Statement from Councillor Stephen Cooksey, Leader of Mole Valley District Council

Councillor Stephen Cooksey, Leader of Mole Valley District Council, said: “I am pleased to see that the level of infection across the county continues to decline, with Mole Valley reporting one of the lowest rates in Surrey. Further positive news in the vaccine rollout now sees people aged 56 to 59 being invited to book an appointment, hot on the heels of those aged 60 and over.

“As of Monday (8 March) this week, the country entered Stage 1 of the roadmap out of lockdown. This has seen all pupils return to school and students go back to Further Education too, in addition to being able to meet with one person from another household outside. A final measure of note is the launch of a mandatory form that all passengers travelling abroad from England will now be required to complete and carry with them, declaring their reason for travel. As I mentioned in my message last week, the next roadmap milestone is scheduled for 29 March, but this is completely reliant on numbers continuing to fall and the vaccine rollout progressing well. Please continue to follow the rules in place. Each and every one of us can do our little bit to help reduce the spread and help the country reach this next stage.

“The next round of business support grants will take effect from 1 April 2021, namely Restart Grants and an Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG). As businesses prepare to reopen – all being well with the roadmap – the Restart Grant will be available for non-essential retail, leisure, hospitality and personal care businesses. More information on this, and the ARG, will soon be available on our website.

“Despite us only publicising the Mole Valley Community Lottery last week, we have had a really positive and encouraging early take-up from local community groups, clubs, charities and voluntary organisations. It is free for these good causes to get involved so, if you know of any community organisation this scheme could benefit, please help spread the word. More information is available on our website. Tickets will be available to buy when the community lottery officially launches to the public this summer.

“We have experienced wet weather in recent days but let us hope this is only a small blip and we can return to the fine spring weather seen in recent weeks. This coming Sunday, Mother’s Day, we will be sending a digital ad van displaying COVID related messages to act as a visual reminder for visitors to act responsibly and continue to follow the rules in place. The van will be visiting popular locations at the top and bottom of Box Hill, Leith Hill, Ranmore Common and Headley Heath.”