Mole Valley District
Bridge over the River Mole at Leatherhead
Bridge over the River Mole at Leatherhead
Motto(s): 
Ministrando vigilans
(Latin: Vigilant in our serving)
Mole Valley shown within Surrey
Mole Valley shown within Surrey
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth East England
Non-metropolitan countySurrey
StatusNon-metropolitan district
Admin HQDorking
Incorporated1 April 1974
Government
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district council
 • BodyMole Valley District Council
Area
 • Total99.7 sq mi (258.3 km2)
 • Rank133rd (of 296) Highest point  : Leith Hill
Population
 (2021)
 • Total87,608
 • Rank270th (of 296)
 • Density880/sq mi (340/km2)
Ethnicity (2021)
 • Ethnic groups
List
Religion (2021)
 • Religion
List
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code43UE (ONS)
E07000210 (GSS)
OS grid referenceTQ0496458567

Mole Valley is a local government district in Surrey, England. Its council is based in Dorking, and the district's other town is Leatherhead. The largest villages are Ashtead, Fetcham and Great Bookham, in the northern third of the district.

Most of the district is on the escarpments of or adjoins the Surrey Hills, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which cover parts of the North Downs and Greensand Ridge, including locally Leith Hill, Polesden Lacey and Box Hill. Denbies Wine Estate, the largest vineyard in the country, is on the hills north-west of Dorking.[2] The Pilgrims' Way footpath runs along the North Downs. There are stations on the LondonWorthing and ReadingGatwick Airport railways, and in the northern third, a commuter stopping-service pattern line, LondonGuildford (via Epsom) line.

The A24 road and the M25 motorway are the main thoroughfares and relative to London the incidence of car ownership is high. The area hosts hill-focussed sub-laps of the London–Surrey Classic cycling tour each year.

The neighbouring districts are Epsom and Ewell, Reigate and Banstead, Crawley, Horsham, Waverley, Guildford, Elmbridge and Kingston upon Thames, the latter being a London borough.

History

The district was created on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, covering three former districts which were all abolished at the same time:[3][4]

The new district was named after the River Mole, which flows through the area.[5]

Governance

Mole Valley District Council
Logo
Type
Type
Leadership
Patricia Wiltshire,
Ashtead Ind.
since 23 May 2023[6]
Stephen Cooksey,
Liberal Democrat
since 21 May 2019
Karen Brimacombe
since 2017
Structure
Seats39 councillors
Political groups
Administration (30)
  Liberal Democrats (30)
Other parties (9)
  Ashtead Ind. (6)
  Conservative (3)
Elections
First past the post
Last election
4 May 2023
Next election
2 May 2024
Meeting place
Pippbrook, Dorking, RG14 1SJ
Website
www.molevalley.gov.uk
South Holmwood

Mole Valley District Council provides district-level services. County-level services are provided by Surrey County Council.[7] Parts of the district are covered by civil parishes, which form a third tier of local government for their areas.[8]

Political control

The council has been under Liberal Democrat majority control since 2019.

The first elections to the council were held in 1973, initially operating as a shadow authority alongside the outgoing authorities until the new arrangements came into effect on 1 April 1974. Political control of the council since 1974 has been as follows:[9] [10]

Party in control Years
No overall control 1974–1980
Independent 1980–1982
No overall control 1982–1994
Liberal Democrats 1994–1995
No overall control 1995–2006
Conservative 2006–2010
No overall control 2010–2015
Conservative 2015–2018
No overall control 2018–2019
Liberal Democrats 2019–present

Leadership

The leaders of the council since 2012 have been:[11]

Councillor Party From To
James Friend Conservative May 2012
Chris Townsend[12] Independent May 2012 May 2015
James Friend Conservative May 2015 2016
Vivienne Michael Conservative 2016 5 May 2019
Stephen Cooksey Liberal Democrats 21 May 2019

Composition

Following the 2023 election the composition of the council was:[13]

Party Councillors
Liberal Democrats 30
Ashtead Independents 6
Conservative 3
Total 39

The next election is due in 2024.

Elections

See also: Mole Valley District Council elections

Since the last boundary changes in 2023 the council has comprised 39 councillors representing 13 wards, with each ward electing three councillors. Elections are held three years out of every four, with a third of the council (one councillor for each ward) elected each time for a four-year term of office. Surrey County Council elections are held in the fourth year of the cycle when there are no district council elections.[14]

Most of the district lies within the Mole Valley constituency, the exception being Ashtead which is within the Epsom and Ewell constituency.[8]

Premises

Pippbrook House: Council's offices until 1984.

