Monday 15 June saw many shops and businesses in Mole Valley reopening. Mole Valley District Council (MVDC), together with Dorking Town Partnership, the Business Improvement District (BID) and Mole Valley Chamber of Commerce have all been working hard to ensure that the town and village centres are ready to welcome back customers.
Banners and signage are being installed to remind those visiting high streets and shopping areas to support social distancing. Advice has been provided to local businesses on the government requirement to carry out a risk assessment and making sure that social distancing and other safety recommendations are implemented. The risk assessment must be completed before a shop can open and the government posters must be displayed. Business owners were emailed with guidance and also had an opportunity to visit Information Hubs in Dorking and Leatherhead last week.
Customer and business online surveys were launched in May and early June enabling residents and business owners to voice concerns and give their opinions on town centres reopening. Officers from MVDC and Surrey County Council will be out and about next week to monitor activity levels.
Free webinars on business reopening in the ‘new normal’ will be delivered throughout June by MVDC. Street cleansing across town centres has been increased and MVDC-owned public toilets are reopening today*, apart from at Meadowbank in Dorking which will follow.
MVDC’s car parks remain free throughout June, however, where possible local residents are encouraged to walk and cycle.
Councillor Clayton Wellman, Cabinet Member for Sustainable Economy, said: “It is great news that our town centres can open for business again. Supporting our businesses, their staff and our residents throughout this phase is my number one priority.
“With the input of Councillors, Parish Councils, Residents’ Associations, Dorking Town Partnership, Mole Valley Chamber of Commerce and Bookham Retail and Business Association, we have put forward a range of proposals to Surrey County Council to support social distancing, walking and cycling in Mole Valley. This is part of the county’s active travel bid to the Department of Transport. Proposals for the first phase include temporary widening pedestrian spaces, improving cycle paths and increasing cycle racks provision. Other longer term active travel improvements are expected in further phases.
“We all need to work together to make our High Streets and local town centres places that shoppers feel safe and secure returning to. Retailers can’t do it alone, you can help by:
- Observing social distancing guidance
- Washing your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds or using hand sanitiser
- Consider using face covering in small spaces
- Pay by contactless/card payments if possible
- Only touching what you are going to buy
- If you can, shop alone
- Ideally you should walk, cycle or use your own vehicle to travel. Please note, if you are travelling on public transport face coverings will be compulsory from 15 June.
“Please show your support and shop local.”
*Woodfield Lane in Ashtead, Lowershott in Bookham and South Street in Dorking.
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Weekly Spotlight for businesses is available.
Full information on support for businesses is available on the MVDC website.