Surrey Advertiser 29th October 2010 5

The most popular stories in the last seven days on the Surrey Advertiser’s website, 1. Girl dies after being hit by falling tree in garden. 10-year-old Isabelle Hearne suffered serious injuries. 2. Family’s tributes to best friends drowned in Thames. Pair went into river near Staines to rescue dog. 3. Man left with lifethreatening injuries after stabbing. Attempted murder charge after Walton incident. 4. Fireworks displays and bonfire listings 2010. See our website at fireworks for our competitions. 5. Mother’s tribute to ‘happy and outgoing’ crash boy. Outpouring of grief for Joel Semmens. 6. Reigate-based PC arrested following ‘sex attack’. Accused of sexual assault in Burgess Hill. 7. Teacher suspended over adult websites. He worked at Nescot College in Epsom and Howard of Effingham School. 8. Seven arrested in drugs surveillance sting. Arrests in Guildford, Thames Ditton, Tongham and Woking. 9. Guildford ranked as a ‘hotspot for affairs’. More than 1,500 people from town using ‘discreet and confidential extramarital dating service’. 10. Parents losing out in ‘education lottery’. Anger over allocation of places for George Abbot School.

Why 40 winks are justified
by Melanie Hall
OLDER people should not feel guilty about napping during the day, say experts at the University of Surrey. They have discovered that a quick 40 winks can lead to a more active life. Some older people fight off the urge for a quick snooze for fear of appearing unable to last the pace. However, experts have now found that the occasional nap can make older people more able to lead a fully active life by giving them enough energy to take part in recreational and social activities. The research also found that as older people often have more disturbed sleep patterns, they try to avoid taking a nap during the day, only to fall asleep watching television during the early evening. As a result, they may end up feeling exhausted. Another finding was that older men and women lose sleep because of having to get up several times a night to go to the toilet. Cutting down on drinking fluids during the day may help. Anne, 71, who took part in the study, said: “My main problem is waking up in the early hours and not being able to get back to sleep. “On a particularly bad night I can be awake for three or four hours. “I don’t want to disturb my husband by tossing and turning and trying to get back to sleep, so I tend to get up and do the housework, watch DVDs or use the computer. “Sleep at the moment is a disappointment I suppose, because I feel I’ve improved my lifestyle by doing all the things, diet, exercise and all this, and I’d hoped that the sleep would improve more than it has.” Susan Venn, from the department of sociology and a researcher on the project, explained that sleep is central to health and well-being. But as people get older, the quality of sleep can deteriorate. “They shouldn’t feel guilty or think themselves lazy for having a nap,” she said. “Many of the older people we talked to described how disturbed their sleep was, especially in terms of waking up a lot in the night. “Many older people are prescribed medications to help them sleep, but research has shown that sleeping medication may impact on the lives of older people, such as increasing the risk of falls.” The new research, called Understanding Poor Sleep In The Community, is linked to an academic conference on sleep issues among older people, based on the SomnIA (Sleep in Ageing) project. The research by academics at the University of Surrey, along with colleagues at other institutions, tried to find ways of improving the sleep patterns of older people. Researchers spoke to 62 older men and women who are living in their own homes about their poor sleep patterns.

Beauty Alex in bid to be Miss GB
THE campaign to be crowned Miss Great Britain is up and running for a Guildford IT worker. Alex Williams will compete against the best of Britain’s beauties in December, and her preparations have already included running a 10-mile race to raise money for a children’s charity. The 23-year-old, who lives in Surrey and works for Memset at Surrey Research Park, reached the grand final after winning Miss Southampton. Alex will wear more outfits, including a white cocktail dress and evening gown, at the final, a three-day spectacular in Weston-super-Mare. The event will also test the creative skills of the young ladies as they design a dress for Great Britain. Alex was contacted by the Road Rose Association, which supports children with disabilities, about becoming an ambassador for them, and taking part in the Great South Run. Despite not having taken part in a long-distance run before, Alex completed the course on Sunday in an hour and 51 minutes. She said afterwards: “It was a really fun day and a great experience. I couldn’t believe how many people were there. “I managed to run the whole way without stopping, but I’m feeling the pain in my legs now. “I’ve definitely got the running bug now and I’m keen to do a half -marathon next, then maybe a marathon. “I raised over £400 for the Road Rose Association, so I was really pleased with that.” Alex reached the last 15 in the Miss England competition last year, but missed out on a top three placing. Maybe this will be her year. “I’m really excited about the finals. It’ll be a fantastic experience and I’ll hopefully meet some great people,” she said. “I want to enjoy myself and make the most of this opportunity.”

