Far From the Madding Crowd

Swans canoodling on the Broad Water.

If you want to explore a newly opened part of Weybridge, simply walk around the new Broad Water path circuit.  The walk is about three miles long and can be accessed in several places.  From the Thames Path at Cowey Sale car park, Shepperton and Thames Path opposite D’Oyly Carte Island bridge, Weybridge.  From Weybridge town centre at Grenside Road (turn right at the St Georges School barrier).  From Walton a couple of hundred metres beyond Walton Lodge, along Oatlands Drive.

The green line indicates the new public footpath alongside the Weybridge Broad Water.

It is not yet completely wheel chair friendly – which is the intention.  But you can cycle around it.  There is one bridge yet to be built but you can easily cycle across the temporary construction.  Two bridges over the Engine River still have steps but just dismount to cross. The western stretch from Grenside to Thames path has two kissing gates so a tandem will not get though.

Engine River Bridge

You have to cross Walton Lane at the western and the eastern end to complete the circuit but both crossings are in or near 20mph limited areas.

Its great for all the family and, for a while at least, it is a well kept secret.

The hidden entrance at the Walton end along Oatlands Drive.

If you have never seen Broad water field you will not be aware that it has goal posts – no jumpers for goal posts as in Churchfields Rec.

 

 

Warning on public health cuts in Surrey

healthcareFigures released by the national department of health show the Conservative national government is planning to cut £2.2m from the public health budget across Surrey.

This will have a direct impact on efforts to improve health at local level because the public health budget relieves pressure on English NHS hospitals and clinics by helping people to solve their own health problems before they become serious.

For example, the budget helps finance work to promote exercise, give up smoking and tackle drug addiction.

Cllr Hazel Watson, Surrey’s Leader of the Liberal Democrats opposition, said: “These planned cuts of £2.2m to Surrey’s public health budget are the wrong cuts, made in the wrong way.  The public health budget is an important support system for our NHS and these planned cuts represent a false economy which will only end up costing the government and the NHS more than is saved.

Surrey urged to fund 20 mph limits

20mphFor a background on why 20mph is so important see here.

The Surrey Liberal Democrats are calling on the Surrey administration to provide the necessary funding to implement 20 mph speed limits outside Surrey schools where requested by the school and the local community.

Introducing a 20mph limit on all our streets is probably the most important way of improving our health and quality of life.  Even more cost effective than spending more on NHS England!  The reason is simple.  If speeds on the streets are less than 20mph cycling and walking increases and as more people cycle and walk their life expectancy improves by six years on average.  Not only do people live longer but their quality of life improvise too.  All this can be done by a simple change in the speed limit law.

It is of upmost importance that children are safe going to and from school and 20 mph speed limits outside schools help to achieve this by reducing traffic speeds and improving road safety.  A reduced speed limit warns drivers that they need to slow down near a school and in general drivers do slow down.

In Mole Valley, Surrey introduced three trial 20 mph advisory limits outside schools and following the trial the 20 mph advisory limits were made permanent.  However, whilst making these trial 20 mph limits permanent, Surrey also decided not to roll-out the trial to cover the roads outside other schools in the district.

How can time banking help you?

TimebankingFind out at a talk to be given at 10:00, on Tuesday, 14 July, at All Saints Church, Chestnut Avenue, Esher, KT10 8JL.

Within the borough we have a wealth of skills, interests and experience that we can share with each other.  Sharing these things can help to make our society better and Timebanking is a really simple way to make that sharing easy.

Timebanking is all about giving and receiving.  It works by people offering to share a skill, interest, experience or some practical support with other time bank members.  In return they can receive something they want from the time bank.

For example, Tony is 17 and offers to teach older people at the local community centre how to use WiiFit to keep them mobile and active. For every hour Tony puts in he earns one-time credit which he spends on learning new cooking skills from Jan, another time bank member. Everyone’s time is equal. For more information about timebanking please read the attached flyer and visit www.timebanking.org.

