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Update from your LibDem Councillors - Saturday 22 January 2020

January 23, 2021 12:36 PM

Dear friends, welcome to our latest Update covering the period since our last one on 8 January. A period during which we experienced:

  • delight in finally seeing the back of Trump,
  • dismay at the continued ravaging of COVID and
  • a certain feeling of "what did you expect" as the increased red-tape from Brexit damages many businesses.

COVID - local:

You will all be following the national developments, so these are just some more local aspects, and we have put a list of useful links at the end of this Update:

  • You may have seen the Surrey County Council vans with messages about Social Distancing, they were out last weekend at Nonsuch Park and will also go to the Downs and Horton.
  • Bourne Hall will be one of 3 Asymptomatic Community Testing Centres in Surrey from 1 February for those without symptoms who can't work from home.
  • Watch out for email scans seemingly about vaccinations. Use your usual common sense before clicking on any links.
  • An interesting anecdote about the vaccination system at the Grandstand. A friend accompanied his vulnerable mother-in-law for her scheduled vaccination, and he was offered (and took) a jab too, even though he was not in any of the current priority groups. We'd be interested to hear of other oddities.
  • And if you are a real statistical nerd you may find this interesting from the Actuarial Profession explaining some of the data issues.

Other local news:

  • The local Police Commissioner has launched a survey on whether residents would be willing to pay more for (possibly) greater police presence. The survey is here and is open until 5 February.
  • You may have seen the TFL proposals for extending the Congestion Charge to Greater London (including Sutton and Worcester Park). A generic article from the Guardian last month sets out the issues, and it now seems the proposal has been developed a bit further given recent press eg here
  • That latest data for Universal Credit applications and those looking for work shows a trebling from February 2020 to November 2020; namely from 96 to 326 for youths, and from 480 to 1,558 for all ages.
  • At the Borough Council's Standards Committee this month, the issue we had raised in the past about residents not being allowed to ask questions on any matter which was on a meeting's Agenda was referred to a "Working Party". This might introduce changes. Or not…
  • This week we will be pressing the Council at the Environment Committee over a lack of progress on climate change matters.
  • If you watched the ITV series Finding Alice that started on 17th January you might have caught glimpse of The Parade, Town Hall and Rosebery Park.
  • We can't knock on your doors right now, but if you have an issue you would like to discuss or a matter where we might be able to help, please let us know and we can set up a Zoom call.

Wider issues:

  • With February half-term coming up the chaos over free school meals for those in need continues, with those sickening pictures of the "£30" food parcels. We are pressing for the use of vouchers to empower parents as per this page.
  • Johnson's waffle about frictionless trade with the EU continues to be shown as piffle as numerous stories show such as here, here and here (video).
  • Perhaps not surprisingly the Government is shutting down the Parliamentary committee looking at relationship with EU - just as the downsides are starting to show.
  • And more depressingly on a global climate change perspective, the government has decided not to stop a new coal mine in Cumbria and has approved a new gas power station in Yorkshire. So much for a Building Back Greener.

COVID - useful links:

Up-to-date information is available on the following links - please let us know if you have ideas for this list which we will repeat at the end of each future Update for ready reference:

  • Latest statistics on cases around Surrey are available here (showing some reduction in cases).
  • This page from SurreyHeartlands gives up-to-date information on the vaccination roll-out.
  • Information about council (Borough and County) services is available on their websites here and here.
  • And the national government page with restrictions etc is here.
  • If you want to apply for a Postal Vote for the May County elections which are still expected to take place you can download a form here.

Julie and David

Stay safe

Saturday 22nd January 2021

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