Local News & Weather in Guildford
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Man Arrested in Connection to Bank Robberies – 10/06/15
A man has been arrested in connection with two bank robberies at branches of Lloyds Bank in Guildford and Reigate. The first robbery occurred at the Reigate branch in the High Street at around 4.45pm on Friday 29th May where a small amount of cash was taken. The second robbery took place at around 12.30pm on Tuesday 2nd June at the branch in Epsom Road, Guildford but the robbers left empty handed.
Violent Couple Jailed – 24/03/15
A boyfriend and girlfriend who viciously beat and robbed a vulnerable man have been jailed at Guildford Crown Court. 26 year old Luke Florey and 21 year old Jasmine Paice conned their way into the victim’s house in Church View, Ash by claiming they were locked out of their house. Once inside, Florey grabbed the man in a headlock and repeatedly punched him in the face before pushing him to the ground and kicking him. Whilst the assault was going on, Paice left the property with the victim’s laptop, mobile phone and a small amount of cash. Florey was sentenced to 33 months and Paice to 15 months.
Uproar at Plans to Sell Graveyard – 18/03/15
A Guildford church has caused international uproar by announcing plans to sell a graveyard and exhume thousands of bodies. St John’s church propose to sell its west graveyard in Stoke Road to raise funds to build a new community centre. No burials have taken place at the graveyard since the 1870s but among the thousands of bodies, it is believed that Sir Admiral James Stirling, the man credited with founding Western Australia, is among them.
Tunsgate Square Development Approved – 16/03/15
The £10 million renovation of Tunsgate Square in Guildford has been given the go-ahead by councillors. The renovation will increase retail space by 10,000 square feet, create a new entrance from the High Street and add a glazed roof to the precinct. Project managers, Queensberry Real Estate plan to start work this Summer and hope to complete by Summer 2016.
Guildford Man Dies from Stab Wound – 04/02/15
A 24 year old man from Guildford has died after he was stabbed in the chest during an altercation in the street. Daniel Sommerville received the fatal wound at around 3.30pm on Monday when he became involved in an argument on Aldershot Road. He was rushed to Royal Surrey County Hospital in the back of a van but was pronounced dead shortly after arriving. Five people were arrested in connection with the incident and 24 year old Nathaniel Johnson from Bermondsey was later charged with murder. A 28 year old woman, 31 year old woman, 36 year old woman and 24 year old man have been released on police bail pending further investigation.
No Festival in Guildford This Year – 30/01/15
Guildford Borough Council have announced that there will not be a live music event in Guildford this year. After the organisers of Guilfest went into insolvency after the 2014 event for the second time in two years, councillors have decided that they should focus on providing a financially viable model for a music event in 2016 and going forward rather than entering into a short term contract with another organiser.
Plans for Guilford Station Discussed – 27/01/15A meeting organised by The Guildford Society to discuss the £150 million redevelopment of Guildford’s railway station was attended by more than 200 people, most of them concerned about the impact of the project on the town. The meeting last Wednesday highlighted concerns over the development’s size and structure. The project includes a multi-storey car park, two storey ticket office, 445 apartments, shops, offices and restaurants, but very little improvement to the actual service provided to rail passengers.
Man Dies After Wedding Reception Assault – 07/01/15
A 46 year old man from Guildford has died after sustaining serious head injuries during an assault at a wedding reception. Richard Stroud was at the celebration at Guildford City Social Club in Joseph’s Road on Saturday evening when an altercation broke out at around 10pm. Police and paramedics were called to the scene and Mr Stroud was taken to St George’s hospital in Tooting but died of his injuries at 4.55am. 32 year old Matthew Boyd from South London was arrested and later charged with the murder of Mr Stroud as well as with two further counts of assault.
Huge Investment for Guildford Spectrum Swimming Pool – 28/11/14
The leisure pool at Guildford Spectrum is receiving a massive investment from operators Freedom Leisure in an attempt to attract more families to use the facility. The pool will benefit from more interactive features for children to use and will answer recent criticism over the hygiene and look of the pool. The £217,000 refurbishment is expected to be completed by Christmas.
Man Sought for Suspected Arson – 25/11/14
Police are searching for a tall, skinny white man in relation to a suspected arson attack at a flat in Guildford. The man was seen running away from the flats in Clandon Road shortly after the fire started at around 7am on Sunday. Firefighters managed to control the blaze on the ground floor before it spread to neighbouring flats.
Shopping Centre Plans Submitted – 21/11/14
The plans to build a new shopping centre in Guildford’s High Street have now been submitted and, if approved, work could begin as early as next Summer. The £10 million project by Queensberry Real Estate proposes to refurbish Tunsgate Shopping Centre with an additional 10,000 square feet of retail and foodservice space. A formal public consultation will now begin, giving residents and local businesses to have their say.
New Caribbean Restaurant Opens in Guildford – 17/11/14Diners in Guildford can now experience a real taste of the Caribbean in an authentic and lively new restaurant. Turtle Bay opened in North Street, Guildford last Friday offering eager customers the ultimate Caribbean barbecue.
Bus Bursts into Flames – 14/11/14
Three passengers had to be evacuated from a bus after it caught fire on Wednesday at around 12pm. The Excetera bus was travelling along the A246 Epsom Road near Clandon Regis Golf Club when the driver noticed smoke and evacuated his passengers. Although firefighters arrived quickly, the back of the bus was engulfed in flames and it took them nearly an hour to tackle the blaze and ensure that it was safe. Police closed the road whilst the fire was being extinguished, causing traffic jams in the area.
Man Dies in House Fire After Explosion – 11/11/14
A man has died after being pulled out of a burning house by firefighters. Emergency services were called to the property in Broadacres at around 7.30pm on Sunday after reports of an explosion and fire. The man was unconscious when he was rescued from the building and paramedics attempted to resuscitate him, but were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene. An investigation into the cause of the fire is under way after reports of one or more explosions relating to the fire.
Student Badly Injured in Homophobic Attack – 3/11/14A 21 year old student from Leatherhead was left with substantial facial injuries after he was attacked on Halloween night. Robbie Kingsford was outside the KFC in Brighton Road, Surbiton when two men dressed in pink tutus attacked him without warning or provocation. Following the attack, the two men left on foot leaving Robbie black and blue and requiring hospital treatment.
Six Injured in A3 Crash – 31/10/14
Six people were taken to hospital after a multi-vehicle crash on the A3 slip road in Guildford yesterday. Police and paramedics attended the scene at around 4pm, which involved a white van and up to six cars. The resulting road closures caused havoc in the surrounding area, with queues stretching back to Clay Lane in Burpham and lengthy delays in both directions on the A3.
Man Dies in Street – 15/10/14
A man his 60s collapsed and died in a Guildford street on Monday, despite efforts from members of the public and a police unit. Police officers in a patrol car spotted a group of people trying to assist the man in Wodeland Avenue at around 11am. The officers administered CPR at the scene whilst waiting for an ambulance but the man later died at Frimley Park Hospital.
Man Stabbed in Guildford House – 14/10/14A man in his 20s was taken to hospital in a critical condition on Monday after being stabbed at an address in Cranley Road. The incident happened at around 8.10pm and the victim was rushed to St George’s Hospital in Tooting in a serious but stable condition. Police are appealing for witnesses who may have seen the suspect in the area. He is described as a black man wearing dark clothing and basketball trainers and over 6 feet tall.
Young Driver Dies in A3 Crash – 07/10/14
A 20 year old man has died after he lost control of the car he was driving and crashed into a road sign and tree on the A3. Andrew Bulbeck was driving his red BMW on the southbound carriageway near Onslow Village when the fatal crash happened at around 10.05pm on Monday. Surrey police are keen to speak to the occupants of a Skoda Octavia seen in the area at the time or witnesses who may have seen either vehicle shortly before the crash. The road was closed for four hours following the accident.
Victims of Guildford Pub Bombings Remembered – 06/10/14
Crowds gathered in Quaker’s Acre on Sunday to pay tribute to the victims and rescuers of the Guildford pub bombings 40 years after the IRA atrocity. The ceremony, led by Mayor of Guildford David Elms, included readings and prayers to remember the five victims of the bombings on 5th October 1974.
