Residents invited to enjoy the Bookham High Street Party 2021!

Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) is delighted to be working in partnership with the Bookham Business Initiative group and to host The Bookham High Street Party 2021

The Street Party will take place on Bookham High Street on Saturday 31 July 2021 from 2pm-6pm and aims to show support to the local businesses in Bookham that have kept the community going throughout the pandemic.

Everyone is invited to come along with a variety of musical performances from local residents, along with cleverly choreographed Morris Dancing. Adults can appreciate the Silent Pool Gin Bar, specialising in luxury gin handcrafted in the Surrey Hills. Children can also enjoy the array of activities and entertainment, including magic, street entertainment and Punch & Judy! Music will be provided throughout the day by the Surrey Hills Community Radio, a live band and a solo artist.

Councillor Clayton Wellman, MVDC’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Economy and Security, said: “After all the community efforts made during the pandemic, our residents deserve a large celebration to honour their hard-work and  an opportunity to enjoy the music, food and variety of entertainment available for all in Bookham. There’s so much to get involved with and the organisers have worked incredibly hard to bring this event together for us all to enjoy.”                             

The Bookham High Street Party will be the first event of the summer for Bookham, with the Bookham Village Day event to follow on August 30, along with the Bookham Food Festival arriving on September 11.  All Mole Valley summer events will be listed on

The Bookham High Street Party is funded by the Welcome Back Fund which supports the safe return to high streets and helps build back better from the pandemic.

Pop-up Classical Playground Concerts

On 10 August 2021 local music group Chamberhouse Winds will perform pop-up classical concerts of Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf at Meadowbank Park in Dorking and King George V Playing Fields in North Holmwood.

The quintet’s concert at Meadowbank Park will take place from 1.30pm – 2pm and the performance at King George V Playing Fields will be on from 3pm – 3.30pm. Both are free to watch and open to everyone. They will take place next to the playgrounds, allowing children to listen while they play.

The concerts are being funded and organised by Mole Valley District Council (MVDC).

Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, Councillor David Draper, said: “What better way to introduce children to classical music than to take it to their place of play. At the heart of the local community, our parks are the perfect place to bring music to everyone in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.”

MVDC invests in and develops a range of artistic and cultural experiences in Mole Valley to enrich the lives of residents. Find out more at 

Great Offer From The Jockey Club to Promote Your Business

What's On In My Town has teamed up with The Jockey Club to help businesses promote themselves at the home of the Cazoo Derby Festival

We have a fantastic offer for local businesses from The Jockey Club to promote your business locally and nationally for less than £1,000.

In the interest of supporting local businesses, Epsom Downs Racecourse have a fantastic sponsorship opportunity across the remaining 2021 Epsom Season.
The package Includes:

  • Promote your business through naming a race
  • Advertise your product in a full page colour advert
  • Fly your logo on all 124+ CCTV screens and big trackside screen
  • Race Name will be in national papers in the sports section 
  • Mentioned on Racing TV which has over 50k subscribers 

 You also get to enjoy the racing action itself by

  • Awarding the ‘Best Turned-Out Horse’ award in the paddock amongst the owners & trainers of the runners.
  • Presenting the trophy to the winning owner in the Winners Enclosure after your race. 

Alternatively, there is an option to promote your business through a promotional stand but spaces are extremely limited. 
For More Details on the above offer contact Toni Harris at [email protected]
Please mention What’s On In My Town when contacting Toni

Guild Living appeal to the Secretary of State for Housing

Date set for government inquiry into council planning decisions

A public inquiry will be held next month into the decisions of Epsom & Ewell Borough Council to refuse planning approval for Guild Living plans for a high story, high density, urban retirement community within Epsom.

Two separate applications for Guild Living’s proposals for the ex-hospital land in central Epsom have been to the Council’s Planning Committee. On both occasions, councillors refused planning approval. 

Guild Living have exercised their right to appeal against the Council’s refusal of both applications to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. 

An Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State has now confirmed that the two planning appeals will be decided together at a virtual public inquiry, which is scheduled to begin on 17 August.