The council is based at Pippbrook on Reigate Road in Dorking, which was purpose-built for the council and opened in 1984.[15] It was built in the grounds of a large Victorian house, called Pippbrook House, which had served as the headquarters of the old Dorking Urban District Council from 1931 and then as Mole Valley District Council's headquarters until the new building opened.[16]

Towns and parishes

Further information: List of civil parishes in Surrey

The former Leatherhead Urban District, which included Ashtead, Fetcham, Great Bookham and Little Bookham, is an unparished area, as is the majority of the former Dorking Urban District.[8][17]

The rest of the district is covered by civil parishes:[18][19]

Demographics

A Legatum Prosperity Index published by the Legatum Institute in October 2016 showed Mole Valley as the second most prosperous council area in the United Kingdom, after the nearby Borough of Waverley.[20]

Churches graded II* or above

St Nicolas, Great Bookham
St John, Wotton
St Michael, Mickleham
St Michael's Betchworth, 13th century, used in Four Weddings and a Funeral
Church Place Listed building
Class
St Michael Betchworth I [21]
St Nicolas Great Bookham I[22]
All Saints Little Bookham II*
St Nicholas Charlwood I[23]
St Michael Mickleham I [24]
St John the Evangelist Wotton I [25]
St Mary & St Nicholas Leatherhead II*[26]
St Barnabas Ranmore Common II* [27]
St Mary Pixham II* [28]
St Martin Dorking II* [29]
St Mary Fetcham II* [30]
St Giles Ashtead II* [31]
St James Abinger Common II* [32]
Holy Trinity Westcott II* [33]
St Bartholomew Leigh II* [34]
St Margaret Ockley II* [35]
St John the Baptist Walliswood II* [36]

Emergency services

Mole Valley is served by these emergency services:

Freedom of the District

See also

References

  1. ^ a b UK Census (2021). "2021 Census Area Profile – Mole Valley Local Authority (E07000210)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  2. ^ "Government information about visitor attractions at Denbie's". Surrey County Council. Archived from the original on 1 September 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  3. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan District (Definition) Order 1972", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 1972/2039, retrieved 17 November 2023
  4. ^ "Charlwood and Horley Act 1974", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, 1974 c. 11, retrieved 13 January 2024
  5. ^ "The English Non-metropolitan Districts (Names) Order 1973", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 1973/551, retrieved 3 January 2024
  6. ^ "Council minutes, 23 May 2023". Mole Valley District Council. Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  7. ^ "Local Government Act 1972", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, 1972 c. 70, retrieved 31 May 2023
  8. ^ a b c "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 9 January 2023.
  9. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
  10. ^ "Mole Valley". BBC News Online. 19 April 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  11. ^ "Council minutes". Mole Valley District Council. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  12. ^ Martin, Guy (25 May 2012). "Tory-independent union to continue in Mole Valley". Surrey Live. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  13. ^ "Local elections 2023: live council results for England". The Guardian.
  14. ^ "The Mole Valley (Electoral Changes) Order 2023", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, SI 2023/49, retrieved 13 January 2024
  15. ^ "The war-time library goes up market into mansion". Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser. 14 February 1986. p. 16. Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  16. ^ "Dorking". West Sussex Gazette. 10 December 1931. p. 4. Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  17. ^ "Surrey: Diagram showing administrative boundaries, 1971". National Library of Scotland. Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  18. ^ "Surrey County Council website". Archived from the original on 3 September 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  19. ^ "Parish Councils". Mole Valley District Council. Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  20. ^ Braiden, Gerry (13 October 2016). "Scots authority named amongst UK's top 10 most prosperous – as neighbouring city props up table". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  21. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1378131)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  22. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1028641)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  23. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1248610)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  24. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1028835)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  25. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1294098)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  26. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1190429)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  27. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1189879)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  28. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1279086)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  29. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1028904)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  30. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1378187)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  31. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1028685)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  32. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1378082)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  33. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1227892)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  34. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1028748)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  35. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1028694)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  36. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1028844)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  37. ^ Martin, Guy (2 July 2013) [25 May 2010]. "Headley Court granted district's highest honour". Surrey Live. Retrieved 3 May 2023.

51°18′57.68″N 0°29′37.31″W / 51.3160222°N 0.4936972°W / 51.3160222; -0.4936972