The City of Surrey recently organized a series of six Town Hall meetings throughout our communities in an effort to learn more about residents’ issues and concerns. These Town Halls are the perfect opportunity for elected officials to converse with citizens and community activists. In the past, residents of Newton and Guildford focused on issues such as crime, community and sport facilities, transportation, the Kinder Morgan pipeline extension, illegal suites, and the ward electoral system. The fifth meeting was held at City Centre Library last night where many different issues arose through conversation.
Councillor Rasode leads the Town Hall meeting.
People are already asking that these Town Hall meetings become a regular fixture in Surrey. Councillors Rasode, Hunt, and Hayne along with Planning General Manager, Jean Lamontagne; Engineering General Manager, Vince Lalonde and a RCMP representative openly discussed all issues and shed light on some of the City’s plans with their partners.
The issue of landlords and their neglect of tenants was discussed at the start of the meeting. As in the Guildford meeting, residents called upon city officials to take more immediate action toward landlords disobeying laws and bylaws. The City stated that they are working on bylaw enforcement, communication and coordinated action with other levels of government. These elements are crucial in governing housing projects.
A concern for Central City residents is the South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR) and concerns regarding trucking in the area. SFPR is a long-term issue, essentially in the hands of the Province. As a result, the City must do its best to handle the concerns about this project voiced by residents. The Councillors reiterated that the City is working hard to free the streets of trucks and address tolling issues. According to Engineering GM Lalonde, municipal administration is advocating provincial wide tolling and different models of toll collection. Lalonde’s statement was a part of the answer to a question from Grant Rice, a very active community member who inquired about the provincial plan for tolling the new Port Mann Bridge.
There were questions about rezoning, funds from developers for more access roads, sidewalks and other much needed facilitations. The time required to put the funds into action and see results depends upon a variety of factors. According to GM Lalonde, the timeframe is unpredictable and the City faces long waiting periods for developers to complete projects and give money to the City. The only other alternative is to use City funds to complete projects on time. Lalonde confidently stated the City of Surrey is committed to do whatever necessary to prevent future problems.
Transit, transit, transit! An eternal Surrey plea. The issue of public transit is always a popular one when residents and elected officials meet in a forum. Councillor Marvin Hunt regularly addresses the questions and concerns related to transit, however GM Lalonde provided further insights on the issues as well. Issues regarding Transit seem to be on-going and remain unresolved for the City and the Province. King George Blvd is not considered a transit, community or business friendly area. Options exist for a great public transit network but this area is neglected and rarely receives funding from Translink‘s budget. Residents of the Central City area are requesting improvements to the current access to transit.
Councillors Barinder Rasode and Bruce Hayne address the crowd.
Illegal suites, and the use of pesticides were topics brought up in the meeting. Council stated its strong devotion to tackle these issues quickly and economically. One young Surrey resident asked the Councillors and GM’s why they were not developing the Bridgeview area. Jean Lamontagne, Planning GM, assured that Bridgeview will soon be their focus. Plans for Central City and Guildford are in process to be finalized. Bridgeview will be the next community to undergo some much needed development. “We don’t want to rush with anything,” said Lamontagne, adding that he acknowledged peoples’ frustration. He assured that funds and needs are being carefully considered.
Residents in the room and on Twitter asked why Mayor Dianne Watts was not present. Due to an unforeseen circumstance she was unable to attend. She is expected to attend the final Town Hall meeting in Fleetwood on Tuesday, May 1st and a virtual meeting scheduled for June. Many who have attended the meetings hope that the Mayor and Council will continue with the practice of future Town Hall meetings. Much appreciation to Councillor Rasode who created this project to increase communications with Surrey’s citizens.[awesome-gallery id=12752]
Newton Days is bringing back the Summer Fun!
Let’s kick-off summer in Newton! The Newton BIA is bringing back Newton days with events all summer. Complete with a farms’ market, kid fun zone, face painting, food trucks, henna and Science World demonstrations, Newton Days has something for everyone.
