Local News & Weather in Dorking
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Young Rugby Star Killed by Hit and Run Driver – 22/06/15
A 20 year old man has died after being hit by a car in the early hours of Saturday morning in Reigate town centre. Ben Regan, a promising player at Dorking rugby player, was hit by a light coloured car in Bell Street at around 2am. Paramedics attended, but Ben was declared dead at the scene. A man in his 20s was arrested on Saturday afternoon on suspicion of several driving offences including failing to stop at the scene.
Police Officer on Trial for Murder – 10/06/15
A Metropolitan police officer from Guildford is on trial at the Old Bailey accused of murdering a gang member. PC Anthony Long was a firearms specialist involved in an operation to catch an armed gang in North London on 30th April 2005. The Old Bailey heard how police cars surrounded the VW Golf carrying the victim and two other suspects. Mr Long fired eight shots at Azelle Rodney, six of which hit including two in the head. Mr Long denies murder.
Contractor to be Appointed for Pippbrook Redevelopment – 08/06/15
Work to redevelop the Pippbrook offices site could begin early in 2016 after councillors agreed to appoint a principle contractor to undertake the work. The Scape Framework Agreement will cost approximately £4.5 million compared to a figure of around £10.5 million to demolish the existing building and build new offices.
Fire Unveils Cannabis Factory – 13/04/15
Firefighters attending a blaze in Dorking High Street discovered cannabis plants being cultivated in the building. Emergency services were called to the fire on Friday night at around 10.30pm which tore through Image Dry Cleaners and the flat above. Whilst extinguishing the fire, the fire crew discovered the cannabis plants in another area of the building and alerted police. The owner of the plants has not yet been identified.
Children’s Nursery To Close After Severe Mould Discovered – 26/03/15
Angry parents have just been told that their child’s nursery will close imminently due to the discovery of severe mould. West Dorking Day Nursery which is owned by Asquith Nurseries will close on May 1, leaving 45 children without a nursery. Although the mould was discovered at the premises near Dorking Community Hospital and concerns raised, an environmental health expert said that there was no immediate risk to human health.
Sports Car Stolen In Daylight Burglary – 19/03/15
A high performance sports car was stolen from a property in East Horsley on Monday during a burglary. The Subaru Impreza WRX-S with high performance modifications was stolen from the property in Ockham Road South at around 12.30pm. The burglars broke into the owner’s house and stole a wallet and the keys to the car.
Refurbishment Plans for Leatherhead Train Station – 17/03/15
Leatherhead’s historic railway station could receive a much-needed facelift if a planning application is approved. Southern Rail have announced that they wish to transform the station masters house into a waiting room and library, which will house the archives of the Railway History Correspondence and Travel Society. The station was originally built in 1867 and was given a grade 2 listed building status in 1981.
Leatherhead Gets £200k Grant – 05/02/15
Leatherhead Town Centre has received a grant for £200,000 through the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership. The grant will be used to improve the Church Street area, referred to as the gateway of the town. The grant comes just weeks before Mole Valley District Council are expected to announce the winning bidder to advise on the Master Plan.
Bidder Proposed for Leatherhead Masterplan – 30/01/15
An anonymous bidder has been put forward by Mole Valley District Council as the favoured candidate to undertake the £100 million regeneration of Leatherhead town centre. Ten companies had bid for the project and after long deliberation, the council’s scrutiny committee have selected their preferred option and advised councillors to approve their choice. The initial brief will be to create a £500,000 masterplan, with expectations that the entire project will cost over £100 million in order to make Leatherhead a better place to live, work and shop.
Court Building to Become Retirement Flats – 09/01/15
A planning application has been submitted to Mole Valley District Council to convert the former Dorking Magistrates Courts into 33 retirement apartments. The building in London Road was purchased by Renaissance Retirement Group at the end of last year having been vacant since March 2012. If approved, the development would also include a café open to the public.
Tesco Withdraw from Ashtead Store Plans – 08/01/15After months of negotiations and public consultation, Tesco have today announced that they will no longer be building a new store in The Street, Ashtead. The announcement came as part of the supermarkets wider decision not to build 49 planned new stores across the country, as well as closing 43 other stores, after significant accounting errors were revealed at the company’s head office last year.
Supreme Court Rejects Cherkley Court Appeal – 05/12/14
The campaign to prevent developers from building a luxury hotel and golf course on the site of historic Cherkley Court has finally come to an end after an application to contest planning permission was denied. The campaigners were denied their day in the Supreme Court due to the fact that the appeal was not viewed as a matter of general public importance. Having lost their contest at the Court of Appeal, campaigners have no other legal resource available to them and must now accept the development.
Woman Cuts Wrists in Factory Store – 02/12/14
A shop in Dorking High Street had to be evacuated on Monday after a woman grabbed a knife from the shelf and started cutting herself. Police were called to the Original Factory Store at around midday where the woman, who was accompanied by a care worker, was committing self-harm. The woman was restrained and removed from the shop on a stretcher by paramedics. Staff and shoppers were left shaken after the incident and the store remained closed for the remainder of the day.
Murder Suspect Arrested – 28/11/14
The man suspected of committing a horrific double murder at a house in Fetcham house been arrested by police. 38 year old Viktoras Bruzas, originally from Lithuania, was stopped in a black Mercedes in Oxshott at around 6pm on Thursday, less than 18 hours after police discovered the bodies of Gill and Patrick Kettyle. It is believed that Bruzas’ ex-wife worked for Mr Kettyle at his building firm.
Couple Murdered in Fetcham Home – 27/11/14
A couple in their 50s have died after receiving multiple stab wounds in a vicious attack at their home in Fetcham. Police were called to 3 The Copse at 12.30am and discovered Gill and Patrick Kettyle unconscious. When paramedics arrived, the couple were pronounced dead at the scene. Police have launched a murder investigation and are trying to locate 38 year old Viktoras Bruzas.
Independent Council Proposal for Dorking – 20/11/14
Dorking businesses and residents will have the opportunity to vote whether Dorking should have an independent town council after the proposal was unanimously approved at a meeting of the Dorking Town Centre Forum on Tuesday. If 10% of the Dorking community vote in favour of the proposal, Mole Valley District Council will conduct a viability study and if that is approved a shadow town council will be established. If everything goes to plan, the first elections for council positions would take place in 2017.
Rain Causes Motorway Chaos – 14/11/14
Fears that the country is in for another Winter of flooding became a reality for many motorists this morning after torrential rainfall caused part of the M25 to collapse. Three lanes of the clockwise carriageway near Leatherhead were closed, causing lengthy tailbacks on the motorway and throughout nearby towns. Experts warn that we have already exceeded the average rainfall for November and we aren’t even halfway through the month yet.
Reduction in Hospital Beds – 14/11/14
Leatherhead Community Hospital have announced that they will taking 15 inpatient beds out of use from December 1. The hospital operators CSH claim that the reduction in beds is due to a shortage of nurses at the hospital and the costs associated with having to use an unacceptable amount of agency staff. Ten of the beds will move to Dorking Community Hospital and the other five will go to New Epsom and Ewell Community Hospital, which CSH claim will ensure that patients receive a better quality of care.
Cyclist Dies After Hit and Run – 11/11/14
A 31 year old man from Beare Green was left to die in the road after being hit by a car. Robert Worrall was less than 200 metres from his home in Highland Road when he was fatally struck near the Esso Petrol Station on the A24 in the early hours of Sunday morning. He was discovered by a member of the public at around 1.30am and paramedics were called, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. A 47 year old woman from Horley has been arrested for failing to stop at the scene of an accident and drink driving.
Student Badly Injured in Homophobic Attack – 3/11/14A 21 year old student from Leatherhead was left with substantial facial injuries after he was attacked on Halloween night. Robbie Kingsford was outside the KFC in Brighton Road, Surbiton when two men dressed in pink tutus attacked him without warning or provocation. Following the attack, the two men left on foot leaving Robbie black and blue and requiring hospital treatment.
Police Station Flats Approved – 31/10/14
Following a review by the Planning Inspectorate, a developer has been given permission to build 38 retirement apartments on the site of the old Leatherhead Police station. Mole Valley District Council had previously refused permission to Churchill Retirement Living, claiming that the project was too large and out of keeping with the local area. However, the planning inspector disagreed with the decision and now Churchill hope to complete the development within two years.
New Waitrose in Dorking – 16/10/14
The brand new 25,000 square feet Waitrose store in Dorking has opened its doors this morning to customers eager to see the new store. Despite the significant disruption caused whilst the new South Street store was being built, the supermarket hope that the store will be a huge benefit to other Dorking retailers and residents. As well as a much bigger selection of food and drink, the new store also has a café, juice bar, and bakery.
Permission for Biogas Plant Denied – 03/10/14
A farmer’s application to build an anaerobic digester plant at his farm has been dismissed for the second time. Laurence Matthews of Coast Hill Farm in Sheephouse Lane had his application rejected by Mole Valley District Council last year on the grounds that the plant would be damaging to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with potential for toxic leaks. The plant’s architect lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate, prompting a public inquiry and significant objection from local residents. The appeal was dismissed based on the harm it would cause to the green belt.
Community Rally to Save Pippbrook House – 01/10/14Dorking residents and business owners have launched a bid to save Pippbrook House from developers and to keep it as a community building. Mole Valley District Council voted to sell the building last month on the grounds that it would cost too much to renovate it and make it fit for use. But the decision to sell the iconic Grade 2 listed building to developers has caused anger in the town and a public meeting to suggest initial ideas was well attended. Suggestions included a museum, theatre or wedding venue. However, the cost to purchase and renovate the building could exceed £3 million so funding needs to be sought and secured prior to the council giving the plan consideration.
£20,000 Bill For Benefit Cheat – 10/09/14
A 53 year old woman from Dorking has been ordered to repay £20,000 to Mole Valley District Council after fraudulently claiming housing and council tax benefits. Michelle Lake from Flint Hill had claimed that she was on low income and had no savings in order to qualify for the council benefits. A council investigation revealed that Lake actually had more than £46,000 in savings. She pleaded guilty to seven charges of benefit fraud and was ordered to pay the money as well as being sentenced to 200 hours unpaid work and £450 court costs.
Five Months of Traffic Chaos Begins – 05/09/14
Motorists will face five months of misery from Monday when a major road is closed for emergency water main repairs. A 2km stretch of Pebble Hill Road in Betchworth will be closed until the end of January creating diversions along some already busy and overused roads.
Travellers Moved on from National Trust Sites – 04/09/14
Police and National Trust rangers acted swiftly this week to remove two groups of travellers that had set up camp in National Trust car parks. Caravans arrived at the car parks at Ranmore West and Abinger Road on Tuesday evening. They were immediately asked to leave and did so the following day. A small amount of rubbish was left at the sites and minor damage was caused at the Ranmore West car park by removing the stud posts to access the land.
Waitrose Attracts Hundreds of Job Seekers – 27/08/14
When the new Waitrose store opens in Dorking’s South Street in October, it will create 180 new jobs for the area in addition to the 85 people already employed by the supermarket in the town. However, the supermarket has received 772 applications for the positions, meaning that nearly 600 job seekers will be left disappointed. The interview process has already begun and Waitrose claim that the standard of applicant is extremely high.
Family Rescued from Box Hill – 22/08/14
A young family enjoying a walk at Box Hill had to be rescued by firefighters after becoming stranded on Box Hill. The eight people, including six children, has attempted to climb one of the steeper slopes of the hill and reached a point about 400 feet up where they could not climb any higher nor make a safe descent. Fire crews from Dorking and Reigate attended and carried the children to safety at around 8pm on Thursday night.
Fathers 4 Justice Campaigner Arrested – 21/08/14
A 47 year old man from Bookham has been arrested after setting up a camp on the roof of Justice Secretary Chris Grayling’s house in protest of the legal system for divorced and separated parents in the UK. Martin Matthews climbed onto the roof in Ashtead at around 9pm on Tuesday, setting up a tent and unfurling a banner that read ‘Mums and Dads Unite’. He was talked down by police on Wednesday evening and will appear at Redhill Magistrates Court on September 8 on charges of criminal damage.
10 Year Old Arrested for Arson – 20/08/14
A 10 year old boy from Holmwood has been arrested on suspicion of starting the fire which destroyed a farm building on Monday. The fire at Folly Farm in South Holmwood started at around 2pm in a barn that stored over 100 tonnes of hay. Firefighters battled the blaze for several hours but could not save the building and had to allow the fire to burn itself out. The boy has been bailed until September 26 while police continue their investigation.
Teacher Pleads Not Guilty to Sex Offences – 14/08/14
A teacher accused of sexually assaulting five boys whilst working at a school in Mickleham has pleaded not guilty to the charges. 34 year old Russell Monk was a science teacher and house master at Box Hill School when he allegedly assaulted the 11 and 12 year old boys on eight different occasion over a two year period. He was arrested last Summer after the allegations were made and will now face a trial next March.
Missing Student Found – 08/08/14
A 20 year old student that went missing for more than a week has been found safe and well. Samuel Trussler went missing on Wednesday 30th July from his home in Bookham after leaving a note for his parents explaining that he was worried about the results of his Computer Science course which he was taking at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. He made no contact after leaving his house but was caught on CCTV at Bookham train station on Monday boarding a train to London. He was eventually found by police in London on Thursday.
Dorking Shop Owner Wins Security Shutter Fight – 31/07/14
A business owner in Dorking has had an unusual battle with the council after being told to remove her 35-year-old ‘new’ security shutters. Sarah Keech had decided to paint the security shutters outside the Bakehouse in South Street as they were looking a bit old and tired. However, days later she received a letter from Mole Valley District Council informing her that she did not have permission to install shutters and must remove them immediately or face prosecution. When Ms Keech contacted the landlord, she discovered that the shutters had been installed 35 years ago by a previous tenant and explained to the council, who accepted the explanation and withdrew the demand for the shutters to be removed.
