Ewell Downs News Bulletin Mar/Apr 2020

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Where does one start!  We are living in the more overwhelming and unprecedented times with no end in sight.  This is where communities come into their own and contact and help are critical.  Examples of where assistance can be obtained are detailed later.

Firstly, as you are no doubt aware, our AGM has been postponed.  Unfortunately the print run for the AGM Report had been done so it was too late to make any changes advising its postponement.  Since the Report gave other information, it was deemed important for it to be distributed and we hope you have received this, and the green envelope for your annual subscription (which is now £5 per annum).  If this is not the case, it is published on the web site www.ewelldownsra.org. 

We would mention that even if your subscriptions are paid by standing order or online banking, do send back the envelope, when safe to do so, with your email address so we can make sure you are receiving these bulletins regularly.

Coronavirus – COVID -19

Many residents have come forward via our web site to offer help in any way to neighbours and in these uncertain times it is heart-warming to see the goodwill that is apparent, especially as help may be needed for some time to come.

Resident Associations in the Epsom area are working with others to provide support across the Borough.  This is their message:- 

We know that this is a particularly unsettling time for those over the age of 70 and for those who are unwell, or have had to self-isolate. Whilst many have family and friends who can rally round, we know that not everyone does. A considerable amount of work is being done right now by local charities, the Councils, and the volunteer groups that have emerged in recent days to ensure that they can provide everyone with the support they need, and also to make the best use of the people who have offered help. Several of those organisations, including representatives of the Residents’ Association in E&E, have met to coordinate those activities and make them safe, and those involved will send round more details later in the week of what help is needed and what to do if you need help. In the meanwhile please make your neighbours your first port of call to make sure that they are OK.

For help or indeed to offer help now, there are several groups that have been set up:-

This is one on Nextdoor Ewell Downs

Epsom Covid-19 Help and Assistance

Group for anyone wanting to help! 

Also on Nextdoor, Matt Smith is selling boxes of vegetables and fruit.  Go and see his post under Fresh Fruit and Veg – superb quality produce.  Collection only at the Lavender Shop on Reigate Road, Wednesdays and Fridays, Midday to 5 pm 

Tree

COVID Care – Epsom & Ewell with the link

https://www.facebook.com/groups/521040465281925/

You may also have seen the flyer that came round – we have heard that the response from them is terrific so if you are struggling, do get in touch.

Care

Don’t forget to keep your local restaurants in business by spoiling yourselves with multiple take-aways!

Reigate Road litter lady! – there is a lovely lady who goes out every week to pick up the litter along the Reigate Road, the Glyn playing fields and the bridleways, including that to Ewell East Station. We extend a massive thank you to her, it’s so refreshing to see the difference. Apparently she collected almost 300 nitrous oxide canisters from one area!  Thank you so much!

For a touch of light relief go have a look at Mr Motivator: A Touch of Motivation 10 Minute Workout or The Beatles ‘I gotta wash my hands’ on youtube!

Here are some posts which may be useful:

The Ashley Centre – In line with the latest Government guidance, our Centre remains open. We have an obligation to remain open so our community can continue to buy essential health, hygiene, food and toiletry products that they need during this difficult time.’

Homebase – ‘following the government update of its guidance to retailers, and as a result of that update we are temporarily closing all Homebase stores across the UK from 6pm on 25th March. We are now working through the best way to continue providing communities with access to essential products, while prioritising the safety of our team members and customers during this unprecedented time. Our website remains open. We’ll keep you updated at homebase.co.uk.

Halfords – ‘Staying safe while we stay open. We are currently open for business to support our communities by providing essential products and services. But the way our stores operate has changed. The health and wellbeing of our colleagues and customers is our top priority, so please go to our web site to see the steps we are taking to help everyone stay safe during this unprecedented time.’ 

Farmers’ market – With the latest advice issued from the Government on the impact of COVID-19, Surrey Markets have come to the difficult decision to postpone all upcoming markets. The health and well-being of both the producers and customers is paramount and even with social distancing in place, the advice is clear on protecting the vulnerable and reducing the curve to assist the NHS.

We appreciate that regular access to food will become a priority during the crisis and a number of our producers will continue to sell through their websites or shop locations.

