Christmas Newsletter – County Councillor Jeff Harris

Dear Resident,

As we approach what has been quite an awful year for many and very challenging for the rest of us, I’d like to open by saying a huge thank you to everyone who ‘has done their bit’ to help others across my area and beyond. Your efforts have made huge differences to the lives of so many people, often unnoticed, but always appreciated. Just take a look in the mirror and tell the person facing you……’Thank you!’

At the end of this fairly short Report I’ve written a Quiz for everyone. Not too taxing but even if you get everything wrong, your knowledge of our wonderful County and Borough will be increased by 20 or so facts. If you want to challenge the answers, please write to me on the back of a £10 cheque, made payable to your favourite charity.

I’ll start with Covid-19. Sadly, as I write, the figures in Reigate and Banstead are beginning to creep up. But these are not just figures- they are our families, friends, neighbours and work colleagues. So without going into great detail, and keeping it simple. We can all ‘do our bit’ by:

Hands – 20 second rule for washing.

Face – Coverings where applicable, and always on public transport.

Space– the 2 metre rule still applies, where possible.

We enter the New Year with the news that a Vaccine is on the way, starting with the most vulnerable and Health workers, then through the age range and special cases. Be patient, please. There is plenty of information on the Surrey County Council website and most will be receiving letters to inform them of the details. Please disregard rumours. There are so many very sad people out there just trying to scare the vunerable.

Stick to www.surreycc.gov.uk

Some good news – Surrey County Council have put aside £100 Million over the next few years to support Community Projects across the County. This is open to the imagination, but needs to conform with the Surrey Vision for 2030. There is a webpage:

www.surreycc.gov.uk/yourfund, where there is a growing list of ideas and information. If you don’t ask, you will never know if you could have succeeded in getting your long-dreamt of project completed.

My Members Highways Allowance is sadly all spent. I hope to good use in clearing footpaths, cutting hedges and overgronw trees, stump-grinding, digging drainage ditches and major projects in Ballards Green, Burgh Heath, Kingswood Road, Tadworth, Headley Common Road, and a long awaited one in Chipstead Lane, Kingswood.

There’s more to do and that will be down to my successor, as in May next year, I’m stepping down, and a new face will be representing you. More of that later.

Finally, a few warnings. Many will say – these are obvious……and they are………every year!

  • From Surrey Fire and Rescue – no lighted candles in the home, please, and don’t overload sockets. If you haven’t got a Smoke/Carbon Monoxide alarm buy yourself one for Christmas.
  • From Surrey and Buckinghamshire Trading Standards – if it seems too good to be true – it IS! Check all your purchases are safe-has it got a ‘kitemark’? And watch out for all the scams-if in doubt, put the phone down/don’t open attachments, and close the door.
  • Surrey Police – Don’t Drink and Drive. The legal limit may be 35 (whatever’s) but nil is the safe limit -nominate a driver, or just keep it soft, just this time! Oh, and wear your seatbelt, don’t speed and leave the phone alone! These four kill more people than anything else on the roads.

It would be quire remis of me not to mention how clean our roads and public areas are…….This is because we are so lucky to have a growing number of volunteers out there, rain,shine, fog or frost, litter-picking. It would be really nice if their efforts weren’t necessary, so if you’re out and about- take your litter home………please! But a HUGE thank you to all of you, you are making an enormous and visible difference!

Finally, it really IS the season of goodwill, so please make sure your neighbours are all ok, if they are vulnerable, there may be something you can do for them. Don’t leave it to anyone else, just ask..

If you scroll down you’ll find a little present from me to all of you in the shape of a Christmas Quiz. Even if you get the answers wrong, you’ll discover some really interesting facts about our fantastic County and Borough.

So enjoy the Quiz, and on behalf of Pat and I, may we wish each and everyone of you a safe,happy and hugely enjoyable Christmas and Happy healthy New Year.

Best wishes,

Jeff and Pat Harris.

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Christmas Quiz

A bit of General Surrey Knowledge fun, but lets see how much we all know about this great County, and our local area. Sorry, no prizes this time. (The answers are below). If there any challenges to the answers, please forward them on the back of a £10 cheque made out to your favourite charity!

  1. To the nearest 10, 000 how many people live in Surrey?
  2. How many households is that – (to the nearest 10,000)?
  3. How many children and young people (0-16) live here (to nearest 10,00)?
  4. What percentage of our Adult population are over the age of 65?
  5. How many people live in Reigate and Banstead –(to the nearest 5,000)?
  6. What is the average house price in Surrey?
  7. What is the average wage in Surrey?
  8. What percentage of Surrey is covered in designated woodland?
  9. Approximately how many miles of roads are there in Surrey?
  10. How many miles of public footpaths and Rights of Way in Surrey?
  11. Which Council is responsible for cutting the grass along the A217?
  12. Which Council provides the Environmental Health Service to residents locally?
  13. Which Council deals with flooding?
  14. Who is responsible for dealing with Fly-tipping?
  15. How many Councillors are there in Reigate and Banstead?
  16. How many Councillors in Surrey?
  17. Where is the new HQ for Surrey County Council going to be from January 2021?
  18. How many children are there in the care of Surrey County Council looking for permanent loving homes?
  19. How much does dealing with waste cost the County Council (nearest £5m)
  20. How much does SCC spend on just Adult Social Care –(nearest £50m).

 

 

 

 

 

Answers:

  1. 1.2million (5% of UK population)
  2. 440,000
  3. 260,000
  4. 19% ( yes-200,000 and that’s increasing yearly!)
  5. 146,000
  6. £590,000 compared to England and Wales which is £350,000
  7. £34,500 (£26,000 for the rest of the UK)
  8. 20%-making it the most wooded County in England, and with Surreys plans to plant another 1.2million before 2030!
  9. 3,500 approx
  10. 2,400 approx
  11. Reigate and Banstead Borough Council have the contract from Surrey county Council Highways.
  12. Reigate and Banstead Borough Council. EH looks after such things as air quality. Public Health is different and comes under SurreyCC.
  13. Surrey County Council, but working in partnership with the Environment Agency in many places.
  14. Reigate and Banstead in public areas and road sides, Highways England along designated roads (Motorways, etc) but also some Social Landlords on estates, and in some areas such a Banstead Commons, the Conservators. On private land, unfortunately for them, its the landowner. However, if its dangerous waste on private land the Environment Agency can take action. If in doubt ring Reigate and Banstead 01737 276000.
  15. 45 – there are fifteen Wards each with 2 Councillors.
  16. Before you say ‘too many’ – there are 81 covering the 11 Districts and Boroughs. The number varies according to size.
  17. The new HQ is coming to Reigate, just south of the town centre along the A217 at Woodhatch.
  18. Sadly, last week there were 1040 children in our care. We desperately need loving families for them-If you think you have what it takes, call me and I’ll put you in touch with the right people.
  19. £67MILLION!! We run re-cycling centres and ultimately almost all the waste from the County goes through our Services. Landfill tax – for non-recyclables costs us millions.
  20. £380million-and it’s a growing need as more people need support in the declining years.

Jeff. Harris

County Councillor Tadworth, Walton on the Hill, Burgh Heath and Kingswood.

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