I would like to wish everyone a very happy and prosperous New Year. For me personally there were highs and lows during 2011, the high of course the births of our grandchildren Emily and Finley who are both very well. During the middle of last year my brother in law Len was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at St Peter’s Hospital with pneumonia and septicemia. He remained in ICU for about 3 months, and we are told has set the record for the longest stay in this unit. After a long period of rehabilitation Len has now recovered sufficiently to return to playing golf, albeit only 9 holes at the moment. I am sure Len will not mind me saying that without the professionalism, support and care he received from all the staff at St Peters, he probably would not be with us today. The ICU at our local hospital is one of the most up to date in the country. The dedication shown by all the units’ staff is something of which we should be immensely proud.

As a member of the Elmbridge Local Committee for SCC I volunteered to join the Surrey Youth Task Group. This group has been set up to look at ways of guiding youngsters away from the justice system, and includes members of the local community, councils, judiciary and police. It is early days for the group which was only set up towards the end of last year but in my opinion has shown positive signs, not least with a forum attended by around 30 youngsters who also gave up their own time. Through our newsletter and this column I will keep you posted.


Mike Murdoch