Borough Insight

This Issue

In this issue...

It’s been a month since our last issue and, wow, things have changed. There has been scorching summer sun, torrential downpours, icy hail and the edge of a hurricane – and that was just the weather!

There’s also been a lot happening in the world of local government. Government ambitions for the planning system could see some far reaching changes for this borough. A white paper on devolution (due to be published this autumn) could herald the biggest potential changes to local government since the 1970’s.

The global Black Lives Matter movement has given us all the opportunity to educate ourselves, to understand the struggles of others and to speak up. As your council, we are public servants and here to serve and be accountable to everyone. We have enthusiastically welcomed the ‘We Stand Together’ antiracism campaign, initiated by a local businesswoman – see more in the news section.

We’ve also included the latest COVID-19 news in our Key Facts section.

Our What’s On section is starting to be more populated as we all adapt to new ways of doing things in this new COVID-Secure landscape. The renovation to the Epsom Market Place, which included a new electric supply for users, has increased its attractiveness for stallholders and we’re bringing another new market to town next month.

The full calendar of council meetings has now been reinstated and, as these are now being held virtually, it gives you the opportunity to easily observe and participate, from your own home.

With the August Bank Holiday upon us and a very unusual summer drawing to a close, please stay safe, follow the government guidelines and watch out for the weather!

News

Proposal to increase borough's new homes

This month, the government published new proposals for determining the number of additional homes that local authority areas like Epsom and Ewell will be required to deliver.

Within Epsom & Ewell this would mean 604 new homes per year plus the necessary infrastructure, schools, etc. 

Image: Building new homesHousehold projection data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) helps determine the housing target that the government sets for each local authority area. These figures will be used by the council as part of the Local Plan which sets planning policy and the amount of housing and associated infrastructure development in the area.

The latest projections (2018) published by ONS showed a significant reduction in the projected growth in household numbers in the borough. Using the government’s existing method of calculation,  this would have resulted in a significant reduction in the borough’s housing target – from 579 homes per year, to just 215 homes per annum.

Councillor David Reeve, Chair of the Licensing and Planning Policy Committee said “Our residents expect the Local Plan for the local area to be evidence based and for the housing target to be reflective of local needs. We wrote to the government last month to ask them to adopt the latest ONS projections and accept that, based on the evidence, Epsom and Ewell should only require the much lower target of 215 new homes a year.”

This month the government announced proposals to fundamentally change the way they calculate the housing target for each local authority area. Their proposed changes would lead to an even higher government imposed target for Epsom and Ewell of 604 new homes per year.  

Councillor David Reeve added “We are really concerned that these latest government proposals to change the method of calculating the housing target would, if approved, lead to an even larger requirement for new homes in the borough, when the evidence using the current method of calculation together with the latest ONS data provides for a much lower housing target.” 

The council will be preparing its response to the government on its proposed changes to the way that housing targets are calculated.

Changes to the planning system

The Government has published a white paper and launched a consultation on a fundamental reform of the national planning system. A white paper is a policy document produced by the Government that sets out its proposals for future legislation.

The Government’s stated aim is to streamline and modernise the planning process. They propose to bring a new focus to design and sustainability, improve the system of developer contributions to infrastructure, and ensure more land is available for development where it is Image: Planningneeded.

Under the plans, much more planning policy will be set nationally. In addition, local authorities are required to designate land in their area as one of three categories; for growth, for renewal or for protection. Local authorities’ local plans will be required to identify areas as being one of the three designations.

Councillor David Reeve, Chair of the Licensing and Planning Policy Committee said “I welcome any opportunities to further improve and simplify the planning system and I am therefore looking very closely as these latest Government proposals as we prepare the Council’s formal response.  However I would be concerned if the proposals sought to further transfer local planning powers and the determination of local planning policy away from local authorities to central Government.  It would also be a concern if the proposals gave too much freedom to developers and removed the ability for local people to be part of the process for determining what constitutes appropriate development in their areas. 

