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Update from your LibDem Borough Councillors - Sunday 18 April 2021

April 18, 2021 10:11 PM

Dear friends, welcome to our latest Update covering material since our last one on 27 March. This is a short one as we have been "hitting the campaign trail" in preparation for the Surrey County Council elections on 6 May. We are posting regular updates on this on our Facebook site here.

If you are nervous about voting in person it is easy to get a postal vote using this form. Latest day for postal vote applications is Tuesday 20th April at 5pm in the Town Hall postbox outside the front door. You can also vote by Proxy if you are not going to be around. Contact us for a form. The deadline is 27th April.

Local COVID updates:

  • With all the debate about blood-clots, COVID-passports and whether the Lateral Flow tests are reliable, a plea to remember how statistics are powerful but used incorrectly can mislead. We recommend the BBC Radio 4 podcast More or Less to get a sensible dose of hysteria-free information.
  • As usual our links at the bottom of this Update provide links to where you can get the full information from the authorities.
  • Epsom feels very busy, please continue to stay safe.

Other local news:

  • Several big planning decisions are coming up in next couple of weeks. The Guild Living application for a large development on the Hospital Site is scheduled for 22 April, with the multi-storey car park being pushed back to a meeting in May. The very tall building planned for the corner of West Hill and Station Approach is likely to be on the same day. Details available by following the links here.
  • Many of you are frustrated with the service being provided by the Planning Department at the Council. The problems are due to very high staff turnover. We asked for this to be examined by the Internal Audit to see if there were fundamental problems, but this was rejected. Meanwhile a Consultation has been launched across nearly all the Council's staff as a planned reorganisation is being considered.
  • At the Strategy & Resources meeting on 30 March, details here, several items were discussed under a private webinar. These included options for future use of the Town Hall and various sites for potential redevelopment. David pressed for these items to be carried out in public but was over-ruled. We will share details when we are allowed to.
  • The Town Hall is reopening for some services, see the link at the bottom of this Update.
  • Surrey County Council is consulting on some planned changes to on-street parking around the Borough. You may have seen the notices on lamp-posts. Comments are needed by 29 April. The process is described here,while the actual proposals are here.

Wider issues:

  • The usual flurry of stories in the national press around Chumocracy and the latest failings of the Brexit arrangement. See our website, Facebook or Twitter, for numerous stories !
  • The Good Law Project and Crowd Justice continue to try and hold the government to account outside Parliament while other political parties do so inside Parliament.

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.
  • This page from Surrey Heartlands 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 here

Julie and David

Stay safe

Sunday 18 April 2021