Hostel Closed after Rat Infestation Reveal

By Rebecca Selby-Heard


Runnymede Borough Council decides to permanently close a hostel for homeless people in Englefeild Green after a rat infestation was found.


The 23-unit council-owned hostel on St. Jude’s Road was closed and evacuated after rodents forced young families out.


The building was used as a house for homeless families, often with children, awaiting council accommodation.


Families were moved to emergency accommodation after treatment for rats at the site proved useless. After families captured evidence of the rat infestation on mobile devices the council finally moved the families into emergency accommodation.


During a meeting of the council’s housing committee last Wednesday, officers said they had been made aware of the infestation. They went on to explain that they were conscious of the issue, particularly that the invasion had been growing effecting rooms on upper floors, since November.


However, it was rumored from ex-tenants that the issue had been raised earlier month before attention was finally given.


“The council did come out and said they would get on top of it but nothing really seemed to get done.” Exclaimed one single mother who had been staying at the hostel after living in multiple bed and breakfast’s.


“It wasn’t as though the council was not trying,” she said. “They baited them and you could smell dead rats until we complained and they baited again but I do not think they really realised how bad the infestation was. The rats were bold as brass.”


“They seemed drugged up from the poison, docile, running up the stairs. Someone would bang the door and they would slowly turn their heads. Pretty much everyone in there had children. Students added their rubbish bags and litter from people leaving next-door newsagents… There was a permanent food supply for them.”


The single mother, who wished to remain anonymous, moved out to alternate accommodation in November.


Pat Hollingsworth, Runnymede Borough Council’s head of housing, confirmed that all residents at the hostel had been informed that they were treating and baiting for rats.  However, when the infestation drastically escalated all residents were moved to alternative temporary accommodation in November. This was due to health and safety reasons.


The hasty decision, though made for valuable health and safety reasons, comes as yet another blow to the amount of temporary accommodation available in Runnymede. Addlestone prepares itself to loose more temporary accommodation units this month resulting in a loss of nearly half of its available places for homeless families.


General Meeting

That time had come again for all the brains and bodies of Royal Holloway to meet again in that ever so changing SU Main Hall, which so many of us know and so many have forgotten, or would rather choose to forget… Despite all that, we had all gathered there to bring change to this university and change is exactly what happened. After an incredibly slow and drawn out start, things were finally being discussed and questions were being thrown, some almost what seemed to be arguing, to our Senior Leadership Team and they had handled themselves in a calm and appropriate manner.

Throughout the hours, the tension appeared to rise somehow as motions were given and then many motions failing. It seems the confusion on the room allocations is still awry and people need to tell the officers when and where it has happened. Despite many bodies within in this university and the plethora of personalities within every society, we are only allowed 16 rooms for rehearsal purposes. Another key point is please have your motion formed before approaching the ‘court’ as there is nothing to discuss if nothing is formed … A fair point and therefore I did also oppose such motions.

All in all it seems we are, still in debate about many things HOWEVER, there is a silver lining through the darker shades of grey, we are going to increase library resources. Ideally, we are looking to ‘encourage’ the university into paying for this and also to increase maintenance grants. This caused a surprising controversy within the room and they were asked to be silenced but nonetheless, we all came together and united, not un-like Braveheart and passed this motion.

The next meeting is on the 3rd March. There was cheering and celebration at the fact that the GM finished inside the 2 hour guillotine!


By Raheem Mir

Horley Attack

Horley Attacker Convicted – By Lori Murphey

On the morning of Thursday, 19th December 2013 police were called to the Court Lodge estate in Horley at around 9:45am after drug-fuelled 26-year-old Anthony Lloyd forced entry to into two properties and assaulted their occupants.


The first property contained 43-year-old Julie Lawson, who Lloyd assaulted causing serious facial harm which required corrective surgery. The court heard of how he continued to beat Miss Lawson until she struggled to breathe, at which point he beat her around the legs using a metal canister. In his state of psychosis, Lloyd threatened to saw his victim in half with a machete before leaving her property.


Minutes later, Lloyd proceeded to the home of sleeping Harry Craig, who he attacked leaving him with multiple fractures to his face and jaw and brain injuries which required emergency surgery. Mr Craig recalls losing consciousness, but noted the “wild manner” of Lloyd during his frenzied attack.


Lloyd left the scene before officers arrived, however he was caught and arrested later that day.


After a week-long trial at Guildford Crown Court in September, last week Lloyd was convicted of two counts of causing grievous bodily harm and sentenced to twelve years imprisonment for his crimes. The sentencing was six years for each assault, to be served consecutively.

Bears Day


Whether you were dragged along to the games by an enthusiastic friend or were keen to see The Bears for yourself, you couldn’t deny the surreal team atmosphere on the pitch this Wednesday. With cheers being heard all the way from the Hub, the sports centre sure made lots of noise for our home team!


And for all the right reasons, as our very own rugby, volleyball, netball and table tennis teams did not lose a single game. With over half of the games won over the Wednesday afternoon, the RHUL Bears showed great promise for the start of the new season.


Yet, something very peculiar happened that day. Although the RHUL Bears are famous for their netball and rugby team, on this particular match day, the lacrosse field was where it was at! One of the biggest crowds of the day gathered to watch the Mens 1st division battle it out with Surrey’s best.


The 60 minute match captivated students from all walks of student life at Royal Holloway.  Paul Geerligs, a third year Classics & Philosophy student, spoke at length about the game of lacrosse and the community it promotes both within the players and its fans. In fact, even spending the time which should have been dedicated to ‘writing dissertations’ for his course, was worth sacrificing just to hang out with fellow admirers of the sport.


Lacrosse, which was a real underdog just last year, was favoured by spectators over more conventional sports like football or tennis. ‘They really get into it’ said Andrew Arnold, an international masters student, ‘It’s a really friendly, warm and inviting sport where people really get hit.’  From the cheers of the subs waiting to get on the pitch, to injured players who came to support the team none the less, the evidence of this statement could be seen all around the field.


So, if you’re looking to meet new people or just get into the team spirit, don’t miss out on the chance to see the Bears this Wednesday at the Sports Pitches around campus. Go on! You’d be mad not to!


By Valentina Mihova


Insanity Radio News Correspondent