THE COLD SNAP

The unusual

In what you could call the earliest widespread snowfall for the UK since 1993, several boroughs and districts in Surrey struggled to cope with the somewhat unusual situation that they found themselves during the closing week of November. According to some weather reports, it was the deepest November snowfall in 4 decades in most parts of the county, with up to 11 inches of snow covering some areas.

Traffic standstill

Hundreds of vehicles- particularly lorries were abandoned on motorways forcing scores of motorists to spend Tuesday night in freezing conditions in their cars. The rails were also severely hit with several passengers stranded overnight on motionless trains. And as though nature’s troubles were not enough, Train company SouthEastern compounded its woes by sending two vital de-icing trains away for servicing at the height of the big freeze and was subsequently condemned by MPs for ‘total incompetence’. Gatwick Airport was closed to flights on Tuesday and Wednesday as the snow intensified. Meanwhile, major town roads were gritted but smaller streets were untouched, despite the extra 50% salt that the council ordered this year.

The crippling effect

At least 225 schools in the county were closed for days because of the conditions, meaning several parents without immediate & alternative arrangements for child care had to sit at home and lose the day’s pay.

At the East Surrey Hospital, those in charge had to put their thinking caps on. Appeals were made on social networking site Twitter for help from 4×4 drivers to take drugs to several homes, transport patients to and fro the hospital and also bring staff to work. As many hands as possible were needed on deck, thanks to the increasing number of cases at A&E with injuries from slips, falls and other ice and snow accidents.

Several bus services in the county were cancelled for days leaving a good number of people stranded. Businesses including restaurants, fuel stations, superstores, hotels and pubs felt the loss with customers calling in to cancel bookings and several workers absent from work.

Are we ready for the next surprise?

According to council officials, immediate action is being taken to repair potholes caused by snow and ice in the region, and about 1,500 grit bins across the county are being refilled. Extra salt supplies, totalling 2,300 tonnes, are now being delivered to the county with the first delivery expected in December and the others in January. From this latest snow experience however, not many are confident that more salt will solve the situation. Several news reports showed that as a result of the limited number of workers clearing the roads and with continuous snow fall, attention had to be focused on major roads. So, once upon a time it was a case of limited salt, but now, we are talking about limited workers on the roads. Who knows what’s next?

If anything, the general advice for now is, keep an eye on your neighbour, and, yourself.

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HUMAN TRAFFICK AWARENESS AT BONFIRE NIGHT

A couple in Charlwood, Surrey are hoping to raise awareness about human trafficking at an evening event commemorating the 2010 bonfire night. With the help of friends and family, Steven and Sarah Fidler are planning lakeside fireworks, a bonfire and an undercover concert at the Honeycrock Farm in Salfords in order to inform the public about human trafficking.

Steven, a 30 year old ground worker says that he is alarmed at how much is going on and how little people know. After watching a documentary on the illegal trade of human beings, he felt motivated to spread the message around. He says that he is particularly concerned that children are often the victims of slave trade.

News research show that thousands of children who pick and harvest cocoa beans have been trafficked, and, few people seem to know that the chocolate products that they buy ought to have some form of certification, as proof that the producers engaged in fair trade. Also, statistics from the Poppy Project which is funded by the UK government show that Croydon, which is historically a part of Surrey is one of the biggest ports for human trafficking in the UK with young women and children who have been illegally traded discovered on a frequent basis in the area.

The Fidlers are hoping that the upcoming event tagged ‘Festival of Freedom’ and scheduled to hold on Saturday the 13th of November from 7pm till midnight will sensitize the public about human slavery in the UK and abroad. Bands that are expected to feature include ‘Dizzy Tales’, ‘Kaleo’, ‘Ola’ and ‘Annajo. All proceeds from the event will go to ‘Stop the Traffick’ a a global coalition working together to help stop the sale of people.

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HOUSE DAMAGED IN REDHILL

A couple in Redhill, Surrey have had their property damaged after an elderly lady drove into their home on Tuesday the 28th of September.

The woman who is said to be in her seventies lost control of a 2009 Mitsubishi car, veering off Brighton road unto Copsleigh Avenue and then through the garden of Allen & Viviene Arnold bringing down their front porch.

Police and Paramedics arrived at the scene and confirmed the driver stable.

66 year old Viviene said she was probably in more shock than the driver, seeing the ruins at their home.

Anyone who witnessed the collision is urged to contact Surrey Police on 0845 125
2222 quoting reference P10302779.

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Bus service changes- Commuters call for more information

Picture by Andrew H.AThe first phase of changes to Surrey bus services took effect on Saturday the 28th of August 2010. This is part of the Surrey County Council’s plans to cut its transport subsidy costs.

While some areas have seen increased services others have had some services reduced or completely withdrawn.

Although many people have welcomed the changes, several commuters have complained of little or no information. In Redhill for example, several residents at Park 25, a new development in the area say they are unaware that a bus now operates in the area and have no idea where to take the bus.

Drivers of Bus 100 which serves the area also say that they are indirectly disobeying traffic rules. Buses park at the moment on unmarked spots as bus stops are yet to be provided. An official with Metrobus, one of the transport providers in Surrey however says that leaflets have been handed out in public places, informing people of the new changes.

Richard Jackman of Barrat Homes, developers of Park 25 has suggested that the council contact resident associations of areas that are facing changes for speedy and cost effective publicity.

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REIGATE COMMUNITY COMMEMORATES ARMED FORCES DAY

It was a fun filled day on Saturday the 26th of June as thousands of people gathered at the Priory Park for the 2010 Reigate Community festival. The day featured live music, special displays, games, rides and other forms of attraction.

Organised by the Reigate & Banstead Borough Council in partnership with local community groups, the yearly event gives special recognition to the efforts and services of the British Armed Forces-both past and present.

Click here to watch the video- http://derinspace.blogspot.com/2010/10/reigate-fair-2010.html

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NEW POLICE CELLS- Salfords Villagers Concerned

Villagers in Salfords have opposed police plans to site a custody centre on the 1.0 centre, Salbrook Road Industrial Estate, off the A23.

A planning application has already been made to Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and a decision could be taken in June.

Concerns have been raised about traffic, crime & even new insurance premiums in the area.

 

Click here to watch a report-   http://derinspace.blogspot.com/2010/06/salfords-custody.html

 

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SURREY MURDERS- INVESTIGATIONS NOW ON

Police in Surrey are running extensive searches and making efforts to catch those responsible for the murder of  31 year old Anthony Kennard Gray in Redhill as well as Sarah Thomas, a mother of three who lived alone with her children on high street, Nutfield.

Although both victims had stab wounds on the neck, There are no indications from the police that the crimes are connected.

Gray was found at a house on Observatory Walk on Tuesday, May 11th and airlifted to Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel but died the following day while 38 year old Thomas was already dead by the time police arrived at her residence on Monday evening(May 10).

Expectedly, the murders have raised concerns but Detective Chief Inspector, Steve Hayes has assured the public that efforts are being made to bring the culprits to book.

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