1. Big Energy Week

    Big Energy Week is an advice campaign coordinated by Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) to help consumers spend less on heating their home.

    Rising fuel bills are stretching household finances and people are looking for ways to save money on their energy bills.  Leatherhead and Dorking CAB will give practical advice and help throughout Big Energy Week (16-21 January 2012) to help people cut their fuel bills and get all the financial support they are entitled to. Please visit the CAB stand in Leatherhead in the Swan Centre on 17th January 2012 for more information.

    CAB Manager Anne Haigh says that more and more people are coming to them for advice on how to spend less on their fuel bills.  During Big Energy Week the CAB want to tell people that help is at hand and that there are things they can do  to cut their fuel bills. For example people should  speak to their energy supplier to check that they’re getting the best deal and are on the cheapest payment method – and save energy by insulating their home – most  energy companies are offering free and/or discounted insulation.

    You could save more by switching energy suppliers and an accredited switching website can help you do this. Plus it’s important to check that you are getting all of the benefits and tax credits that you’re entitled to – as you could be missing out on money that could make pay it easier to pay your fuel bill.

    You can pick up a leaflet with tips and advice on cutting your fuel bills from Leatherhead and Dorking CAB.

    A new website – www.bigenergyweek.org.uk – is full of tips on how to cut your energy bills.  And as part of Big Energy Week there will be events up and down the country where people can get practical advice on how they could spend less on heating their home.

    For more information contact: Leatherhead and Dorking CAB 08444 111 444 or the Manager on 01306 876806 or 01372 373070


  2. Phones at the Level Crossing

    After months of  tireless work  by John Northcott, we are delighted to report that the phones at the level crossing by the station are now back in full working order. The handset now connects you directly to a member of the rail staff and will allow you to report an emergency in the unlikely event of one occurring. However we must stress on residents that these phones are for emergencies only and should not be used to enquire why the barriers are remaining closed.

    Emergencies only please












  3. The Alternative Vote Referendum

    Although the only election in Ashtead on 5 May this year is the one in Village Ward for Mole Valley District Council, residents throughout Ashtead will be going to the polls on that day because there is a nationwide referendum to decide whether our voting system for Parliamentary elections should be changed.  This decision will not affect local elections, and so although Ashtead Independents recognise the importance of the issue, and each of us has our own view on the matter, we are not expressing any group view on it.  We do encourage all residents to consider the question carefully, make up your own minds, and vote on 5 May.  A government leaflet is being circulated explaining how the proposed new system, known as the Alternative Vote (or AV), will work and how it differs from the present system known as “First Past the Post”.

    To help you, here are some of the arguments for and against the new system:

    FOR AV:

    1       Under our present system a candidate can win even though more than half of those voting have chosen somebody else.

    2       Fewer votes are wasted, because votes for losing candidates are discarded in favour of the second (and later) preferences of those voting for them.

    3       It may produce an overall result closer to the proportion of support for each major party.

    4       It may reduce the extent of tactical voting (that is voting for a candidate who is not your first choice in order to defeat another).


    1       It is more complicated, and will take longer to produce a result.

    2      It compromises the ideal of ONE PERSON ONE VOTE.

    3      Elections will be decided on the basis of the lowest preferences of those voting for the least successful candidates.

    4       It may lead to more frequent coalitions and less stable governments.

    If you would like to advance any other arguments either for or against AV – please let us know and we will post them here!