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Residents' Party set Key Priorities for the next 4 years

October 4, 2011 9:11 AM

Town Hall - EpsomThe party in charge of the Borough Council, the RA Residents' Party (which has 26 of the 38 councillors comprising the council), has set its Key Priorities for the next four years.

Lib Dem councillors consider these statements bland and vague. They are almost the same as the Key Priorities for the previous four years. At a meeting of the Strategy & Resources Committee on 27th September, it was agreed to take forward the six statements to a meeting of the whole council on 13th December. The Key Priorities suggested are :

* Economic vitality : promoting the economic vitality of Epsom & Ewell.

* Sustainability : encouraging energy efficiency, reduced waste and cleaner forms of transport.

* Visual appearance : enhancing the visual appearance of the borough.

* Quality of life : improving the quality of life for all residents but particularly the more vulnerable within our society.

* Safer and stronger communities : promoting safer, more active and caring communities.

* Managing resources : utilising the council's limited resources in the most efficient and effective way.

One of the major concerns of Lib Dem councillors is the failure to mention parking within the Key Priority statements. Parking came high on the list of priorities when residents were canvassed during the May 2011 elections. Compare the council's stated priorities with those set by the Lib Dems :

Key Priorities 2011

Are the Key Priorities as set by the ruling group designed to be deliberately vague, so that each and every action by the council can be attributed to supporting them in some way? Possibly. Whilst it is conceded that parking is not directly the responsibility of the borough council (the county council are the highway authority), Lib Dem councillors want the borough to take the lead in alleviating residents' parking problems, getting better enforcement and making sure that there's sufficient parking capacity at the right charging rates. Over two years since the task was begun, the borough council still doesn't have its own Parking Strategy. Perhaps the parking problems of Epsom are simply not important to the majority of RA councillors who live in Ewell.