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Weekly COVID-19 update from your LibDem College Ward councillors - 22 May 2020

May 22, 2020 8:21 PM

Welcome to our latest weekly update, using material as at Friday 22 May. The pace of news is starting to slow down, at least at the local, practical, level, and so this may be the last of our weekly updates.

Borough and County update re COVID-19:

  • The main developments have been around schools. However, the position is so fast moving and varied that all we can say is we trust parents are getting good and timely information from their schools. If you have any concerns over the communication please let us know.
  • The Downs' Conservators this evening (Friday) decided to keep the "Top Car Park" closed but to open the others. Much was made of the need to educate people into keeping "social distancing" (from both other humans and horses). Please be sensible!
  • The Council officers are starting work on a recovery plan to address the consequences of the crisis. We will keep you informed.
  • As we mention under Wider Issues below, there is a growing feeling that we should come out of this Greener and Healthier - with some ideas for increasing the potential for safe cycling in Epsom & Ewell. This will ultimately be SCC matter as it affects the roads.
  • The new "Council year" has started using Emergency Powers to appoint new Mayor etc. David is now on the Planning Committee (with Julie staying on the Licencing & Planning Policy Committee too) and undergoing compulsory training. The required Local Plan is years late but some information can be found here https://www.epsom-ewell-localplan.co.uk

Other local updates:

  • The Council has started a consultation to find out how you would like to receive information (having seen good examples in nearby LibDem-run Councils). Please have your say here: https://www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/council/consultations or directly here: https://wh1.snapsurveys.com/s.asp?k=158928809847
  • The National Trust has opened up the nearby carparks. See: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/how-to-book-your-visit-and-what-to-expect
  • The Foodbank and Council staff are continuing to do great work!
  • If you can donate new, unopened, high quality and professional materials to help make PPE (Poly cotton (darker colours) - 50% cotton/50% polyester or can be 35% cotton/ 65% polyester Herringbone cotton tape (20mm wide), Polyester thread (preferably Gutermann or Madeira) please get in touch at donations@surreycc.gov.uk
  • The RideLondon cycle event due to take place in August has been cancelled.
  • The consultation around the future of Epsom & St Helier Trust's hospitals has been analysed with a press release available here: https://improvinghealthcaretogether.org.uk/next-steps-for-specialist-emergency-care-hospital-consultation/ with full details available from that site

Wider issues:

  • Many think-tanks and pressure groups are making the case for any "restart" of the economy to have a strong Green component, capitalising on people's greater awareness of nature. This is LibDem policy.
  • Last week we mentioned how the Radio 4 podcast More or Less was a great source of unbiased analysis. The latest edition really skewered the government's "test" statistics, and also reiterated that the best way of comparing different country's mortality during the pandemic is to look at their excess mortality compared to the last 5 years. The UK does not look great on that measure.
  • And finally, if all that gardening has given you the bug, there are half-price compost bins on sale this week at https://getcomposting.com/profile/login

All the best and stay safe,

Julie & David