Horsham Station Refurbishment

July 24, 2011 · Posted in Roads & Transport · Comment 

Refurbishment work will soon start at Horsham railway station. Over the next year the extensive work at the station will include:

• A new second station entrance to the main station building
• Re-arrangement of the internal station building layout which will give:
- easier access and circulation for passengers, including direct access to the passenger lifts from inside the station
- a better location for the ticket windows which will become height adjustable to make it easier for those in wheelchairs to access the windows
- more retail facilities
• Refurbishment of platform toilets
• Reorganisation and marking of the forecourt, bus/taxi/drop off area and car parks
• Additional car parking spaces
• Additional cycle parking spaces
• Renewal of the platform canopies

The work will take place between August 2011 and June 2012 and is a collaboration between the Department for Transport’s National Station Improvement Programme, Network Rail, Southern and West Sussex County Council. The station will remain open for train services throughout the project with the work phased to help minimise disruption. A temporary ticket office will be available so passengers can continue to buy tickets from the station.

National award for Acorn Plus vehicles

July 18, 2011 · Posted in Waste & Recycling · Comment 

A national award has been given to Horsham District Council for its specialist fleet of Acorn Plus recycling and refuse vehicles.

Horsham District Council, along with Acorn Plus vehicle supplier Dennis Eagle, was awarded Waste Fleet of the Year at the Plant and Waste Recycling Awards, which took place in Torquay, Devon on 8 June. The awards recognise successful projects that are reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill sites.

The Waste Fleet of the Year award recognises that Horsham District Council has invested in its specialist Acorn Plus vehicle fleet to increase efficiency and collection capacity thus ensuring an efficient service to the community.

Cllr Andrew Baldwin, Cabinet Member for the Environment at Horsham District Council, said:
"This prestigious award recognises the investment made by Horsham District Council to ensure recycling and refuse is collected in the most efficient way, whilst retaining a weekly collection of residual (landfill) waste.
"It’s national recognition that innovative solutions backed by sensible investment can deliver excellent results.
"I congratulate everyone involved in winning this award."

Ian Jopling, Head of Operational Services at Horsham District Council, added:
"I was very proud to receive this award, with our vehicle supplier Dennis Eagle, on behalf of Horsham District Council and the whole team which has worked so hard to make Acorn Plus such a resounding success.
"It is gratifying that the residents of the Horsham District have embraced the Acorn Plus scheme making Horsham District Council one of the top recycling authorities in the country."

Foster Carers urgently needed in Horsham

July 11, 2011 · Posted in General · Comment 

West Sussex County Council urgently needs to recruit more foster carers because of the rising number of children needing foster care. The shortage is particularly acute in Horsham and its surrounding areas.

Local foster carer, Nikki says: “I’ve been a foster carer for the last 7 years doing mainly fostering for newborn babies and short-term foster care for other carers. These types of fostering fit in and work well for my family, and after all these years I really still enjoy doing it.

“My partner and I thought about fostering for quite a while before we made the ‘plunge’ and we did lots of research. One of the best things anyone can do is to talk to existing foster carers. This way you go into fostering with your eyes open so you don’t get any surprises. If anyone in Horsham is thinking about fostering contact us to find out more.”

Cabinet Member for Children and Families, Peter Evans, said: “To provide the highest standard of care, West Sussex County Council does its very best to match West Sussex children needing care to West Sussex foster carers.

“Children thrive on familiarity so our approach also means children and young people who need care stay close to their school, friends, people and places they know.”

West Sussex County Council makes sure a full package of training and support is provided to all its foster carers to meet the needs of the children and young people they care for.

Cash back for clean energy

July 5, 2011 · Posted in Environment · Comment 

According to the Energy Saving Trust, a typical home solar photovoltaic system can generate around 40% of the electricity a household uses. You can take advantage of the Government feed-in tariffs for solar electricity of 37.8p for every kWh you generate (for new build) or 43.4p (for retro fit). This tariff applies for all new installations of less than 4 kW up to the end of next March. The tariff is guaranteed for 25 years and will rise in line with the Retail Price Index.