Council services press statement – 

“Friday, 27 March, 2020

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council is working hard to safeguard our residents and staff and keep essential services running during the present circumstances, particularly to the most vulnerable in our community.

While we will endeavour to deliver the majority of our services as normal, some will be modified as we follow Government, Public Health England and NHS guidelines. In addition, and as part of our Covid-19 planning, we have prioritised our services for those who may need additional help (delivering our Meals at Home service to the isolated elderly in our community takes precedence over grounds maintenance, for example).

Volunteering: We are aware that many people want to help older and more vulnerable people in their local area. We are directing those who wish to help their community to contact Central Surrey Voluntary Action (CSVA) who are registering a pool of potential volunteers who may be able to assist voluntary organisations across Epsom and Ewell during the current pandemic. Please see – www.centralsurreyvoluntaryaction.co.uk Telephone 01372 722911 Email: admin@csva.co.uk

Keep up to date:

For latest NHS UK advice see: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19

For the latest Surrey County Council advice see: www.surreycc.gov.uk/coronavirus

For the latest UK government advice see: www.gov.uk/coronavirus

For the latest UK government coronavirus business support advice see: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/

Update 26/03/20

In line with the Government’s direction to help slow the spread of Covid-19, we’ve taken the decision to close or restrict access to the car parks at our green spaces.

The Government has said that during the present crisis people can only leave their homes for certain purposes, including one period of exercise each day, however we have seen huge numbers driving to our parks and open spaces that are already crowded.

Epsom Downs and Nonsuch Park have been particularly busy and we’re being forced to take this stringent measure to protect the public.

If you are going out for exercise, we encourage you to stay local, observe social distancing and not to travel.

For the full government guidance on staying at home and away from others (social distancing) see: https://bit.ly/StayHome1

Update 25/03/2020

Epsom Market Thursday 26 March: We are pleased to confirm we are able to allow our market traders to continue to provide food and produce tomorrow, Thursday 26 March in Epsom Market Place. Please be assured that they do this in strict accordance with government guidelines. We are taking precautions including putting up barriers for customers to queue up in line with social distancing guidelines. We also expect all shoppers to follow government advice whist shopping for essentials. If rules are not followed, we will have to ask the trader to stop trading until the social distancing guidelines are adhered to.
For full guidance please see: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Building control inspections: New requests for building control inspections have been suspended until further notice.

Shop mobility service: This service has been closed until further notice.

Pest control service: This service has been suspended until further notice.

Parks and open spaces: If you are using our parks and open spaces for walks or to take exercise please remember to follow the government’s social distancing guidance to prevent the further spread of Covid-19. Avoid crowds. Keep a minimum of 2 metres/ 6 feet apart. We will be monitoring visitor capacity at our parks and open spaces. Please see full guidance here: https://bit.ly/StayHome1

Epsom Downs is used to train racehorses every morning from 6am to 12 noon. To allow the training to take place safely, do not visit Epsom Downs before 12noon and please try to avoid the area entirely if you can

Take your litter home. Our staff are being diverted to deliver critical services, and we need you to take your rubbish home with you rather than using litter bins or littering

Update 23/03/2020

In the interests of public safety and to help reduce the spread of Covid-19, from Tuesday 24 March all playgrounds within the borough will be closed until further notice and we will not be carrying out routine inspections of the play equipment.

Update 20/03/2020

The Town Hall building will be closed to walk-in visitors from Monday 23 March until further notice.

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the borough council has decided to close the main, housing benefits and council tax receptions. Please email contactus@epsom-ewell.gov.uk or call 01372 732000. For queries regarding homelessness please email: housing@epsom-ewell.gov.uk

At this busy time, please contact us online at www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk where at all possible – you can do this using our report it/apply for it/pay for it pages.

Epsom Cemetery will close at 3.30pm daily from Monday 23 March until further notice.

Garden waste recycling collections: As we prioritise activity, we have had to take the decision to suspend garden waste recycling collections with immediate effect. This includes collections due today, Friday 20 March, which will not take place. For more information please see our website.

Bourne Hall and Ewell Court House are closed as of today, Thursday 19 March.

