit. Even if you are working you may still be able to
claim Housing and/or Council Tax benefit particularly if you have
children and are on a low wage. You could be better off.

For more information on Council Tax benefit or Housing Benefit, call
01784 446374 or e-mail benefits@spelthorne.gov.uk

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/benefit_fraud

Spelthorne Borough Council Flood Fair
When:       25 April 2009
Where:      Shepperton Lock and Weybridge Mariners Club, Ferry
            Lane, TW17 9LW

At least 17,000 properties in Spelthorne are at risk from flooding - is
yours one of them?

Get local advice on your risk, who does what, how to stay safe and
ways to defend your home. We will also have fun activities for
children!

For information contact Environment Services on 01784 451499 or e-
mail environment.services@spelthorne.gov.uk

In association with: National Flood Forum and The Environment
Agency
Help at hand
Spring is normally a time of optimism and fresh starts but for many
this may be far from the truth.

If you are looking for advice and help in dealing with the effects of the
current financial downturn, look no further than the Citizens Advice
service. You can get help with money problems, get legal advice and
a range of valuable information.

Spelthorne CAB operates from both Community Link at Knowle
Green, Staines and the library at Sunbury Cross.

We offer advice by telephone on 01784 444220 or 01932 765041; or
you can visit the on-line CAB service at www.adviceguide.org.uk for
practical, up-to-date information on a wide range of topics, including:

    benefits and housing, employment rights and discrimination,
     debt and tax issues
    links to other Citizens Advice Bureaux and opening hours
    information in a wide range of languages
    a wide selection of fact sheets
    details of other reliable on-line sources of information

Job fest
A special event that brings employees and employers together will
take place at Spelthorne Leisure Centre on Thursday 26 March. The
free event, supported by Spelthorne Council, aims to match people
with jobs.

There will be a range of organisations exhibiting so whatever your
employment situation, this event could be just what you need.

Also available will be advice on how best to write a CV, starting up a
business and one-to-one coaching guidance in specialist advice
clinics.
Organised by Prospects Events, the event will run from 10.30am -
6pm.

For more information contact Kevin Hodge on 01823 362808 or e-
mail kevin.hodge@prospects.co.uk or visit the website:
www.jobsandcareersevents.co.uk

Welcome to Lotus Landscapes
Spelthorne Council has recently appointed Lotus Landscapes to
manage grass cutting in the Borough‟s parks and open spaces. Lotus
Landscapes come with over 30 years experience, a dedicated
workforce and state of the art equipment to help make Spelthorne a
pleasant place to live and work.

A cut above...

The Council will be prioritising the areas on which Lotus will be
concentrating so as to make sure that areas residents have identified
as being most important are regularly cut.

There are also a number of areas in the Borough where grass cutting
can be reduced with no significant adverse impact. The areas
identified have been chosen because they are not highly used and
will not spoil residents‟ enjoyment of the areas concerned. This
approach will allow the Council to save around £40,000 a year and
we hope there may also be some associated benefits for plant and
wildlife preservation. The vast majority of open spaces and parks
including children‟s playgrounds will continue to be cut regularly.

For more information please contact Streetscene on 01784 446411 or
e-mail streetscene@spelthorne.gov.uk

Money worries are just not funny
Many people are facing exceptional financial pressure. Christmas
may be long-gone but those credit card bills keep on coming and the
financial downturn makes it all a lot worse. Here is some advice on
what you can do if you are worried about debt.

   don‟t panic, but don‟t ignore the problem, it won‟t go away
   make a list of all your debts and split them into priority and
    non-priority debts (see below)
   calculate how much money you have coming in (your income)
   if you think you are getting into debt, speak to the people you
    owe money to about your circumstances
   if you need independent advice speak to the Citizens Advice
    Bureau. It can help you manage your debt and will often contact
    the organisations you owe money to. It can also check that you
    are receiving all the benefits to which you are entitled

Priority debts

These are debts which are particularly important to pay either
because they affect your home or because you may be taken to court
for non-payment. These should be paid first:-

     mortgage
     rent
     Council Tax
     gas and electricity
     court fines
     maintenance payments
     income tax or VAT
     parking penalties

Non-priority debts

These should only be paid once your priority debts have been sorted
out. You should still advise the lender/company concerned that you
are having problems. Non-priority debts include:-

     overdrafts, loans, hire purchase agreements
     credit cards
     catalogue debts
     student loans
   money borrowed from family and friends

The Citizens Advice Bureau
It can give you more detailed advice to help you manage your debt. It
can also advise on related issues such as employment and benefits.
For an appointment call:

Staines Bureau: 01784 444220
Sunbury Bureau: 01932 765041

If you do make an appointment, it is helpful to take along as much
information as you can about your debts - in particular the name and
address of the company you owe money to, the account or reference
number, the amount you owe and a copy of the original loan
agreement you signed.

The Citizens Advice Bureau‟s website at www.adviceguide.org.uk
also contains lots of information about managing debt and other
subjects.

Council Tax and Housing Advice

Please speak to Spelthorne Council if you have problems paying your
Council Tax or need housing advice – visit the offices between 9am
and 4pm call 01784 446490 (for Council Tax problems) or 01784
446380 (for Housing advice).

Other places to get information:-

National Debt Line offers free, confidential advice and can be
contacted on 0808 808 4000 Monday to Friday from 9am – 9pm and
on Saturday 9.30am – 1pm or visit their website at
www.nationaldebtline.co.uk

Call the Consumer Credit Counselling Service for free confidential
advice on 0800 138 1111.
Visit www.direct.gov.uk the official government website for
information on a range of areas including debt, money, benefits and
employment.

Bin it or face a fine
From 1 April the Council‟s Streetscene staff and Stanwell‟s
Community Warden, will have the power to issue Fixed Penalty
Notices to those who drop litter.

The Council has a good track record in tackling graffiti and litter but
street cleaning including graffiti and fly tipping costs around £1 million
each year. Litter is also unsightly and damaging to the environment.

Using powers available under the Clean Neighbourhoods and
Environment Act 2005, Fixed Penalty Notices will be issued for
specific offences – to the maximum levels permitted. Currently these
are:

Abandoned vehicles                                      £200

Selling two or more vehicles on public highway          £100

Dropping litter in public places (includes chewing
                                                        £ 80
gum)

Graffiti and fly-posting                                £ 80

Fly-tipping                                             £ 80


The fine could rise to a maximum of £2,500 for persistent failure to
pay.
Various other powers are also available – all designed to improve the
environment, make people feel safer and reduce our costs. Only
those who offend need worry - they will be targeted and penalised.

For further information please contact Tim Kita on 01784 446243 or
e-mail t.kita@spelthorne.gov.uk or Nigel Percival on 01784 446412 or
e-mail n.percival@spelthorne.gov.uk

								
To top