Happy 2014 to all our readers

This Is Local London: Grateful: Dominic Raab MP Grateful: Dominic Raab MP

Dominic Raab, MP for Esher and Walton

"2013 has been a challenging year in many ways. But with the economy doing better, we can look forward to a better year ahead.

"I have had the privilege of getting to know hundreds of local schools, businesses, churches, charities, sports clubs and other local groups over the last year.

"I am very grateful for all the kindness, advice and inspiration I have drawn from our local community.

"I look forward to doing my level best for every resident in every corner of the constituency in 2014. And I wish you and your families every happiness in 2014."

This Is Local London:

John O’Reilly, leader of Elmbridge Council

"Out with the old, in with the new, and I hope 2014 will be a particularly good year for all Elmbridge residents and their families.

"Although the overall economic picture does seem to be improving, there’s still a long way to go before we actually start to ‘feel’ any recovery.

"At Elmbridge Council we are still having to make large financial savings – over a £1m for 2014/5 – to balance the budget. But the good news is that we should be able to do this without having any impact on the services we provide and which residents consistently tell us they value so much.

"And grants to all our voluntary groups will be fully protected and support for local businesses continued.

"But we must always be sure that your priorities are our priorities. So in 2014 why not join our Elmbridge Residents Panel and tell us directly what’s good, what’s not so good, and how we can get better."

This Is Local London:

Mike Bennison, mayor of Elmbridge

"Hello Everyone. My name is Mike Bennison, Mayor of Elmbridge. It was a pleasure to have wished you all a merry Christmas last year, and now it gives me pleasure to once again be able to share good wishes with you all.

"The past year was one to remember and I feel positive that this year ahead will, too, bring further happiness and success. Those who have worked diligently to raise moral and funds for various charitable causes in 2013, will, I’m sure, continue to do so into 2014, and we hope to see the borough continue to flourish throughout the year.

"From myself and my wife, Mary, I wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year."

This Is Local London:

Sarah Milligan, Elmbridge Neighbourhood Inspector

"Happy new year. Looking forward to the coming weeks, we anticipate an annual spike in vehicle crime which occurs each January.

"Consequently, we will have dedicated teams patrolling the borough to drive down the number of offences, target those committing crime and increase detections. Thieves can break into cars and steal valuables in seconds, so make it harder for them to get away with their spoils by removing anything of value and keeping your vehicle locked.

"Last year we saw a reduction in the number of anti-social behaviour incidents across the borough. There was also a sustained improvement in how satisfied local communities were in our response to reported cases.

"We are determined to ensure that this remains a focus for us in 2014 and that we continue to provide an effective response to the issues which impact on any community’s quality of life."

This Is Local London:

Louisa Guerin-Collard, emergency operations centre manager at South East Coast Ambulance Service (Secamb)

"This year as always has been very busy and the busiest night of the year is always New Year’s Eve. Our teams work really hard to deal with the volume of calls and arrange the help people need.

"Of course, we hope people don’t need to call us but if, in an emergency, they do, they need to stay calm and the most important thing we need to establish is their location.

"Across New Year’s Eve between 10am on December 31 and 3am on January 1 last year our Surrey control room took close to 600 calls, an average of two every minute.

"Everyone is here to do their jobs but we try to create a good atmosphere as it helps. We’d urge people to have fun but to also take care and look out for their friends and family when celebrating on New Year’s Eve. We wish everyone a happy and safe 2014."

This Is Local London:

Allan Winn, director of Brooklands Museum

"Looking forward, the coming year heralds major changes and developments at Brooklands. January starts with the country’s biggest New Year’s Day classic car meet (open to all), and will also see the opening of the stunning restored Stratosphere Chamber and Barnes Wallis Exhibition.

"In July, we will mark the 75th anniversary of the closing of the Brooklands Race Track with the first of a new-style Brooklands Reunion, replacing the annual event previously run by the Brooklands Society.

"In August, we will mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War with a huge display of pre-1919 vehicles on the 3rd, and open a stunning new 4-D Theatre experience in the newly-restored Balloon Hangar building in time for the school holidays.

"Throughout the year, we will continue to emphasize our commitment to education in the community, especially to inspire future generations to embrace the science, technology and engineering on which the future of the UK economy so massively depends.

"We’ll also be raising the £1.7m in match funding we need to enable our big National Lottery-supported Brooklands Aircraft Factory & Race Track Revival project. And we’re going to have fun introducing even more people to the wonderful legacy of the Brooklands pioneers."

This Is Local London:

Nicki Shaw, chief executive of Princess Alice Hospice

"The New Year is an exciting time for us as we look forward to the work on our new reception area coming to completion. We hope that it will provide a safe, supporting, social atmosphere – a haven of care for the whole family – in order to better meet the needs of our patients and visitors.

"We also look forward to continuing to develop our Princess Alice Home at home service, which will allow more of our patients to be cared for in their own homes, however, we can only do so with your help and we look forward to working with all our supporters and volunteers in 2014 to make this a reality. A Happy New Year to you all."

This Is Local London:

David Tipping, vice chairman of Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust

"A new year, with its hopes and aspirations. In my Christmas message I talked about our heritage in Cobham.

"I have the privilege of working closely with some special people on the Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust. But we mustn't forget the other local organisations, the Cobham Residents’ Association, the chamber of commerce, our local churches and other bodies who all work tirelessly to ensure a better quality of life for our community.

"Surrey is the most densely populated shire county in England. We have more cars per mile of road than any other area in the UK. We know that more people want to live here because it's a very pleasant area, but hopefully not at the expense of our heritage, greenbelt and, of course, the fabric of our community.

"Our infrastructure is under tremendous strain, our roads cannot cope, health services are under pressure.

"So my message for 2014 is keep a watchful and caring eye on your community. Nurture our children and young people and instil in them a sense of pride so that the heritage we leave is the one they can all be proud of."


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