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Newsletter - Mon 19 Feb, 2024


  • Council again says no to declaring a ‘climate emergency’

  • Film vehicles in town hall car park

  • Man injured in earlier M25 collision dies

  • Comedy Cottage this Friday at the Harlequin pop-up

  • Head to Horley for Shakespeare

Council again says no to declaring a ‘climate emergency’

Reigate & Banstead Borough Council has again decided against declaring a “climate emergency”.  

More than 300 councils in England and Wales, including Surrey County Council and every other borough/district council within the county, have made the declaration.

At a meeting on 1 February, the Conservative-run executive committee considered a motion from Green councillors calling for the move.

Cllr Nadean Moses (Con), portfolio holder for environment and sustainability, acknowledged that it was open to the executive to declare a climate emergency, but said an officer’s report instead recommended carrying on with the council’s current approach.

“This is to recognise the continuing need for urgent action on climate change and to take action in line with our agreed environmental strategy, sustainability strategy and action plan,” she said.

But Cllr Joseph Booton (Green) asked: “If we’re saying urgent action is needed, why can we not do the simple step of declaring a climate emergency formally?

“It is is symbolic gesture. It is so, so important, but the report says we shouldn’t. The report says we should limit that, and out comes the thesaurus to try and do anything we can but to say ‘emergency’ - and the justification?

“On the basis of our previous approach, have we not learned anything? In 2019 this council was asked to declare a climate emergency and yet again the executive said no.”

Responding, Cllr Moses described “climate emergency” as “big words” that were “not needed”, and that the council was doing as much as it could, and was “ahead of the game” on sustainability. 

She added that the authority was taking the issue “very, very seriously”, as demonstrated by the creation of her role.

Cllr Richard Biggs (Con), leader of the council, said that although the six adjacent boroughs and districts had declared a climate emergency, they had taken “a lot less” action than Reigate & Banstead in many cases.

“We believe that we should be actually carrying out actions that make a difference and we will continue to do that,” he said.

Cllr Jonathan Essex (Green) agreed with a point by Cllr Biggs that a declaration would not of itself bring any new funding, but said that words, as well as actions, were important to push the issue up the political agenda - particularly in the light of issues such as emissions from Gatwick’s proposed second runway.

The officer’s report to the meeting listed steps the council has recently taken, including running refuse vehicles on vegetable oil (HVO), buying its first electric bin lorry, and putting solar panels on its short-term housing.  

Cllr Essex pointed to areas where more could be done, while Cllr Biggs defended the council’s progress.  Among the topics, Cllr Essex said solar panels on the town hall roof were first flagged in 2011, but had a scheduled installation date of 2027-28; Cllr Biggs responded that there were issues with the roof holding the panels’ weight.

Although the executive unanimously agreed not to declare a climate emergency, it resolved to carry out other steps including working with other authorities.  

Film vehicles in town hall car park

  • Production vehicles at the town hall in Castlefield Road on Saturday

Recent days have seen much of Reigate & Banstead’s town hall car park taken up with commercial vehicles, leading to some speculaton on social media about whether there is a link to work taking place at the main reception.

However, the two are unconnected.

The borough council confirmed to reigate-uk on Friday that the reception work consisted of continuing repairs, due to complate that day, following the previous Monday’s incident in which a car struck the entrance.

The reception is due to reopen to the public today (Monday 19 February), with a temporary reception having been in place in the meantime.

The council also said: “A TV drama film crew are using parts of the Town Hall car park this weekend whilst filming elsewhere in the borough.  This is not linked to this week’s incident and was scheduled earlier in the year.”

Man injured in earlier M25 collision dies

Surrey Police have said that a man in his twenties, injured in a collision on the evening of Thursday 8 February between junctions 8 and 7 of the M25, has subsequently died.

The incident happened around 11.45pm that night, and involved two BMWs on the anti-clockwise (eastbound) carriageway, with two other men also taken to hospital.

Police are asking anyone with information, including dashcam footage, to get in touch: details here (Opens in a new window).

Comedy Cottage this Friday at Harlequin pop-up

Comedy Cottage, the regular live comedy evening, returns this Friday, 23 February, to the Harlequin pop-up theatre in the Belfry shopping centre, Redhill.

The Harlequin says: “Headlining an incredible comedy line-up is Christian Reilly, alongside them is Gary Sansome, Katherine Kenway, Joseph Emslie, Winter Foenander, Daniel Ruiz Tizon with house tunes provided by Pete Dennis.”

“Tickets only £13 for an amazing night of laughter with comedy circuit legends and rising stars of the future.”

The event is the Comedy Cottage’s annual “anti-valentine show” in aid of the British Heart Foundation, for heart awareness month.

Booking and more information can be found on the Harlequin website (Opens in a new window).

Head to Horley for Shakespeare

Tuesday sees the start of the Archway theatre’s latest production, Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing.

The Horley-based theatre has said on social media: “It’ll be a colourful, lively & unapologetically queer look at love, status, gender, friendship, marriage, etc. Come with an open mind & open heart & you’ll be delighted!"

More information and tickets on the Archway website (Opens in a new window).

Today, Wednesday, Saturday

This issue should have been with you on Saturday - but was delayed for various reasons - apologies. The next will be on Wednesday, including news of RBBC’s council tax decision the previous night, and then also a Saturday edition.

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