Welcome to the first bulletin of 2019! We hope you have had a welcome Christmas holiday and are looking forward to a positive New Year.
The first item follows a request from Wallace Fields Junior School who are looking for someone from the local community to join their Governor Team:-
We have some vacancies for school governors at Wallace Fields Junior School and would really like local people to get involved in the governance of our school. As a local authority school we strongly welcome community governors, so perhaps you know someone who might enjoy this role. It is a rewarding and fulfilling role that truly links the local area with us here at Wallace Fields Juniors. If you see yourself making an active contribution to the school why not contact the school office to let us know of your interest. For an informal chat, please telephone 0208 393 0350 and speak to either Mrs Linda Boddy (Office Administrator) or Mrs Day (Deputy Head). We would be delighted to hear from you.
I am sure you will agree that Wallace Fields Junior School, its teachers and pupils, form an important part of our community.
AGM 6 March 2019 – this has now been fixed to take place at 7.30 pm (drinks beforehand) at Wallace Fields Junior School in Dorling Drive. As the Main Hall is booked, we will be holding this in one of the Year 6 classrooms. Further details will be published in the AGM Notice to be circulated shortly. This is being held earlier this year due to the local elections and our current and prospective Councillors will be present. We had an inspired group of residents last year with some very interesting questions and we hope that you will be able to come along and join us on the night.
Following a committee meeting last week, there are several planning matters which may be of interest.
12 Longdown Lane North – (18/01055/FUL) – the amended plan to the previously refused application to build 4 bed detached house on land adjacent no. 12 Longdown Lane North, details of which were in our last bulletin, is still awaiting a decision.
Young Farmers Hut – (18/00850/FUL) – this 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 has been approved. One of the conditions of approval is that the sole purpose of this building – on Green Belt land – is an artist’s studio and, we have been advised, that it cannot be lived in. I am sure that the residents of North Looe will be monitoring this closely.
South Hatch Stables – ( 18/00308/FUL) – the 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 enabling residential development comprising 47 apartments is causing great controversy and there have been many objections. This has been referred for legal advice and awaits a decision.
Lower Mill Ewell – (18/00865/LBA) – the 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 has been referred to the Planning Committee and is listed for the February planning meeting.
The Kings Arms pub in East Street – (18/00315/FUL) – the amended drawings submitted have included the separation of the building into two blocks, connected by a glazed link , articulation of the street-facing elevation, addition of a partially set-back fourth floor and inclusion of a lift and increase in number of flats from 16 to 21. This is being called to committee.
Lidl – 65 London Road – (18/00573/FUL) – revised application for supermarket with reduced size and no houses on the old Organ & Dragon site is scheduled for the Planning Committee meeting in February. The same traffic issues are anticipated – there are many objections and it is understood that it is not supported by the Highways Department. Currently 50,000 car journeys a day cross the junctions on London Road, 36,000 on the Cheam Road and 42,000 on the Reigate Road!
Langley Vale Memorial Woodland – creation of a permanent car park with facilities etc and erection of visitors’ centre and associated infrastructure in relation to Langley Vale Wood – this is under negotiation with related boroughs, namely Mole Valley and Reigate and Banstead. This remains ongoing.
Downs House Walton Road – this is an application for the racehorse training yard redevelopment under 18/00288/FUL. It has been approved.
Mill Road – 18/00271/FUL – the application for residential development comprising of 31 units with associated landscaping, parking and external works was approved at the December Planning Committee meeting.
Police Station site in Church Street – (17/01586/FUL) application for the demolition of the former police station, and the erection of two residential blocks comprising a total of 29 residential units (11x1bed, 14 x2 bed and 4×3 bed), with associated car parking and landscaping. As a major planning application, this will go to committee.
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. There are concerns that Old Malden Lane is an ancient narrow and twisting rural lane without pavements which cannot support a greater volume of traffic and the site borders the Hogsmill Open Space and Nature Reserve.
