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Council Tax is Set to Rise Once More in Surrey

RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION AND INDEPENDENT GROUP

Council Tax is Set to Rise Once More in Surrey

Surrey County Council agrees to raise Council Tax by 5.99% for 2018/2019

On 6th February the Conservative-led Surrey County Council (SCC) approved another Council tax hike of 5.99%. Band D households in Surrey will be facing an annual increase of £80 as Tory ministers have relaxed the council tax cap.

Last year, after a shambolic council tax referendum proposal, SCC Leader David Hodge reached a “gentlemen’s agreement” with the government. This coming year the Council will receive £20 million as a one-off under a Business Rates retention pilot scheme, but will still need to find £39 million from its declining reserves and capital receipts. Surrey will have lost £200 million of its core government funding over the last 8 years.

In his annual budget speech, Leader of the Residents’ Association and Independent Group Nick Harrison pointed out that councils must balance their books, and very soon SCC might not be able to do that:

“Council are straining to make cuts, to improve their efficiency, deal with reduced national funding and if all else fails, to use reserves. Eventually, the books just won’t balance. Somebody had to get there first and last weekend Northamptonshire declared it was in ’special measures’. Surrey faces similar challenges. Increasingly the cuts are being noticed by our residents as they impact the services we all use – turning out street lights, reducing spending on roads and charges and reduced hours at the recycling centre.”

Cllr Harrison added that the Council does not have a credible plan to meet its statutory obligations whilst retaining a reasonable level of universal services beyond 2018/2019. He further noted that Surrey’s MPs are not listening to their Conservative colleagues in Surrey:

“I listened to Council Leader David Hodge on BBC Radio Surrey asking residents to spend 50p on a stamp and write to their MP’s about the funding situation. That’s an incredible admission about his group’s lack of clout. I have explained the situation to my MP and the next step must be to withhold support for these budget recommendations.”

Residents’ Association and Independent County Councillors abstained or voted against the proposed budget during Tuesday’s full council meeting. Despite the opposition’s concerns and protests, the Conservative majority approved the 2018/19 budget.

For further comments:

Cllr Nick Harrison – 01737-215405 (H) 07971-664079 (M)

Bus route 166

We are delighted to announce that both bus route 166  will be retained without amendment for the next 5 years, thanks to an agreement between Surrey County Council (SCC) and Transport for London.

Over the last three months SCC has been working closely with Transport for London to secure the future of bus routes 166 and 216. These are important bus routes used by many residents living in Surrey and London. Both bus routes are contracted by Transport for London, crossing the London boundary into our county to serve residents of Epsom & Ewell and Spelthorne respectively.

This means SCC be investing around £130,000 annually to ensure the 166 bus continues operating between Banstead and Epsom Hospital and the 216 carries on running from Staines to Ashford Hospital as normal.

In the case of the 166 bus route, it links many of our residents and neighbouring areas to Epsom Hospital.

The County Council has agreed to financially support the cost of both bus routes, allowing them to continue unaltered for the next 5 years.

You can find more information on the 166 bus route and other bus routes linking Epsom General Hospital here

 

Ewell Village – Spring clean up

When: Saturday 3rd March at 10am

Where: Bourne Hall Car Park

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Ewell Village Residents Association, supported by Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, and with the help and support of Glyn School, will be holding a community litter picking morning on Saturday 3rd March. Volunteers are invited to assemble at 10am in Bourne Hall car park. Litter pickers and refuse sacks will be provided, but please bring your own gloves and wear clothing suitable for the conditions.

If you are not able to join us at that date and time, please feel free to tidy up in your own area. If you let us know we can ask the Council to arrange to pick up any bagged litter and rubbish collected.

Also if you are aware of any litter ‘hot spots’ in and around Ewell Village  please tell us and we will do our best to send a crew to sort it out on the day.

Please help us spread the word by joining our Facebook event click here and sharing it with your friends. You can also print our flyer to display it in your shop window, school, etc. Click Here

A picture of our campaign a few years ago.

A picture of our campaign a few years ago..

Let’s fix it: How to report issues

As part of our Let’s fix it campaign we are asking everyone in the Village to do their part on making sure our Village is as lovely as it can be!

The county and borough councils don’t have the resources anymore to be going around identifying issues, and therefore they rely on the residents to report the issues happening around them. We would like to encourage all residents that when they see an issue that’s need fixing they:

  1. Report it to the council and get a reference number.
  2. Follow up.
  3. If no action was taken or action was insufficient, report it to us!

So how do I report an issue?

In short, any issues related to the roads are dealt by Surrey County Council, the rest of the issues are generally dealt by Epsom and Ewell Borough Council. However the Surrey County Council report it website, will redirect you to the right authority in your Borough if necessary.

You can report any issues  here

Also to make things easier, for the most common issues we have listed them below with links to the corresponding site.

  • Report a pothole here
  • Report a fault with street lighting or signage here
  • Report an issue with trees or vegetation here
  • Report a problem with the pavement here
  • Report a missed bin here
  • Report a fly tip here
  • Report graffiti here

And please remember to get a reference number. Without the reference we cannot help you follow up the issue if it isn’t resolved!

 

 

 

Have your say on health and social care commissioning intentions for 2018/19

Message from the Joint health and social care commission to all our residents:

Every year local health and care organisations set their plans and priorities (known as commissioning intentions) for the year ahead.

To reflect closer working across Guildford and Waverley, North West Surrey and Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Surrey County Council, as well as work happening across the wider Surrey Heartlands area, this year we have developed joint commissioning intentions for health and social care.

These intentions, or plans, reflect our priorities for health and social care across a range of areas and set out how we will commission care that meets the needs of the local population. They also summarise how we will achieve the NHS’ national priorities.

