Funding available for local community projects

This is a great opportunity for our local charities and voluntary groups which are now invited to apply for the Elmbridge borough’s annual grants fund.  Awards up to £4,000 to groups supporting people in need in the local community are available. Previous years’ initiatives have included carer respite programmes, family advocacy support, crime prevention schemes, and purchasing of equipment.

Liberal Democrat Councillor, Andrew Davis commented: “This is a great opportunity for voluntary organisations in and around Weybridge to support initiatives that directly benefit the vulnerable people in our community”.  This is your chance to apply.

A Voluntary Sector Forum will take place at 2.30 – 5.30pm, on Friday, 24 November at the Civic Centre in Esher, when advice will be given on how to apply for a grant.

For more information, or to request an application form, contact the borough’s voluntary sector support office on 01372 474543 or scampbell@elmbridge.gov.uk.  Forms can be downloaded here.

Making Our Taxis Safer

Taxis need to be licenced by local governments, this ensures some level of safety  for the customer.  At the moment each borough in Surrey sets their own rules for granting taxi licences. It is proposed to bring all Surrey boroughs in line with the aim of increasing the safety of the public.

Elmbridge borough is asking for your views on its plans to increase protection of  children and vulnerable persons when using licenced taxis.

The biggest change proposed is to make child sexual exploitation awareness training compulsory for all drivers. The other major change is that criminal convictions and general behavior of the driver be taken into account before a licence is granted. At the moment, a driver denied a licence in one borough of Surrey could reapply in a different borough. The proposed changes would prevent this.

Contact the council with your views before 4 December at here or contact us.  Changes agreed would be announced in early 2018.

Time to Speak Out against Domestic Abuse

A free workshop is open to you in Esher at 12-2pm, on Tuesday, 28 November.
STOP ABUSE

A relationship is considered abusive when one partner tries to dominate, threaten or bully the other, either mentally or physically.

Young people and children suffer hugely when they witness such behaviour and this is also considered to be a form of domestic abuse.

The stress endured by people in abusive relationships can deeply affect their self-esteem and their health, often resulting in absence from work, or even the loss of their job as a result.

Sadly, domestic abuse is still considered by many to be a taboo subject, which means that those who suffer it are too ashamed or embarrassed to seek help. With this in mind, the Elmbridge Community and Safety Partnership and Surrey Police are keen to encourage victims to speak out and to take advantage of the services available to them.

To raise awareness locally, a free event is taking place at 12-2pm, on Tuesday, 28 November at the Civic Centre in Esher. There will be a short dramatised production by Alter Ego, exploring the impact of domestic abuse, as well as informative talks and material. To register for the event: Surrey Domestic Abuse Helpline: 01483 776822

Grotto Road junction – Weybridge

The Grotto Road, Thames Street junction in Weybridge is notorious for road danger – the pedestrian risk and traffic around school times is horrendous. What makes it really dangerous is that there is no footpath by the fence in Grotto Road. Many primary age children walk by themselves or with their parents either alongside the fence in the traffic or have to cross Grotto Road twice to get to school.

So, what can be done about it?

Cllr Andrew Davis lobbied Surrey county to build a path – with an estimated cost somewhere between £20,000 to £60,000 but Surrey hasn’t the money. However, Weybridge has. Weybridge councillors have £500,000 to spend on such projects. All okay then? Well, actually . . . No!

Here is the bizarre thing. Any such project has to have a feasibility study, but Weybridge’s £500,000 may not be spent on such studies. And Surrey cannot even afford the study to demonstrate the cost effectiveness and benefit of the project!

Fortunately, Cllr Davis has managed to get Surrey to consider making a bid to Weybridge councillors to pay for the project, based on the upper estimate of £60,000, if the project is shown to have a good level of local support.

The Weybridge Liberal Democrat team have set up a survey to canvass support from local people who are concerned about the danger of this junction.

Weybridge residents, find out more and add your support here and watch this space for updates.