Land at Epsom and Ewell High School, Ruxley Lane, West Ewell – (18/01360/FUL) a major planning application for the demolition of existing classroom buildings, MUGA and sports hall; and construction of a two storey classroom block, 3G Full Size AGP Pitch, compact athletics facility, Hockey Plus AGP, sports pavilion, sports hall, grass surface pitches, grounds maintenance compound, footbridge, fencing, floodlights and associated ground works, construction of new car park and access for school sports facilities; and erection of 161 dwellings including associated parking, landscaping, open space and infrastructure works. Do go and look at this one.
Drug issues – we have heard from a resident of St Norman’s Way that the drug dealing on the pathway from the Reigate Road to Ewell East Station continues. Recently this has escalated into a case of criminal damage and the resident, who is keeping us in the loop, has been in touch with the College. On her behalf we are asking our Councillors to take the matter up with the Principal and we will let you know what transpires.
Roundabout – we have been in touch with the College regarding the state of the new roundabout by the College. We understand that Surrey County Council have not yet assumed responsibility for this as work is needed by Wilmot-Dixon and we are pushing for this to be done – this includes the weeding!
East Street – at the Local Committee Meeting in December the sum of £100,000 was approved for work to the area outside the parade of shops by the Kiln Lane junction which is causing terrible traffic problems on East Street. This is to be part of the 2019/2020 budget but as yet we have no information on when the work will be done!
South Street – the phasing of the traffic lights to ease the flow from the Dorking Road into Epsom has been done but there are still queues here. BT has still not completed the fine tuning required to ensure traffic runs smoothly. BT also needs to do the work on the Kiln Lane traffic lights to get the correct flow of traffic.
Reigate Road – there is a chance that the previously proposed traffic island on the Reigate Road by Priest Hill Close could be back on the agenda. Plans for this are to be resubmitted.
Town Centre – the work on the market place for which Epsom & Ewell BC have contributed £2.25 million to SCC to get it completed, will start soon. SCC advises
“The Market will remain open throughout the project and we will seek to ensure the smooth running of the Market and the adjoining businesses during these works. To facilitate this we will create a temporary walkway around the works area to ensure safe access to businesses and the Market. We will also need to remove some of the existing planters to allow access for machinery.
The Market Place improvement works will take place in three phases:
The first phase will continue the new paving on the south side of the High Street to past the Epsom Clock Tower and is scheduled for completion in summer 2019
The second phase will continue the new paving on the other side of the Market Place
The final phase will include paving outside the Assembly Rooms and the relocation of the Evocation of Speed
During each phase of the works, all trees will be removed. New trees will be planted from November 2019 during the approved planting season for trees.
We are aware of the historical aspects to the Market Place and we will ensure they are preserved. Epsom Clock Tower will be protected and both the Richmond Cattle Trough and the time capsule stone will be taken to a specialist stone mason for restoration.
We will also be working with the Emily Davison Project to offer a prominent location in the Market Place for their memorial statue.”
The contribution from our Council is a positive commitment to the future of our town and will see the laying of new paving, wider and safer pedestrian areas, up to nineteen trees, new lighting and benches, way finder signs, and a performance area. The funds came from the CIL levy paid by developers when building in the area. Under central government rules CIL can only be used to help deliver infrastructure improvements such as Plan E.
Full details of the work are available at epsom-and-ewell-major-transport-schemes.
Yellow lines – the consultation for yellow lines continues and will close at the end of May 2019 so if you have any recommendations go to parking-controls-request-epsom-and-ewell-march-201/. We shall be recommending double yellow lines opposite the Wallace Fields Infant School parking area to stop the almost double parking on drop off and pick up times.
Heathrow Consultation – there is a consultation event in Bourne Hall on Saturday 2nd Feb 10am to 4pm regarding the changes proposed at Heathrow – see leaflet below.
The Heathrow Airspace and Future Operations Consultation is running for eight weeks from 8 January until 11.55pm on 4 March 2019. It is seeking feedback on changes to our airspace and future runway operations including expansion and changes to the existing two runways. To increase the capacity of the existing runways it is proposed that planes will take off and land from different directions and be at different heights. This may impact this area. Go to this link and have your say – afo.heathrowconsultation.com/.
