Epsom & Ewell Mayor
Councillor Humphrey Reynolds has been formally recognised as the new Mayor of Epsom and Ewell for the next year.
The Mayor said, "Being elected as the first citizen for Epsom and Ewell is a great honour.
“I start my mayoral year with some trepidation and my mayoral assignments within these strange times may be slightly different to those of my predecessors. These are difficult times for all of us. Anxiety and fear may be common feelings at the moment, but I strongly believe that as individuals and as a borough we can look to the future with optimism.
“One thing I wish to emphasise is the thanks from the people of Epsom and Ewell to the numerous charities, organisations and volunteers within the borough who are currently doing such a magnificent job in the present unprecedented circumstances”.
Councillor Reynolds has been serving the local community as a Ewell councillor for the last nine years. He was first elected as a Borough Councillor in 2011 and has served on many different council committees, including seven years on the Planning Committee, which he chaired for five years.
Humphrey was brought up in South West London and 1969 married Gillian. The couple moved to West Ewell in 1972 and to Ewell Village in 1988 where they still live. He spent most of his professional life in the printing industry before taking up a post with the council in 1999, working at Bourne Hall. Retiring in 2010, he successfully stood for election the following year.
Humphrey served as a Governor of Danetree School for 21 years, five of those years as Chair of Governors. He also spent five years as a Governor at Epsom and Ewell High School. He was also a Trustee of Age Concern Epsom & Ewell for over 10 years.
The Mayor is the first citizen of the borough and has several specific roles during their one-year term of office. These include representing the council and the local community at formal and ceremonial occasions, both within the borough and elsewhere, and chairing full meetings of Council.
For his mayoral year, the Mayor has selected the following three Epsom and Ewell organisations as his chosen charities, all of whom are currently providing Covid-19 support to the local community:
Age Concern Epsom and Ewell
A local independent charity established in 1947 to empower older people and combat loneliness. Supported by over 240 volunteers, they provide drivers, companions, toenail cutting, social interaction and a free and confidential information and advice service.
Epsom & Ewell Community Fund
Part of the Community Foundation for Surrey, the fund enables and encourages local giving to support local communities to develop and thrive by supporting voluntary effort across all sectors.
Love Me Love My Mind
Love Me Love My Mind is a small charity which aims to promote better understanding of mental health and to support the wellbeing of everyone in the community. They are run entirely by volunteers and funded by grants and donations. They provide a number of support services and runs the popular annual educational festival, Epsom Mental Health Week.
Councillor Peter O’Donovan has become Deputy Mayor. Both roles last one year, with the Deputy Mayor succeeding the Mayor.
What a month!
We've compiled some stats from across the council and put them into an infographic to show how council staff and the community have come together in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
We still have a long way to go but want to thank everyone for what was achieved in the first month...
Image courtesy of The Creative Pulse, an Epsom based design agency - www.thecreativepulse.com
We need your help!
Residents’ Communications Survey
We have launched a short communications survey, designed to help us communicate better with residents throughout the borough.
“In our Four Year Plan, we said that we wanted to create greater choice and control of how people engage with Council Services,” said Councillor Eber Kington, Chair of the Strategy and Resources committee.
“We also set out an ambition to transform the way we engage with borough residents.
“This survey is an important first step in delivering those outcomes and I would like to thank everyone who takes part. What you tell us will help to shape the way we keep you up to date with important news from the council, as well as our borough’s extraordinary potential as a creative, vibrant and prosperous place.”
The council is keen to hear from residents throughout the borough who can complete the survey online, and who can help to complete it on behalf of non-digitally connected residents. The communications survey can be completed anonymously or, for those who want to be kept updated with the findings, there is an option to submit their email address along with their answers.
The survey will be open until Friday 3 July and can be accessed here
Special free lunch to celebrate VE Day
We brought VE Day celebrations to the doorsteps of nearly 200 vulnerable people across the borough on Friday 8 May, delivering roast dinners to vulnerable and shielded residents.
A traditional roast beef dinner (or vegetarian alternative) was provided to 200 residents who either use the council’s Meals at Home service or who had regularly attended the Community and Wellbeing Centre for lunch before the Covid-19 restrictions.
The meal was prepared and delivered by council staff volunteers, including senior management.
At 11am the team were joined by the Mayor and the Mayoress to observe the national two minute silence.
The Mayor thanked the team and said “I know many of our older and more vulnerable residents were hoping to take part in the planned celebrations to commemorate the end of the Second World War.