£10 million Redevelopment of Tunsgate Square Announced – 03/10/14
A brand new shopping centre incorporating luxury shops and restaurants has been proposed for the redevelopment of Tunsgate Square. Developers, Queensbury Real Estate are proposing a two-storey centre in the area which will add 10,000 square feet of commercial space. They will be holding a public exhibition at the YMCA in Guildford tomorrow (Saturday).
Pervert Jailed for Child and Animal Sex Offences – 02/10/14A 57 year old man from Park Barn has been jailed for four and a half years for assaulting two girls under the age of 13 and also performing sexual acts with his own pets. Andrew Wright of Foxborrows Avenue was arrested in March this year after a young girl reported that he had abused her having lured her to his flat to play with his dog. Following his arrest, a second victim came forward who had been abused two years ago in similar circumstances. Police confiscated his computer and found around 4000 pornographic images including the most serious nature involving young children and animals.
On-The-Run Murderer Found by Police – 25/09/14
A 63 year old man serving a life sentence for murdering a young woman in 1980 absconded from prison while on home leave in Guildford this week. Albert Stanley failed to return to HMP Leyhill in Gloucestershire after his home leave, sparking a massive police hunt. He was found on Wednesday in Worthing, where he committed the murder of 22 year old Johanna Harriman 34 years ago.
Three Arrested After Street Fight – 22/09/14
Three men were arrested after police received reports of a violent fight in a Guildford road on Friday night. Residents in Manor Road heard a commotion in the street at around 10pm and eyewitnesses reported seeing ‘a lot of blood’ on some individuals. Five police cars, a dog unit and police helicopter responded to the emergency call and arrested three men from Guildford aged 59, 29 and 17 on suspicion of grievous bodily harm.
Sports Bar Closes – 18/09/14
Riley’s Sports Bar in Guildford has been closed after the parent company went into administration. The bar was closed by administrators Deloitte on Monday with the six employees at the branch being given notice of redundancy. Fourteen other Riley’s branches across the country also closed leaving 44 more profitable locations trading.
Exhibition of Housing Plans for Guildford Hill – 12/09/14
A proposal to build up to 150 new homes on Guildford Cathedral hill is expected to be submitted in the near future after developers have heard feedback from local residents following two exhibitions they are staging next week. Linden Homes purchased nine acres of land from the cathedral earlier this year but there are strict regulations on the type of development they can build. The money from the sale of the land will be reserved for possible future repairs of the cathedral.
Thug Who Attacked Pensioner Jailed for 11 Years – 08/09/14
A 22 year old man has been jailed for 11 years after pleading guilty to attacking a 63 year old with mental health issues in his own home. Samuel Gilbert of Yew Tree Drive in Bellfields was visiting a friend, Steven Etherington, who was staying at Harold Brenton’s home on 22nd March this year. An argument broke out over money that had gone missing from Mr Brenton’s bank account after he had asked Etherington to withdraw some cash. Mr Brenton left the pair in the living room and went to the bathroom but was followed by Gilbert and struck from behind. He was then followed into his bedroom and hit with a hammer by Gilbert, who later returned to the bedroom and cut Mr Brenton with a bread knife, all of the time demanding money. Gilbert pleaded guilty to attempted robbery, claiming that it was a result of taking drugs and alcohol, and was sentenced to 11 years in prison, of which he will serve half.
Travellers Removed from Site – 03/09/14
A property management company had to react quickly to evict a group of travellers after they occupied a vacant site last Thursday. Around 20 caravans accompanied by an equal number of vans arrived at the Baker Tilly site in Boxgrove Road. Ratcliffe Commercial Property who manage the site began immediate action to evict the travellers but were delayed by the weekend. On Monday they issued an eviction notice and the travellers left on Tuesday, leaving the company with a hefty clean-up bill and significant costs to secure the land and prevent future incidents.
Vision for Traffic-Free Guildford – 01/09/14
A new plan has been released by the Guildford Vision Group detailing how traffic could be steered away from Guildford town centre thus creating space for new homes. The group was set up in 2012 to create a long-term, sustainable proposal for the town rather than allowing periodic and inconsistent development. The proposal suggests that traffic could be diverted along Woodbridge Road and away from the gyratory and Onslow Street. A new bridge over the river and railway would connect to Guildford Park, Portsmouth Road and Farnham Road. The removal of traffic would create an opportunity to build up to 4000 new homes on land not currently assigned to Green Belt.
Samaritan Helps Woman on Bridge – 28/08/14
A good Samaritan talked a potentially suicidal woman down from a bridge near Guildford on Wednesday afternoon after the woman had climbed over the barriers and stood precariously overlooking the A3. Police were called to the A3100 bridge at Burpham shortly after 4pm but when negotiators arrived a member of the public was already talking to the woman and convinced her to return to safety. The A3 was closed for a short period of time during the process and caused tailbacks in both directions.
Plans for New Super Station Unveiled – 25/08/14
Initial plans for the £150 million redevelopment of Guildford railway station have been unveiled, incorporating plans for a 14 storey tower block, 450 new homes, a multi-storey car park and shops. The proposal to create a welcoming new frontier of Guildford is the work of Solum Regeneration, a partnership between Network Rail and Kier Property who have already completed or planned stunning new developments at Epsom, Walthamstow and Redhill. Solum hope to submit a planning application to Guildford Borough Council later this year and to start work by the end of next year.
Cyclist Dies in Charity Ride - 12/08/14
A 36 year old man from Woking collapsed and died whilst taking part in the Ride London – Surrey race on Sunday. Kris Cook took on the 86 mile ride with 11 colleagues raising money for the Woking and Sam Beare Hospice. He had trained hard for the lengthy ride and friends said was in good health prior to starting on Sunday morning. However, when he reached the bottom of the hill at Newlands Corner near Guildford, he told his girlfriend Nicola Tait that he was suffering from chest pains. Moment later he collapsed and later died of cardiac arrest.
Couple Attacked Whilst Helping Assault Victim – 04/08/14
A man and woman were attacked after they tried to stop a man attacking a woman. The couple saw the man assaulting a woman in her 20s outside their home in Cypress Road, Bellfields at around 9.30pm last Friday. When their shouts for him to stop were ignored they tried to intervene, but the suspect turned on them and repeatedly punched the husband before head-butting the wife. The man then walked away with a group of other men with him at the time of the assault leaving the couple requiring hospital treatment for facial injuries. The suspect is described as white and in his 20s with spikey brown hair. The woman that was initially being assaulted also left the scene before police arrived.
Illegal Immigrant Jailed for Sexual Assault – 31/07/14
An illegal immigrant who had been living in Guildford has been sentenced to 7 years in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of sexual assault on 10 year old girl. Duberney Jaramillo Restrepo of Victoria Road in Guildford was sentenced at Guildford Crown Court and his file will be referred to the Immigration Office having absconded from immigration officials four years ago.
Cyclist Dies in A3 Crash – 25/07/14
A cyclist has died after colliding with a car on the A3 at Burpham. The accident happened at around 11.30pm on Thursday on the southbound carriageway. Emergency services were called but could not help the cyclist who was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the car was taken to hospital suffering from minor injuries.
Guilfest Huge Success – 21/07/14
Organisers of the Guilfest music festival are hailing this year’s event as the biggest and best ever. More than 15,000 revellers attended the event at the weekend to see a diverse line up of acts ranging from the Boomtown Rats and Fun Lovin’ Criminals to Jedward and Mr B performing across 10 separate stages. And the weather was just as diverse, with amazing lightning storms and torrential rain being followed by baking sunshine.
£ Millions to be Spent on Guildford Improvement Projects – 18/07/14
Guildford will benefit from more than £15 million in investment as part of a grant issued by Enterprise M3 and the government. Guildford will be given around 13% of the total £118 million grant and have detailed this week how the money will be spent. The biggest single investment will be in the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre which will get £5 million. £2.7 million will be spent on changes to the congested one-way system and a further £3.7 million on sustainable transport improvements. The investment will form a large part of the Guildford Town Centre Vision document which will now be finalised and turned into a planning document by early 2015.
