Parish Council Response to Surrey County Council Services Consultations
Published: 15 January 2019
3rd January 2019
Windlesham Parish Council’s response to Surrey County Council consultations
At the Full Council meeting held on 27th November 2018, Windlesham Parish Council considered the five current SCC consultations and wish to make the following representations;
CRC Site Closures
The Council does understand the pressure that County is under to make savings, however, they do not support any of the options within the consultation, as all options lead to the closure of Bagshot community recycling centre (CRC) at Swift Lane. The Parish Council strongly objects to this outcome. It would also seem that the closure of Bagshot is a foregone conclusion, as the assumption is that following the consultation, one of the proposed options will be supported and acted upon.
Whilst noting that if the closure of Swift Lane went ahead that most residents “will still be within a 10-20 minute drive in good traffic” of an alternative CRC site, there would still be environmental consequences with increased traffic movements and air pollution as residents will need to travel further to dispose of their waste.
The other great concern to this Council is if Swift Lane were to close, what would be the future use of the land. Councillors would seek strong assurances that there is a comprehensive plan in place to secure and redevelop the site appropriately. The unique siting aspect of Swift Lane has led this Council to have grave concerns over the potential use of the land and the problems that could arise if a robust plan is not in place.
Finally, given the very recent announcement made by Government that a new Resources and Waste Strategy is to come into force, this Council is of the opinion that any prospective CRC closure should be delayed until the full impact of the strategy is known.
Concessionary Bus Travel
The Parish Council had no specific comments in regard to this consultation.
Family Resilience Consultation – Children’s Centres
The Parish Council does not support the closure of the children’s centre in Bagshot nor those in Mytchett or Chobham. These centres all provide very valuable services to those residents living in
more rural, outlying areas of the Borough. These areas are not well served by public transport links and those families most likely to need access to the services of a children’s centre will be disadvantaged if they have to travel further to do so. The likelihood is they will be prevented from accessing the support they need.
The service currently provided by the children’s centres is where most early intervention work takes place. Considering that SCC has identified in its’ SEND consultation (running concurrently with this consultation) the need for earlier intervention, the proposed closure of children’s centres and changes to the way their services are delivered is in contradiction to the proposed SEND strategy.
The Council is concerned that the most vulnerable families who need the support provided by the children’s centres will end up isolated and further disadvantaged.
Libraries and Cultural Services
The Council largely agrees with the principles put forward to ensure library and cultural services remain sustainable. It is particularly keen that Bagshot Library continues to be maintained, as the volunteers here have dedicated a huge amount of time and effort to provide a very valuable service to local residents. There has recently been a drive to recruit new volunteers and the library has invested in new technology to ensure it can run effectively.
The Council largely agrees with the principles. However, the clear focus is on early intervention and as mentioned in our response to the Family Resilience Consultation, this work is very often undertaken in a children’s centre setting. With the proposed closures, these opportunities for early intervention which have been identified as a key part of the SEND strategy will be lost. The two strategies should complement each other.
We trust our submission will be given full consideration and the Council wishes to be informed directly of the outcome of the consultations.
Clerk to the Council
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