Vicki Macleod for Weybridge in the Surrey Elections 4th May 2017

On Thursday 4th May, you have a  chance to elect a new councillor to represent Weybridge on Surrey County Council.

Your local Liberal Democrat candidate is long term Weybridge resident Vicki Macleod.

You may know Vicki from her work in our local community, perhaps from her five years chairing the Friends of The Weybridge Centre charity. or as a school governor.

Vicki‘s priority is to give Weybridge a stronger voice for better delivery of the services local people need, including:

  • Better maintained and safer local roads and pavements
  • Local school places for Weybridge children
  • Responsible budget management by Surrey County Council

Many people see Surrey County Council as remote and inefficient with its history of mismanagement. Vicki will work with other councillors to put pressure on the administration for more effective financial management and for budgets that reflect local needs.  Her longer term aim is to see some of the services currently run by Surrey brought into local Elmbridge control.



Churchfields Play Area

Churchfields Park Playground-wey-soc333Today I was at the civic centre to take a look at the final scheme for the play area.

All being well, the contract will be signed with the equipment providers this week and the the play area will be open before the summer holidays begin.

A big thank you to all of you who joined my campaign at the beginning and for the schools and parents who gave their support as the campaign progressed.  Focused action gets results.

I would have liked to have posted pictures but we are still in the confidential stage and also in purduh – I will get them to you as soon as they are made available.

Celebrating nearly 5000 years of volunteering!

volunteerLong service awards were presented to volunteers at the Elmbridge special Volunteer Awards Ceremonies. The awards totalled nearly 5,000 years of volunteering, a fantastic achievement from the borough’s dedicated team of volunteers! Volunteers enjoy a variety of roles within Community Support Services from helping out at our busy Centres, to delivering meals on wheels to our most vulnerable residents. If you would like to find out more about how you could volunteer around Elmbridge please call 01372 474552 or email

Support Weybridge Youth Centre

Youth Club smallSurrey is halving the funding for Weybridge youth centre.  Given the cut is so severe Surrey has given the youth centre management committee time to raise funds from other sources before withdrawing its own funding – although it will not wait for ever (or even a year).  If you are in a position to offer support then please get in touch.

How did this happen?

It began with the Conservative state administration reducing its contribution to local government revenues.  This is particularly painful because local government in England (unlike in most countries) is heavily restricted in how it may raise its own funds.  Even the tax that it is allowed to raise is heavily controlled by the state.  For example, income tax, national insurance and VAT increase year on year with inflation but council tax decreases.  The state even proscribes local governments’ ability to keep council tax in line with inflation; a situation that would not be tolerated in America, Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy or Spain.

Surrey has chosen to cut its youth services across the county by 11% in nominal terms.  It could have cut the service in all districts by the same amount.  Fortunately, the youth service took the view that it was time to examine need across the county afresh.

The primary directive is to ensure neets (young people not in education, employment or training) get into sustainable work and then to reduce neets to zero.  To disburse funds across the county according to need, the neets have to be located and various other indicators of deprivation have to be assembled.  The county used eleven indicators and determined that Elmbridge would have its funding increased by 6% – despite the general county cut of 11%.

Surrey took this analysis down to town level within Elmbridge itself to match the service provision with need.  This has meant that some towns, for example, Claygate and Weybridge had their service reduced and others, for example, Cobham had theirs increased.  Ditton and Oxshott have no provision from Surrey.

Weybridge has been offered one fully funded three hour session a week.  However, with support this could be extended to three fully funded three hour sessions – that is how your contribution could help.

Napoleonic re-enactment

Nepoleon Re-enactmentPainshill welcomes back the Napoleonic Association for a special re-enactment to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. On both there will be incredible sights and dramatic performances as the soldiers, officers and camp followers re-enact various scenes, including the raising of the flag, a drill parade and a skirmish. There will be lots of noise and smoke as the infantrymen fire volley after volley and manoeuvre to offer their fatal blow whilst deploying the crack skirmishing force, the 95th Rifles.

Visitors will also be able to walk through the living history encampment to see where the soldiers live, eat and sleep. The camp followers will entertain those who visit, with stories and their experiences of the Napoleonic period.

This exciting event which includes battles, skill at arms display and a living history encampment will take place on Sunday 30th and Monday 31st August Bank Holiday. The event is included in normal admission price.