Councillor Monica Coleman, chair of the Council’s Planning Committee, said “These proposals led to one of the largest number of responses to a development proposal in the history of Epsom & Ewell and we received hundreds of objections. 

“The council decided to refuse these applications based on planning concerns and planning merit. The inquiry gives us the opportunity to have the objections heard in front of an independent body. The final decision whether this development can proceed will be for the government inspector.

“There is little doubt that this will be one of the most significant planning decisions to impact the borough in a very long time”.

All information regarding the two appeals and the public inquiry can be found on the council website:

The public inquiry can be streamed live via the Planning Inspectorate’s

Epsom gets its first ‘happy to chat’ benches

Representatives from Love Me Love My Mind, Churches Together in Epsom, Age Concern Epsom & Ewell and the Epsom Refugee Network join Councillor Neil Dallan (seated right).

Town centre seats become a real conversation starter as Epsom gets its first ‘happy to chat’ benches

As we approach World Friendship Day (Friday 30 July), Epsom & Ewell Borough Council has designated four of the new seats in the Market Place ‘Happy to Chat benches’.

Happy to Chat benches encourage people to either simply say hello or have a conversation. The initiative is spreading throughout the country, encouraging people to talk to each other and help to prevent social isolation, which has become more prominent during the pandemic.

Councillor Alex Coley, Chair of the Council’s Community and Wellbeing Committee, said “It’s not just because of Covid, some people feel alone, isolated and anxious on a daily basis. Simply stopping to say hello to someone at the bench could make a real difference in the community and make someone’s life that little bit better.”

Joining Councillor Coley and Councillor Neil Dallen (Chair Environment and Safe Communities Committee) to introduce the Happy to Chat benches were a number of local organisations who were keen to support the initiative.

Sue Bull, Trustee, from the local mental health charity, Love Me Love My Mind said, “’The past 16 months have challenged the mental health and well-being of many people around the world. Loneliness, anxiety and depression have almost become commonplace. At Love Me Love My Mind we are committed to help build a community where all are welcome. And so we are very happy to be supporting the Happy to Chat benches and look forward to continuing the conversations at this year’s Epsom Mental Health and Well-Being Festival, where the theme will be ‘We are all in this together”.

Dr Jane Williams, Chair of Churches Together in Epsom said, “We live in a world where people cry out ‘help, no-one is listening to me’. When people are listened to, they feel respected, valued, loved, significant, empowered, helped and affirmed. Listening is healing, being hospitable, an opportunity to connect, a form of prayer. Churches Together in Epsom very much supports this community project and looks forward to using the Happy to Chat Benches to actively engage with the community”.

Dorah May Hancock, Chief Officer, Age Concern Epsom & Ewell said, “Friendships are very important to all of us here at Age Concern Epsom & Ewell. We have been helping our older community to form lasting friendships for nearly 75 years, through the many services that we provide, such as our befriending service”.  Befriending client June Page added, “A smile goes a long way, especially on World Friendship Day!”

Nina Kaye from the Epsom Refugee Network said, “Epsom & Ewell Refugee Network support refugees and asylum seekers in the Epsom and Ewell area, helping them to integrate into the community and lead independent lives. It would be wonderful for them to have the opportunity to meet people and feel part of a friendly community”.

 Those who choose to sit on the bench will be signalling to others that they are up for a chat or are willing to listen to and engage with others in their community.

“Friendship and Fishing” Launched in Mole Valley

Mole Valley District Council and Central Surrey Voluntary Action Launch “Friendship and Fishing” Group to Support Residents’ Wellbeing

Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) and Central Surrey Voluntary Action (CSVA) launched their “Friendship and Fishing” group last Friday at the picturesque Henfold Lakes in Mole Valley. The ten week project aims to enhance residents’ wellbeing through the gaining of fishing skills, companionship and connection with nature.