Your home-generated electricity is free for you to use. Then any electricity you don’t use is fed back into the grid and you get paid for it. The feed-in tariffs have been set at a level which should enable anyone investing in the installation of renewable energy to make around a 7% return on the investment over its lifetime. Not every house is suitable for solar panels, you need a roof or wall that faces within 90 degrees of south and is not overshadowed by trees or buildings. Solar panels are heavy and so the roof must be strong enough to take their weight. For free impartial advice, please see this website www.energysavingtrust.org.uk.

Police Stations

June 29, 2011 · Posted in Crime & Policing · Comment 

The police’s top priority is to keep their officers out on the street and working with their local communities. The police have been asked to save £52m by 2015. As a result, the police are reducing the hours that residents can just drop into police stations. They are offering more pre-planned appointments instead. In due course, people will be able to book appointments online or over the phone. Rest assured that even when the front counter service is not open the police station is still fully staffed and functioning normally. Horsham Police station is now open Monday to Friday 10am to 2pm and 3pm to 6pm.

Taxis and private hire vehicles

June 23, 2011 · Posted in Business & Local Economy, Roads & Transport · Comment 

As of June 2011, there are 54 taxis and 128 private hire vehicles operating in our district. Taxies have to be white. As soon as a taxi is flagged down they can start to charge. If the roof box is lit then you can flag down the taxi anywhere. It doesn’t have to be at a taxi rank. A private hire vehicle can be any colour except white. You cannot flag them down, they have to be pre-booked in advance. You should agree a price with them before they pick you up and they should have a roof box on top when being used as a taxi.

Call charges

June 11, 2011 · Posted in General · Comment 

There are going on for 1 million 0870 telephone lines in this country, which can be expensive to call. There is a great website which includes many standard rate alternatives for many 0870 numbers. It is worth checking it out www.saynoto0870.com. It may save you money.

Horsham is still a great place to live

May 31, 2011 · Posted in General · Comment 

A survey in 2010 by Experian ranked England’s 324 councils by their resilience to Economic change and Horsham came 7th. Life expectancy here is amongst the highest in the country and we have excellent schools, strong employment opportunities, low crime, good transport links and an abundance of leisure activities. The excellent work done by your district council contributes to our good quality of life and helps to make Horsham District the wonderful place it is today.

Many thanks to you

May 18, 2011 · Posted in General · Comment 

Thank you very much to all of you who voted Conservative on May 5th. Simon, Roy and Helena are very grateful that you have put your faith in them and elected them to serve you as councillors on Horsham District Council.

In a statement they said “We will do our best to represent you and keep you informed of what is going on in our town. We will work together to make things happen which will be of benefit to our community. If you have any issues or ideas you would like to discuss, please do get in touch with us”.

It was a very bad day for the Liberal Democrats, both locally and nationally, loosing almost half their councillors in town halls across the country, while the conservatives exceeded expectations. In England, the Conservatives now run 157 councils, labour control 57 and the liberal democrats control 11.

In Horsham made the Conservatives made a net gain of 4 seats from the liberal democrats and as a result the council is now made up of 34 conservatives, 8 Lib Dems and 2 independents.

Action Demanded on Derelict Buildings in Crawley Road

April 29, 2011 · Posted in Housing & Planning · 1 Comment 

Local residents will be aware of the boarded up, tatty buildings on the Crawley Road opposite the Millennium Hall. They have been in that condition for some time and their shabby appearance makes the whole area look run down. There are also safety concerns with reports of children getting inside.

The buildings were purchased a few years ago by the Guinness Trust, a housing association who provide affordable homes. They intended to clear the site and redevelop it with some attractive and much needed housing for local people.

Unfortunately, due to the recession, they have nothad the money to do anything with the site. Simon and Roy want to see something done about this and will be putting pressure on those responsible.

As a temporary measure, until the redevelopment can happen, we would like to see the site cleared, and possibly used for parking. We have got the council’s solicitor involved to help with this and hope to have the same success with removing this eyesore as we did getting the burnt out office building near the station cleared.

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