Posts made in May, 2016

200_ashford%20on%20the%20map%208[1]This is a great day out for all the family and features over 120 stalls, dance and music displays, fairground and pony rides and refreshment stalls.

The event is being held in the grounds of Brooklands College (Ashford campus) in Church Road and everyone is welcome to come along. 

Entry for adults costs £1 which includes a ‘lucky programme’ – under 16s are free.

Funds raised by the Ashford on the Map Committee has helped fund many community local improvements including the Christmas lights in Church Road and flowers displays in the town centre.

Info: If you wish to get involved in organising this event or want your organisation to be represented at the Summer Fun Day please contact Pat Amos on 01460 929396 or Barry Muggeridge on 07759 619884.

Visit for more details.

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Surrey Nursey Places

Pupils in Woking were the least likely to secure their first choice reception offer

A record number of school applications in Surrey has seen more pupils miss out on their preferred primary school choices.

Figures issued by Surrey County Council show 82.4% of pupils were offered their first choice school, down from 83.1% last year.


Meanwhile, 94% of Surrey applicants were offered on of their top three preferences, down 94.2% from last year.

All Surrey pupils who needed a place got one.

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harper hotel in ashfordThe council said it had already been paying the previous owner of the Harper Hotel, in Fordbridge Road, nightly rental rates to place homeless people.

It said the hotel would provide accommodation for up to 20 households, once it had been refurbished.

Cllr Jean Pinkerton OBE, cabinet member for housing, said the property will increase their flexibility and allow them to provide a good facility for Spelthorne’s homeless households.

“Being forced to move out of the borough can be very disruptive and remove people from their support network,” she said.

“Having a fixed number of accommodation units here in Spelthorne will be extremely positive for all concerned.

“Financially speaking, the provision of emergency and temporary accommodation represents a significant expense for the council so it’s important that we continue to explore innovative ways to reduce these costs.”

spelthorne council

In the last financial year, Spelthorne has spent £484,000 on temporary accommodation and currently has 1,400 families on its Housing Register.

Councillors agreed to increase the council’s borrowing from £6 million to £35 million to buy properties for homeless people and affordable housing during the April 7 extraordinary council meeting.

Cllr Ian Harvey, leader of the council, said: “Since taking on the role of leader, I have been determined to improve the availability of local emergency accommodation so I’m delighted that we have completed on the purchase of this particular property and can provide better support for vulnerable people in our borough.”

There are currently 74 families in bed and breakfast accommodation with the figure reaching a high of 104 in August 2015.

The council says it costs it £6,000 a year for each family it provides bed and breakfast accommodation for.

Homeless charity Transform Housing & Support, who set up a shelter in Staines last winter, will help the council set up the project.

Paul Mitchell, chief executive of Transform Housing & Support, said: “We are very pleased to share our knowledge and experience with the council to support them in setting up this much-needed project.

“The new service will give homeless families a place to stay within the local area, instead of in accommodation out of the borough.

“When people have to move out of their local area there are practical issues around work and school – but also an emotional impact in terms of losing links with family and friends.

“This project gives people a temporary home so they can maintain stability for their family and have time to find more permanent local housing.”

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OPM clusterPeople in parts of London, northern Surrey, West Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire are being reminded to look out for and report caterpillars of the oak processionary moth (OPM), which could be damaging oak trees in the area.

They are also advised to keep away from the caterpillars and their nests, because their hairs can cause itching skin rashes and other health problems, and to report sightings to the Forestry Commission. OPM is a tree pest which was accidentally introduced to England. They feed on oak leaves, and in large numbers they can severely defoliate trees and leave them vulnerable to other pests, diseases and drought.

Their tiny hairs contain a protein which can cause itchy skin rashes and, less frequently, eye and throat irritations and breathing difficulties in people and animals. The hairs can be blown on the wind, and left in their nests on and under oak trees. The greatest risk period is May to July, when the caterpillars are active, although nests should not be touched at any time.

The Forestry Commission, councils and land managers are tackling the pest with a carefully controlled programme of oak tree treatment and nest removal. Alison Field, the Commission’s South-East England Director, said the public could play an important role in helping to control the pest by reporting sightings: “We need reports of the caterpillars or their nests from the public or others, such as gardeners, tree surgeons and ground-care workers, who work or relax near oak trees,” Ms Field said. “However, they should not try to remove the caterpillars or nests themselves. This needs to be carefully timed to be effective, and is most safely done by specially trained and equipped pest control experts.”

Dr Deborah Turbitt, London Deputy Director of Health Protection for Public Health England, endorsed the ‘don’t touch’ advice, saying: “We strongly advise people not to touch or approach the caterpillars or their nests because of the health risks posed by the hairs. Pets and livestock can also be affected, and should be kept away as well. The Forestry Commission website has pictures to help identify the pest. See a pharmacist for relief from milder skin or eye irritations following possible OPM contact, or consult a GP or NHS111 for more-serious reactions. Contact a vet if animals are more seriously affected.”

Infested oak trees should be treated by qualified operators under strict controls to ensure it is safe for people, pets, livestock and the environment.

• Report OPM sightings to the Forestry Commission, preferably with its Tree Alert on-line form available from Anyone who cannot use Tree Alert may email or telephone reports to or 0300 067 4442.

• Health advice is available from the “Insects that bite or sting” area of the NHS Choices website,

• Anyone pruning or felling oak trees in the affected areas should contact Forestry Commission England’s Tree Health Unit beforehand on or 0300 067 4442 for advice about safe removal of the material.

• Further information is available from


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Councellor Mark FrancisMayor of Spelthorne, Cllr Mark Francis, got runners underway at the 2016 Staines 10K on Sunday 15 May.

The race, organised by Staines Strollers and Runnymede Runners, with support from Spelthorne Borough Council, saw 595 runners completing the course with the winner, James Samson, finishing in a time of 33 minutes 30 seconds.winner male-James Samson

The women’s race was won by Tish Jones who completed the course in a time of 34 minutes 43 seconds and finished 3rd overall.

Cllr Maureen Attewell, Cabinet Member for Leisure at Spelthorne Council said: The Staines 10K is a fantastic community event and judging by the speed with which the places get booked up, it remains as popular as ever. Congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone who gave their time to help make the event a success.”

groupRace Director, Ken Saunders, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people taking part in this year’s event and to see the great community spirit around the course. Lots of supporters were out to cheer on and offer support, drinks and sweets to the runners which was really appreciated by those taking part.”

winner female-Tish JonesThe event was made possible thanks to a team of enthusiastic marshals and volunteers and the kind support of sponsors: Everyone Active, Mova Hairdressing, Brewers, Stream AMP, London House Renovations, Brewers, Staines Chiropractic. Cousins Fruiterers, Apex Sports, the Frame Workshop and Starbucks.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to local charities. A number of runners also raised money for their own charities and good causes.

charity runner-Karen Hart for RETT UKThe full results of the 2016 race are available on the Staines 10K website at and details of the 2017 race will be available there in the autumn.

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