Residents Report July 2020 – Cllr. Jeff Harris

As we progress with the Pandemic and the ongoing implications for all of us, I have now re-started my regular reports and will, as appropriate, also publish other information that’s relevant to local communities.

Coronavirus – CPR – Common-sense, Patience and being Reasonable are the key words going forwards. Keep washing hands, keep your distance and keep your temper! We can all get frustrated, but it gets us nowhere. Remember – Most of the services you are dealing with have been working flat out for months, in addition to their ‘day jobs’.

Don’t forget – If anyone needs help, guidance and non-medical support, please don’t forget the helplines: things medical 111 or your local GP. 119 is the number to dial

Money worries : I keep hearing that many people locally are struggling financially-even though few admit it, especially small businesses, even as the country moves to ‘normality’ – whatever that may be…. If you know someone who is under financial pressures, there are a number of agencies who can help-confidentially, these include:

Money Advice Service – 0800 138 7777 (Mon-Fri 8am-6pm)

National Debline – 0808 808 4000 (Mon-Fri 9am-8pm)

Stepchange Debt Charity – 0800 138 1111 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)

Grass-cutting and general tidiness of our communities : I’m receiving many complaints and questions locally, although this is the responsibility of Reigate and Banstead BC, on behalf of Surrey County Council. The current situation is that some grass-cutting has resumed and hopefully ‘normal’ service will resume as soon as possible. I notice that many people are keeping their own streets and verges tidy and neatly cut. This means most of our area still looks very good-thank you all!

We still need people to ensure their hedges are cut to make it safer for disabled and visually impaired residents, if yours is pavement-side, keep it trimmed…..please!

You may not know but there is a new initiative from Surrey Highways in answer to many residents asking ‘How can I help?’

The website:

https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/roadworks-and-maintenance/community-highways-volunteering

gives details of what can be done, how and by whom, and the e-mail address for more details and to offer help is: Highways.Volunteering@surreycc.gov.uk

We have some beautiful areas in our villages and around and if you and neighbours/friends/family want to do more then this is an excellent opportunity.

Just so you know: We have 145 miles of footpaths in Reigate and Banstead alone which Surrey County Council is responsible for, and obviously can’t manage all of it all the time…..There is plenty to go round! Feel free to offer…..

Fly-tipping and litter: Still getting a lot of complaints about this, so please report fly-tipping to Reigate and Banstead Council.

The on-line process is:

https://www.reigate-banstead.gov.uk/info/20093/community_safety/507/report_things_to_our_joint_enforcement_team

or via 01737276000 AND Please check for Licences of anyone removing waste or rubbish from your homes and businesses. It’s tempting to go ‘cash-no questions asked’…..But could cost you £50,000!

Fidelity, Lower Kingswood: The RBBC Planning Committee Supported the Application for the new Car Park and subsequent huge increase in vehicles accessing the site, despite quite vociferous challenge by local Councillors. I’m sure everyone will keep a close eye on how this develops.

Hyenas: I make no apology for repeating this, as we’ve seen more elderly people conned in Surrey and around recently, and although we can now see ‘a light at the end of a long tunnel’ and those shielded are able to have slightly more contact, there are still challenges for our vulnerable residents, and not just the elderly.

You will all have heard about ‘Test and Trace’ – (You can get more advice from the new number – 119 ), which is hoped to reduce the transmission rates of Covid-19, and protect people. I’ve previously warned of the con-artists and scammers preying on the elderly and vulnerable. Below is the official guidance from NHS England.

Can I ask everyone to read this, discuss it with vulnerable family members and neighbours, and explain what it means, and maybe copy it and place it next to their phone/Computer? There are criminals exploiting the process, by changing very slightly, the official web addresses, phone numbers, etc…………………………………Just one tip – if any web address doesn’t have ‘https://’ at the beginning be very wary, and never divulge personal details of any kind, and unless you are absolutely sure of it….put it in the ‘bin’, where it belongs….

If you/they receive a phone call, and you have any doubts whatsoever about the authenticity, do not divulge any personal information, and hang up.

And please TELL someone about it! …. A relative, friend, who can re-assure them and contact the Police and/or forward the e-mail to report@phishing.gov.uk

And finally ……

You may not be aware but I’m a Director (unpaid, if you need to ask!) of a Surrey County Council wholly-owned company called Hendeca Group. We offer organisations support including I.T management and support, Fire Prevention and firefighting, and are just taking on the Highways Laboratory which researches roads and surfaces, etc.

We are looking to grow and generate more profit for the County Council-we average over £500,000 a year, which goes directly to support services-and we are looking for two new Directors to support me and the other senior manager Director.

One will be an Operations Director, who needs to be innovative and forward-thinking and the salary will match the right person. The other is a Non-Executive Director, part-time, but a salary reflecting the role. I know times are hard and there may be some of our residents who may find these roles interesting, so feel free to find out more and apply…..

To apply for this role, please click the link below:

http://execroles.penna.com/

For further information or confidential discussion, please contact Roger Russell on 07710 701570 / roger.russell@penna.com or Claudia Sousa on 07763 580368/ claudia.sousa@penna.com

I will finish there and wish you all good health and thank you so much to all those doing so much for our community!

Jeff. Harris

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

July 2020

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