Bomb Scare in Dorking – 28/07/14
A child’s toy caused havoc in Dorking on Friday after it was mistakenly thought to be an unexploded grenade from the Second World War. Builders renovating a pub in Horsham Road spotted the suspect device at around 10.45am and immediately contacted police. Cordons were set up to prevent any members of the public getting near the area and bomb disposal experts investigated, only to reveal that it was a plastic toy.
Leatherhead Town Centre Gets £100k Funding – 25/07/14
Leatherhead Town Centre is set to receive a major facelift after the council pledged £50,000 to help with the project. Enterprise partnership Coast to Capital had already awarded £62,500 to Leatherhead so the total for the project is now £112,500. Exact project plans to allocate the money have not yet been drawn up, but work is planned for 2015.
Headley Court to Close – 11/07/14
The Ministry of Defence have announced that they will close Headley Court in the near future. The centre provides rehabilitation and care for around 20,000 injured armed forces personnel with state of the art facilities. All of the centre’s services will be moved to a new Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre in Loughborough which is costing £300 million.
Parking Restrictions Approved for Dorking – 08/07/14
Surrey County Council are set to spend £15,000 on new parking restrictions in Dorking High Street. Following a review of on-street parking issues in 2013, the council have identified the cause of the trouble and will be introducing double yellow lines and and loading restrictions.
Former Chief Executive of Council Dies – 01/07/14
The kind and generous man who headed up Mole Valley District Council for 20 years has died at the age of 80. Tony Huggins was the Chief Executive of the council from 1974 to 1994, having worked at the former Dorking And Horley Rural District Council for several years, and was credited with driving the newly formed Mole Valley District Council to excel in the region.
Violent Men Escape from Hospital – 27/06/14
Two men who escaped from a secure hospital unit in Epsom have been caught by police. 36 year old Jason Bratton and 46 year old Neil Emery who had both been detained under the Mental Health Act escaped from the secure wing of the hospital on Wednesday. Police issued warnings to the public that the men had a history of violence and should not be approached. Emery was found in the Dorking area this morning and Bratton was found in Aldershot at lunchtime today. Both men have been returned to the hospital.
Portas Looks at Leatherhead – 26/06/14
Self-styled Queen of Shops, Mary Portas has expressed an interest in coming to Leatherhead in order to help with the town’s retail crisis. Portas’ production company have appealed for independent retailers in Leatherhead to contact them if they would like to receive her help and advice and be part of a new television series. Last October, Portas visited Dorking to advise retailers on strategies to increase footfall.
Woman Sexually Assaulted in Park – 23/06/14
A woman in her 20s was sexually assaulted as she walked through Meadowbank Park in the early hours of Sunday morning. The woman had met her attacker during a night out and was walking home with him at around 3.30am when he assaulted her. The park was closed all day on Sunday whilst police searched for forensic evidence. The man is described as tall with short blonde hair.
400 More Homes Proposed in Beare Green – 13/06/14
Beare Green residents are up in arms after Mole Valley District Council included a plan to develop 400 new homes on Green Belt land in the village. The site to the south of the village was included as one of ten possible sites put forward by the council as part of the Houses and Travellers Sites Plan. In addition to the proposed 400 homes, the plan also includes a new primary school, country park, doctor's surgery and allotments.
Retailers Surprised by Sudden Construction – 06/06/14
Shop owners in Dorking's South Street reacted angrily after construction work, which will last for 11 weeks, began this week without any notification. The road has been reduced to just one lane and pedestrians face a hazardous journey along barrier-lined pavements as developers prepare the road for the new Waitrose store. The traders are worried that the disruption will have a significant impact on business and are angry that they were given no prior warning.
Armed Raiders Rob Pub – 27/05/14
Three men armed with hand guns robbed a pub and threatened a staff member before escaping with cash. The raiders entered the Watermill Inn in Reigate Road at around 10.30pm on Friday and stole cash from the till. As they attempted to leave, manager Dominic Roberts tried to intervene and had a gun pointed at him. The robbers escaped in a waiting car towards Reigate.
Conservatives Strengthen Council Power – 26/05/14
The Conservative party have increased their power at Mole Valley District Council during the local elections. The Tories now hold 19 seats compared to 15 for the LIb Dems. However, the biggest change was UKIP winning their first ever seat on the council with a win in the Holmwoods ward.
Child Airlifted to Hospital After Horrific Car Crash – 12/05/14
A man and a two year old boy had to be airlifted to hospital after the car they were travelling in was involved in a crash on the A24 on Friday. The crash involving a Mitsubushi truck and a Jaguar occurred at around 5.50pm on the Capel bypass. The driver of the Mitsubushi was airlifted to St George's hospital in Tooting with serious injuries to his head, thorax and abdomen where he remains in intensive care. The child who was a passenger in the Mitsubushi was also airlifted to hospital with suspected fractures to his skull and pelvis. The driver of the Jaguar suffered broken bones in his hand and arm. Police are investigating the cause of the accident and are appealing for witnesses.
Planning Permission Granted at Cherkley Court – 09/05/14
Two years after planning permission was originally granted to develop Cherkley Court into a luxury hotel and golf course, the Court of Appeal has over-ruled the High Court decision and has re-instated permission to develop the estate. Mole Valley District Council gave developers Longshot planning permission back in May 2012 but campaigners claimed that the development would cause irreparable damage to the Green Belt and took the decision to the High Court, who sided with the campaigners and quashed permission. However, both the council and the developer joined forces to fight the decision, which could have cost tax payers over £200,000 if they were unsuccessful. The Cherkley Campaign and the Campaign to Protect Rural England intend to take the case to the Supreme Court in a final bid to block the development.
Former Police Chief Jailed – 07/05/14
The former chief inspector of Surrey Police has been jailed for two and a half years at Winchester Crown Court for a series of fraud offences. 46 year old Tanya Brookes from Godalming pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud by false representation and three counts of making an article for use in fraud. She had also been convicted earleir of twenty five other charges relating to fraud. Among her offences were claiming to be a counter-terrorism officer in order to get a cheap holiday to the Caribbean, wrongful damage claims against airlines and demanding refunds from high street shops after purchasing items cheaply on E-bay. In sentencing, the judge stated that he had to make an example of Ms Brookes as she was a serving police officer and the shame she has brought on the uniform could not be ignored. Her husband, David Brookes who was also a chief inspector with Surrey Police was sacked in April after an investigation, but will not face criminal charges.
Dorking RFC Do The Double – 05/05/14
Three weeks after winning their league title and earning promotion to National Two, Dorking rugby club have earned more silverware by beating Esher in the final of the Surrey Cup. Despite Esher playing two leagues above Dorking, the red and whites showed the form that won them the league, with a superb defensive effort and clinical attacking. The final score was 22-8.
Man Avoids Jail After Child Assault – 26/4/14
A 19 year old man has been spared a jail sentence after admitting to sexually assaulting a 13 year old girl. Adam Hulin of Hurst Lane in Headley admitted to charges of oral rape and and assault of a child under 13 by penetration at Guildofrd Crown Court. Although the charges carry a reccommended jail sentence, Hulin was given a 12 month order and ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work a well as attending six community integration sessions.
Dorking Rugby Club Earn Promotion – 14/4/14
The champagne was popped and songs sung as Dorking Rugby Club took the league title on Saturday. After a superb season of victories, it almost seemed unfair that Dorking's championship victory came down to the very last game of the season, but the squad took the championship in style with an emphatic 76-0 win over Thurrock. Having topped the league for most of the season, several unfortunate losses in the second half of the season had put pressure on the side and fears of another playoff game had crept into the minds of the players. But having beaten title contenders Old Elthamians last weekend, the red and whites knew that a victory over bottom of the league Thurrock would guarantee promotion to National League Two South and they completed the season in style. Well done boys and good luck next year!
Runway Consultation Starts – 08/04/14
The public consultation into proposals to build a second runway at Gatwick Airport opened on Friday, giving local residents the opportunity to review the plans and to have their say. There are three options for the position of the second runway, all of which are South of the existing runway towards Crawley. Anyone interested in the proposal can visit the website set up exclusively for the process www.gatwickobviously.com and have their say on which site is most suitable, although campaigners opposed to the proposal are angry that there is not an automatic selection available to select ‘no runway’.
Armed Robbery at Curry Restaurant – 2/4/14
Staff and diners at a local curry restaurant were left terrified after a masked man entered the restaurant brandishing a gun and demanded money from the till. The raider wearing a black motorcycle helmet entered the Ali Raj restaurant in Newdigate just after 9pm on Tuesday and forced a member of staff to empty the till. He left with seversal hundred pounds in cash and police were called.
Minister Protects Green Built – 21/3/14
The Government’s planning minister offered re-assurance to people concerned over Green Belt development plans this week by issuing new instructions and guidelines to the Planning Inspectorate. Nick Boles has stated that the need for new homes should not outweigh the damage to the Green Belt and that the previously untouchable areas should not be built on to simply meet housing quotas. Mole Valley residents in particular have faced a nervous wait to find out how many of their beautiful Green Belt sites would be built on, and this news should mean that over-development of the district will not be a threat.
Babs Boosts Soldiers – 17/3/14
Wounded service men and women recovering at Headley Court were treated to an evening of entertainment, hosted by Carry On queen Barbara Windsor last Thursday. The wounded heroes were attending a film screening of Carry On Doctor at Headley Court’s in-house cinema, which was opened in 2012 by actors Nick Frost and Simon Pegg. Ms Windsor chatted to the patients and staff and answered questions on her career before signing a cake in the shape of her famous assets for auction.
Community Searches for Missing Schoolgirl – 03/03/14
The Dorkign community came out in force on Friday after news spread of a missing 15 year old schoolgirl. Nicole Kenway went missing after attending a doctors appointment at 4pm. As soon as her family announced their daughter was missing, pictures and appeals were posted on Facebook and Twitter and hundreds of local residents took to the streets to search for her. The girl was eventually found in London and returned to her family.
Proposal to Improve West Street – 28/02/14
Surrey County Council have revealed plans to spend £250,000 on improvements in Dorking's West Street. Most of the money is allocated to widening the pavements along the road from 1.1 to 1.8 metres, which have long been a concern for pedestrians as they brush shoulders with vehicles using the road. Other improvements include dropped kerbs across all side roads, pedestrian crossings and the planting of trees to improve the look of the road.
Residents Asked to Report Bad Parking – 23/02/14
Dorking residents have been asked to take photographs of badly parked vehicles and send them to police as part of a new initiative to crack down on inconsiderate motorists. The initiative was revealed at a meeting of the Dorking Town Centre Forum on Monday by Mole Valley's Neighbourhood Inspector Andy Rundle who said that parking on pavements was a real problem in the town making it dangerous for pedestrians, wheelchairs and pushchairs.
Village Misses Out on Flood Money – 13/02/14
Residents of Brockham are furious after the village was overlooked in a government list of areas to support with aid for flooding. The Environment Agency revealed this week where they will spend millions of pounds on flood defence measures, but claimed that Brockham's problems were unlikely to be solved with the proposed schemes. Many other towns and villages affected by the flooding of the River Mole have been given support.
Council Offices Should Be Demolished – 30/01/14
Pippbrook House, the headquarters of Mole Valley District Council, faces demolition after a report revealed that £3 million would have to be spent on the building in order to make it usable. The report by construction consultants Turner & Townsend recommends that the building should be knocked down, making way for a new office complex as well as housing and a hotel. However, emotions ran high at a meeting of councillors on Tuesday, many of whom do not want to see the historic 19th century building destroyed.
Giant Mosque Proposal Worries Residents – 23/01/14
Proposals for a Dorking mosque to increase by more than six times it's current size have met with fierce opposition from local residents. The Dorking Muslim Community Association have made an application to add a dome to the top of the muslim centre in Hart Road as well as increasing the building's floor space. If approval is given, the building will grow from 75 square metres to 459 square metres. Local residents are worried that the location of the mosque, in a residential street, could not cope with the increase in visitors.
Rugby Coach Dies in Front Garden – 14/01/14
A man from Redhill died after collapsing in his front garden on Sunday. 39 year old Daniel Bourne was discovered laying unconscious by his neighbour in Gatton Park Road at around 2.30pm. The neighbour tried to administer CPR whilst waiting for the paramedics but could not revive Mr Bourne and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Mr Bourne was an avid rugby fan and a popular coach of the under 17s and 18s at Dorking Rugby Club. He had just returned from coaching when he collapsed.
Public Consultation on Green Belt Developments – 14/01/14
Mole Valley District Council have opened a public consultation on which Green Belt sites should be allocated for housing developments. The council have now published their list of 70 sites with potential for development over the next 12 years and are asking local residents to comment on which sites should be approved. The consultation will close on March 7.
School Building Destroyed by Fire – 06/01/14
A wooden building at the City of London Freemen's School in Ashtead was engulfed by flames on Friday night, causing it to collapse. Emergency services were called at around 10pm and despite the best efforts of eight fire crews to extinguish the flames, the building that housed the school's swimming pool could not be saved. An investigation is under way to establish the cause of the fire.
Storms Wreak Havoc Across County – 02/01/14
Families forced to leave their flooded homes, drivers fleeing their submerged vehicles, and businesses forced to close during one of the busiest times of the year have all been a result of what experts are calling the worst storm to hit the South East since 1987. Torrential rain and gale force winds struck overnight on 23rd December, resulting in flooding throughout the county. Many homes were left without electricity and Christmas preparations were either put on hold or cancelled altogether as friends and neighbours rallied to help each other. Severe flooding resulted in gridlock on many roads as motorists failed to make it through deep water. But despite a brief respite on Christmas day, there are still flood warnings in place as the bad weather continued at the end of December and into the new year.
Air Ambulance Cleared for 24 Hour Service – 28/12/13
Surrey has become the first county in the country to receive a 24 hour emergency air ambulance service. Following numerous fundraising events, Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance have purchased a MD902 helicopter capable of flying at night, which will be based at Redhill Aerodrome. The new service will mean the difference between life and death for thousands of patients who require emergency treatment and speedy transport to hospital at night.
