Bulletin for June 2021

L.R.A. Bulletin for the end of June 2021

Dear Member(s),

I hope you are well (or reasonably so!) and I am sure you have your eyes firmly fixed on July 19th in the hope that this does not prove to be another false dawn.

Mole Valley District Council has informed me of several initiatives, some of which I feel may be of interest to you:

1. Tickets are now on sale (via internet or phone) for The Mole Valley Community Lottery.   This weekly online lottery raises money for good causes and green initiatives in the District.     Players have a chance of winning a £25,000 jackpot each week.    Tickets start at £1 and the draw is held weekly on a Saturday evening, starting Saturday, 24 July.   Other prizes include a Dorking Halls Family&Friends Membership and a Surrey Hills Enterprises shopping voucher.    Half of the ticket money goes to a good cause of the player’s choice and 10% goes to a fund run by the Council which benefits climate change initiatives and the Environment Fund.   To view the various “good causes” asking for help, and for further details about the Lottery, visit www.molevalleylottery.co.uk or phone 01306 310016

2. The District Council’s  “Walk for Health” group walks have resumed across our District.    This is a programme of fun, free and accessible weekly walks ideal for anyone looking to become more active and meet new people.    It can also, if advised by a doctor, assist with recovery from the long-term effects of Covid.   The walks last from 30 to 90 minutes, ideal for a wide variety of ability levels.    There are weekly walks in Leatherhead, Dorking, North Holmwood, Buckland, Brockham and Bookham.   The group is always looking for new volunteer Walk Leaders, so please get in touch if you are interested.   Training, support and equipment is provided and walks can take place anywhere in the district. during the day or evening.     For more information on the walks or to find out how to become a walk leader, visit www.molevalley.gov.uk/walkforhealth  or email wellbeing@molevalley.gov.uk or call 01306 885001

3. Mole Valley Climate Emergency’s Hub is going ahead, and in Leatherhead this will be at the former Book Potato shop, in the Swan Centre in September and October.   In a nutshell, this will be:

  • A drop-in information centre for passers-by and interested people to relax, chat and find out more about what is happening in our world.
  • Lasting for 9 weeks throughout September and October, 10-5 pm (or later, if evening meetings).   Potentially a longer term presence.
  • Each Thursday, Friday and Saturday
  • And it will have displays,  a workshop/talk area with coffee and biscuits etc.

Each week will have a theme with linked workshops, talks and activities such as plastic pollution, biodiversity, travel etc.    This is also an opportunity for you to enlarge the membership of your own group and to publicise your aims and campaigns.

And now for other news concerned with Leatherhead:

1. The application for a very tall mobile phone mast on “The Circus” roundabout off By-Pass Road, has been turned down.   We shall have to wait and see if an Appeal is submitted.

2. I am sure you will be pleased to know that the LRA made a donation to The North Leatherhead Community Hub.

3. We are organising a Litter Pick in Leatherhead on Sunday 25 July, starting at 2 p.m. and finishing in the Red House Gardens at 5.00 pm.   At the end, there will be refreshments and a chance to meet up with old friends and acquaintances.    Perhaps our regular Pickers could let me know which area they, personally, would intend to cover  and also offer a couple of suggestions as to other littered areas which new volunteers could deal with.   Our long-standing member, Dorothy Stapleton, has kindly agreed to organise the details of this, where to work and so on.

Finally, concerning the wooden planters in the High Street, some may be interested to know  that I have written to the relevant person in the District Council for some indication of their budget for the upkeep and re-planting of the planters..    So far, I have learned only that Surrey Council was responsible for the installation, but someone also needs to actually carry out their proper maintenance

Following up on my email requests to lapsed members to renew their membership, we have had some success, but there still remain many who have not renewed.   Could I, therefore, make another plea to those people to renew?   It is easily done via the LRA website by entering www.leatherheadresidents.org.uk/contact

Finally, a reminder that our next Open Meeting will be on Monday, 2nd August at 7.30 in the Methodist Church in Church Road.   Jenny Moore of B@titude and also of The Hub in North Leatherhead has kindly agreed to give us all an update on developments and hope in that area.    Should the meeting prove impossible , due to continued restrictions, I will let you know well beforehand.

