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Epsom & Ewell Budget reveals RA’s Lack of Vision

March 8, 2015 2:00 PM

Cllr Alison KellyResponding to the 2015 budget for Epsom & Ewell, Lib Dem councillor Alison Kelly noted that the Residents Association needed a 2% council tax increase because they had run out of reserves and run out of fresh ideas.

There was a clear need to focus on income that would be of benefit to residents. Waste Management costs have risen. Income can be made from recycling, yet targets have been missed. Greater investment could have paid for a council tax freeze.

Some improvement in vital income from car parks, without increasing charges, has resulted from adopting changes proposed by the Lib Dems. The RA leadership has run out of ideas.

Efficient external management of venues like the Playhouse could change them into assets, instead of financial burdens to the council-tax payers. As proved with payroll, savings should also be made by partnership working and outsourcing of back office functions.

Continual delays in dealing with Hollymoor Lane, Horton Chapel, Downs House, empty offices and housing schemes for homeless people, reveal a disturbing lack of vision, planning and priority by the RA leadership.

It took a year to recruit a Town Centre Manager, who soon left. Replacing him doesn't seem to be a priority. What has happened to the £100,000 "Mary Portas" grant intended to reinvigorate the local economy?

Epsom and Ewell have more open space, history and tourist attractions than our neighbours, yet we make scant use of this to attract visitors. Without a more pro-active style of government, Epsom & Ewell faces becoming just another mediocre borough, struggling to meet the demands of the 21st century.