Category Archives: Local news

MGSO4 Epsom and Ewell Arts Festival

We are inviting all of our residents to take part in some of the activities happening in Ewell for the festival happening in Epsom and Ewell from 2nd until 8th of July.

This will be the second MGSO4 Epsom & Ewell Arts Festival and the theme of the festival is Discovery in celebration of the 400-year anniversary of the discovery of Epsom Salts. On the events page there are 13 individual events in Ewell alone – as well as events at venues in Epsom. Find all the details following the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/mgso4festival

The Ewell events are:

The Next Placement: Reflection Theatre’s award–winning show about a boy in foster care and his search for a place to call home. (NESCOT Performing Arts Space) Tuesday 3 July

Dinner with The BB Horns: Jazz funk cabaret from 10-piece professional touring band, with meal from Le Raj Academy NESCOT Performing Arts Space)  Wednesday 4 July

Journey of Discovery Contemporary Art Exhibition: NESCOT atrium space (FREE) 2-7 July

On Saturday 7th July, Bourne Hall, Ewell will become a festival hub with events from 10am to 9pm

  • Sound of Music drop-in discovery session for all ages
  • Costumed life-drawing workshop
  • Discovering Collage workshop for adults
  • Daily Salter – writing headlines for our mysterious festival newspaper
  • Children’s craft and design workshops from author-illustrator Lucy Volpin
  • The Lost Words of Epsom competition winners
  • Grass dance show for younger children – performed on real turf
  • Writing Relationships – workshops for readers and writers with author Claire Dyer
  • Festival Premiere: The Story of Henry Wicker – performance of specially commissioned musical work for piano & cello, telling through music the story of the discovery of Epsom Salts.

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)

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.

F43E7C07-3049-477C-BFF7-2E8566812E2D

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

9AF1EA9D-D178-4843-8BF5-D133729F9E31BCFE7434-A5FB-4D2B-A9ED-2F3661FF9551

Storm Eleanor – possible power cuts

We received the email below from UK Power Network.

Dear Cllr Woodbridge,

You may have seen that bad weather is on the way and we are likely to see high winds in some areas this evening through to tomorrow morning.

Our electricity network is built to be resilient but extreme weather can damage overhead power lines resulting in some customers losing their electricity supply. Where this happens we work to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. We have organised for additional staff in our contact centre to help customers whose electricity supply might be affected by the predicted weather, and we have called up additional engineers to carry out repairs to overhead lines and poles as soon as the wind reduces to a speed at which it is safe to work.

Both you and your local residents will be able to find regular updates on our website www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk<http://www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk> and social media @UKPowerNetworks throughout this period.

Anyone experiencing a power cut should:

· Call 105 to report power cuts and damage to the electricity network, or 0800 3163 105 (from a corded phone or mobile phone if you have no power)

· Visit www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk<http://www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk> for the latest updates

· Visit www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/powercut<http://www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/powercut> and type in their postcode to view our live power cut map

· Tweet @ukpowernetworks to report a power cuts or to receive updates

We advise people to stay clear of power lines and report damaged power lines immediately by calling 105 free from either a landline or a mobile phone. If they see electricity lines that are down or causing significant risk to the public they should call 999.

We provide extra help to customers on our Priority Service Register during a power cut. Households with older or disabled people, those with children under five, or where someone uses medical or mobility equipment that requires electricity as well as other reasons can join the register. You can find out more information about our Priority Service on our website: ukpowernetworks.co.uk/priority<http://www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/priority>.

If you would like to share information about preparing for the storm or the priority service register on social media you might like to use the following:

@UKPowerNetworks has extra staff on hand 24/7 to deal with the impact of #stormEleanor

Call 105 to report a powercut and visit www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/powercut<http://www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/powercut> for the latest updates

Do you, or someone you know, need extra support during a power cut?

@UKPowerNetworks provides free services to vulnerable customers. Visit ukpowernetworks.co.uk/priority<http://www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/priority> for more information #stormEleanor

I hope you find this information useful and please do feel free to share it with your local residents and community groups.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Horwood
Community Affairs Officer – South East
UK Power Networks

Getting things mended

New Year Message.

I admit ‘Getting things mended’ is becoming an obsession (writes EVRA Chair Brian Angus). I recently wrote to Roads and Maritime, Sydney Australia asked why they keep repainting their bridge when the Forth Rail Bridge people applied a finish that lasts decades ?! I got a friendly and interesting reply which isn’t always the case when, nearer home, I find myself continuously asking people please “Make this safe”, “Mend that” or “Don’t damage the grass”. If you have read my Christmas ‘Thank you’ you know I appreciate the many people who regularly and voluntarily pick up litter that other people drop, report graffiti and potholes and generally ‘look out’ for the village.

It’s not the sexiest of topics but delayed maintenance quickly leads to an area spiralling down and an even-greater bill to put things right. Look at the state of our roads, the area around Bourne Hall and the health centre and you see what happens if maintenance funding is cut for a month or a year.

In a post-Christmas bid to cure my obsession, I ask “What should I be doing differently ? What causes individuals and organisations to neglect the maintenance of their assets ?”

Around Ewell we see plenty of excellent examples where businesses and residents have had the confidence to invest in improvements to their premises and homes. Elsewhere nearby we spot buildings and environments where owners and landlords need ‘encouragement’ because people are living in unattractive, even sub-standard conditions.

The companies and authorities who look after our infrastructure have ever-more difficult choices to take. Our Councillors will tell you that ‘Austerity’ has never been more challenging and Police and Health Authorities will agree.

In a ‘Hope-they’ll-miss-it” announcement just before Christmas, the Government will allow local authorities to increase taxes by 6% whilst cutting central funding to local services. Assuming that includes Police as well as Surrey County Council and Epsom & Ewell, the average tax–payer already contributes £123 per week in taxes, and fees like car parking.

I for one would find that kind of an increase challenging, and it’s not all about money so, for the moment, I’ll stick with offering people my words of “Encouragement !!

Happy New Year.

 

Brian Angus

Chairman – Ewell Village Residents’ Association

Representing 2,100 households in Ewell village

Getting things mended since 1927 !