Ewell West Station Bridge – the work on replacing the old railway bridge continues. Don’t forget that much of the car park has been taken over by equipment and there is no casual use – only season ticket holders will be able to use the car park.
Epsom Station Oyster Cards – the Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed that Epsom railway station will benefit from an extension of Oyster, but will not be moved into Zone 6. Ticket prices are unlikely to become cheaper, but the extension of Oyster and pay-as-you-go contactless travel will make commuting to the capital “even easier”.
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.
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.
Trees, leaves and planting – it has been an extremely leafy autumn. Can we encourage everyone to make sure that the areas outside their properties are free from litter and leaves ready for the Spring! It would make a real difference to the look of the area. The Council has brought the planting of beds and baskets in house to cut back on costs. It is good news that we shall still see colourful planting throughout the borough.
We are contacting a tree specialist about the trees on Higher Green after the accident near-miss when a previously diagnosed diseased tree fell in Higher Green. This follows a request from a resident.
Housing issues – the number of homeless in the Borough continues to fall. The Councillors point out that offers have been made to certain homeless persons who are sleeping rough but they are unwilling to accept the offers, preferring to sleep in shop doorways.
Notes from our Surrey County Councillor – John Beckett
David Hodge has stepped down as Leader of SCC and has been replaced by Tim Oliver, Borough and District Conservative Councillor for Elmbridge.
With the sad death of Cllr Richard Wilson a by election was held for the Byfleet’s seat (Woking). This seat was taken by the independent candidate Amanda Boote with 1128 votes to the second place Conservative 782.
Cllr David Hodge has also resigned as a Cllr as well. A by election will be held but unfortunately no independent candidate is standing.
Epsom & Ewell’s Local Committee budget for highways has been reduced to £155,000 by SCC.
This reduction will mean it will be virtually impossible to deliver the local initiatives needed to improve the road network. This could also mean that jobs such as vegetation cutting back, verge repairs , provide bollards and install, sign cleaning, sign replacement and minor works could take a minimum of 3 months as jobs have to go through the normal channels.
Outcome of the current round of consultations – In the summer we published Vision for Surrey 2030, following substantial engagement with residents about the council’s long term priorities. They very clearly told us that the council should prioritise vulnerable adults and young children, even if that means making reductions in spending elsewhere. The consultations asked for input on either changing the services we deliver or informing the strategy moving forward. The five areas we consulted on were: Family Resilience Consultation: Children’s Centres; Concessionary Travel Funding; Community Recycling Centres; Libraries and Culture Strategy; Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) Strategy.
The key changes that are being proposed, which will be taken to Cabinet next week and full Council the following week, will hugely improve key services. They will mean: Children’s centre services can be taken right into the homes of families that need them most; : young people with special educational needs and disabilities will get help earlier and closer to home and the libraries service will be modernised so it is much more useful for residents
You can find the Cabinet papers here – mycouncil.surreycc.gov.uk. Below are outlines of each of the transformation proposals.
Family Resilience: Children’s Centres – At the heart of our consultation is the development of our Family Resilience programme, supporting families at a much earlier point, preventing problems escalating into a crisis that might require a child being taken into care. Our Early Help offer therefore has to improve. We must target our scarce social care resources on those families that most need our help. To improve our services we offer, we are extending the age of those children we help, from 0-5 year olds to 0-11 year olds. This means we can reach more vulnerable children and their parents as our most vulnerable families do not always use our Children’s Centres.
Many Councils with ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating children’s services have already made the types of changes we are proposing.
Concessionary Bus Travel – we are proposing to bring our concessionary travel scheme for disabled people into line with the statutory offer as funded by government and in common with most other councils. We are proposing free bus travel for disabled people and their carers / companions between 9.30am and 11pm on weekdays and all day on weekends and bank holidays. We expect the impact of this change to be minimal as 98% of travel by disabled people is currently undertaken during these periods.
