Statement from Councillor Stephen Cooksey

Dorking High Street

Leader of Mole Valley District Council, Councillor Stephen Cooksey said, “I want to say a few words about our work towards recovery.

“For businesses, information about the new Discretionary Grants is now live on our website.  These grants are in addition to the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund and are aimed at providing help to businesses that have not qualified for grants from those funds. See our website for eligibility.

“We are keeping parking free of charge in all our car parks throughout June.  Whilst charges will be applied from 6th July, NHS, health and care workers will continue to be able to park in our car parks without paying.  We are currently creating key information for our car park users to assist people with social distancing.

“Our public toilets are set to open on June 15th. Again, we are currently working on signage to ensure social distancing is followed by users.

South Street, Dorking

“Businesses that plan to reopen on the 15th June should by now be aware of the importance of completing a Covid-19 risk assessment and implementing all the safety measures identified, before they reopen.  We have been contacting businesses about this requirement and are hosting two drop in events this week for business owners.  Officers will be in St Martin’s Walk Dorking on Thursday 11 June and the Swan Centre, Leatherhead on Friday 12 June between 10am and 3pm for any businesses who would like to chat with us. Posters that businesses are required to display confirming they have undertaken their risk assessment will be available to collect at these events. We will be in an outside gazebo, adhering to social distancing.

“Whilst we work on recovery and assisting residents and businesses, I must highlight how much has been going on behind the scenes here in the past few weeks. More details will follow shortly, but I’m so proud of our officers who have made over 10,000 calls to shielded and vulnerable residents, distributed 1,276 business grants totalling £16.225m and given out 29 Emergency Community Grants totalling £108k to voluntary or charitable organisations in the district which are themselves supporting our vulnerable residents.

“Hopefully you will have all found the recent waste collection changes straightforward. These are now complete and have been implemented successfully. Thanks to everyone who has helped in this process.

“Finally, I would like personally to congratulate the three winners of our Dorking Hall’s Lockdown Music competition, Aaron Norton, Matthew English, and Dragonfly Sky (Amy Whiter and guitarist Chris Lee).  The online competition showcased a huge amount of talent via an array of home created music videos.  We look forward to welcoming them to perform at Dorking Halls when it reopens.”

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