Epsom Hospital - land sale
We were disappointed to learn of the sale of part of the Epsom General Hospital site by Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals Trust which was announced earlier this month.
Back in June 2018, Epsom & Ewell Borough Council set out publicly its opposition to the disposal of land and estate buildings at the hospital site. Instead we said such land should be used to accommodate additional health and related services for the residents of Epsom and Ewell and East Surrey, such as social care provision open to NHS patients.
Councillor Barry Nash, Chairman of the Council's Community and Wellbeing Committee said, "While this Council is not a decision maker on the future of the borough’s health provision, as a community leader we do have to ensure the views of residents are heard. We have expressed our opposition to the sale of this valuable hospital land, as any sale serves to limit the services and options for the future.
“However, now that the sale has gone ahead, we will seek to work with the Trust Board to ensure the proceeds of the land sale are ring fenced to the hospital site to ensure Epsom Hospital is able to continue to meet the needs of the community it serves now and into the future”
The announcement by the Trust can be found here
Hogsmill - an update
The Hogsmill is one of only 200 chalk streams on the planet!
In the January issue of E-Borough Insight, we highlighted concerns about the low levels of the Hogsmill, which poses a threat to the ecology of the river. We have been working with the various partners in the Hogsmill Catchment Partnership to try and understand the problem and work out a solution.
Bourne Hall Pond is fed by a natural springs and the pond's fountain is used to top up the water level and increase the flow to the Hogsmill for the benefit of the river and its wildlife. Last month, following advice from the Environment Agency, SES Water temporarily turned off the fountain in Bourne Hall Park Pond.
Almost immediately the level of the neighbouring Horse Pond began to drop and continued to do so until the level stabilised at the level of water in the sump to the weir, curtailing the flow to the Hogsmill River. This result indicates a possible problem with the weir or a leak in the Horse Pond, with water retuning to the water table aquifer rather than flowing into the Hogsmill. The latest view is that some further experimentation is required to ensure there is no back flow from the Upper Mill Pond that could be masking a leak in the bed of the Horse Pond.
The fountain was turned back on at the start of March and it is hoped that Environment Agency will renew the temporary licence issued to SES Water in forthcoming weeks to allow the investigation to continue.
Future40 next steps - we need your views!
Proud of our past, preparing for our future
A big thank you to everyone for your involvement in the first stage of the Future40 campaign. Your feedback has helped us formulate the next steps in developing a long-term vision for Epsom and Ewell. And we need your input for the second stage of Future40, please do get involved and give us your views at www.future40.org/survey
Over the last few months, we have been engaging with and listening to local residents, businesses and visitors across the borough – we have collected some really valuable feedback. Our next step is to explore some of the recurring emerging themes in more detail to properly understand how they could contribute to making Epsom and Ewell an even more attractive and successful place to live, work and study in the future.
Councillor Eber Kington, Chairman of the Council's Strategy and Resources Committee, said, "Five months ago, we launched Future40, an ambitious plan to develop a long-term vision for Epsom and Ewell. Since then, it has been all systems go! Over 3,200 residents, visitors and businesses have already taken part, thank you for your interest and feedback.
"Your involvement has helped shape the second stage of this project. Please don’t miss this opportunity to give us your views which will further enable us to truly establish what sort of place residents, businesses and visitors think the borough should be like in the next 20, 30, even 40 years’ time."
All feedback captured for the second stage will be utilised to create the draft long-term vision for Epsom and Ewell. We will be consulting on our draft vision for the future in the summer.
A wide range of additional community-based activities and events are being held to enable more people to contribute their views on the second stage. This includes our very own Future40 art competition for budding artists and creative minds aged 5-18 years which closes on 5 April. Please help us ensure the younger generation start thinking about the physical world and communities they will be growing up in by encouraging them to take part in this future focussed art competition. For full details, please see www.future40.org
How can you get involved?
Make sure you are part of the second stage of Future40:
- Have your say online at www.future40.org/survey
- Pick up a paper copy of the Epsom and Ewell Future40 survey at - the Town Hall, Epsom; Epsom Playhouse; Bourne Hall, Ewell; the Community and Wellbeing Centre, Epsom; Epsom Library and Stoneleigh Community Library.
- Join in and take part in a number of public engagement activities. For a full list of events visit www.future40.org
- Email us at email@example.com
Whichever way you prefer, we look forward to hearing from you.
