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COVID-19 (and other material) update from your LibDem College Ward councillors - 12 September 2020

September 12, 2020 9:11 PM

Dear friends, when we posted our last update on 14 August we had planned to not write until 25th September while we recharged our batteries, and had also hoped "things" might get better while we were away. Oh dear…

While we have both had a few days off, sadly "things" are NOT getting better, so we are re-starting our updates. As before, we welcome feedback (positive or negative) so we can serve you better. Please also encourage others to subscribe at https://epsom-ewell-libdems.org.uk/en/subscribe-by-email

Borough and County update re COVID-19:

  • Since our last update a month ago there have been 27 new verified cases in the Borough. We are doing better than some hot-spots but clearly need to stay sensible.
  • You may have seen the "COVID Marshalls" in the town, these are re-deployed council staff from eg the Playhouse, who have had training, partially funded from the EU Regional Development fund. Please listen to their advice!
  • Across Surrey, the Local Resilience Forum is preparing for the potential combined effect of winter flu/COVID plus a no-deal Brexit.
  • There will be a mobile COVID testing site in the Upper High Street car park from 13th-20th September (pre-booked only).

Other local updates:

  • A proposal for a large block of flats on the corner of White Horse Drive and Dorking Road was rejected by the Planning Committee. Other large proposals considered in the month, such as the Atkins site and Wells Centre, were discussed but with a decision pushed back to later meetings.
  • We have had a lot of queries about the planning requirements for G5 masts. This is complex and we will put an article on our website shortly.
  • There have been some problems with people putting incorrect material in recycling which can ruin tonnes of good material - please see here: https://insight.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/issue-73-august-2020/the-news/yuck
  • Surrey County Council plans to remove one lane of traffic in the High Street so as to widen the pavement by Wilkos. This seems an overengineered plan for a possibly small issue. Have your say here: https://bit.ly/3i7XuER

Wider issues:

  • How sad it is to see the government deliberately planning to break the Withdrawal Agreement. David has written to Chris Grayling who has replied ambiguously. Please also write and put the pressure on.
  • Still on Brexit, David has now studied at the UK-Japan agreement, and it is worse for the UK than the existing EU-Japan treaty, and doesn't cover Liz Truss's cheese!
  • While we can get sucked into following the COVID and Brexit developments, we need to be aware of other health and economic issues. Some good news is the extension of flu-jabs, with some potential helpful info here for carers https://www.actionforcarers.org.uk/how-we-help/wellbeing/free-flu-jabs-for-carers/
  • The scrapping of Public Health England is of great concern and appears to ignore the importance of tackling obesity, tobacco, alcohol etc. It is also another example of the government rewarding failure given Dido Harding's track record.
  • We would welcome your thoughts on the planned App. Given the failures of the current Track & Trace some other method needs to be used. However, it raises interesting questions over the balance between personal liberty and our social responsibilities.
  • Finally, The Good Law Project continues to tackle the government's repeated breaches of the law over procurement. This becomes even more worrying given the "moonshot" plans of spending £100bn (about 2/3 of entire current NHS budget) with no scrutiny. More money for Cummings' friends? See https://goodlawproject.org/news/operation-moonshot/

All the best, and please stay safe

Julie and David

Saturday 12 September