Throughout July and August, Newton Days will be taking over the Newton Grove on Saturdays from 12-4pm. Open to the community, everything will be free! Each Saturday will feature something different, so be sure to keep an eye on our Facebook events for more details.
Newton Days is a push to create a more vibrant community within the Newton Town Centre. Get out, enjoy the weather, enjoy the activities, and get to know your neighborhood! Positive events like these in the community are key to the success of Newton and will be more successful with your support!
Science World demonstrations
Friends of the Grove
Surrey Fire Prevention
Black Belt Academy
North Surrey Minor Football
Newton Recreation Centre
Surrey Parks and Rec
City of Surrey
3rd Annual Groundhog Day in Newton!
Groundhog Day in Newton returns for the third year of fun. Prepare for a chilling day filled with activities, treats, and live entertainment! Groundhog Day will be taking place in the Newton Grove, next to the Bus loop. Start the day with a free pancake breakfast courtesy by the Surrey RCMP; visit the crafts and games section for some fun activities provided by the Newton Community Centre. And right beside there is the Friends of the Grove tent with free hot chocolate and cupcakes, and while there why not learn a little more about these active community change-makers!
What’s an event without music right? Join Lou Jack and Ginalina as we dance away the cold; and end the day with a special Groundhog themed performance by the Surrey Dance Company and Lou Jack’s prediction! Will we have 6 more weeks of winter, or an early spring?
Groundhog Day is back for another day not to be missed. The event takes place on Saturday, January 28th from 10am-12pm. Come in your pajamas and bring the whole family out for a morning filled with free activities, treats, pancakes, and entertainment.
See you there! And take a look back at Groundhog Day 2016!
Ginalina is a Juno nominated and bilingual folk singer-songwriter for children and families. She is passionate about finding beauty in the ordinary moments and connecting people, one fun song at a time. Her music and videos can be found on CBC Kids’ Radio stream and Knowledge Network Television.
Her music is energetic and fun, sweet and sentimental, with an array of bluegrass, country, zydeco, modern folk, and west coast styles. Ginalina’s live shows are playful and musically entertaining and engaging, and her catchy songs and actions get children and adults of all ages laughing, roaring, singing, jumping, and clapping! For more info, visit www.ginalina.com.
About Surrey Dance Company
The Surrey Dance Company was originally assembled as a partnership between the City of Surrey and the Arts Council of Surrey as the “Surrey Celebration Dance Team”.
Beginning its artistic journey in celebration of the 2010 WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES at Holland Park, The SCDT has since performed for hundreds of audiences across BC.
Each unique dancer performs at a professional level in their chosen dance aesthetic. As artists in residence at the Thrive Dance Studio and Dance Xpressions, the organization is able to foster diversity in dance as a performing art-Bringing together the community and industry professionals in Surrey and across the lower mainland. For more info, visit http://www.surreydancecompany.com.
Merchant Shoutout: Community Thrift Store
For Donna Chubb, the Manager of Community Thrift Store, it has always been in her nature to give back. She credits her giving nature to her parents who were passionate about community. Through a combination of passion for volunteering and experience in retail management, Donna and the staff are responsible for the success and growth of the store. Store profits support the Surrey Hospice Society and the Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society.
Newton plays a large role in both the business and Donna’s life. Newton is Community Thrift Store’s only location and is where they have thrived for over 11 years. Donna believes there is a need in Newton for this type of store specializing in quality and affordable thrift goods. Also, Donna connects to Newton at a personal level as her grandparents lived in Newton and her mother grew up here. Newton continues to be a part of her life.
The Community Thrift Store prides themselves on their “consignment quality” products which is evident in the Boutique Section. They look for items that are good quality and items in nearly every category can be found in the store. As a result, this allows them to stay competitive with other thrift stores in the area while simultaneously offering affordable pricing.
