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 - Thursday 17 December

December 17, 2020 10:44 PM

Dear friends, here is our latest update covering the period since our last message on 20 November. We had wanted to include comments on the final arrangements on Brexit but we shall just have to wait further to see exactly how much damage will be done. In the meantime:

COVID - local and national:

  • As you know, from Saturday we will join most of the rest of England in Tier 3. You are all sensible people so will be well versed in what this means, but if you want the government source it is here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-3-very-high-alert
  • The reasons for the change are the continued poor experience across Surrey, and in our Borough as per: https://tinyurl.com/SurreyCovidStats which is showing lots of worrying red arrows.
  • On the vaccine front, on 16th December the Racecourse started to deliver vaccines under the remit of Surrey Heartlands. There is a national priority list for who receives the first batches. In the first 6 days of the Surrey Heartlands programme 1,600 vaccinations were given.
  • Although many other Western countries are struggling with the pandemic, we do seem to be world-beaters in the failures around the Tracing part of Test & Trace, and in the lack of control over purchase of PPE.
  • The former has cost £22bn so far and has failed to reach 40% of the contacts, with local authorities now trying to help as the private sector struggles. The latest National Audit Office report is here https://tinyurl.com/NAOreportTandT
  • Estimates for amounts wasted on PPE have now reached £10bn. The latest National Audit Office report is here https://tinyurl.com/NAOreportPPE
  • For any sceptics still out there who doubt who nasty the effects of the virus can be one of our loyal readers has asked us to share this story https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-55332206

Other local news:

  • The proposed very tall development at the corner of West Street and Station Approach in Epsom is back on the agenda. No date for a Planning Committee just yet. You can have your say by adding comments on the planning portal here https://eplanning.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/online-applications/search.do?action=simple and searching for 19/01021/FUL
  • Although there are still some empty allotments across the Borough, including a few at the Alexandra site, there is also now a waiting list of around 30 at Alexandra. This is because of work pressure on the council staff who allocate sites. Julie is doing her best to help.
  • Please note the arrangements for waste and recycling! Check here https://www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/residents/recycling-and-waste as your days will vary depending where you live.
  • In July we tabled a Motion at Council to try and clamp down on cars idling near schools. The RA refused to debate it and asked a Committee to consider it. They never did. It was forgotten. It will be debated next year. The recent case of Ella Kissi-Debrah shows why we think this is so important (as well as the CO2 emissions)
  • At the most recent Council meeting on 8th December David asked the various Chairs of Committees what practical steps they had taken to work more closely with our neighbours, and to reduce our carbon footprint. The answers contributed more hot air and gave no practical examples.
  • The, rather good, Chief Operating Officer is leaving our Council in January and starting as the CEO at Surrey Heath Borough Council. Neither of us are on the interview panel for a replacement.

Wider issues:

  • Brexit, well, we just wait to see how bad it will be. Grayling has given some pathetic answers to many of your excellent emails to him, thank you for sharing these, they always make David laugh (in desperation, not because Failing Grayling has found a new skill as a comedian!). It is probably still worth contacting him, as the more time he spends doing emails to us the less time he has to damage the country.
  • One of the main cheerleaders for Leave, Jim Ratcliffe of Ineos, has decided to build his new "British" replacement for the Land Rover Defender in France rather than Wales.
  • There have been so many shocking developments in the last month but we wanted to just highlight this one https://tinyurl.com/HomeOfficeBrokeLaw given our commitment to liberty and openness.

Julie and David

Stay safe please - and encourage others to be sensible!

Thursday 17 December

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