“The volunteers’ efforts this morning will bring some cheer during in what is a difficult time.”
Councillor Barry Nash, Chairman Community & Wellbeing Committee, added “The council’s Meals at Home service provides nutritious meals and ensures our senior and more vulnerable residents also see a friendly face on delivery of their meal
“The service continues to deliver meals during the coronavirus outbreak, with those involved in meal preparation and delivery adhering to the latest Covid-19 government health and safety guidelines”.
Staff volunteers delivering the VE Day meals - right to left -
Kathryn Beldon (Chief Executive), Damian Roberts (Chief Operating Officer)
and Linda Scott (Community Services Manager).
Market Place update
In line with latest Government Covid-19 guidance, the final elements of the Market Place refurbishment have recommenced.
The work was needed as the old paving was worn out and required replacing. We took the opportunity to improve the underground services to the Market Place, to allow a greater number of events and to meet the needs of modern market stall holders. We have retained and repositioned some of the historical aspects and increased the number of trees, cycle stands, bins and seating.
Councillor Eber Kington, Chair of the Strategy and Resources Committee, commented “As the retail sector recovers from the consequences of Covid-19, we want to do everything we can to ensure that the market place and environs are a welcoming and safe destination, where, in the future, events can take place, visitors and locals can relax and local businesses can thrive”.
Essential restoration work on Epsom’s historic clock tower will start earlier than originally planned, a consequence of this year’s Derby being postponed.
Built in 1847 and praised by Charles Dickens, the clock tower became the heart of the borough when, in 1937, the charter declaring Epsom and Ewell a Borough was presented at its base.
The refurbishment will include masonry restoration to the lower section, refurbishment of doors and windows and replacement of the lower level roof covering and dome windows.
Listed building consent has been granted and the six week project will be carried out by a specialist contractor.
Councillor Kington said “The clock tower is an icon of Epsom, part of the borough’s heritage and a listed building which the council has a legal duty to maintain.
“It’s exciting that we have reached this major milestone in the renewal of the market place of which the clock tower is the focal point.
The refurbishment was originally planned to start after the Derby, so the larger than normal amount of visitors to the town would not see the structure in scaffolding. However work has now started. It is being funded from the budget for essential maintenance work to council owned buildings.
For the Clap for Carers on 30 April local company STLS Events turned the clock tower a vivid blue complete with a thank you message (picture: Benjamin Wetherall Photography)
Evocation of Speed
The repositioning of the sculpture, Evocation of Speed, to Epsom Market Place took place before the Coviid-19 lockdown and work around the piece was then suspended.
The polishing of the base of the Evocation of Speed statue is now due to commence this week and will take several days. The completion of this work will allow the paving immediately around the statue to be finished.
The Evocation of Speed was paid for in part by subscription to celebrate the millennium. It was originally intended as a piece of public art in what is now Epsom Square, however new land owners decided they wanted to use the space differently and, following a temporary home, the statue has now been moved to its new permanent location.
The bronze sculpture, captures the changing face of the Derby since 1780. It depicts Diomed, the winner of the first ever Derby, on one side with Galileo, winner in 2001, on the other. The galloping racehorses show Diomed’s jockey dressed in buttoned breeches and riding with long stirrups, while Galileo and his jockey convey the professionalism of a modern winner. It was created by world-renowned equestrian artist, Judy Boyt, who advised us on the new position of her work.
Northern High Street Pavement
The renovation works with the county council to the Market Place also included replacing the paving on the opposite side of the road. This is the section of footway linking Waterloo Road to the Marquis of Granby pub.
This paving will match the new paving in South Street and the Market Place.
Work is being undertaken under the governments social distancing requirements.
Stay alert in our parks
The borough's green spaces have been very busy this week and likely to be so over this weekend.
The latest government lockdown rules mean that you can now spend more time outdoors – for example sitting in parks and enjoying the fresh air. For government guidance on accessing green spaces safely see: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-guidance-on-access-to-green-spaces
Please use and enjoy our parks and green spaces
- exercise as often as you wish - following social distancing guidelines
- meet one other person from a different household outdoors - following social distancing guidelines
- use outdoor sports facilities (if re-opened) such as a tennis or basketball courts, with members of your household, or one other person - following social distancing guidelines
- continue to stay local, but you can drive to a green space if absolutely necessary. Please avoid public transport wherever possible and walk or cycle where you can.