Friends of Train Death Man Sentenced for Confronting Attacker – 10/07/14
Six friends of Ryan Harrison, who died last year after falling under a train at Guildford station following a fight, have appeared in court for assaulting one of the men involved in their friends death. Daniel Thorogood, Jack Funnel, Lewis Parish, Liam Pearson, Yashar Baghri and Adam Wicks were out Woking last November when they spotted Harry Miller in the Bed Bar. At the time, Miller was on bail after being sentenced to one year in a young-offenders institute for his part in Harrison’s death. Mr Thorogood headbutted Miller inside the bar and later the group chased him through a subway. Thorogood was given 100 hours unpaid work plus a £60 victim’s surcharge and the rest of the group were given 80 hours unpaid work.
Newspaper Fire Causes Emergency Call in 500 year old Building – 08/07/14
The fire brigade were called to Guildford High Street on Monday after decorators accidentally caused a fire at The Tudor Lounge. The workers were stripping paint at the 500 year old building as part of a £50,000 renovation when sparks from their equipment caused the fire. The fire had already been extinguished when the emergency services arrived, but they checked the building over as a precaution.
Public Outcry Over Paedophile Living in Guildford – 03/07/14
A paedophile who killed a 14 year old boy in 1989 has been living in a bail hostel in Guildford, causing concerned residents to act in order to have him removed. A Sunday newspaper revealed that 59 year old Robert Oliver was living at the hostel which prompted an online petition to be set up and a Facebook group called ‘Get Robert Oliver Out of Guildford. The petition already has over 1200 signatures and the Facebook page has 1800 likes. Oliver was convicted of the manslaughter of 14 year old Jason Swift who was tortured and gang raped at a gay orgy in 1989.
Public Consultation on New Homes in Guildford – 27/06/14
A public consultation has begun into where 13,000 new homes should be built in and around Guildford. The controversial Local Plan was approved at a meeting of Guildford Borough Council last week with 27 councillors voting in favour and 14 against. Campaigners have tried in vain to reduce the huge number projects, which will see an average of 650 homes built each year for the next 20 years, and the public consultation into the draft plan will be the last opportunity for local residents to have their say
Antique Dealer Suicide – 23/06/14
The body of a local antiques dealer was discovered in a wooded copse in Puttenham last week in what police are treating as a suspected suicide. 52 year old Nick Matthews’ body was discovered by dog walkers near a footpath in the copse. Mr Matthews, who lived in The Street, was the owner of Déjà vu Antiques in Farncombe until it closed in April.
Concern for Missing Teenager – 23/06/14
A 16 year old has been reported missing, after she disappeared from her home on Sunday. Georgina Stewart went missing from her home in Pewley without telling anyone where she was going. Police officers have been searching the area surrounding her home and have asked anyone with information concerning her whereabouts to contact them urgently.
Guildford Four’s Conlon Dies – 20/06/14
One of the men who was part of the group known as the Guildford Four has died at his home in Belfast. Gerry Conlon spent 15 years in prison following a wrongful conviction for his part in the bombing of the Horse and Groom pub in Guildford in 1974, which killed 5 people. Mr Conlon, Paddy Armstrong, Paul Hill and Carole Richardson were jailed for the atrocity but released by the Court of Appeal in 1989 after police evidence was brought under suspicion.
Funding to Repair River Wey Flood Damage – 13/06/14
£1 million will be spent repairing the damage caused by flooding to the River Wey around Guildford and Godalming. The heavy down pours, that started on 23rd December and continued throughout January, flooded over 160 homes in the area and caused large amounts of sand to be carried along the river and deposited around bridges. The Environment Agency will work throughout the Summer to clear the sand and debris.
Toddler Injured in Crash – 05/06/14
A two year old girl is in critical condition at hospital after a horrific car accident on Wednesday morning. The girl was travelling in a black Mercedes with her father and six year old brother on the Epsom Road in West Horsley when they collided with a Peugeot. Police officers were first on the scene and had to perform CPR on the girl for 12 minutes before paramedics arrived. She was airlifted to St George's hospital in Tooting where she is said to be in a critical but stable condition.
Heroin Dealers Jailed – 29/05/14
Two brothers have been jailed for a total of nearly 10 years after pleading guilty to drug dealing. 52 year old Stephen Tardif was sentenced to 6 years for 10 counts of supplying heroin and 1 count of being concerned in the supply of heroin. 53 year old Carl Tardif was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months for 7 counts of supplying heroin. The brothers, who lived together in Manor Road, Tongham, were caught after police conducted raids on properties in Farnham, Guildford, Aldershot and London.
Life Sentence for Knife Murderer – 22/05/14
The 23 year old man who killed his mother's boyfriend in a frenzied knife attack has been given a life prison sentence for the murder. Joshua Ellis killed 54 year old Neil Tulley in August last year with the help of his 14 year old brother. Jerome Ellis was sentenced to six years in prison last month for manslaughter.
Elderly Man Dies in House Fire – 20/05/14
A retired painter and decorator was found dead after a fire tore through his home on Monday. Firefighters were called to the ground floor maisonette in Berberis Close at around 3am and took nearly an hour to extinguish the fierce fire. The body of John Greenhouse was discovered was discovered in one of the rooms. The cause fo the fire has not yet been established although foul play is not suspected.
Councillor Arrested Over False Claims – 12/05/14
A Guildford Borough Councillor was arrested last Wednesday over claims she made that she was a fully qualified barrister. Conservative councillor Monika Juneja had made the claims last year, but despite evidence to the contrary an investigation conducted by the council found that Councillor Juneja had done nothing wrong. She had studied as a barrister and passed the bar vocational course but has never been called to the bar meaning that she can not call herself a barrister. She was bailed after questioning pending further investigation.
Speeding Police Officer Faces Misconduct Case – 09/05/14
The police officer who killed 21 year old soldier whilst responding to an emergency call, could face misconduct action following an investigation into the case. Joshua Brown was killed after being hit by an unmarked police BMW as it travelled at 82 mph on the A31 Hog's Back in December 2012. The car was not using a siren or blue lights and there was heavy fog creating poor visibility. The Independent Police Complaints Commission will pass the findings of the investigation onto Surrey Police who will have to act on the information.
Former Police Chief Jailed – 07/05/14
The former chief inspector of Surrey Police has been jailed for two and a half years at Winchester Crown Court for a series of fraud offences. 46 year old Tanya Brookes from Godalming pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud by false representation and three counts of making an article for use in fraud. She had also been convicted earleir of twenty five other charges relating to fraud. Among her offences were claiming to be a counter-terrorism officer in order to get a cheap holiday to the Caribbean, wrongful damage claims against airlines and demanding refunds from high street shops after purchasing items cheaply on E-bay. In sentencing, the judge stated that he had to make an example of Ms Brookes as she was a serving police officer and the shame she has brought on the uniform could not be ignored. Her husband, David Brookes who was also a chief inspector with Surrey Police was sacked in April after an investigation, but will not face criminal charges.
Villages Identified for Development – 01/05/14
A new study released by the borough council this week has identified three villages near Guildford as having potential for future development. The study will form part of the local plan to guide development for the next 17 years. Normandy and Flexford, Send and Send Marsh have been identified as the study suggests that their potential sustainability woud outweigh the potential harm tot he Green Belt. Two areas of outstanding natural beauty, Shere and Gomshall, have also been identified as appropriate for development in exceptional circumstances.
Rape Victim Waits Seven Year for Justice – 15/04/14
Almost seven years after a teenage girl was assaulted and raped near Aldershot, a man from Greece has been jailed for the offence. The girl was walking from Aldershot towards Ash on the afternoon of 21st May 2007 when she was dragged into undergrowth and raped. Despite local questioning and a reconstruction on BBC's Crimewatch, police had no suspects until an e-fit led them to Andreas Ververopoulus who had been staying with relatives in Hampshire at the time of the offence, but returned to Greece shortly after. The 27 year old was served a European Arrest Warrant and extradited to face charges. He originally protested his innocence but then changed his plea to guilty and was sentenced to nine years in prison.
