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Update from your LibDem Councillors - Friday 4 February 2021

February 5, 2021 5:29 PM

Welcome to our latest Update covering the period since our last one on 22 January. Our "useful COVID links" are at the bottom of this Update, with some interesting other non-COVID news as follows:

Local news:

  • The Council meeting to set the Budget and Council Tax for 2021/22 will be on 16 February. The twin impact of COVID and government policy limits the options facing the Borough but Julie and David will be doing their best to protect key services.
  • In recent Committee meetings where different aspects of the Budget were discussed, Julie and David raised concerns where it seemed that insufficient attempts were being made to address the Climate Crisis and to work more effectively with our neighbours.
  • Local residents around The Wells are continuing their campaign to retain The Wells Centre as a community-run social centre (the Council wants to knock the building down and build flats). The campaigners have launched a new website here where you can follow the debate and take part in their survey.
  • David and Julie have been successful in getting funds for two projects - improving the surface of Rifle Butts Lane and installing CCTV in Alexandra Park. Funding comes from the "Community Infrastructure Levy" and can't be used for delivering day-to-day services.
  • A new planning application has been posted for converting the Epsom Lodge care home at the Burgh Heath Road/Downs Road/Church Street roundabout into a block of flats. Details are here (planning reference 21/00031/FUL if the link doesn't work) and you can post your thoughts on the portal.

Wider issues:

  • The impact on our children's mental health from the lock-down and (partial) closure of schools is getting more attention. This week was Children's mental health week and that site has some information that may be helpful for parents that are concerned about their children.
  • In an ongoing Court case jointly brought by LibDem Layla Moran, the government has acknowledged it has broken the law in not publishing many of the unusual PPE contracts it signed earlier in the pandemic. Details here.
  • The UK National Economic Crime Centre has warned that aspects of the government's coronavirus support schemes have resulted in "eye-watering" level of fraud.
  • It is interesting to compare the comparative smooth role out of the NHS-led vaccination programme to the out-sourced Track & Trace system that still seems to be struggling. Lessons for the future?

COVID - useful links:

Up-to-date information is available on the following links - please let us know if you have ideas for this list which we will repeat at the end of each future Update for ready reference:

  • Latest statistics on cases around Surrey are available here (showing a continued reduction in cases).
  • This page from SurreyHeartlands gives up-to-date information on the vaccination roll-out.
  • Information about council (Borough and County) services is available on their websites here and here.
  • And the national government page with restrictions etc is
  • If you want to apply for a Postal Vote for the May County elections which are still expected to take place you can download a form here.

Julie and David

Stay safe

Friday 5th February 2021

  • Please encourage others to subscribe at https://epsom-ewell-libdems.org.uk/en/subscribe-by-email
  • We can't knock on your doors right now, but if you have an issue you would like to discuss or a matter where we might be able to help, please let us know and we can set up a Zoom call.