Aldershot News & Mail : 2020-07-29

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8 NEWS & MAIL WEDNESDAY, JULY 29, 2020 News Pride all over the county as party heads out on the road By DAVID ATKINS pride on the road route @SurreyLive THE Pride in Surrey team will be taking a tour of all 11 districts in the county in a Pride-themed vehicle this summer. Pride in Surrey has announced the new event will be taking place on the weekend of August 8-9. Founder Stephen Ireland said: “We are driving through Surrey, making sure people know they are not alone and there are people just like them in society.” In April, Pride in Surrey was forced to cancel its main Pride event scheduled for August 8, due to the coronaviru­s pandemic. Mr Ireland added: “We have to adhere to social distancing, we can’t gather. We want people to clap, cheer and take a photo as we drive by. We know there are some people that can’t get outside, so we are live streaming from the vehicle and around Surrey with musicians. “We want people to take photos, use the hashtag #PrideOnThe­Road, and there is a competitio­n for whoever can take the best photo of us.” SPECIFIC locations are to be confirmed. ■Saturday August 8 Epsom & Ewell - Epsom Town Elmbridge - Walton Spelthorne - Staines Woking - Woking Town Runnymede - Virginia Water Surrey Heath - Camberley ■Sunday August 9 Waverley - Farnham Guildford - Guildford Town Mole Valley - Dorking Reigate & Banstead Tandridge - Godstone ■ ■ Pride in Surrey’s first event last summer was a big success BEN MOLE On June 27, Pride in Surrey became one of many regional and national Pride organisati­ons to be involved with Global Pride. Mr Ireland said: “Pride is still a protest. In the UK we need to sort out the Gender Recognitio­n Act, which is trying to remove the rights of our trans citizens, and we are pro- The first ever Pride in Surrey was held last August, with more than 3,000 people participat­ing in a parade through Woking town centre. “We are encouragin­g people to put their LGBT flags out, so that we are visible across Surrey on that weekend,” Mr Ireland said. The official routes of the event will be announced soon. Mr Ireland added: “We are working with Surrey County Council to confirm routes. We may be travelling through some areas that may not welcome us. “Woking is very accepting, but there are some places in Surrey that are less accepting, it’s important to increase visibility.” testing that gay conversion therapy is still legal in the UK. “Conversion therapy is impacting the wellbeing of youngsters, we know at Pride in Surrey, we have prevented suicides throughout lockdown with people that have contacted us,” he said. MP’s message to forces charities Green light to ‘unlock’ Blackwater Valley jams NORTH East Hampshire MP Ranil Jayawarden­a has called on local military-focused charities to apply for government Armed Forces funding. The Ministry of Defence provides £10 million a year in grants for programmes that support the armed forces community. This financial year, the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust has a further £10m to specifical­ly deliver charitable projects and initiative­s that support veterans with mental health needs. Projects that have received funding in the past range from building new nurseries in civilian areas which also have a high density of Armed Forces families, to funding military-themed community activities that increase understand­ing between the Armed Forces and civilian communitie­s. Mr Jayawarden­a said: “During these difficult times and beyond I want to make sure residents in the armed forces, including those still serving, veterans, and their families, get the support and services they need. Military charities operating in North East Hampshire do a fantastic job in supporting this community and I want to ensure they, and other charities like them, are supported to housing in the Guildford borough, as well as supporting greener travel, reducing congestion and improving air quality on Surrey’s busy roads, according to the county council. Cllr Colin Kemp, the county’s deputy leader, said: “These two junctions are important for the Blackwater area of Guildford, to support the delivery of housing in the borough but also as an important part of our road network. “These junction improvemen­ts will also support greener travel methods like walking and cycling, and help to reduce congestion and improve air quality on Surrey’s busy roads. So when the delivery of these schemes was going to be a challenge, Surrey County Council was happy to work in partnershi­p with Guildford Borough Council to jointly fund and take over the delivery. There is still a lot of work to get this done by next year, but [it is] a challenge that the county will meet.” Enterprise M3 LEP will provide 50% of the total costs of the scheme. Its chief executive, Kathy Slack, said the plans would help ensure “traffic does not return to the levels of congestion we saw in the area before the pandemic”. SIGNIFICAN­T plans to improve traffic flow between towns along the A331 Blackwater Valley Relief Road and Guildford will be going ahead. The ambitious plan to “unlock” Guildford, which reached its design phase before being delayed due to coronaviru­s, aims to reduce congestion at peak times between Farnboroug­h, Camberley, Aldershot, Farnham, Tongham, Ash and Surrey’s busiest town. The Blackwater Valley Hotspots project, set out by Guildford Borough Council and Surrey County Council, will see improvemen­ts at two key junctions along the A331. The roundabout junction with the A31 has previously been described by the borough council as causing “significan­t delays” due to the number of vehicles joining from the A331 to head towards Farnham and Guildford. Also listed for improvemen­t works is the A323 Guildford Road and A324 Pirbright Road traffic signal junction – the roundabout between Ash and Aldershot – which the borough council has described as suffering from “congestion and queuing during peak periods”. The junction improvemen­ts will also help to support the delivery of MP Ranil Jayawarden­a on a visit to RAF Odiham in 2016 opportunit­y that’s applicable to you and if I can support you in potentiall­y accessing additional funding. “I’d also love to hear from other residents, for example people involved with veteran’s groups, with any ideas they might have for future funding initiative­s I could take to Ministers.” To contact Mr Jayawarden­a, send an email to get their fair share of the government’s annual £10m Forces Covenant Fund. “The fund provides grants to charities doing invaluable work with serving and former armed forces personnel. That’s why I’m urging any military charity and organisati­on in the constituen­cy to contact me if you would like to meet and discuss the Fund, to see if it’s an PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTE­D BY PRESSREADE­R PressReade­ +1 604 278 4604 . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . 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