Bulky waste collections – As we prioritise activity, we regret that we are unable to accept any new bookings for bulky waste collections. We aim to collect all existing bookings made by 18 March as advised to each individual customer. But we cannot now accept any new bookings until further notice. Please see our website for further information.

The gates on Old London Road on Epsom Downs are now closed until further notice.

 

Epsom Playhouse

The safety of our audience is paramount to us and in light of the most recent official government advice and decisions being taken by the production companies, the Epsom Playhouse is currently closed and will remain closed until further notice. Where possible, shows are being rescheduled for later in the year this year and tickets will be automatically transferred.

If you have bought tickets to a show that has been cancelled or are unable to attend the revised show date, then you are entitled to a refund and we will be in touch. Please bear with us and do not contact the box office as the team deal with the huge workload generated by this unprecedented situation.

Community and wellbeing centre

In response to advice that people in the most at risk groups should avoid contact with others; we are temporarily suspending visitor and public access to the Centre from Friday 20 March so that we can increase meals production and distribution to older and more vulnerable people at their home.

The vast majority of our clients who had been visiting the centre are already self isolating so we are carefully assessing with them how we can best meet their needs at home and ensuring that our service can respond to this.

Events

Please note, changes to the following events:

  • Round the Borough Bike due to take place on 10 May has been rescheduled to take place in September
  • Diabetes Walks programme has been postponed
  • Just Play held on Mondays and Epsom Community Football Project held at Court Recreation Ground on Mondays and Tuesdays has been cancelled.
  • Bourne Hall Museum Kids Club activities in April and May have been cancelled.  

Update 17/03/2020

At Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, we’re working hard to safeguard our residents and staff during the present circumstances.

We are continuing to follow government, Public Health England and NHS UK guidelines and we have instigated the following initiatives to protect residents and staff:

Our residents, customers, local businesses

  • We are sharing the latest health advice and information from the government, Public Health England, NHS UK and working with our partners including Surrey County Council and neighbouring borough and district councils, to ensure information and advice is shared through a variety of channels
  • Intensifying cleaning regimes at all council buildings and venues
  • We have temporarily moved the Town Hall reception to the old cash office / Post Office are in Civic Street
  • We have provided Surrey wide advice on our website regarding disposing of personal waste by those who are self-isolating. For more information please see our website
  • The Community & Wellbeing Centre will be temporarily closed from this Friday 20 March for clients and the public to attend. However, we will continue to support the vulnerable members of our community through our Meals at Home, Transport from Home, community alarm and shopping services
  • We are increasing the capacity of our Meals at Home service, acknowledging that there may be many more residents who will want to use this service
  • We are increasing our capacity to supply community alarms for vulnerable residents living independently
  • We have increased our arrangements with local retailers to be able to provide shopping for vulnerable residents
  • We have increased the interior cleaning of our Transport from Home and Meals at Home services and parking payment machines
  • We are actively considering the suspension of activities at Epsom Playhouse, Bourne Hall and Ewell Court House. Further information will be made available as soon as possible
  • Ensuring we provide relevant advice to all sections of our community, including rough sleepers
  • Working closely with hospitals to support discharged patients.

Our staff

  • We are signposting staff to Public Health England and NHS UK health advice. Information and posters have been placed around all council buildings and venues
  • Additional anti-bacterial wipes and hand sanitisers supplied have been made widely available throughout our offices
  • Requiring staff to self-isolate if they have symptoms
  • Providing guidance for managers on how to support and answer queries from employees and volunteers
  • Requiring staff to wash their hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitiser if they are out and about
  • Intensifying the cleaning of our offices, community centres and vehicles
  • Providing equipment to enable staff to work from home if needed and to use conference call facilities
  • Cutting back on non-essential travel, meetings and training
  •  Heads of Service and their teams are reviewing business continuity plans as appropriate to ensure continued services

Additional actions will be taken in line with occupational health and public health practices as they emerge.

Closed to the public – Surrey County Council Community Recycling Centre, Blenheim Road (the tip)

Please note: Surrey County Council has announced that, in line with current government rules its Community Recycling Centre, Blenheim Road is closed to the public until further notice from Tuesday 24 March 2020.

Bin collections – what you can do to help 

We’re doing everything we can to keep bin collections running as normal. But it’s likely that services will be impacted because of staff shortages due to sickness. At the moment we have had to suspend garden waste collections and bulky waste collections.

