Ewell Downs News Bulletin June 2020

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It’s odd to think that we have now been living in this strange new world for 12 weeks!  We hope that you continue to be well, safe and positive!  The number of dog walkers, joggers and power walkers on Priest Hill continues to grow but all seem to keep their distance – the only fly in the ointment is the amount of litter that has been left behind.  A plea from the Reigate Road litter clearing lady follows later in this bulletin. Thank you to everyone who offers a wide berth with a smile, greeting and thank-you!

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

NHS

Coronavirus – COVID -19

Here is a snapshot of information from Epsom & Ewell Borough Council issued on 6 June

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 all enquiries, please email info@ageconcernepsom.org.uk
Citizens Advice Epsom & Ewell Advice Line – 01372 732456 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

Coronavirus – Community Recycling Centres update

Please note – the Epsom tip now closes at 4 pm.

Most of Surrey’s Community Recycling Centres (CRCs) have reopened to accept a wider range of items. 

From Monday 1 June, more items will be accepted

Residents can take batteries, black bag waste, bulky waste, cardboard, gas bottles, green waste, hazardous waste, scrap metal, small electronics, white goods, and wood.

The CRCs are unable to accept asbestos, chargeable waste (soil, rubble, plasterboard or tyres), and textiles at present.

Residents using a van, pick-up or trailer can use the sites again, but will still need a valid van permit, as usual. Hire vehicles must have vehicle hire documentation clearly displayed in the windscreen.

The number of people allowed on site at one time are limited and there are revised opening hours.

Residents should only use the CRCs if they absolutely need to, and must check for the latest information before they travel, as these arrangements are subject to change. Please see individual site information for further details.

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

Car Parks, Parks and Open Spaces

Parking

Parking charges: Car park charges in council owned car parks will recommence from Monday 15 June. Free parking will continue to be available to NHS staff, care workers and NHS volunteer responders involved in the Covid-19 response in pay and display car parks only. A key worker pass, which can be issued by your employer, will allow you to park for free when a permit is displayed within the vehicle.

Nonsuch Park Restricted access The Nonsuch Mansion cafe is open for take-away only.
Epsom Downs Minor changes
  • In order to manage the threat of the Covid-19 virus, different arrangements have been instigated on Epsom and Walton Downs – At this current time, we are asking the public to visit the Downs after 12 noon if possible to allow racehorse training to take place safely. Please take your litter home with you. Barbecues, camping stoves and open fires are not permitted on the downs and please dispose of cigarettes and matches responsibly. Please see this page for more information. See the further post on litter later.
Tennis Courts Open Our outdoor free tennis courts across the borough at Alexandra Recreation Ground, Court Recreation Ground, Poole Road Recreation Ground, Gibraltar Recreation Ground and Auriol Park have re-opened following updated government guidance.
Car parks at open spaces Part closure A majority of car parks at Epsom Downs have now re-opened with the exception of the Old London Road Car Park (also known as the Top Car Park) and the Hyperion Car Park, which remain closed. The following car parks for our parks and open spaces have re-opened to comply with new government guidance: Auriol Park; Gibraltar Recreation Ground; Poole Road Recreation Ground; Long Grove Park; Horton Country Park; Stew Ponds car park; Nonsuch Park.

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 started up again with a different look.  The next one will be on Sunday 5 July from 9.30 to 1.30.

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

New test facility – There is now an additional test centre in Epsom, for those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. It’s located in the Upper High Street car park. To book a test use this link. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/ask-for-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/

Headley Court Facility – NHS post 29 May 

Thousands of people are set to benefit from enhanced community services to help them recover from the long term effects of coronavirus, the head of the NHS said yesterday, as the first new dedicated rehab hospital received its first patients.

The NHS Seacole Centre at Headley Court, Surrey, named in honour of the pioneering nurse Mary Seacole, will provide specialist rehabilitation care for patients who are recovering from Covid-19 in the Surrey region, with staff welcoming the first patients over the course of this week.

Visiting the facility near Leatherhead yesterday, NHS chief executive, Sir Simon Stevens, hailed the efforts of all those involved in getting the new service up and running, and unveiled plans for similar services in other parts of the country.

The NHS Seacole Centre, at Headley Court Surrey, is the first of its kind in England, and will be used as a temporary service for local patients who are recovering from Covid-19 and who no longer need care in an acute hospital, or those who have the virus and can no longer cope with their symptoms at home.