To book your place contact Liz Tracey on liz.tracey@surreycc.gov.uk or telephone 020 8541 7020

Hydrate with 8 drinks a day

Hydrate with 8 logo

The borough’s month-long hydration campaign begins on 1 July. The aim is to raise awareness of how much water (or other types of drinks, excluding alcohol) we should drink a day and the subsequent benefits to our health. Over ten different locations across the borough will be visited by our community transport bus including Centres for the Community, sheltered housing schemes, and health centres. There will be leaflets, special Hydrate with 8 mugs and other great freebies to take away.

In addition to the Hydrate with 8 campaign, there will also be a mini-falls assessment available to residents and information on how to reduce falls in the home. This will include borough services such as the care and repair and community alarm services.  All the advice can support older people to remain safe and independent in their own homes.

If you have any enquiries about the hydration campaign please call Community Support Services on 01372 474537.

How much water should we drink a day?  Visit your nearest pop up location at Walton Community Centre Manor Rd, Walton-on-Thames, KT12 2PB‎ on 14 July to find out.

Vicki Macleod for Weybridge North

Vicki Macleod

Vicki Macleod lives in Weybridge and cares deeply about our community and local quality of life. Vicki has a strong understanding of issues faced by education, health services, social care and businesses — and she has a great record of getting things done.  Many people locally will know her as a contributor to the activities of the Weybridge Centre, or as a school governor.  She was Chair of the Friends of Weybridge Centre charity for five years, and is a governor of Heathside School.

Vicki’s background: work in education

Vicki is very familiar with the issues in education and care for vulnerable young people. She is a qualified teacher, lecturer and coach. She taught in a comprehensive and in a residential school for disadvantaged and disruptive pupils. She also worked for 5 years with all special schools in Surrey and secondary schools across Surrey, providing advice and support on vocational education. Vicki is a former chairman of the SE Region Special Educational Needs Network. She became a governor of Heathside School in 2010.

Business skills and organisational accountability

Vicki Macleod is firmly in touch with the needs of businesses, through running a small business, and through helping leaders and managers improve their management and skills. At the University of Brighton she set up the MA in Learning in Organisations, and at Middlesex University designed and ran the MA in Education – Leadership and Management. In recent years she has coached leaders and managers in organisations of all sizes. Vicki brings expertise in organisational accountability and leadership. She is a director of Performance By Design Ltd.

Vicki MacleodHealth and social care

Vicki has a strong awareness of healthcare issues in Surrey, through working professionally with GP practices on improving their practice management, and through family links. Her brother and sister-in-law have been GPs in Surrey for over 25 years. She has first hand experience of services for the elderly and carers, through providing care to her late mother in her declining years, and continuing support to her father who lives in Weybridge. She has been very involved in the activities of the Weybridge Centre for the Community, and was Chair of the Friends of Weybridge Centre for five years.

Action on issues

Vicki believes in the value of communities taking action to bring about improvements in the quality of the environment – locally and globally, and in encouraging individuals to behave responsibly. She has been an active member of the Portmore Park and District Resident’s Association, supporting campaigns to influence Surrey County Council on issues affecting the local community, including the Walton Bridge scheme. She has a strong interest in local issues, and an excellent understanding of how things can be achieved locally (in part through being married to someone who served as an Elmbridge Councillor!).

Building for the future

Vicki Macleod is passionate about helping people achieve the best they can.  She moved to Weybridge in 1991 after taking up the role of curriculum leader for special schools with the Surrey Technical and Vocational Education Initiative (TVEI). Experience tells her it is possible to raise aspirations and achievement of children, young people and adults with appropriate support, guidance and opportunities.

Vicki is committed to acting in the interests of future generations, believing in stewardship of the environment, provision of stimulating and engaging education, encouragement of a healthy local economy, and careful planning of services to meet the needs of a growing ageing population.

You can rely on Vicki to work on behalf of the people of Weybridge.

Things to fix:

  • Safer streets, speed limits more visible, and better enforcement
  • Improved parking for Weybridge, off-street coordinated with on-street
  • More activities for young people
  • Better community facilities, to help give Weybridge a more vibrant heart
  • More focused help for older people, disabled people, vulnerable children and their carers
  • Safeguard parental choice over local schools
  • Protect the local environment, safeguard the Green Belt
  • Improve local roads and pavements
  • Improve public transport
  • Value for money, good quality services!