Pedestrian Airlifted to Hospital After Collision – 09/04/14
A 28 year old man had to be airlifted to hospital after he was hit by a van on the A25 in Guildford. The accident at the Dennis roundabout occurred at 7.15am on Tuesday when the young man was hit by the Renault panel van. He was taken to St Georges Hospital in London suffering from serious head injuries where he is now in a stable condition. The road was closed for more than three hours causing long delays.
Headline Acts Named for Guilfest – 04/04/14
Guilfest is set to make a glorious return to Guildford this Summer with three headline acts that are sure to pull in the crowds. The music festival will open on Friday 18th July with Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats. Saturday's party will be led by Kool and the Gang and 80's group Human League will close the festival on Sunday. Tickets are on sale now from www.guilfest.co.uk .
New Accommodation for University Students – 02 /04/14
New accommodation for 1000 students is set to be built at the Manor Park campus of teh University of Surrey in an attempt to reduce the amount over-crowded shared accommodation in Guildford. After the new properties are built, along with a proposal for another 1150, the university will have space for more than 7000 students on their land.
Family Home Destroyed by Fire – 20/03/14
A young family managed to escape from their home just moments before it was engulfed in flames. The fire tore through the semi-detatched house in Oakfields at around 5.30pm on Tuesday after a fire broke out in one of the bedrooms. Witnesses were shocked at how quickly the fire took hold and tried in vain to douse the flames with garden hoses before the fire service arrived and put it out. Investigators suspect that the fire was started by one of the young children playing with a cigarette lighter.
Smash and Grab Riads at Two Shops – 19/03/14
Two convenience stores were targeted by thieves who stole thousands of pounds worth of cigarettes. The three men wearing balaclavas smashed through the front window of the Alldays store in Shere at around 3am on Friday morning and escaped in a silver estate car. Later on the same day at 11.30pm the same men broke into the Co-Op store in Marshal Parade, Pyrford using a sledgehammer and grabbed the cigarettes before driving away. The vehicle used to escape the scene was late rfound in Shere.
Road Repairs Delayed – 14/03/14
Just one year into the five year plan to repair some of Guildford's worst road surfaces, progress has faltered and the plan has already had to be changed. Operation Horizon was launched in February 2013 with a £100 million budget to resurface 52 miles of roads around Guildford. However, following the recent storms, road surfaces have deteriorated further and the council may have to review the entire project. Out of the 37 stretches of road scheduled for repair in 2013, just 21 were completed.
Aldi Store Approved in Burpham – 28/02/14
Councillors this week voted 15 to 5 in favour of allowing an Aldi supermarket to be built in Burpham on the former site of the Green Man pub. Last year, the German supermarket chain were refused permission to build at the site due to the design of the store and the lack of parking spaces. However, the revised plans have a new appearance and 6 more parking spaces, taking the total to 77, and despite fierce opposition from Burpham residents, councillors on th eplanning committee reccommended that the store be approved.
Brothers Guilty of Killing Stepfather – 26/02/14
The two brothers on trial for stabbing their mother's partner 65 times have been unanimously found guilty by a jury at Guildford Crown Court. 23 year old Joshua Ellis was convicted for murder and his 14 year old brother Jerome Ellis was convicted for manslaughter due to loss of control. They will be sentenced on April 10.
Women Shot Dead at Farm – 25/02/14
The bodies of two women were found dead at a quiet farm in Tilford on Sunday after neighbours called police reporting gun shots. 66 year old Christine Lee and her daughter 40 year old Lucy Lee from Virginia Water were shot at Keepers Cottage Stud, where four dogs were also found dead having been shot. 82 year old dog breeder John Lowe was arrested for the murders and will remain in custody until a preliminary hearing on March 18.
Knife Attack Brothers Deny Murder – 13/02/14
The two brothers who attacked their mother's boyfriend with kitchen knives whilst he slept on the sofa deny murder. 23 year old Joshua Ellis and 14 year old Jerome Ellis attacked 54 year old Neil Tulley at the home he shared with their mother on August 12 last year. So ferocious was the attack that Mr Tulley was nearly decapitated. Whilst neither brother denies the killing, they claim that it was not pre-meditated and that they simply lost control. The trial continues at Guildford Crown Court.
Train Death Trial Begins – 07/02/14
The trial of three men accused of contributing to the death of a young man at Guildford railway station started this week, with all three of the men denying the charges against them. 22 year old Ryan Harrison from Woking was killed on March 30 last year after falling between a moving train and the platform following a punch to the face. Joshua Elphick of Guildford has already pleaded guilty to manslaughter and now three of his friends who were involved in the fight leading up to Mr Harrison's death are on trial for affray. CCTV footage of the incident clearly shows Jack Hardy, Harry Miller and Adam Kulikowski, all 20 years old, as being involved in the fight.
Student Attacked Near Cinema – 05/02/14
A 19 year old University of Surrey student required urgent treatment after he was attacked in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The student was with a female friend when an argument broke out with a group of men as they crossed the footbridge near the Odeon cinema. He sustained a serious cut to his left cheek and was taken to Royal Surrey County hospital. Twon men from Guildford were arrested and released on police bail pending further enquiries.
Police Ram Car on A3 – 31/01/14
Two brave police officers risked their lives on Wednesday when they deliberately crashed their car into a vehicle travelling in the wrong direction on the A3. The officers were driving along the southbound carriageway when they received a call informing them that a car was travelling the wrong way in theri vicinity. The officers spotted the black Volkswagon Polo and took an immediate decision to forcefully stop the car in an attempt to save the lives of other motorists. They performed a tactical contact manoeuvre by positioning themselves into a head on collision. A woman in her twenties was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drink or drugs.
Minister Shown Guildford's Traffic Problems – 21/01/14
Guildford MP Anne Milton was able to demonstrate the congestion problems in the town centre to the parliamentary under secretary for transport when he visited the town last Friday. In a bid to gain government funding to solve Guildford's traffic problems, Mrs Milton showed Robert Goodwill the gyratory system prior to introducing him to members of Guildford Borough Council. The budget for road improvements has been tripled over the next 15 years and the government are asking local councils to identify problems and make an application for the money available.
Guilfest Will Return – 17/01/14
Music lovers are delighted after it was announced that Guilfest will return this Summer. The future of the popular music festival was in doubt after a rival event organiser also placed a bid to stage an event in Guildford. However, with the second bid withdrawn, the council met earlier this week and approved the bid for Guilfest to return to Stoke Park in July.
Care Home Closure Concerns – 15/01/14
The owners of a care home have announced that they will close the facility in just two months, leading to concerns for the welfare of it's patients. The Redwood Care Centre in Merrow which provides care for elderly patients with dementia and the physically frail, has become too expensive to run according to owners Shaw Healthcare. As well as residents losing their home around 50 staff will be made redundant.
Guildford Man Dies in Swimming Accident – 03/01/14
A 27 year old man from Guildford has died after going for a late night swim after celebrating the turn of the New Year. The man who has not yet been named was with a group celebrating the New Year near Loe Bar Beach in Porthleven when five people decided to go for a swim in the rough and dangerous sea. Emergency services were contacted after the rest of the group returned to shore and realised their companion was missing. The coastguard, police and Royal National Lifeboat Institution were all involved in the search and rescue mission but failed to locate the missing man. A body was discovered on the beach at 9am yesterday morning and naming the man has been delayed until formal identification of the body has been made.
Storms Wreak Havoc Across County – 02/01/14
Families forced to leave their flooded homes, drivers fleeing their submerged vehicles, and businesses forced to close during one of the busiest times of the year have all been a result of what experts are calling the worst storm to hit the South East since 1987. Torrential rain and gale force winds struck overnight on 23rd December, resulting in flooding throughout the county. Many homes were left without electricity and Christmas preparations were either put on hold or cancelled altogether as friends and neighbours rallied to help each other. Severe flooding resulted in gridlock on many roads as motorists failed to make it through deep water. But despite a brief respite on Christmas day, there are still flood warnings in place as the bad weather continued at the end of December and into the new year.