Donna attributes much of the business’s growth to her employees and volunteers who consistently provide excellent customer service. The store’s small size allows them to build relationships with customers, knowing many on a first-name basis. Donna’s staff and volunteers are “caring, honest and fun people who enjoy giving back.” These are only some of the qualities that she believes a volunteer requires and this is why the Community Thrift Store has a diverse group of volunteers from the ages of 16-86. As a result, they have jobs for everyone regardless of their physical or mental abilities, as Donna states, “Volunteers are the greatest asset”.
Contributing to the local community is a huge part of the Community Thrift Store. In addition to supporting the Surrey Hospice Society and the Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society, they also help community members. They offer free items for the homeless providing them with a safe place free of judgement. And community agencies can find practicum placements for clients and students can earn volunteer hours at the store.
Donna and the store have high hopes for Newton. They hope to see it become a vibrant location where people can feel comfortable shopping. Newton is a great location for the store and the community here supports them. Although they may open another location in the future, Donna maintains that this store will always be here in Newton.
The Community Thrift Store is holding their most anticipated event of the year, ‘Night on the Town’ on November 25th from 6-9 pm. The event is extremely popular with customers and their ninth one this year. Christmas decorations fill the store and the best holiday wear is on display for the event. Because Night on the Town has large ques, be sure to line up early! Donna, staff, and volunteers can’t wait to see you come by and have a look at this little gem of a store. You will be amazed at what they have.
Merchant Shout-Out is a monthly Newton BIA program highlighting one business per month within the Newton Town Centre. Tune in every month to hear a new business story! And visit our website for past stories.
Newton Community Walk – November 4
Every movement starts with a passionate few that drive change in their neighborhood. It is Newton’s time to take back its streets and galvanize the community by taking ownership of the future to ensure long term vibrancy and optimism for the area. The Newton BIA has adopted streets through the Surrey Adopt-A-Street program within the BIA boundary in part to take back the streets. Taking ownership of our streets within the town centre is a step towards the revitalization and success of Newton. This monthly walk is a positive event bringing the community together from residents, businesses, stakeholders, and government. Collaboration is vital to the success of any community.
Join us Friday, November 4 at McDonald’s located on 72 Ave near King George at 9 am and get involved in your community! We will be walking the streets, picking up garbage, and conversing about all things Newton. Join us for some community building and end off with treats provided by McDonald’s. Be the change in your community!
RSVP here: firstname.lastname@example.org
13565 72 Ave, Surrey, BC V3W 2N9
Friday, November 4
9 AM – 11 AM
Attire is based on weather. Closed toe shoes are recommended.
Spooktacular Newton Returns!
Spooktacular Newton returns this year for another spook filled day. Prepare for a chilling day filled with activities, trick-or-treating, and entertainment! In its inaugural year, Spooktacular was a great success with an attendance of 3000 trick-or-treaters! The event was received with great enthusiasm, so continuing the event was only natural. Newton lacks great marquee events and Spooktacular can fill that void as an event residents can look forward to annually.
Spooktacular will be taking place along 137th street in the Newton Town Centre with trick-or-treating along the street and many activities to stop by at along your way. Take a pic at the photo booth for a free souvenir of the event and definitely take advantage of the props to spookify your photo. Then take a stroll over to the crafts and games section for some fun activities provided by the Newton Community Centre. And right beside there is the spook theatre if you dare to be frightened, be sure not to spill all your popcorn when you’re jolted with fear! What’s an event without music? Not so good, so make sure to stop by the DJ booth for some Halloween tunes to shake to, and be aware of surprise thriller dance offs throughout the day! Sounds like enough? We think not! Take a ride on the haunted train and walk on over to the petting zoo! Hungry? Stop by one of the food trucks or by some of the many nearby restaurants for a bite. And before going home, take a walk through the pumpkin patch! Pick out a pumpkin, but be sure to choose one that will make the best Jack-o-Lantern, and drop a small donation off at the Surrey Food Bank tent!
Spooktacular Newton is back for another day not to be missed. The event takes place on Saturday, October 22nd from 12pm-4pm. Dress up in your finest costume and bring the whole family out for a day filled with many free activities, trick-or-treating, pumpkins, and entertainment. See you there!
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