We have already sought the views of GP practices, health and social care providers and other partners, who have helped shape our thinking and now we are inviting local people and wider stakeholders to have their say.

Through this survey we welcome your feedback on our plans, particularly any comments on any areas or issues that you feel we may not be addressing.

The survey has been designed in chapters so you can choose which areas you want to comment on, rather than needing to complete every section, depending on their relevance to you or your organisation. The survey closes on 18 February 2018 so please share your comments by then.

We will analyse all the feedback we receive and the findings will inform our final joint commissioning intentions, which will be published in April 2018. All analysis and reporting will be aggregated and anonymised.

We look forward to receiving your feedback.

Find the link to the survey  and the Summary Commission Intentions document here.

Printed copies of the summary document and the survey can be requested by calling 01372 201732 or sending an SMS text to 07747 476511.

Successful prosecution after fly tipping

Successful prosecution after fly tipping
£2,000 fine and driving ban following fly tip on Epsom Common

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council has reinforced it’s tough stance on fly-tipping following a successful prosecution of a Mitcham man whose failure to exercise proper care resulted in the dumping of waste on Epsom Common, one of Surrey’s largest nature reserves.

Lee Nicholson was prosecuted for his involvement in the illegal disposal of waste at the local beauty spot which, as well as a nature reserve, has additional protection as common land and as a Site of Nature Conservation Interest.

The waste was discovered in March 2017 and the fly tipped material had to be cleared and disposed of at the expense to the Council Tax Payer.

The material consisted of general building refuse (bags of rubble, plasterboard and insulation), office waste, a mattress and bed, fluorescent light tubes, office equipment including a fax machine and printer cartridges and various other bagged and loose garbage. Crucially, the office rubbish included a number of items with an address from which council investigators were able to track back to the origin of the waste. The originator was shocked that the material had been disposed of illegally, having paid for the disposal in good faith, and supplied the council with the telephone number for the person used for the disposal. From this, investigators were able to identify and locate Mr Nicholson.

On Monday 8 January at Guildford Magistrates Court, Mr Nicholson pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to take all such measures as are reasonable to prevent the fly-tipping of the waste and to secure that the person he transferred the waste to was authorised and provided a waste transfer note. The Magistrates considered that Mr Nicholson had been completely negligent by failing to exercise any care in his treatment of the waste. Consequently Mr Nicholson was fined £400 in respect of the first count, £100 in respect of the second count, a victim surcharge of £40 and was ordered to pay £1,440 in respect of the council’s costs of the investigation and prosecution – meaning he has to pay a total of £1,980. The Magistrates also considered that the failure was so serious Mr Nicholson also received a driving ban for six months to prevent any further offending.

A council spokesman said: “Fly-tipping is a blight on neighbourhoods and we will take action against perpetrators. Not only will we pursue anyone physically dumping material, we will also take action where we have evidence that someone has failed to exercise a duty of care in disposing of their rubbish. Individuals and businesses should always check that whoever they get to clear waste is licensed, and should obtain a waste transfer note. We urge anyone who witnesses fly-tipping to help us catch these criminals by giving us as much information as possible via our website”.

Let’s fix it – Update

F43E7C07-3049-477C-BFF7-2E8566812E2DMessage from our Chairman:

Here is an update on some of the issues reported in our Let’s fix it – 50 things in 50 days campaign:

  • I am very grateful to the Council Depot officers have already rectified five items (two heavily-littered areas and three graffiti’s). 
  • Surrey Police will replace two signs.
  • South Western Railway will level the widened exit.
  • BT will remove two redundant boxes.
  • I have traced the owners of 78 to 88 High Street (Co-op building and forecourt) and written to them.
  • I visited Surrey Fire and Rescue and they will check out the blocked stairway.
  • I visited Surrey CC Highways, they will look afresh at several items and help us with the ownership of two areas.  We/I will have to clean grubby signs ourselves and re-face the worn out footpath sign ourselves.
  • I visited Bourne Hall Health Centre and they have written to their landlords.
  • The pictures on the new Bourne Hall website illustrate that they want it to look as attractive as we do.  Spot they cleared away all the banners for the photographer.

I am receiving lots of positive feedback to this initiative.  It should overcome the decline into ‘Why should I mend my bits when no-one else is ?’

Jan before n after[2726]

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our readers who have shared this campaign and remind everyone that we would love to see your “before” and “after” pictures of anything you do to make our village a nicer place to live in.

 

Thanks everyone

Let’s Fix it by February – 50 things in 50 days

Message from Brian Angus, Chairman of Ewell Village Residents’ Association to the residents, councillors and members of the committee.

On the 1st of January I took a 50-minute walk and the attached 50 photographs to re-enforce my message of neglected maintenance (below). 

Over the next 50 days, with your help please, we will see how much of this neglect can be put right ? 

At one extreme we will have difficulty in identifying and contacting the owners of the neglected Co-op building and Bourne Hall Heath Centre, at the other end we will only have to ask people to complete actions already promised.  We might even go out and put 10 to 20% of these things right ourselves.

By the end of February I hope to photograph the same locations and tell the story of the a well-kept village. 

Please and thank you.

As a result we are launching the “Let’s fix it by February” campaign. We are aiming to fix the 50 items in the pictures below by the end of February. 50 things in 50 days.

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And we are asking all our residents not just to look at the big things, but to also look at the little things that can make our village the best place to live in! And please share back with us, your before and after pictures!

We want everyone to do a little thing, mending your front garden, putting the bins nicely, picking up rubbish on the floor, reporting a pothole, etc.

Lets fix it Jan 2018 key

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