Bomb Squad Called to Hostel – 24/12/13
A bomb disposal team were called to a bail hostel in Guildford on Friday after suspicious items were found amongst a resident's belongings. The police were called to St Catherine's Bail Hostel in Ferry Lane at around 12.45pm and a cordon was put in place to close the road to all cars and pedestrians. The items were eventually deemed safe three hours later and the road re-opened. The offending resident had already been recalled to prison on separate offences but will have to explain the presence of the offending items on January 16.
Theatre Loses Council Funding – 11/12/13
The future of the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford is under threat after Guildford Borough Council announced that they were cutting their funding. The riverside theatre has been putting on shows since 1965 and has always relied on grants and community fundraising in order to operate. In 2008 they lost their annual financial support from the Arts Council and now the council have announced that the funding will be phased out from 2015 to bring the level of grant more in line with other community organisations. The theatre will still receive their £310,220 grant next year.
Council Delay Decision on Guilfest – 6/12/13
Guildford Borough Council have still not confirmed whether the organisers of Guilfest will be allowed to stage the event in Stoke Park in 2014. The popular festival had been running for 21 years in Guildford until a terrible year in 2012 resulted in the financial collapse of the organising company, leaving debts of more than £300,000. There was no festival this year but the organisers are keen to return, bigger and better, in 2014. Whilst there is huge public support from residents and business owners in the area, the council are being cautious and requesting detailed financial projections in an attempt to avoid the festival failing again.
Police Close Drug Den – 22/11/13
Surrey police scored another win in the local battle against drugs by boarding up a property renowned for anti-social behaviour and drug use. Police officers descended on 75 Clover Road, Park Barn late on Wednesday afternoon after magistrates approved their application for a closure order. A single female was found living at the property and she must find alternative accommodation as anyone found entering the property will be arrested. According to neighbours, the property has been a nightmare for months, attracting unsavoury characters at all times of day and night. The order will be in place for three months.
New Park and Ride Service – 19/11/13
A new park and ride service has opened to service Guildford. The £3 million service is sited in Onslow, just off the A3, and has 550 car parking spaces, with a bus service to take users into the town centre and Guildford railway station. The service will cost £2.50 per day or £10 for a weekly pass, although a special rate of £1.50 has been introduced until March 2014.
Body Found in Woodland – 7/11/13
A man’s body has been found in woodland near the University of Surrey by police searching for a missing man. Police officers were conducting a search of the area near Manor Park student village after a young man was reported missing. They made the discovery at around 1.30pm on Wednesday and are treating the death as unexplained pending post-mortem results.
Police Officers Investigated for Misconduct – 25/10/13
Three Surrey Police officers and a civilian member of staff are being investigated for misconduct after a man died whilst in their custody. 34 year old Jan McLean was arrested on August 12 on suspicion of possession of class A drugs and cannabis with intent to supply. Whilst he was being transported to t he police station in a van, he became unwell and he collapsed when he arrived at the station. He was taken to hospital but died two days later and post mortem results were inconclusive. The Independent Police Complaints Commission will investigate what happened at the time of Mr McLean's arrest, the process whilst he was in police custody and the actions taken after his collapse.
Arson Suspected in House Fire – 22/10/13
Police suspect that a fire which tore through a house in Slyfield Green was started deliberately. Fire crews were called to the house in Waterside Road at around 10.45pm on Friday to tackle the blaze. Following an initial investigation, officers believe that the fire was started deliberately and would like to speak to a woman seen leaving the property at around 9.30pm. She is described as in her 20s or 30s, quite large build and with dark hair. They would also like to talk to two men seen in the area at around the same time.
Hospital Staff Outsourced – 18/10/13
Nearly 200 workers at the Royal Surrey County Hospital have been told that their work contracts will be passed on to private contractor Medirest. The hospital announced this week that Medirest would take over cleaning, portering, reception and switchboard contracts in addition to their existing contract to supply catering services. Although the change will save the hospital £440,000 per year, the workers are unhappy with the announcement and trade union Unison claim that the outsourcing plan is unlawful as it should have undergone a proper tendering process.
Car Parks Earn Council £5 million – 16/10/13
Guildford Borough Council earned more than £5 million pounds from 42 car parks in the borough in 2012. The highest revenue generator was the Bedford Road multi-storey car park with income of £1,118,163, with several others earning in excess of £500,000. The cost parking in the town increased by 10p to £1.20 per hour in the last year, but the annual total was around £160,000 less than in 2011.
Council Chief Given Six-Figure Payoff – 11/10/13
The Chief Executive of Guildford Borough Council will be awarded a huge redundancy payout when his position is removed from the council structure, despite an on-going investigation into his conduct. David Hill has been on full paid leave from the council since July when a grievance procedure was launched against him by the then head of human resources Judith Coslett. Although the investigation, which could have resulted in his dismissal, has not yet concluded, a re-structure of the council has made his role redundant and therefore Mr Hill will receive a payment of around £160,000.
Homes to be Built on Cathedral Land – 27/09/13
Part of the land owned by Guildford Cathedral is to be sold to developers to build new houses. The land on Stag Hill has been identified for the redevelopment and the cathedral staff are in discussions with several developers to find a suitable contractor for the work. In addition to the new homes, the development will also include a visitors centre, conference facilities and a refectory. The sale of the land will help to fund major repairs at the cathedral which are estimated at £7 million.
Parking Prices Increase – 26/09/13
Motorists wishing to park in Guildford’s streets will have to carry more change with them soon after it was announced that parking fees are being increased. Charges are being increased by 20p per hour, making the cost to park in the town centre £1.60 per hour. The council decided to increase the fees for the first time in five years in order to bring the pay and display roadside machines in line with town centre car park charges. On street parking currently earns the council around £700,000 per year and the increase is expected to increase this by around £90,000.
Three Men Jailed for Betting Shop Raids – 23/09/13
Three men have been sentenced to a total of 13 years in prison for their part in the robberies at bookmakers in Guildford and Camberley earlier this year. Stewart Robinson, Nathan Baptiste and Steven Doukoure were found guilty of conspiring to rob three betting shops in January. The raids were actually carried out by a 16 year old who cannot be named for legal reasons, but the trio’s involvement in the crimes was paramount.
Campaigners Fight for Hogs Back – 20/09/13
A campaign has been launched after Guidlford Borough Council announced green belt land at Hogs Back could be used to build nearly 2000 new homes. The Council's Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment claims that the area around Blackwell Farm has the potential for 1933 homes, although no formal proposal has been made.
Burglar Jailed for Police Chase – 18/09/13
The burglar who drove the wrong way down the A3 in an attempt to evade police has been jailed for 16 months. 36 year old Paul Brogan from Slough was spotted burgling a house in Albury on 24th July. His vehicle was spotted by police in the centre of Guidlford and he rammed a police car in order to escape. After a high speed chase through the town, Brogan drove the wrong way down the A3 forcing police to call off the pursuit in order to protect the public. Brogan's van was tracked to Reading using number plate recognition software and another police pursuit took place before he crashed into traffic lights. He was sentenced to 16 months for the driving offences and 12 months for the burglary to run concurrently.
Child Pornographer Spared Jail – 13/09/13
A 24 year old man who downloaded hundreds of indecent images of children has been spared jail by a lenient judge. Steven Berry of Bourne Close in Chilworth was discovered after his sister found the images on a shared family computer. As soon as he was confronted by police, Berry confessed to downloading the filth and also to ten counts of making indecent photos of a child. He was given a three year community order, added to the sex offenders register and ordered to complete a sex offenders treatment programme.
Police Raid Drug Dens – 04/09/13
A police operation that swooped on suspected drug dens last Friday should lead to the permanent closure of the properties. As part of their commitment to cleaning up Guildford from drugs, officers raided two properties in Foxburrows Avenue and one in Clover Road following complaints from members of the public of anti-social and suspicious behaviour. Drugs were discovered at two of the properties and traces of drugs were found at the other, leading to arrests and charges against two people for possession with intent to supply.