See the government video by clicking on this image
(opens in new window)
Despite these changes to the rules, it’s still possible for the coronavirus to spread from person to person, so please ensure you observe the social distancing guidelines, make sure you keep 2 metres apart from anyone that you do not live with.
Please try to minimise contact with each other (eg no hand-shaking) and while on pathways, warn other users of your presence and step aside to let others pass.
As with before, you still cannot:
- use an outdoor gym, playground or skate park that has been closed
- gather in a group of more than two (excluding members of your own household)
When using parks or green spaces, it is vital that you take these steps:
- Do not visit a park if you have any symptoms – fever, coughs, shortness of breath
- Please consider that people without gardens rely on parks more, if you have a garden, make use of this space for exercise and fresh air
- To ensure you can continue to observe social distancing, use all areas of the park that remain open, not just the paths, so you can maintain 2 metres distance from others
- Avoid touching surfaces (such as gates or hand-rails) and then your mouth and face
- Please take all your litter home.
Top of the heap
Sofas are the top of the pile of unwanted bulky waste we collect from the boroughs households. Mattresses and armchairs follow, making the top three of the most collected items.
Beds, freezers, televisions, wardrobes, washing machines and cookers are the standard items collected within the borough but there have also been a surprising quantity of fish tanks, a pool table and even a hot tub.
If you have a larger item you no longer need or it no longer suits your décor but there’s still life in it the first thing to consider is recycling – see surreyreusenetwork.org.uk, who can collect the item and find it a new home.
However, if the item is rubbish, we can collect it.
There is a fee which reflects the true cost of disposing of the item (or items). Be wary of offers of cheap disposal of any kind of rubbish, it may well end up as fly tipped and if it is traced back to you, you could face a heavy fine.
For a list of charges and to book a collection, visit our website.
Council’s first virtual Committee
On Wednesday 13 May we held our first virtual committee meeting, something we'll be repeating over the coming months.
The first meeting was a Planning Committee meeting. Councillor Clive Woodbridge, Chair of the Planning Committee stated “The Government has been very clear that the planning process must continue. This will be a key element in the economic recovery and continued investment in our borough at the end of this Covid-19 crisis.
“Planning Committee meetings have our highest public engagement and residents’ participation is very important. Our online meeting means that anyone who is interested in the democratic process can follow it live using either the internet, without the need for any additional software, or a telephone
This and future virtual meetings will be held virtually using video and audio conference technology and will be open to the press and public to attend as observers either online or by telephone. There’s also continued provision for the public to contribute to the meeting in accordance with the council’s scheme for public speaking.
The need for self-isolation and social distancing has meant that traditional council meetings, including staffing and public attendance are not possible. This made holding formal council meetings impossible, as until April 2020, the law required a minimum of attendees to be physically present. The Coronavirus Act 2020 was introduced to enable necessary emergency measures to be brought forward to allow for Committee meeting based decision making to continue.
We are not publishing an updated calendar of meetings here as this is very likely to change. Please visit our committee meetings webpage which will be updated regularly.
Fire: increased risk this weekend
With the temperatures soaring, it only takes a small spark to start a fire on ground as dry as it is currently, so we're urging that extra caution to be taken.
Prevention is better than cure, especially now when we can ill afford to be putting undue stress on the emergency services.
There has already been an incident earlier this week in Horton County Park, where luckily a member of the public alerted Surrey Fire and Rescue Service and major damage was averted.
We’re asking people emerging from lockdown this weekend not to light fires, not to throw lit cigarette ends out of vehicles and not to discard bottles and shards of glass as they can also spark a fire.
Sky lanterns and disposable barbeques are already banned from our parks and green spaces due their fire risk.
If you see a fire in in one of the parks, nature reserves or other green spaces, report it immediately by calling 999.
Phased reopening of community recycling centres
For the latest update for the Epsom CRC (the Tip) please visit www.surreycc.gov.uk/recycling
There are limits to the numbers of people on each site, changes to what materials are accepted and revised opening hours. Residents should only use the CRCs if they absolutely need to, and must check for the latest information before they travel by visiting the Surrey County Council CRC web pages or by calling 03456 009 009 as these arrangements are subject to change.
- To maintain social distancing, a reduced number of visitors will be able to visit a CRC at any time – residents should come alone as only one person will be permitted to leave each car.
- During the first reopening phase, residents can only bring black bag waste and garden waste. These are the most common materials people drop off at this time of year, and what residents are more likely to be storing for disposal. No other waste can be accepted at this time, and the reuse shops are staying closed.
