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Hello <<First Name>>

Its been another busy week in local government and residents have been keeping me nice and busy.

The access to MOD Training Areas campaign is taking up a fair bit of my time and there is an appeal for your help in this eNewsletter. As I have quite a lot of new subscribers to this list who have joined just for updates on this issue, I have marked it orange in the table of contents below so they can jump straight to that content.

I cannot stress enough <<First Name>>, that if you feel as strongly as I do that community access to the MOD training areas continues, then please do not leave it to others to win this campaign. If you do then we will lose. There is lots you can do to help which is not at all onerous. Lead campaigners have made it really easy for you to assist. More info below in orange.

  • Potholes update
  • Dodgy operators at Cedar Lane Car Park
  • Dispensary at Frimley Green medical practice
  • Frimley Green Traffic Lights Update
  • Access to MOD Training Areas Petition Update
  • Progress on parking issues with HMO's
  • Planning applications

Do you follow me on social media? I keep the following channels regularly up to date: 

My Facebook Page
@PaulDeach
@deachy
YouTube

Potholes update

Today I received a briefing from the Cabinet Member for Highways on the current situation regarding potholes. 

It is fair to say I see posts on social media daily from residents who are experiencing a high number of potholes on our highways. Recently I have received communication from constituents who have had their vehicle damaged as a result of this.

The cabinet member made the following points:

There are currently 20 reactive repair gangs on the network together with 13 Traffic management gangs. They are working overtime, doing double shifts and working weekends to meet our requirements for dealing with potholes.

During January and February, the gangs repaired 6547 and 5455 potholes respectively. This compares with an average of approx. 3500 a month in Sept, Oct & Nov last year. 

Of these totals, approx. 99% of the defects are getting repaired within the policy timescales. https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/policies-plans-consultations/policies-and-plans/highway-safety-inspections-standards-and-procedures

The persistent wet weather is making it difficult for some jobs to be completed as permanent repairs, and currently, approximately 15% are being made safe with either temporary repairs or traffic management. All have follow up jobs scheduled within 28 days to repair permanently. There are a small number of defects that gangs are unable to permanently resolve in this timescale due to operational practicalities such as persistent standing water.

In the short term, with the rain continuing, it is expected the pothole volume will remain high, and at the moment our highways teams are receiving between 300 and 400 new jobs every day.

I would like to encourage you to log any potholes using the council's online system https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/roadworks-and-maintenance/report-a-highway-problem

Dodgy operators at Cedar Lane Car Park

Regular readers of this page will recall that last week, I posted about the Surrey Heath LC Meeting and that I was very vocal about the dodgy car park operators at Cedar Lane Car Park. This was following a presentation from Chief of Staff from the Community Protection Group at Surrey County Council.

As a result of this, I had a telephone conversation on Wednesday with the Head of Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards, where I gave him a detailed briefing on the issues at Cedar Lane Car Park. I made it clear that the activities of the previous operator at the Carpark (Civil Enforcement Limited) was of serious concern. I also highlighted concerns around some of the solicitors, who act as debt collectors for these dodgy operators and that I think it is very much in the public interest that the activities of these companies should be the subject of an investigation.

However, now that Civil Enforcement Limited is no longer the operator at this car park, it makes it impossible to investigate their activities there.

We agreed that if I continue to receive complaints about this car park of a similar nature to the previous operators, then I will make contact with Trading Standards with a view to them taking a much closer look at the activities at Cedar Lane Car Park.

This issue is a national one where a whole industry has sprung up legally praying upon decent law-abiding citizens. I recently wrote to Michael Gove MP to express my concerns with this matter. He has confirmed to me that he wrote to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick MP on 14 February 2020, to ask what the department’s plans were regarding combatting rogue ticketing companies.

As soon as I hear back from Michael, I will post the details here.

In the meantime, if you or you know anyone who experiences any underhand practices ar Cedar Lane Car Park, I want to hear about it.

Finally, today, my good friend Cllr Sarah Jane Croke and I will be acting as a witness in Court for a Bagshot resident who is taking on Civil Enforcement Limited. I will, of course, let followers know the outcome.

