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 JULY? Click here...


June tuned out to be an interesting month as the planners and the Neighbourhood Development Forums got together with Mole Valley District Council planners to get an update on where we are in the process of developing Neighbourhood Development plans (NDPs), including the one for Ashtead.

Two key points came out of the meeting. The first was that the housing targets figures were likely to be reduced as the method of calculation is being changed and secondly that there were further delays in the process of getting draft NDP’s approved by the local authority.

Now any deep thinking individual may have reacted to the first bit of news by thinking that if the house target figures were effectively being reduced (by more fully accounting over the longer term forthe odd individual ‘windfall’ home being built here and there) then that would put less pressure on MVDC to produce more homes over the district. That in turn would mean less pressure on the most sensitive areas including development on the Green Belt around Ashtead.

But while there is some logic in this thought, don’t get too excited as the reality is that at the wider strategic level any redevelopment of Gatwick or increased pressure for accommodating new for homes for London folk, could well mean the figures increase rather than decrease during the planning period!

The second item – delays to the timetable - is something the ACV and Forum is now beginning to get used to. Essentially, the rub is that MCDC Housing and Traveller Sites Plan is now likely to be published in January 2015 and with the parliamentary elections being held in May 2015 the whole process of examination of the draft NDP and referendum would have to be pushed back so delaying the process by around three months.

While these matters of detail may be of passing interest, thoughts at the ACV have been turning to the content of the draft NDP and in particular, the fact that the Forum would like to develop a ‘Vision’ for Ashtead. In the Locality Roadmap Guide for Neighbourhood plans (which can be found on the internet at ) it suggests that the NDP could contain “Vision and Aims” which it describes thus: “A neighbourhood plan can set out the community’s overall vision for the area and should include overall aims for its future development. These can relate to a wide range of planning and regeneration matters – social, economic and environmental. The vision and aims of the plan can then be translated into details policies, guidance and proposals.”

ACV is considering asking Ashtead residents what they would like to see as a ‘vision for the future of Ashtead’ …. But more of that exciting news in next months edition of The Local.

John Morgan, ACV member. For further information concerning the Ashtead NDP either go to the website at: or email

You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter @AshteadCV .


Are you looking for something to do that that is fun for all the family? Then why not come along to the annual Leatherhead Duck Race on Sunday 13th July. For a quacking great afternoon of family fun head to the banks of the River Mole by the town bridge (bottom of Bridge Street), where the action starts at 2pm with 7 tote races (6 heats and a grand final). You can bet on the duck you think will win and cheer it on to victory! Picking a winning duck can be hard so here are a few tips - choose your favourite colour, pick the name you like best or if in doubt rely on pot luck!

For the very first time the tote races will be followed by a brand new Swan Race, where proceeds from this race will go to the Children’s Trust local charity in Tadworth and one lucky winner could be in the chance of winning a great prize. And not forgetting the mass duck race where hundreds of tiny yellow bath time ducks will take to the water for the grand finale with some fantastic prizes to be won! To keep your little ones entertained between races there will be a storyteller down by the river. Miniature steam train rides will also be available in nearby Mill Lane, just follow the signs. Refreshments in the form of ice cream and soft drinks will also be on sale by the river. The little yellow bath time ducks fo

r the mass duck race can be sponsored on the day for £1 or in advance on Thursdays and Saturdays in the Swan Centre right up to the event. Ducks are also available from the Help Shop and Barton’s Bookshop. And if all this wasn’t enough, why not take part in ‘Duck Trails’? From Saturday 5th July keep them peeled for giant ducks nesting in the town’s shops. Find them all, enter our prize draw and you could win a great prize. While you are at it, upload your ‘delfies’ (duck selfies) to our flickr site.

For further information go to


The Leatherhead Institute was built in 1892 by Abraham Dixon of Cherkley Court who gave the Institute to the people of Leatherhead to provide them with educational, social and recreational facilities. The Leatherhead Community Association (LCA), which is a registered charity and is based in the Institute, was established in 1977 with the objective of continuing to fulfill Abraham Dixon's foresight and vision for local people.