Fire service - have your say
Surrey Fire and Rescue Service aims to keep residents safe from fires and other risks. This includes focusing on preventing emergencies and ensuring crews and resources are in the right place at the right time.
Surrey County Council, who are responsible for the service, has launched a consultation on proposals to change some of the Fire and Rescue Service services.
The proposals include
- Spending more time on community and business safety, helping to prevent emergencies occurring in the first place
- Changing how some of fire stations are crewed.
- Recovering costs from some non-emergencies to re-invest in the service.
Your views are important, so please part in the consultation, by 26 May online at: www.surrey-fire.gov.uk/psp
Alternatively you can call 03456 009009 or text 07860 053465 to request a printed copy, copies of which can also be found at libraries and at Epsom Town Hall
Surrey Health and Wellbeing - have your say
The Surrey Health & Wellbeing Board want the people of Surrey to live longer, healthier lives.
They believe that people should be supported to look after themselves and those they care for, and have access to services when they need them. And they want to deliver better health and wellbeing outcomes within their budget.
A new draft strategy describes how Surrey partners plan to work together with local communities to transform services to achieve these aims, and has three key priorities:
- Helping people in Surrey to lead healthy lives
- Supporting the emotional wellbeing of people in Surrey
- Supporting people in Surrey to fulfil their potential
The strategy focuses on a single set of agreed priorities for the county, in particular where the partnership can affect positive change. It is not meant to include everything, and therefore doesn’t cover sector specific, organisational or local plans although these will all need to be aligned to this overarching work.
The Surrey Health & Wellbeing Board are inviting you to have your input into the strategy via this online consultation which closes on 27 March.
The Surrey Health & Wellbeing Board is a partnership between the NHS and Surrey County Council and wider partners, including the voluntary and community sector and the police.
Translation at GP practices - have your say
Language and communication barriers in healthcare settings can lead to problems such as delay or denial of care, issues with medication management and people not accessing services that help to keep them happy and healthy. The Surrey Heartlands Clinical Commissioning Groups (Surrey Downs, Guildford and Waverley and North West Surrey CCGs) wish to improve interpreting (spoken word or British Sign Language (BSL) and translation (written word and braille) services available during and in support of GP appointments and would like to hear from people who work with patients and their families who may need help to communicate with their GP during their appointment.
For more info and to take part in a short online survey by Friday 22 March please visit:
Activities for young people in Surrey - have your say
Surrey County Council is running a survey about access to youth services for young people aged 10 to 25 . For more info and to complete the survey please visit: https://www.surreysays.co.uk/csf/activities-for-young-people-in-surrey
Policing Your Community - engagement meeting
Wednesday 1 May, 6.30pm - 8.30pm
Blenheim High School, Longmead Road, Epsom KT19 9BH
You are invited to meet with Surrey Police’s Temporary Chief Constable Gavin Stephens, Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro and Epsom and Ewell's Borough Commander Inspector, Joe Easterbrook.
Surrey Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) are teaming up to hold a series of 'Policing Your Community' engagement events across the county. This is the chance for local residents to hear and comment on the plan being developed, that will see the additional money raised as part of the policing element of the council tax pay for an extra 100 officers, operational staff and Police Community Support Officers by April 2020.
There will be the opportunity to hear from the Chief Constable about current challenges the Force face and future plans for the service in Surrey while Inspector Easterbrook will report on policing priorities and issues in Epsom and Ewell. There will also be time for residents to ask questions.
This is a free event, please click here to book your place. If you have any access requirements please email SurreyPCC@surrey.pnn.police.uk or call 01483 630200.
Heathrow and local air space
Following the Parliamentary decision last summer, when the overwhelming majority of MPs voted to approve the Airports National Policy Statement, which provides support for Heathrow expansion, Heathrow airport has run a couple of consultations to obtain residents views on the required changes to the use of air space.
We have featured the consultations in previous issues of e-borough Insight as the proposals may impact the borough - although the consulations are now closed you can access details on the Heathrow consultations website
We formally responded to the latest consultation. The consultation set out how increased flights using the existing two runways and the proposed expansion to a third runway could operate in practice, this includes fundamental changes to the flightpaths and the geographic areas that are most likely to be impacted.
The borough of Epsom and Ewell is featured within four ‘design envelopes’ if adopted these could result in the borough being overflown by aircraft far more frequently and at significantly lower altitudes. Currently a proportion of aircraft arriving at or taking off from Heathrow fly over the borough at a height ranging from 7,000 to 22,000 feet with the average being closer to about 12,000 feet. However, the proposals for an expanded Heathrow specify additional flights operating as low as 3,000 feet at a frequency of up to 47 flights per hour for arrivals, and 17 flights per hour for departures.
