Guildford Edition

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Friday 15th April 2011 No: 16032

Surrey’s Newspaper Since 1864
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‘Outstanding’ week for charity as scheme goes to top of class
THERE was further good news for a Guildford children’s charity after it scored an “outstanding” result in its Ofsted report, one week after receiving special recognition from the Prime Minister. Independent children’s charity, Disability Challengers, was visited by an Ofsted official on Tuesday this week. The inspector had carried out his original assessment of the charity’s Stoke Park site during its Easter Holidays Summer Play Scheme, and judged it to be ‘Outstanding’. The Easter scheme gave 30 disabled children a day opportunities to have fun, meet friends and challenge their impairments through play. A spokesman for the charity, said: “These essential schemes are often the only place disabled children can enjoy play, a vital part of their childhood development and key to reaching their full potential. “This much-loved scheme also gives hundreds of families with disabled children a break from, what can be, a constant cycle of care.” Disability Challengers offers play and leisure schemes to over 1,200 disabled children and young people per year, through its Guildford and Farnham sites as well as a number of community schemes across Surrey. Mady Hatton is the, communications and fundraising officer at Disability Challengers. She said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have received this recognition from Ofsted. “The team at Guildford work tirelessly to ensure their play schemes have a welcoming and supportive environment where self-expression, co-operation, and learning are encouraged, nurtured and supported. This achievement is testament to our inspiring play workers, who are really fantastic at play, ensuring each and every child who attends the Guildford scheme has a wonderful time.” The latest success comes on the back of last week’s news that Challengers was awarded the Prime Minister’s Big Society award which recognises the support and dedication of volunteers, donors and organisations. Disability Challengers provides in excess of 25,000 child places a year to disabled youngsters across the county while the University of Surrey is researching the charity’s delivery model as a solution to the widespread lack of play opportunities for disabled children and young people. David Cameron said: “This is a great example of the Big Society, with an organisation bringing together volunteers, fundraisers, local businesses, schools and others to deliver a very special service for young people and their families. “Congratulations to Disability Challengers and all the dedicated staff and committed volunteers whose enthusiasm and expertise have helped make such a difference to so many young people.”

Suspected hoax
A SUSPECTED hoax caller got emergency services to come out to the Bellfields area of Guildford with reports of a stabbing on Monday morning. An air ambulance was also deployed at an estimated cost of £2,000. However, when police arrived at the address on Cypress Road, no victim or crime scene could be found. A police spokesman said: “Surrey Police can confirm that a 999 call was received just after 9.30am on Monday claiming that a man had been stabbed. “Police and other emergency services attended. An extensive search was made of the area but no scene or victim was found. “Staff at the Royal Surrey County Hospital were made aware of the incident in case the victim turned up there.” Officers tried to contact the 999 caller, but their phone was disconnected and it is now believed the call was a hoax.

MP Milton clocks up £36,334 on work travel
by Melanie Hall
GUILDFORD MP and health minister Anne Milton has racked up a £36,334 bill on private cars in the last year, after being ferried to her constituency home 134 times. This is despite the government’s promise to cut the use of taxis, vowing after the election to use public transport more to reduce the £10 million-a-year cost of the government’s car fleet. The revelation threatened to damage Mrs Milton’s unblemished expenses record. The MP, who has represented Guildford voters since 2005, has no London home and emerged unscathed from the MPs expenses scandal. However, Mrs Milton has insisted that the private car expense was justified because she was working on classified papers while travelling. A spokesman for Mrs Milton said: “As the record shows, Anne has always thought carefully about incurring costs associated with her role as an MP, and now as a minister.” The spokesman said that the figures referred to the use of the Government Car Service pool, which enables ministers to work on their way to and from home. He pointed out that the drivers of these cars are security-vetted, allowing Mrs Milton to make confidential phone calls. He said: “As Anne commutes from Guildford daily, and does not have a home in London, she uses the journey to work on ministerial papers and phone calls. “This gives her an extra three hours a day to do her job as the minister for public health.” The spokesman also explained that MP expenses was entirely different from those incurred by a minister working at Whitehall. Mrs Milton was untouched by the expenses scandal after Sir Thomas Legg, the man charged with auditing MPs’ expenses, said that she has nothing to pay back. Mrs Milton has been making waves in the national news this week for other reasons, after telling the Royal College of Nurses conference on Tuesday that people should wait until they are 45 before entering politics, making David Cameron too young to govern. The 55-year-old health minister, who has been a nurse for 25 years, said it was only at 45 or above that you “know stuff”. David Cameron is 44, as is Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, and Chancellor George Osborne is 39. At the same conference, it was reported that Mrs Milton was heckled by the audience when she said that a national pay increments freeze which was rejected by the union would remain on the table at the local level. She indicated that trusts will be encouraged to decide locally with nursing staff whether to freeze increments in return for greater job security. Mrs Milton told delegates that difficult decisions would continue to have to be made, and that the country was “walking a financial tightrope”. She said: “Pay restraint is one of those difficult decisions. But the bottom line is that it does protect jobs.” However, her words apparently did not go down well with many on the congress floor, with shouts of “no” reported to have come from the audience.