- Limiting the CRCs to two materials means visitors will be able to park in alternate parking bays with dedicated access to containers. This means that social distancing will be possible at all times, which is essential to operate the sites safely and protect residents and staff. It will also help residents to quickly dispose of their waste.
- Opening hours have been extended to help as many people as possible to pass through each day. Queues are still expected outside the sites so please be patient.
- Residents can only bring their waste in cars – no vans, pick ups or trailers will be allowed into the CRCs. Please don’t arrive on foot.
- Staff cannot help with unpacking cars. If one person isn’t able to carry the waste it should be left at home.
Returning to a full service
Residents are asked to hold onto other materials they need to take to CRCs, such as card, wood, metal, electricals and construction waste. The intention is to move to a second reopening phase after a few weeks when the full range of materials can be accepted, but only when it is safe to do. We will continue to only allow reduced numbers on sites to maintain social distancing.
Bag a bank holiday bargain with a half-price compost bin
This bank holiday weekend, Surrey residents can grab a half-price compost bin courtesy of the Surrey Environment Partnership's amazing flash sale!
At a remarkably cheap £10.75, it's the perfect present for your garden. And while we're spending more time at home, it's a great opportunity to do a bit more gardening and use the garden waste to make lovely, nourishing compost that can go straight back into the soil.
On offer is the 330 litre black compost bin, which can help you make nutrient-rich, peat-free compost that’s great for your garden, the planet and at 50% off is also good for your wallet!
To make compost, all that’s required is a simple mix of materials from your home and garden including leaves and branches, grass cuttings, vegetable peelings and cardboard. Your home-made compost can be used all around your garden to help it grow and flourish!
To buy your half-price compost bin, visit the Get Composting website between 23 and 25 May. Available while stocks last.
Epsom Rotary donation
Epsom Rotary Club continues to do its bit in the fight against Covid-19.
After recent consultations with those working on the covid-19 frontline at Epsom District Hospital a range of equipment was identified that would help the patients and staff cope a little better with this traumatic ordeal.
It is so important to the morale of Covid-19 patients that they keep in contact with their families and friends whilst they are in isolation. So Rotary have recently purchased five tablets for this purpose. It also means that when the pandemic is over they will be available to be used by patients who are in hospital for other reasons.
Ronnie Smith, President of Epsom Rotary Club, visited the IT department of Epsom Hospital to hand them over. The tablets will be issued two to a ward - another donor had also given some. The photograph shows Ronnie in the middle and Sasha Phillips on the left and Nasreen Sheil-Panchoo on the right. Note the well respected social distancing!
Are you ready for the weather this summer?
Met Office WeatherReady encourages individuals, families & communities to think about summer preparations to help stay safe and healthy at this time of year.
Find out more, including up-to-date, expert seasonal advice at:https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/warnings-and-advice/weatherready
National Speed Awarness campaign
“Share the roads responsibly. slow down and save lives.”
This is the message that Drive SMART – The Surrey Safer Roads Partnership, will be reminding the public of, as they continue work to combat the high speeds taking place on the county’s roads.
Drive SMART will be supporting the National Police Chiefs’ Council Fatal Four National Speed Campaign, taking place throughout May 2020.
For more information visit the Surrey Police website: https://www.surrey.police.uk/news/surrey/news/2020/05/share-the-roads-responsibly.-slow-down-and-save-lives/
This week marks the beginning of two weeks of a National campaign of Speed awareness, education and enforcement on the roads around Surrey.
Since the lockdown we have all seen quieter roads and therefore, unavoidably reports of an increase in vehicle speeds.
We have also seen an increase in cyclists and walkers using the highway due to the good weather and requirement to remain away from work.
The issue of speeding drivers is always controversial; split between those who feel we should be out and about as much as possible monitoring traffic, slowing drivers down and those who feel we have 'better things to do'.
The Surrey Police Casualty Reduction team's primary role is road safety and a large proportion of that is focussed on speed, mobile phone use, drink and drug driving and failing to wear your seatbelt - these are known as the 'fatal four'.
You should see an increased presence on the roads over the next two weeks - please remember:
- The speed limit is just that - a limit NOT a target
- It takes twice the distance to stop at 50mph than it does at 30mph
- Using a phone behind the wheel has been likened to being twice the drink drive limit with regards to concentration and reaction time
- Your seatbelt is there to protect you and others - belt up or cough up!
- Don't drink or use drugs before getting behind the wheel - it could mean the end of someone's life
- Be safe