Football Clubs Discuss Merger – 27/12/13
Dorking's two biggest football clubs are in discussions about the possibility of forming one giant club. Dorking Wanderers who play in Sussex County Division 1 have announced that they wish play in the Combined Counties leagues from next season, which is the same league that Dorking Football Club play in. Creating one big club will add strength in player depth and could see a united Dorking club thrive. The two clubs are also investigating the opportunity to renovate Dorking FC's ground at Meadowbank after the council served a prohibition notice due to health and safety problems.
Public Consultation on Green Belt Development – 20/12/13
Mole Valley District Council have announced that they will hold a public consultation to allow local residents to express their views and help with the decision. The council have published a list of 70 sites being considered for development in the next 10 to 15 years and the consultation will take place between January 10th and March 7th.
Christmas Nightmare on Railways – 13/12/13
Passengers wishing to travel on the London to Brighton line over the Christmas period will face considerable inconvenience and diversions. Southern Rail have announced that there will be no trains travelling from Gatwick to London Victoria between Boxing Day and January 1st due to platform work at the airport and maintenance on the lines. Passengers wishing to use Horley, Redhill and Merstham stations to travel to London will have to find an alternative route or other means of transport during this period. There will also be no trains travelling on the Reading to Gatwick line during this period.
Council Humbugs Remove Decorations – 10/12/13
Mole Valley District Council upset Dorking's Christmas spirit on Monday when they ordered workers to remove Christmas decorations just twelve hours after they had been put up. Members of the Knit 'n' Knatter group had planned their annual decoration of the town's famous cockerel statue for months and dressed the staue on Sunday night. However, members of the council claimed that the group had damaged the statue and removed all of the decorations on Monday morning.
Petrol Station Inferno – 20/11/13
More than 30 firefighters battled a fire at a Dorking petrol station yesterday afternoon in a race against time to prevent the flames reaching the petrol pumps. The fire broke out in the forecourt shop of the Esso garage in Deepdene Avenue at around 2.30pm and emergency services quickly responded, closing all roads around the garage and bringing Dorking to a standstill. It is thought that the fire started after a faulty refrigerator malfunctioned. The shop sustained extensive fire and smoke damage and the roof of the building had to be removed after it was deemed unsafe.
Golden Ticket Day Huge Success – 12/11/13
Retailers throughout Dorking town centre reported record sales on Saturday after shoppers flocked to the town to take part in the Golden Ticket event. More than 100 Dorking shops took part in the promotion, designed to encourage local residents to do their Christmas shopping in the town. Shoppers had the opportunity to win prizes if they made a minimum purchase in participating stores, with prizes such as a smart TV, hampers and champagne on offer.
Dorking is a Beautiful Town with Huge Potential – 7/11/13
Those were the words of retail expert Mary Portas following her visit to Dorking town centre last Thursday. The Queen of Shops spent an hour and a half touring the town and talking to retailers, councillors and business leaders. Although Dorking is far from struggling like so many other high streets across the country, Ms Portas stressed how important it was that retailers work together to ensure that the town thrives. Among her suggestions during the visit was that West Street, home to many of Dorking’s antique shops and dealers, should be renamed the Vintage Quarter.
Unfair Parking Charges to be Reviewed – 5/11/13
A letter to Dorking residents from a county councillor has raised hopes that the extortionate residents parking permits in the town may be significantly reduced. Councillor Hazel Watson wrote to some residents affected by the parking charges detailing the council’s proposal to reduce the current £350 annual charge down to £50 for the first permit and £75 for subsequent permits. If approved, the new charges would come into effect from next April.
Contractors Cause Floods – 31/10/13
Elderly residents in a quiet lane of Westcott Road found themselves surrounded by water on Tuesday after a digger cut through underground water pipes at around 3pm. The car park and grounds at Hanover Court Retirement flats were quickly flooded with water and emergency services were called to deal with the problem. Surrey Fire and Rescue Service used sandbags to divert the water away from the properties, although many ground floor flats suffered extensive water-damage. The water flow was finally stopped in the middle of the night, leaving the area requiring a massive clean-up operation.
Body of Elderly Man Found in River – 28/10/13
The body of a Dorking resident in his 60s was discovered in the River Mole near Leatherhead on Friday. Emergency services were called to the scene in Thorncroft Drive at around midday and two specialist boat crews retrieved the body. Police say that the man’s death is unexplained but do not suspect any foul play.
Councillors Join Fight to Protect Leith Hill – 25/10/13
Mole Valley District Councillors have recommended that £3000 should be given to the Leith Hill Action Group to help with the legal battle against exploratory oil drilling at the beauty spot. The Action Group need to raise £25,000 to challenge a High Court decision to allow Europa Oil & Gas to drill at Bury Hill Wood. The group won the first battle last year when a public inquiry turned down an application from the oil company. However, this was overturned at the High Court in July and the group must now fight that decision. With the £3000 from the council, the group will have raised £15,000 towards their total.
Dorking Hospital Re-Opens Ward With Increased Capacity – 10/10/13
Central Surrey Health have announced that they will be re-opening the inpatient ward at Dorking Community Hospital with a 50% increase in the number of beds. Ranmore Ward was closed in June and all of its patients relocated to Leatherhead Hospital after fears that the standard of treatment was in decline due to staffing levels. However, a renewed look at treatment demands in the community has resulted in new investment for Dorking Hospital and the ward will re-open with 18 beds in the near future.
Church Funds Gets Massive Boost – 26/09/13
Fundraisers at a local church are jumping for joy after Surrey County Council awarded them a £50,000 grant towards their improvement fund. The congregation at St John’s Church in North Holmwood have been fundraising since 2006 in order to raise the £300,000 required to build a new church hall for use by the entire community. With the grant from Surrey County Council’s Community Improvements Fund, they have now raised £285,000 and are within touching distance of reaching their goal.
Cherkley Court Battle Continues – 20/09/13
Despite a High Court ruling in their favour, campaigners are preparing to fight yet another battle over the development of Cherkley Court. Mole Valley District Council and developers Longshot intend to appeal last month's decision at the High Court to deny planning permission for a luxury hotel and golf course at the historic site. After consultation with their legal aids, Longshot and the Council believe that the judge’s decision was ‘seriously flawed’ and that the Court of Appeal will overturn the ruling.
Teenage Cyclist Attacked – 17/09/13
A 17 year old cyclist was terrified after an unprovoked attack by a motorist as he cycled along a country road. The teenager was on Coombe Lane near Shere last Tuesday at around 4.20pm when the man in his early 20’s stopped his car in front of the cyclist and began shouting abuse, before knocking him to the ground and punching and kicking him. He then grabbed the strap of the cyclists helmet and dragged him into the middle of the road before climbing back into his silver hatchback and driving away towards Shere.
Cyclists Return to Mole Valley – 12/09/13
Mole Valley residents will welcome back their favourite cyclists next week as the Tour of Britain comes to the district. World-class riders including Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish will race through Epsom, Leatherhead, East Horsley, Dorking, Holmbury St Mary and Shere as part of the 96 mile Surrey stage of the event. Roads along the course will be closed for up to 30 minutes as the race passes through.
Teacher Jailed for Sex Assaults on Pupil – 10/09/13
A female history teacher has been jailed for four and a half years having been found guilty of assaulting one of her pupils. 57 year old Lesley Powell was found guilty of ten counts of indecent assault and sexual activity with a child whilst she was teaching at Box Hill School. Powell committed the crimes between 2002 and 2005 after she befriended the vulnerable pupil and offered emotional support.
District Poor for Apprenticeships – 06/09/13
According to figures released by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Mole Valley is one of the worst areas in the country for jobseekers looking to start a career as an apprentice. In the wake of excellent GCSE results across the district, school-leavers will struggle to find employment with a company near their home. The figures show that Mole Valley businesses recruited the least amount of apprentices in the whole of Surrey between 2011 and 2012. The district was also in the bottom ten across England, with only certain boroughs of London showing fewer recruits.
Supermarket Opening Causes Traffic Chaos – 27/08/13
The opening of the new Lidl supermarket in Dorking last week caused near gridlock in the town centre at the weekend, with the poor traffic management planning coming under fire from angry motorists. Residents had warned, long before permission was given to Lidl to open the new store in Vincent Lane, that the roads and one-way system in Dorking could not accommodate an increase in traffic. Motorists wishing to travel through the town centre are forced to queue with traffic trying to enter the Lidl car park, which itself is too small to accommodate the number of shoppers likely to be regularly using the store.
High Court Saves Cherkley Court – 27/08/13
A High Court judge has ruled against Mole Valley District Council in their decision to allow a developer to build a luxury golf and leisure complex at historic Cherkley Court. Mr Haddon-Cave judged that the council’s decision to grant planning permission to developer Longshot was ‘perverse’ and ‘contrary to planning policy’. Campaigners trying to protect the green belt site have fought MVDC’s decision since it was first announced and were delighted with the decision.
Fears for Rail Routes in Franchise Debate – 23/08/13
The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (the RMT) have warned that there could be massive disruption to train services if franchise operations collapse across the network. First Great Western who operate trains from Redhill, Reigate, and Dorking have asked the Department of Transport for an extension to the deadline after failing to extend its current franchise. However, if a new deal is not struck, the RMT believe that services will be thrown into disarray with cancellations and severe disruption to commuters. The Union have argued that the government should give the franchise operation to the publicly owned Directly Operated Railways.
Lorry Overturns on Busy Road – 21/08/13
A lorry carrying two cranes overturned on the A24 in Capel on Monday, causing damage to trees, private property and vehicles parked nearby. The accident happened at around 9.40am when the driver lost control of the lorry as he rounded a bend in the road between Marches Road and the Clark’s Green roundabout. After the lorry overturned, it slid on its side until it collided with a concrete bridge. Fire crews were called after reports of the lorry smoking and the road was closed for nearly five hours whilst a recovery team pulled the lorry upright.
Paedophile Ex-Teacher Jailed – 09/08/13
A 68 year old man who fled the country after being accused of multiple child sex offences has been jailed for 14 years. Former Dorking resident Mervyn Rush was accused of assaulting boys at a school where he taught as a science teacher between 1972 and 1976. After being accused of the crimes in 2000, Rush fled the country and disappeared for nearly 12 years. He was arrested in Paris in May 2012 on a European Arrest Warrant and brought back to the UK to face the charges. He pleaded guilty to 18 offences of sexual assault on children between the ages of 8 and 12.
Controversial Building Plans at Primary School – 08/08/13
A primary school has caused outrage by proposing that their Green Belt land be sold to developers in order to finance the repair of the school. The Weald CoE Primary School in Beare Green need to raise £7 million in order to replace or refurbish their existing building. Governors at the school are working alongside engineering firm AMEC to submit proposals for the redevelopment of the land, which could see the school demolished and rebuilt with an adjacent residential development alongside a reduced play area.
Teenager Raped in Daylight – 23/07/13
Residents of Brockham Village are shocked and appalled after a teenage girl was raped in broad daylight on Saturday. The attack happened in an alleyway near Wheelers Lane between 6.30 and 8.30pm whilst the nearby Brockham Green was crowded with people celebrating at the village fair. Police are looking for two men in connection with the attack. The first, who is suspected of committing the attack, is described as a white man in his 20s with short black spikey hair and of muscular build. The second man, who approached the girl after the attack is a white man with blonde hair in his 30s.
Cigarettes Stolen in Garage Burglary – 23/07/13
Burglars made off with £7000 worth of cigarettes after the raided a petrol station in the early hours of Saturday morning. In addition to the value of the stolen cigarettes, the burglars also caused around £10,000 worth of damage to the roof of the petrol station in Givons Grove, Leatherhead. The raid, which took place between 3.45 and 4.20am, is the latest in a long line of similar burglaries committed throughout Surrey in recent months. Convenience stores are generally the target and the offenders are in and out so quickly that security measure do not alert police quick enough to react.
Westcott Campaigners Lose Battle – 19/07/13
Local residents who have battled for three and half years to stop a housing development on a village meadow have finally lost the battle and must admit defeat. The Westcott Meadow Action Group had appealed to the High Court against a planning decision to allow Taylor Wimpey to build 14 homes on the Springfield Road site. However, the ruling was upheld meaning that there are no barriers for the developer to commence building.
Car Dealers Arrested – 11/07/13
A car dealership in Dorking was raided on Monday following allegations that unroadworthy cars were being sold. The dealership in Curtis Road was visited by a combination of officers and staff from the Roads Policing Unit, the Uniform Proactive Team, CID, UK Border Agency and Mole Valley Safer Neighbourhood Team after numerous complaints about the safety of vehicles purchased at the site. 16 people were detained by police for questioning.
Three Young People Killed in Road Accidents – 09/07/13
Two road accidents at the end of last week claimed the lives of three young local people. The first accident occurred on the A24 near Kingsfold at around 7.30am on Thursday. 20 year old nursery worker Shelby Gillespie-Boarer had to be cut out of her Nissan Micra by firefighters after her car collided with a Ford Focus driven by a 49 year old Horsham man. Ms Gillespie-Boarer was pronounced dead at the scene. The following day, two teenagers were killed when their car collided with a tree on the A264 at Slinfold. The driver, 18 year old William Richardson from Slinfold, was pronounced dead at the scene and passenger, 19 year old Asa Caudill from Billingshurst, was rushed to St George’s Hospital in London but died on Saturday morning. Two other teenagers travelling in the vehicle were taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital for treatment.
Thousands Support Freedom March – 02/07/13
Huge crowds flocked to Dorking town centre on Saturday to show their appreciation for our armed forces. Staff and military personnel from the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court marched through the town between 1.30pm and 2pm as the climax to Armed Forces Week and were greeted with cheers from Union Jack waving supporters. Among the marching procession were veterans and servicemen currently receiving treatment at Headley Court.
