Action for Wood Street Village ... click here for full article
Update to April 2021
Since being your County Councillor, Keith Witham has always given priority to pressing for funding from Surrey County Council on your behalf for local projects and to be a strong voice for Wood Street Village in local matters. The results, so far:- Financial support for local voluntary organisations
- Local road and pavement improvements and support for buses
- Campaigning to oppose house building on local green belt
- What else does Surrey County Council do for Wood Street Village?
+++ UPDATE ABOUT TRAVELLERS ENCAMPMENTS - MARCH 2021 +++
Cty Cllr Keith Witham has been campaigning for several years for tougher laws to deal with traveller incursions. So its great news for Wood Street Village, which had FIVE Unauthorised Traveller Encampments in 2020 that cost £65,000 in clear up costs, that there will soon be new laws (now going through Parliament) to make these into a CRIMINAL offence, with CRIMINAL sanctions - a £2,500 fine, 3 months in prison, or both. But maybe the best deterrent, Police to have power to sieze the vehicles and then sell them to pay for the clear up costs. The sooner that becomes the law, the better. The problem at presenf is that an Unauthorised Traveller Encampment is illegal, but a CIVIL offence, meaning it is up to the landowner to go to court and get an eviction order, which takes time.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR LOCAL WOOD STREET VILLAGE VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS - Keith Witham has sponsored the following grants.
One of Keith Witham's objectives as your County Councillor has been to secure County Council support for local groups, organisations and projects. So he is pleased to report support given to a wide range of projects locally including:
• Wood Street Village Residents Association grants to purchase Public Address equipment and gazebos for use at the annual Village Fete/events
• Wood Street Village Cricket Club grants for equipment for their "Colts" youth section, a sight screen, surfacing artificial cricket net, and ground maintenance
• St Albans Church, grants towards the cost of a new large dishwasher for the hall, and the cost of seating for a youth café meeting space
• Little Crickets Nursery, help towards the cost of their lease
• Red Telephone Box in Frog Grove Lane to assist with the Community retention and refurbishment by volunteers
• Wood Street Infants School towards the costs of new playground area
• Wood Street Beavers Group for a tea water heater
• Wood Street Horticultural Society for daffodil bulbs planted on Wood Street Green
• Wood Street Jazz events for the Challengers Disability Charity
• Worplesdon and District Bridleway Association help with publicity, bridleway clearance and numbered bibs for events
LOCAL ROAD / PAVEMENT IMPROVEMENTS in WOOD STREET VILLAGE, AND SUPPORT FOR LOCAL BUS ROUTE 17• Frog Grove Lane fully resurfaced - @ 2,600 metres the longest stretch of road to be resurfaced in Guildford
• Other road resurfacing and kerb works carried out at Pound Hill, St Albans Close, The Oval, Baird Drive; Wildfield Close, White Hart Lane and The Green
• Installation of new parking bays at The Oval, at the request of residents
• New road signs/markings & flashing speed signs in the village
• New footpath at Oak Hill near the infants school
• New footpath along Broad Street
• Following requests from residents and the Parish Council regarding road safety, yellow lines put in outside the school to ease traffic congestion
• New grit bin installed Roman Farm Road / Cook Way
• The number 17 bus route saved. It was run by "Arriva" who announced that route would cease. But at Keith's request Surrey County Council asked "Stagecoach" to take route 17 on and keep it going, which they did
CAMPAIGNED TO OPPOSE HOUSE BUILDING ON LOCAL GREEN BELT• Support for the Green Belt. Opposition to the proposed "SANG" (Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space) in Wood Street Village that could change farmland into "allocation" for sale to developers for more housing. But it was given planning permission (entrance on Frog Grove Lane). Keith also opposed the plans for housing development at Blackwell Farm but Guildford Borough Council included that site in its development plan.
So what else has Surrey County Council ever done for residents in Wood Street Village?• ADULT SOCIAL CARE On average, at any time, there are approx. 70 people in Wood Street Village being supported by Surrey Adult Social Care, at a cost of over £1 million a year
• CHILDREN There are approx. on average at any time over 200 children in Wood Street Village being educated in Surrey schools, at a cost of over £1 million a year
• NEW FIRE STATION A brand new "state of the art" Surrey County Council Fire Station built and opened to serve the Guildford area, including Wood Street Village
STOP PRESS - TACKLING UNAUTHORISED TRAVELLER ENCAMPMENTS
Keith Witham has been pressing for several years for new laws to control Unauthorised Traveller Encampments - to make these a Criminal Offence with criminal penalties, so that the Police can take faster, effective action. New laws are now going through Parliament.And the sooner the better. Unauthorised Traveller Encampments, the clear up costs, more security for affected sites - just locally - in Jacobs Well, Fairlands, Normandy, Perry Hill, Pirbright and Worplesdon - have cost public funds (all of us) OVER £200,000 !!!