News in Godalming

Empty retail units in the High Street.

The pandemic has been disastrous for some independent businesses, with many closing their doors never to reopen, while others face an uphill battle to recoup the losses of three lockdowns.

While many have praised the Government and local councils for getting financial aid packages in place, such as rate holidays and furlough cash, one sector that appears not to be offering concessions is commercial landlords.

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What a year it's been - and like the best thrillers the rollercoaster has continued right to the end with vaccines, a cancelled Christmas and the prospect of a January lockdown. At the same time a completely separate rollercoaster has given us the ups and downs of the Brexit trade negotiations.

But as I write this message at Christmas, I want to focus on the biggest positive of a horrible year: the unexpected blossoming of community spirit. This week I had to do something immensely heart-warming: along with Colin Channon, Editor of the Farnham Herald, and Dr Chris Jagger from Godalming and Anne Downing from Haslemere I sat down to look through the 90 plus nominations we have received for the South West Surrey Community Heroes Awards scheme.

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Victor Trevor from the Godalming branch of Extinction Rebellion writes the group's latest column for Nub News.

I can only stand in awe of the sparkling intelligence and capabilities of men and women such as Uur ahin, the brilliant scientist whose work has spearheaded the development of a vaccine for COVID-19.

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"I was born in the village, so they just mean so much to me - these woods and the pear tree - and we're just seeing it being destroyed for a stupid train that nobody wants and nobody is going to use. I am so upset. It's a waste of time and money; we are seeing this every day up and down the country, destroying all our trees and our wildlife, and it's just awful."

Those were the words of a local resident as she watched, in tears, as the iconic 250-year-old Cubbington pear tree in Warwickshire was felled by HS2 contractors on 20th October. It seems that nothing of any natural value can now stand in the way of this project.

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Godalming Nub News is delighted to welcome a new columnist: Waverley borough councillor for Binscombe, Nick Palmer.

Nick was Labour MP for Broxtowe from 1997-2010 after a career in IT, and is currently chair of the constituency Labour Party, and as councillor for Binscombe is on the executive of Waverley Borough Council.

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