We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Update from your LibDem Councillors - Friday 20 November

November 20, 2020 5:08 PM

Dear friends, here is our latest update covering the period since our last message on 30 October.

COVID - local and national:

  • On COVID matters, and what we should or shouldn't be doing, we reiterate the need to look at the source material rather than rely on the media. The most relevant pages are:

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

https://tinyurl.com/EEBCCovid and

https://tinyurl.com/SurreyCovidMainPage

  • Surrey-wide COVID cases can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/SurreyCovidStats which is updated every few days. Sadly, it is not painting a pretty picture. Please read the disclaimers on the site carefully as it is very easy to make false conclusions from the data, particularly since more testing is being done now than in the Spring. But we clearly must all stay safe and think of others. We expect some rather more forceful official communications very shortly.
  • Any national vaccination programme is likely to need large centres to administer the vaccine, rather than rely on many smaller centres (because of the potential difficulty in storing some of the new drugs). SCC and EEBC are starting to plan for this, with sites such as Bourne Hall being identified. Early days though.
  • The mobile testing centre in Upper High Street will be available on 2,3,7,8,16-18, and 28-30 December for pre-booked tests.
  • We have been flagging the emerging scandal over PPE contracts for several months. Now the NAO have published their damning report

Onto other matters.

Local news:

  • At the Strategy & Resources Committee on 17 November a new scheme for assisting with Council Tax for those in need was agreed. This will come into effect for next financial year and aims to replace the complex, 60 page, means-tested process with a simpler income-based scheme. Details will be published soon, but the outline is on the website here (agenda item 4).
  • That meeting also signed off the formal accounts for the year, in line with what we reported back in June. There was a small surplus of £11,000 for the year on expenditure of approximately £46 million. Naturally there is considerable uncertainty on the value of the property portfolio due to the pandemic.
  • During this week the Council also confirmed that the Playhouse will remain shut until 31 March 2021. This is to give clarity around forward planning, and the significant difficulties in operating the Playhouse under any viable COVID-secure regime.
  • A Planning Committee meeting on 18 November rejected the Guild Living/Legal & General application to build a large residential care facility on the part of the hospital site that has been sold. It is unknown whether there will be an appeal or if an alternative plan will be submitted.
  • In our last Update we mentioned the new booking system at the recycling tip that started on 5 November. Please let us know if you have any strong feelings (or ideas!) on this, either way. We can then feed this back to SCC.
  • You may have seen some road repairs around town. They could be back in the same place very soon as it appears that SCC do not have a strong control framework around the use of contractors, and hence pot holes are continually needing to be refilled, rather than doing the job once, well.
  • The Surrey Youth games has been postponed until 2022.
  • Epsom Rotary has launched their regular Christmas fundraising including a Balloon Race and Christmas Tree competition - details at epsomrotary.uk

Wider issues:

Julie and David

Stay safe please - and encourage others to be sensible!

Friday 20 November

Please encourage others to subscribe at https://epsom-ewell-libdems.org.uk/en/subscribe-by-email