News

Don’t forget, you can pick up a copy of The Ashtead & Leatherhead Local magazine from Ashtead and Leatherhead libraries, as well as the customer service desk of Sainsbury’s Leatherhead.


WHAT'S GOING ON IN AUGUST? Click here...

LEATHERHEAD INCLUDED IN NEW GOVERNMENT 'GROWTH DEAL'.

On Monday 7 July, the government announced the initial £2 billion 2015/2016 allocation of funding to the 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships as part of the ‘Growth Deal’ initiative.

Earlier this year the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, submitted a strategic plan and funding bid to government, which included a proposal to revitalise Leatherhead town centre, as one of its shortlisted major projects for East Surrey.

Within Monday’s LEP funding announcement, subject to board approval, the Leatherhead proposal will receive a significant boost with the allocation of £62,500 of ‘Growth Deal’ funding. These funds will be match funded by MVDC to bring the total to £112,500 which will enable MVDC to develop the vision for the town centre and produce more detailed plans, in partnership with residents, local businesses and other key stakeholders.

Councillor Chris Townsend, Leader of Mole Valley District Council said: “Monday’s Growth Deal announcement demonstrates that the government is seriously interested in supporting our aims and wishes to see the project progressed through to the next stage. Whilst funding has only been announced today for 2015/16, we expect, that if our more detailed plans are supported, we will be able to obtain further Government funding in future years.

This is a most exciting opportunity for Leatherhead and even at this early stage, we have a lot of support from local residents and businesses. Today marks the beginning of a great adventure as we can now start to put our ‘vision’ for Leatherhead down on paper and begin the process of revitalising the town centre.”

The announcement goes even further.

Surrey (including Mole Valley) is also eligible for other funding, to support sustainable transport, maintenance and resilience, skills capital, digital economy, export readiness and business support.

Coast to Capital LEP will announce the process for allocating this funding later in the year, with Surrey authorities having the opportunity to bid for schemes.


HOME START COMES TO THE MOLE VALLEY.

Home-Start is a national charity which recruits and trains volunteers to support families with at least one child under 5who are experiencing difficulties. Our volunteers, who are all parents themselves, offer confidential practical and emotional support to other parents, visiting them in their own homes for 2-3 hours each week for as long as is needed. We also run social events for families.

All kinds of families can find it hard to cope for all sorts of reasons, maybe because of illness or disability of a parent or child, or because of post-natal illness, a multiple birth, relationship breakdown or loneliness. Our supported families, like our volunteers, come from all walks of life. Our aim is to strengthen family relationships and enable families to access other local resources, giving children the best possible start in life.

This year, Home-Start has moved into the Mole Valley and Home-Start Epsom, Ewell &Banstead is already supporting a number of families in Ashtead. Leatherhead is covered by Home-Start Elmbridge.

We are very keen to recruit new volunteers and if this interests you, read on...

Home-Start volunteers need no qualifications, other than the experience of bringing up children themselves. Friendliness, having a caring attitude and being non-judgemental are all essential in our volunteers, as is having an understanding of the pressures of parenting. Volunteers attend a training course for one day a week over ten weeks and our Preparation Course is accredited by the Open College Network, allowing volunteers to gain formal recognition of their Home-Start training. Our next training course starts in September.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for Home-Start Epsom, Ewell &Banstead, please contact us by phoning 01737 379902 or emailing us at homestart@hseeb.org.uk Or for further information please visit our website www.hseeb.org


ROTARY CLUB OF ASHTEAD.

Our big event of the year has come and gone – again. Ashtead Rotary Village Day. Lettice Rowbotham, our own local lass who made the finals of Britain's Got Talent, really shone for us. She rode through the neighbourhood in a romantic, white, open horse-drawn carriage acknowledging the cheers and greetings from the crowds of people who turned out to see her. On the field she opened the event, gave a violin performance and presented the Community Service Awards to Dr Margaret Chilton, Geoff Boswell (sadly Geoff has since died) and The Ladies who provide the Soup Lunches at St. Michael's. All of them have made major and long standing contributions to the Community Life of Ashtead.

