February has been a busy month as the AGM Notice had to be done, hence a rather late bulletin – however here goes! Some of the items will be repeated in the AGM Notice as some people do not get the Bulletins.
The Eighty Fifth Annual General Meeting
Will be held at
WALLACE FIELDS JUNIOR SCHOOL in the Hall
7.30pm on Monday 30 March 2020
GUEST SPEAKER – Alex Coley, Borough Councillor –
Climate Change Action
- Apologies for absence
- Minutes of the Eighty Fourth AGM held on 6 March 2019
- Statement of Accounts
- Report from the Committee
- Election of Officers, Committee and Examiner of Accounts
- Councillors’ Forum
- Any Other Business
The Officers and Committee would be delighted to welcome you at the Annual General Meeting – an excellent opportunity to meet your neighbours, committee members and Councillors informally. Refreshments will be provided from 7.10pm.
I have decided that after almost ten years of acting as Chair, it’s time for me to step down and let someone else take up the reins. Steve Whiteway, who joined our committee a while ago, has agreed to take on this role and I am sure he will bring new ideas and enthusiasm to the Association. I shall continue as Treasurer and to produce the bulletins for the foreseeable future. May I thank everyone who has supported me over the years, many of whom I now count on as friends.
Paula Mcnally, who has acted as secretary since the early 2000’s, is also stepping down from her role. Paula has been a source of great information and help to me and the Association and we are most grateful to her for years of enduring and efficient service. Thank you so much Paula – enjoy your “free” time.
Good news is that Michael Arthur has agreed to be our President. Michael’s knowledge of all local matters is invaluable and we are delighted to welcome him.
With Paula standing down, there will be a vacancy for a Secretary. Is there someone out there who would like to have a go and come and join us? Please come and have a word about what is involved, we would be delighted to welcome you.
Now for a round-up of planning issues
12 Longdown Lane North – (18/01055/FUL) – the work here is almost complete and we are working with the developer to reinstate the grassy area in front of the house which is well used by residents and school children. Rain has not helped!
1 Higher Green – (19/00758/FUL) this has gone to appeal – as unfortunately anticipated! We have appealed, as have many other residents. In this connection have discovered a particularly disturbing lack of compliance with regulations regarding letters of objection to be sent to the Inspectorate. Some documents were missing from the website and others had not been forwarded as is the legal duty of the Council. This highlights a breakdown in the Planning Department and we are certainly taking this matter further as this is not the first time this has happened.
Higher Green/Links Road – Backland Development – (19/00354/FUL) we have teamed up with Links Road to oppose the backland development application for the erection of 4 new dwellings and associated access, landscaping and parking which has gone to appeal. We have contributed to the fighting fund. Stop Press we have just heard that the appeal has been dismissed!
North Looe Estate (170 Reigate Road) – (19/01593/FUL) proposed change of use of the land and buildings for a Dog Day-care centre. The Dog Day-care Centre will accommodate up to 40 dogs on the site at any one time, and the supporting staff (at full capacity) would comprise 4 drivers/walkers and 2 x day care assistants. In addition, there would be the day-care manager and owner. The operational hours would be from 8.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday. However, when allowing for the fact that dogs will be collected between 8am and 9.30pm from their owners’ homes it is expected that many of the dogs will arrive at the site between 9.30am and 10.00am and depart around 3.30pm. As such, dogs will be on the site for only 6 hours during the working week. No dogs will be kept at the premises overnight. There do not appear to be any objections to this and a decision is awaited pending the answers to the questions raised by the SCC Highways Officer.
Guild Living at rear of Epsom Hospital – (19/01722/FUL)| demolition of redundant hospital buildings and redevelopment of the site to provide a new care community for older people arranged in two buildings, comprising 302 to 308 care residences, 8 to 12 care apartments and 26 to 30 care suites proving transitional care, together with ancillary communal and support services Use Class C2, 24 key worker units Use Class C3, children’s nursery Use Class D1 as well as associated back of house and service areas, car and cycle parking, altered vehicular and pedestrian access, landscaping, private amenity space and public open space. This is truly a massive application – probably the largest ever seen in the Borough on such a small site. It extends to 9 storeys high. Undoubtedly this will being receiving much publicity and generating strong opposition.
South Hatch Stables – (18/00308/FUL) – there is no further news on referral of this application for the demolition of the existing Racehorse Training Establishment (RTE) and the erection of a new RTE comprising of a main yard stable complex of 40 boxes and other facilities together with a residential development comprising 46 apartments to the Secretary of State who will decide whether to call it in for review as Green Belt is involved.