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/

Resident and Resident Association issues

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 

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

“Surrey County Council – Community Helpline – Community Helpline number: 0300 200 1008

Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm

Saturday and Sunday: 10am to 12pm

SMS: 0786 0053 465 for Deaf and hearing impaired residents only (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm)

We have set up a new community helpline to direct you to services that can help during the coronavirus pandemic.

This community phone line is here for two things:

  1. To help direct residents who need support if friends or family are unable to help with such as picking up shopping, prescription collections or having someone who can be a telephone friend, and to other services who can help.
  2. To provide advice on where to register your offer of help to support your community.

Providing help to others – volunteering and donating

  1. How can you help your community? With a need for people to self-isolate there will be many ways you can help out in your community. There are several places where you can register to volunteer. We have provided details of local volunteer centres and the national networks including British Red Cross, NHS Volunteer Responders and Age UK below.
  2. Or if you are unable to donate your time we’ve also listed some trusted places where a financial donation would make a real difference.
  3. If you are a charity or organisation working in Surrey supporting the response in communities to Coronavirus you can now apply to the Surrey Coronavirus Response Fund. Donations to the fund are used to support you in your response efforts.”

This is one on Facebook

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

“GOING INTO A NEW WEEK

As we go into the next three weeks, remember to be kind to yourselves. This is a marathon, pace yourself accordingly. (Please reach out if you need it, all relevant posts are under ‘Support Resources’.)

From those who are staying inside and following the guidelines; those who are able to help out the community with donations; those who are helping co-ordinate deliveries and groups; and of course the amazing key workers, you are all a part of the larger picture and every role is important. 

This group was set up to be a positive place to be able to ask for help, provide direction for ways to help others and support the community. All the efforts made from people in this group has been heart-warming to see. Hopefully when we get to the other side, this community spirit will continue to shine bright. 

As always, message us if you need something and not comfortable putting it out into the group. Abbey, Andrea, Michele 

I will leave you with some daisies from a few years ago to help brighten the afternoon.

 

Daisy

Surrey Libraries: from today have opened a telephone help-line for any technical issues you may be having. Please see the attached advert for more information.

Help_PC

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

MYPIE – Pies delivered to your door – London’s most awarded pie makers based in Wandsworth and Ewell are offering home deliveries of their delicious pies, sides and puddings as well as flour and yeast for those home bakers that can’t get hold of it! For More Details click Link https://bit.ly/2z4KMp2

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 many restaurants in Epsom and Ewell.

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

Also:-

The Ashley Centre – To maintain social distancing have a one-way system in place. Please follow the arrows where possible. Don’t forget to maintain a 2 metre distance from other people at all times and use contactless payment methods where possible. The safety and security of everyone in the Centre is extremely important so please follow the guidelines. #allinthistogether #staysafe #epsom #shoplocal

Following government guidance that non-essential shops can reopen from 15th June, a Task Force led by Epsom & 

Ewell Borough Council, Go Epsom, The Ashley Centre and Epsom Square is supporting local retailers as they prepare to safely welcome shoppers back to their stores. Click Link to READ MORE pastedGraphic.png

https://epsom.woimtg.com/2020/06/10/task-force-to-support-safe-welcoming-retail-reopening/

Epsom Racecourse events – 

YOU’RE INVITED TO SAVE THE DATE

 

We’re pleased to confirm that this year’s Investec Derby Day will take place on Saturday 4th July at Epsom Downs behind closed doors. While this won’t be the Investec Derby Festival as you know it, this unique event will bring everyone together. Get ready to celebrate everything that makes these days of racing so special from the comfort of your own home. 

THE INVESTEC OAKS

The feature race of the day, the Group 1 Investec Oaks, is a fillies-only Classic run over the same course and distance as the Investec Coronation Cup and Derby. Alongside the QIPCO 1000 Guineas run at Newmarket and the Ladbrokes St Leger in York, these three races make up the fillies’ Triple Crown.

Derby2020

the investec derby

Amongst the seven races is the Supreme Test of the Racehorse, the Investec Derby. The one that every Jockey, Trainer and Owner wants to win. The race is run over a distance of 1 mile, 4 furlongs and 10 yards over an undulating course. With an incredible prize pot of £1.5 million, this is Britain’s richest, and most prestigious race.

National Theatre at Home – Join them for plays and shows free to stream on YouTube for seven days. Free on Youtube. Enjoy theatre from home. Shows are streaming. See link for details – https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk

Traffic 

Epsom Market Place

Work in the Epsom Market Place is almost complete. Works were put on hold but have now re-commenced and the paving on the north side is well under way. The Market and local businesses are open as usual during these works.

