Public workers’ pay cap

We believe that the government should end immediately the public sector pay cap and allow public organisations to arrange their own pay structures. For example, Elmbridge borough does not follow national pay agreements simply because we could not recruit the staff we need if we kept pay within the British government’s guidelines. Since the recent dramatic fall in value of the pound the pressures on living standards have been even greater. The English health service is under strain as service demand increases and fellow Europeans begin to leave in anticipation of Brexit. Hospitals are put into the perverse position of having to hire agency nurses because so many full-time nurses are leaving. The British cabinet loves controlling everything. It has jettisoned Europe, it is now attempting to override parliament and it has long since emasculated local and provincial government. The health, fire, education and police services have their own
budgets so why not let them pay what they want and deliver in the way they want without being second guessed by Westminster.

Elmbridge Youth Service

Youth Club smallSurrey is halving the funding for Claygate and Weybridge youth centres.  Given the cut is so severe, Surrey has given the youth centre management committees time to raise funds from other sources before withdrawing its own funding – although it will not wait for ever (or even a year).  If you are in a position to offer support then please get in touch.

How did this happen?

It began with the Conservative state administration reducing its contribution to
local government revenues.  This is particularly painful because local government in England (unlike in most countries) is heavily restricted in how it may raise its own funds.  Even the tax that it is allowed to raise is heavily controlled by the state.  For example, income tax, national insurance and VAT increase year on year with inflation but council tax decreases.  The state even proscribes local governments’ ability to keep council tax in line with inflation; a situation that would not be tolerated in America, Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy or Spain.

Surrey has chosen to cut its youth services across the county by 11% in nominal terms.  It could have cut the service in all districts by the same amount.  Fortunately, the youth service took the view that it was time to examine need across the county afresh.

The primary directive is to ensure neets (young people not in education, employment or training) get into sustainable work and then to reduce neets to zero.  To disburse funds across the county according to need, the neets have to be located and various other indicators of deprivation have to be assembled.  The county used eleven indictors and determined that Elmbridge would have its funding increased by 6% – despite the general county cut of 11%.

Surrey took this analysis down to town level within Elmbridge itself to match the service provision with need.  This has meant that some towns, for example, Claygate and Weybridge had their service reduced and others, for example, Cobham had theirs increased.  Ditton and Oxshott have no provision from Surrey.

How can time banking help you?

TimebankingFind out at a talk to be given at 10:00, on Tuesday, 14 July, at All Saints Church, Chestnut Avenue, Esher, KT10 8JL.

Within the borough we have a wealth of skills, interests and experience that we can share with each other.  Sharing these things can help to make our society better and Timebanking is a really simple way to make that sharing easy.

Timebanking is all about giving and receiving.  It works by people offering to share a skill, interest, experience or some practical support with other time bank members.  In return they can receive something they want from the time bank.

For example, Tony is 17 and offers to teach older people at the local community centre how to use WiiFit to keep them mobile and active. For every hour Tony puts in he earns one-time credit which he spends on learning new cooking skills from Jan, another time bank member. Everyone’s time is equal. For more information about timebanking please read the attached flyer and visit www.timebanking.org.

To book your place contact Liz Tracey on liz.tracey@surreycc.gov.uk or telephone 020 8541 7020

Brooklands College Governor?

Brooklands College Web

Brooklands College is a further and higher education college located in our town. It is one of Surrey’s largest providers of vocational training and further and higher education. Its course offering is diverse, with students travelling long distances to benefit from the Brooklands College experience. The students leave with qualifications and skills that stand them in good stead for a place at university, a job or further professional or vocational studies to enhance their careers.

The college seeks to recruit associate and full governors to its governing body.

If you would be interested in bringing your community, business or professional experience to the college to help us in our work, the college would be pleased to hear from you. It is seeking governors with general skills and also have particular need for new governors with a strong financial or audit background, and governors with previous experience in further and higher education.

Please click here to download the leaflet and information pack about the college and the role of governor.

To apply please refer to the background provided in the information pack and send a letter of application and curriculum vitae to reach Ian Pocock, Clerk to the Governing Body, by Monday 23 February 2015.

Shortlisting will take place during the week beginning 23 February 2015 and interviews will take place on 11 March 2015.

Tories slash Surrey education funding by £250 million

HeathsideConservatives will cut the education budget by £253 million in Surrey by 2020 if they were in national government on their own, official research shows.

The Tories would be forced to slash local spending on schools,colleges, and nurseries to keep pace with George Osborne’s plan to drastically reduce spending.

The research, based on official House of Commons library figures, shows schools will bear the brunt of Conservative cuts but childcare, college and early years budgets would also be hit hard.

Unlike both Labour and the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats are committed to protecting cradle to college education spending.

