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COVID-19 update from your LibDem College Ward councillors - 19 June 2020

June 19, 2020 8:51 PM

Welcome to our latest update, using developments since our last update on Friday 5th June.

Borough and County update re COVID-19:

  • There will be a Strategy & Resources Committee on 2nd July to discuss the financial implications for the Council of COVID-19. David is a member of this Committee and will report back any (non-confidential) information.
  • The Council has been allocated significant funding from the European Union Regional Development Fund to help with the costs of the re-opening of the High Street. It now has to work out how to spend it appropriately.
  • It has also been allocated £300k under the Council Tax Hardship fund. In our view this scheme hasn't been very well advertised so if you know of people who might benefit please let them know.
  • 13 rough sleepers have been accommodated but it is unclear what future arrangements will be for them.
  • According to the ONS there have been 77 Covid-19 related deaths in Epsom & Ewell up to 5 June. The spike in mortality is illustrated by the age standardised mortality for the Borough moving from 8.8 per 10,000 in March, increasing to 15.2 in April then falling to 5.5 in May. Source: ONS https://bit.ly/2Yd62To and https://bit.ly/2AQDy93
  • The Surrey County Council libraries are planning on reopening on 6 July.

Other local updates:

  • The Derby & The Oaks are taking place behind closed doors on Saturday 4 July. Please stay at home and discourage people from gathering in groups.
  • The Planning Committee is up and running. At a meeting yesterday (18 June) an application for a large block of flats on 22-24 Dorking Road was withdrawn. Prior to the meeting David had asked the Officers detailed questions around its environmental impact and provision for parking.
  • Future interesting proposals include The Wells Centre and the large building on the corner of West Hill and Station Approach.
  • It is also possible that Aldi will resubmit a plan for the old Dairy site on Upper High Street. Please contact Julie for more information.
  • We will be restarting our Focus newsletter distribution across College and some other areas so if you would like to help please let us know (takes about 1 hour every 3,4 months)
  • Our wonderful Foodbank says: "We had thought that the rate of increase of demand for food was slowing over the past few weeks. Unfortunately that is not the case, last week we hit a record high, making 117 deliveries and feeding 323 people from Monday to Friday."
  • Their data comparing May 2020vs May 2019:
    Fed: 1169 people (361 people)
    Food in: 20.1 tonnes (3.8 tonnes)
    Food out: 14.7 tonnes (4.3 tonnes)

Wider issues:

  • Our national Government continues to strive for the title of the most incompetent ever. Latest fiascos include the Tracing App and only understanding that children eat during holidays when Marcus Rashford ran that brilliant campaign.
  • David was surprised and pleased to hear an actuary colleague of his on BBC4 explaining Covid mortality very clearly - have a listen here at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000kdr6 from about 6 minutes in, very clear and helpful!
  • On wider matters, we are voting for a new Leader in August, with the vote open to anyone who joins by 9 July. Some ideas that might make it into formal policies were published this week here https://bit.ly/2Ydim63. You can join here: https://epsom-ewell-libdems.org.uk/en/

All the best,

Julie and David

Friday 19 June 2020