SCC Consultations

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Community Recycling Centres:

Surrey County Council faces severe financial pressures and feel they have no choice but to look for savings. They are undertaking five consultations at the same time.

Consultations end on Friday 4 January 2019. Click here for link.

All the threatened Surrey County Council cuts are important.

Potential loss of Farnham’s Community Recycling Centre (CRC) in Guildford Road.

Surrey has put forward three options for the future of its 15 CRCs. Two of these would involve closing the Farnham CRC and would require Farnham residents to travel to Guildford, Camberley or Witley to recycle their household waste. Using these CRCs would involve round trips of around an hour at quieter times and much longer at busier times. This would be a major inconvenience and unnecessary expense to Farnham’s 40,000 plus residents and would result in very many Farnham residents opting out of using the Surrey CRCs completely and most likely an increase in fly-tipping.

The Farnham CRC is threatened with closure as it is categorised by Surrey as one of the six less used sites, which is supposedly close to alternative sites, which are said to generally offer a better customer experience. Farnham would appear to be the highest used of the six less used sites. This low use would seem to be very surprising as Farnham is the third largest town in Surrey based on the 2011 census figures and all the other CRCs apart from Guildford and Woking are based in smaller towns than Farnham. It is not really surprising as the Farnham CRC is very poor from an access, layout and customer experience point of view. Surrey and Suez management appear to struggle with this site, which is seriously understaffed when compared to the nearby, and well managed and run, Hampshire sites in Aldershot and Farnborough.

The Farnham CRC is now in a cycle of decline as it is thought that many Farnham residents are now using Hampshire sites, particularly since the Farnham site was closed for two days a week and its opening hours shortened. However, the supervisors of the nearby Hampshire sites have advised that in around a years’ time Hampshire intend to introduce checks to ensure that only Hampshire residents will have access to their CRCs.

It is unacceptable for Farnham to be left without a well-run CRC in the town or very close by. It may be that the current site cannot be realistically upgraded. If so it should be used for another purpose and a new site developed in a suitable alternative location nearby. A further option would be to come to an arrangement with Hampshire to upgrade the Aldershot site to serve both Aldershot and Farnham residents.

In any case we would strongly recommend Farnham residents to take part in the Surrey consultation, which runs till Friday 4 January 2019, and to insist that the Farnham CRC is not closed until a suitable alternative facility is provided.

Follow this link to the consultation

 Transforming Libraries and Cultural Services

Surrey County Council’s consultation on “Transforming Libraries and Cultural Services” does not contain any specific proposals to close any libraries. This is in contrast with the consultation on “Community Recycling Centres” which includes proposals, which would result in the Farnham Recycling Centre being closed.

The consultation makes it clear that the Council intends to make substantial savings in the costs of its libraries and library services. Surrey currently has 52 libraries based across the county and the Council currently spends £14 per person on libraries compared with the £9.89 average for similar county councils. Their intention is to reduce their expenditure on libraries to a level close to the national average spend of county councils. This would involve a cut in expenditure of up to 30%, which would most likely have to include some closures of the less well used libraries and service reductions elsewhere.

The consultation document does talk positively about how libraries are an integral part of community life and sit at the heart of lifelong learning. We completely agree and see the continuation of Farnham’s library service at its present excellent level as vitally important for the residents of the town.

We would we would strongly recommend Farnham’s residents, who wish to protect our library services, to take part in the Surrey consultation. This runs until 4 January 2019. Participation can be either online via the Surrey County Council website following this link or by returning a questionnaire available at Farnham Library.

8 thoughts on “SCC Consultations

  1. The closure of Recycling Sites in general is extremely short sighted as it will lead to an increase in fly tipping, and dangerous and/or noxious substances being disposed of in unsafe ways.

    Children and pets being particularly vulnurable and at risk of injury or infection.

  2. By closing more SCC facilities it will for many people mean further distance to travel to dispose of waste responsibly. Not only does this increase fuel usage and therefore CO2 emissions but it will discourage responsible disposal and potentially increase the amount dustmen collect from properties as home occupiers would probably maximise the volume of their bins to avoid the increased journey to a SCC. Another potential action home owners may possibly take is to place recyclable waste in ordinary household bins adding to the segregating problems for councils or increase the landfill requirement. For some the risk of fly tipping may be worth considering and the repercussions that brings both environmentally and financially is well documented.

  3. Whilst I think that commercial users should be charged a licence fee to use CRCs, the charges must not be too punitive as that will just increase fly-tipping. SCC’s statement says that most people will be within 20-30 minutes of a remaining CRC given fair traffic. Surrey is a crowded county in many parts. Taking Farnham as an example, the only times when traffic is not congested are likely to be the times when the CRCs at Guildford and Camberley are not open. These closures just put more traffic on already congested roads.
    Why doesn’t SCC follow its fellow Tory council in Northampton and issue a section 114 declaring itself bankrupt? Otherwise raise the council tax to cover the much increased demands and obligations that governments have put on local councils over the past decade.

  4. Increased fly tipping, increased pollution due to additional driving required should Farnham Recycling centre be closed. Given Farnham is the 3rd largest town in Surrey such a decision is unacceptable.

  5. I think the closure is totally shortsighted and will encourage even more fly tipping in and around our Town. Please find other ways to save money. No one is going to drive their rubbish to Guildford or wherever.

  6. If Surrey CC’s main objective is to save money shutting Recycling centres will fail miserably. This suggestion/plan just makes Surrey CC’s Councillors appear to be completely thoughtless and short sighted (at best!) as this is guaranteed to result in increased fly-tipping enabling dangerous deadly and harmful substances and debris being disposed of in unsafe ways. Anyone who thinks this won’t happen is being delusional (a delusion is a mistaken belief that is held with strong conviction even in the presence of superior evidence to the contrary). Just google fly-tipping! Look into the cost of Fly-tipping. Look at the resulting fines and the cost to land owners.

    If Surrey genuinely want to save ratepayers money, don’t spend the £50 Million plus on the doomed retail Farnham East Street Brightwell scheme (High Street retail is dying!).

    Has anyone at Surrey CC read the issues surrounding pollution across the UK?
    Has anyone looked into the history of why Recycling Centres were established?
    If this is a political move – hang your heads in shame – it’s far too obvious.

  7. Closing the Recycling Centres is a recipe for extensive fly-tipping and all the hazards it creates. Why not raise the Council Tax ?

  8. A recycling centre is essential for a town the size of Farnham. It is conveniently located for residents – our family drop their rubbish on the way to shops – therefore not incurring any additional fuel usage. We have always considered the recycling centre to be one of the most successful things that the council has organised. Disposal of rubbish – in all forms – is not a nice-to-have but a vitally important service.
    The council has had to compromise its eco credentials in agreeing to concrete over vast swathes of green areas – it should not go further by dealing a death blow to its very efficient rubbish disposal arrangements.

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