7 Station Approach Stoneleigh – (19/00668/FUL) application for the demolition of existing buildings on site and erection of a part 6, part 7 storey building providing 23 residential flats with associated communal roof terrace, cycle and refuse stores. There are currently 603 Public Comments objecting to this application. A decision has not yet been made and the opposition group (Stop Stoneleigh Towers Action Group) advise that Woolbro Homes were due to present their 3rd redesign to the EEBC planning committee and ward councillor on Friday 17th January…. an application will follow this … watch this space or come to SSTBAG meetings Thursdays 7pm at St. John’s church hall Stoneleigh by the Station…. Woolbro have been invited.
Development Site at 24-28 West Street Epsom – (19/01021/FUL) there is no further news on this application for the demolition of the existing building and construction of a new part 9, part 11 and part 13 storey building containing ground floor commercial/retail (A1, A2 and B1 uses) and 29 residential units (C3 use) on upper levels and associated development. There are over 400 objections to this including ones from Historic England and the Civic Society.
The Police Station and Ambulance Station sites in Church Street Epsom – (19/01589/FUL) an application has been lodged for a retirement development in Epsom by McCarthy & Stone which will include a mix of 19 one bedroom and 41 two bedroom “Extra Care” Retirement Living with associated communal facilities, parking and landscaping following the demolition of the existing buildings. This development is over six floors and worth a look.
Young Farmers Hut, North Looe – (18/00850/FUL) – further to approval of the change of use from club hut to artist’s studio, the Planning Department has ruled that application for the Hard and Soft Landscaping are insufficient and unacceptable. This landscaping application has therefore been refused.
The Star 2 Cheam Road Ewell – Greenfields has been instructed to find a suitable tenant for the commercial ground floor of the Star, marking a key milestone in getting this much loved building back into full use. It is understood the rent being asked is in the region of £40,000pa. Generally the building now looks excellent and is in the best shape it has been for many years However the council has recently received an application for a change of permitted use of the downstairs area from A3 (Restaurant) to D1(Medical clinic). Your committee will consider their response to this application in due course. While the priority must be to get the building back into use, it would be a pity to lose the opportunity to return The Star to its historic purpose as a place selling food and drink.
The Lodge, West Street Ewell – (19/00015/FUL and 19/00801/FUL) The first application to build 3 houses on the site of The Lodge nearest the footpath, was approved early in 2019 The second application for 2 houses and 4 flats, on the site of The Lodge itself, was refused much to the delight of the residents. However an appeal has been lodged against the refusal and in the meantime a new application (19/01604/FUL) for 2 houses and 3 flats has been lodged. There is considerable local feeling and opposition about the bulk mass and density of the application within the Ewell Village Conservation area.
Old Mill, Old Malden Lane Worcester Park – (18/01430/FUL) application for the demolition of existing buildings, and erection of 80 new dwellings with access, associated parking and landscaping works. This was approved on 23 July 2019.
Land at Epsom and Ewell High School, Ruxley Lane, West Ewell – (18/01360/FUL) a major planning application for the demolition of existing classroom and other buildings and construction of a two storey classroom block, pitches etc plus erection of 161 dwellings including associated parking, landscaping was approved with decision issued on 15 January 2020.
EPSOM AND EWELL BOROUGH COUNCIL – COUNCIL TAX
In February the Residents’ Association run Borough Council approved a council tax increase of £4.95 or just over 9 pence a week for a Band D property* and keeps the Borough Council’s portion of the council tax to one of the lowest in Surrey at £198.36 for the year.
The Borough Council no longer receives any Revenue Support Grant from the Government; however we made over £519k of efficiency savings in 2019/2020 and have made plans to reduce organisational costs by a further £463k in 2020/2021. As in previous years we have set a balanced budget with no use of reserves and, once again, have not cut any services.
|*Epsom & Ewell Borough Council collects the council tax on behalf of EEBC, SCC and Surrey Police but only 10% of your council tax goes to Epsom and Ewell Borough Council. 76% of your council tax goes to SCC, and 14% to Surrey Police.|
POSITIVE CRIME TRENDS
Crime is unfortunately somewhat inevitable, and when it happens it is deeply upsetting, but headline figures for the Borough over the latter part of 2019 (April-December) are encouraging. Ultimately, Epsom & Ewell is in a good position and crime has reduced significantly in key areas compared to other Boroughs. Inspector Joe Easterbrook says, “The figures are a result of effective problem solving strategies and a consistent stream of actionable intelligence. We are of course ever reliant on community intelligence, and this is where your ongoing communication with the team is fundamental.”
