Update from your College Ward councillors - Saturday 17 October
Dear friends, here is our latest update covering what we hope are interesting developments since our last message on 26 September. It has been a rather chaotic/depressing/you name it period and so there is rather a lot to cram in - as usual we've tried to cover the very local and the wider picture.
- Starting with COVID: since our last update there have been 152 confirmed cases. This is increasing but not as fast as the national experience. The council staff are preparing for the consequences if we get moved into a higher Tier, and are boosting the controls around venues to ensure compliance with the rules/guidance (as they continually change!)
- There will be a mobile COVID testing unit in the Upper High Street car park during 24-26 October (and other dates in November and December)
- These difficult times means we need to watch out for others, and Ewell Rotary with CAB have launched Project Wenceslas to enable those receiving Winter Fuel Payment to donate the funds to those in greater need. Please contact Ewell Rotary at ewellrotaryclub.org.uk . If you or others need help with fuel bills, please contact CAB at www.caee.org.uk
- The Foodbank continues to do amazing work, triple the amount of people fed compared to this time last year. They also appeared on a TV programme that Julie and David have never heard of - have a search for Sam Faiers and The Mummy Diaries on 8 October on ITVBe at 9pm.
- With Bonfire Night approaching, please be aware of hedgehogs ! One of our residents has shared this with us - please be careful. https://twitter.com/hedgehogsociety/status/1315624242596245506 and https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/
- The council is launching a new system on the website from 19 October to report issues such as flytipping, graffiti etc - let us know what you think of it.
- Some good news, four of our Parks have been awarded the Green Flag award - let's just hope we can continue to get out and enjoy them.
- Finally, at recent Planning Committee meetings the proposed huge tower at Stoneleigh was unanimously rejected. A smaller block of flats on Cheam Road was approved.
Other local and County news:
- Surrey County Council will be trialling a booking system for the recycling tip in Blenheim Road, this was announced on 2 October with the effective date not yet known and nothing yet on the website https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/waste-and-recycling/community-recycling-centres/epsom. Best get down there quick!
- Surrey County Council has rowed back on its draconian plans for a single Unitary Authority for all of Surrey. But their plans are likely to come back. Please see our petition here: https://epsom-ewell-libdems.org.uk/en/petition/stop-surrey-county-council-s-power-grab. We now understand that they have spent nearly £300,000 on these plans.
- Residents are very concerned by the heavy traffic and safety on Ewell's streets. They've launched a survey to get input from everyone connected to Ewell so that they can present ideas and suggestions to potential decision makers. The survey can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BVLPV6W
- It looks like Johnson is wedded to a No Deal Brexit, this is the last thing our country needs right now - but at least there will be portaloos for the lorry drivers while they queue!
- There is obviously a need to balance economic and health issues when dealing with COVID, for an alternative approach to the current mess, please read the LibDems 5 point plan here: https://www.libdems.org.uk/covid-5-point-plan.
- There continues to be negligible challenge in Parliament to some very odd goings on around procurement, food safety standards and personal liberty. On the last point, this is why the LibDems voted against the government: https://www.libdems.org.uk/crime-authorisation-bill.
- At the latest count the government has wasted nearly £4billion since March. This includes unsafe testing kits; face masks that don't work; broken tracing systems; useless antibody tests; cancelled ventilator challenge; and inexplicable contracts to sweet manufacturers and dormant companies with no employees, to provide PPE that never arrived.
- David has been using the "NHS" app recently to check-in to venues and is depressed at its failure to ask you to "check-out" when you leave - there will be huge numbers of unnecessary alerts as people are notified of COVID positive people arriving at a venue after you have left.
- But what do you expect from a government that uses an out of date version of Excel to run a database? For those of you on Twitter you may wish to follow @RussinCheshire who does a hilarious weekly Tweet of the latest government failings.
All the best, and please stay safe
Julie and David
Saturday 17 October
Please encourage others to subscribe at https://epsom-ewell-libdems.org.uk/en/subscribe-by-email