Fighting hate crime

Mary MarshallProposed by Liberal Democrat councillor Mary Marshall, Elmbridge Borough Council passed the motion below at its meeting on 20 July 2016:

“We are proud to live in a diverse and tolerant society. Racism, xenophobia and hate crimes have no place in our country. We, Elmbridge Borough Council, condemn racism, xenophobia and hate crimes unequivocally. We will not allow hate to become acceptable.

“Elmbridge Borough Council will work to ensure local bodies and programmes have the support and resources needed to fight and prevent racism and xenophobia. We reassure all people living in Elmbridge that they are valued members of our community.”

Elmbridge has a long established history of promoting and developing a robust Equality and Diversity agenda. It was the first Borough in Surrey to set up a borough-based Equality and Diversity Forum in 2007, which comprises representatives from statutory, voluntary, community and faith sector organisations as well as individuals with an interest in equality and diversity issues in Elmbridge.

The forum remit covers all areas where inequality and discrimination may exist and includes older people, disability, gender, race, religion and belief, sexual orientation and transgender identity, as well as other broader equality issues. Its mission statement is “to promote equality, celebrate diversity and support good relations in Elmbridge”.

Doctor Who says Don’t Bomb Syrians

Doctor Who

Peter Capaldi, as Doctor Who, is a tour de force in explaining why the British should not bomb the Syrian people in Daesh territories.  I have no idea whether or not the writers of this episode (from 30 mins 20 secs), Peter Harness/Steven Moffat, intended this drama to be an allegory of the decision facing the national parliament next week but it fits the bill.

The British have attacked this area of the world for many centuries, it began to occupy it in the late nineteenth century, and when the civilian population rebelled against British rule the British bombed them.  At the peak of its power in 1942 Britain controlled Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria.  Just as the British remember the Blitz, the people of Arabia remember the British bombing.  We do not serve our interests by bombing Arab civilians again.

Memories are long held.  Many in Arabia recall the Frankish invasions of the eleventh century (what Europeans refer to as the Crusades). It does not take much imagination to cast any military action that the British undertake today as a replay of those invasions.

It is the British government’s first duty to defend our land and the people in it.  The best policy is to deal with violence and potential violence within Britain using firm but fair justice. It takes time and can be frustrating but, in the long term, it preserve more lives and provides for a better quality of life for all.

Military action outside of British territory should only take place in support of a democratic state or under UN auspices.

Prime Minister Cameron does Britain no favours by dropping a few bombs in Syria – and it will be just a few.  It is pure tokenism based on dubious morality and untied to any process towards peace for the Syrians.  One of the worst type of violent actions.

I am not a pacifist. For example, I am absolutely clear that we should have recovered the Falkland Islands but this bombing appears to be a puerile, knee-jerk reaction to recent events.  I am saddened that so many of our MPs know so little of history and foreign affairs that they have got sucked in by the “we must do something party”.  After all it was because we did something last time that we got into this trouble in the first place.

An eye for an eye makes the world blind.

Watch the Peter Capaldi tell MPs what it all about on iPlayer from 30 mins 20 secs

Claygate Horse Crossing

Horse Crossing3On the afternoon of Saturday, 14 June 2014, following a collision with an unsuspecting motorist there was the tragic death of a horse. It was spooked by selfish fly-tipping, lost its experienced rider and in fear bolted straight out into the road. I have managed with the help of the Claygate community, the Equestrian Community, Claygate Parish Council and SCC Councillor Mike Bennison to raise enough money (£5,000.00) to rebuild with improvements the dilapidated horse crossing in Woodstock Lane South. A road safety audit determined what measures were required to implement the new crossing and it is now in place, improving the safety of everyone that uses this fast and busy road. There is now a large pen for horses to enter, secure and separated from the road. Site lines and signage have also been enhanced and the pedestrian footpath which runs alongside the track has been cleared so pedestrians and horses no longer share the same path. Thank you Claygate for trusting in me to deliver this project for the safety of our community.

Horse Crossing2