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Your Monthly update from your LibDem Borough Councillors - covering April 2022

April 29, 2022 7:00 PM

Dear friends, here is our update on local and "not-so-local-but-relevant" developments during April. Have a good long weekend !

Council updates:

  • At this month's Council meeting, the Borough agreed to help local residents taking part in the Homes for Ukraine scheme. We supported an amendment from Labour pointing out the huge problems with the visa scheme, but this was defeated since the RA were not willing to criticise the government.
  • The Council have finally agreed to clamp-down on motorists idling in their cars, following our Motion on the topic last year. Details here.
  • A mixed update on Planning. The backlog of applications is still reducing (let us know if any you have any issues) but the new Local Plan, with its locally-framed policies, is delayed yet again. This means that we will continue to lack the ammunition to defeat inappropriate planning applications for some time yet.
  • Also from Planning, this month's Committee meeting approved the conversion of the empty office block at 3-13 Church Street into a residential care facility. David proposed an additional Condition to seek to improve the environmental credentials of the conversion, which was accepted.
  • Officers continue to monitor the situation at the Chalk Pit with detailed updates sent to local residents. The latest round of data captured from monitoring equipment is currently being analysed but there is still no actual enforcement action being taken. We fear the steady enfeeblement by central government of both local authorities and the Environmental Agency has led to this situation.
  • There is still time to get your ideas into the CIL process. Many thanks for your suggestions so far and as a result we are submitting a bid to improve the notice boards across all the allotments in the Borough (some of your other ideas didn't meet the CIL criteria).
  • EV charging points are being installed in both Hook Road and Ashley Centre car parks.

Other Borough updates:

  • A few of our readers have contacted us about the traffic and dangerous, inconsiderate parking around the Wallace Fields schools, particularly the Infant school. It is hard for the Council to take direct action but we have been doing what we can to increase awareness and to seek greater enforcement.
  • Some good news is the opening of The Horton. This will be, to quote their website "A magnificent new destination for creative arts, heritage and events, created within an iconic and historically significant chapel space." It is also a great example of what dynamic local people can achieve. Well done to the team who made it possible.
  • Another group of local residents have launched Epsom & Ewell Times as a new local "virtual newspaper". The editors are looking for volunteers to provide material so please get in touch with them if you can help via the link on their site
  • Surrey Police have set up a survey to get your views on "the night-time economy". Please make your views known.

County and other local news:

  • A report on what happens to the refuse collections across Surrey has just been published covering 2020/21. Loads of details here but the key message is to make sure you put the right stuff in the right bin!
  • One last benefit from our ex-EU membership is a grant of £132,000 from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development to improve the paths across Epsom & Walton Downs.
  • Both Mole Valley and Elmbridge have recently published their Local Plans with strong messages about the environmental standards that will be required from new buildings, and have provided evidence that they cannot meet the government's imposed housing target for their borough. We will be pressing our Council to at least match the quality of those Local Plans.
  • With other Councils in Surrey facing local elections, we note that in Elmbridge a Councillor has left the Conservatives expressing dismay at the state of his party, and is urging voters in Walton North and Walton South to vote LibDem.

National issues:

Julie and David

Friday 29 April 2022