Hospital Beds Moved from Dorking to Leatherhead – 21/06/13
The 12 beds at Dorking Community Hospital have been moved to Leatherhead Community Hospital after concerns were raised over the welfare of patients. Central Surrey Health took the decision to relocate patients after an increase in patients suffering from pressure ulcers and bed sores. The Dorking hospital has been understaffed for more than 6 months and, whilst no serious problems have occurred, the relocation is considered as a precautionary measure. The temporary closure of the Dorking hospital has sparked rumours that the hospital may be permanently closed, although Central Surrey Health deny this.
Women Told to Look Out for Potential Attacker – 19/06/13
Following a string of potentially dangerous incidents, Surrey police have warned women to be extra cautious when walking alone in Dorking. Three women have been approached by a man in Dorking and police believe that it could be the same suspect in all cases. On March 29 a man jumped out at a womanwalking in an alleyway off Nower Road, on June 1 a woman was grabbed and pushed to the ground by a man in the same alley and on June 8 a woman reported being followed by a man in the same area.
Inconclusive Verdict for Man Found Hanging in Woods – 14/06/13
A 20 year old man who was found hanging in woodland near Ashtead Station in September 2011 was not in a state of mind which would have enable him to end his own life according to the coroner at his inquest. Jonathan Stent from Skinners Lane and a former pupil of Ashcombe School had been discharged from Epsom Hospital’s mental health ward four days before his body was discovered. He had been admitted to the hospital after a series of suicide attempts but, despite two doctors disagreeing about his discharge, was allowed to return home 3 weeks later. Mr Stent had complained of depression and had a history of alcohol, cannabis and ketamine abuse. Coroner Richard Travers said that he could not record a verdict of suicide as he could not be sure that Mr Stent was capable of choosing to end his own life due to his state of mind and the use of ketamine.
Body Found at Box Hill – 29/05/13
A body discovered in the Box Hill area by a member of public on Monday may be that of a teacher who went missing more than two years ago. 58 year old Brian Hynard went missing from his home in Ascot on 1st March 2011 and his car was discovered in Brockham two weeks later. Two notes were discovered at his home that suggested Mr Hynard intended to commit suicide but despite a thorough investigation by police, his body was never found.
Sainsbury's Pull Out of Dorking Supermarket Plans – 23/05/13
After three years of planning, revising and campaigning, Sainsbury's have admitted defeat and decided not to pursue plans to build a new supermarket in Dorking. The multiple grocery chain had been planning to build their new store on land behind St Martin's Walk Shopping Centre but had met with fierce opposition from local residents as their plans would mean the demolition of the flats in Church Gardens and the new Malthouse Youth Centre. Sainsbury's had the support of Mole Valley District Council but could not reach an agreement with the landowners.
Planning Appeal Rejected – 17/05/13
The property developers who appealed against a decision to prevent them from building on green belt land have had their appeal dismissed. Paul Hunt Developments had applied for permission to build 45 homes in Kiln Lane, Brockham and, after being refused permission, appealed to have the decision over-ruled. However, inspectors turned down their appeal saying that the proposal would cause harm to the area and was not in keeping with the character and appearance of the area.
Conservatives Succeed at Local Elections – 08/05/13
The Conservative Party were celebrating last week after increasing the number of seats they hold on Surrey County Council, but many councillors admitted that they were nervous about the meteoric rise of UKIP. The Conservatives hold a huge majority across Surrey and increased their share from 54 seats to 58 out of the total 81. However, much of the talk was about UKIP taking three seats and the Green Party taking their first ever county seat in Redhill East. The Lib Dems lost 4 of their seats, giving them just 9 seats throughout the county.
Queen Visits Mole Valley – 05/05/13
The Queen and Prince Philip came to Mole Valley last Thursday to visit recovering soldiers at Headley Court. The Royals spoke to patients, staff and visitors as they toured the facility and grounds of the rehabilitation centre before they enjoyed lunch in the officers' mess. The new Jubilee Rehabilitation Complex was opened by Prince Charles last September and provides treatment for hundreds of soldiers wounded in action.
Heartbreak for Dorking Rugby Club – 01 /05/13
Players and spectators from Dorking Rugby Club were left heartbroken after a narrow defeat in their promotion play-off game. The red and whites had to travel 200 miles to Exmouth on Saturday in a last gasp attempt at earning promotion to National League 2 South. However, defeat came in the worst possible way - having lead for most of the game, Dorking lost by one point as Exmouth scored a pushover try in the last play of the game.
Crime Rates Down in Mole Valley – 26/04/13
Latest statistics revealed this week show a massive reduction in crime across Mole Valley, with the police force being praised for their commitment. The statistics, based on the 12 months from 1st April 2012 to 31st March 2013, show a 13.3% reduction in crimes reported across the district. They also show that total crime in Dorking reduced by 20% and in Leatherhead by a massive 29.5%. The total number of arrests in the district was 411, giving Mole Valley the highest arrest rate per officer in Surrey.
Biker Dies in Crash – 24/04/13
A motorcyclist was killed and another injured when they collided with a pickup truck on Saturday. The bikers were part of a group travelling along Henfold Lane in Newdigate when the tragedy happened. It is believed that the bikers were travelling along the narrow and winding road and the Nissan Navara was travelling in the opposite direction. When emergency services arrived, one of the bikers was pronounced dead at the scene and the other was taken to East Surrey Hospital for treatment to minor injuries. Local residents have long campaigned for the road to be given speed and safety measures.
Canoeist Dies in River – 17/04/13
Paramedics, firefighters and the air ambulance all raced to the River Mole on Sunday after a man was spotted floating face down in the water. The man in his 50s was spotted by members of the public at around 4.40pm in the stretch of river at Minchin Close in Leatherhead. Two local men managed to drag the man from the water prior to the arrival of the emergency services. Despite resuscitation efforts, the man was pronounced dead at the scene.
Residents Object to Housing Plans – 12/04/13
Another building project in the Dorking area has come under the scrutiny of local residents who fear that the development will increase the danger on an already dangerous road. Developers Crest Nicholson have applied to Mole Valley District Council for planning permission at the former Godwin's Plant Nursery site in Old Horsham Road, Beare Green. If granted, the developer wants to build 24 new homes on the site but there are fears that an increase in traffic will lead to a motoring disaster.
Family Appeal to Missing Teenager – 10/04/13
The family of a schoolgirl who went missing on 30th March have appealed for her to contact them and come home. Sophie Nynan stormed out of her family home in Westcott after an argument about her going out. The Ashcombe pupil was spotted by CCTV cameras heading towards Dorking town centre and then later at Redhill train station heading for the platforms that serve both the south coast and London. Along with her families pleas for her to come home, school friends have flooded social network websites with messages..
Dorking Pet Shop Burgled – 04/04/13
A police car chase in the early hours of Sunday morning resulted in a man being arrested for burglary of a Dorking shop. The Pets Corner shop in Dorking’s West Street was broken into at around 12.15am, causing £1400 worth of damage, but the thieves left empty handed. 23 year old Darren Axten from Coulsdon was arrested in Epsom after police followed his car from Dorking following a failed attempt to stop him for acting suspiciously. Police believe that there were two other individuals involved in the break in who have not yet been caught.
Antique Dealers Workshop Destroyed by Blaze – 02/04/13
An antique dealer from Dorking returned from a country walk to discover smoke billowing out of his shop and fire fighters tackling the blaze. Glyn Elias had taken a break from restoring furniture when a faulty television started the fire in a conservatory behind the Dorking Desk Shop and Elias Antiques at 2pm on Friday. Thanks to the quick response of the fire services, Mr Elias’ shop and stock of antique furniture was undamaged, but his workshop at the rear of the shop was completely destroyed along with all of his tools and two pieces of antique furniture that he was in the process of restoring.
Dorking One of Best Towns in Britain – 27/03/13
Dorking is the 16th best town to live in in Britain according to a new report published by The Times. The national newspaper published it's Best Towns in Britain report based on key factors including local entertainment, shops and schools. Other factors giving Dorking such a great result were the proximity and transport to both London and the coast as well as having Box Hill on the town's doorstep.
Dorking School One of Best in Country – 21/03/13
A Dorking primary school has been graded as one of the best in the country following it's recent Ofsted inspection. St Paul's Primary School in St Paul's Road, Dorking has been awarded scores of 'outstanding' in all areas after inspectors spent two days observing lessons and activities at the school. St Paul's was awarded a 'good' grade at it's last inspection in 2007 and, with toughter criteria now in place from Ofsted, the entire school are celebrating their achievement.
Women Told to Lock Car Doors – 07/03/13
Police have warned female motorists to lock their car doors whilst driving following a series of robberies over the last week. Six thefts have been reported where women were in their cars either driving at slow speeds or at a standstill and a man has opened the passenger door of the car and grabbed their belongings, including handbags and purses. The thefts have all been committed between 5pm and 9pm and the man is described as white, tall and slim, wearing a beanie hat and hoodie.
Multiple Roadworks Cause Gridlock in Dorking – 01/03/13
Motorists in Dorking were left dismayed this week after a combination of roadworks left the town in virtual gridlock. Huge traffic jams built up during rush hour traffic after four separate sets of roadworks with traffic control were set up around town. Two sets of temporary lights on the Deepdene Avenue bypass, manual STOP/GO traffic control in Coldharbour Lane and a closed lane in Vincent Way all contributed to the chaos. Whilst most motorists acknowledge the need for the works, they can't believe that Surrey County Council would undertake all of the projects simultaneously rather than staggering the works.
Mole Valley District Council Announce New Budget – 20/02/13
Mole Valley District Council’s 2013/14 budget of £9,685,000 was agreed at a meeting of the Council on 19 February. It is the lowest budget since 2004/5, and includes savings of £691,000. The savings are a continuation of the last four years’ reductions, in which, through efficiency programmes and other saving initiatives, MVDC has cut the cost of delivering services by £3.7m. However, the council have voted not to accept the Council Tax Freeze Grant of 1%, or £62,000, offered by the Government meaning that council tax will rise by 1.9% - the first rise in three years.
Building Plans for Green Belt – 15/02/13
Mole Valley District Council have begun an analysis of the local Green Belt land with a view to releasing some of it for development. The council are under pressure from the government to find space for 2200 new homes before the year 2026 and are struggling to find suitable areas outside of the restricted Green Belt areas. Preferred sites for development currently include Westcott and Ashtead but many other sites are being looked at. Campaigners argue that development of Green Belt areas will blur the lines between villages and towns and will have a detrimental effect on local communities.
Royal Visit to Dorking – 07/02/13
Dorking welcomed his Royal Highness Prince Edward on Tuesday as he visited a conservation project and opened a restaurant. The Duke of Kent first visited the ruins of Betchworth Castle which is undergoing a massive project to restore the building, with the help of a £186000 grant from English Heritage. He then travelled to Denbies Wine Estates where he met members of the volunteer group Friends of Deepdene who are helping to restore the castle as part of a project known as the Deepdene Trail. Before leaving, the Prince unveiled a plaque in the newly refurbished Gallery Restaurant at the vineyard to commemorate his visit.
Two Men Steal Boy's Clothes – 04/02/13
A teenage boy wa spushed to the ground and stripped of his clothes whilst walking through a park on Sunday. The 13 year old boy was walking across a grassy area near Dene Street at approximately 1pm when he became involved in an argument with the two men. Following the verbal exchange, the men pushed the boy to the ground and stole his jacket, gloves, socks and trainers. The offenders were both white and aged between 18 and 24.
Man Hurls Racist Abuse at Woman – 30/01/13
Police are appealing for witnesses after a woman was verbally abused with racist taunts as she walked the an alleyway in Dorking town centre. The woman in her 30's was walking through the alleyway near near Old Brewery Court off Dorking High Street when the man in his 20's made sevearl racist comments at her. The man is described as slim, around 5ft 6 with brown curly hair.
Traders Warned of Counterfeit £20 Notes – 25/01/13
Traders and residents in Dorking have been warned to be on the lookout for counterfeit £20 notes that are being circulated in the town. Police issued an urgent warning this week to anyone being presented with a £20 note to check it thoroughly and report any suspicious incidents immediately.
Vehicles Abandoned in Snow Targeted by Thieves – 23/01/13
Opportunistic thieves prayed on the misfortune of motorists by breaking into vehicles left abandoned in the snow. Several vehicles including an Ocado delivery van and a lorry containing furniture had to be abandoned in White Down Lane, Abinger after the drivers failed to climb the steep hill in the snow. At some point over the weekend, the callous thieves broke into all of the vehicles, stealing the groceries from the Ocado van, bespoke oak furniture from the lorry and personal belongings from several cars.
Understaffed Fire Crews Risking Lives – 11/01/13
The lives of firefighters and people requiring the emergency service are being put at risk due to understaffed crews as a result of budget cuts in the service. According to a report by the Dorking Advertiser, fire crews were short staffed more than 40% of the time in 2012, with four crew members instead of the reccommended five. Four man fire crews are facing difficult situations when responding to fire emergencies as they are advised not to enter a burning building with less than five crew members and are advised to wait for the second crew to arrive.
Imprisoned by Tree! – 02/01/13
A fallen oak tree has blocked a road and left reisdents of a quiet lane trapped for the week. Resdients of Raikes Lane in Abinger Hammer discovered the oak tree across the road after a land slide on Monday morning caused by the heavy rain and flooding. Due to staff holidays over the festive period, Surrey County Council have been unable to remove the obstacle and don't expect to be able to do so until the end of the week.
Residential Road Flooded by Sewage – 29/12/12
Residents of a Water Lane in Bookham are furious that their Christmas was ruined by a flooded sewage system that Thames Water claimed they had fixed nearly a week ago. Tankers had been pumping wastewater from a collapsed sewer in the week leading up to Christmas, leaving the road covered in mud. However, the engineers claimed that the problem had been solved, and Mole Valley District Council promptly cleaned up the mess on Christmas Eve. However, the continued heavy rain on Christmas Day caused the sewer to overflow again, destroying the road and drainage ditches and leaving local residents to deal with the unpleasant situation for the entire holiday week.
