Last month I wrote to you about New Year resolutions. If you were one of the many people (myself included!) who pledged to try to live a more active life in 2017, then I'm delighted to tell you that Mole Valley District Council has plenty on offer to help you keep that commitment.Here in Mole Valley we are particularly fortunate to live in an area where it is relatively easy to access wonderful countryside that is ideal for walking. If you find it difficult to get motivated, our Walk for Health programme provides an excellent opportunity to join an informal walking group from various locations across the District. The winter timetable consists of ten walks throughout the week led by our volunteer guides. Anyone is welcome.
The Council also maintains parks and playgrounds across the District to encourage children and adults to get some fresh air and exercise outdoors. Last year we completed our fabulous new playground in Meadowbank, Dorking and this year we are focusing our efforts on improving the skate park facilities at Kingston Road, Leatherhead. Meanwhile, work at our new Meadowbank Football Ground is progressing well. This will provide top-quality football facilities as well as an indoor soft play area and a café open throughout the week.
Our Deepdene Trail just outside Dorking is a perfect place for a peaceful walk or a run through the woods. You can enjoy the views as well as explore the restored features of the fascinating Thomas Hope estate.
If you don't fancy braving the weather, then one of our two first-class leisure centres might be more your thing. We have fabulous facilities on offer in Dorking and Leatherhead if you want to swim, attend fitness classes, play team games or push your limits in the gym.
We also offer two flagship programmes to support people back into exercise, or to take up a new sport. Our Inclusive Sports programme offers over a dozen disability-friendly sports for all abilities and our Exercise on Referral Scheme provides heavily subsidised access to our leisure centres for those suffering from certain conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease and high blood pressure.
I am pleased to say that Mole Valley District Council has been able to provide many of these facilities and initiatives by attracting funding from a range of different bodies. Successful bids to the Heritage Lottery Fund, Sport England and Public Health England have all contributed towards providing these activities for our residents.
For those of you who are still managing to keep your New Year's resolution to stay active: keep it up. For those of you who might be struggling, I speak from personal experience when I say that it's never too late to get going again!
Cllr Vivienne Michael
Leader of the Council