Even without an additional runway, Heathrow Airport's proposed adoption of the Independent Parallel Approach (IPA) using the existing two runways would result in 25 flights per hour operating as low as 3,000 feet between 6am to 7am and 6 flights per hour at other times. In addition to the above, the borough borders an area directly to the North where it is proposed that aircraft would be flying at even lower altitudes ie. down to just 2,000 feet.
Councillor Eber Kington, Chairman of the Council's Strategy & Resources Committee, said: “For people living, working and studying in Epsom and Ewell these proposals could translate into an estimated four to five-fold increase in noise levels in addition to the significant additional impact from the frequency of flights overhead and the impact on air quality caused by increased air pollution levels including increased carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and other compounds harmful to human health and the environment.
"Given the geographic topology of the borough, and the fact that Epsom and Ewell is already the most densely populated borough in Surrey, it faces greater risks from poor air quality and already has a declared Air Quality Management Area (AQMA). Therefore, significantly more residents and businesses would be impacted by the increase in air traffic and aircraft flying at significant lower altitudes in the airspace above and around the borough.”
Councillor Peter O'Donovan, Chairman of the Council's Environment Committee said, “There were 26 consultation documents published on the Heathrow consultation website during the course of January 2019, much of which were highly technical including some that were over 500 pages long. Yet the consultation process itself which started on 8 January closed on 4 March only allowed some eightweeks for those impacted to read and analyse these documents before having to respond. The scheduling of just one local event for the whole borough of Epsom and Ewell with a population of some 80,000 was far from adequate.”
“Most of the questions posed in the consultation were highly constrained and leading, implying that significant increases in flights and flights operating at lower altitudes, with greater noise and pollution levels, were acceptable and enviable outcomes. This type of approach to consultation only serves to undermine trust and confidence in the process. It is vital that local communities including local businesses have the opportunity to be fully and properly engaged in the consultation on potential airport Expansion and that their voices are heard."
Councillor Eber Kington, added, "We will continue to argue in the strongest possible terms against any proposals for airport expansion that impacts so negatively on our borough."
Hate crime initiative
A hate crime is any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person's race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; gender identity or perceived gender identity; disability or perceived disability.
The targeting of an individual due to their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, their transgender status or for any other reason based on their identity, has no place in 21st century society. All people should be free to live their lives without fear of prejudice, violence or hate.
An attack on someone because of their personal characteristics is an attack on the very core of that person’s humanity and can have a devastating impact on victims and their families. Even an isolated incident can have a long lasting and detrimental effect on the victim.
Victims are often afraid to leave their homes for fear of being targeted. This is supported by the fact that there are high levels of repeat victimization for this type of crime. Victims will often experience many incidents without reporting them to the police or to any other agency.
Surrey Police have joined forces with Stop Hate UK and SMEF (Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum) to tackle hate crimes and encourage people to come forward to report hate crime incidents either directly to police or through third-party organisations such as Stop Hate UK.
Stop Hate UK runs a 24 hour hate crime helpline (0800 138 1625) which acts as a reporting centre and provides independent support and reporting services 365 days a year. Crucially they have also developed a Hate Crime Reporting App specifically for Surrey. You can download the App from the App Store (Apple/iPhone users) or Google Play (Android users), simply search ‘Stop Hate UK Surrey’.
The App can be used to submit video, photo or audio evidence along with a report including location to Stop Hate UK. The information you provide will be reviewed and if you choose to share your contact details, you may be contacted to discuss details of the incident and further help and support that may be available to you. Anonymous reports will be shared with partner agencies within Surrey to allow them to have an improved understanding of the type of hate incidents occurring throughout Surrey.
Surrey County Council Community Safety page also has a dedicated section on Hate Crime which explains what is it, what to do if you are a victim of hate crime and what will happen if you choose to report it to the police.
Recycled garden waste makes for the ideal gnome
There’s no place like gnome in the winter, but now it’s time to head outdoors and get your garden prepped for summer. And what better way to get some gnome comforts than to recycle your garden waste and turn it into compost to help new things grow?
The best way to do it is to make some gnome grown compost. It’s easy to do, is the most environmentally friendly option and, with compost bins from just £13, it’s cheap too.