Council Supports Supermarket Plan – 06/12/12
Mole Valley District Council have approved a plan outlining the development of Dorking town for the next ten years, including a new supermarket in the town centre. At the meeting on Tuesday, councillors unanimously agreed to adopt the Area Action Plan despite local residents protesting outside of the council offices. Although no single supermarket have submitted a planning application, Sainsbury's have previously outlined plans for a 3250 square metre store on the land behind St Martin's Walk which could mean demolishing the Malthouse Youth Centre and Church Garden Flats. The Action Plan could also result in the development of Dorking Magistrates Court and Dorking police station into residential properties.
Troublesome Teenagers Jailed – 29/11/12
Three teenage boys who admitted to committing a string of burglaries throughout Dorking have been jailed by Guildford Crown Court. 19 year olds Ryan Brook and Benjamin Lamb and 18 year old Kieran Padgham, all of no fixed address committed their crimes in July and August this year, including two burglaries at the United Reformed Church in West Street. Brook and Lamb were sentenced to seven months for burglary, theft and breach of Anti Social Behaviour Orders. Padgham was sentenced to nine months for burglary and theft.
Dorking Woman Jailed for Dubai Sex Offence – 27/11/12
A 29 year old businesswoman from Dorking was sentenced to three months in jail at Dubai Criminal Court last week after being caught having sex in the back of a taxi last May. Rebecca Blake, a former Ashcombe student, was extremely drunk when she had sex with Irishman Conor McRedmond in the back of the car. It is illegal in Dubai to have sex out of marriage and with the country's strict alcohol laws, Blake's description of her drunken state would not have helped. The pair have been released on bail pending an appeal hearing in January.
Trees Felled to Stop Spread of Disease – 22/11/12
A large area of woodland in Abinger is undergoing emergency tree felling after a highly contagious plant disease was discovered in the area owned by Wotton Estate. Little is known about exactly which plants the Ramorum disease affects and therefore contractors have been instructed by the Forestry Commission to target any trees and plants showing signs of the fungus-like pathogen.
Oil Company Go To High Court – 16/11/12
An oil company that wants to drill for oil in Bury Hill Wood have appealed to the High Court after a government inspector refused to give them permission for exploratory drilling in the protected woodland. Europa Oil and Gas claim that the potential success of the site could mean considerable job opportunities for the area as well as significant tax revenue for the government. Opposition to the project includes the Leith Hill Action Group who have gained massive support for protection of the recognised area of natural beauty.
Cannabis Landlord Spared Jail – 09/11/12
A 61 year old man who was caught with over 50 cannabis plants in his home was spared jail at Guildford Crown Court after he was cleared of growing the plants himself. Henry Bicker of Oakdene Road, Brockham allowed Richard Fraser from Mitcham to grow the plants in two bedrooms in his home and received payment in cannabis for his own personal use. Bicker was given a four month suspended sentence for allowing the drug to be grown on his property and Fraser was jailed for 12 months after pleading guilty to producing cannabis.
Success of Brockham Bonfire Blighted by Criminals – 06/11/12
The superb display and stunning bonfire weren't enough excitement for a few mindless individuals on Saturday night after police made several arrests and launched an investigation into a more serious incident. Whilst 20,000 people celebrated on Brockham Green, a motorcyclist was thrown from his bike in Middle Street after a bottle was thrown at him. The motor cyclist was taken to East Surrey Hospital with a broken ankle and police are looking for a suspect in his early 40s with grey hair. During the evening, police arrested two men for assaulting a 17 year old causing facial injuries, a 24 year old man from Crawley for possession of cannabis and 18 year old from Dorking for a public order offence.
Private Firm Get Fire Contract – 26/10/12
Having closed down several full time fire stations and re-allocated emergency response responsibilities, Surrey County Council announced on Tuesday that it will hire the services of a private company to offer support to Surrey Fire and Rescue Service. Specialist Group International based in Dorking are experts in search and rescue and will be employed full time to support the fire service in emergencies such as underwater searches and cliff-side rescue. The deal was approved by the council's cabinet but was met with disappoinment by the Fire Brigades Union who claim that the money spent on the private service should have been invested in the fire service itself.
Failed Robbery at Tip – 16/10/12
Police were called to Ranmore tip in the early hours of Monday morning after neighbours reported hearing a disturbance. The thieves broke in to the recycling centre at approximately 5am but left empty-handed after they were disturbed. Police stopped a car in Ranmore Common Road and arrested a man on suspicion of theft but he was later released without charge.
Waitrose Looking for Temporary Retail Unit – 4/10/12
Waitrose have approached several business owners in Dorking High Street to discuss the possibility of temporarily taking over their premises whilst they build the new Waitrose supermarket. The supermarket giant will have to close their current store in South Street in order to demolish it and build a new store on the same site, but they want to continue trading in the town throughout the construction process and have been investigating ways that they can achieve this. Among the store owners approached are Sharps Bedrooms, Deepdene Carpets and Dorking Furniture Centre.
New Currency Proposed for Mole Valley – 28/09/12
Following the launch of the Bristol Pound last week, allowing shoppers to use a unique currency and banking system to purchase goods and services in the city, Mole Valley could follow in their footsteps and introduce their own currency to encourage local residents to shop locally. Although no group have actually volunteered to run the scheme in Mole Valley, many businesses are keen to explore the possibility providing it is administered and run properly.
20 mph Speed Limit Outside Schools – 20/09/12
After a lengthy campaign to make roads safer for school children, all schools in Mole Valley will have an advisory speed limit of 20 mph imposed during morning and afternoon drop-off and pick-up times. Drivers will be notified of the reduced speed limits during the specified times by flashing orange lights below speed limit signs. It is hoped that all schools in the area will have the lights installed by April 2013, although all schools have the right to refuse the signs and reduced speed limits.
Surrey Police Shun Outsourcing Proposal – 13/09/12
Following a consultation period, Surrey Police Authority have chosen not to outsource any of their services to private security companies. The original proposal was tabled in July when the annual government grant for policing was cut by 20% and reccomendations made that police authorities should outsource some administration functions to the private sector. One of the security firms pitching for the business was G4S, the security company who failed to supply enough security personnel for the Olympic games, which was a factor in the decision not to proceed with the plans.
Local Student Drowns on Holiday – 30/08/12
A 20 year old student from Bookham has died whilst on a family holiday in Malta after taking a swim with his father. Marcus Hughes-Hallett who was studying maths at Cambridge University had gone for a swim in the sea and entered a cave. When he did not return, his father alerted the emergenct services who brought him to shore. He was then flown to hospital by air ambulance but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Olympic Rings to be Removed – 24/08/12
The 7 metre high Olympic rings that were constructed on Box Hill to commemmorate the Olympic cycling event that travelled through Mole Valley will be removed next month, despite hundreds of people calling for them to remain as a legacy to the success of the event. Althought the rings look great from a distance, they were erected on unsightly scaffolding as a temporary monument and would be dangerous to keep in place, especially in bad weather.
Pub Burglar Jailed – 16/08/12
The violent burgler who had to be tasered by police when he was caught breaking into a pub has been jailed for three years. 39 year old Vincent Bennett was wielding a crowbar when police caught him inside the Bull's Head pub in Dorking's South Street and after refusing to put down his weapon, police were forced to use the taser gun in order to make the arrest. In addition to the three years prison sentence for burglary, Bennett also received an additional 12 month sentence for going equipped which will run concurrently.
Farm Refused Event Licence – 14/08/12
The Charlwood farm who had hoped to hold live music events on their vast grounds have once again been refused a licence by Mole Valley District Council's Licensing Committee after significant public opposition. The owner of Edolph's Farm in Norwood Hill, Kim Seaman had twice withdrawn previous applications in order to make the proposal more acceptable for local residents. However, at the hearing on Monday, the committee were overwhelmed by the ferocity of the public opposition and denied the licence on the grounds of public safety, prevention of crime and public nuisance.
Mole Valley Celebrates Olympic Cycle Races – 01/08/12
The streest of Dorking, Leatherhead and the surrounding areas were packed with spectators at the weekend as the Olympic cyclists sped throught the district amidst a constant barrage of cheers and celebrations. Cheering supporters lined the streets at every point along the route of the historic cycle ride and the crowds were praised for their responsible and good natured behaviour by police. It is thought that more than 1 million people turned out to support the cyclists, making it one of the biggest crowds at a sporting event ever.
Olympic Cycle Route Improves Mole Valley – 25/7/12
In addition to the huge anticipation and excitment of Mole Valley playing an important role in the London Olympics 2012, there are far longer lasting benefits to the district hosting the cycle event. The roads that will be used for the Olympics cycle route have been resurfaced, trees and bushes trimmed and pavements cleaned and repaired. Although all of the excitement surrounds the historical sporting event, the improvements will benefit Mole Valley residents for years to come.
Farm Resubmits Festival Plans – 12/7/12
Edolphs farm in Charlwood have submitted plans to Mole Valley District Council, despite withdrawing the proposal on two previous occassions due to significant public opposition from local residents. Edolphs Farm had originally applied for a licence for events with up to 60,000 visitors but have now reduced the application to just 5000 visitors. Edolphs are planning an event in September called 70s Reload if their applicationis succesful.
Mole Valley Cabinet Revealed – 11/7/12
The new cabinet for Mole Valley District Council was revealed this week, without any representation from the Liberal Democrats. Following weeks of uncertainty and discussion, council leader Chris Townsend announced the new cabinet consisting of three Conservatives and three Independents. The new cabinet consists of James Friend as Deputy Leader and member for the environment, Vivienne Michael for customer services, John Northcott for planning, Charles Yarwood for communities and assets, and Simon Ling for finance.
Pub Intruder Tasered by Police – 10/7/12
A 39 year old man from Dorking was tasered by police after he broke into a Dorking pub armed with a crowbar. The man broke into the Bull's Head pub in South Street through a window at around 4am on Monday morning, but was spotted by neighbours who alerted the police. The landlady and her family who were all asleep in their apartment above the pub were only woken when the police arrived and detained the man.
Lib Dems Refuse Coalition Proposal – 5/7/12
Mole Valley District Council have formed a cabinet with just three members after the Liberal Democrats refused to join the coalition proposed by council leader Chris Townsend. At a meeting on Tuesday, Lib Dem leader David Preedy and councillors Phil Harris and David Howarth refused to accept the roles offered to them in the coalition cabinet. The only two councillors to join Mr Townsend's coalition were Conservatives Vivienne Michael and Charles Yarwood.
Power Cut Destroys Supermarket Food – 2/7/12
Thousands of pounds worth of food had to be thrown away on Sunday after an overnight power cut at the Waitrose store in South Street, Dorking turned off all of the freezers and refrigerators. Shoppers had to go elsewhere for their supplies as they arrived at the store to see all of the chilled and frozen food being thrown away.
Three Party Coalition Council Proposed – 29/6/12
Nearly two months after the controversial local elections, Mole Valley should soon have a cabinet thanks to an inclusive proposal by the elected council leader Chris Townsend. No party won an overall majority at the elections on May 3 resulting in Conservatives and Independents uniting to elect Independent councillor Mr Townsend. Whilst the Liberal Democrats opposed the appointment, many party members have defied their leader David Preedy and are now in favour of a coalition. The proposal would see the six executive positions being divided, giving the Lib Dems three, the Tories two and only the leader will represent the Independents.
Company Accountant Jailed for Theft – 21/6/12
An accountant who stole £220,000 from his employers has been jailed for 28 months. 46 year old Terence Butler who worked in the accounts departement of UKIP Media and Events in Church Street, Dorking, stole the money over a two year period by forging cheques and transferring money to his own account. At his hearing at Guildford Crown Court, he admitted two counts of forgery, one of false accounting, one of fraud and one of transferring criminal property. He had primarily used the money to pay for his gambling habit, although he had also given some to his mother and niece.
Olympics Parking Announced – 13/6/12
3000 parking spaces have gone on sale for people wishing to watch the Olympic cycling in July. Mole Valley District Council expect Dorking and Leatherhead to be overwhelmed by visitors wishing tot see the cycle races on July 28 and 29 and have begun preperations to ensure that the district can cope with the influx of people. People purchasing car parking tickets will be sent maps directing them to their designated car park in order to avoid congestion around the road closures. The car parks are at Lower Boxhill Farm and The Priory School in Dorking and Young Street and St Andrew's School in Leatherhead. If you would like to buy tickets for parking or find out more information about the Olympic events in the area, please CLICK HERE .
Brockham Youth Dies at University – 9/6/12
A 23 year old student from Brockham fell from a five storey building at Cardiff University and died from his injuries. Max Witkowski was studying at Cardiff Business School where the accident occurred in the afternoon of May 30. Police are investigating the cause of the accident but have stated that there were no suspicious circumstances.
Mole Valley Honours the Queen – 7/6/12
Mole Valley residents came out in force at the weekend to celebrate in style the Queen's jubilee, including live music and a horse-drawn carriage parade. Across the district, residents gathered to celebrate as a united community, with 100's of streets holding parties to celebrate the jubilee with their neighbours and much larger celebrations being held in town centres, where residents gathered to celebrate together.
New Council Leader Announced – 27/5/12
Mole Valley District Council announced a new leader on Tuesday, although the appointment has been met with disappoinment and confusion by the opposition. Independent councillor Chris Townsend was appointed as the new leader after the Conservatives and Independents formed a union to prevent the Liberal Democrats from taking control. The Lib Dems were naturally disappointed with the result but Mr Townsend has vowed to work witht hem to form a 3-party executive.
Cowpie County Show Cancelled – 11/5/12
The organisers of the Cowpie County Show in Betchworth are devastated after being forced to cancel the event due to waterlogged fields. More than 15,000 people were expected to attend the event this Sunday and the organisers fear that they could have lost as much as £20000, but there was simply not an option to reschedule.