The headline figures in the period were:
• Domestic Burglary: -25.3% (78 fewer offences)
• Vehicle Crime: -15.4% (70 fewer offences)
• Drug Offences: -19.6% (28 fewer offences)
• Violence (Injury): +5.8% (20 more offences)
• Violence (Without Injury): +8.8% (104 more offences)
• Robbery: -47.1% (16 fewer offences)
• Anti-Social Behaviour: -19.2% (288 fewer incidents)
- Unauthorised Encampments: -37.5% (10 fewer incidents)
The priorities of the local neighbourhood police team have recently been agreed and are fourfold: Protect local neighbourhoods and communities; Safeguard the vulnerable; Manage and divert offenders; and Earn community confidence. It is planned to achieve these objectives through increased visibility and familiarity; community engagement to identify priorities for action; and targeted collaborative problem solving.
Residents in Hampton Grove may have been aware of an incident in January when a resident encountered two youths who appeared to be acting suspiciously at the end of the footpath leading from Beech Walk into Hampton Grove. When challenged one of them approached the resident in a very threatening and aggressive way saying he would beat me up if I did not give him phone/camera. The resident has reported this matter to the police and the February bulletin showed photos of the youths. We advise all residents to be aware and watchful.
CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION PLAN ADOPTED
Epsom & Ewell Borough Council has recently agreed an ambitious plan to address the negative environmental impact of activities undertaken within the borough by the council and others in the local community. As part of its plan to tackle the ‘climate emergency’, the council has adopted a 15 year target to become net carbon neutral by 2035. Alex Coley will be giving a presentation at our AGM so if you have any questions or suggestions, do come along and take part – while enjoying a glass of wine!
“HAPPY TO CHAT” BENCHES – one of the Council initiatives as part of the Health and Wellbeing action plan is to designate some of the benches in the Ashley Centre as “chatting benches” where anyone who is happy to chat can sit and strike up a conversation with like-minded people. It is hoped that single people may benefit from the companionship of others while shopping in Epsom.
POLLING STATION REVIEW – we have been trying to get an alternative Polling Station to Wallace Fields Junior School. This is the message received from the Chief Executive:
“Unfortunately there is a process, like most things in local government, to go through if we are to change a polling station…. We did, investigate the use of a porta cabin to be placed on the school premises, but unfortunately this also was not feasible. Work is continuing to try and find a long term solution to this problem.” We can assure you that everything is being done to get the location changed.
TANKER ON EAST STREET
Many of you will have noticed the tanker on East Street which has been causing some traffic problems. The current position, we are told, is the tanker is likely to be in place for some months due a fairly significant collapse of a local sewer. The tanker is there to stop local flooding of presumably unpleasant material
The affected sewer is located in a small court yard with no vehicle access and the line of the sewer appears to be under a building. This has created the situation where a specialist engineering and tunnelling team has had to be called in to get the problem resolved.
Given the fact that the work is currently at the planning stage the water people are unable to confirm any timings relating to the removal of the tanker. One key factor is that they will need to agree access to various private properties, which could prove time consuming. So looks like it is there for a while yet!
Emily Davison Memorial Project seeks support
A group of local residents are leading a project to install a memorial to the suffragette Emily Wilding Davison in Epsom, the town where Emily lost her life campaigning for women’s right to vote.
The Emily Davison Memorial Project is raising money to produce and install a life-size bronze statue of Emily, sitting on a contemporary granite bench, in the redeveloped Market Place in Epsom town centre. Epsom and Ewell Borough Council and Surrey County Council are both behind the project, and over £25,000 of the £50,000 target has been raised so far.
It is hoped that the community will support the project, which will represent Epsom and Ewell’s commitment to gender equality, bring people into the town centre, and add to a number of similar statues of suffragettes installed nationally in the past few years so the sacrifices they made are never forgotten.
To find out more or to donate please visit www.emilydavisonproject.org. You can also contact the project via email on email@example.com
INFORMATION FROM CLIVE WOODBRIDGE
Health & Wellbeing action plan will be agreed by committee next week. Range of measures designed to improve health outcomes for residents – five priorities identified: eating well and reducing use of alcohol; living life to the full, whatever your age; supporting vulnerable residents to live well; supporting mental and emotional wellbeing or our residents; supporting residents to stay connected. Number of initiatives over the next two years – eg support for social prescribing; promoting walking and cycling’; and ‘happy to chat’ benches.
Council will also be approving two key strategic documents. Future 40 sets out long term vision for the Borough around the themes of Green & Vibrant; Opportunity & Prosperity; Safe & Well; Cultural and Creative; Smart & Connected. This in turn has influenced the new four year Corporate Plan 2020-2024. This revolves around the five themes above, plus another, Effective Council, which focuses on financial stewardship. Plan sets out strategic priorities for the Council over the next four years and will be regularly monitored.
