News

Historic building to stay

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1-3 High Street, this is the building that use to house the pet shop, is to be retained and converted into apartments. The plan is for 4 apartments on the first and second floor. It is unclear as to whether the ground floor is to remain has retail units or offices.

The building was originally a farm house for Highclere Farm and therefore in a way it is returning to its original use.

The planning application is PLAN/2016/1418

The Anchor Inn should it be demolished?

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Earlier this month we reported on the fact that following a review Woking Borough Council had removed the status of community asset from the building.

Prior to CAMRA seeking to have the pub made a community asset WBC were working with developers Metbase to reconfigure the building so that it could be used both for residential purposes and retail, there was talk of a wine bar. However when the Woking Advertiser  reported on the fact that the building was no longer a community asset Metbase is quoted as saying that the plan was to demolish the pub and replace it with a mix of residential and shops, plus parking and social housing.

So what has changed? That is the question we have put to local Councillors but so far no answers.

The Anchor is an historical building and locally listed. When I have been away and I drive up Anchor Hill once I see The Anchor I know I am home. Maybe there is no room for sentimental views and that we should give way to much larger buildings, say similar to the block that contains TESCO’s.

We would welcome your views. If The Anchor closes as a pub should the building be saved  or demolished and make way for a larger more modern structure?

The Anchor Inn is no longer on the Council’s list of assets of community value

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Back in July Woking Borough Council determined that The Anchor was an asset of community value and this resulted in pub being included on the Council’s list of Assets of Community Value.

Premier Pubs Estate Limited, the owners of The Anchor, contested the decision and contacted WBC to seek a review of the decision to place The Anchor on the list of Assets of Community Value.

Now Woking Borough Council has published their decision.

‘I determine that The Anchor Inn should not have been included in the Council’s List of Assets of Community Value. This is on the basis that the nomination submitted in respect of The Anchor Inn was not a 2community nomination”, so the requirements of Section 89(1)(a) of the Localism Act 2011 have not bee satisfied.

The full wording of the review cab be found on the Council’s website.

This decision doe not immediately impact on the pubs opening hours, we will have to wait to see what Premier Pubs want to do with the building.

 

Congratulations to two local business people

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First congratulations to Valerie French and the team at her salon in Anchor Crescent, Knaphill. They have been awarded five star status by The Good Salon Guide. We understand that it is the only salon in Surrey to achieve the prestigious rating.

Secondly Lorenzo Monturori of Lorenzo’s Deli and restaurant on Knaphill High Street. Lorenzo was a finalist in the Best Takeaway Chef in Britain category in the British Takeaway Awards.

Well done to both local businesses, lets all shop and eat locally.

 

Vyne bollards to be removed

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At a meeting of Woking’s Joint Committee, that is County Councillors and Woking Councillors, held on Wednesday 8th December the Councillors approved the highways capital work programme for 2017/18. One of the projects was the bollards at the Vyne. The item reads as follows:-

ITS Redding Way, Knaphill – removal of bus gate(rising bollards and prohibition) and possible new safety features. Feasibility, design and construction during 2017/18. Currently only ranked 43rd on the Woking schemes but a high profile issue that links in with A322 review.

Although there was a brief debate at the Joint Committee it would appear that the decision for this work on the bollards was taken at an earlier private, Councillors only, meeting. We know that officers from WBC have been working on a number of changes to our roads in an attempt to reduce the congestion on the A322, Bagshot Road, and the growing traffic problems on the High Street/ Anchor Hill. The KRA was expecting an announcement on the whole plan and were taken by surprise when the officers came forward with just the removal of the bollards.

Those who have been following this story know that the Council promised to consult residents before making a decision, well that appears to have been lost.

During the brief debate in public at the Joint Committee the reason given by a Councillor for bringing the bollards forward as a stand alone project was, and I quote, ‘to improve the safety for those crossing from the car park to the Vyne’.

Memorial garden open for Armistice Day service

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Thamesway Housing and Woking Borough Council had completed the majority of the new memorial garden in time for our annual Armistice Day service and we must say thank you for creating such a space within the centre of the village, especially the dry stone wall and appropriate wording.

The service was led by leaders of our local churches with readings from children from St.Hugh’s of Lincoln and Knaphill schools. We also had a guard of honour from Pirbright Barracks.

Once the memorial garden is complete  our local Councillors will organize an official opening and service of dedication.

