You will shortly be receiving the Autumn Newsletter which is with the printers at the moment but in advance of this I thought I would update you on current events and issues. Much of this will be repeated in the Newsletter as this is distributed to every household in our area.
Thank you to everyone who went and voted in the by-election and indeed some even emailed me to say that they would be going to vote and would be supporting Colin. Just what we wanted to hear! Colin Keane, who had been the Chair of Nonsuch for some time and was actively involved in local issues working closely with us on many occasions was our prospective Councillor. The by-election resulted in a win for Colin with 68% of the vote. Colin received 766 votes, Con 227, Libdem 92 and Labour 47. The turnout was 25%. Now we shall put your support to work! One thing I would point out and something we have brought up with the Councillors is that Wallace Fields Junior School was chosen for the voting station. This involved the closure of the school and inconvenience to parents who had children there and needed to arrange childcare. We have suggested that should an isolated event like this occur again, the hut in Alexandra Park is used so parents who are not involved in voting are not affected.
Thank you to our road stewards who did a sterling job delivering manifestos etc. We are most grateful.
Treasurer’s report – as detailed in the Newsletter
A BIG THANK YOU to all of you who have paid the £3.00 subscription for 2018. On-line banking and standing orders make this easy but the sad fact is that only half the residents do contribute although everyone receives the newsletters – we distribute over 850. This was indeed comprehensively discussed at the AGM, particularly when the costs of printing account for two thirds of our income. The suggestions were that we cut the newsletters down to one a year; that they are only delivered to people who pay their subscription; that we distribute them by email only to interested parties; that we change printers or that the subscription is increased. I have looked at new printers but this offers little saving, so as a temporary measure we are cutting down the number of pages and restricting the colour element for this issue to see if this helps.
The figures for the year to date are – subscriptions £882.39 (compared to £1,157.59 last year), AGM expenses including hire of hall, refreshments and support services – £213, hire of rooms at Nescot for committee meetings – £110 and printing and envelopes for the AGM notice – £473. We still have to pay for the printing of the Autumn Newsletter and some election expenses – so you see the problem!
Can I please encourage those of you who have not paid their £3.00 for 2018 to do this – see banking details below:
Please either pass your envelope (green one if you still have it) to your Road Rep or pay online or by standing order – the bank details are:
Account Name: Association of Ewell Downs Residents
Sort Code: 20-29-90
Account No: 50126071
This does not apply to St James’ Avenue, which makes a lump sum contribution each year.
86 Reigate Road – (18/00801/FUL) – this is the same site where three houses are being built and the developer has submitted plans for two chalet bungalows in the rear garden. This has been strongly objected to by us and many residents of Ewell Downs Road. This could be the first backland garden development which is at odds with the Council’s development policies and it is likely to encourage others to do the same, increasing the density of properties and traffic along the road further. The site is pretty much opposite the Priest Hill entrance and crossing so will make for a hazardous exit. This has been called to Committee so the Planning Committee will make a decision on this – not the Officers.
Young Farmers Hut – (18/00850/FUL) – this is the application for the reconstruction/re-cladding of a former Young Farmers Club hut at North Looe to change of use from club hut to artist’s studio. Previous applications for residential accommodation have been refused but there are concerns that conversion later on to a dwelling would not be difficult! As requested by the residents of North Looe we are objecting. This is Green Belt land.
South Hatch Stables – ( 18/00308/FUL) – 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 and facilities and enabling residential development comprising 47 apartments. This is a much needed scheme but the number of apartments on Burgh Heath Road is being widely opposed.
Lower Mill Ewell – (18/00865/LBA) – application for demolition of existing office building and redevelopment to provide 53 extra-care apartments with associated facilities (within Class C2), including conversion and alteration of the Grade II Listed Mill House and Granary Buildings, with parking, access, landscaping and other associated works. (Listed Building Consent). Many objections have been lodged, including that from the Epsom Civic Society, relate to the height of the development which is greater than the existing building.
The Kings Arms pub in East Street – (18/00315/FUL) – unused for many months. Application to demolish the building and build a three storey block containing 16 flats with parking.
Lidl – 65 London Road – (18/00573/FUL) – revised application for supermarket with reduced size and no houses on the old Organ & Dragon site. The same traffic issues are anticipated – there are many objections.
