Animals cut loose in series of incidents

FARMYARD animals have been put in danger after padlocks and fencing designed to keep them from wandering onto the road were cut open. A dog walker in Clandon found a horse on the loose after someone cut two padlocks and opened gates where they are kept. It is thought to have happened between 5pm last Friday March 18, and 9.30am the next day. In a separate incident in Thursley on the same day cows got loose after wire fencing was cut and copper piping taken. A similar incident happened the same day in Farnham. Chains and padlocks at a smallholding were cut and a hole was made through a barbed-wire fence. Around £500 worth of galvanised metal hurdles, used for lambing, were stolen. Crime reduction adviser John Robini said: “Residents should consider joining the Country Watch scheme. “It informs effectively and quickly of emerging issues in the countryside, providing a direct link for the reporting of suspicious behaviour to Surrey Police which can then alert the rural community. “It is another way of increasing the eyes and ears in remoter areas.”

Surrey police get £2m a year in fuel ‘perk’
Payments were incentive for officers to stay
Exclusive by Melanie Hall
SURREY Police pays out more than £2 million a year to its officers in fuel allowance for their own personal use, figures have revealed this week. More than £15 million has been paid to police officers since the fuel allowance began in 2003, according to information gained from a Freedom Of Information (FOI) request by the Surrey Advertiser. A total of £2,022,795 was paid out in 2009-10, which works out at more than £1,000 an officer, and more than £2 million has been paid out each year since 2003, peaking at £2,376,525 in 2005-6. The travel subsidy does not relate to fuel put into official police cars, but purely for their own personal use. This is despite Surrey Police needing to make savings of £23 million over the next three years, and the force having to sell off police stations across the county to make up some of the shortfall. Surrey Police has also invoked legislation compelling senior officers with more than 30 years’ service to retire, as well as cutting the numbers of non-operational staff, in order to pay for an extra 200 officers by 2012. According to Paul McElroy, head of human resources at Surrey Police, the officers’ fuel allowance forms part of what was a broader retention package introduced in 2003. He said it was introduced in response to “extremely high numbers” of trained and experienced officers transferring to neighbouring forces, predominantly to the Met Police because of the significant pay difference. “The impact of losing very high levels of skilled and experienced officers presented a real operational risk and, if unchecked, would have had a detrimental effect on service provision to the people of Surrey,” he said. “In addition to this were the high training costs associated with replacing those transferring. “The retention package was introduced to offer an incentive to officers to remain with Surrey and recognised the widely accepted high costs of living in the county. “It had an immediate impact on the number of officers transferring to other forces and has continued to have an extremely positive, and cost effective, impact on retention levels.” Mr McElroy said Surrey’s Chief Officer Group keeps the package under constant review. He said the group, in keeping with the current financial climate and the fact that neighbouring forces are no longer recruiting to the same level, has made recent adjustments to eligibility. “It is important to get the balance right to ensure that retention levels remain acceptable and frontline service provision is in no way compromised. We are confident we have achieved this.” Peter Ruck from Surrey Taxpayers Action Group said that the fuel allowance simply sounded like a “perk”. “I believe Surrey Police has about 1,800 officers so the £2 million annual ‘pot’ works out at about £1,100 per officer on average, which is a pretty generous incentive to stay with the force in Surrey,” he said. “My guess is that after all these years the payment has simply become a perk and that no officer considering a move to another force is influenced to stay in Surrey because of the perk. “Almost certainly, it’s a waste of taxpayers’ funds at a time when money is tight for everyone.” Book-er prize... RHS Lindley Library has been awarded Designated Status.

Library’s proud chapter
RHS Lindley Library, which has one of its main bases at Wisley, has been recognised as one of the most important collections in Britain. The library of the Royal Horticultural Society, the UK’s gardening charity, has been recognised as being of outstanding national importance and awarded Designated Status by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. The RHS Lindley Library collection spans 500 years of gardening history related to the art, science and practice of horticulture and the history of garden plants of the British Isles and beyond. The library contains printed material, periodicals, nursery catalogues, photographs, and more than 30,000 original botanical illustrations and the archives of influential plantsmen, gardeners and garden designers. Barbara Collecott, RHS head of library, art and archives, said: “The work we do in the Lindley Library safeguards Britain’s horticultural history and influences our horticultural future. “As a charity, the RHS is dedicated to inspiring people to garden and our library provides vital research tools for all types of gardeners, from designers to scientists, whose work influences the way we garden today. “The library also provides gardening inspiration for many more, through our exhibitions and publications, helping to bring gardening into the lives of all.” The RHS Lindley Library has an ongoing programme of preservation, documentation, outreach and interpretation. Projects include the conservation of a unique collection of botanical drawings by anonymous Chinese artists, sent to the RHS in the early 19th century, and funding is currently being sought for the preservation of 7,000 watercolours of award-winning orchids.

