Friday, 27 February 2015

Local Cllrs Stop by Shooting Star Charity Day

Local Cllrs Gareth Elliott and Grant Healy enjoyed meeting with local volunteers at the Shooting Star Chase Charity Day, even indulging in the raffle. This is a great cause and it was fantastic to see children and adults alike enjoying the fun atmosphere.

Monday, 16 February 2015

NEWS: We intend to freeze Council Tax for sixth successive year: says Richmond Council's Deputy Leader

Richmond Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Cllr Geoffrey Samuel, is committed to delivering a sixth successive Council Tax freeze in 2015/16, and zero or low increases in future years.

The Revenue Budget for 2015/16 was agreed by Cabinet on Thursday night and a final decision on the level of Council Tax will be made by Full Council on March 3. The Council’s medium term financial strategy aims to deliver a Council Tax freeze whilst protecting existing services. The strategy has been developed in light of the national budget, the impact the Local Government Settlement has had on all local Councils, and with a review of the Council’s reserves and balances.

Richmond Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Cllr Geoffrey Samuel, said:

“Once again our prudent financial management of the Council’s affairs mean that we can freeze Council Tax whilst still protecting services. Faced with huge cuts in Government grant we are improving our efficiency – and our residents are the winners.”

Whilst so many homes across the country have been squeezed by the recession, Richmond Council has frozen Council Tax for five successive years. This has been made possible thanks to prudent financial control of the Council’s budget. Since 2011/12 the Council has achieved over £31m in savings including £15m from restructuring and sharing services, £10m from procurement and contract savings and £6m from income generation and other measures.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Last Chance to Nominate a Road or Pavement for the Council to Repair - 22nd Feb

The February 22nd deadline has almost arrived for residents to nominate for repairs a street or pavement for this year’s Community Roads and Pavement fund.

Once again the Council is spending nearly £3m on its repairs programme. But £490k is set aside for residents to direct towards specific roads and pavements across Richmond’s 14 villages that need improving. This is £35k per village – enough for minor repair works.

All you need to do is nominate a road or pavement in your local community which you would like to see improved. The more nominations a road or pavement gets, the more likely it is to be approved so encourage your neighbours to get involved.  Each person must complete their own nomination form.
In the All in One Survey, residents said that the condition of pavements and footpaths was one of their top concerns. So far 900 residents have nominated roads and pavements across Richmond.

Last year, thanks to the Community Roads and Pavement Fund, 19 roads and 31 pavements were repaired. That’s in addition to the 16 roads and 30 pavements that were repaired as part of the Council’s regular maintenance programme. 

Richmond Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Cllr Stephen Speak, said:
“The Community Roads and Pavements Fund is a great example of how local residents shape the work of Richmond Council.

“The improvements that come about through this scheme are on top of our statutory duties and, by going that little bit further, Richmond will continue to be a beautiful borough.”

If you know a footpath or road that needs to be improved, complete a nomination form by emailing or pick up a form at your local library. The deadline is Sunday, February 22.

A316 Underpass Gets an Overhaul

Building on our continuing attempts to update and renew our town we are happy to provide pictures here of the updated underpass that crosses under the A316. It has received a new coat of paint and the flooring has been completely updated.

This access route is crucial to residents crossing the A316, especially those living on the Rosebine estate. We hope that residents will be happy with the upgrade.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Whitton Station Update - Works to Begin & Schedule

Plans to provide Whitton with a new improved train station building have now taken a significant step forward with the announcement of the commencement of works on 23 February.

The first of the two phase improvement scheme will begin with improvements to the  station entrance which will be more prominent and welcoming, a larger booking hall and the introduction of a new retail unit, accessible toilet, ticket office and cycle racks.

Plans are in place to complete the first phase by the Rugby World Cup. The £2 million work is funded by Richmond Council, the RFU and the Department for Transport’s ‘National Stations Improvement Programme’ and will be delivered by the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance through their delivery partner Osborne.

The work will begin on 23 February with the closure of the station’s ticket office. Additional ticket machines and staff will be on site during peak hours to assist customers with ticket purchases.

To enable the works to be undertaken some of the parking immediately in front of the station will need to be temporarily suspended, a drop-off space will still be maintained. 

Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Environment Cllr Fleming, said:

“The Council has already made a big investment in transforming Whitton High Street and residents have been calling for improvements to Whitton Station for a long time. We have invested £450k to this work and I know it will make a big difference to the local community.

“I know that the parking suspensions aren’t ideal – but I ask local residents and the business community to bear with us whilst the work continues. It will be worth it in the end.”

Catherine Oldham, Project Manager for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance, added:

“We are delighted to be starting the station improvements at Whitton station. The need to improve accessibility has been a priority for us for a long time and we have worked hard to deliver improvements for passengers.”

 A ‘Meet the Manager’ session is planned for Wednesday 11 February between 1600hrs-2000hrs at the station for passengers and local residents to find out more about the plans.

Phase Two enhancements will make the station completely accessible. Funded under the Department for Transport’s ‘Access for All Scheme’, work will begin at the end of October and is expected to be complete by Summer 2016.