Ewell Downs News Bulletin – May 2020

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We do hope that you are all keeping well and safe! It has been good to see how many people are observing the lockdown and social distancing rules. Despite a massive increase in the number of walkers, joggers and cyclists, people are leaving big gaps between them, even if they stop for a quick chat, and it is good to note the general friendliness and concern in the area. Let’s keep it up!

An update on help and information which may be needed in these trying times is given in this Bulletin.

To keep a smile on your faces –

Street Parties when life is back to “normal” (or new normal!)

Many people may be thinking of having a street party – perhaps in 2021 – see www.streetparty.org.uk for further information. I think we will need to do some serious celebrating!

Coronavirus – COVID -19

Here is a snapshot of information from Epsom & Ewell Borough Council

Council services

We are working hard to safeguard our residents (and staff) and to keep essential services running. 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.

At this busy time, please contact us via our online form where possible or email contactus@epsom-ewell.gov.uk. Remember you can also use our report it/apply for it/pay for it pages from the home page of this website.

Town Hall

The Town Hall is closed to walk-in visitors. The main, housing, benefits and council tax receptions are closed until further notice.

Alternative contact information for organisations normally based in the Town Hall

Age Concern Epsom & Ewell

For enquiries, please email or telephone us info@ageconcernepsom.org.uk
01372 732456

Citizens Advice Epsom & Ewell

Advice Line – 03444 111 444 or visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Surrey Police

Please use the yellow telephone at the rear of the Town Hall. The nearest walk-in Police Station is Reigate

Surrey County Council

For Adult Social Care enquiries, email epsom.ewelllocalityteam@surreycc.gov.uk or call 01372 832360

Council venues

Community & Wellbeing Centre

Closed

We are temporarily suspending visitor and public access to the Centre.

Bourne Hall

Closed

Bourne Hall, including the Museum and Library, will also remain closed until further notice

Ewell Court House

Closed

Closed until further notice

Epsom Playhouse

Closed

For details on cancelled or rescheduled performances, please check the Epsom Playhouse website

Rainbow Leisure Centre

Closed

Closed until further notice – please see the GLL website for more information.

Waste and recycling

For a full daily update on waste collections, please check this page regularly.

Weekly kerbside collection

Normal service

Simply Weekly collections are operating as normal however the time we arrive in your road may vary slightly.

Garden waste

Normal service

We’re now accepting new subscriptions to our garden waste collection service. The service was temporarily suspended to allow us to focus on collecting of household waste and recycling due to increased staffing pressures amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

Bulky waste

Normal service

This service has re-opened after its recent suspension.

Epsom Community Recycling Centre

Closed

For more information, please visit the Surrey County Council website.

Please consider your neighbours and don’t burn waste material. We are aware some residents are reverting to burning garden waste. The smoke can cause distress especially to those with medical conditions, so we ask that you keep hold of your waste until the community recycling centres are able to reopen.

For more information on composting at home, please check the Surrey Environment Partnership website.

Epsom Market

Food markets are allowed to continue trading under government guidance.

Regular Thursday and Saturday trading on the Market Place will continue as normal with limited stall holders only. 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.

Epsom Farmers’ Market and Epsom Vegan Market have been suspended until further notice.

Car parks

Due to concerns regarding social distancing and the use of vehicles for non-essential journeys, we are following government advice and a Police request – the car parks at Grandstand Road are closed until further notice.

To support critical workers in the borough, parking charges have been suspended until end of May in a majority of our car parks. Barriers in the Ashley Centre and Hook Road car parks have been lifted. Parking charges will continue to operate as normal at: Town Hall (rear), Bourne Hall and Hope Lodge car parks.

Parking enforcement: we recognise that due to the coronavirus outbreak, there is less parking capacity on some of our residential roads as more people are at home. Please see our update on parking enforcement in residential streets.

For further information and frequently asked questions visit www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/coronavirus

Headley Court Facility

Epsom and St Helier NHS Foundation Trust have pooled their efforts to create a new facility dedicated to treating patients suffering the symptoms of Covid-19 coronavirus.

The new NHS Hospital at Headley Court in Surrey has 300 beds and will be dedicated to caring for those “recovering from Covid-19 and who no longer need care in an acute hospital, or those who have Covid and can no longer cope with their symptoms at home,” a spokesperson said.

The creation of the new facility is thanks to the efforts of public services teams across Surrey Heartlands including Surrey County Council, the military and the NHS. 

The Headley Court NHS Hospital is due to open on Monday, May 4, and comes amid a surge in demand of bed spaces across the NHS.

Resident and Resident Association issues

It is heart-warming to see so many neighbours out on a Thursday evening clapping to thank the NHS and health care sector workers for the dedication and care that they are continually providing to all of us who need it. Thank you NHS.

Resident Associations in the Epsom area are working with others to provide support across the Borough. Alex Coley from one particular Association advises:-

As you know, the effect of Coronavirus means that many people are unable to go shopping for food. Many others are finding it much harder to access food, or are struggling to feed themselves because of the economic impact.