Other planning applications included approval of the demolition of existing buildings and erection of Sixth Form Centre at Epsom College; creation of a permanent car park with facilities etc and erection of visitors’ centre and associated infrastructure in relation to Langley Vale Wood which is awaiting a decision.
Traffic – we will all have been affected by the work to the pedestrian crossing on East Street which has at last been completed. Following complaints to Sainsburys the lighting phasing was changed but this caused a lot of chaos and we understand that vouchers were even given to some residents by way of compensation!
Two way traffic on South Street is now operational but requests for changing the phasing of the traffic lights to ease the flow from the Dorking Road into Epsom are planned. Work continues to disrupt traffic flow in Epsom town and will do so for some time – see the September bulletin. Full details of the work are available at epsom-and-ewell-major-transport-schemes.
Double yellow lines on Higher Green approach to The Green and the short road leading to the school gates of the Infant School– these proposals have been withdrawn.
The next consultation closes at the end of May 2019 so if you have any recommendations go to parking-controls-request-epsom-and-ewell-march-201/.
Epsom Hospital – there are plans to sell off the old nursing accommodation which is now an administration centre at Rowan House on the Woodcote side of the grounds for a housing development. Councillors will resist any attempt to use the funds raised for anything except Epsom Hospital itself. For a report on the long term future of Epsom Hospital go to the-long-term-future-of-epsom-and-st-helier-hospitals-2377. A report on the Council position follows later in this bulletin.
Empty property initiative – the Council’s Strategy & Resources committee adopted an empty property strategy to further encourage owners of empty houses and flats to bring them back into use. The Borough has a serious shortage of properties and it is estimated there are around 200 properties empty, some for many years. The strategy of The Empty Property Group provides various options for action including the use of Compulsory Purchase Orders, as well as Empty Dwelling Management Orders and s215 notices whilst allowing for owners to apply for relatively modest sums to bring their properties back to the required standard.
Future 40 – a Council initiative to engage local people in developing a clear vision as to what they want the Borough to be like in the future, all the way to 2040 and beyond. Residents are invited to join in the discussion and share their views on the Borough’s long-term vision at www.future40.org.
The aim is to create “a bright and positive future that works for everyone” for the next 20, 30 or 40 years. It’s important to have your say.
Burglaries in the area – there were recently two incidents – a break-in to a car in Higher Green and a house broken into at the top of The Green with its car being stolen from the driveway. Prior to that there were burglaries to two houses in Reigate Road by moped gangs. We also understand that a youth is riding around the local streets armed with a high power catapult smashing car windows with stones fired from this device. The latest was at about 3am in early October in Rose Bushes and this follows a similar incident in the same road earlier in the week, when two vehicle windows were smashed. The only description is male, early twenties and his scooter has a particularly whining and individual exhaust. Police informed but they give you a crime number and can do very little else.
Unauthorised encampment – over the summer months there were an unusually high number of these on both council-owned and private land in the Borough. Close to us, it was Alexandra Park that was saved by quick action by the council officers alongside the Rangers and Police. In all cases significant anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping were reported. The policies and strategies for preventing and dealing with these are being reviewed.
Antiques Roadshow event – in aid of Epsom Rotary charities, at Unity Hall in Church St, on Wed 31 Oct, 2pm to 5pm. Tickets can be bought at the door – £5 includes up to 3 items valued, tea/coffee/homemade cake, and a talk from Windibank Auctioneers, Dorking. There is also ‘guess the value’ of an item brought by Windibank, with a hamper prize.
Ewell Yule 2018 – Friday 7th December from 5pm.Many local businesses will stay open late and have their own ‘attractions’. Glyn Hall will host various stalls as well. Already booked for the occasion are four school choirs, Morris Men, Green Sword dancers, Phoenix Clogs and two fairground rides. Father Christmas is sure to make an appearance and the Mayor, Cllr Neil Dallen, will chair the panel that will judge the Best Dressed window display. Parking will be free in the two Ewell Village car parks for the evening
Christmas Fairs/Markets –
Bourne Hall – Tuesday 6th – Saturday 10th November from 10am to 5pm – Silent Pool Gin Distillers are there on Thursday and Friday!
