Leatherhead Advertiser reporter raising money for cancer charity

Leatherhead Advertiser reporter David Blackmore is raising money for a bowel cancer charity to help schoolchildren and their parents in South Africa.
He will be taking part in the Bobby Moore Fund’s Project South Africa, which will see volunteers heading out to the African country in March 2010 to renovate a dilapidated school and a football pitch in partnership with the local population.
The project will give the local children and their parents the chance to continue their education in their own village, close to their families, rather than being obliged to move away.
The 22-year-old will be hosting many fundraising events throughout the year and will have a football-themed stall at Ashtead Village Day on June 20.
The West Ham fan is hoping to raise more than £4,000 to go towards the project and also to bowel cancer research.

He said: “With the project taking place next year it makes my fundraising effort even more poignant as in summer of 2010 there will be a little competition called the World Cup in South Africa.

“As I am sure you are aware, one of Bobby Moore’s biggest claims to fame is being the only England captain to have lifted the World Cup.”

To make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/davidblackmore6 and for more information about the project e-mail david.blackmore@essnmedia.co.uk or call 01306 88 66 90.

In addition, David would also like to hear from local business who are interested in helping him and maybe hold their own fundraising event.

Ashtead-Leatherhead Forum

Last evening was the third Ashtead-Leatherhead Forum I have attended – and the longest! 7.30 it started and went to 9.55 – and was it worth it, I ask myself?
“Sustainability in the Home” was competently presented by Graeme Kane. Is he doing this for each Area Forum? Anyone interested in sustainability can go to the MVDC website: http://www.molevalley.gov.uk/greener/

Then we were told about the refurbishment and management of the Leisure Centre. This went on and on and on; the presentation was rambling and not always easy to follow (or hear) – the main thing I learnt from the long and tedious presentation was that MVDC seems to be the only District Council in this area that’s offering free swimming to the over-60s. No doubt this presentation was made here because it is realized that people from Ashtead use the Leisure Centre as well people from Leatherhead.  But, hey, don’t we ever get people from Fetcham or Bookham as well?
As it was getting late by this time, it was thought that the Police report should be made at this stage, since Leatherhead High Street could wait (Where have I heard that sentiment before?). But weren’t we in effect,  hearing what’s reported, probably in greater detail, at the Ashtead, North Leatherhead & South Leatherhead police pannels?
Anyway, somewhere around 9.20 we came to “Leatherhead High Street”! I waited expectantly to see the plan the Council had for its latest refurbishment of the High Street, since at our AGM in March I recalled “All be revealed on the 22nd April.” Was all revealed? Was it like as heck! There was no overall plan presented; no detail of where seating areas or parking bays would be. As I understood it, each restaurant will have to apply separately for planning permission if it wants to retain outside seating after 4.30 pm – in other words, a piecemeal approach yet again.
Basically, I learnt nothing that I had not known before – except for the sort of barrier the Council would be recommending so that traffic wouldn’t accidently knock into happy diners!
An audience member from Ashtead pointed out that Leatherhead High street was of interest not only to residents of Leatherhead but also to those of Ahtead, Fetcham & Bookham as people from these places frequently come into Leatherhead to shop. That, said the Chair, is why it is being discussed at the Ashtead-Leatherhead Forum. But the cries of ‘What about Fetcham & Bookham’ were ignored.
But that is the point, isn’t it. This is something of interest to residents of all these places. Would not the more appropriate Forum for discussing this be the “Leatherhead and District Forum” (formerly the “Town Centre Forum’)? Yet the Council refuse to acknowledge that Forum. Is the Council afraid that it might learn what people really want from that Forum?
Why must we have the Bookham-Fetcham and Ashtead-Leatherhead Fora thrust on us? Very few, if any, in the north of Mole Valley wanted these Area Fora. Why cannot the MVDC consult directly with each of the four Residents’ Associations on matters affecting each community, and take part in the Leatherhead & District Forum on matters of common interest to the whole of the north Mole Valley area.

Food Waste – where do we go from here?