How you can help

To help us keep collections running as well as possible, here are some things you can do to help:

  • Due to reduced traffic, or other operational changes, your usual collection times may change. So put your bins out early – from 6.30am – and leave them out until they’ve been emptied.
  • Please be considerate when parking your car on a collection day. This will help to ensure our collection vehicles can access your road.
  • Right thing, right bin helps to ensure that we can collect your bins on the right day.
  • Reduce your waste as much as possible. Our services are under strain at the present time. Could you use an alternative reusable item, or use something again instead of throwing it away? Great tips for reducing waste.
  • Compact your recycling into bins as much as possible to maximise space.
  • Start composting at home – buy a compost bin at a reduced rate, or your own food waste digester!
  • If you decide to have a clear-out while you’re at home, please don’t put everything in the bin straight away. Wait until normal service resumes.

Thank you. We are working hard to maintain services and your help means a great deal to us.

How to deal with waste if you are self-isolating 

The Government has advised that anyone who is self-isolating with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), including those with a diagnosis of the virus, should treat their household waste as follows:

Personal waste

Personal waste e.g. used tissues, and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags.

These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste within your own room. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin.

Other household waste

Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.”

Don’t forget that with the glorious weather we have been having that many residents are taking advantage of getting some gardening done or just out and about in the fresh air.  The last thing we need is someone having a bonfire and ruining the day for us all.  Please be considerate.

Traffic disruption in Epsom High Street – from Surrey County Council

Start date: Monday 6 April 2020   Duration: For 3 nights 8pm – 6am Road closed (eastbound only) Please look out for advance warning signs on site for any date changes or check one.network and  @EpsomLC on Twitter.

What we are doing – We are carrying out carriageway resurfacing on the eastbound carriageway of High Street, Epsom.  Works area and closure (eastbound only):   

Information for residents and businesses – High Street will be closed eastbound between Waterloo Road and East Street whilst we carry out our resurfacing works. We will make sure you can get to and from your house or business when it is safe to do so. Please talk to a member of our staff on site if you need help – talking to our staff can solve most issues. 

Tanker on East Street (repeated from previous issue)

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 courtyard 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!

Now for a round-up of planning issues 

12 Longdown Lane North – (18/01055/FUL) – the work on the grassy area has started and the area is looking much better.  A fence has been put round the affected area so please keep off this.

1 Higher Green (19/00758/FUL) the appeal is in progress but nothing to report at the moment.

North Looe Estate (170 Reigate Road)(19/01593/FUL) proposed change of use of the land and buildings for a Dog Day-care centre.  No news as yet.

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. There are approximately 587 objections including the Epsom Civic Society and awaiting a decision. 

South Hatch Stables – (18/00308/FUL) – the news on this application for the demolition of the existing Racehorse Training Establishment is that the Secretary of State has decided not to call it in. It was recommended for approval by EEBC Planning Committee. Work to finalise the S106 agreement associated with the application is nearing completion after which it is expected that the formal planning approval notice will be issued.

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 606 Public Comments objecting to this application. A decision has still not yet been made. 

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. 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) the application 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 is awaiting a decision.  There are many comments and objections, including that from the Civic Society.

The Star 2 Cheam Road Ewell – No news on the let by Greenfields to find a suitable tenant for the commercial ground floor of the Star or the change of use to a Medical clinic. 

The Lodge, West Street Ewell – (19/00015/FUL and 19/00801/FUL) No news on the appeal as yet and the new application (19/01604/FUL) for 2 houses and 3 flats has been refused.

Horton Country Park – Bluebell Walk – Sunday 19 April 2 – 4 pm – no news on whether this has been cancelled.

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!

BlueBells

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. There is obviously a caveat about this even taking place – we will keep you informed.

Web sitedo visit this – www.ewelldownsra.org. I am sure some of you must have some local photos to put on this!

Facebookour 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. 

STAY SAFE EVERYONE

A reminder of Spring from one of London’s parks:-

Blossom

 

About ewelldownsra

AEDR seeks to protect and enhance the interests of residents. Our primary concerns centre on planning, traffic, security and other topics which directly affect our area.
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