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

Councillor Stephen Cooksey, Leader of Mole Valley District Council, said: “The government confirmed on Monday that, having reviewed the latest figures, the Step 3 restrictions in place would not be lifted as part of the two-week review (5 July). They are instead working towards England moving to Step 4 on 19 July.

“The situation in Surrey has not changed since my last Leader’s address concerning the continued rise in new COVID cases. While the numbers are nowhere near peak levels seen over the winter, any new case is one too many. The statistics released on Monday 28 June show Mole Valley to have the joint highest number of new cases in the past seven days. The greater the number of outbreaks, the more disruption to people’s lives, work and education. Let’s all make a collective effort to put a stop to these figures rising. Take regular tests, have the vaccine and be extra vigilant with hand washing, wearing face coverings and keeping your distance from others. Families should continue with regular lateral flow tests and please, don’t forget, all adults aged 18 and over are eligible to receive a vaccination so please do encourage anyone who is eligible to get theirs as soon as they can.

“On Monday 5 July, the nation will once again be coming together to pay tribute to the wonderful and tireless work of NHS staff. I encourage everyone in the district, young and old, to take the time to show their appreciation on this NHS Thank You Day. A two-minute silence will be held at 11am and households will be invited to once again clap for NHS heroes at 8pm, as churches and cathedrals ring their bells 73 times; one ring for every year of the NHS. You can get involved in your own unique way too, and there are plenty of ideas of how to do so on this special day’s website.

“I wanted to update you on progress made as part of our Climate Change Strategy. We have applied for planning permission to install Air Source Heat Pumps and LED lighting at our Pippbrook offices and Dorking Halls which we have been able to achieve through a carbon reduction government grant secured in February. This could save an estimated 160 tonnes of CO2 a year. We have now also committed to undertake feasibility studies for the installation of Solar PV Car Ports at Reigate Road and Pippbrook car parks in Dorking and Leatherhead Leisure Centre, in addition to solar rooftop panels at Dorking Halls and Leatherhead Leisure Centre. This work has the potential to reduce our carbon footprint by over 200 tonnes a year as we continue to work towards making our operations carbon neutral by 2030.

“Our fabulous local Walk For Health scheme has resumed, with no limit on numbers able to attend each walk; in line with government guidance. With advice being to meet others outside where possible, what better time to take part in our fun, free and accessible programme of guided weekly walks. Taking between 30 and 90 minutes, this group activity is an outstanding low-impact form of exercise and also provides the opportunity to meet other like-minded people. Visit our website for more information.

“We are inviting residents and businesses to have their say on our Licensing Policy, which we are in the process of reviewing. The Licensing Policy controls sales of alcohol, regulated entertainment and late night refreshment in Mole Valley. We are running a twelve week consultation open until 16 September so, if you want to help shape this policy for future years, visit our website to leave your comments.