Thug Boasted About Assault on Facebook – 30/08/13
Two vicious thugs were given suspended prison sentences after pleading guilty to a cowardly and relentless assault in a Guildford pub last year. 25 year old Dane Sayers and 28 year old Jeremy Poulter were drunk at the Guildford Tup in Chertsey Street on May 26 last year having watched England play Norway when the assault took place. An argument took place between Poulter and an old school acquaintance resulting in Poulter punching the man and leaving the pub after the victim Matthew Thompson intervened. However, Sayers crept up behind Mr Thompson and head-butted him, leaving him unconscious. Poulter then returned into the pub and punched Mr Thompson several times whilst he was on the floor. Cowardly Sayers boasted of the assault on his Facebook the next morning. Sayers was sentenced to 12 months in prison and Poulter to 15 months, but the judge suspended both sentences for two years.
No Charges Against Woman in Relation to Stabbed Man – 26/08/13
49 year old Marie Ellis who was arrested in relation to the stabbing of 54 year old Neil Tulley on August 13 has been told that she faces no further police action. However, after they handed themselves in to police, 22 year old Joshua Ellis and a 14 year old boy who can't be named because he is a juvenile, have both been charged with murder and will appear in court in November.
Man Stabbed to Death – 16/08/13
Police were called to an address in Bellfields on Tuesday after the discovery of a man's bloody body. The body of Neil Tulley was discovered at a home in Cedar Way at around 10am and it was quickly established that he had died of multiple stab wounds. 49 year old Marie Ellis was arrested at the scene and later in the day a 16 year old boy was also arrested. Police have put out an appeal for 22 year old Joshua Ellis and a 14 year old boy to report to the police - neither have been seen since the attack.
University Plans Major Housing Development – 13/08/13
The University of Surrey have advertised for a town planning consultant to assist with their plans to build nearly 2000 new homes on Green Belt land. Guildford Borough Council recently identified the area around Blackwell Farm and the remnants of Manor Farm as sites for possible development.
Man Attacked in Car Park – 08/08/13
A man in his 40s was discovered collapsed in a Guildford car park suffering from serious facial injuries in the early hours of Saturday morning. A security guard discovered the man at 5.20am on the 5th level of the York Road car park and called the emergency services. The man was taken to hospital suffering from a fractured eye socket and broken jaw. Three men and a woman have been arrested in connection with the assault.
Nightclub Boss Wins Battle with Council – 26/07/13
Guildford Borough Council are facing legal costs of £30,000 after a High Court judge ruled that they had inappropriately declined numerous licence applications from a Guildford nightclub owner. Michael Harper, the freehold owner of The Casino, Players Lounge and Bar Mambo had made applications for shadow licences when the company operating the clubs, Luminar Leisure went into administration. However, the council licensing team lead by David Curtis-Botting without following proper protocol and also refused to return Mr Harper's application fee.
Ice Skating Coach Convicted of Making Child Pornography – 23/07/13
An ice skating coach who worked at the Guildford Spectrum centre had been convicted of six counts of making indecent images of a child. 39 year old Andrew Fyles who worked with children at the centre for more than ten years, often on a one-to-one basis, was given a sexual offences prevention order at South West Surrey Magistrates Court. Although he has not been convicted of any physical crime against children, there had been several complaints from parents about his inappropriate behaviour towards children that he was working with. Despite these complaints, Freedom Leisure who operate the Spectrum failed to take any action and it was only when the parents of one of the children took the matter to police that he was investigated.
Vehicle Recovery Company Goes into Liquidation – 12/07/13
A vehicle recovery company based in Guildford has ceased trading after suffering financial difficulties due to operating costs. McAllisters Recovery have operated in Guildford since 1974 and was one of the UK's first bespoke recovery companies. The company had a lucrative contract with Surrey Police for both light and heavy vehicle recovery and also provided support to Surrey Fire and Rescue. The company got into financial trouble in 2011 after opening new depots in Chobham and Leatherhead which put substantial strain on operating profit.
Dead Body Found in Parked Van – 10/07/13
The A31 Hogs Back was closed by police on Monday after the body of a man was discovered in a van parked in a lay-by. Police were called to investigate what was described as a suspicious looking vehicle and subsequently called Surrey Fire and Rescue amidst fears that the Iveco van could contain hazardous materials. No hazards were found, and the dead man was taken to the coroners for a post-mortem examination.
Council Leader Complaint – 04/07/13
Guildford Borough Council are in turmoil this week after a complaint was formally made against Chief Executive David Hill. The grievance was lodged by a senior staff member and head of HR at the council Judith Coslett has launched the procedure which is now being investigated by an independent assessor. The exact nature of the complaint has not been revealed, but staff management and morale has long been in question at the council and the complaint could lead to Mr Hill's dismissal as council leader.
Police Chase Van Travelling in Wrong Direction on A3 – 28/06/13
Motorists on the A3 were left stunned on Monday after witnessing a high speed police chase involving a white van that was seen speeding the wrong way up the southbound carriageway. Police received reports of a burglary in progress in White Lane, Albury at around 1.20pm and a witnesses described a white van as the vehicle used by the burglars. The van was spotted in Guildford town centre but when police approached the van, the driver reversed into a police car and sped off. After the dangerous drive through the town centre and up the A3, the van crashed into traffic lights near Legoland in Windsor. 36 year old Paul Brogan of Mountbatten Close in Slough was arrested and charged with burglary and numerous driving offences.
Bomb Alert at Guildford Fire Station – 26/06/13
Guildford fire station was evacuated on Monday after a suspicious device was discovered at the site during an archeological investigation related to the development of the new Guidlford fire station. Police were called at around 12.30pm and a bomb disposal squad was called to deal with the device. The device was identified as a smoke bomb and a controlled detonation was conducted at the scene.
Tractor Driver Injured in Crash – 14/06/13
A man in his 50s was taken to hospital with head and abdominal injuries after the tractor he was driving overturned on the A3. The incident happened at around 10.30am on Wednesday between Ockham and Ripley, when the tractor collided with a white box van. Police closed the A3 southbound carriageway and the tractor driver was taken to St George's hospital in Tooting for treatment.
Friary Centre Acquisition Confirmed – 13/06/13
The sale of the Friary Shopping Centre in Guildford to the real estate firm Prupim has now been finalised. Prupim have acquired the centre as well as properties in North Street for a value of £150 million from previous owners Hermes, who were given 36% shares in the centre:mk complex in Milton Keynes. Guildford Borough Council are due to make a decision on the redevelopment of North Street in July, after Prupim objected to plans for the council to go into partnership with developers Lend Lease.
Club Owner Battles Council in High Court – 06/06/13
The owner of three of Guildford's most popular nightclubs has once again issued legal proceedings against Guildford Borough Council in the High Court, claiming that he is being treated unfairly by the authority over licensing applications. Michel Harper, the owner of The Casino, Bar Mambo and Players Lounge in Onslow Street had applied for a shadow licence at his premises which would mean that he could immediately take operating control should Luminar Leisure, the company that runs the clubs, suddenly go into liquidation or lose their licence. However, the council have rejected all of his applications and kept the £625 application fee on the grounds that it is not common practice to issue two licenses at one premises. Mr Harper's company, Star Oyster, is currently repaying around £35000 legal costs to the council for a previous court dispute which he lost.
Drugs Raid on Guildford Trouble Spot – 29/05/13
Surrey Police raided an address in Guildford town centre last Thursday as part of their new initiative to get tougher on drug dealers and users. The action was taken based on information supplied by members of the public who have become increasingly concerned about the rise in drug use in the neighbourhood. A 20 year old man from Maidenhead was charged with possession of class B drugs with intent to supply and a 19 year old man and 18 year old woman were both given £80 fixed penalty charges for possession of cannabis. A police spokesperson said that they are collecting evidence on other addresses and more raids are planned over the coming weeks.
Police Officer May Face Charges Over Soldier's Death – 23/05/13
The police officer who hit a 21 year old soldier whilst driving a marked patrol car may face charges. The officer was responding to an emergency call when he hit Joshua Brown on the A31 Hog's Back in December 2012. According to an onboard camera, the car was travelling at 80 mph and did not have it's sirens or emergency lights activated at 3.35am when the accident happened. Following an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, the evidence has been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service who will decide whether charges should be brought against the driver.