Elmbridge Museum

Museum Discovery box website

New school membership scheme launched.  As part of its new services, Elmbridge Museum offers an exciting range of learning opportunities for local schools and community groups.

Over the last few months, Elmbridge Museum’s learning team has been meeting with teachers from across Surrey to talk to them about their outreach sessions and how the museum collection of over 40,000 objects can enrich learning in their schools. The teachers’ feedback has been invaluable to help tailor and redevelop the museum learning sessions and discovery boxes on a wide range of topics.

Elmbridge Museum is now pleased to announce its new school membership scheme to support schools in the delivery of the new curriculum. Schools that subscribe to this great value scheme will have access to the museum’s selection of interactive workshops and discovery boxes on a variety of topics.

For an annual fee of £165, the membership scheme includes:

  • Three 1.5 hour outreach sessions
  • The loan of six discovery boxes
  • One assembly
  • Three Continuous Professional Development sessions

The learning team at Elmbridge Museum is looking forward to expanding the schools service so that all local children can have access to its local history through innovative and interactive sessions that engage them in learning through the wonderful artifacts in the collection.

The team is currently developing new sessions linked to the changes in the national curriculum and are very keen to work in partnership with local schools to meet their needs and requirements as closely as possible. They value input from teachers when planning their sessions and to achieve this, they are organising a focus group with teachers for the autumn term. This session will provide a great opportunity for primary school teachers to share their opinions on how museums can best support their teaching practice.

For further information, visit the website, email ebcmuseum@elmbridge.gov.uk  or contact the museum on 01372 474568.

National Coalition offers 4.5% Extra School funding for Surrey

ClassroomSurrey Liberal Democrats have warmly welcomed proposals which will see Surrey receive nearly £25 million more in school funding than under the current system. This comes as part of an extra £350million boost to schools in the least fairly funded areas in the country.

The proposals announced in parliament by Liberal Democrat Education Minister David Laws will mean that funding will be allocated to local areas on the basis of the actual characteristics of their pupils and schools, rather than simply on the basis of historic levels of spending.

The proposed changes mean that, on average, schools in Surrey will receive £4,282 per pupil next year, an increase of around 4.5%.

Commenting on the announcement, Cllr Stella Lallement, the Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson on Surrey County council said: “This is fantastic news for Surrey children and is a much needed reform. The school funding system inherited by the coalition was unfair. Labour knew it was unfair, but chose not to act.

“For too long, school funding has been based on historical data that no longer reflects pupils’ needs. Similar schools just miles apart can be funded at very different levels, just because they happen to be in different local authority areas.

“This announcement, along with the pupil premium, will mean that our children can get the education they deserve. It is more evidence that the Liberal Democrats in government are actively implementing policies to build a fairer society.”

Create Your Own Resplendent Shakespearean Ruff at Elmbridge Museum

Resplendent RuffsGo to the next family fun event at Elmbridge Museum in Church Street on Saturday, 26 April from 2pm to 4.30pm to celebrate the 450th Anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth and learn more about his plays by making your own mini-theatre. For additional fun, you will also be making one the most popular accessories of his time: a ruff.

The famous Elizabethan ruff, which was worn by both men and women in the sixteenth century and by Shakespeare himself, developed in style and became much more elaborate as decades went by, gaining more height and size until it reached gargantuan proportions.

“Resplendent Ruffs” is part of a series of family fun events held by Elmbridge Museum in Weybridge once a month on a Saturday. Although booking is not necessary, the museum operates on a first come, first served basis so arrive early to avoid disappointment!

Children must be accompanied by an adult. A charge of £1.50 per child applies.

For further information, vist www.elmbridge.gov.uk/museum or contact the museum on 01932 843573 or email ebcmuseum@elmbridge.gov.uk

Elmbridge Grants for Volunteer Groups

Elmbridge Borough recognises the vital role that voluntary sector organisations play in Elmbridge and it has increased its grant programme from £20,800 to £45,000 next year. The grant is an effective way for the borough supporting voluntary organisations which support people in need in Elmbridge and many good causes.

Organisations in the voluntary sector are invited to apply for funding from 1 November for the financial year 2014/15, applications can be submitted for running costs, equipment or project costs, in particular to support vulnerable groups in the community. Previously successful grants have been given to projects supporting people with learning disabilities, community voluntary car schemes and counselling for people suffering from bereavement.

Since 2012 there have been over seventy successful applicants and so many innovative and creative initiatives and schemes have been developed as a result. In addition further voluntary sector organisations have been supported through our Jubilee Fund Scheme.

Apply online or for a paper application form, please contact:

Voluntary Sector Support Office
Elmbridge Borough
1 High Street
ESHER
KT10 9SD

telephone 01372 474549 or email commservices@elmbridge.gov.uk

Applicants should state which application they require, for example if they are applying for £2,000 or less they require a small application form, if they are applying for over £2,000 they should request a medium application form.