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This is the first edition of what will be our regular newsletter for Burpham and Merrow residents from your local Lib Dem councillors and campaigners. Please feel free to forward this newsletter to neighbours who may be interested.
Burpham & Merrow Newsletter - from your Lib Dem team
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In this email:
- Burpham towpath repaired
- Hunt for new Merrow playground site continues
- Action on fly-tipping
- Local county councillor sacked for non-attendance
- Lib Dems force increase in funding on road safety
- More progress on tackling the climate emergency
- Guildford budget - £42 million for more social housing
- More Covid support for local businesses
- Have your say on new political map for Guildford
Burpham towpath repaired
The navigation towpath has now been repaired after flooding from a blocked drainage ditch carved a huge gully into it over Christmas. The drainage ditch was cleared at the same time. A resident reported the issue to Cllr George Potter who was able to speak to council officers to get the problem resolved.
The repaired Burpham towpath
Hunt for new Merrow play park site continues
The lack of children's play resources in Merrow is one of the top issues residents tell us they want addressed. After years of neglect under the previous council administration, Cllr Steven Lee has persuaded council officers and the executive to formally include the need for a new play park in Merrow in the new parks strategy.
Although a lot of work still needs to be done, this is a big step forward and means that getting a new play park for Merrow is now going to be an official council priority.
Cllr Steven Lee
Action on fly-tipping
Our thanks to the residents who drew Cllr George Potter's attention to a facebook post about a fly-tipping incident which has seen rubbish dumped near the Burpham A3 road junction. This has now been raised with Guildford Borough Council who will be speaking to the County Council to get the rubbish removed.
However, this incident only serves to highlight what the Lib Dem candidate for Police & Crime Commissioner, Paul Kennedy, has been saying about the need for tougher police action to tackle fly-tipping.
Local county councillor sacked for non-attendance
The Conservative county councillor for Guildford East (Burpham and Merrow) was automatically removed from office at the end of January for failing to attend a single council meeting in six months. We will now be without a county councillor until the council elections in May.
Cllr George Potter, who is also the Lib Dem county council candidate for Guildford East, was quoted on the topic by the Guildford Dragon newspaper.
Lib Dems force county council to increase funding for road safety
Faced with a Liberal Democrat budget amendment to create a £26 million Road Safety Fund, the Conservative administration at Surrey County Council has been pressured into providing a £12 million budget increase for road safety schemes over the next 3 years.
As a result locally we'll get an extra £829,000 this year to tackle the backlog of road safety schemes in Guildford borough. Part of this will be used to fund a speed limit review for Merrow Lane, and we Lib Dem councillors will be looking in particular to see if some of this funding can be used to introduce safer 20 mph speed limits in residential areas.
More progress on tackling the climate emergency
In July 2019 Cllr George Potter and Cllr Steven Lee led Guildford Borough Council in declaring a climate emergency.
This week it was reported to the council by Lib Dem Cllr Jan Harwood, the Lead Member for Climate Change, that progress is well underway. A roadmap is to be published this month for reducing the council's carbon emissions to net zero by 2030, and projects are already underway to switch the council's vehicle fleet to fully electric by 2030, and to install solar panels at Farnham Road car park and at Millmead, with more carbon reduction projects planned.
Cllr George Potter
Guildford budget sees £42 million investment in social housing
The Guildford Borough Council budget was passed this week by the Liberal Democrat/R4GV coalition administration, and the highlight of the budget is the £42 million investment to provide 150 more homes for affordable rents in the next four years alone, as well as funding to bring forward schemes for social house building on council-owned brownfield sites.
Unfortunately, council tax is having to be increased by the equivalent of £5 a year for a Band D household due to the financial pressures caused by Covid. However, frontline public services are being protected from cuts thanks to the council finding £2.4 million of back office savings.
More Covid support for local businesses
A new Covid hardship scheme has been launched to help businesses in Guildford who have been unable to claim other Covid support. Details and an eligibility checker for this and other support schemes can be found on the council's website. Applications for support need to be made by 6.00pm on Monday 22 February 2021.
Have your say on new political map for Guildford
The Local Government Boundary Commission is working on redrawing local election boundaries for Guildford. The review will determine council ward boundaries for decades to come and at this stage the commission wants to know what local people think the boundaries of local communities are. You can have your say in a ten week public consultation which is now underway.
Did you find this newsletter informative? Is there another local issue we should be talking about or which we might be able to help with? Please let us know!