TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2011
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Bygone bylaws begone
Surrey singer freed from Chinese jail SURREY – The singer of a rock band who was jailed in China last week is back home with his family in Surrey. Grant Cassell was deported by Chinese authorities on the weekend, leaving his band, Behind Sapphire, to continue on a tour without him. Cassell spent nearly a week in a Shanghai prison after airport security found antique bullets in his luggage.
City wants to clean up its outdated policies and regulations in search for more efficient governing Amy Reid
Now contributor twitter@amyreid87
SURREY – If you’ve built your own house, cut down a tree or put in a swimming pool, you may be familiar with some City of Surrey bylaws. But there are some historical bylaws still around that might surprise you. A current Surrey bylaw from 1975 states children 15 years of age or under “shall not be on the public streets” between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. A parent or guardian who permits a child to habitually contravene the bylaw is liable to a fine not exceeding $5. To abolish outdated bylaws and regulations such as this, as well as review them for efficiencies, the Mayor’s Red Tape Reduction Advisory Committee was formed in January. The group will make recommendations to Surrey city council on how the city can minimize red tape when new policies are introduced and hopes to implement a permanent system for tracking and reducing unnecessary paperwork. Coun. Linda Hepner, who chairs the committee, said the group’s findings will be presented to council in early October. The committee is made up of industry representatives, including Surrey Board of Trade, Greater Vancouver Home Builder’s Association and Canadian Federation of Independent Business. “We really wanted to get a broad range of experts around the table,” Hepner said. In addition to bylaws, Surrey has 300 internal policies, Hepner noted. “We’re saying, ‘Look, are these policies even relevant anymore? If they are, can they be simplified? And if they are not, let’s get rid of them.” The committee is recommending deleting or simplifying 25 per cent of bylaws and internal policies. The respective departments are reviewing the recommendations. Hepner said the committee will also recommend putting a sunset clause on new policies or bylaws. “The sunset clause will be five years, for us to review it again. Not on all bylaws, but those that are relative to process.” She said bigger bylaws, such as zoning, the city already reviews frequently. “But some of the newer ones, and things that we introduce as we go forward, we’ll introduce with the assumption that somebody will be taking a look at that relative to a sunset clause.” Hepner said the committee also found ways
Coun. Linda Hepner chairs a committee that is reviewing bylaws and policies to make city hall more efficient. Hepner hopes cutting red tape will mean the city will have more cash to spend in other areas. (Photo: KEVIN HILL) the city could be more efficient. “We heard a lot about communication and the fact that there are some things that we could be doing better and more effectively around communicating with our clients at the outset,” she said. All applicants will now meet with a team of staff early on to learn what is required of them and to provide a better understanding of the process. “A lot of people come in who are not familiar with development, especially if they’re building their own house. Some of it is a matter of education.” The city will be publishing e-booklets to walk people through steps of processes. “Those are communication actions. There will be a lot of enhancements to customer service,” Hepner said. She hopes that eliminating some of the red tape and unnecessary paperwork in the city will free up money to be spent elsewhere. “We know that nationally it costs $30 billion to be tied up in red tape. That’s $5 billion provincially. Think of what all that money could do in terms of job creation and the many other good things we could be doing with that money.” firstname.lastname@example.org
Colourful bylaws Surrey Blasting Bylaw, 1971, No. 3551: Prohibits blasting within one half mile of any fur farm between April 15 and May 31 each year. “Blast” or “Blasting” means the lighting, igniting, firing or discharging of gunpowder, stumping powder, dynamite, guncotton, nitro-glycerine or any other explosive substance or mixture for the purpose of moving, breaking, disturbing, loosening or splitting of any material, substance or thing, or for any purpose whatsoever. Surrey Sunday Sports & Entertainment Authorization Bylaw, 1969, No. 3062: Allows persons to be present at any public sport or entertainment for which any admission fee is charged, but only “after half-past one in the afternoon of Sunday”. This activity on a Sunday would otherwise have been prohibited under the now repealed federal Lords Day Act.
Have you seen Samantha Rachel Lange? SURREY – Police are looking for a Surrey woman who was reported missing nearly two weeks ago. Samantha Rachel Lange, 22, is five feet eight inches tall, 110 pounds and has brown hair and blue eyes. Surrey RCMP says Lange’s family is concerned for her well being as she suffers Lange from “mental health issues” and hasn’t been taking her medication. Contact the Surrey RCMP’s missing persons unit at 604-599-0502.
Sentencing is Feb. 10 for killer of teen SURREY – A Surrey man who shot 17-year-old Adem Aliu of Surrey dead for vandalizing his car will be sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court on Feb. 10. Originally charged with second-degree murder, Steven Brandon MulliganBrum, 21, pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the July 14, 2010 slaying in Whalley.
Compiled by staff
Surrey Now September 20 2011