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. 

The first online Planning Committee was held on Wednesday 13 May, when the main item on the agenda was the proposed work to the former Epsom Post Office, 74 High Street which was approved subject to conditions.

Meetings will be held virtually using video and audio conference technology and will be open to the press and public to attend as observers either online or by telephone. There is also continued provision for the public to contribute to the meeting in accordance with our scheme for public speaking.

Councillor Clive Woodbridge, Chair of the Planning Committee stated “The Government has been very clear that the planning process must continue. This will be a key element in the economic recovery and continued investment in our borough at the end of this Covid-19 crisis.

Details on how to log in or listen to the Planning Committee meeting on the telephone can be accessed on the front sheet of the committee agenda published elsewhere on this website – planning committee.

The next Planning Committee meeting will be held on Thursday 18 June at 7.30 pm.  The items on the Agenda include the following on which our President, Michael Arthur had the following comments to make:-

“1. Agenda item 4   – 22/24 Dorking Road. Recommended for approval despite our representation of objection.  It does however say that improvements have been secured during the course of application working following negotiation with the applicant.   I do not feel it is appropriate for ECS to speak at committee contrary to the recommendation.

2. Agenda item 5 – Langley Vale Farm application to release section 106 agreement that one of the existing houses is occupied with persons engaged in farming.  Decision to committee is recommended not to release.  That is good. The papers are worth a read as there is background information about the site, the Woodland Trust and could provide “ammunition” in further representation about the housing development (not part of this referral).

3. Agenda item 6 – NESCOT. Application recommended for approval for allocation of 100 spaces for EGH staff parking with a shuttle bus operation.   This is a precursor to building a multi-story car park at EGH against which we have objected.  In fairness it does say that the car park application is under consideration but I would not like to see approving this application as assisting the MSCP application decision. See later article.

4. Agenda item 10 – Appeals report including The Lodge West Street Ewell.  I have pointed out an error in “the description of development heading” as it refers to another site in Ewell ward, not the Lodge.”

1 Higher Green (19/00758/FUL) following the granting of permission at appeal, we await a Construction Transport Management Plan, which is required “in order that the development should not prejudice highway safety, nor cause inconvenience to other highway users”. A letter to the developer is to be sent requesting consideration to residents by construction workers, particularly as there is to be another development in the close proximity. 

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.  Still no news.

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) – this has been approved with the number of apartments reduced to 46 from 47.

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) The inspector has dismissed the appeal against refusal for the first application.  The second application (19/01604/FUL) was refused by the Planning Committee. There is no news if that has been appealed also.

22-24 Dorking Road Epsom – (19/01365/FUL) Demolition of existing houses and erection of a part two, part three storey building with rooms in the roof and basement providing 20 flats. Basement parking for cars and cycles. Bins stores and associated hard and soft landscaping including new boundary walls and railings.

Nescot 91 Reigate Road Ewell – (19/01478/REM) application to vary Condition 5 (parking on Site) of Planning Application ref: 15/01299/FUL, to allow the temporary use of the car park by Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust staff. The Trust plans to operate a shuttle bus to transfer members of staff from NESCOT to Epsom Hospital. 

Do go and look at this one.

The Grumpy Mole, Chalk Lane – (20/00643/COU) Change of use from restaurant (Use Class A4) to single dwelling (Use Class C3).  This is perhaps a sad reflection on the times we are in – another pub closes!  Have a look at the Design and Access statement.

From our County Councillor – John Beckett

The SCC member’s allocation of funds for good causes and charities has been closed but will reopen in September. If anybody knows of any causes then please tell them to get in contact.

Parking Enforcement will restart from 8th June.  In residential areas and Resident Parking Zones they have asked that enforcement is done gently with just warning notices being issued for the first couple of weeks rather than fines (PCNs).  Normal arrangement will then return from the 22nd June.

Signs and lines are being installed regarding the recently concluded parking review.

SCC are looking at several sites in E&E which might be suitable for improved pedestrian and cycle access.

June Local Committee meeting has been cancelled.

Would you consider supporting AGE Concern?

Age Concern Epsom and Ewell, led by Dorah May, are meeting this new challenge as they did the first. What they need is PPE for these home visiting teams. A set of PPE for a driver/visitor includes gloves, mask, sanitiser and anti BAC wipes. Would you be able to donate £10 to their Coronavirus Fund, so that they can equip their volunteers? If 100 of us did that, they would have £1000 for PPE. But £5 will be just as gratefully received. If you circulate, please keep to the Borough as other Age Concerns are working hard around us.