Drugs Scandal at Private School – 9/5/12
An exclusive private school is at the centre of a drugs scandal this week after police were called to deal with a pupil who was dealing cannabis. Box Hill School has a zero tolerance approach to drugs and as soon as a rumour emerged that several pupils were using drugs, they stamped down with an iron fist. The pupil believed to be dealing the class B drug to other pupils was instantly expelled and several other students who tested positive to using the drug have been suspended.
Developer Wins Battle to Build on Meadow – 4/5/12
Campaigners and local residents are furious after a planning inspector has given the go ahead for Taylor Wimpey to build a new housing development on Springfield Meadow in Westcott. Although the 14 homes that have been granted permission is less than half of the 34 Taylor Wimpey had originally planned, it is a huge defeat for Westcott Meadow Action Group who have spent two years fighting the development.
Morrisons Withdraws Plans for New Store – 24/4/12
Supermarket giants Morrisons have withdrawn their plans for a new store in Dorking and will not appeal against the decision made last October denying them permission to build a 3100 square metre store in Curtis Road. The planning request was rejected because it was thought that the store would be too far out of the town centre to be deemed as a town centre store.
Betchworth Man Missing – 18/4/12
The car of a man who went missing on 2nd April has been discovered in Cornwall, sparking a manhunt across the area. 57 year old John Barnett was last seen at his home in The Walled Garden, Betchworth at the beginning of April and his family reported him missing a week later. His blue Mazda RX8 car was discovered in a car park in Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes and police are now searching the area for signs of the missing man.
Councillors Overrule Planning Reccommendation – 13/4/12
Nine councillors have voted to overrule a reccommendation by Mole Valley District Council planners to block the proposed development of a luxury hotel and golf course. The report prepared by planning officers two weeks ago claimed that the development of Cherkley Court went against local planning policy and would be detrimental to an Area of Great Landscape Value. However, at a council meeting last week nine out of seventeen councillors, led by Councillor Rosemary Dickson, voted to reject the proposal giving their support for developers to proceed with their plans.
Child Rapist Found Guilty – 11/4/12
A former police officer has been found guilty of raping and sexually assaulting two girls. 78 year old Peter Kirk from South Holmwood was told at the end of his trial at Guildford Crown Court that he faces a substantial prison sentence for the six charges of rape and nine charges of sexual abuse. The first victim was repeatedly attacked between 1984 and 1986 by the former Met Police officer when she was 16. The second victim was just 6 when Kirk first attacked her in 2009 and the attacks continued for nearly two years before the girl's mother found out. Kirk retired from the police in 1984 and began working as a taxi driver. He will be sentenced on 4th May.
Mourners Gather for Teenager's Funeral – 5/4/12
Randalls Park Crematorium was crowded by mourners on Tuesday, there to pay their respects to an 18 year old killed by meningitis. Alex Bentley from Dorking died on March 17 after collapsing while away at Birmingham University. Having suffered from diabetes for most of his life, Alex was described as an inspiration and truly wonderful person by friends and family posting messages online. If you would like to make a donation to Alex's Just Giving page for Diabetes UK, please CLICK HERE.
Councillors Oppose Golf Club – 30/3/12
Local opposition to a development proposal at Cherkley Court has received the backing of the local council after officers submitted their recommendation that the plan be declined. The council planning committee will meet next week to consider the proposal for a luxury hotel and golf course to be built at Cherkley Court by developer Longshot. Campaigners claim that the development will have a detrimental effect on the Area of Great Landscape Value and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
East Surrey Hospital One of 10 Worst in Country – 29/3/12
East Surrey Hospital received a damning report this week as it was labelled one of the 10 worst hospitals in England for diagnostic waiting times and patient referral waiting times according to an NHS review. An NHS survey also revealed that staff at the hospital were poorly motivated and nearly half of all staff had witnessed potentially harmful errors in the month that the survey was conducted. However, claims that the hospital are struggling financially have been refuted by Surrey & Sussex Healthcare Trust who run the hospital and say that they will start the new financial year owing no money and planning new improvement projects.
Final Stages of Westcott Housing Battle – 23/03/12
The two year battle by Taylor Wimpey to build 14 houses in Westcott will soon be decided as the proposal enters the final stage of it’s inquiry. The house-building giant have been trying to obtain permission to build on Springfield Meadow since 2010 but have faced fierce opposition from local residents who formed the Westcott Meadow Action Group. The group claim that the development would have a significant impact on traffic and an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Drug Dealer Jailed – 21/03/12
A 28 year old man from Dorking has been jailed for 16 months for dealing class A drugs. Michael Parsons of Chart Lane South was arrested last June after police pulled over his car and discovered two bags of cocaine hidden underneath his gear stick. He also had a mobile phone with numerous messages indicating his intent to supply the drugs.
Mystery of Young Mum’s Death – 19/03/12
A young mother was found dead at her home last week with her four year old son by her side. 30 year old Louise Taylor was found dead in her bed at her home in Limeway Terrace by her mother at around 2pm on 12th March. The exact cause of death is not known yet and an inquest has been called, but the family have been told that she had thinning arteries.
Olympics Cabinet Members Sacked – 09/03/12
Two senior councillors at Surrey County Council have been sacked from the cabinet after it was revealed that they both had financial interests in a potentially conflicting company. Denise Saliagopoulis and Ian Lake were told on Tuesday that they were no longer required after it emerged that they were both directors of Charter House Chancery, a company that provides hospitality packages for large events such as the Olympics. Both have been referred to the Council’s Standards Committee although they both deny that they have done anything wrong.
School Placed on Special Measures – 08/03/12
A primary school in Dorking has been put onto special measures after receiving an inadequate rating. St Martin’s Primary School in Ranmore Road has suffered from declining results for 4 years now and have now dropped below the acceptable level. Jane Gorecka, Executive Head Teacher at the school, said that whilst the report was extremely disappointing it did not reflect the entire school and that improvements have already been identified and actioned.
More Opposition for Sainsbury's – 02/03/12
Sainsbury's plans for a larger supermarket in Dorking have come under increased opposition, this time from the resdients of flats that woudl have to be bulldozed to make way for the new store. In order for Sainsbury's to build their new store behind St Martin's Walk in Dorking, they would need to demolish the flats in Church Gardens as well as the Malthouse Youth Centre. Sainsbury's have offered to re-house all of the residents in new homes, but the residents do not wish to leave their convenient town centre location.
Recycling Centre Angers Residents – 01/03/12
Plans for a new recycling centre near North Holmwood has brought local residents out in protest, claiming that access to the site is inadequate for lorries and would make the approaching road dangerous. The owner of Swires Farm has submitted plans to create a green composting site where 10,000 tonnes of garden waste would be laid out to decompose every year. Despite the environmental benefits of his plans, local residents fear that the huge number of lorries travelling to the site will cause congestion problems and pose a danger to other road users.
Asbestos Scare at Dorking School – 23/2/12
Concerned parents have been left worried for the safety of their children following the discovery of asbestos at St Martin’s Primary School in Dorking. The discovery was made during building work to extend the school and playground, resulting in an immediate lockdown of parts of the school. Surrey County Council conducted extensive tests and declared that there was no risk to health, re-opening the school after half term. However, the lack of information supplied has created tension and apprehension amongst staff and parents. Asbestos was widely used as a building material due to it’s strength from post World War 2 to the 1980’s when it was discovered that airborne particles could cause cancer and fatal lung disease.
Possible Charge to View Olympic Cycling – 21/2/12
The organisers of this year’s Olympic games, LOCOG, have revealed that they may charge spectators to watch the Olympic cycle races at Box Hill. Although most of the 250km men’s route (140km women’s) will be free for spectators to watch as they line the streets, the organisers have identified an opportunity to make more money at Box Hill due to the superior spectator views and the fact that they can control access to the route around Box Hill.
Fire at Denbies Vineyard – 14/2/12
Staff and visitors were evacuated from Denbies Vineyard in Dorking on Sunday after a fire broke out in the auditorium. Two fire engines attended the scene, caused by an electric heater being placed too close to a curtain, but an off duty policeman had already controlled the potentially lethal blaze by using some fire extinguishers.
Youth Protest Against Supermarket – 8/2/12
Dorking youth's came out in force at the weekend to protest against Sainsbury's development plans for their new supermarket in Dorking. The brand new Malthouse Youth Centre behind St Martin's Walk shopping centre, which is owned by Surrey CountyCouncil, could be demolished as part of the supermarket's redevelopment plans. A new campaign called Save Our Youth Centre has been set up by the proactive youths and has already attracted over 100 signatures on a petition.
Pippbrook House Could Cost Taxpayers £1 Million – 2/2/12
Mole Valley District Council have announced that it could cost more than £1 million to bring historic Pippbrook House back to a condition suitable for alternative use. The building was leased by Surrey County Council where it was used to house Dorking Library until the end of 2011 and now Mole Valley District Council have had to take responsibility for its repair. Among the repairs and renovations needed are a leaking roof, damaged windows and chimneys, an abundance of rot and a requirement to treat and remove asbestos. The council are currently reviewing budgets and proposals in order to come up with the best possible option.
Tesco Revises Plans for Ashtead Store – 27/01/12
A month after Tesco withdrew plans to build a 750 square metre store in Ashtead, the supermarket giant has unveiled plans to build a smaller Tesco Metro store in the High Street. Campaigners have already fiercely opposed two previous plans by Tesco to build in Ashtead and, whilst the new plans are more in keeping with the look and feel of the High Street, there are still concerns over parking and the disruption caused by too many deliveries.
New Dorking Library Opens – 25/01/12The new Dorking library opened it’s doors for the first time on Monday and was met with unanimous approval from local residents and users. The new facility in St Martin’s Walk was opened following the closure of the previous library at Pippbrook House after campaigners failed to save the historic site. Surrey County Council have pulled out all the stops with the new library, which boasts new books, DVD’s, computers and furniture.
Council Approve Action Plan – 19/01/12
Dorking's future has been mapped out and planned for all to see following Mole Valley District Council's approval of the Dorking Town Centre Area Action Plan on Tuesday. The plan is designed to be used as a guideline for future development within the town, including areas for preservation and others for development. Included in the plan is the approval for a new supermarket site behind St Martin's Walk - the location that Sainsbury's have expressed interest in.
Drama Festival Loses Funding – 18/01/12
Mole Valley District Council have approved budget cuts of nearly £20,000 for the coming financial year which will mean that the popular Leatherhead Drama Festival will get no funding this year. Despite the shocking news, organisers have vowed to fund the event with private money. Other organisations that stand to miss out on council funds include Dorking Concertgoers Society and Arts Alive, who had planned to put on a street party during the Olympics.
Lidl Comes to Dorking - 12/01/12
The plans for a new Lidl supermarket to be built in Dorking have been approved by Mole Valley District Council's planning committee. The new store will be built in Vincent Lane, Dorking on an old industrial site and has been met with approval from many local residents and shoppers.
Jail for Football Hooligan - 10/01/12
A Dorking man caught on CCTV fighting with Welsh football fans has been jailed for two years and three months at Isleworth Crown Court. Matthew Frost, who runs his own electrician company in Dorking, was seen kicking anothe rman and throwing pieces of rubble into a crowd during a clash between Chelsea and Cardiff City fans in February last year.
Mole Valley A Great Place to LIve – 06/01/12
A quality of life survey conducted by Halifax has put Mole Valley in the top 10% of places to live in the UK. Mole Valley came 25th out of 275 in the survey which takes into account factors such as crime rates, average earnings, population density and average rainfall. Elmbridge, which includes wealthy Oxshott and Cobham came 2nd in the survey.
Lidl Gain Public Vote – 23/12/11
According to a readers poll conducted by the Dorking Advertiser, Lidl is the public’s first choice for a new supermarket in Dorking. More than 50% of the newspaper’s readers voted for Lidl ahead of 17.6% for a new Sainsbury’s and just 8.8% for Morrisons. Nearly a quarter of those voting stated that they would prefer none of the new supermarkets in Dorking town centre.
Arsonist Sentenced to Jail – 22/12/11
A man who set fire to his kitchen and then threatened to blow up the whole house has been sentenced to 15 months in prison this week. 47 year old Paul Pierce set fire to kitchen items at his home in Rothes Road, Dorking on December 27 last year, after an argument with his partner. Police were called to the scene and Mr Pierce barricaded himself in, held a lighter to a gas pipe and threatened to blow himself up. The police had to get the gas supply turned off before entering the house and arresting him. Although he was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment, Mr Pierce has already served nearly a year on remand so will likely be released early in the new year.
Festival Plans Put on Hold – 16/12/11
Following the fierce public opposition to a proposal for a live music festival at a Charlwood farm, the event organisers have withdrawn their application. Dansell Multimedia were shocked at the extent of the local opposition to an event at Edolphs Farm and have withdrawn the application in order to review their proposal.
Woman Dies After Being Hit By Car – 15/12/11
Dorking became gridlocked on Tuesday after a woman was hit by a car on Deepdene Avenue. The woman in her 50s was struck by a Volvo whilst walking along the road at around 5.30pm. She was treated by paramedics at the road side by died at the scene. The police closed the road between South Drive and Chart Lane junctions, which were re-opened at around 10pm.
Plans for Farm Festival Opposed – 9/12/11
Angry residents joined forces at Stanhill Court Hotel on Tuesday to oppose plans for a Glastonbury-style festival to take place at a farm in Charlwood. The owners of Edolphs Farm in Charlwood have been in discussions with Dansell Multimedia regarding holding a live music event and festival in the grounds of their farm next year. Dansell arranged the consultation at Stanhill Court to discuss the plans with local residents, but they did not expect the level of fierce opposition and hostility that they received. Edolphs Farm has over 150 acres of open land that would make a perfect setting for a festival as well as other live events.