Climate Change Action Plan will be adopted by full Council next week. This outlines plans in short and medium term to reduce the environmental impact of EEBC’s own activities and work with residents and other stakeholders across the Borough to become carbon neutral by 2035. Short term this will include appointment on a two year contract of and environment and sustainability officer to coordinate the Council’s work on Climate Change. Local Plan will also be a key influence on climate change action strategy.
Planning policy – over 2018/19 165 new dwellings were completed. This is 28% of identified housing need. Lowest level for many years. Will fail Government’s Housing Delivery Test, meeting only 46% of target over three years, and so the 20% ‘buffer’, taking us to a total target of 685 units a year, will continue. The 2019/2020 forecast is for around 120 completions, taking delivery against target down to around 28% over 3 years. This will be one of lowest in country, making us vulnerable to being made an ‘example’ of.
Local Plan. Work gathering the evidence base is proceeding apace, and intention is we will go out to the Regulation 18 consultation in Spring 2020. Possibly lead to adoption by end of 2022. Lengthy process – if can fast track we will do. Local community, and other stakeholders will be extensively consulted over the Spring/Summer months, and there will be a final pre-application consultation in 2021. Need new Local Plan as a matter of urgency to defend against ad hoc, predatory development; and also possible direct government intervention.
Temporary accommodation housing number creeping up again, to over 60. Cost to council well over £ 1 million a year. Defoe Court coming into use will help later this year, as will social housing element of Sycamore Gardens.
Bourne Hall car park charges before 9am will come into effect, despite representations made. Feeling was, it seems, that schools near Bourne Hall should not get ‘preferential’ treatment.
Mobile CCTV has been procured by council and will be delivered this month. Suggestions for its use are welcomed.
Slowing down the village speedsters
A team of EVRA residents concerned about high speeds in the village, including your chairman, recently attended a Surrey Police training course at Caterham. We came away with the signs, hi-vis vests and a radar ‘gun’ needed to set up a “Speedwatch” scheme. Drivers spotted exceeding 36mph will first receive a Police warning letter, then on the third occasion a visit from a Police Casualty Reduction’ Officer.
FROM SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL
Encouraging news on Highways trees
SCC has recently published a draft of a new Highway Tree Planting and Verge Enhancement Scheme. Although the Scheme will not be formally adopted until April your RA councillors at SCC have been advised that Highways Officers will be following the guidelines from now on.
The guidelines provide information on what to consider as well as how to progress opportunities to plant trees and shrubs on highway land and enhance existing highway verges. SCC says it is now actively encouraging planting on the highway, but points out that “it is vital that the right tree or shrub is planted in the right location and supported by proper maintenance.”
The report contains a provisional list of trees which will be considered by the County Council Arboriculture team to plant on the highway. The Council will only permit species which are native or are compliant with bio-security measures and fully approved for use in the United Kingdom.
Only time will tell whether the more positive approach suggested by the guidelines will result in many more highway trees being planted in our residential streets. But it is certainly something that all your RA councillors support and will hold the ruling group at SCC to account.
Blocked Drains – is the drain in the road outside your home blocked causing flooding in this inclement weather? We clean out drains that are blocked from the inside. If you think that a drain is blocked and might be the cause of a localised flood, please drain. Find out more about drains and how we clear them and see a list of frequently asked questions on our drains pages.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Epsom Farmers Market – Sunday 1 March and thereafter on 1st Sunday of each month – 9:30am to 1:30pm ** get there early to get the best bargains**.
A wonderful selection of fresh local produce including: Fresh Meats and Sausages and Pies; Poultry and Game; Eggs; Fish; Vegetables, fruits and herbs; Freshly baked breads; Cheeses; Seasonal plants for the garden; Pies and cakes.
St Mary’s Ewell, Bach Lunchtime Recital – Tuesday 3 March
Enjoy half an hour of sublime music on our fabulous Henry Willis Organ.
Jonathan Holmes complete Bach cycle over the next couple of years at St. Mary’s began in January and the next concert is on 3 March. Admission to the lunchtime concerts is free. Pop in after Cafe Nescot in the Church Hall or bring your own sandwiches!
Herald of Spring 60’ Theme – Bourne Hall Ewell – Saturday 7 March 9.30 am to 5 pm.
If you’re looking for a family day out to kick start the Spring season, why not pop down to Herald of Spring this year?
This year’s event will be more jam-packed than ever. There will be a range of beautiful floral arrangements to enjoy as well as a special display courtesy of Ashtead Park Garden Centre. You can meet the teams of local volunteers and countryside groups who will be happy to talk to you about the borough’s plentiful open spaces and what you can do to get involved. Come and join us in the cafe for a selection of hot drinks and home-made cakes!