Patio with loose stone wall and embossed message on stone

Ambulance station – latest

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Today as I drove past our ambulance station in Bagshot Road I noticed that what is the equivalent to a ‘For Sale’ notice has been erected. Also today I met Jonathan Lord, our MP, who informed me that the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) have failed to respond to the questions he has put to them.  So it would appear that SECAmb are going ahead with the closure of our ambulance station without any consultation or explanation to those who will be affected or their elected representatives.

It is also clear, given the speed in which the land has been put up for sale, that the main reason for closing our ambulance station is cost and by selling the land SECAmb make money.

OUR AMBULANCE SERVICE

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In recent weeks we have been critical of the emergency ambulance cover for our area and quoted from the CQC report. We feel we must point out that there was good news in the report under the heading ‘Compassionate care’:

‘During our inspection we heard numerous examples of compassionate care displayed by ambulance staff. This was supported by our observations of staff in their interaction with patients and carers. Ambulance staff were aware and sensitive to the dignity and respect of patients ensuring that they were transported with appropriate blanket coverage.’ CQC Report September 2016

The feedback we have received from residents has been that they find ambulance staff and paramedics are friendly and helpful.

However there is still a serious issue with the speed that ambulances are getting to the very urgent 999 calls. In the latest figures* SECAmb Trust received 1,347 Red 1 calls resulting in an emergency response arriving at the scene, but only 64.6% arrived on the scene within the 8 minute target. NHS England expect 75% of Red 1 calls to achieve a response within 8 minutes.

We at the KRA have put a number of key questions to our elected representatives, MP and County Councillor, and we await answers to these questions. The most basic question being; “How will the closure of the ambulance station in Knaphill help improve the response time to urgent 999 calls?”

*Taken from NHS England, covering the period August 2016. SECAmb = South East Coast Ambulance Foundation Trust which covers Surrey.

The Royal Oak Pub – An Award Winner!

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The Royal Oak, located at the bottom of Anchor Hill, is a 17th Century Inn, which welcomes everyone including families & dogs. It has a large beer garden, and parking at front at the pub, as well as 5 real ales and over 10 real ciders & perries.  The pub is famous for its Bridge, Sunday Roast & Curry Nights.

This year the Royal Oak has won:

– Pub of the Season Award – by Surrey/Hants Branch for Pub of the Season 2016

– Gained entry into the Good Beer Guide 2017 by CAMRA National

– Woking Best in Bloom – Pub Beer Garden – The Royal Oak has come 2nd for 2016


If you’re a member of CAMRA you can get discount on all Real Ales & CIders/Perries.

More information on the performance of our ambulance service

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When the KRA started to look at the ambulance service we concentrated on the proposed closure of the Knaphill ambulance station with staff and vehicles being transferred to Ottershaw. However the bigger picture is more worrying.

Our ambulance service is provided by South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) and this is an NHS foundation trust. SECAmb covers Kent, Surrey, Sussex and NE Hampshire, the first question is this too big to be efficient? On the 29September the Core Quality Commission published their inspection report and overall the quality of service provided by SECAmb was rated as inadequate for the second consecutive inspection and the service was put into special measures. When the CQC put an organisation into special measures it means that they have no confidence in the current management team bringing about sufficient change to improve the situation. I have now read the 29 page executive summary and it does not make pleasant reading.

Response times

One of the areas where the CQC is highly critical is the ambulance service’s response to serious 999 calls.

The first test is the speed the ambulance service answers 999 calls and according to the CQC SECAmb is benchmarked as the worst performing trust nationally for answering 999 calls within 5 seconds.

Turning to the time taken for an ambulance to reach the patient. Serious 999 calls are slit into Red1 and Red2. Red1 calls are those of life threatening nature and Red2 calls less urgent but including strokes and fits. For Red1 calls the target is for the response to be within 8 minutes and this should be achieved on at least 75% occasions to meet the national target. SECAmb only achieved 71%. For Red2 the national target for responding within 9 minutes is 75%, SECAmb only achieved 67.3%. The CQC state that the performance was significantly varied between different control centres within the trust. For one control centre the performance fell as low as 33% for Red1 calls and 55.8% for Red2 calls.  The CQC do not name any ambulance station so we do not know how Knaphill or Ottershaw perform when compared to the national targets.

Returning to where we started, the future of the Knaphill ambulance station. The KRA has sent both Jonathan Lord MP and County Cllr. Saj Hussain a number of questions that we feel residents need answers to to measure the quality of service they received from the Surrey based ambulance stations and what the impact of the closure will have on response times.

There were good points in the CQC report. The CQC rated the service good for caring and the attitude from staff to their patients.

 

Phil Stubbs

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