Prison Sentence for Man Who Attacked Police – 2/12/11
A 23 year old man who assaulted three police officers was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison this week. Carl Denby of Church Street was approached by the police officers on suspicion of stealing alcohol from Waitrose and Sainsbury’s in Dorking when he launched the vicious assault, punching, kicking, and pushing the officers before he was restrained. Mr Denby was extremely intoxicated and suffering from depression at the time of the incident.
PCSO Sent to Prison – 25/11/11
A Police Community Support Officer who worked in Dorking has been sentenced to 4 months in prison for wasting police time. 46 year old Kim Boichat from Horley was jailed for sending herself abusive and threatening messages and claiming that they were sent by a fellow PCSO. Mrs Boichat also encouraged members of the public and her own family by asking them to give false evidence. Her deception was discovered by handwriting experts and anlysis of phone data, forcing her to confess to her crime.
Olympic Torch Coming to Dorking – 11/11/11
The route for the Olympic torch was announced this week and Dorking residents were delighted to hear that it will be paraded through the town. When the torch arrives in the UK on 18th May, having been lit in Greece, it will be carried by 8,000 torch bearers through over 1,000 towns and cities throughout the country as part of a 70 day relay before it reaches the Olympic Village in London. The torch will appear in Dorking on 20th July and councillors have vowed to make the event special.
Council Prepared for Winter – 10/11/11
Surrey County Council aren't taking any chances with the bad weather this Winter and have invested heavily in ensuring that they will no t be caught out by snow and ice again. The council have bought 24 new gritting vehicles, taking their fleet up to 40 vehicles, and have stock-piled 17000 tons of salt - an increaae of 4000 tons on last year. These new measures will ensure that more roads can be cleared and kept safe in the event of another heavy snow period.
End of the Year, End of the Library – 03/11/11
Dorking Library will close it's doors for the final time on New Year's Eve this year. Despite significant public opposition, Surrey County Council took the decision to move the library from it's historic, current location at Pippsbrook House to new units in St Martin's Walk. The new library is due to open on 23rd January 2012.
Lidl Submit Plans for New Supermarket – 26/10/11
An application for a new Lidl supermarket in Dorking has been submitted to Mole Valley District Council. Lidl, a relative newcomer to the UK retail industry, have applied for permission to build the new supermarket in Vincent Lane. This latest application comes just months after Waitrose were granted permission to expand their South Street store and Morrisons were refused permission to build a new store in Curtis Road. The planning application will be discussed by the council early in the New Year.
Armed Robber Faces Wraith of Dorking Shoppers – 22/10/11
A would-be armed robber was chased through the streets of Dorking by members of the public following an attempted bank robbery. The man had entered Barclays in the High Street at around 3.20pm on Thursday and demanded money after threatening a member of staff with a knife. However, the staff member pressed the alarm and the robber was forced to leave empty-handed. However, he was spotted as he fled the bank and bystanders chased him. They were quickly joined by the police who arrested the man and took him away.
Dorking Police Crackdown on Crime – 17/10/11
Last weekend saw Dorking police take a zero tolerance approach to local crime, making 11 arrests in 24 hours in an attempt to reduce violence and drinking related crime. The most disturbing incident was a group fight that involved individuals wielding weapons such as baseball bats, lengths of wood and possibly even a taser gun. Seven people were arrested at the incident in Horsham Road on the outskirts of town at around 6pm last Friday.
Controversial Library Gets Hi-Tech Treatment – 7/10/11
The new library in Dorking, being constructed in three units at the St Martin’s Walk Shopping Centre, will have a host of new and hi-tech equipment to assist users. Work began last week on the library, which is expected to open early next year, and a list of features including a multimedia centre, free internet access and self-service terminals were revealed. Campaigners were disappointed at the announcement that the library was to be moved from Pippbrook House, but many residents are now eagerly anticipating the new opening.
Man Dies After Hospital Attack – 4/10/11
A 90 year old man who was attacked in his hospital bed by another patient has died from injuries resulting from the attack. Fred Clark was asleep in his bed on 19th September in Dorking Hospital’s Ranmore Ward when he was attacked by the fellow patient, sustaining cuts and bruises to his face and body. Four days later, Mr Clark died from a severe lung infection. The attacker was arrested by police but a motive has not been revealed. An investigation is ongoing at the hospital.
Shed Fire Destroys Antiques – 28/09/11
A fire at a group of sheds in South Holmwood spread so quickly that even the superb response from Dorking Fire Station could not prevent it from destroying a collection of precious books and antiques. The fire started at around 3pm last Friday and destroyed the sheds within minutes before spreading to nearby bushes and trees.
Sick Thieves Steal from Crematorium – 27/09/11
Randalls Park Crematorium in Leatherhead has been the latest victim of sick and callous thieves who will stop at nothing to steal valuable metal. The crematorium was targeted between September 15th and 16th when the thieves stole the brass memorial plaques. A similar incident happened at the Surrey and Sussex Crematorium in Horley a few days before. As the price of metal continues to rise, thieves have targeted many premises to steal metal, but the crematorium crimes are the sickest yet.
Business Owners Campaign Against Parking Charges – 8/9/11
Retailers and business owners in Dorking are calling for Surrey County Council to drop plans to install parking meters on streets throughout the town. The council have already axed plans for parking meters in Leatherhead, Bookham and Ashtead but have not withdrawn the plans for Dorking. At a time when retail spend in High Street stores is already struggling, new charges could deter shoppers from coming into town and will be detrimental to small businesses.
Troubled Hospital Plans New Temporary Ward – 2/9/11
Having come under fire on numerous occasions already this year, East Surrey Hospital have submitted plans to build a new temporary ward in an attempt to increase capacity and improve the service they can give to patients. The new prefabricated two-storey ward is in addition to the much-needed improvements to the Accident & Emergency department which will commence this month.
Suspected Arson Destroys Barn – 25/08/11
A fire that destroyed a barn on Monday night is being treated as arson by police. The fire broke out at a farm in Wellhouse Lane, in Strood Green at around 10.30pm on Monday. Firefighters were quick to respond but the building could not be saved. With no electricity or fuel anywhere near the building, the cause of the fire is suspected to be arson.
Flat Fire in High Street – 16/8/11
Fire crews were called to Dorking High Street in the early hours of Sunday morning to tackle a blaze in a flat. Just hours before the Olympic cycle race came through town, the emergency services from Dorking, Reigate and Guidlford battled with the fire in the flat above the Studio 82 clothes shop. Nobody was hurt in the blaze and it is thought to have started due to an electrical fault.
Dorking Hails Olympics Rehearsal – 15/8/11
Dorking came to a standstill on Sunday as 1000’s of people lined the streets to watch 140 international cyclists take on the route that will be used in the Olympics next year. The 87 mile race took riders through Gomshall, Westcott, Dorking High Street and Box Hill.
Riot Threats Close Town Centre - 11/08/11
Following the horrific riots in London and Croydon last weekend, public fear and an element of scaremongering saw many businesses throughout Dorking close their doors early on Tuesday for fear of the riots spreading south. Despite the gossip on social networking sites, there were no reported incidents of violence in the town. Officers from Surrey Police were called to assist the MET police with the mayhem.
Scavengers Wreck Allotment – 10/08/11
Thieves searching for scrap metal damaged the allotments in Ranmore Road during a raid of mindless vandalism. The thieves forced their way through padlocked gates and ripped down internal fencing whilst searching for tools and scrap metal to steal.
Man Saved From Burning Flat – 26/07/11A 50 year old man was rescued by firefighters on Monday when his home in Horsham Road, Dorking caught fire. When a neighbour raised the alarm at around 6.30pm, fire crews from Dorking, Reigate and Leatherhead raced to the scene and forced their way into the blazing flat. Ian Swan, who lives alone in the flat and suffers from Hunitington’s Disease, was found unconscious on his bed and carried to safety. He was taken to East Surrey Hospital for treatment after inhaling the smoke and fumes but is said to be in a stable condition.
Shoplifter Attacks Police – 20/07/11
Three police officers were viciously attacked when they tried to arrest a shoplifter last Saturday. PC’s Gaynor Grout, Briony Cole and Richard Hart were called to the Sainsbury’s supermarket in Dorking High Street at around 7.50pm. When they tried to detain the man, he became extremely violent, kicking and punching them. He was eventually subdued and arrested.
Recovering Alcoholic Caught Growing Cannabis – 07/07/11
A recovering alcoholic from Dorking has been sentenced to 140 hours of community service for cultivating cannabis plants. Martin Willey was caught growing the plants after he reported his bi-polar partner as missing. When police visited his home in Capel they discovered around 300 cannabis plants along with a hydroponics system and cultivating equipment. Mr Willey, dry from alcohol for over 3 years, claimed that he needed the drug to relax and could no longer afford to purchase the drug at ‘street’ prices.
Livestock Attacked by Pet Dogs – 24.06.11
Police are supporting a farmer in calls for dog owners to control their pets whilst walking near livestock. In recent weeks, sheep, horses and cattle have been attacked by dogs whilst grazing, resulting in some of the animals having to be put down. The owner of Sondes Place Farm in Dorking has witnessed numerous attacks and one lady dog-owner appears in court next week after an incident at the farm in March.
Attempted Robbery by Big Issue Vendor – 20.06.11
A Dorking Chiropractor was targeted by a brazen thief last Tuesday when the man attempted to steal his phone from his practice. The man entered Dorking Chiropractic Clinic carrying a bundle of Big Issue magazines and asked if he could leave them on the table. Chiropractor Graham Allen was confused by the request and before he knew what was happening, the man demanded £2 as payment for the magazine. Dr Allen refused to pay and ordered the man to leave the shop before realising that his I-Phone was missing from the desk. He then shouted at the retreating man, who dropped the phone and fled.
Prison Officer in Court – 16.6.11
A prison officer from Westcott is in court accused of six charges of misconduct in a public office. Simon Dykes, 45, is accused of having sex with four inmates at Downview Prison in Banstead as well as other incidents of sexual misconduct. Also in court is a fellow prison officer from the all-female prison, Russell Thorne, who is accused of similar charges.
Dorking Football Club Vandalised – 13.6.11
Mindless vandals have caused considerable damage to Dorking FC’s clubhouse just weeks after the club invested in post-season refurbishments. The vandals broke in to the club and then scrawled graffiti on the walls and mirrors, smashed windows, kicked down doors and threw paint around. Police believe that the break in occurred between 30th May and 6th June.
New Playground Revealed – 08.06.11
Mole Valley District Council have released details of the Chart Down’s Playground refurbishment. Following a thorough pitch process, designs submitted by Playdale Playgrounds were chosen and work will commence in July, with an expected completion date of the end of August.
New Mobile Police Service - 03.06.11
Surrey police have announced plans to launch a new Mobile Counter service this month. The move comes following the closure of many local stations across the county due to a reduced need for stand alone police stations. The new service will visit 12 locations including Oxted, Lingfield, Capel and Horley on a fixed timetable giving local residents a more convenient way of speaking with police.
Waitrose Store Plans Agreed - 02.06.11
At a meeting of the Development Control Committee yesterday, an application to redevelop the current Waitorse store in Dorking was agreed. The new store will have a sales area of 2201 sq. metres, more than doubling the existing store size. The agreement comes after months of consultation to establish the best interests of residents and other businesses in Dorking.
Local Residents Choose Waitrose - 25.04.11
62% of local residents and shoppers voted for Waitrose to win the supermarket battle in Dorking town centre. Mole Valley District Council have concluded their consultation with businesses and residents on how the supermarkets in the town should be developed, with a redevelopment of the existing Waitrose site receiving the majority of votes. 26% voted for Sainsbury's, 8% for Morrisons and just 4% for Lidl.
Local Rugby Success - 23.04.11
Two local rugby clubs have finished their league seasons in style, showing that there is enormous local talent for the sport. Dorking Rugby Club secured a third place finish in National League 3 after a superb season that has seen them destroy some of the best teams across the country. Meanwhile, Old Freemen's celebrated their 80th anniversary by claiming the Surrey One Championship and earning promotion to the London Leagues.
Retailers Consulted Over Supermarket Plans - 31.03.11
Mole Valley District Council are involving local businesses and residents to determine the site of a proposed new supermarket in Dorking. 38 business owners were invited to give their views on the impact of a new supermarket with four possible locations being considered. The most popular choice is for an expansion of two existing supermarkets in the town centre, Sainsbury's in St Martin's Walk or Waitrose in South Street. Local residents are also being invited to give their opinion during the consultation period which runs until 8th April.
Council Ignore Parking Protest - 23.03.11
Despite thousands of signatures on petitions and a staged protest at County Hall, council bosses refused to discuss further their plans for parking charges across the borough. Campaigners from Reigate, Redhill and Dorking joined many other towns on Monday to demonstrate to the council that their plans to implement widespread parking charges throughout towns in the county were unwelcome, unneccessary and damaging to local business.
Village Shop Robbed at Knifepoint - 16.02.11
A village shop keeper was left terrified when a masked robber burst into the store brandishing a knife. The robber entered Gomshall Village Store at around 1.50pm on Tuesday and pushed the shop keeper to the ground before stealing cash and top-shelf magazines and escaping on foot towards Goose Green.
Olympic Games Coming to a Street Near You - 14.02.11
Residents in and around Dorking will be treated to a free ticket to the Olympic games following the announcement that the cycling races will include a tour of Mole Valley. Both the men's and women's races will start in Westminster and head out towards Richmond and Guildford before coming in to Westcott, Dorking, MIckleham and Leatherhead. The route will also take cyclists around Box Hill before they head back to the finish at The Mall.
Road Rage Stabbing - 08.02.11
A motorist was stabbed by another driver following an argument near Box Hill last Wednesday. The two motorists started arguing on Dorking Road and caused a traffic jam as they exchanged words. One motorist blocked the road as he tried to stop the other from driving away. The battle finished when the victim stopped near the Smith & Western restaurant and was confronted by the second driver, who then stabbed the man in the arm.