You can also get your waste collected from your gnome sweet gnome by your local council for a small fee. Residents can also take garden waste to their local community recycling centre for free.
Last year, around 7,000 tonnes of garden waste was put in rubbish bins in Surrey instead of being recycled. This is gnome joke because it’s bad for the environment and costs taxpayers’ money that could be spent elsewhere.
As well as garden waste such as twigs and grass cuttings, Surrey residents can also recycle cut flowers, fallen leaves, house plants and hedge trimmings.
To find out more, visit www.recycleforsurrey.org.uk
For more info and to join our kerbside garden waste and leaves recycling fortnightly collection service in Epsom and Ewell, see: www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/gardenwaste
Keep the good times going by recycling your clothes
The dazzling dress you wore to your birthday party. The trusty bag you took on your hiking holiday. The sparkly shoes you danced in until dawn. Your clothes carry your memories with them. But because recycled clothes and textiles can be worn again either in the UK or abroad, the good times can go on.
And if that makes you feel good, the fact that recycling clothes and textiles reduces waste, which helps the environment, will make you feel even better. Even unwearable items can be recycled by being turned into products like felt, insulation or stuffing. All clothes and home textiles including towels, sheets, pairs of shoes, bags and socks can be recycled.
It couldn’t be easier. Just put clean and dry clothes and textiles in a standard-sized, tied carrier bag and leave it next to your bin on your usual collection day. There are also textiles recycling banks at community recycling centres and in various locations around Epsom and Ewell.
Some items such as anything stuffed like pillows, cushions and quilts can’t be recycled. And neither can clothes and home textiles left in bin bags, untied carrier bags or recycling bins. Recycling all clothes and home textiles could save up to £4 million a year, which could be spent on other vital services.
To find out more about recycling clothes and home textiles in Epsom and Ewell visit our website
Stronger communities can help prevent crime
Consider security measures for your home
Did you know that a home with no security measures is five times more likely to be burgled than those with even simple measures in place? The Surrey Police website has some great tips.
Most burglaries are opportunistic. Keep an eye out for neighbours, especially the elderly and vulnerable and please report any suspicions of bogus callers to the police.
Display a ‘No to cold calling doorstop traders sticker from Surrey Trading Standards
The sticker’s designed to empower residents, giving them the confidence to deal with cold calling traders. All traders should respect your wishes, but if they don't they may be liable to prosecution for ignoring your request to leave and not return. For more information visit the Surrey County Council website.
Sign up to ‘In the Know’
Find out what’s happening in your area – witness appeals, crime updates, crime prevention advice and news. Sign up to receive updates from 'In the Know' scheme https://www.intheknow.community/ scheme from Surrey and Sussex Police. It’s specific to your interests and local area; from reliable sources; and you’re in control of how often you are contacted and who you receive information from.
Join or start a Neighbourhood Watch scheme
Strong communities where neighbours know and look out for each other really can help prevent crime. It is easy to think this just means burglary, but the Neighbourhood Watch website https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/crimes/ also provides toolkits to help with terrorism, domestic abuse, scams and older people, modern slavery, child sexual exploitation, serious violence and loneliness and vulnerability.
For more information visit the Surrey Prepared website: www.surreycc.gov.uk/surreyprepared follow on Twitter @SurreyPrepared www.twitter.com/surreyprepared
Umm...! Well we were hoping to include the latest update for Brexit and how it could effect the borough. However, as we write it's still all up in the air and despite all the activity over the last couple of months at Westminster and Brussels, meaningful votes and the Prime Minister's dashes across the channel, not much has changed since our last update in January!
Due to the borough elections we will not be producing e-borough Insight next month and by the next issue we are (at the moment) scheduled to have left the EU.
In the meantime, can we highlight two information sources..
The government has a dedicated website urging individuals to prepare for exiting the UK - this will be updated regularly.
It includes information if you are travelling, if you are a student, if you are an EU citizen living and working in the UK, if you are a UK citizen living and working in the EU and a plethora of other information. You can also sign up for email alerts.
Please take a few minutes to have a look - https://euexit.campaign.gov.uk/
The above website also contains advice for business.
In addition, Surrey Chamber of Commerce are running a series of free business clinics across the county, so that you can get your small business Brexit-ready advice from a panel of experts. Topics include:
- HR and employing EU citizens
- Customs and tax implications
- Exporting and importing
- Regulations and standards
For information and to book a space see the Surrey Chamber of Commerce website events pages