“Planning applications that affect the local area always understandably generate a high level of residents’ interest. That is why Planning decisions have relied on public engagement in shaping any proposed development to be the best possible outcome for the local area.

“The launch of the borough’s new local plan had reached a key stage, when we had to suspend the planned consultation because of the COVID-19 crisis.  However, we have been keen to move things forward following the lock-down, and a new timetable for the Local Plan has recently been agreed by the Council’s Licencing and Planning Policy Committee.  However, given the Government’s announcement and the scale of change that their proposals envisage, we have no choice but to now seek clarification from the Government about what they expect councils like us, in the process of the local plan formation, to do in relation to their local plan preparations".

Putting residents first

The leaders of Surrey’s 11 district and borough councils have launched their ‘Putting Residents First’ campaign to transform local government in the county and bring decision making and services close to communities.

Work has started on proposals for a modern approach to local government, to be shared with central Government as part of the debate on its anticipated ‘Recovery and Devolution’ white paper due to be published this autumn. The white paper signals its desire to reform local government – an opportunity Surrey’s district and borough councils are eager and enthusiastic to embrace.

Surrey’s Leaders are agreed that the proposals will centre around simplifying and improving local government. All viable options are on the table including the retention of a modified two-tier system as well as multi-unitary solutions. Providing residents with easier and local access to all their council services, enabled by digital transformation, will be a key element of the work. As will be ensuring that the future approach ensures the democratic accountability between councillor and resident remains strong.

The proposals are to be shaped and informed by new thinking, data, insight, research and engagement with residents.

The focus will be on creating local government offering the best results for residents – one which:

    • Remains close to local communities
    • Takes a ’place-based’ approach, where services, support, infrastructures, highways and development are influenced by local need rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach – all under the scrutiny of accountable, local elected representatives
    • Provides value for money
    • Is efficient and effective
    • Makes it easy for different public and private services including councils, health, police, businesses and others to work together
    • Continues to provide and improve the support and services residents need
    • Reflects the geographical and population differences of the county.

Councillor Eber Kington, Chairman of the Strategy and Resources Committee at Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, said: “We continue to believe that closer to, not further from, our residents is the way forward. Accessing a remote council dealing with 1.2 million residents is not the same as contacting local councillors who are close by, responsive and know the area.

“Therefore any changes made have to uphold values which are at the heart of our borough – efficient and effective services, local democratic accountability, accessibility of councillors and truly effective representation for local communities. 

“Crucially any changes in Surrey must be must be informed and shaped by the views and ideas of our residents and we want to hear from them over the coming weeks and months”.

We Stand Together

The council has enthusiastically backed a local community anti-racism initiative.

The initiative kicks off with an awareness day this Bank Holiday MondayImage: We stand together Bank Holiday Monday

The awareness day is set to be the start of the long term goals for the Epsom and Ewell – We Stand Together initiative. 

It is a positive social media and poster campaign for the community and local businesses to come together and highlight their stance in standing up against racism and pledging their support to be anti-racist - SEEING IT, STOPPING IT AND SOLVING IT.

The campaign was started by local business owner Dee Besant of Epsom and Ewell Families who says:

"By raising awareness of the issue that is racism, we know it can change things, because:

  • Awareness leads to conversations 
  • Conversations lead to thinking
  • Thinking leads to understanding
  • Understanding leads to change
  • Change leads to progress 

        The aim is to see the community acknowledging and sharing the #SeeItStopItSolveIt hashtag and the poster across social media and for local businesses to show their support by putting up the poster in their windows"!

        Councillors Hannah Dalton and Alex Coley proposed a motion to Epsom & Ewell Borough Council to support action promoting community cohesion, antiracism, equality and justice. They said:

        “We proudly support the We Stand Together campaign and call on all borough residents and businesses to be antiracist and to stand up against racism in all its forms.

