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Town has a busy year ahead

Council Changes

Last week marked the start of the third session of the town council’s current administration. As reported elsewhere in the Herald, this means a change to the holders of the mayoral positions. Council extended grateful thanks to the outgoing Mayor, Pat Evans for her two years of service, and welcomed Cllr Alan Earwaker as Mayor and Cllr Michaela Wicks as his deputy for the year ahead. We wish them both great success.

Farnham Town Hall is now open again, and the council will continue to work hard delivering benefits and improvements for the people of Farnham in the coming year.

Farnham Infrastructure Programme

This programme has been progressing and the project team is starting to implement some ‘Quick Wins’, including the restrictions on HGV movements. These works may, inevitably, cause some disruption in the town but we work with the highways authority, Surrey County Council, to try and minimize the impacts on traffic movement. As we saw last week, upgrades to some of the roads, such as those that that adjoin the Brightwells development, can cause significant disruption.

The programme partners will also be reviewing the Covid pavement widening measures in collaboration with Farnham Town Council, to determine when the temporary arrangements will be withdrawn and whether any aspects should be carried forward to prepare for future town centre changes and the opening of the Brightwells scheme.

Frimley Integrated Care Partnership

The town council has been listening to the concerns of the Farnham medical professionals that were reported in the Herald on 29 April. 

Government is proposing further reforms to the health services and attempting to geographically match the medical services delivered by local GPs and hospitals with social care provided by local authorities. Farnham’s exemplary medical services, delivered by the Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care System (ICS), which straddles the Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire county boundaries, could be split up.

Our local doctors and their medical partners have helped to build the highly successful, patient-focused, organisation that is working very well in Farnham, especially during the Covid pandemic.

Farnham Town Council fully supports the medical professionals in their ambition to retain the current arrangements, since we agree with their perception that any major changes could be to the detriment of patient care, undoing years of leading innovation and investment.

Tree Planting and Biodiversity

Some of you will have noticed some new trees in the town parks and on some of the roadside verges. These trees are being planted by the town council and Surrey County Council to contribute to our aims for combatting climate change and increasing the town’s biodiversity. You will also see more and more wildflower meadow planting in our parks and cemeteries.

Events and Markets

Despite the unseasonal weather, you will have noticed two markets and the Sustainability Festival in town last Sunday. Further events and markets will be taking place over the summer. Please see our website for details.

By Councillor John Neale, Leader of Farnham Town Council.

Published in the Farnham Herald on 23 May 2021

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