Two ways to donate:

1.       You can go to ACEE’s website http://www.ageconcernepsom.org.uk<http://www.ageconcernepsom.org.uk/> – please click the pink donate button to be directed to ACEE’s Virgin Money Giving Page. Ref PPE/name if you wish.

2.    Online or bank transfer   CAF Bank 40/52/40 /Account: 00032822/Age Concern Epsom and Ewell / Coronavirus Appeal/Ref PPE /name if you wish.

Epsom and St Helier Hospitals consultation. 

Feedback received during the recent public consultation on a £500m investment to improve services at Epsom and St Helier University NHS Hospitals. The Improving Healthcare Together consultation, ran from 8 January until 1 April this year, put forward plans to invest in both Epsom and St Helier hospitals and to build a new specialist emergency care hospital at either Epsom, St Helier or Sutton. The analysis can be found on the Improving Healthcare Together website:

https://improvinghealthcaretogether.org.uk/next-steps/

The main findings were

 Many consultees recognised the challenges facing the NHS nationally, and at Epsom and St Helier hospitals locally; The additional £500m investment was welcomed; Widespread support for the proposed clinical model to address the case for change, particularly from NHS staff and clinical stakeholders;  Levels of support for the clinical model varied by geography, with fewer Merton residents supporting the proposal It is important to remember that under any of the proposals most services will stay where they are now.

 

Other Matters

LITTER!!!!

Reigate Road – the very special lady whom I have mentioned before clearing litter from the area has sent me this email.

“The dog poo issue is a big one, but since the easing of lockdown c 10 days ago the big issue is of groups congregating on both areas having drink/drugs parties, leaving a large amount of debris everywhere including broken glass which is a danger to all.

You’ll see I emailed Chris Grayling, the non-emergency police, and NESCOT who I spoke to on the site yesterday. A lady this morning said she was going to start a campaign for dog walkers to pick up another bag of poo as well as their own. I was thinking of suggesting that only pink (or fluorescent) poo bags are sold so everyone can see where they are. However, there may be other ways to get rid of the nuisance of poo and littering.

Please let me know if you think I’m overreacting, but I have had a lot of people saying I’m doing a good job. It is really everyone’s responsibility.”  This lady has also contacted Glyn School as when she was clearing the Glyn sports field she found broken bottles and comments “An absolutely appalling scene. As I attempted to clear the area there were at least 6 barbeque grills, a tent, and so many plastic and glass bottles and cans that I actually gave up after 6 hours.” This is really not good enough. Please will you encourage anyone going over to either the sports fields or Priest Hill that they must bring all their litter back and not abuse the area?

Epsom Downs – this is another area which is being spoilt by litter-louts!  It seems that there are two groups of people who are clearing up after others and one has emailed “I am overwhelmed by the dedication of a volunteer named Richard who collects the rubbish at the Epsom Downs Grandstand Car Park every morning. He clears away the rubbish including the canisters each day, and as we know at present the amount of waste left behind is unprecedented. I stopped today on my way between the school run and work to ask Richard’s name and his situation, and he explained why he started to clean up the mess initially. 

Richard truly is one of our unsung heroes and I would like to propose that the appropriate authority recognise his effort. If it wasn’t for Richard’s efforts alone to clean the area daily we would have an unruly state in one of most prominent local beauty /green spots.”

The other group helping to clear litter are the Councillors for Woodcote Ward and several residents.  On his Facebook page Steven McCormick writes “Nearly a week on from the video and we have seen a number of volunteers and I’ve been out each morning so far. If you do have time to help please arrive at the Downs keeper hut between 7:00am and 7:30am each morning, please. If you have gloves, hi-vis vest, litter picker, bag hoop please bring them with you. Pick up a hi-vis, litter picker, bag hoop and a couple of litter bags. Please keep socially distant and I won’t be far away to help get you started. It is a racehorse training area so please stop when you see horses, hold the bag close to you to stop it flapping and say hello.”

If you can help in any way, please do!

Watering trees – on the basis that lots of new trees are to be planted in the area, may we please ask that if one is close to your house and the weather is hot and sunny, that you take a watering can of water to keep the tree alive.  This all helps enhance our surroundings and won’t be too onerous! Many thanks.

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. 

Poppies

 

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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