Community Recycling Centres – the amount of waste dealt with by CRCs has decreased by almost 40% since 2015/16. It is proposed that the four least used CRCs are closed. These are also smaller, older and less well designed and laid out than the 11 that will remain. Closing them, and extending the hours of the nearest alternatives, will result in savings of approximately £1million per annum. Residents will be less than 20 minutes away from a CRC if they live in an urban area, and less than 30 minutes away if they live in rural areas. This is in line with nationally defined standards.
Libraries and Cultural Services Strategy – The public consultation feedback demonstrated significant support for our five guiding principles illustrated below. They will guide our work with partners to prepare more detailed proposals for a libraries and cultural service that best meets the needs of the people of Surrey: Libraries enable people to learn and access information; they strengthen communities – particularly the most vulnerable; volunteers are crucial to the running of our libraries; new technology provides 24/7 access to information; libraries are most effective in partnership with other organisations in shared spaces or hubs,.
Responses to the consultation have provided us with many thoughtful and innovative suggestions that will help inform a future service model for libraries. These are all being considered and further consultation will take place later in 2019.
SEND Strategy – the proposed five principles, which were broadly supported, will assist us to work with partners and parents to shape our future strategy ensuring our SEND services provide the right support and better outcomes for residents: that needs are identified earlier, that support is provided at the earliest opportunity, that children can lead fulfilling lives in their own communities, that children’s voices are heard and that children can go to school locally.
Feedback will now be used to inform further engagement and co-design activities. This planning will begin in February 2019 with families, health partners, education, and other partners in order to develop a joint SEND strategy and a joint long-term action plan.
Single Use Plastics – SCC has a new waste strategy concentrating on quality over quantity and contamination. Their objectives are:
• High quality service: We will provide a high quality service that residents and businesses like, understand and use to its full potential.
• Work with others: We will work innovatively with product manufacturers, community groups, other local authorities and the waste management companies to improve how we manage waste.
• Maximise value: We will encourage and enable residents to deliver waste materials in the best way, then we will sustainably manage these materials to obtain maximum value.
On a local basis, in a recent survey residents have said they are very happy with the Boroughs “Simply Weekly Recycling” Service. In case you missed it, the recent news that China is not accepting plastic waste will not affect Epsom & Ewell as our waste goes to Vietnam!
In addition in October 2018, SCC took a step forward in tackling the plastic problem from their buildings, and the Cabinet approved a new single-use plastic policy SUP-Policy.pdf. This has been shared with EEBC who are also on board with this initiative.
Age Concern Event Comedy @ The College is back on :-
Friday 22nd February 2019 7.30pm, Epsom College
NEW YEAR, NEW CHALLENGE – BATTERSEA DOGS AND CATS HOME
Sponsored by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home – Get ready for a fun-filled day with hundreds of dogs, challenging obstacles and more mud than ever before! Sign up today to take advantage of our special early bird offer and get £10 off each ticket. Choose from the 2.5km or 5km obstacle course and run, splash and bounce your way to the finish alongside your canine or human pal. However you do it, expect to dash through the likes of ‘Doggy Ball Pit’, hop over ‘Dog Tyred’ and dive into ‘Muddy Mayhem’, all in aid of the dogs and cats at Battersea!
Epsom Book Fair
Last year they were delighted to raise almost £38,000 for a range of national and local charities including Action for Children, Hope4Malawi, Rainbow Trust, the Epsom Food Bank, Epsom PHAB and scouts and guides. At Epsom Methodist Church, Ashley Road, Epsom KT18 5AQ – Thursday 21 and Friday 22 – 10am-8pm – Saturday 23 – 10am-4pm. Entrance 50p (children and students free).
Annual giant charity sale of second-hand books, DVDs and music. Many thousands of books including antiquarian, out-of-print, children’s, fiction and non-fiction. Also CDs, DVDs and records. Refreshments and light lunches available.
They would be delighted to receive your donations of books, DVDs, CDs and records at the church (between 9am and 8pm) from Wednesday 13 to Saturday 16 February. Please note this is the final deadline as we need time to sort and price the books properly.
The Green Man Ewell – Fast love – The George Michael Experience
Saturday, February 9, 2019 8:30pm-11:30pm
Tribute to George Michael featuring solo and Wham songs
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.