Mole Valley District Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism Councillor David Draper said, “As part of our work supporting residents throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, we noted that many were understandably, experiencing feelings of isolation and loneliness. Others, have encountered difficulty leaving their homes, either as a result of safety concerns or as a consequence of the reduction in activities available to them due to restrictions. As we now cautiously ease out of lockdown, we are delighted to be working in partnership with CSVA, Mole Valley Life and Reflections Angling to deliver the “Friendship and Fishing” group. The group allows individuals to connect with nature and others, while learning new skills; all of which are proven to increase wellbeing.”

Central Surrey Voluntary Action’s Volunteer Recruitment Manager, Eamonn McNamee said, “After a year where activities have been so limited, it is great to have launched the “Friendship and Fishing” group which will help to support residents from all walks of life, be they seasoned anglers or complete novices. From the first session, we saw first-hand the positive impact this group will have on participant’s lives and I am excited to follow the group’s progress over the coming weeks as they develop their fishing ability and form friendships in this beautiful and relaxing setting.”

The group will meet 10:30 am – 1:30 pm every Friday to work towards their Rod Fishing licence. Sessions cost £10 per person and for those struggling with transport, this can be provided by Mole Valley Life. For further information or to book one of the limited places available, please call CSVA’s Eamonn McNamee on 07770 931932 or email [email protected].

New Awards Programme Launched in Kingston

The new Kingston Borough Business Awards launch encourages inspirational businesses to stand up and be recognised for their achievements

The Kingston Borough Business Awards (KBBA) have been launched by Kingston Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the excellence of local businesses, who have shown great determination, creativity and resilience over the past 12 months.

Hosted at Warren House, business leaders and entrepreneurs gathered together with social enterprises and key figures from the education sector to hear how KBBA are set to truly reflect the diversity of enterprise in Kingston, and will encourage applications from across the borough.

KBBA, which are supported by Headline sponsor, Kingston University, and Gold sponsors South Thames College Group and Kingston Council, will have transparency and integrity at the core and each application will be considered on its distinctive merits in a robust judging process.

The launch, on the 7th July 2021, included speeches led by Forbes Low, CEO of Kingston Chamber of Commerce and followed by, Professor Steven Spier, Vice Chancellor of Kingston University, Ian Thomas CBE, CEO of Kingston Council and Peter Mayhew-Smith, Group Principal and CEO, South Thames Colleges Group.

Said Forbes Low, CEO, Kingston Chamber of Commerce: “To me, the essential element in business are the people. It is people who come together to create, to build, to entertain and to deliver solutions to problems. These awards will celebrate these people for their achievements.”

Added Professor Steven Spier, Vice-Chancellor Kingston University: “The awards are a showcase of the diversity of businesses which exist in Kingston. Kingston University is a key partner in the borough, and we are regularly ranked 1st or 2nd for graduate start-ups and that is why I am particularly delighted that we are supporting the start-up award.”

Ian Thomas, CBE, Chief Executive Kingston Borough Council, said: “During the pandemic we saw how important that link between the council and its business community is. Having been an integral part of the effort to support businesses during those difficult times, we are delighted to support these awards. Organisations of all sizes have been adapting, exploiting new opportunities and creating employment in the borough. We want to acknowledge that strength, resilience and contribution to the local economy.”

Peter Mayhew-Smith, Group Principal and CEO, South Thames Colleges Group: “We are celebrating business and we are celebrating communities. We are just really proud to be part of it and especially the celebration of the humble day-to-day work that your employees have undoubtedly been doing through the months behind us and the months ahead.”

The awards categories have been carefully considered to assure inclusivity for businesses of all sizes and sectors can enter. The awards will be open for entries in August, with judging in December and the awards celebration taking place in early March 2022.