We had a heavy rain interlude during the afternoon which discouraged many people but when it stopped the crowds returned. Perhaps due to the rain and perhaps a sign of the times fewer people came this year and takings were down. Nevertheless, over £17,000 was raised and every penny will be spent during the coming year on Rotary supported local, national and international charities.

During July, The Rotary Club of Ashtead has presented beautifully illustrated 'Dictionaries for Life' to the year six pupils at all Ashtead State Primary Schools (Greville school, left) to mark their graduation to secondary education and to provide them with an absorbing and fascinating reference work which will last their lifetime and can be shared with family and friends.

The strength of our Club was strongly boosted on 10th July by the induction of two new members, Judith Howe and Samantha Lewis. They will add immensely to the work the Club undertakes. A host of members and friends came along to enjoy dinner and make them welcome to our ranks. The meeting really hummed as we delighted in the assembled company.

Ian Oxley-Crawford has taken over as President of the Rotary Club of Ashtead for the year 2014-2015. He is a popular choice among the membership having held the same office with distinction in 2003-2004. (Just Google 'Ashtead Rotary')  


VILLAGE GREEN APPLICATION FOR LEACH GROVE WOOD, LEATHERHEAD.

Leach Grove Wood is a small patch of wood nestling alongside Leatherhead Hospital and Woodlands School. It has been enjoyed since the early 1900's by many local residents of all ages, the school children, those working or visiting the visiting the area, and the more resilient wild life.

The Leach Grove Protection Society fought the wood for in the early 1980s for 3 years, when SCC planned to sell the wood for housing. Whilst it is classified as Strategic Open Land, this is unlikely to offer much protection. Village Green status could mean this natural oasis would remain a refuge from the wear and tear life and continue to be enjoyed by many for the foreseeable future.

In March 2013, Flip Cargill, encouraged and supported by the Leatherhead Residents’ Association (LRA) and Councillor Tim Hall, gathered 360+ Evidence Of Use Forms and other necessary info, and applied for Village Green status for the wood, enlisting the help of an experienced barrister.

Surrey County Council recently advised that the application will go to a public hearing some time in October 2014 (exact date tbc).

Preparation for this hearing will entail:

1. Finding 20 witnesses- people who have used the wood at any time from 1993 to 2013, for 'lawful sports and pastimes'. This includes: playing games, climbing trees, bird watching, wildlife watching, riding bikes, sitting, walking dogs, photography, painting, relaxing, poetry writing, blackberry picking, foraging, picnics, tree houses, making shelters, wood management etc

Anyone in the area between Epsom Rd, the Crescent, Church St, Highland Rd, Reigate Rd & the A24 can be a witness. You don't need to have filled in Evidence of Use forms.

2. Visual evidence of activities.
We need photos, videos, drawings, paintings, poems or stories, etc.

3. Funds Our Barrister's fee is £3000 (he specialises in Village Greens). The LRA have generously topped up the £600+ they've been holding to £1000, with funds from their recent Open Gardens event. We just need to raise another £2000.

If you can help with any of these, please email; leachgrove@thecargills.org: or write to 'Leatherhead Residents’ Association for Leach Grove', The Letherhead Institute, High Street, Leatherhead, KT22 8AH Thank you    


NEWS FROM LONG COPSE PONDS, FETCHAM.

For the past few years, Leatherhead and District Angling Society (LDAS) has benefited from the staff of UK Power Networks giving up their time, knowledge and skills to help with a variety of projects aimed at improving access to our local ponds. The previous focus of their efforts has been the ponds in Ashtead Park.

This year, however, their attention turned to Long Copse ponds in Spring Grove, Fetcham, the society’s most popular venue and also well used by locals. The ponds are prone to flooding and together with the lack of a path around the circumference; approaching the water’s edge had become a slippery mudslide in places! Thanks to UK Power Networks, there is now a safe, all-weather pathway, much improving access to the water’s edge and around the larger pond.

