Gypsy and Traveller Enquiries - Service standards
Guildford Borough Council's Environmental Health and Licensing Services team is committed to providing a high quality, professional standard of service to all of our customers.
We aim to make sure that the quality of the service provided to Gypsies and Travellers living on local authority owned and private sites within Guildford Borough is fair and appropriate. Ash Bridge, Ash and Cobbet Close, Normandy, with 13 and 17 pitches respectively are managed by Guildford Borough Council on behalf of Surrey County Council. In addition, there are a number of private sites within the Borough where Gypsies and Travellers seek to occupy land and this involves working with parish councils, planning, Surrey County Council, police officers and other agencies.
The following are the minimum service standards that you can expect from our Environmental Control team: -
All enquiries and inspections will be dealt with equally, in accordance with the Guildford Borough Equality and Diversity Policy.
- We will undertake any necessary enforcement action in a consistent, targeted and proportionate manner.
We will respond to enquiries in the following order:
- Within 3 hours; report repair requests to Tenant Support Services
- Within 1 working day: where there are Gypsy/Traveller encampments
- Within 3 working days; where there are queries regarding rent, site conditions and tenant support
- Within 5 working days; requests to be placed on the waiting list
- Within 10 working days: planning consultations.
Public site visits and services
Each site will be visited on at least two occasions per week for rent collection, sale of electricity cards, site conditions and welfare issues.
Where an enquiry needs to be dealt with by another part of the Council, authority or agency, we will advise you and if necessary arrange for them to contact you.
Electricity cards will also be available from Ash Parish Council Offices
If formal proceedings need to be taken we will advise you accordingly.
Six monthly structural surveys will be carried out and findings reported to Surrey County Council
We will work with colleagues within Guildford Borough Council to secure the best value for supply of electricity and water.
We will ensure that repairs carried out are; timely and to a suitable standard.
We will maintain and regularly review a waiting list for each site.
Enquiries about illegal occupation of land
We will log all customer enquiries about illegal occupation of land and arrange for welfare checks to be carried out.
We will contact the landowner and if necessary give advice on the best course of action. Where the land is owned by Guildford Borough the legalities will be handled by Legal Services.
In the circumstances of multiple complaints about one site, where it may not be practicable to respond to each individual, we will provide a standardised statement for communication by administrative/call centre staff.
Liaison with other agencies
We will attend and contribute towards the following:
Surrey Traveller Forum
Cross agency meetings with the police, planning and other agencies
Children and young people
Surrey County Traveller Education Service
Home Farm Liaison Group
We will keep regular contact with parish councils, health and welfare professionals on Gypsy and Traveller matters.
Providing advice and information
We will provide advice and information to Gypsies and Travellers living on the public sites on aspects of local authority duties including council tax, housing benefit and electoral registration.
We will provide other agencies and service units with support on Gypsy and Traveller issues.
We will give opportunity for feedback by engaging with residents during our regular site visits.
We hope you think our standards are relevant and meaningful to you. If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact us.