First ever non-Conservative LEADS Spelthorne Council
History was made at the end of May this year when Councillor Lawrence Nichols was elected Liberal Democrat Leader of the Council. He became the first non-Conservative to hold this position since the Authority was created in 1974.
Lawrence heads a multi-Party grouping formed to radically alter how Spelthorne is run. He is supported by Independent Councillor Jo Sexton as his Deputy. This change coincides with the introduction of a Committee based system which will bring greater accountability, participation and transparency to the Council's affairs after the previous Strong Leader model was discredited.
Young Zane, aged just 7 years old, lost his life as a result of inhaling toxic fumes at the family home during heavy flooding in 2014. A Coroner's verdict in 2016 ruled the boy had been poisoned by carbon monoxide poisoning caused through a petrol powered pump used at the time to clear floodwater from out of their home. This judgement however has been disputed by the family and its supporters who have consistently claimed that hydrogen cyanide gas was present. This they say was something that had seeped into their home during the flooding.
Until now repeated attempts to have the case revisited have failed, despite the case often making national news headlines. As recently as late last year Spelthorne Council passed a motion, seconded by Cllr Chris Bateson and passed unanimously, to write again to the Home Secretary demanding that the case be re opened. This request was declined so once again we had reached a position of stalemate.
However very recently the Mail on Sunday published an article claiming they had been supplied with new evidence that cast doubt over the Coroner's findings. The paper claimed that they were in receipt of more evidence that indeed hydrogen cyanide gas was present. The new administration running the Council have wasted no time in moving that tests be carried out on a former landfill site close to Zane's home in a concerted effort to get to the bottom of this long and protracted case.
Commenting Cllr Chris Bateson said "Issues surrounding this case and unanswered questions have gone on far too long without satisfactory answers. Zane's family have long felt they are victims of injustice and have had to fight a system they felt has not delivered them justice. They have suffered the pain and grief of losing a son and in the process have had to continue to fight to get to the truth regarding their son's unnecessary death. These latest developments I think mark a turning point in the application of yet further pressure in getting a full review of this whole case, something the Home Secretary has the power to grant. Only by granting this for the family can they feel that they can obtain the absolute truth about what happened and then and only then ultimate closure."
Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron has joined over 100 cross-party MPs in writing to the Environment Secretary George Eustice, urging the Government to introduce a ban on the sale and import of animal fur.
Despite banning fur farming in 2000, the UK currently allows imports of tens of millions of pounds of animal fur every year.
If you notice sudden building activity going on in a garden near you or an outbuilding that appears to be used day and night, inform the Planning Department or your local Councillor.
Building of a garden outbuilding can start without a planning application. Applications to the Planning Department for an outbuilding to be constructed within the confines of a rear garden are increasing. Frequently, the plans include running water, connection to the electricity supply and sewage. Some include two of the facilities and some none. They are described as a garage or a games room or a work room sometimes a business office.
Lib Dem Councillors on Surrey's Police and Crime Panel have criticised the Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner for appointing a £53,550 a year Deputy against the views of the cross-party Police and Crime Panel.
The Police and Crime Commissioner, Lisa Townsend, and her proposed Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Ellie Vesey-Thompson, recently attended a confirmation hearing with the Police and Crime Panel and answered questions from Panel members on her suitability for the role.
Sunbury Common & Ashford Common have experienced a large increase in crime since the police community support officers were removed by Theresa May. This mistake has now been recognised & police community support officers are being recruited again.
However it is local residents who are the eyes & ears of the police & we are all much safer when we look out for our neighbours. That is the basic idea behind Neighbourhood Watch, which has done so much to combat crime. Some roads in Sunbury Common & Ashford Common already have an active Neighbourhood Watch, but the majority do not.
If you would like to set up a Neighbourhood Watch in your road please write to firstname.lastname@example.org where help and advice will be provided.
Two of the current causes for local concern are the number of burglaries & thefts of catalytic converters from vehicles parked in the street. If you see or hear anything suspicious please always dial 999 immediately. It is better to be safe than sorry.
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