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Howard school campaign to retain own committee

January 13, 2009: The Don't Drive Our Children Away (DDOCA) campaign is to transfer its funds to the Bookham Residents' Association. DDOCA was set up to campaign for fair treatment for Bookham children in the allocation of places at the Howard of Effingham School.

The DDOCA will retain its own committee, currently three strong, and identity, says DDOCA's David Cox. He told the BRA committee, meeting on January 5, that the DDOCA committee's active members are concerned that, if the DDOCA became moribund, the money it had raised from the public should go to an organisation that would benefit the local community, "and use that money wisely." He added that, at the moment, such a prospect was theoretical but had to be provided for.

BRA treasurer Chris Pullan said that DDOCA would do its own petty cash and expenses but to transfer its £3,000 reserve from its own LloydsTSB account to the BRA's interest-bearing account, now holding some £13,000. The BRA would pay DDOCA bills authorised by DDOCA committee members.

BRA chairman Peter Seaward said the benefit to BRA was that, if a local education issue arose on which the BRA felt it needed to take a view, it could consult the DDOCA about the wisest course.

The BRA will now change its rules to reflect its interest in educational matters. The rule change will be put to the BRA's AGM on the evening of Thursday, April 23, at the Barn Hall.

What do you think? Tell the editor.

BRA committee votes down 'community notice board'

January 13, 2009: The BRA committee has voted down a proposal to spend £912 on a 5ft6 by 3ft notice board for the supermarket car park at the centre of the village. The notice board was to replace the fly posting of notices on the fence between the car park and the Royal Oak pub.

The notice board or boards, first discussed at the BRA's 2006 AGM, would have been kept in order by the BRA committee. This gave rise to concerns about who would decide what went on the board and what rules they would use to judge whether notices were appropriate.

The local authority, Mole Valley District Council, owns the fence between the car park and the high street and has said it will remove any notices for businesses, as opposed to local notices about creches or other communal services.

Chris Pullan told the BRA committee, meeting on Monday, January 5, that the decision as to what should and shouldn't appear on the notice board might prove a real problem. A hairdresser might rightly be described as a 'business'. But someone offering keep fit classes for their own profit in a local church hall, or the Workers' Educational Association offering classes, though they might generate funds, offered services they should be entitled to publicise without having to pay exorbitant advertising rates.

Various BRA committee members already busy themselves keeping the notices tidy. Committee member Stan Miles said it was hard to list what was acceptable and what was not. He took down notices from a slater from Epsom advertising for work, but he would not take down the notices put up by the Tiny Tots playschool. "I also take down notices from East Horsley, largely because they take ours down."

Seaward asked the Bugle's editor, there to report the meeting, for his view, and he replied that he thought the anarchy and haphazard nature of the present arrangements revealed the village's character and should be left alone.

Cllr Anne Howarth (Lib Dem, Bookham South) said it was "a tremendous amount of money that is really not necessary." Could not this "ridiculous amount of money" not go towards hanging baskets (see below)?: "I actually like the higgledy-piggledy," of the current arrangements. The proposal was "almost like control freakery."

The decision will be a blow to local firm Norbury Park Wood Products, which BRA committee member Richard Eagle said could offer a more attractive more durable and better value product than other, metal offerings.

Credit crunch threatens village hanging baskets

The credit crunch may mean no hanging baskets in Bookham High Street this year. BRA committe member Richard Eagle, who organised the village's Christmas lights, says whether the same support will be available for them next year is in doubt. And the same problem affects the provision of hanging baskets, which costs up to £1,400. Eagle says estate agents were "extremely generous" last year but they may now say the coffers are empty.

BRA attacks MVDC development stance: click here.

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