A BYFLEET resident is alarmed at the increasing amount of “laughing gas” sniffing taking place in the village recreation ground’s car park.

He says the area is often littered with nitrous oxide bulbs – mini cylinders – as young people congregate there to get high on the gas.

Empty mini capsules used to contain nitrous oxide gas were found discarded in the Byfleet recreation grounds car park

The resident, who asked not to be named, says the recreation ground is not being properly looked after.

There is a graffiti on the skateboard ramps and a large puddle, caused by a blocked drain, has been forming in the car park for two years.

“The nitrous oxide sniffing has been going on for months, but the debris from it has never been as bad as it is now,” he said. “I called Woking Borough Council about it because the ground was littered with bulbs and six or seven of the boxes that they come in.”

Nitrous oxide bulbs, which are commonly used in whipped cream machines, can easily be bought online at around £9.50 for 24. Some retailers state that they are for food use only and restrict sales to over-18s, but others have no age restrictions or warnings.

For the full story get the 28 March edition of the News & Mail

THE chairman of The Football Association visited the Byfleet village Club at the weekend.

Greg Clarke, right, with Paul Robinson (club chairman), middle, and Rosie Ainsworth (club secretary), left

Greg Clarke, who previously served as the chairman of The Football League and Leicester City, was given a tour of Byfleet Village’s facilities by Paul Robinson (club chairman) and rosie Ainsworth (club secretary). Clarke also watched practice sessions involving the club’s girls and under fives.

His visit was part of a whistle-stop tour of some of Surrey’s youth development clubs for boys’ and girls’ football.

Robinson said: “It’s nice to see that people at the The FA are willing to come down and see what we are doing at Byfleet Village.

“This season we got our first girls’ team off the ground, at under-11 level

A Byfleet Village player practices her footwork

“We’re also actively involved through local schools helping to promote girls’ football, where we’re currently providing training free of charge until the end of the season to try and get as many girls involved in football as possible.”

Clarke said: “Byfleet village is a wonderful club run by wonderful people.”

For the full picture feature get the 14 March edition of the News & Mail

ST JOHN’S CHURCH in West Byfleet was packed out for a different sort of service when 260 people piled into the pews to discuss proposals for a major transformation in the village.

Byfleet, West Byfleet and Pyrford Residents’ Association called the meeting to discuss plans to remodel Sheer House and the adjoining retail centre in Station Approach.

Owners Cube Real Estate have lodged an outline application to build a total of 53 flats in one, two and four-storey towers.

Plans rule out an increase in parking but include the demolition of the area’s public toilets and cladding to all facades.

The leases of the business occupants run out next year, but the plans state that office floorspace, retail units and the public library would be retained.

On the panel were Woking MP Jonathan Lord, planning chairman Ashley Bowes, councillors Richard Wilson and Gary Elson, and John Bond and Martin Doyle from the residents’ association. Also present were Cllrs Anne Roberts, Graham Christie and Saj Hussain.

Association planning advisor Richard Thomas stated that any changes would be much more welcomed if the development was aesthetically pleasing.
He said: “We don’t object to development but it needs to look attractive and not be oversubscribed.”

Currently under consultation, Cllr Bowes (right) explained that the applicants have gone through the process legally and stressed that the application is still at a very early stage.

Cllr Wilson, who has lived in the village since 1971, suggested West Byfleet would be better off if the entire building was stripped down.

He said: “The building has been there since the 1960s and needs demolishing.

“They plan to get rid of the toilets and are suggesting children use facilities in the NHS centre or at Waitrose.

“There will be no affordable housing, they are not addressing parking and there will be infrastructure problems.

“Already we have pressure on numbers.”

And Mr Lord seemed to agree that the proposal could have been managed in a more encompassing manner.

He said: “This is a very important application for the future of villagers.

“It should have been considered as a whole project along with the wider issues.”

When one resident asked how it would fit in with the Local Plan, Cllr Bowes replied: “The 1968 building was not designed to be here this long but public money is a major consideration. I’d be confident in advising a refusal if the development did not have a robust reason to justify it.”

But resident Peter Quinn failed to hide his frustrations and said: “I am appalled – the extra storeys are totally inappropriate. The best thing would be to take down the building and start again. It needs to be

Association chairman Godfrey Chapples tried to reassure residents by explaining that the project would likely be a phased development.

Residents have until March 26 to comment on PLAN/2013/0026 on the council website or visit

SUITS YOU, SIR - Matt Cobb with his greyhounds sporting Jubilee cravats

SUITS YOU, SIR - Matt Cobb with his greyhounds sporting Jubilee cravats

IT was a weekend none of us will ever experience again. Street ­closures were rejoiced. The weather was not an issue. The Queen was ­celebrating 60 years on the throne and Woking was in the mood to party.

In Chobham a red, white and blue wave of people washed through the high street.

Horsell crowned its ­Jubilee weekend with a collection of hats that Her ­Majesty would have felt at home in.

While hundreds of picnickers ­savoured this historic moment on Byfleet village recreation ground.

A regal parade, fronted by a stirring marching band, hit the right note with revellers at ­Pirbright Green.

In Ripley, hundreds watched on as the Diamond Jubilee beacon was lit on the village green. And Pat Baker, born in the year of The Queen’s coronation, unveiled a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion.

In total, 48 roads were lawfully closed for residents to take their parties to the street.

The Queen is the physical embodiment of all that is great about us and our country

And there were hundreds of impromptu gatherings tucked away in the borough’s streets, as friends, families and neighbours ­enjoyed a right royal knees up.

A sing off and ­Wellington boot ­throwing competition was held at Maitland Close, West ­Byfleet.

Champion ­thrower James Post, 38, said: “Celebrating a ­Jubilee is very unique.

“There will not be a day like this again for a very long time so we should take the time to enjoy it.”

Residents of Lincoln Drive, Pyrford, received the shock of their lives when the Mayor of ­Woking, Michael Smith, arrived with Mayoress Anne Murray and joined in their ­Jubilee bash.

Freda Spickett, 84, of Send, toasted Elizabeth II’s Coronation in 1953 and remembered it being very similar to her Diamond Jubilee. She said: “It was wet and very cold that day, too.”

As The Queen marked her 60th year as head of the monarchy, villagers gathered on the green to celebrate her outstanding achievement.

A rousing marching band led a parade of patriotism, with young and old decked in their finest royal-themed fancy dress, with red, white and blue the order of the day.

Cunningham House retirement home residents decorated two golf buggies to join in the action before everyone tucked into a mouth-watering lamb roast.

Laura McMurniman, 25, who grew up in the village and was married in St Michael & All Angels church last summer, said: “It’s great how so many different generations are involved.

“My whole family being here made my dad so happy – he was actually born in the village.

“I know she was really busy but I’m sure The Queen would have loved seeing everyone enjoying themselves.”

Laura’s husband Sheldon, 30, added: “Pirbright is the quintessential British village.

“The community spirit and ‘tally- ho’ attitude really does epitomise everything we are celebrating this weekend.

“The Queen is the physical embodiment of all that is great about us and our country.

“Even the cricketers were out and about gearing up to try and get some overs in despite the rain.”