The LCA organises a varied programme of activities and talks, both inside and outside the Institute, recent events have included enjoying concerts at St Clements Dane and the Royal Festival Hall, and trips to Stonehenge and ‘Literary’ Southwark. There are art talks and musical afternoons, and a taste of things to come include a visit from the Bookham U3A Phoenix Entertainers, a series of long or short walks around the local countryside, a visit to the All England Club shortly after the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, and a day visit to Kenwood House. There are also a number of attractive rooms available for hire.

Membership fees are only £5 pa and the cost of attending the activities are kept as low as possible. Why not call in and see what there is to offer at 67 High Street Leatherhead, or you can contact us on 01372 360508 between 9am and 12pm. Or go to to find out more, or email us on


The Parish of Ashtead has received planning permission from Mole Valley District Council to replace St Giles’ Church Hall with a new structure.

Jan Barker is leader of the redevelopment project for the parish which is called the Dell Project. The parish consists of two churches, St Giles’ and St George’s. The latter already has hall facilities attached to it. The new building will be called St Giles’ Dell Centre. “We have raised £960,000 so far, “said Jan, “so we still need to raise over a million pounds. The parish would like to begin construction in early 2015 but fund-raising still has along way to go.

Church members have been very supportive and creative, holding events like concerts, sponsored sports challenges, proceeds from book and CD sales and coffee mornings with profits donated to the Dell Project. Fund-raising is going on pretty much continuously.”

The new centre will be built on two levels, providing a large hall, four meeting rooms and a modern kitchen. It will occupy approximately the same area as the existing hall, which is located in a dell near the medieval church of St Giles’.

For more information and to learn how to donate to the project, go to or call 01372 813332.


It was a who’s who of Surrey at the launch of the Brand New Surrey Hills Community Radio on 6th June. National TV, Radio Journalist and Presenter – Nicholas Owen declared the station officially on air!

The internet based Community station, conceived by local Actor Graham Pountney will be managed and presented by local people and will feature programmes aimed at all ages. Initially there will be a period of natural growth as new presenters are trained and get their shows underway. In the coming months there will be a ‘Charity of the Month’ element which will link small businesses and charities by highlighting causes and encouraging fund raising events and many new shows that vary from music and talk to local community features and health and wellbeing.

The launch programme was presented by studio manager Andy Newbold who has been a resident photographer in the town for the past ten years. Then at 7pm the very first celebrity interview took place with Reigate resident Nicholas Owen who shared some of his experiences of being a radio presenter (currently on Classic FM) before announcing the station as Live!

Britain’s Got Talent 2013 Semi-finalist Philip W Green also made an appearance in between running his Dorking Dance class and heading off to a gig in Shepperton. He too will be bringing us an entertaining regular show full of Impressions and music!

Amongst the guests throughout the evening were Chairman of Mole Valley Council – David Sharland and his wife Sylvia, Chairman of the Leatherhead & District Chamber of Commerce – Jackie Quinn and SurreyTV executive producer, Stephen Gardner.

The station, which is a not for profit organisation and reliant on volunteers to produce content, is in line to become a valuable resource throughout Surrey. Whilst based in Leatherhead the team are keen to grow and attract listeners from all over the region. Charities and community groups are invited to forward information of events and to apply for a ‘Charity of the Month’ slot

During this first week of broadcasting, Station Managers Dave Smith and Andy Newbold are cutting their teeth with the Breakfast show. Andy explains the format “Basically we are going to try and entertain people in a typical breakfast show fashion, plenty of music, some chat, news reviews and guest interviews, however we are both novices and anything could happen! That’s the beauty of Community radio – it won’t be as polished as some of the big stations but it will be real and relevant, presented by regular locals!

The first show on Monday attracted listeners from as far as New Zealand and Turkey and Tweets were coming in from all over the UK.

