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COVID and other updates from your College ward councillors - Friday 14 August 2020

August 14, 2020 5:49 PM

Welcome to our latest update, responding to developments since Friday 31 July.

We are both going on holiday shortly and so our next Update will be Friday 25th September, unless things change very dramatically at a local level and we need to share information.

Borough and County update re COVID-19:

  • The Borough is still recording low additional positive cases, a further 3 over the last two weeks. This is better than the UK where the daily number of new cases is continuing to rise.
  • There are contingency plans for dealing with a local "spike" in cases. Please do your bit to help minimise the risk of this having to be implemented.
  • Following David's query at last month's Council meeting, the new signs part funded by the EU Regional Development Fund are now starting to appear, with the correct EU logo.
  • The Foodbank is consistently feeding between 3 and 4 times as many people each week as it used to do before COVID. They are considering the long-term implications for this including how best to use the 5 centres as and when they are able to reopen.

Other local updates:

  • The Tory Leader of Surrey County Council has expanded on his desire to scrap the 11 local Borough Councils in Surrey and have a single "Unitary Authority" covering all of Surrey. He is not interested in considering any alternative structures or in consulting local residents (although a future letter from SCC to all residents is promised). As LibDems we oppose such a heavy-handed approach to changes in local government.
  • The change in weather may make the following seem a bit irrelevant but just in case we get another hot spell, please note that disposable BBQs are not allowed in the local parks and open spaces due to fire risks.
  • For those of you in Stoneleigh and Auriel, there is a proposal to give local residents increased say in what is built in the area, through the creation of a Neighbourhood Area and Plan, see https://epsom-ewell.inconsult.uk/consult.ti/Sanfna/consultationHome.
  • A reminder that the ALDI proposal for the old diary site is back in pre-planning discussions. Contact Julie if you want to be added to a mailing list about this.

Wider issues:

  • Please be aware that not everyone can wear masks. As well as physical reasons, there was a horrific story in the Guardian about a rape victim and her flashbacks if her mouth is covered.
  • There is a huge gap between the number of COVID cases estimated from national surveys to those actually being reported from lab or other tests and published here https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/cases. This illustrates that many people are not getting tested.
  • The Eat Out to Help Out scheme appears to be popular. However, David thinks it just helps those who can already afford to eat out and moves the peak times to earlier in the week, rather than helping those suffering economically from the pandemic. What are your thoughts?
  • Last week the government published proposals to centralise planning. It is possible that local authorities (in whatever form they end up being) will have very limited ability to challenge developers' plans. The consultation can be seen here https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/planning-for-the-future
  • Finally, if you or your child received A-level grades yesterday, I hope you are pleased with the results and if not your school is able to support any appeal. Another fine mess by our government !

All the best, and please stay safe - and hope you all get some sort of holiday

Julie and David

Friday 14 August 2020