With the clocks having gone back an hour and the evenings drawing in, I don't know about you, but for me summer is beginning to feel like a distant memory. So, this month, I thought I'd try to cheer everyone up by telling you about some of the winter festivities that the Council, working with local organisations and businesses, is helping to support in the months ahead.
It all starts later this month with the Dorking Christmas Lights switch on which, this year, will be celebrated outside Dorking Halls on Friday 24th November. Do come along and join in the fun with the pantomime cast of Sleeping Beauty! Christmas events come thick and fast after that and there will be fantastic fun for all ages at Gala Night in Dorking on 7th December, the Leatherhead 'Light up Christmas' event on 9th December, and the 'Winter Wonder Weekend' at the Deepdene Trail on 9th and 10th December (this event has already sold out!).
We are lucky to have some fantastic shopping opportunities in our towns and local communities, and the Council is keen to encourage shoppers to shop locally wherever possible and to take advantage of the wonderful array of cafes and restaurants. MVDC's parking charges compare favourably with other areas in Surrey all year round but, every year, the Council goes further and offers free parking in all MVDC-owned car parks from 12pm on Saturdays in the run up to Christmas. This year we are doing so again on three Saturdays - 2nd, 9th and 16th December. Free parking will also be available from 3pm on Gala Night and at two Christmas celebrations in Ashtead and Bookham on 5th and 14th December respectively.
Whilst we prepare for Christmas, we should also be prepared for the winter weather. The onset of cold weather over the coming months can be detrimental to people's health, regardless of age, and the Council has a number of tips available to help you stay well this winter. We will also share advice from the NHS to ensure you are best placed to look after yourself and others in your community who might be vulnerable. Don't forget too that free flu jabs are also available if you are pregnant, aged 65 or over, have a long term health condition or are a carer. Children aged 2 or 3 are also eligible.
So please remember to take care - and have fun!