My charity, The Ruxley Foundation (Charity no. 1178153), is helping. We are supplying wholesale deliveries of fresh fruit and vegetables to the Epsom & Ewell Food Bank, to the local Community Hub and helping elderly and vulnerable people access food deliveries. It’s not just Ruxley residents that benefit, it’s now the whole borough


The local supply chain we have created is working very well. We have now funded £2,000 of food deliveries. But food prices are rising fast. Green vegetables are most affected with market prices increasing by 50%


I am asking for donations so we can continue helping the most vulnerable people in our community https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/ruxley-delivers


If you are able to give a contribution please do. If you can spread the word using the link above please do. I’m sure with our collective networks we can make a big difference to the elderly and vulnerable. Thank you to those of you who have already donated and shared this message. You have been very generous.

Lastly, if you can refer someone in need please put them in touch with me –

Alex Coley alexcoley@ruxley.foundation


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

This is one on Facebook

Covid Care – Epsom & Ewell – an amazing organisation doing great things! https://www.facebook.com/groups/521040465281925/

Rainbow

Vegetables and fruit

Matt Smith on Nextdoor continues to sell excellent quality 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

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

Community2

Here is a round-up of sites which may be useful at this time:

Deliveroo – now delivering groceries from M&S and the Co-op as well as takeaways from restaurants that desperately need our support i.e. Bill’s, Neapolitan Kitchen, Superfish and many Indian and Pizza restaurants to name but a few. They also arrange for drinks deliveries!

Just Eat – also supplying takeaways from many restaurants in Epsom and Ewell.

Up-to-date information on Surrey issues – try www.getsurrey.co.uk

Also:-

The Ashley Centre – This is open 7 days a week in line with the latest Government guidance. While doing your essential shopping, you can support the amazing staff at Epsom and St Helier hospitals during this challenging time by using the Contactless Donation point which is located by Waitrose. Just choose whether you want to donate £3, £5 or £10 then just ‘Tap & Go’.

Homebase – This store is open from 10 am to 5 pm (4pm on Sundays) with strict controls in place to ensure shopping is safe for everyone.

HalfordsWhilst we are doing our best to stay open, for the safety of our customers and colleagues we may need to close a store earlier than published.

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

For the latest SCC 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/

Fatal Accident on Reigate Road

As many of you will be aware, on March 21, air ambulance, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service and Surrey Police attended, but the motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident happened at just before 10am and the road remained closed for the remainder of the day for investigation work.

A SurreyLive source, who said they were at the scene shortly after the incident, claims that part of a “dead tree” had fallen into the motorcyclist’s path.

Since July of last year, residents living close to the scene of the accident have both emailed and had telephone conversations with various people at Surrey Highways, Epsom Council and the developer of Sycamore Gardens, advising them of the dangerous nature of dead trees along the Reigate Road but there has not been any action taken by anyone, all saying it was not their responsibility.

We believe that this case is likely now to go to the coroner’s court and the resident will be happy to appear to give evidence of the lack of duty of care.

Indeed, as one resident remarked “It would seem an opportune time while the road is so quiet to have all the debris removed and the site tidied up. I realise that it is not a priority for the council and that their resources have been redeployed, but they could engage an independent tree company, who are probably looking for work, to do the job on their behalf.” Our Surrey County Councillor is following this up.

It is worth mentioning that the same resident’s wife had contacted Railtrack on a Friday to let them know that, when the various bits of tree came down, it had damaged their fence – they repaired it on the following Monday morning..!!

Following on from this, we have had reports from various residents about the need for attention to other trees in the area and we await progress!

Traffic

Epsom Market Place

Work in the Epsom Market Place is almost complete. Works have been put on hold until further notice due to Covid-19 restrictions. The Market and local businesses are open as usual during these works.

High Street – pavement improvement scheme

In order to continue our support for local businesses and the local and wider community, our public realm improvement works will now progress on from the Market Place to the northern section of the footway in the High Street from Waterloo Road to The Marquis of Granby.

These improvement works include: New paving, seating, bus shelters and cycle stands as well as preparations for electrical taxi charging points. Currently works are scheduled to take place from 27 April 2020 until approximately November 2020.

The current paving is now reaching the end of its life and consequently, Surrey County Council in partnership with Epsom & Ewell Borough Council will be replacing the main section of footway that is used by the public to create a better and safer environment for pedestrians. This will match works already completed in South Street, the High Street and the Market Place and will make the area a much more attractive destination for customers and visitors with an environment that is more functional, safe and aesthetically appealing.

Work phases

Work will be completed in sections and will start on outside Carpetright and TK Maxx. This is to ensure social distancing can be maintained both for members of the public as well as the team working on site. We will continue to monitor government guidance in order to determine the safest areas of the pavement to work on. We would appreciate your patience at this time.

Taxi rank and bus stand

In order to facilitate our works and to ensure a safe work site, the bus stand and taxi rank will be suspended and relocated. Signs will be in place to direct you to the temporary locations. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

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!