No doubt all users of the Copse and ponds would like to thank the staff and management of UK Power Networks for all their hard work. Additionally, a special thank you goes to the society’s Fisheries Officer – Dave Tarrant, who has been responsible for the involvement and organisation of UK Power Networks and will be retiring from this role at the end of this year.

  If you would like more information, go to www.leatherheadangling.co.uk or why not come down to Long Copse for the annual open day on Saturday 16 August.  


TEAZLE WOOD, LEATHERHEAD.

It is now almost two years since the community saved Leatherhead’s Teazle Wood. People, local businesses and organisations rallied to secure this vital woodland, with a vision of protecting and nurturing it for all time as an ecological, historical, educational and therapeutic gem.

It has been an incredibly busy couple of years, with the focus on surveys and early conservation steps. Diverse surveys – from fungus and bats to amphibians and moths – have taken place or are underway, and already there are some great results and even a world first. The many endangered species that call Teazle Wood home are being carefully recorded and monitored, and where necessary their habitat is being managed and improved to ensure their long-term health and survival.

Action on litter and fly-tipping is reaping rewards, and the lessons learned are now being rolled out across the district as several groups start working together to tackle major litter problems in the wider area.

Working parties, supervised by conservation experts, have made a terrific impact in Teazle Wood, and it is difficult to remember just how badly abused and neglected the woodland looked in 2012. The Lower Mole Countryside Management Project, along with volunteers from Wates, Unilever and the Friends of Teazle Wood, made a significant impact on the large ponds at the south-eastern corner of the wood in 2013, and will be working on other ponds there this autumn, as well as improving the Rye Brook.

The ponds are old clay pits - the legacy of a Victorian brickyard, long-forgotten and now re-discovered. The abandoned brickyard is a fascinating example of a man-made landscape reclaimed by nature and now providing interesting habitats for wildlife.

To find out more, a volunteer from the Woodland Trust has been working with the Friends of Teazle Wood and researching the detailed history of the land. Old maps reveal that there was once a factory at the brickyard, and a house with an orchard and stables.

Census returns for 1881, 1891 and 1901 show the Mitchell family (brickmakers) in occupation. Father and son Francis and Edward Mitchell were the uncle and cousin of Frank Mitchell, a clay modeller employed by Mary Watts as the kiln-burner for the creation of the astonishing Watts Chapel at Compton near Guildford. By 1911 the brickyard (not in use), the house (derelict) and surrounding plots were up for sale. Some names associated with the site are Foster, Simms, Sayers, Young and Benson.

The Friends are appealing for any information about or images of the brickyard complex. There may be someone living locally who has old family photos of people working there, for example. Teazle Wood will feature in Mole Valley’s Heritage Open Days in September, and the theme is Leatherhead life circa 1914.

If you can help, please e-mail Lucy Quinnell: lucy@fireandiron.co.uk  


PRUDENTIAL RIDE LONDON-SURREY 100 AND PRUDENTIAL RIDE LONDON SURREY CLASSIC CYCLE RACES, 10TH AUGUST.

Road Closures, If you usually park on a road used for the event, please move your vehicle the night before. Vehicles cannot park on the event route from 00:01 on Sunday 10th August, any vehicle left on the route will be removed.

The A246 will be open all day between West Horsley and Young St, giving access to the south side of Leatherhead town centre via Hawk’s Hill.

  • – Road closures in Dorking from 5am, not expected to re-open until 6pm.
• – Road closures in Box Hill village from 7.30am, re-opening approximately 5pm
• – Road closures in Leatherhead from 7.30am, re-opening approximately 6.15pm
The route, The routes for the Surrey 100 and the Surrey Classic from Headley Heath will follow the B2033 Reigate Road, onto the A24 Leatherhead By-Pass, then Givons Grove roundabout, turning right towards Leatherhead (Dorking Road, Gimcrack Hill, Church Street), then sharp right onto The Crescent, left onto Linden Road, Leret Way, then right onto Bull Hill (against normal flow of one-way system), left onto Randalls Road, then turning right at the junction onto Oaklawn Road, joining the A244 towards Oxshott.