        “Racism has no place in society or in our community. Our borough should be a place where everyone can thrive and enjoy all of the benefits and opportunities that Epsom and Ewell has to offer.

        “Our council recently gave its full support to We Stand Together and ongoing work to support community cohesion, anti- racism and calls for equality and justice. I strongly encourage others to join us and be a part of the We Stand Together launch this Bank Holiday.”

        Help spread awareness - #SeeItStopItSolveIt

        https://www.facebook.com/epsomandewellwestandtogether

        https://www.instagram.com/epsomandewellwestandtogether/

        https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/six-ways-racial-inequality-being

        https://ee-we-stand-together.org.uk/

        Funding available

        Community groups invited to bid for infrastructure funding

        Community and voluntary groups are being given a further opportunity to help shape the future of their local area by submitting bids for funding from Epsom & Ewell Borough Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

        Bidding originally opened in the spring and was suspended as the council prioritised the COVID response and council staff were moved to ensure vulnerable residents had the necessary support.

        The bidding reopened in August and proposals, including endorsement by a councillor, must be received before the end of September.

        Councillor Eber Kington, Chairman of the Strategy & Resources Committee said “We are pleased to be able to make the latest round of funding available and we hope local community organisations will take advantage of this opportunity.

        “While the COVID situation remains, this is a further demonstration of the council supporting local initiatives for the benefit of the local community and economy. CIL funding must be used for infrastructure projects, so this particular funding cannot be used for other worthwhile causes.” 

        CIL is a levy payable by developers and is charged according to the size of developments. 15% of CIL is set aside for community bids and, for 2020/2021, there is £250,000 available to support a range of projects, both large and small.

        Bids must have the support of a borough councillor and it’s advisable for groups to discuss plans with their Ward councillors and the relevant council departments to help shape their bids before submission.

        The scheme has been running for two years and successful schemes include, funding for new children’s playground equipment, restoration of footpaths in Horton Country Park and additional street lights. Funding in 19/20 was also agreed for improving community clubs, including a boxing club and scout premises.

        The closing date for 2020/21 applications is 30 September.

        Bids will be evaluated by a panel of councillors in two stages, bids successfully passing the first stage will be asked for more detailed information before the successful schemes are selected. Winning bids will be announced in January.

        CIL Neighbourhood scheme guidance and application forms can be down loaded from the council website – here

        VJ Day anniversary

        Image: The mayor VJ Day EwellVictory over Japan Day (VJ Day) is the anniversary of Japan’s WW2 surrender, which came more than three months after Nazi Germany capitulated in Europe.

        While VE Day marks the end of the Second World War in Europe, VJ Day signals the end of the Second World War entirely.

        For this 75th anniversary on 15 August, wreaths were laid by the mayor of Epsom and Ewell, Councillor Humphrey Reynolds, at the Epsom War Memorial and at a short ceremony at the memorial St Mary’s Ewell.

        The Ewell service, which was held in line with government guidance on social distancing, included the marking of two minute’s silence at 11am. The service was organised by the Royal British Legion and included veterans and serving personnel.

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        Image: Steve McCormick

        Parks at night

        Some parks in the borough will be locked again at night to help prevent vandalism and antisocial behaviour.Image: Gibraltar Recreation Ground

        The vast majority of the borough’s parks and open spaces are accessible 24 hours a day, but a small number are fenced and gated which allow them to be locked between dusk and dawn.

        The parks we lock at night have previously seen antisocial behaviour. During the lockdown we temporarily suspended the evening closure. Your elected representatives have now requested that this is re-instated.

        The parks being locked between dusk and dawn are:

        • Auriol Park
        • Bourne Hall Park
        • Ewell Court Park
        • Gibraltar Recreation Ground
        • Long Grove Park
        • Nonsuch Park
        • Poole Road Recreation Ground (King George V Playing Fields)
        • Shadbolt Park

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        The play area in Gibraltar Recreation Ground

        Yuck!