Planning issues

Coronavirus Planning Service Update

The Planning Service is continuing to receive Planning and Building Applications.  We are providing the service of registering and processing applications so that our officers can continue to deliver our statutory services while working from home.  Where necessary we have modified our processes to make this possible.  You may wish to continue to progress your planning or building matter, make applications or seek pre-application advice.  The majority of decisions are undertaken under delegated authority, and for those matters we are endeavouring to provide a business as usual service.

12 Longdown Lane North – (18/01055/FUL) – the work on the grassy area is almost complete and the new turf looks amazing! A yew hedge now screens the new property and we thank the developer for working with us to create the desired effect. A fence has been put round the affected area so please keep off this.

1 Higher Green (19/00758/FUL) sadly this appeal has been allowed and planning permission is granted for the erection of new 2 ½ storey dwelling and associated landscaping and parking. We are disappointed by this decision as the construction of a dwelling in such a small area will have a great effect on the area, not to mention the chaos the building work will cause to traffic problems.

Lidl – Upper High Street – development of store and housing – building work commenced early in March.

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 although the last recorded entry on the application status was 30 January!

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 well over 600 objections including the Epsom Civic Society and awaiting a decision.

South Hatch Stables – (18/00308/FUL) – following the decision by the Secretary of State not to call it in, 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. The change of use to a Medical clinic has been approved.

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.

SCC – Grass verges – This is not going to be a popular article! – As you are probably aware many of the Council’s personnel and services have been redirected to deal with the Covid 19 crisis. Many of their frontline staff are now looking after the most vulnerable residents across the borough. Looking forward it appears that one of the services that is going to be affected is the grass cutting of the highway verges which is undertaken on behalf of Surrey County Council. Surrey only pay for 4 cuts a year and these will be undertaken but it is highly unlikely that any extra grass cutting will take place for some considerable time.

We appreciate that some residents will say “well what do I pay my council tax for, it not my responsibility” but if you are able and if you wish to cut the verge outside your property then please feel free to do so. This has been cleared with the relevant authorities.

With the green waste collection resuming you can put the grass cuttings in the brown bin or alternatively if you compost at home that is another solution.

If you do not have a brown bin then we would hope that in this difficult time maybe your neighbours who do have a bin would allow you to use theirs. Alternatively you can leave the clippings on the verge.

Thank you for your understanding.

Surrey’s Climate Change Strategy – this has been launched after it was agreed at a Council meeting on 29 April. The priorities and actions include providing a better transport system and supporting residents to take action in their own homes. The New Tree Strategy details the many benefits of planting trees and includes a framework for Surrey to plant 1.2 million trees, one for every Surrey resident by 2030.

SCC joined many other councils across the UK and the UK parliament in declaring a climate emergency situation in July 2019. Councillors agreed to a “collective approach” for how the county can get to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 as per the declaration’s stated goals.

These are the ambitions and targets:

Organisation Emissions | Achieve net zero carbon local authorities that lead by example in promoting sustainable practices across their operations, estate, and vehicles.

Net zero carbon

For Surrey’s

organisational emissions

by 2030 or sooner.

Transport | Deliver and promote an integrated, accessible, affordable and reliable public and

active (walking or cycling) transport system

across the County, thereby reducing journeys

and improving local air quality for improved

health and wellbeing of our residents.

60%

Emissions reduction

in the Transport sector by

2035 against BAU as

a minimum.

Energy Generation | To support the national

decarbonisation ambition by leading renewable

energy generation expansion and bringing low

carbon heating into Surrey homes through smart,

decentralised systems.

15%

Of energy from solar PV

by 2032.

Housing and Planning | To create low carbon, healthy homes for our residents that reduce emissions, have lower running costs and improve

the wellbeing of our community.

66%

Emissions reduction in

the domestic housing

sector by 2035 against

BAU as a minimum.

Buildings and Infrastructure | To drive forward

the transition to a zero carbon built environment, through the pursuit of lower operational energy use, increased supply of renewable energy to Surrey’s buildings and reduced embodied carbon – the GHG emissions associated with non-operational phases e.g. construction.

61%

Emissions reduction

across commercial and

public buildings sector by

2035 against BAU as a

minimum.

Waste, Resources and Circular Economy

Rethink our current approach to waste, to create a system centred on circular economy principles that seeks to prioritise the reduction of waste creation, encouraging innovative approaches to waste reutilisation and recycling – throwing away will become a last resort.

70%

Of all local authority

collected waste reused,

composted or recycled

by 2030.

Land Use and Food Systems | Develop a land

use framework for Surrey focused on increasing

accessible green spaces, woodland cover in appropriate locations in line with national targets and sustainable farming practices

1.2 million

Trees planted by 2030.

Industry and Green Economy | Pursue the transition to clean growth, through the decarbonisation of all major sectors and investment in the development of clean technologies and industries that create jobs and improve the quality of life for our residents.

56%

Emissions reduction

across industry by

2035 against BAU as a

minimum.

For more information on the strategy go to: https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/people-and-community/climate-change/what-are-we-doing/climate-change-strategy

And for information on the tree strategy go to: https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/people-and-community/climate-change/what-are-we-doing/new-tree-strategy

Climate

 

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

AS COLONEL TOM SAYS

TOMORROW WILL BE A GOOD DAY”

 

Tom

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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