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First Steps to Council's New Corporate Plan

July 4, 2011 8:00 AM

Epsom town centre where there's a concentration of pubs and clubsEpsom & Ewell borough council is to update its Corporate Plan and create a new document which will run from 2012 - 2016 and contain new Key Priorities.

Lib Dem councillors are calling for changes to the 2007 - 2011 version (still in use) to reflect the economic situation and the lack of activity on climate change issues.

Cllr Julie Morris, leader of the Lib Dem group, said "We have suggested that 'help for small local shops and businesses' should be a Key Priority. Our canvassing during the elections showed that our residents want the council to do more in this area. We need a Town Centre Manager for Epsom, need to develop the markets and focus on small shopping parades and how we can make them more accessible and more attractive. We need to encourage shops and businesses to use our recycling service. We need to engage the owners alongside the council so that there is a regular dialogue. It's not about spending lots of money, but more about having a focus on how shops and businesses could be affected by our decision-making".

The Lib Dems also want climate change to remain as a Key Priority but point out that the council has done nothing whatsoever to involve the local community in climate change issues. Cllr Morris said "The council signed up to the 10:10 climate change campaign and has done well at reducing its own energy consumption. However, one of the main aims of 10:10 is to involve the local community in all kinds of areas concerning climate change. In this respect, it has failed miserably".

Other Key Priorities which could be updated in the new Plan are in areas such as the provision of services for young people, the visual appearance of the environment and tackling anti-social behaviour. The Lib Dems point out that life for residents living in the centre of Epsom is affected by problems associated with the growing night-time economy. The photograph shows an area in the centre of Epsom where there's a high concentration of pubs and clubs, some of which regularly operate until 3am.

The council is running workshops and focus groups throughout the summer and will present a draft of the new Corporate Plan for debate in September.