Ashtead alley cleaning outfit gets new kit

Ashtead’s own alley cleaning ‘army’ of volunteers has new kit ready to head off into the paths and byways around the village.

With Covid stopping the advance of our intrepid volunteers in March of last year, the new gear has only recently been made available ready to start a programme of clear ups, following months of neglect thanks to the lockdown.

So, keep an eye open for the ‘Ashtead Independent Alley Action Volunteers’ snappily dressed in their new safety vests, caps, and with sign boards at the ready.

With local authority budgets being focused on only the essentials and clearing a lower priority, the Volunteers are helping fulfil a real need – to keep open our essential pathways and avoid them clogging up as nature takes over.

For those wishing to join our intrepid gang, then you should be aware that they meet once a month – usually on the first Saturday of the month for a couple of hours from 10am. The Team – now some 40 strong - is led by Mole Valley Village Ward councillor Alan Reilly who is usually joined by fellow Ashtead Independent Village Ward councillor Chris Hunt - the current chairman of MVDC.

So, if you want to join in the fun, and keep these important and often historic, pathways in tip top condition, then call Alan on 01372 802489 he can then brief you on when the next clean up session becomes available. In term of time commitment, the group is looking for residents who can commit up to two hours a month.

The alley volunteers are a pretty relaxed bunch so there’s few rules to think about and suggestions for targeting certain pathways are welcome. Nevertheless, volunteers need to take a practical approach and so turn up for clean-ups with the proper hand protection and footwear. Given there is no insurance to cover mishaps volunteers are asked to bring their own power tools and not to lend them out to others.

Given that garden waste is a hot topic in the district at the present time, you will be keen to know that all the waste is bagged up and removed every Monday or Tuesday by arrangement with Mole Valley District Council’s waste disposal contractors Amey. 

Given the national shortage of HGV licence holding drivers, if that becomes a problem in terms of collecting waste then volunteers will be stood down having been told in good time. Similarly, if the weather is looking tricky for any one of the clean-up days, then the general advice will be to stay at home.