With all best wishes,

Caroline Brown (Chairman) 30:6:21

Telephone:  01372 813013    email: info@leatherheadresidents.org.uk

Registered Office: Fewston, St Nicholas Hill Leatherhead

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Bulletin for December 2023

Dear Member(s),

I hope you are all approaching the “Big Day“ with some anticipation:    At a personal level, hoping that all your friends and family will have remembered you with either a card or a phone call and, at a humanitarian level, hoping that some solution can be found to the current events in the Middle East.

As regards local issues, unfortunately, although I have tried, I have not yet managed to obtain any further information regarding our Town’s “Transformation.”  So, the development proposals for both the Red House Gardens (i.e. “The Park”) and the Swan Centre remain a closely guarded secret. 

However, there is one piece of particularly good news:  The Appeal against the non-determination of the Planning Application for a large care home and some 54 new homes on Green Belt land to the south of Headley Road (east) at its junction with the A24 By-pass has been refused.  Despite the contribution that the Development would have made to the Town’s residential stock, the Inspector concluded that this was insufficient to outweigh the detriment caused by the loss of this prime Green Belt land.  The LRA spoke against the grant of consent at the Inquiry.         

The LRA also supported the idea of a much improved pavement along the by-pass from the M25 roundabout to the Knoll roundabout (A243) for the many children who use this route to go to Downsend, St. Peters and St. Andrews schools, all situated on the other side of that busy road.   We suggested there should be substantial fencing all the way along and a slightly raised concrete path to deal with the water and mud problems that accumulate.   This would make for a much safer and more practical footway.  The Leatherhead Library recently wrote to me with a list of services it provides, though of course, most of it originates with the written word!   Wednesday mornings are, at the moment, given over to coffee and chat mornings with the occasional speaker.    In addition to “standard” books, there are large print volumes, some books in Ukrainian, children’s DVDs, computer lessons, free wi-fi, printers, a document scanner and a photo-copier all for general use, plus items for sale, help with applying for free bus passes and provision for learning and research.   In a similarly educational vein, TheHub in the Swan Centre is offering Computer lessons (for beginners), general money management advice and Job-seeking help.   In connection with this last item, there is to be a “Leatherhead Jobs Fair” in January

2024 between the hours of 10.00am and 12.00pm in the morning, but the organisers would like to know if you are interested. 

You may already be aware that the designated “Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty” (AONB) in England and Wales are to be re-named “National Landscapes.”   They will retain the same protections, but, personally, I find the new name much less evocative.

Our new Chief Constable (Tim de Meyer) has also been writing round to interested parties.   He seems particularly concerned about crime against women and girls – perhaps not before time.    He is offering to send out a regular email and to host some online engagement events.   I have signed up for both and will keep you all up to date with any relevant news. 

I am pleased to report that, in line with Surrey County Council’s ambitious tree strategy, MVDC will contribute to the target of planting 1.2 million trees in Surrey by 2030.   This not only contributes to a greener future, but will also address the loss of trees caused by “Ash Dieback” in Surrey.   Ash Dieback is a relentless, non-native fungus affecting tree structure which can lead to unpredictable structural failure such as branch loss.    This has necessitated SCC undertaking significant tree removal/maintenance, especially where public safety is concerned.   

Finally, do not forget our next meeting on 15th January 2024 at the Methodist Church as usual.   There will be a quiz and the main subject for this will be “Leatherhead “.  There will be prizes, albeit on a modest level!

Together with all my Directors, old and new, I send you my best wishes in this period of energetic activity and joy!

Caroline (Brown, Chairman)

18th December 2023