For more details and to see the full programme click here

Hydrate with 8 quiz winner

Hydrate with 8 logoShirley Way from Claygate is the proud winner of the Hydrate with 8 quiz, following the very successful Hydrate with 8 Campaign that ran during July 2015. Her reward was a voucher of £20 for Marks and Spencer from the generous sponsors of the campaign Walton Charity, and Walsingham Care. The prize giving took place on 25 August.

The Hydrate with 8 Campaign visited 14 different locations around the borough which included GP surgeries, sheltered housing schemes and hospitals and because of the sponsorship, nearly 1,000 mugs and coasters, which promote the 8 drinks a day message, were given away.

Included in the campaign were the 228 recipients of the Meals on Wheels service in the borough. Hydrate with 8 mugs and coasters were personally delivered by the fantastic team of volunteers who support the service run by Community Support Services.

If you would like to find out more about the Hydrate with 8 Campaign log onto the Elmbridge website or if you would like to know more about Community Support Services including volunteering, please call 01372 474552

Flight of Fantasy – The Elmbridge literary competition 2015

book2015 sees the anniversaries of some of the most famous works of literary fantasy: the 150th anniversary of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, the 60th of “The Lord of the Rings” and the 20th of “the Northern Lights”.

To mark these momentous anniversaries, the 2015 Elmbridge Literary Festival is asking writers and poets of all ages to enter its literary.

For this year’s literary competition, judges are looking for entries that unveil your imagination and take our judges into a different world created by you. Where, as many writers have shown, it is not always a world of dungeons and dragons, or wizards and elves; but one where a slight tweak at the edges of ‘ordinary life’ can introduce something quite extraordinary. They will be looking for original ideas, strong descriptions and exciting plot-lines.


Ages 5-7 Little Rhymes and Stories

Ages 8-10/11 (Junior School) Poems and Stories

Ages 11-13 Poems and Stories

Ages 14-18 Poems and Stories

Ages 19 plus Poems and Stories

The competition closes on 26 October. Entries will be judged by a panel of local authors, the Director of the RC Sherriff Trust and Elmbridge’s Arts Development Officer. Public Readings and Prize giving: Saturday, 28th November at the Riverhouse Arts Centre, Walton at 2:30pm for 5-13 years and 7:00pm 14+years.

For full terms and conditions and entry details for the literary competition, visit, email or call 01372 474584; or visit, email or phone 01932 229996.

‘Men in Sheds’ project

Men in ShedsA new ‘Men in Sheds’ project is being launched in Elmbridge at the Thames Ditton Centre. It is aimed at men, to encourage them to put their practical skills to good use and to meet new people. The project originated in Australia with great success and there has been much interest expressed from other countries around the world. More than 80 sheds have now been launched throughout Britain.

The shed will provide a well-equipped workshop with various power tools where activities will involve woodwork, repairs, gardening and much more and will provide a place to use existing skills, learn new ones or put the world to right over a cuppa! It’s all about friendship, fun and getting out!

If you have any surplus tools or equipment that you are willing to donate for this project, please contact the borough (details below).

The project is also looking for volunteers with woodworking skills who would enjoy leading the ‘Men in Sheds’ project. If you are interested in this community opportunity or if you would just like to join in the project please call 01372 474 552 or email

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

To book your place contact Liz Tracey on or telephone 020 8541 7020

Brooklands College Governor?

Brooklands College Web

Brooklands College is a further and higher education college located in our town. It is one of Surrey’s largest providers of vocational training and further and higher education. Its course offering is diverse, with students travelling long distances to benefit from the Brooklands College experience. The students leave with qualifications and skills that stand them in good stead for a place at university, a job or further professional or vocational studies to enhance their careers.

The college seeks to recruit associate and full governors to its governing body.

If you would be interested in bringing your community, business or professional experience to the college to help us in our work, the college would be pleased to hear from you. It is seeking governors with general skills and also have particular need for new governors with a strong financial or audit background, and governors with previous experience in further and higher education.

Please click here to download the leaflet and information pack about the college and the role of governor.

To apply please refer to the background provided in the information pack and send a letter of application and curriculum vitae to reach Ian Pocock, Clerk to the Governing Body, by Monday 23 February 2015.

Shortlisting will take place during the week beginning 23 February 2015 and interviews will take place on 11 March 2015.