Biker injured
AMBULANCE crews were called out to attend to a man who had fallen from his motorbike in Shere on Tuesday. When paramedics reached the scene, they found the 40-year-old biker lying close to the entrance to Parklands Farm. The incident happened just before 1pm and the man was taken to the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford with a shoulder injury.

Mayor Cllr Marsha Moseley and guest Ingrid Tarrant at the fashion show. (Ref: SA1113567-9)

Striking a pose for great cause
A FASHION show held in Guildford on Thursday (April 14), and compered by Ingrid Tarrant, raised more than £3,000 for charity. The fashion show in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support took place at the Clandon Regis Golf Club, which saw guests enjoy a reception and then tuck into a two-course lunch. Afterwards, models hit the catwalk wearing clothes and accessories donated by House of Fraser, with the exwife of TV presenter Chris Tarrant compering the show. A prize of a two-night stay in an 18th century country house was auctioned for £325, while a raffle also took place with goodies donated by Guildford businesses. Among the items given as prizes was a meal for two at Drake’s Restaurant, a bracelet from Cry for the Moon, and tea for two at the Angel Posting House Hotel in Guildford. Hannah Wheatley, Macmillan fundraising manager for Surrey, praised the charity’s Guildford group who organised the event. She said: “It went absolutely fantastically, everyone had a really great day and seemed to have a lot of fun. “Ingrid Tarrant was brilliant, she was really good fun and created a really nice atmosphere.”

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Eight-year-old’s ‘sickening’ ordeal as family pet is shot
A YOUNG family in Ash have gone through a “sickening” ordeal after their beloved pet cat was shot twice with an air rifle gun and left to die. Peter and Karen Grace, of Dean close, had to tell their eight-year-old son Henry his cat had been shot outside their home and would need to undergo a four-day operation to survive the attack. Two-year-old Marthur was shot once in her face and once in her stomach that ripped through her intestines. The attack took place near the shops in-between the Dover Arms and Lion Brewery public houses. “I felt like a useless mother as it was our son’s cat and he was distraught,” Mrs Grace said. “She underwent major surgery costing us £900. The vet said she was in so much agony that she had to constantly take morphine. “It was touch and go but she has survived. How can someone be so cruel?” Mrs Grace said when their cat returned home from the shooting attack, she said that Marthur looked ‘a bit unwell’ and thought she could have been involved in a cat fight but nevertheless took her to Rivendell Vets in Ash Vale. Veterinary nurses initially assumed a car had hit the cat. It wasn’t until Marthur was sent for further tests at partner vets in Farncombe that pellets were found inside her body. The stomach pellet was discovered first and after Marthur had been shaved, a second pellet was found in her chin and this was believed to have happened a couple of months before the Mothers Day weekend shooting. Mr Grace said: “Luckily we had insurance so have covered some costs, but the stress and worry that my eight year-old son has gone through for his beloved cat can never be recovered. “She is a beautiful cat who is very loved and very clean, she has an amazing temperament – well, she did before this. We want to raise awareness of this so that no one else has to go through this traumatic experience.” The Grace family has two cats, their other one Millie, who is six months younger than the injured cat, has not been subject to any kind of shooting in the village. The police were notified at around 3pm on April 10, as were the RSPCA. The person responsible for the attacks has yet to be identified. Neighbourhood specialist officer for Ash, PC Vanessa Privett is making further enquiries.