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.


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CURRENT TELEPHONE SCAM - 'YOU'RE IN THE WRONG COUNCIL TAX BRACKET...'

Fraudsters have been telephoning victims telling them that they are calling to let them know that they have been placed in the wrong council tax bracket for a number of years  and that they are entitled to a rebate, they normally say that this rebate should be worth £7000. Since last year Action Fraud has received 16 reports.

  Once the victim is convinced, the fraudster tells them that in order to receive the rebate they will need to pay an administration fee in advance; the payment they ask for varies between £60-£350. The victim provides the details and makes the payment, but then is no longer able to make contact with the person they spoke to on the telephone.

  When they telephone their council about the rebate and the fact that they are in the wrong tax bracket, the council will confirm that they know nothing about it and that they have been contacted by fraudsters.

  The fraudsters have mainly been targeting both male and female victims who are aged 60 and over and live in the Sussex area, but it is likely that the fraudsters will also start to target victims in other areas.

  Head of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith said: “Fraudsters are relentless and will work tirelessly to find new ways to convince people to part with their money. These criminals make several calls and will be particularly convincing and provide good reason for why the person should make an immediate payment.  We urge people to be vigilant and never respond to these callers who are simply trying to scam you”.

  How to protect yourself:

  · Never respond to unsolicited telephone calls
· Your local council won’t ever telephone out-of-the-blue to discuss a council tax rebate, if you receive a call of this nature, put the telephone down straight away.
· No legitimate organisation will ask you to pay an advanced fee in order receive money; so never give them your card details.

  If you think you have been a victim of fraud, hang up the telephone and wait five minutes to clear the line as fraudsters sometimes keep the line open. Then call your bank or card issuer to report the fraud. Where it is possible use a different telephone line to make the phone call.

  To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool on www.actionfraud.police.uk

  You can now also sign up for free to Action Fraud Alert to receive direct, verified, accurate information about scams and fraud in your area by email, recorded voice and text message.  


ST JOHN'S SCHOOL AND FIELD MARSHAL MONTGOMERY, 1ST VISCOUNT OF ALAMEIN.

On Wednesday 25 May, the School welcomed renowned military historian Gary Sheffield to lead a talk on Field Marshal Montgomery, 1st Viscount of Alamein, or ‘Monty’, as he is fondly known at St John’s. Mr Sheffield gave a dynamic and intriguing talk to over 150 guests in the School Chapel, enlightening them on Monty’s life in the army during the Second World War, as well as anecdotes from his years of philanthropy.

  As Chairman of St John’s School Governing Council for 16 years, from 1950 – 1966 and then President of the Council from 1966 until his death in 1976, Monty made a huge contribution to the School, and showed great generosity in giving his own time and money and in managing major fundraising projects.

  On the same day, the School also officially opened its new Science Centre with a visit from Lady Arabella Stuart-Smith, granddaughter of Field Marshal Montgomery, 1st Viscount of Alamein. Lady Stuart-Smith was welcomed to St John’s by the Headmaster, Governors and the School’s Estates Manager, alongside the Gordon Clark family and Bruce Shaw, whose generous donations helped make the building of the Science Centre possible.

  Headmaster Martin Collier commented: “Monty made a huge contribution to St John’s over the years, and showed great generosity in giving his own time and money and in managing major fundraising projects. We are honoured to have the Science Centre opened by Lady Arabella Stuart-Smith, and are pleased to offer our pupils such an innovative facility for science.”  


ST STEPHEN'S HOUSE SURGERY '5 COUCH CHALLENGE.'

The members of St. Stephen’s House Surgery Patient Participation Group, who see themselves as ‘Friends of the Surgery in Action’, are proud to announce their new fundraising initiative: 5 Couch Challenge.

  It is our intention to raise funds to buy five electrically operated height-adjustable couches for use in all of the Doctors and Nurses consulting rooms at the Surgery. We have chosen a couch that will maximise the benefit to patients ranging from toddlers to pregnant mums right through to older patients and the less mobile. In fact, any patient of any age will enjoy being able to use a couch with much less effort involved.

  In addition, quicker access to the couches will enable appointments to run more smoothly and this will be a benefit to all patients attending the Surgery.

  David Hawksworth, Chairman, commented “We are building on our previous success, when we purchased a 24-hour Blood Pressure Monitor for the Surgery, to ensure that as many Patients as possible can have their visit to the Surgery made simpler and more comfortable.” Fundraising plans include a Gala Dinner & Quiz Evening to be held in the Autumn.”

  Donations by Cash or Cheque (made payable to ‘5 Couch Challenge’) can be left with Reception at the Surgery, who will kindly forward them on to the Appeal Committee.  


MOLE VALLEY FEATURED ON BBC'S 'COUNCIL HOUSE CRACKDOWN'

BBC One’s ‘Council House Crackdown’ featured Mole Valley’s Fraud and Investigations Manager Steve Baker following his work cracking down on social housing tenancy fraudsters in the District.>
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  The popular daytime show focuses on council officers whose work ensures those individuals and families with genuine need are housed, whilst preventing fraudsters from profiting from social housing.>
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  Mole Valley District Council was approached to appear on the show following its part in the Surrey Counter Fraud Partnership (SCFP), working with seven other councils to reduce housing fraud across Surrey.>
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  Leader of Mole Valley District Council, Councillor Vivienne Michael said, “Mole Valley takes housing fraud seriously. Social housing is a valuable asset which must be protected for those with genuine need. We are working with the SCFP to investigate all suspicious cases. Information, which can be given anonymously, can lead us to recovering properties and give honest families, currently in temporary accommodation, a home. Thanks to our experienced investigators acting on referrals, in the last year, seven properties that were fraudulently occupied have been recovered in Mole Valley. Such properties are now in use by those who had previously been waiting for a permanent home, giving those families a better life and saving taxpayers in Mole Valley an estimated £126,000.”>
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  Mole Valley District Council has been working with Surrey Counter Fraud Partnership and Social Housing providers on a new publicity campaign, “Don’t stop his family having a home!” since November 2015. The campaign asks for residents’ help by reporting any suspicions they may have about fraudulent tenancy activity and allowing those in real need to occupy available homes.>
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  Anyone with information or suspicions of tenancy fraud can call the Mole Valley District Council Confidential Fraud Hotline on 01306 879284  


THE DEEPDENE TRAIL - WIN A HOLIDAY TO WASHINGTON DC.