Changing perspectives on Down’s Syndrome
A GUILDFORD mum is appearing in a photographic exhibition showing her pregnant with her baby who has Down’s Syndrome. Jonna Shamwana is featuring in the Shifting Perspectives exhibition at the Oxo Gallery to coincide with Down’s Syndrome Awareness Week, running from March 21-27. The exhibition, now in its seventh year at the gall ery@oxo, explores photographic representations of people with Down’s Syndrome. It aims to challenge attitudes and prejudices, examining alternative representations of adults, children and the unborn. Mrs Shamwana, 34 and originally from Finland, is featured in a photo while she was pregnant with her daughter Milja, who is now a year old. Having received an indication from doctors that her unborn daughter was likely to have Down’s Syndrome, Mrs Shamwana looked on the website of Stepping Stones DS, a support group. She found an appeal from a photographer, Fiona Yaron-Field, looking for women who were pregnant with a child who had Down’s Syndrome, and she decided to take part. “I was the first lady to agree to do it,” she said. “She had had trouble finding ladies because either people don’t know they’re having a baby with Down’s Syndrome, and 92% abort it when they find out, so not a lot of people want to report it. “I really liked the idea of what she was doing, and for me it was a positive way of trying to deal with what was coming my way.” Mrs Shamwana, who also has a three-year-old son – Sisu – said that discovering that Milja probably had Down’s Syndrome was initially troubling to deal with. “It’s not the baby you are expecting, so it makes it harder to think about her as your baby. “You just think of the Down’s Syndrome. You get over that, but that’s the initial reaction. “I had trouble bonding with my bump, as I didn’t know if she had it, and I couldn’t imagine what she would be like. “I always try to have a good attitude, and I never said, ‘Why me, why me?’ I just hoped I could be a good mum to her.” She added: “Down’s Syndrome is just one small part of Milja. It is not what or who she is.” Fiona Yaron-Field’s words accompanying her images say: “The medical model of the West supports the illusion that we can control and determine fertility and production. “For these women that illusion has been shattered. “They are women who relinquished the control and chose not to interfere with their natural fate. These women have chosen to continue. “At a time when they are most vulnerable, these women have faced and accepted their natural fate. “To let go of our defences is to surrender and embrace the changes life will inevitably take.” Mrs Shamwana and Milja attend Stepping Stones DS, which was founded by two local mums in November 2006. The charity is run by volunteers and completely relies on donations, grants and fundraising to fund its activities. The group is taking part in the Douwe Egberts ‘Be a Local Star Competition’ giving them a chance of winning £10,000. Sharon Smith, joint chairman of Stepping Stones DS, said: “This is a really exciting competition for us. “We have secured over 800 votes already and are currently in the top 10, which is fantastic, given that we are such a small charity. “We need to secure as many votes as we can to be in with a chance of being in the shortlist for prizes.” To vote for Stepping Stones DS, visit www.localstar.co.uk.

Jonna Shamwana and 13 month old Milja at their home in Burpham, Guildford. (Ref: SA1114662-3)

Globe date for hopefuls
TWO students from the Guildford School of Acting are set to take to the stage at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in London next Sunday. Alys Metcalf and Roxy Dunn will join other hopefuls from the UK’s leading drama schools for the annual Sam Wanamaker Festival. The festival on April 3 will include performances by two final year students from each of the UK’s 22 accredited drama schools. Two students from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, who have spent their entire third year of study at Shakespeare’s Globe, will also be performing. They will present a mix of tragic, historical, pastoral and comical duologues from plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries on the Globe stage to a full house of more than 1,500, before coming together for a festive finale jig. Included in the audience will be agents and theatre professionals, so the young actors have an opportunity to showcase their skills to key figures in the theatre industry. Previous participants include Andrew Garfield, who received a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the 2011 BAFTAs for his role in The Social Network. The performance will be the culmination of a weekend of talks, workshops and rehearsals, during which the students will receive expert guidance from the Globe’s text, movement, voice and choreography tutors. There will also be sessions with actors who have performed at the Globe and who will pass on their own advice. Founded in 2007, the festival was established to reflect the mission of the Globe’s founder, American actor and director Sam Wanamaker, for the Globe to be a training ground for scholars and actors. Patrick Spottiswoode, director at Globe Education, said: “I’m extremely grateful to the Leverhulme Trust for helping us to present the Sam Wanamaker Festival this year. “It is a wonderful celebration of the quality of young actors about to enter the business. “Sam Wanamaker first saw a reconstructed Globe in Chicago in 1933 when he was a drama student, and I’m sure he would be delighted that such a festival is taking place at the London Globe.”

Charity’s boost
A GUILDFORD charity that supports young people with a learning disability is getting a boost thanks to six local artists. Photographer Dani Maimone, who works for the Halow charity, has mounted a mixed exhibition of paintings, prints, photographs and jewellery at Guildford’s Harvey Gallery. “Halow is a fairly new charity and I thought this would be a different way of raising its profile,” she said. “We will make a donation from our sales. “Some of our young people do courses at the adult education institute that includes the gallery on Harvey Road and I hope it will encourage them with their art.” One of the most striking exhibits is a psychedelic photo of Dani’s guitar. She used a slow shutter speed and “painted” with a coloured laser to create the effect. An elegant bangle forged in nickel and sterling silver skilfully displays the delicate rippling patterns that can be achieved. Black and white is used to striking effect both by Cliff Lee in his bold blurry black and white paintings of rock musicians and by Kate Peters in her jazzy giraffe and zebra linocuts. The exhibition continues until next Saturday (April 2).