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COVID-19 (and other material) update from your LibDem College Ward councillors - 17 July 2020

July 17, 2020 7:38 PM

Welcome to our latest update, responding to developments since Friday 3 July, during which time our esteemed MP managed to lose a rigged election, and the Tories couldn't decide whether Pret was a shop or a restaurant.

Anyway, onto our list of updates:

Borough and County update re COVID-19:

  • There have been media reports about a rise in the infection rate in the Borough from 1.3 to 5.0 per 100,000. Although this is on the surface alarming, it actually means 4 people in the Borough have tested positive in the week. The low absolute rate of infection coupled with our small population does mean that the figures will vary week on week. Still, BE SAFE !
  • You may have seen press articles about our Council's loss of revenue from their commercial property portfolio. For EEBC, the exposure is limited but some allowance for loss of rent has already been included in the figures in our last update (deficit for first quarter £2m).
  • Sadly, our Borough does not seem to be immune from the national increase in domestic violence.
  • The Rainbow Centre has announced a phased reopening from 25 July - booking essential.
  • Our local public toilets are also due to reopen on Monday 20 July, although I understand the information about this will only go up on the EEBC website next week.

Other local updates:

  • Julie reports from this week's Environment Committee that the new contract for Epsom Market traders made little reference to the council's climate change agenda. Nothing about banning single use plastic, using biodegradable or recyclable packaging etc. At the moment the council's commitment seems to be all words and little action.
  • The planned demolition of the Wells Centre and replacement with very large block of flats was not approved at the Planning Committee last week - instead the developers (the Council) have gone away to think again.
  • In our last update we mentioned possible tweaks to the wards in EEBC. Since then Surrey County Council have announced their desire for a single Unitary Authority across all Surrey. This is in advance of an expected White Paper on devolution expected from Westminster this autumn. We will press for the use of PR in any reorganised structure. There are pros and cons of a Unitary Authority, but one monolithic structure is unlikely to be optimal.
  • The essential gas works in Hook Road should be complete this weekend with the road reopening on Monday 20 July - but don't blame us if the work overruns! However, more gas works are planned across the Borough - look out for those yellow signs!
  • Sad news for all you bikers, the Round the Borough bike ride has been cancelled.

Wider issues:

  • Remember the new rules for facemasks. Please try and use washable facemasks, not single-use disposable ones - the environment is suffering. We've given loads of links in the past, here is another one: https://www.bigcommunitysew.co.uk
  • There is emerging medical information that once infected with the virus, people's immunity does not last long.

All the best,

Julie and David

Friday 17 July 2020