Dispensary at Frimley Green medical practice

I have had a fair amount of communication from residents who have received a letter from the Bartlett Group Practise informing them that the Dispensary at the Frimley Green Medical Centre is to close.

The letter, which I received myself, was not very clear and residents, quite understandably would like to understand the rationale for this move.

I wrote to the NHS Surrey Heath CCG to get an explanation and this is the response I received.

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NHS England South East (Kent Surrey and Sussex) is the commissioner of pharmaceutical services provided by dispensing doctors in accordance with the NHS Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Regulations 2013 (Part 8 Regulation 48), and it has a duty to ensure that only patients that are eligible to receive such a service are included on a dispensing doctors dispensing patients list.

To be eligible to receive medication directly from the GP practice, national NHS regulations say that a patient must live in a defined rural area (known as a controlled locality) and more than a 1.6km (1 mile) radius from a community pharmacy. In the case of Deepcut, NHS England has re-designated the area as a non-controlled locality (no longer a rural setting).

Periodically NHS England carry out an audit to identify patients who live within 1.6km and are therefore no longer eligible to receive dispensing services – hence the recent notification that has gone out to patients

Once we are notified of the patients who were no longer eligible, we have to comply with this instruction and remove them from the Doctors Dispensing List after suitable notification. As an interim measure, we were allowed to continue to dispense to existing patients. However, recent further changes mean that it is simply no longer viable or safe to keep the dispensary open at Frimley Green Medical Centre.

These changes to the Deepcut dispensing area have a significant impact on the viability of our dispensary and so we have made the difficult decision to close the dispensary at Frimley Green and relocate the dispensing staff to Ash Vale where we will continue to look after the Mytchett patients.

We appreciate that any changes to patient services can cause anxiety and that the reasons for such changes are not always obvious. However, NHS England has a legal obligation to ensure that the regulations are implemented appropriately. We make every effort to ensure that patients are supported through this transition with clear and practical information. The availability of community pharmacy services has changed significantly in recent years and many pharmacies provide a free collection and delivery service which should assist any patients with restricted mobility, under which they will collect the patient’s prescription from the surgery and deliver medication to the patient at home. There are also internet pharmacies that offer delivery of medication direct to patient’s homes, and also pharmacies that are open for 100 hours per week, situated locally. We can also make use of EPS (Electronic Prescribing System). This allows us to email a patient’s prescription directly to a Community Pharmacy without them needing to collect the paper prescription from reception and physically take it to the Community Pharmacy. And of course, in today’s digital age, there are also online options and the NHS App to order repeat prescriptions for those who choose to opt for these methods.

We are already engaging with the local pharmacies to ease the transition for our patients. For those patients who collect their medication at Frimley Green, Boots, of course, is only a matter of yards away, and I believe they offer a delivery service and certainly collect patient prescriptions from us on a daily basis. I am not aware that Boots in Frimley Green are planning on closing, but this has the potential to cause serious inconvenience were this to occur. Hopefully, though, the use of EPS will mean patients can collect their medication at other locations

We do strongly encourage our patients to use the Electronic Prescribing System, to save the journey to collect a paper prescription, and to consider using online services or the NHS App to order their prescriptions. This alone would save patients with transport or mobility issues a trip to the surgery.

Please be reassured that the decision was not taken lightly, but was necessary following changes under NHS Regulations.

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This decision is not within the scope of a Borough or County Councillor so there is nothing I or any other councillor can do to reverse or influence the reversal of this decision.

If you would like to get in touch with the relevant authority then please contact the Surrey Heath Clinical Commissioning Group.

Frimley Green Traffic Lights Update

I just thought I would provide an update on the situation with the Frimley Green Traffic lights as I am conscious that I have not posted about that for a little while.

Over the last few months, I have been working closely with lead campaigners.

Although moving forward has been slow we are making steady progress.

The County Council Highways planners are now supportive of a scheme without traffic lights and Surrey Heath Borough Council and SKANSKA appear to be supportive too.

To further move things forward, lead campaigners and I are in the process of organising a public engagement meeting which will be in two parts and will both take place on 25th March 2020.

The first element of this will be a drop-in session between 2pm-6pm, where we will be displaying the new proposals. Residents will be able to see the plans and discuss them with lead campaigners and me.