The categories are:

• Contribution to the Community • Creative Effectiveness • Developing Young People Skills Sponsored by Kingston College • Digital, Marketing and Social Media • Excellence in Customer Service • Food and Beverage • Health & Wellbeing • Innovative Use of Technology • Local Independent Retailer • Outstanding Sole Trader/Freelancer • Resilience and Adaptation Sponsored by Kingston Council • Start-Up of the Year Sponsored by Kingston University • Sustainable Business • Kingston Chamber of Commerce Professional Services Recognition

“Driven by design” supercar exhibition at Brooklands

Brooklands Museum opens "Driven by design" supercar exhibition with McLaren Automotive to showcase engineering and design talent

Brooklands Museum opens its new ‘Driven by Design’ exhibition exploring the fascinating world of supercar design in collaboration with McLaren Automotive. 
As part of the company’s long-standing commitment to encourage more young people into careers that involve science, technology, engineering, maths and design, McLaren is loaning three exhibits including a McLaren Senna GTR prototype car, a McLaren Senna GTR concept car and a full-scale LEGO model of a McLaren 720S. 
The exhibition forms a key part of the supercar company’s 10-year anniversary celebrations and will feature some of the 2,500 strong team who help design, engineer, test and build these incredible supercars including McLaren Development Driver Bruno Senna.  
Brooklands holds a proud position as the birthplace of motorsport in the UK, not only boasting the first purpose-built racetrack anywhere in the world but it also held Britain’s first Grand Prix in 1926. Alongside its place at the centre of British motorsport, Brooklands has a strong history of aviation design and manufacture with many technologies developed there such as carbon fibre composites, which McLaren first introduced into Formula 1 40 years ago, and has featured in every McLaren race or road car since. 
The exhibition will draw parallels between those involved in the development of the McLaren Senna GTR and Brooklands’ personalities from its time as an engineering hub for the automotive and aerospace industries where technology flowed freely between them.
The McLaren Senna GTR is the ultimate track machine, freed from all motorsport or road regulations. The prototype and concept car on display at Brooklands form a crucial part of the McLaren Automotive story which builds on founder Bruce McLaren’s dream of creating the best supercars in the world 
In 2018, the concept car was presented to an eager public at the Geneva Motor Show. The prototype then went on to set new standards for automotive engineering as Bruno Senna, McLaren Development Driver and nephew of legendary Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna who won all three of his World Championships at the wheel of a McLaren, put it through its paces in the quest to build the world’s best track car. 
Tamalie Newbery, Director of Brooklands Museum said:
“The lesson of Brooklands is that anything is possible if you have the determination, ambition and spirit. Since the launch of the McLaren 12C a little over a decade ago, McLaren Automotive has quickly become one of the most admired supercar brands in the world.”
“When we look back on this period, we will measure this achievement as equal to the feats achieved by Malcolm Campbell or any of the other Brooklands pioneers of the 20th century. We are proud to host some incredible vehicles here but, above all, Brooklands Museum is a place of inspiration where we can look at past achievements and use them as an example of how to overcome the challenges we face today. The future of mobility is a question that stretches beyond the automotive industry and we hope that the opening of this new exhibition will inspire the next generation of engineers and problem solvers on whose shoulders so much rests. We are very grateful to McLaren Automotive for choosing Brooklands Museum to exhibit these beautiful examples of engineering excellence and to be able to tell the stories of the people who developed them.” 
Andy Palmer, Vehicle Line Director – Super, Ultimate & Bespoke Series, McLaren Automotive said:
“We’re thrilled to support the new Driven by Design exhibition at Brooklands Museum. It’s a fantastic way to celebrate 10 years of McLaren Automotive as a supercar company and also a great way for children and parents alike to get up close with some very special development cars that are usually at the McLaren Technology Centre, nearby in Woking. Visitors will be able to learn more about McLaren and how we create our cars, including from members of the team who played a fundamental role in taking the McLaren Senna GTR from concept to final production car, and also see a life-size McLaren 720S made out of LEGO. We hope this exhibition inspires the next generation of designers, engineers and development drivers.” 
This is the first new exhibition focused on cars to open at Brooklands Museum in over a decade. Driven by Design explores McLaren Automotive’s design and development process – what it takes to design a supercar and the skills needed to achieve groundbreaking engineering. 
By exploring the skills and approaches to their work, and highlighting the people behind it, Brooklands intend to illustrate what innovation and collaboration looks like in a dynamic organisation like McLaren Automotive. It is important to Brooklands to show what opportunities lie within the sector, to inspire the next generation to think about how they can apply their own passion to challenges they may face. The exhibition is aimed at 12 to 18 year olds with a particular emphasis on STEM careers, providing our younger visitors the opportunity to explore the individual team members backgrounds – to see what they studied, what their greatest achievements have been, what their role at McLaren is and how it fits in with the broader team. Underpinning all of this will be the three featured McLaren supercars, underlining that through creativity and innovative thinking, great things can be achieved.