Contestant Alex Williams. Photo by Paul Carroll.

Foot and mouth firm to receive £37 million
THE scientific research institute on the site linked to the 2007 foot and mouth outbreak has had millions of pounds worth of government funding confirmed for an upgrade of its facilities. The chancellor, George Osborne, has assured Pirbright’s Institute for Animal Health that it will receive a final instalment of £37m for the redevelopment of its laboratories. Mr Osborne announced the decision during last week’s comprehensive spending review. The site that IAH lies on, which is shared with pharmaceutical company Merial, was pinpointed as a source of the outbreak three years ago. Buildings at the research centre were criticised in a review, published in 2008, of the handling of the catastrophe. Dr Iain Anderson, who led the report, said: “Some of the buildings and facilities at Pirbright are visibly substandard, in contrast to the world-class scientific work that is carried out there.” The government pledged funding of £100m for the work in July. A spokesman for IAH said: “The £37m is the final tranche of the money that the government awarded to IAH for a new state-of-the-art laboratory complex. “So, our building programme will proceed uninterrupted, which is very welcome news.” John Emerson, of Hunts Hill Farm, Normandy, had 362 pigs, cows, sheep and goats slaughtered in the 2007 outbreak. Mr Emerson welcomed news of the funding, saying it was “very important”. He said: “The last thing we wanted is for the IAH to try to take shortcuts. They’ve given so many people problems in the past. “Hopefully, this will get everything finished to the standard of modern excellence it should be.” Mr Emerson said he thought and hoped the redevelopment should prevent any repeats. He said: “There’s always a bit of human error attached to these things. “If they follow proper procedures, it’ll be fine. We have always said we need this lab – they have done a fantastic job with the blue tongue. “By and large, because they insist on a vaccination programme, we stay free of that virus, which is a good thing.” Mr Emerson said the cull of his livestock had set him back hugely, but that “life goes on”. He said: “I’m not sure we will ever recover fully, but we are back to a large number of animals and we are almost fully stocked. “I never used to worry about living here, but it does make you wonder about living in such close proximity to the lab. “But this is what we do, and this is where we are. “We were very unfortunate and unlucky, but as long as they can keep it controlled, it should be fine.” Isobel Bretherton, from the National Farmers Union in the south east, said the IAH laboratory was in need of an overhaul. Miss Bretherton said: “Pirbright does a lot of work into vector borne viruses. “It’s extremely positive news. “We were never in any doubt that this valuable research facility required investment and redevelopment. “It is a vital facility for the UK in terms of its work.” Since the 2007 foot and mouth outbreak, the centre has garnered more positive press. Scientists from the IAH were hailed this month for helping to eradicate a deadly cattle virus that had caused devastation among domestic cattle and buffalo. This was only the second time in history that the world has been able to eradicate a viral disease, since smallpox was wiped out in 1979.

Family trapped in car
A WOMAN and three children were stranded for 30 minutes in their car on Wednesday after it flipped onto its side at a petrol station in Send. According to onlookers, the woman lost control of the large Ford Galaxy at the Shell garage on the A3 after driving away from the pumps at around 10am. The car hit a metal bollard, flipped sideways and ended up between another car and the wall, leaving the woman and the three children stuck inside until fire crews and the public were able to release them. The woman had minor injuries, but the children were unhurt. The garage was shut for two hours while emergency services removed the car and helped the shaken driver and passengers. A garage employee said: “I’ve never seen anything like it. She drove up to the pump, but she didn’t fill any fuel. Then she came back and suddenly drove away and lost control.”

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The crashed car at the Shell garage. Photo by Tony Harrison.

Chris Huhne’s visit
CHRIS Huhne, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, visited a Surrey Hills wood chip company last Wednesday to mark the government’s championing of sustainable fuel. Mark Lebus, managing director of LC Energy, the firm behind the new eco-friendly system, met Mr Huhne and took him to see the University of Surrey’s Manor Sports Park, which is heated by a wood chip biomass boiler. The chip comes from the managed woodland in the Surrey Hills. Mr Lebus said the method was already cost competitive with gas, and that the introduction of RHI will see more businesses, hospitals and schools adopt renewable energy as a primary heat source.

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