We’ve just received a criticism of the borough council. It’ll be clear from what’s written that we can’t check the details ourselves, so if there is another side to the story, do let us know and we’ll publish that too.
We’re sure that the council is under pressure, but it’s disturbing to see that it apparently compares unfavourably with other councils. Maybe it has different priorities? – council, do let us know.
It’s sad – but not unexpected – to see reference to the festering sore of the chief executive’s ‘pay rise’. If a Nightingale hospital can be built in nine days, can it REALLY take so many months to do what has to be done?
Anyway, this is what we received:
“My firm are the accountants to a number of businesses with retail premises in Surrey Heath and we have been involved in applying for grants provided by the Government in response to COVID-19, all applications were made on 31 March 2020.
“My firm were involved with grant applications for businesses located throughout England but the applications made to Surrey Heath were among the first ones, however, no business due a grant from Surrey Heath have received any contact or monies so far, despite the majority of other Councils having started paying out.
“Due to this delay I contacted Surrey Heath Council and was told that payments would be made once a week going forward and that there are only 2 members of staff working within the Business Rates department and they have a high workload. I assume that the low staff levels are due to COVID-19 but considering the ongoing issues regarding the Chief Executive’s salary and the Council’s efficiency I thought this was something to also make a note of.”
Our correspondent added a further comment, this time about Collectively Camberley. Our earlier caveat and invitation also apply to this – if there’s a different view on ‘the other side of the fence’, PLEASE send it to us and we’ll publish that too.
“I have another business which is a levy payer and so is a part of Collectively Camberley. The construction work on the High Street had had a seriously detrimental effect on business since it started. Throughout this entire period and the subsequent COVID-19 pandemic I have not had any contact or assistance in running my business and am extremely disappointed with them. Prior to the pandemic I contacted them in regards to how I could reduce business rates payments due to the construction work but my calls were never returned and since the lockdown and Government announcements on support for businesses I have not had any correspondence from them either. I have always felt that they prefer to look after the bigger businesses in town and are more focused on media opportunities and their own personal wellbeing rather than the small businesses and cannot see any positive that they have added to Camberley town, only negatives.”