At a county level, Vicki is committed to help achieve the Lib Dem goal of making Surrey County Council competent and responsive.

To see what Lib Dems in Surrey can achieve, see the Surrey Lib Dem Record of Action and Success

Churchfields Play Area

Churchfields Park Playground-wey-soc333Thank you for all your comments, emails, pictures and for completing the questionnaire.  Your message got through to Elmbridge and the portfolio holder, Mary Sheldon, came to visit the park to see for herself.  Now is the time to email directly to her (msheldon@elmbridge.gov.uk) and copy to the officers concerned (leisure@elmbridge.gov.uk) as to why Weybridge having a totally refurbished play area is so important to you and your children.

It is always better if such emails are written in your own words and are short and to the point.  At this stage it is a matter of getting the play area into the budget for next year, for about £150,000.  If the play area gets earmarked for next year’s budget then in the spring we can look more closely as to what equipment needs to be be there.  We do not need the details now.

I want to know if you have any particular rides in mind.  Please complete this questionnaire.

Please email me if you want to support the campaign to have Churchfields play area upgraded.

It would be great if you could forward this email to your friends and anyone you know who has children or grandchildren who play in the park.

Shout! For Some Summer Fun for Your Children

Shout! kids websiteWith the holidays only two weeks away, now is the time to book some summer fun for your young ones while they are off from school.

Shout! Holiday Activities have a limited number of places left on the week-long Ready! Set! Shout! sports course for 5 to 13 year olds from Monday, 28 July to Friday, 1 August and the Shakespeare in The Park drama course for 10 to 16 year olds from Monday 11 to Friday 15 August.

If your children are sporty, there are still some spaces on the following courses:

  • Cycle Skills workshops for 4 to 12 year olds on Monday 4 and 11 August
  • Totstennis sessions for 3 to 5 year olds and Tennis4fun (for 5to 8 year olds) starting on Monday 4 and 11 August

There is also availability on the following fun and exciting full-day workshops:

For children who like all types of music and dancing:

  • Make a Music Video in a day for 9 to 13 year olds – Thursday 31 July
  • Drumming Day for 5 to 8 year olds in the morning and 9 to 13 year olds in the afternoon –  Monday 4 August
  • Road to Brazil for 5 to 8 year olds who love football and dancing – Friday 8 August
  • Twinkle Toes for 5 to 7 year olds – Friday 15 August
  • Let’s learn to Bollywood Dance  for  8 to 13 year olds – Friday 22 August

 For adventurous kids looking for action and thrills:

  • Outdoor Adventure Team Challenge for 5 to 8 year olds on Thursday 7 August
  • Water Mania for 11 to 15 year olds – Thursday 21 August
  • Paintballing for 10 to 15 year olds Thursday 26 August
  • Pit Stop Scalextric for 5 to 12 year olds – Wednesday 27 August

 Budding chefs will be cooking a storm in the kitchen with Ready! Steady! Cook! (for 9 to 13 year olds) on Thursday 19 August.

Call 01372 474634 to book or click here for the brochure.  The holiday activities are running from Monday 28 July to Friday 29 August.

Elmbridge and Skin Cancer

When comparing the quality of life in Elmbridge to that of England as a whole the people of Elmbridge do strikingly well.   In the English benchmark for deprivation (number of people living in an area of the most deprived 20% of the country) Elmbridge scores nil – Kensington and Chelsea scores as poorly as 24% in deprivation as does Westminster.

Elmbridge Health

Three quarters of Elmbridge people are in the top 20% of England and around 90% are in the top half for England. But averages can hide pockets of greatly disadvantaged people in corners of our borough.

You can look at all the health indicators here

In nearly all indicators Elmbridge is in the top quarter.  There are only two indicators whereby Elmbridge is worse than the national average: excess winter deaths and skin cancer.

Could it be that Elmbridge burghers holiday in the sun too often without protecting themselves against the sun’s rays?  For a more detailed summary of Elmbridge folk click on this: Elmbridge Health Profile 2014