Caterers Threaten to Strike at Hospital – 17/05/13
Catering staff at the Royal Surrey County Hospital are threatening to strike over poor pay. The union representing workers, Unison, have held meetings with Medirest who employ the catering staff regarding the 'rock bottom' wages on offer. The catering staff earn 26p more per hour than the minimum wage and Unison claim that this contravenes an agreement setting out how all NHS staff should be rewareded. Should strike action be called, the hospitsl management are preparing contingency plans to ensure that there is no disruption to patients.
Councillor Falls on Sword Over Drink-Driving Convciction – 16/05/13
A Guildford council leader has offered to resign if his fellow council members ask him to following a drink drive conviction. Stephen Mansbridge was caught driving with more than twice the legal alcohol limit on April 12 and was given a three year, four month driving ban at South West Magistrates Court on April 30. The councillor had been out for a meal and had drunk several glasses of wine before getting into his car to drive home. Whilst not wishing to resign, Mr Mansbridge will allow the other 33 members of the council to chose his fate.
Teen Curfew in Troubled Neighbourhood – 10/05/13
A curfew for unsupervised youngsters has been put in place in Ash Wharf today in an attempt to end the antisocial behaviour that has plagued the area recently. The Ash neighbourhood team applied for a dispersal order, which gives police the power to disperse groups of two or more, following a long period of teenage antisocial behaviour in the parade of shops against residents and retailers. As well as the powers to disperse groups, police can return anyone under the age of 16 to their homes and if groups return within 24 hours they can be arrested and prosecuted. The order will remain in affect for 6 months until November 10.
Conservatives Succeed at Local Elections – 08/05/13
The Conservative Party were celebrating last week after increasing the number of seats they hold on Surrey County Council, but many councillors admitted that they were nervous about the meteoric rise of UKIP. The Conservatives hold a huge majority across Surrey and increased their share from 54 seats to 58 out of the total 81. However, much of the talk was about UKIP taking three seats and the Green Party taking their first ever county seat in Redhill East. The Lib Dems lost 4 of their seats, giving them just 9 seats throughout the county.
Council Refuse Planning Prmission to Aldi – 03/05/13
At a meeting of the council's planning committee this week, members voted to refuse planning permission to the discount supermarket chain Aldi who had applied to build a new 972 square metre store in London Road, Burpham. However, Aldi are committed to building the store and plan to appeal against the decision. The council rejected the plan over concerns about the store design and parking allowances, despite advise from their own legal counsel that they would likely lose a court appeal and be forced to pay Aldi's costs.
New Mayor Elected for Guildford – 02/05/13
Shoppers in Guildford town centre this Sunday will get the first view of the new mayor as she makes an official procession along Guildford High Street on her first public appearance. Councillor Diana Lockyer-Nibbs was inducted as the new mayor during a meeting at Guildhall on Wednesday. The new mayor has selected the Surrey Association for Visual Impairment as her chosen charity for the year. Councillor David Elms was inducted as Deputy Mayor.
Lorry Fire Closes A3 – 26/04/13
The A3 southbound carriageway was closed for nearly an hour yesterday after the cab of a lorry burst into flames. The driver was approaching Guildford when he was forced to make an emergency stop and leap from his cab after the fire started. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus spent 20 minutes putting out the flames which were thought to be started due to an electrical fault.
North Street Development Delayed – 24/04/13
The new owners of the Friary Centre in Guildford have appealed to councillors to delay choosing a development partner for North Street. Prupim, who bought the Friary Centre in March have proposed that they should be involved in the re-development, not the favoured bidder Lend Lease. With a £250 million investment in Guildford, Prupim will play a vital role in the future success of Guildford and should be the driving force behind development plans alongside the council and the Guildford Vision Group.
Civil Servant Jailed for Sexual Assault - 23/04/13
A married civil servant who worked for the Ministry of Defence has been jailed for five years and four months after sexually assaulting a woman. 37 year old Mark Scully from Pirbright was sentenced at Guildford Crown Court after being found guilty of sexual assault by penetration. The court heard how Scully had attacked a woman near Woking railway station last July after she had missed her stop on the train. He lured her to Greenheys Place and assaulted her before she managed to escape to nearby houses and raise the alarm. Scully, who claimed he was drunk at the time of the assault, is married with one child and another baby on the way.
School Secures Government Grant – 18/04/13
Pupils and teachers at Guildford County School are celebrating after they were awarded nearly £1.5 million for improvements at the school. The school applied for the grant from the Government’s Academy Capital Maintenance Funding Programme in order to build a new art block, expand the sixth form centre, increase the size of the music facilities and the facilities for design, technology, graphics and textiles. An application has been made to Guildford Borough Council for planning permission and local residents have been kept informed of the proposals in order to gain their support.
Rugby Champions Commit to Guildford – 12/04/13
Harlequins Rugby Club, the current Aviva Premiership champions, have committed to continuing their allegiance with Guildford by creating a state of the art training centre. The rugby club have signed a 15 year lease for a building next to it's two pitches at the Surrey Sports Park. Harlequins will build medical facilities, meeting rooms, a lecture theatre and administration offices at the site.
Young Man Dies at Train Station – 03/04/13
A 22 year old man from Woking died at Guildford train station on Saturday after falling between the platform and a train. Ryan Harrison was with a friend at the station at around 11.40pm on Saturday night when he became involved in an altercation with a group of men. He was punched by one of the group and fell off the platform between the carriage of the train, which had just started to move. Mr Harrison was pronounced dead at the scene and two 19 year old men from Guildford were arrested by police on suspicion of murder. A third man from Cranleigh handed himself at a police station later on. All three suspects have been bailed until May pending further enquiries.
New Owners for Guildford's Friary Shopping Centre – 28/03/13
Ownership of The Friary shopping centre in Guildford has changed hands for the second time in 13 months for around £150 million. Prudential Property Investment Managers purchased the Friary centre from property company Hermes in exchange for a 36% share in their shopping centre, The Centre MK, in Milton Keynes. Prudential now have property in Guildford worth around £250 million including shops in the High Street and the Debenhams store in Guildford.
Female Getaway Driver Found Not Guilty – 25/03/13
Samantha Weston, the woman accused of driving the getaway car after a £340,000 raid on jewellery shop in Guildford, has been found not guilty after the jury heard that she had been forced to drive the two robbers away at gunpoint. 43 year old Weston had taken John Saunders and James Roberts into town under the impression that they were going to buy fishing tackle. When the men jumped back into the car following the robbery, Saunders lay in the back and covered himself with a duvet and Roberts got in the front, telling Weston to drive whilst pointing a gun at her.
Female Getaway Driver Denies Part in Robbery – 22/03/13
A 43 year old woman who drove the car that two armed robbers used to flee the scene of their crime has denied that she had any knowledge of the robbery. Samantha Weston is on trial at Guildford Crown Court for her part in the raid at the Cry for the Moon Jewellers in Tunsgate last August, in which two brothers ran into the shop brandishing a gun and escaped with £340,000 of jewellery. John Saunders and James Roberts burst into the shop and held the gun, later identified as a replica, to the throat of a shop worker. They were witnessed by a security guard getting into a Mercedes car driven by Weston, who then drove them away from the scene. However, Weston claims that she thought the brothers were shopping for fishing bait and was unaware of any criminal activity. The trial continues.
Guildford Gyratory Targeted for Improvements – 18/03/13
Surrey Future, the group formed by local authorities and businesses to tackle congestion on Surrey's roads, have identified the Guildford gyratory system as one of sixteen projects that requires improvements. Surrey's A roads carry 66% more traffic than the national average, resulting in congestion and journey delays. This has a knock on impact to the local economy as commuters are late for work, shoppers choose to go elsewhere and business investors are put off by the traffic problems. The group have also identified a number of areas on the A3 near Guildford that require improvements. Funding for the projects will come from contributions from developers, government grants, and councils.
