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

Councillor Stephen Cooksey, Leader of Mole Valley District Council, said: “I had hoped to be able to pass on better news, but the government has announced a 4-week pause and taken the position that the country must remain in Step 3 in the roadmap out of lockdown. While this is not where we hoped we would be, and that come 21 June our freedoms would once again be granted, we must remain resolute and adhere to the guidance in place. A review date has been put in place in a couple of weeks that might mean that if we all continue to play our part, and the data the government receives supports it, we could see Step 4 brought forward ahead of 19 July. Further information on what this all means is available.

“For the moment, keep wearing a face covering in public indoor settings unless you are exempt, meet people outside where possible, whilst it is still a personal choice to keep your distance from those you do not live with, we do urge you to be cautious as infections are currently rising again in Surrey. You are advised to minimise travel in and out of heavily affected areas and please do take up the vaccine when offered it. As we are all being encouraged to meet outside where possible, a quick reminder to enjoy our beautiful open spaces respectfully, take your litter home with you, keep safe and be kind to others. More information can be found on our website and by reading the Countryside Code.

“The messages being published during Domestic Abuse Week (14 to 20 June) could prove vitally important to anyone in an unhealthy relationship and needing the range of support available. Abuse can happen to anyone and raised awareness can help highlight even subtle behavioural traits in a partner, particularly those of coercive control. If you are in need of help, visit the Surrey Against Domestic Abuse website or call the helpline on 01483 776 822. In an emergency, always call 999.

“Wednesday 16 June 2021 is World Refill Day, a global public awareness campaign to help prevent plastic pollution and encourage people to live with less waste by choosing to reuse. We have been fully behind the urgent push to tackle avoidable plastic waste. In setting up our local initiative ‘Refill Mole Valley’, we have been encouraging local businesses to join our scheme and become a water Refill Station; enabling passers-by to come and fill up their bottle for free. Find out more on our Refill page.

“It gives me great pleasure to confirm that our new weekly, online Mole Valley Community Lottery has now officially been launched, tickets are on sale now. Only £1, 50p of sales raises money for good causes and 10p for green initiatives in Mole Valley. Not only are participants supporting local initiatives and community organisations, they could win a £25,000 jackpot. More information can be found here.

“Lastly, I am delighted to report we have achieved our target of building 54 affordable homes in 2020/21. This despite the overwhelming disruption caused by the pandemic. The new units in Bookham, Dorking and Leatherhead have provided a significant boost to much-needed affordable housing in our district. We are aware that the pandemic will also affect our plans for 2021-22, but we committed to do everything we can to achieve our affordable housing target set for this financial year.”