Supporting young people into employment

Young people across Epsom and Ewell will soon be able to benefit from additional help to gain the skills and experience they need to get into employment.

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council has successfully bid for a grant of £98k to establish a Youth Hub to support young people aged 18 to 24 years old in the borough who are in receipt of Universal Credit and unemployed.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the numbers of borough residents claiming Universal Credit. The under 24 year-old age group have been significantly affected.

The grant, awarded by the Department for Work and Pensions, will be used to launch a new service that pulls together a range of partner resources to provide employment information and advice, support employer connections, work placements and mentors, to support young people find work.

Councillor Alex Coley, Chair of the Council’s Community and Wellbeing Committee said “Every young person should have the opportunity to achieve their employment ambitions.

“Our young people have been hit hard by the pandemic, which is why we’re launching this project to support them.

“We’re focusing on those who really need this support, so they can obtain the skills they need to realise their aspirations”.

The Youth Hub is a partnership between Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP), Epsom Job Centre Plus and Surrey Lifelong Learning Partnership, supported by Nescot, Coast to Capital LEP and Go Epsom.

Kevin Delf, from Surrey Lifelong Learning Partnership, stated: “We are delighted to be involved in this exciting venture! 

“Young people need new careers and jobs.  The economy needs the talent and ideas that they bring.  The Epsom Youth Skills Hub can help make it happen”.

Frances Rutter, Nescot Principal, said “Nescot’s expertise and leading objective is helping people develop the skills to fulfil their career ambitions. Working with this new Youth Hub, even more young people in the area will be able to access our highly-regarded careers guidance and advice on vocational training.”

The Youth Hub will launch in August 2021.

Referrals to the scheme are through Job Centre Plus work coaches who will be meeting the target group every two weeks.

Mole Valley Skills and Employment Hub Launches in Leatherhead

Residents looking for work or facing redundancy will soon be able to reap the benefits of a wide range of services provided by the soon-to-be established Mole Valley Employment & Skills Hub. A launch event will take place on Thursday 29 July 2021 between 10-11.30am to mark the occasion.

Based at the Swan Centre in Leatherhead, the Mole Valley Employment & Skills Hub – or MV Hub – will provide online and face-to-face advice, guidance and coaching to residents of all ages from across the district. Working with local employers and training providers, residents in need of help will have access to training and education opportunities, opening access to new skills and sustainable employment in the community.

The MV Hub is a Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) initiative delivered by Surrey Lifelong Learning Partnership (SLLP) and funded by the Department of Works and Pensions. Having operated virtually since April 20201, the MV Hub will be open to walk-ins or pre-arranged appointments from 9.30am to 3.30pm Monday to Friday, starting Friday 30 July 2021. The MV Hub will also be open at Harvest Community Church, Dorking on Wednesday afternoons and, from September, services will resume once again at the Family Centre in the Baptist Church in Bookham. For more information, email [email protected].

Kevin Delf, SLLP’s Chief Executive, said: “Surrey lifelong learning partnership (SLLP) are delighted to be working with Mole Valley District Council in launching the MV Hub. The hub is the next step in our long standing partnership working together to support residents to access sustainable employment and work related learning. The SLLP team look forward to welcoming residents into the hub for practical support, guidance and local job opportunities.”

Councillor Clayton Wellman, MVDC’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Economy and Security, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Surrey Lifelong Partnership to deliver a truly vital community asset in the heart of Leatherhead for anyone in the district who is struggling to sustain paid employment. We are living in a challenging economic climate and I am sure the MV Hub will be greatly valued and used by those in need.”

Follow the MV Hub on the following Social Media channels:

Twitter: @MoleHub

Facebook: @MoleValleyHub