Landlords Targeted for Council Tax Deficit – 07/03/13
Landlords and owners of second homes are being targeted by Guildford Borough Council in an attempt to boost their income from council tax. Following the government's decision to drop council tax benefit, Guildford Borough Council were faced with a £1.37 million shortfall but did not want to impose increases on low income households. The changes to council tax on second homes is expected to raise more than £650,000.
New Parking Restrictions Proposed in Guildford – 01/03/13
Residents in some Guildford streets could soon have to pay for a permit to park outside their own homes if council plans are approved. The whole of Onslow Village is being reviewed after numerous complaints from local residents about non-residents parking in streets whilst they visit Guildford town centre, the Royal Surrey Hospital or the University. Whilst the introduction of permit-only parking will stop this, it will mean charges for residents and their visitors. Another area facing new parking charges is Dene Road, which is often used by people visiting G Live.
New Music Event Planned for Guildford – 22/02/13
Following the liquidation of Scotty Events, organisers of Guilfest, last year it was feared that Guildford had lost it's popular festival after 21 years of the succesful event. However, Live Nation, the organisers of many other succesful music festivals including Reading and Leeds, have agreed a deal with Guildford Borough Council to allow them to hold an event this year. The festival will take place in Stoke Park on 13th and 14th July and tickets are expected to go on sale next week.
Cage Fighter KO'd by 70 Year Old – 19/02/13
Local cage fighter Nick 'The Headhunter' Chapman saw his dreams of a World title put on hold at the weekend after a car crashed into a shop that he was visiting, damaging his arm and narrowly avoiding serious injuries. Mr Chapman, who was due to be sponsored in his fight on 9th March by All About Guildford, had stopped at the Prime Wines shop in Worplesdon Road to purchase a bottle of water after training on Saturday. Whilst he was waiting to pay, an out of control green Volkswagon Lupo driven by a man in his 70's smashed through the front of the shop sending glass and debris flying towards Mr Chapman. His quick reflexes and training helped him to avoid serious damage, but a metal shelf smashed into his arm causing a fracture, meaning that he will not be able to fight.
Rapist Jailed for Six Years – 18/02/13
A 39 year old man who targeted a drunk 20 year old woman and raped her has been jailed for six years at Guildford Crown Court. Jose Leca of no fixed abode approached the young woman in a Guildford nightclub and despite being rebuffed, continued to pester her. He was told to leave the club by bouncers, but waited outside until the woman left on her own. He was spotted by CCTV approaching the woman and then led her down an isolated pathway alongside Guildford railway station, where he pushed her to the floor and raped her. Following the attack, the woman managed to find help from two taxi drivers who called police. Leca was arrested at the scene after he was caught hiding behind bins.
Job Cuts at Royal Surrey Hospital – 15/02/13
Up to 100 jobs will have to go at the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford in an attempt by bosses to save £4 million. Managers at the hospital have stated that 30 full-time jobs will have to be cut from April and they will have to stop filling vacancies and using agency staff. Out of the 30 immediate job cuts, around 10 will be nursing staff and the remainder administration and support staff.
Two Men Killed by Falling Door – 12/02/13
Tragedy struck at the G Live entertainment venue in Guildford on Saturday when two members of a band were killed by a falling a shutter door. Cornish group Fisherman's Friends were due to perform at thevenue on Saturday evening and were setting up their equipment during the day when the accident occurred. 44 year old tour manager Paul McMullen and 54 year old singer Trevor Grills were hit by the roller shutter as it collapsed. Mr McMullen sustained serious leg injuries and, despite the rescue attempts of fire crews and treatment by paramedics, he died at the scene. Mr Grills sustained serious head injuries and was rushed to St George's hospital in Tooting where he later died from his injuries. Surrey Police and the Health and Saftey Executive are investigating the cause of the accident.
Estate Agent Jailed for Theft – 08/02/13
A Guildford estate agent has been jailed for eight months for stealing money given to him as deposits from tenants. 46 year old Steven Matthews set up Harrington Estates and accepted money from tenants for properties in his portfolio. However, rather than holding the money in a secure account, he spent the money on living expenses and was unable to return the deposits when tenants vacated the properties. Guildford Crown Court heard how Matthews had committed similar offences in 2010 and reecieved a 10 month suspended sentence then.
Boyfriend Jailed for Flat Siege – 07/02/13
The man who threatened his ex-girlfriend with a knife whilst holding her hostage in her flat has been jailed for six years at Guildford Crown Court. 31 year old Billy English broke into Terri-Ann Brady's home last August after their relationship had ended. He held a knife to her throat and punched her in the face before barricading himself and his terrified ex inside the flat. During the six hour standoff with police, English lit numerous fires in the flat, threatening to kill everyone in the block including a baby and teenage girl. The siege was only eneded when police stormed the flat and restrained English with a taser.
Increase in Assaults at Hospital – 01/02/13
Worrying new figures released for the final quarter of 2012 reveal that assaults on staff at Royal Surrey County Hospital have risen by 171%. Although all of the reported assaults were minor and did not result in serious injury. In the three months from October 1st to December 31st, a total of 38 incidents were reported, ranging from patients and visitors assaulting staff to disputes between fellow staff members.
Elderly Woman Robbed by Snow Conmen – 23/01/13
A woman in her 90's was robbed in her own home by two men allegedly offering to clear snow from her path. The two men knocked on the door of the house in Chertsey Street last Friday carrying shovels and offered their services. Whilst the elderly lady was distracted, the men stole three pearl necklaces, a gold rope necklace and a bottle of brandy before leaving her home.
Cannabis Factory in Village – 22/01/13
Residents in the quiet village of Chilworth were astounded when they found out that a house in a residential street had been used to grow and cultivate cannabis. Police responding to an anonymous report of a break-in arrived at the house in Blacksmith Lane to discover the front door had been smashed in. Upon investigation, officers discovered equipment used to cultivate cannabis and 200 plants. Nobody was arrested at the scene and neighbours claim that the house owners moved out in October.
Subway Trouble Spot to Close Earlier – 18/01/13
The Subway sandwich shop in Bedford Road, Guildford have agreed to close half an hour earlier in an attempt to halt the violence that has been associated with it. The shop currently closes at 3am on a Friday and Saturday night but has been blighted by violent incidents as drunk customers flock there after bars and clubs close. Police made a request to Guildford Borough Council's licensing committee asking for conditions to be added to the shop's licence including earlier closing times, CCTV and door staff.
Woman Cleared of Stiletto Attack – 11/01/13
A 21 year old woman has been cleared of attacking a man with a stiletto shoe outside a nightclub in Guildford. Kayleigh Winters appeared at Guildford Crown Court accused of assault causing actual bodily harm during an argument outside the Rubix nightclub in Guildford with a group of men last May. Miss Winters had become involved in an altercation with the group which resulted in a young man being hit in the face and requiring stitches. After reviewing CCTV footage, the court accepted that the strike with the shoe had been an accident.
Hospital Welcomes New Endoscopy Unit – 03/01/13
The Royal Surrey County Hospital will unveil a brand new specialist endoscopy unit next week after a £5.6 million investment. The new unit, which will be opened by Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt on Friday, includes state of the art diagnostic and treatment equipment as well as four brand new procedure rooms. Endoscopy deals with both benign and malignant gastrointestinal disease.
Families Lose Out in Council Tax Change – 27/12/12
Hundreds of families in Guildford will be worse off when theri council tax benefit is cut in April. The governement have elected to drop the existing Council Tax Benefit scheme in favour of a new Local Council Tax Support Scheme, but have also cut funding by 10% - an equivalent of nearly £1.5 million. The biggest change with the new scheme is that benefit payments will be restricted to band D properties.
Merry Christmas from All About Guildford – 24/12/12
Welcome to the launch of All About Guildford and may we wish you a very merry Christmas. All About Guildford joins the All About Town stable of websites providing invaluable information on your local community and the businesses that serve it. We will bring you all of the latest news and information about Guildford 24/7, so please set us as one of your favourites. We hope that you enjoy All About Guildford and that we will be a useful resource for you.