There will be a wide range of activities throughout the day, including trickery and sleight of hand from Close Up Magic, kid’s games and activities from Hobbledown, Rainbow Leisure Centre and the Bourne Hall Museum – and for the grownups, a great selection of locally produced arts and craft at the co-located Gift Market, organised by What’s On In Epsom.
Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’ This year Bourne Hall is 50 years old and to celebrate its birthday we’re celebrating all things 1960s to help get everyone into a groovy vibe. So why not come on down to Ewell Village this March and celebrate the first days of spring with us, plus a few extra special guests and surprises from the days of flower power.
Ewell Horticultural Association – Pesticides – Are They Safe? Tuesday 10th March at 8:00pm. Bourne Hall, Spring Street, Ewell KT17 1UF fully accessible venue. A Talk by Andrew Halstead, a retired RHS Entomologist, whose talk will put into perspective the risks and benefits of using pesticides, covering their history and research into toxicology and environmental effects of new products.
The Old Moat – Eclectix – Friday 13th March – 7.30 until 10 pm
“A marimba-rhythmed, scarlet-fiddled, passion-pumped melody extravaganza of eclectic music – Bowie, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, funk, 70s to the Noughties …” If you came to our Choro Bandido gig earlier in the year and heard their exciting music from Brazil and thereabouts, you’ll see some familiar faces in this band.
These hugely talented musicians describe their act as “a marimba-rhythmed, scarlet-fiddled, passion-pumped melody extravaganza” and their repertoire as “eclectic – Bowie, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, funk, 70s to the Noughties ….”
Not to be missed! Tickets £10 from Joy on 07825 052993 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Booking advisable as space is limited. Bar and light snacks available. All profits to towards our wellbeing service supporting local people living with mental ill health.
EEBC Countryside Team – Epsom Common History Walk – Sunday 15th March – 1 to 4pm – Epsom Common Local Nature Reserve, Stew Pond Car Park, Christchurch Road Epsom
An afternoon stroll around Epsom Common Local Nature Reserve with a member of the Countryside Team, looking back over a thousand years of the reserves history! All walks take approximately 2.5 – 3 hours and can cover up to 3 miles. Please wear appropriate clothing. Stout boots and a raincoat when it’s wet. Please leave your dog at home on walks that involve looking for animals; otherwise they are welcome on a lead. Please note that walks may be subject to cancellation due to poor weather conditions. The meeting point is Stew Pond Car Park at 1:00pm, located off Christchurch Road. If you have any questions please call 01372 732000 and ask to speak to a member of the Countryside Team.
5 Day Crafts Gift Market at Bourne Hall, Ewell – – Free Entry, Cheap & easy Parking! Tues 24th to Sat 28th March
GIFTS FOR YOU, YOUR FRIENDS AND THE ENTIRE FAMILY – THEY SAY ” THERE IS ALWAYS NEW STALLS, WITH UNUSUAL ITEMS ”
WE AIM TO MAKE IT DIFFERENT EACH TIME AND MORE INTERESTING FOR CUSTOMERS.
Horton Country Park – Bluebell Walk – Sunday 19 April 2 – 4 pm
Enjoy a walk through the woods of Horton Country Park LNR, taking in the beauty of spring – Join a member of the Countryside Team at the Information Centre by the main car park at 2 pm. The bluebells are growing! Please keep to main paths, don’t let dogs trample the bluebells and no horses allowed in Pond Wood – sorry! Worth it to see the beautiful carpets of bluebells though!
The Famous Green Man – High Street, Ewell Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 8:30 PM – 11:30 PM
May Day Bank Holiday – the early May bank holiday in 2020 will move from Monday 4 May to Friday 8 May to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day which takes place on 8 May, and enable people to pay tribute to those who served in one of the most significant events in our country’s history, Business Secretary Greg Clark has announced. The occasion will remember the contribution of British, Commonwealth and Allied armed forces personnel; those who contributed to the war effort and safeguarded the Home Front. As well as marking the Allies’ victory in 1945, the bank holiday will serve as an opportunity to pay tribute to those who have served and continue to serve in the UK Armed Forces and their families.
Commemorative events will take place over the 3-day weekend across the Borough. Are you thinking of having a street party that day – see www.streetparty.org.uk for further information.
Web site – do visit this – www.ewelldownsra.org. I am sure some of you must have some local photos to put on this!
Facebook – our page is being well visited. Go and use this to make comments or display pictures of the area.
Twitter – this is quite active with many followers of Ewelldownsra.