Tuesday 6th to Saturday 10th November
Bourne Hall, Spring Street, Ewell
Here are just some of the items which will be there:
BREECH LANE CURRY HOUSE
“I will be offering cookery class gift vouchers and gift bags of my homemade spice blends and pickle (chickpea curry powder, Garam Masala, Curry powder and a very special mango pickle using my mother’s recipe) that make for lovely and unique gift experiences for the curry lovers in our family/ friends. These were a huge hit last year so have been tried and tested”
They make soaps that look like sweets and biscuits – but don’t be fooled. These are lovely soaps -and ideal for gifts.
Silent Pool Gin Distillers
Don’t miss out on the great gins from Silent Pool. They will be doing tastings and are only there on Thursday & Friday (8th and 9th).
And not to forget!
Glyn School Christmas Fayre #Epsom @GlynSchoolEpsom
St Martins Church – Saturday 24th November 11 am to 3 pm
Stalls include: Cakes & Preserves, Bric-a-Brac, Jewellery, Christmas Cards & Gifts. Plus: Model Railway, Chocolate Tombola, Raffle, Children’s Games & more…Refreshments and a light lunch will be available
Bourne Hall – Nonsuch Craft Fair Tuesday 20th November – Saturday 1st December 9 am to 6 pm – All items on sale are hand crafted locally by members of the Nonsuch Craft Group.
Face painters needed – The Sunnybank Trust are looking for face painters to help in aid of Sunnybank at 2 special events in the Ashley Centre on 27 October and 17 November. Can you help?
Flu vaccinations – these are available at doctors’ surgeries, Asda, Boots and Sainsburys among others. Should you have one? Visit the web site below:
COUNCILLORS’ REPORT ON THE FUTURE OF EPSOM HOSPITAL
Future of Epsom General Hospital and Local Health Services
Epsom and Ewell Council Position Statement
As many residents will be aware, there are a number of proposals currently under consideration within the NHS that will shape the future of hospital and other local NHS services for the residents of Epsom and Ewell.
There is an understandable level of public concern on the future given the changes that are under consideration, including the physical location of the acute services for the Epsom and Ewell area and beyond. The message received from residents is very clear about where they feel the healthcare provision should be located and that’s at Epsom General Hospital.
This has become more important given our growing population, our growing older population, and more housing having been built on land previously owned by the NHS. Therefore, we need to ensure that we have a hospital with services and buildings that meets the needs of current and future generations.
As a result, your Residents’ Association borough councillors have agreed a position statement which sets out the Borough Council’s expectations regarding local future health provision:
That any new acute unit agreed by the Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust be sited at Epsom General Hospital. The alternative locations are too London centric, create travel access difficulties for Epsom and Ewell residents and do not address the future expansion of housing and population anticipated in Epsom and Ewell and East Surrey.
That a 24 hour A&E unit be retained at Epsom General Hospital which supports treatment for all but the most serious of cases.
That additional speciality services be added to that currently provided by South West London Elective Orthopaedic Centre.
That the current and planned disposal of land and estate buildings, even to fund improvements be halted, in order to accommodate additional health and related services for the residents of Epsom and Ewell and East Surrey. The sale of any such fixed assets of the Estate is not sustainable and will serve to limit the services and options for the future.
Support and make representations to Surrey and Borders Partnership to open a unit for people presenting in crisis with acute mental health needs within the Borough and East Surrey. The current concentration of mental health facilities at St Peter’s Hospital and (part of) West Park does not provide an easily accessible NHS service for our residents.
That clarity is provided on the future of the West Park Hospital Site. Whilst this is not an issue for the Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, the future of the site is of importance to understanding how local services are to be developed and supported in Epsom and Ewell.
Whilst Epsom and Ewell Borough Council is not a final decision maker on the future of the borough’s health provision, your RA borough councillors will continue to ensure your views are heard, so please contact your local borough councillors if you wish to raise any issues regarding the future plans for Epsom General Hospital.
Web site – do visit this – ewelldownsra.org. I am sure some of you must have some local photos to put on this!
Facebook – our page is being well visited and “liked”. Do go and use this to display comments or pictures of the area.
Twitter – this is quite active with many followers of Ewelldownsra.