Police Move to Council Offices - 05.02.11
Dorking police and Mole Valley District Council have reached an agreement which will see Dorking police station closed and the police relocating to the council offices in Pippbrook. Whilst the move is being presented as a positive action, many will see it as just more cost-cutting and will question whether it will genuinely improve the service provided to the Dorking community.
Double Size for Dorking Waitrose - 20.01.11
Waitrose have released plans to redevelop it's supermarket in Dorking, more than doubling it's size. The new store would involve taking over Mulberry Youth Centre which would relocate to Meadowbank and would increase the store size from 9000 square feet to 25000 square feet as well as increasing car park spaces from 80 to 215. Plans can be viewed at Crossways House on Friday 4th and Staurday 5th February.
Dorking Halls Goes 3D - 14.01.11
Dorking Halls have opened new doors in the world of cinema by installing state of the art 3D projection equipment. The brand new equipment will allow the cinema to show all of the brand new films being released in 3D technology and will bring increased business to both the venue itself and the town. The first film to be shown in 3D will be the new Disney blockbuster, Tangled, showing from 28th January.
Kebab Shop Faces Closure - 05.01.11
A popular takeaway in Dorking town centre faces closure following two violent incidents on it's doorstep. Dorking Kebab in the HIgh Street have come under scrutiny by Surrey Police who have made an application to review the premises licence. The first incident happened on Remembrance Sunday and the second on 4th December, both involving assaults on teenagers.
New Year Run - 02.01.11
Whilst most of us were seeing in the New Year with a hangover, over 300 runners participated in the annual Knacker Cracker race up Box Hill. The 10k run is widely known as the most gruelling 10k race in the country and to make it even more difficult, many runners donned fancy dress for the occassion.
Council Tax Evader Goes to Prison - 23.12.10
A Dorking man who refused to pay his council tax has been sent to prison. David Bark refused to pay the £2518 bill on the grounds that he is not a part of society after declaring himself a freeman of the land and was sentenced to 28 days in prison at Redhill Magistrates Court.
Snow Brings Chaos... Again! - 20.12.10
Less than two weeks after snow brought the South East to a standstill, a fresh dusting of snow on Friday and Saturday sent the country into more chaos. Shops and businesses were unable to open, shoppers were unable to get to those shops that were able to open, the roads were gridlocked with cars unable to move and public transport came to a standstill. Furious members of the public have questioned the government and council's lack of preperation for what has become inevitable weather conditions that could be made much easier.
More Police in Town - 15.12.10
Surrey Police have increased the number of patrolling policeman in Redhill and Reigate town centres in an attempt to control violence and anti-social behaviour over the Christmas period. There will also be increased undercover officers visiting pubs and clubs to check for under age drinkers.
Bus Driver Makes Children Walk 5 Miles - 10.12.10
An irresponsible bus driver put the lives of 30 children at risk when he forced them to get off the bus he was driving. The school children were travelling from Newdigate to The Priory School in Dorking on their usual bus route when the driver pulled over at Beare Green and demanded to see everyone's bus pass. Anyone not able to show their pass because they had left it at home was told to get of the bus. The children then had to walk 5 miles along a busy and icy main road to reach their school.
Fire Closes High Street - 04.12.10
Dorking High Street was evacuated on Friday morning when thick smoke began billowing out of a manhole cover. Retailers and shoppers who had braved the icy conditions were told to vacate the area whilst fire crews dealt with the fire that is thought to have been started by an electrical fire underground near Pizza Express.
Snow Brings South East to Halt - 02.12.10
For the third time in the last 12 months, snow has brought the South East of England to a standstill, causing chaos for everyone. Schools have been closed, workers have been unable to reach their place of employment and the drivers that were able to venture out have experienced extreme difficulty to travel on roads with little or no grit to clear the snow.
Plane and Train Crash Minutes Apart – 08.11.2010
Two life threatening crashes happened just minutes apart and within 10 miles of each other. At 3.30pm on Friday a lorry crashed through a bridge in Oxshott and collided with a passenger train travelling from Guildford to London. At 3.45pm a two seater aeroplane crashed on it's roof in a field in Westcott. MIraculously, nobody was killed in either incident.
Dorking Retailers to Pay for Shoppers' Parking – 29.10.2010
A new scheme introduced by the Dorking Traders Association will mean that shoppers will have the parking refunded if they spend over £10 in participating stores. Many retailers belive that high parking charges are responsible for fewer shoppers in the town and hope that this gesture will bring more people into their shops.
Minority Tories Stay in Power – 28.10.2010
Following meetings between independent councillors, the Lib Dems and Conservatives, it has been decided that the Conservatives will remain in power until next year's election in May, despite the Lib Dems holding more seats on the council. The Lib Dems now hold 18 seats against the Tories 17 seats but Independent councillors have voted to stick with a conservative leadership.
Antique Jewel Theft – 18.10.2010
Thieves stole over £7000 of antique jewellery in broad daylight from Christique Antique Centre in west Street last Friday. The two men, one in his late thirties and the other in his sixties, distracted staff in order to pull of the raid. This is the fifth robbery this year targeting antique dealers in West Street and police suspect the same group of individuals may be involved in all cases.
School Treasurer Guilty of Theft – 01.10.2010
The former treasurer of Capel Preschool in The Street has pleaded guilty to two charges of theft and fraud from the school. Emma Johnson, 34, transferred nearly £5000 from the school bank account to her own and also concealed the fact that her two children had attended the school without paying the £1780 fees. Ms Johnson had already repaid the 'borrowed' money prior to her arrest but was sentenced to 180 hours of community service and to pay costs of £105.
Cancer Claims Vicar's Life – 27.09.2010
The Reverend Caroline Corry, vicar at St John the Evengelist church in North Holmwood, has died at the age of 52 afetr a three year battle with breast cancer. The parish priest had announced her resignation earlier this year in order to battle the disease and died last Friday, just six days before her official leaving date.
Care Home Closes After Police Probe – 02.09.2010
A care home for people with learning disabilities is at the centre of a police probe following claims of fraud and ill-treatment. Five workers at the care home in Deepdene Avenue have been arrested and the care home has been closed down pending further investigation. Four men and a woman were arrested by police after a visit by the police in August.
Dorking Students Celebrate Exam Results – 26.08.2010
Students throughout the borough are celebrating record exam results, none more so than at Ashcombe School in Dorking where GCSE results were the highest ever and 97 per cent of A level students passed.
Crash Kills Young Mother – 15.08.2010
A young mother was killed when her car collided with another vehicle on Mickleham bypass last Friday evening. 24 year old Ella Shuttleworth was pronounced dead at the scene whilst the driver and passenger of the other vehicle were taken to East Surrey Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
Camp Fire Lights Woodland – 03.08.2010
Fire fighters were called to woodland near Coldharbour Lane on Monday, responding to a call reporting a fire in the woods. The fire was caused by a careless camp fire left burning in the woodland alongside a tent. Nobody returned to claim the tent.
Residents Oppose Housing Estate – 02.08.2010
Over 200 people attended a meeting at the Holy Trinity Church in Westcott last Thursday to hear further news on a proposed housing estate. Taylor Wimpey have submitted plans to build 34 homes on a meadow in Springfield Road despite the opposition of local residents.
Local Men Accused of Rape at Redhill Festival - 26.07.10
Three men from Dorking and one from Reigate have been arrested on suspicion of taking part in an horrific rape at the Redfest Festival last weekend. A 17 year old girl claimed that she was raped in a tent by two men whilst two others laughed and took pictures on their mobile phones. Two 20-year-old men from Dorking were arrested on suspicion of rape and two other men, one from Dorking and one from Reigate were arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment. All suspects were bailed until 5th September pending further investigation.
Leave Our Library - 20.07.10
Council chiefs are set tp clash with Dorking residents over plans to move the town's library. The library is currently at picturesque Pippbrook House and users find the peace and tranquility of the setting appealing. However, the council want to move the library to three empty retail units in St Martin's Walk in the town centre. Local businesses support the move hoping it will bring increased trade to the town centre.
Lucky Lotto Retailer - 19.07.10
A Dorking newsagent has been dubbed as the Lucky Lotto store following another customer's big win. Bradshaw's newsagent is best known as the shop where George Sturt purchased his Euromillions ticket that scooped him £26.1 million. This week, another customer won over £250,000 and a whole host of customers have won amounts in the £1,000's.
Road Safety Suffers After Council Cuts - 15.06.10
Plans to cut speed limits on roads around Dorking have been shelved following cutbacks by the county council. Dangerous roads with speed limits deemed too high for the quality of road were set to have their limits reduced but the council have had to halt their plans due to lack of funds.
Ferrari Driver Injured in Crash - 14.06.10
A 40 year old man was injured after he crashed his £110,000 Ferrari F430 into the central reservation of the A24 in Westhumble early on Saturday afternoon. The driver was taken to Epsom Hospital suffering from minor injuries but was not detained.
Dorking Drug Dealer Jailed - 27.05.10
A Dorking man has been jailed for his involvement in a drug ring that were caught with £2.5 million worth of Ketamine. Jason Shaw, 36, of Hampstead Road, Dorking was jailed for two years at Guildford Crown Court along with accomplices from Bristol and Hindhead.
Campaign to Save School Name - 25.05.10
Parents and residents in Brockham are planning court action to prevent the name of the village school being changed. A proposed merger between Brockham Primary School and Acorns Infant School based in both Betchworth and Leigh could result in the historic village school being renamed.
Popular Vicar Resigns - 25.05.10
The vicar at St John the Evangelist Church in North Holmwood, The Reverend Caroline Corry, announced this week that she will stand down to focus all of her attention on battling breast cancer.
Factory Store Opens in Dorking - 24.05.10
Shoppers flocked to the grand opening of Dorking's newest retail outlet last Saturday. The Original Factory Store have opened in Dorking at the site previously occupied by Woolworths, filling a huge gap in the High Street.
Brand New Information site for Dorking Restaurants, Shops, Travel Agents, Cars, Pubs and lots more - 23.05.10
A brand new website specifically for residents and businesses in Dorking has been launched - and you are looking at it! All About Dorking has launched following the success fo neighbouring sites for Reigate, Redhill and Horley and includes local news and events as well as business listings for restaurants , hotels , pubs , travel agents , builders , shops , windows , doors & conservatory fitters and manufacturers , car showrooms , mechanics , schools , doctors , dentists , vets , garden centres , cinema , carpet fitters , cafes, hair dressers and barbers, tanning centres , banks and lots more. Please have a look around and let us know what you think.
Sources: Our local news is sourced from other local media and our thanks for their vital coverage of local events goes to them. They include but are not limited to:
All local radio stations
and other web-based media sites
Note: All About Dorking is an information website for all businesses in Dorking giving contact details based on the latest information we have. All About Dorking can not be held responsible for any inaccuracies, but we would appreciate your feedback if you spot any information that is not current.
All About Dorking includes information on all Dorking Restaurants including Chillia and Spice, The Bali Restaurant, Chiffan Chinese Restaurant, New Dorking Cantonese, The Peking Restaurant, Thai Angel Restaurant, The Arkle Manor, Domino's Pizza, Pizza Express, Dorking Brasserie, Cafe Rialto, Dorking Kebab and lots more plus takeaway and delivery services. Try authentic Italian Cuisine at Cafe Rialto in Dorking where you can have home baked pizza made fromt he freshest ingredients.
All About Dorking has information on all shops in Dorking including the wide variety of antique shops, antique dealers and antique centres, British Bookshops & Sussex Stationers, Waterstone's, WHSmith, clothes shops like Amie Fashions & Extras, Bakehouse, Christina Charles, The Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Fat Face, Monsoon, Ian Munro Gentleman's Clothes, Le Papillon. Electrical retailers like Currys and Dorking Domestic Appliances. Furniture retailers like The Corner House, Dorking Furniture Centre, Dorking Oak & Pine, Galerie Buzkashi, Harmans, Hulsta Studio, and Planters of Dorking. As well as specialist retailers and shops such as Bits & Bobs Party Shop, Dorking Models, Fun & Games of Dorking, Toycraft, Cummins Hardware, Robert Dyas, Steamer Trading, The Fig Tree, The Gift Gallery, The Lemon Tree, Menkind Stores. Or to get that perfect finish to your special items of clothing go to Knights Dry Cleaners in Dorking for a first rate service.
It also lists all of the schools and nurseries such as Ashcombe, Box Hill School, St Teresa's plus playgroups, pre-school, primary school and private schools in Dorking..
All of the Dorking hairdresser and barber shops are listed plus nail technicians, beauticians and tannin salons including Barnet Fayre, Capelli Hair Design, Essensuals, Michael Gerard, Mayflower Hair Salon, New Image, RJ Hair & Beauty, Sebastians, Barber One, The Barber Shop, The Golden Scissors, Male Territory, Beautique, Beauty By Dawn, Gaia Wellness & Beauty, Genevieve Ladies Beauty Therapy, and Royal Nail.
You can find a wide variety of Dorking estate agents for that new home such as Gascoigne Pees , Cubitt & West , Hampton International, and haart. And if you would rather build your own home or conservatory , you can find details for Dorking builders such as Acorn Building Contractors and a local Dorking plumber or electrician. In fact, anything to do with your home and garden such as window fitters , kitchen and bathroom specialists or garden furniture in the Dorking area.
No comprehensive Dorking site would be complete without a full listing of Pubs and Bars such as The Arkle Manor, The Bulls Head, The Cricketers, The Crown Inn, The Dolphin, Dukes Head, Kings Arms, The King William IV, The Old House, Queens Head, The Pilgrim, The Prince of Wales.
Plus lots of other information such as sports club like Dorking Rugby club, Dorking Squash Club, Dorking Football Club, Dorking Cricket Club. Taxi numbers and private hire companies, all of the local churches and places of worship and lots, lots more.
All About Dorking includes everything you need to know to keep you motoring with all of Dorking's car sales, mechanics and repair shops such as Auto Attractions in Vincent Lane.