The Food Waste trial in Fetcham is coming to an end. MVDC have failed to provide an alternative and build on the experience gained from the trial. This is disappointing from a Council that likes to boast about it’s high recycling rate.

Anaylsis of the figures from DEFRA (November 2008) show that MVDC is 12th place for dry recycling, however, the council’s record on composting & food waste is poor in comparison. The overall position is that MVDC lies in 46th place out of all the English Local Authorities. The figures are:

  • Recycling : 32.81 %
  • Composting (inc Food Waste): 12.91%
  • Total 45.72% (leading councils are around 58%)

A quick check of the MVDC website does not give any further indication of what the future plans are. The link to the Food Waste Collection Trial is broken – even if the trial has ended, it would be useful to know the results & conclusions. The linked Local Waste Strategy document only looks as far as 2009 and curiously is named “draft_strategy.pdf”. What are the plans for the future? If you email the Recycling Officer at the email address given you do not get a reply – perhaps there is no officer or future plans to “Green up the Valley“.

Okay, MVDC signed the Nottingham Declaration & they claim to have an award for their website. However, it would be interesting to see how they plan to achieve the recycling rates that they lay out in the Sustainable Development Strategy Document (v6) In this document, the national targets for recycling are set as:

  • To recycle or compost at least 25% of household waste by 2005
  • To recycle or compost at least 30% of household waste by 2010
  • To recycle or compost at least 33% of household waste by 2015

MVDC aims a lot higher (probably because the district has almost hit the 2015 goal) by adopting the “Surrey Joint Municipal Waste ManagementStrategy (JMWMS) in October 2006. This strategy is covers municipal waste management in Surrey for the period 2006 to 2026”. This set targets of:

  • recycling and composting targets of 40% by the year 2010
  • recycling and composting targets of 50% by 2015
  • aspire to reach a long term target of 60% recycling and composting by 2025.

Now, there is some confusion here. What is the point of adopting these targets if Mole Valley is already at a 47% rate ? Further on in the Sustainability Strategy Document, the Community Action Plan states:

  • To exceed the government recycling and composting target of 30% – to 36% during 2006.
  • To reach 42% recycling rate by 2008.

You have to assume at this point that the document is due a revision to reflect the current state of recycling in the area. Most importantly, the document does not have any Commitment to Action on the subject of Food Waste. Obviously, individual can do more by not wasting as much & not rely on on our resource stretched Authorities. Folks can also use a Food Cone or a wormery. The Council actively encourages the first of these options, however, not everyone has the space or the know how to use these solutions and so a proposal for Food Waste needs to be put forward to put Mole Valley back at the top of the list of Green local authorities.

It would be nice to see the Leatherhead Residents Association actively pushing MVDC for answers on this topic.

Litter Pick

To say that the Litter Pick on 19th April was not well supported is an understatement. I know that regrettably the Spring Newsletter has been delayed and, therefore, the Litter Pick was not as widely publicized as we had hoped. It had, however, been announced at the open meeting earlier this month.

Three of us spent two hours endeavouring to make Leatherhead a little tidier and I realize that other commitments kept some away who would otherwise have joined us. I trust we in the new Residents’ Association still retain the civic values of the old Leatherhead Society and want to make our town & its environment a better place.

See you on the next Litter Pick     🙂

Ashtead-Leatherhead Area Forum Agenda

Dear All
The Ashtead-Leatherhead Area Forum Agenda for the next meeting on 22nd April is now available on the Council’s website.
Please click on the following link to view the agenda:-
(A hard copy of the agenda will be distributed to Mole Valley District Councillors on Thursday 9th April).
With kind regards,
Arabella Davies

Arabella Davies
Democratic Services Manager
tel 01306 879137

Agenda for April’s Open Meeting

The next Open Meeting will be held on April 6th starting at 7pm at the Leatherhead Institute.

The agenda:

1. Apologies
2. Minutes
3. Matters arising
4. Parking issues
5. Reports from other local groups
6. General reports from sub-committees
7. AOB