The Deepdene Trail and Kuoni Travel have launched a fantastic new competition to celebrate the opening of The Deepdene Trail this year in Dorking. The fabulous prize is a five night holiday for two people to Washington D.C. to see the Hope Diamond. The famous Hope Diamond was once owned by the Hope family who owned the Deepdene Estate in the early 1800’s.

  Leader of Mole Valley District Council, Councillor Vivienne Michael said, “This competition, partnering with Kuoni Travel will help us spread the word far and wide about The Trail. We are proud to be working with a locally based business that has been vital to the success of this project. We are also extremely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund and many other partners that have enabled the works to go ahead on the Estate.”

  Julie Day of Kuoni said, “As a local company, and custodian of part of the original Deepdene Estate, it has been a pleasure to support the project and Mole Valley District Council. Kuoni Travel have been on the 22-acre site since 1974. Seeing the gardens uncovered, one of the first true Italianate landscapes in the UK, is a delight.”

  All are invited to The Deepdene Trail Grand Opening Day on 10th September from 10am to discover the stunning landscape views across Surrey, witness the surprising architectural features within the gardens and learn about the important role this estate’s enigmatic owners once played in shaping international arts, architecture and design. It will be a day out for all the family with plenty to see and do - bring a picnic and enjoy the day!

  Work by Mole Valley District Council and The Friends of Deepdene has enabled the reinstatement of the gardens, paths and rebuilding of the Embattled Tower. The Grotto has been repaired and the estate’s neoclassical masterpiece, Thomas Hope’s Mausoleum the hidden gem at the heart of the estate has been repaired and reinstated to its former glory.

  To be in with a chance of winning the five night holiday to Washington D.C., you can go online to www.deepdenetrail.co.uk, or pop in to Mole Valley’s Pippbrook offices for an entry form to answer four multiple choice questions. To enter you must be over 21, in the UK, not including Northern Ireland. Entries close on 12th September 2016 and full terms and conditions are available on both the website and at Pippbrook offices.  


NCT DELIVERS PARENTING ESSENTIALS AT THE DELL, ASHTEAD FROM 12TH OCTOBER.

NCT Essentials courses are designed to meet the needs of busy parents and parents on a budget. The new classes will be more structured than traditional NCT courses, and are designed to equip new parents with important information and tips for early parenting.

  NCT currently supports around 100,000 parents a year and, as the birth rate in the UK continues to rise, it aims to reach 20 million parents by 2020.

  The course is designed to cover the same NCT quality but covers the basics over a shorter number of hours and is more easily affordable. Areas covered over the six structured two-hour sessions will include the impact of birth on relationships, feeding and nutrition, and birth and labour. The cost of the course starts from £167.00.

  These new courses will sit alongside traditional NCT Signature antenatal courses. Signature courses focus more on preparation for birth and are more bespoke, designed around the needs of the mums and dads taking part. All NCT courses are led by specially trained practitioners.

  To book an NCT Essentials Antenatal course in Ashtead call Angie Grundy 020 8752 9107 or email at bookings4m@nct.org.uk. Classes run Wednesday evenings, starting 12th October at The Dell (Ashtead) and will be regularly running every 8 weeks.

  To find out more about NCT courses go to http://www.nct.org.uk/courses/antenatal  


PRUDENTIAL RIDELONDON SURREY 100 AND SURREY CLASSIC.

Local Road Closures and information for Sunday 31 July 2016

  Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100, a mass-participation ride passing locally from 08:45 until 15:30. Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic, a race for 150 professional cyclists; passing through Leatherhead between 17:00 and 18:00. All event timings are predicted and may vary slightly.

ROAD CLOSURES

  Roads closed from 05:00: A25 from Newlands Corner to Dorking High Street at Moore’s Road. Hampton Court Bridge will also close at this time.

    Roads closed from 07:30:
• A24 (Bypass Road) from Beaverbrook Roundabout to Givons Grove Roundabout.
• A24 northbound from Dorking to Burford Bridge.
• A24 southbound from Mickleham to Pixham Roundabout.
• B2450 (Dorking Road), Church Street, The Crescent, Leret Way, Bull Hill and Randalls Road.
• A246 between junction with A25 at Clandon and The Street at West Horsley.
• A244 (Oxshott Road/Leatherhead Road) from junction with Oaklawn Road towards Esher.
• A3 slips at Esher Common.
• The A246 between West Horsley and Hawk’s Hill/Young Street remains open throughout the day.

  Roads closed from 08:30: Oaklawn Road.

  Roads closed from 14:30: Ranmore Road, Ranmore Common Road, Westhumble Street, Chapel Lane and White Down Lane.

  Anticipated road reopening times. Roads will begin to reopen from 19:00 as soon as it is safe and practical to do so once the professional race has passed and barriers have been removed from the road.

  Oaklawn Road will reopen from 16:00 after the last mass-participation rider has passed to link the A245 to A244 and access the M25. Oaklawn Road will close again for a short period for the race to pass at approx 17:00.

  No roads are closed on Saturday 30 July.