Local assistance has come in the form of equipment donated by Tec Res at 14 North Street, Leatherhead and technical assistance from the station Engineer Dave Shelton. There are many more people who have had input and the end result is a working and effective studio!

‘Tune in’ by going to and clicking the listen live button or through the ‘Tune in’ app on your phone or tablet and you can follow us on twitter at @sryhilsradio or on Facebook by looking up surrey hills community radio.


Whether you’re a seasoned walker or fancy an evening stroll with family and friends in beautiful surroundings, Walk Ten at Hampton Court on 30th August is the perfect excuse to put on your walking shoes, pack a picnic and join the experience.

Hampton Court is one of 19 stunning locations across the UK chosen for Walk Ten this year. Join us as we discover the magnificence of Henry VIII's favourite royal residence. Enjoy exclusive after-dark access to this famous palace and grounds as you take an evening 10k riverside walk.

After completing the walk, settle down with your picnic and enjoy the festival-like celebrations with live music, entertainment and spectacular fireworks at 10pm. These fireworks coincide with the time many Marie Curie Nurses start their night shift, providing care to people with terminal illnesses and their families in their own homes.

Karen Howland took part in Walk Ten at Denbies Wine Estate last year, she said: “I signed up because it’s such a good cause and I wanted to do my bit to help. I thought it was great that the walk was at Denbies as it’s not somewhere I could go to walk normally. Unfortunately the weather was rubbish but the atmosphere on the night was brilliant with all of us walking together for the same cause. I am really looking forward to taking part in Walk Ten at Hampton Court this year, I just hope it doesn’t rain again!”

Registration is £10 per person (children under-16 go free; on the night adult registration is £20) and everyone is asked to raise as much as possible in support of Marie Curie. All the funds raised will help Marie Curie provide more care, free of charge, to terminally ill people in their own homes. Register now for your Walk Ten at or for more information call 0845 052 4184.


Leatherhead Methodist Church Half way along Church Road in Leatherhead, only a short walk from the town centre, is LMC, a lively church with a heart for the community. Many people who visit us are surprised by our varied range of community linked activities and services. We have large, accessible premises which we are happy to share.

So what’s going on at LMC at the moment? Every Thursday lunchtime, at 12.30pm, we are taken over by talented musicians from the Royal Academy and others, who come along to give the people of Leatherhead a musical treat. There is no charge for these concerts but donations are gratefully received at the end to cover costs. The Rialto Lounge Restaurant and Patricia Morgan, Optician, both sponsor the concerts. The Rialto also supply inexpensive sandwiches and cakes to complete a lovely lunchtime experience.

Once a month we host ‘Messy Church’ on the third Thursday at 3.30pm, run by the Uniting Churches in Leatherhead. This is an amazingly fun experience for younger children. Parents/Carers bring along their toddlers and primary school children for well organised craft activities in the spacious church itself and all over the church buildings. We then have a quick Bible story and give tea to all the children so they are ready for you to take home, exhausted, for bath and bed. We regularly have 60 parents and children come along. Our next Messy Church is on 17th July.

For the older generation, on the first Friday of every month, at 2.30 pm, we host ‘Time for Tea’. This is a friendly group for people to come along for tea, cake and a chat. There are often other activities going on, like a little piano music or a talk. The cakes are all homemade and delicious. If getting to LMC is a problem then contact us and we will try and arrange transport for you.

Our chosen charity at the moment is ‘Heart for Romania’. We chose them because Leatherhead Youth Project, Liquid Connection and B@titude are all involved in the excellent work happening between the people of Leatherhead and Romania. (

If you are interested in any of our community activities you are welcome to just come along, or if you would like more information, then call the LMC office on 01372 362145.

The office is open on Tuesday and Thursday mornings or you can leave a message and we will get back to you. Also check out our website If you have any great ideas about other groups we could hold on our premises for the community or are interested in room hire, please get in touch.