Then on the same evening at 7pm-8pm, I will be facilitating a Facebook live presentation and Q & A, where lead campaigners and I will again be showing the new proposals and be taking questions from residents. We will also have a County Council Highways planner taking part who will be able to answer any technical questions that residents might have.

Once we have given residents an opportunity to see the new proposals, we will be giving the whole community an opportunity to indicate which option they prefer. A scheme with traffic lights or a scheme without traffic lights but with an improved roundabout solution.

<<First Name>>, I will be sending you an email shortly confirming all the details.

Access to MOD Training Areas Petition Update

As a subscriber to this email list, you will most likely already be aware that I am working with my good friends Attieh Fard (Mytchett) and Stuart Black (Frimley Green) on raising awareness of the possible restriction of community access to the MOD training areas which residents have enjoyed for generations.

Attieh created a petition which is now trending on Change.org and at the time of writing has received +4500 signatures.

I am concerned though, that the rate in which new signatures are coming in is slowing and we need significantly more than we currently have if we are to send a very strong signal to the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) that the community value access to these areas a great deal and the loss of access will be a devastating blow to our way of life.

This issue affects residents from Bordon in Hampshire, Fleet, Aldershot, Camberley and Yately. Stuart Black estimates around 500k residents. Which is why we need way more signatures to our petition.

<<First Name>>, you can play just as bigger part in this campaign than Attieh, Stewart and I. Every single resident can help in a significant way without having to put much effort in. Simply share this link with everyone you know locally and ask them to sign the petition, and ask them to share it with everyone they know. Social media is great for this.

The petition link you can share is here: access.deachy.uk

I have created some social media resources to help make it easy for you spread the word via facebook, twitter and instagram.  You can download these along with another campaign material here: Social Media Resource Pack

Attieh, Stewart and I have teamed up with Trail Action Group who have been campaigning for several years about this issue. Check them out on facebook.

Yesterday, Attieh and I had a look around some of the areas of concern in Surrey Heath. Check out the video we shot below.

Attieh and I check out some of the areas of concern in Surrey Heath
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Progress on parking issues with HMO's

Last Friday I met with our MP Michael Gove and discussed the long-standing issue of Homes of Multiple Occupation. HMO's.

The problem has been that a HMO of 6 or more people (unrelated to each other) has to apply for a licence from the council.

However, the council do not have the powers to refuse a license based on a lack of parking provision.

There are HMO's in my Borough ward causing issues with parking as a result of there being more cars than there is parking provision allocated to that household. This is a common complaint I get from residents and one I have not been able to resolve, which is why I asked for Michaels help.

Michael wrote to the housing minister and the response below is disappointing in some respects but may suggest I have been barking up the wrong tree.

I now looks as though this maybe something that the council can address through its local plan, so I wrote to the Borough Council Executive Head of Regulatory to see if this is indeed something that can be addressed through the local plan or some other local policy creation. She has written back and has confirmed that if Councillors wish for this to be addressed with local policy then it should be referred to the relevant council working group for discussion. As a result of this, I have written to all councillors at Surrey Heath Borough Council to seek cross-party support and the initial response has been very positive which mean this is now going to go forward for discussion with the relevant working group.

Michael Gove also tasked his assistant to research the legal position to see if all bases have been covered politically.

I will report back in due course via my Facebook page and my email list but if you are someone who is adversely impacted with this issue please get in touch and I am happy to discuss.

I like to try and keep residents informed of the planning applications in my Borough Ward that go live on the SHBC Planning Portal.

Note that each application has a reg number which you can use when using the search feature on the portal in order to get the full details of the respective application.

As always if you have any comments in support or against any of these applications please do let me know.

The planning portal can be found here. It is worth registering and setting up alerts on applications you are interested in so you can be kept up to date on amendments and decisions.
As always I want to hear from you if you have any burning issues of a local nature so please do get in touch.

Best wishes



Cllr Paul Deach
Borough Councillor for Mytchett and Deepcut
County Councillor for Mytchett, Frimley Green and Deepcut
My Facebook Page
@PaulDeach
@deachy
YouTube
My Website
Copyright © 2020 Paul Deach, All rights reserved.


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