Speak out now to save town services

Saturday 5th January 2019 7:00 am
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Haslemere mayor David Round

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A LAST-ditch appeal for residents to speak out against swingeing cuts to public services has been made by Haslemere’s mayor.

Surrey County Council has proposed cuts to plug a budget deficit of more than £200m by 2021, include axing Haslemere’s Tennyson’s Sure Start children’s centre.

The public’s chance to have their say will end when the nine-week consultation closes at 11.59pm on Friday (January 4).

Under threat of closure in five separate proposals are 31 children’s centres across the county and six recycling centres, including Farnham and Cranleigh, triggering increased traffic to the Witley facility.

Disabled workers will be hit by the withdrawal of free concessionary bus passes during the week before 9.30am and the removal of free companion passes for those who assist them to use public transport.

A shake-up of library services could see local branches closed, and support services for those with special educational needs could also be affected.

Urging town residents to make their views know, Mr Round said: “The Sure Start centre is important to Haslemere, where the apparent affluence of our area hides the fact that many families need and depend on help from the centre.

“Surrey are proposing to close it - and those families needing help would then need to travel to Godalming or further.

“Regarding Haslemere Library, there is no plan as yet to close it, but all libraries in Surrey face serious cutbacks and some may close. We need our library to stay. It is a much-valued facility in Wey Hill and is popular with residents who use it a great deal.

“Its future would be safer if many of us could go and join and use the library. On both of these issues Surrey County Council is holding a public consultation but it finishes on January 4.”

The town council has warned that the closure of Farnham and Cranleigh dumps will have a “tremendous” impact on Witley community recycling centre.

Also worried is Rodborough School, which shares the access road to Witley tip - a narrow lane with passing places used by many students who take the train to Milford station.

Headteacher Matthew Armstrong-Harris said: “With a larger population to serve, I do not see how this proposal will have anything other than a significant impact on the amount of traffic using Rake Lane.”

To respond, visit surreycc.gov.uk/consultations.

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