Timings, The Surrey 100 (mass participation race) is expected to go through Dorking at 8.40am, Box Hill village at 8.50am and then Leatherhead at 9.05am.

The Surrey Classic race (professional race) later in the day is expected to go through Dorking between 3pm-4.30pm (the riders are passing through Dorking four times), through Box Hill at 4.35pm, then Leatherhead at 4.50pm.

Emergency services, Emergencies will be treated as a priority in the usual way. Emergency vehicle access will be prioritised throughout the event. On the day stewards and volunteers will be on hand to give assistance, and they will be able to help or escalate issues as necessary.

Events along the route, As the professional race flies through Dorking four times, Dorking Town Centre will feature big screens and entertainment around the St Martin’s Walk area and along the High Street.

Denbies will also be featuring the event live on the big screen, and have organised a local food festival and cycle celebrations for all the family. www.denbies.co.uk

In Leatherhead the Prudential RideLondon Hub will be based at the Swan Shopping Centre

Information correct at time of going to print, for more details, please go to: www.prudentialridelondon.co.uk


MOLE VALLEY WINS HERITAGE OPEN DAYS AWARD.

Mole Valley was the proud winner of the national ‘Star Organisers’ Award at Heritage Open Days’ Anniversary Reception held in London last week.

The ‘Star Organisers’ award recognises those who have established outstanding coordination and promotion of Heritage Open Days. Mole Valley’s Heritage Open Days Committee is made up of a small number of volunteers and is supported by Mole Valley District Council both financially, and through the tireless efforts of its Principal Conservation Officer, Rod Shaw.

Sadly Rod could not attend the star-studded ceremony in London, but he was ably represented by MVDC’s Strategic Director Nick Gray, who mingled with Heritage Open Days’ Patron, Loyd Grossman, Simon Jenkins, Chairman of the National Trust and Griff Rhys Jones, President of Civic Voice as well as a large number of volunteers.

Nick proudly heard the citation for Mole Valley which reads: “An exemplary partnership between the local authority and the voluntary sector. This wonderful collaborative approach leads to a well coordinated programme with a great sense of local ownership. And some members of the committee have been participating since 1994!”

He said: “I am always impressed by the range of opportunities our Heritage Open Days brings to residents and visitors to explore parts of our beautiful district that they would not normally be able to see. This event was about acknowledging and celebrating the tremendous hard work that goes on behind the scenes to make the Heritage Open Days happen every year. Congratulations to all of Mole Valley’s Heritage Open Days Committee.”

Loyd Grossman, who hosted the awards said: ““Heritage Open Days is unique because every one of our thousands of events is different, organised by individuals who care passionately about their town, village or region, and the history that has created it.  Our winners exemplify that passion, and the creativity that comes with it.”

Heritage Open Days celebrates twenty years from 11-14 September this year, with a range of anniversary-themed ideas for organisers, volunteers and visitors. For more information, visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk  


NEW ARRANGEMENTS FOR REGISTERING TO VOTE.

The government has changed the way people register to vote. Rather than one person registering everyone living at a property, individuals are now responsible for registering themselves. This can be done quickly and securely online.

Electoral Registration Officer at Mole Valley District Council, Yvonne Rees, said: “We will send all residents a letter in the coming month explaining the changes. Look out for it as it will tell you if you have been automatically transferred to the new register. If you are one of the many residents who have been transferred – over 81% of our electors have been – you will not need to do anything. Those that haven’t been transferred can register easily online. The letter will explain how.”

When registering online, residents will be asked for their name, national insurance number and date of birth. This information will be checked to verify they are eligible to vote. This new level of security will help tackle fraud.

This is the biggest change to electoral registration in nearly 100 years.

Find out more at www.gov.uk/yourvotematters. If you do not receive a letter by the end of August contact MVDC’s elections team on 01306 879198 or electoral.registration@molevalley.gov.uk.