        It was going so well. We had gone a full ten full weeks without any recycling being rejected. Then this week, 11.5 tonnes of recycling, contaminated with sanitary products, nappies and food, was rejected at the Materials Recycling Facility.

        Image: Recycling contaminationIn cases where a truck load of co-mingled recycling is heavily contaminated, the whole load, streets-worth of recycling, will have to be sent for incineration as the sorting machinery can’t cope. As well as being a waste of time and money, this is frustrating for the majority of households who have separated their recycling.

        Where there are lower levels of contamination, the Materials Recycling Facility may accept the material, but their staff will have to sort it by hand – not a pleasant job.

        To protect the recycling efforts of the local community, our staff will reject bins that are obviously contaminated.

        Please only put recycling in your mixed recycling bin. Not doing so risks your whole community’s recycling efforts.

        No to NOS

        Small, silver nitrous oxide canisters are a regular sight across the borough, littering playing fields, parks and almost anywhere young people gather.Image of Nos canisters

        Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, hippy crack and NOS, is the second most commonly used recreational drug in England after cannabis.

        It can bring on feelings of euphoria, relaxation and calmness and also fits of giggles - but there are a number of dangerous side-effects including, in extreme cases, death.

        The drug can be used legitimately. In the catering industry it is used to keep whipped cream pressurised for example, but it has recently become a popular illicit drug, usually inhaled through a balloon.

        Nitrous oxide interferes with the oxygen supply to the brain; the gas can cause severe headaches, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, difficulty breathing, unconsciousness, and has been linked to 25 deaths since 2010. The Royal College of Nursing last year warned that many who take it have no idea of the risks it carries, which can also include vitamin B-12 deficiency, jaundice, mouth ulcers, dizziness and permanent nerve damage.

        There is a fear that the gas is replacing the previously ‘traditional’ gateway to drugs use of cannabis or solvents. Besides the immediate health risks to users, people driving under the influence of nitrous oxide is also an area of increasing concern.

        We've been reminding local retailers that under the 2016 Psychoactive Substances Act, nitrous oxide is illegal to sell or supply for recreational use. As well as fines, those supplying the gas knowing it is being used for recreational purposes can face prison sentences of up to seven years.

        We've been using our social media channels to highlighting the Talk to FRANK national drugs helpline.FRANK is a website and national telephone helpline offering advice, information and support to anyone concerned about drugs and solvent/volatile substance:
        https://www.talktofrank.com/drug/nitrous-oxide

        It's that time of year

        Every year, local Councils are required by law to make an annual canvass of all households in their borough to check if there have been any changes to who is eligible to be registered.

        The way the canvass is held has changed and The Representation of the People (Annual Canvass)(Amendment) Regulations 2019 now gives different options for contacting residents including by email and telephone instead of just sending out canvass forms by post.  

        Image: The annual canvass is underwayHow does the new canvass work?

        Step 1:  Data matching

        The Electoral Register is sent securely to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to check names and addresses from the register against National Insurance details and have each property allocated to one of 3 routes of communication.

        • If all the registered people at a property that match with DWP records, the property will go to Route 1 canvass.
        • If there are any people at a property that don't match, the property will go to Route 2 canvass.
        • Properties that have a duty manager - eg community or nursing homes - will go to Route 3 canvass.

        Step 2: Routes of communication

        Route 1 – this means that your property has been fully matched and we will send you confirmation of who is registered.

        • By email if we have an email address for you or others in your household. If you receive an email you must respond to confirm the details are correct. If more than one person in your household receives the email only one needs to reply and information will be included in the email about how to do this.
        • If we don't have an email address for you, or we don't receive a response from our email, we will send a letter to your property instead. If the elector details on the form are correct, you don't need to do anything, or;
        • If the information is not correct, you can add, correct or remove someone from your property, the letter will contain a website address and security codes which you can use to log in and make the changes.

        Route 2 – This means that for whatever reason the DWP has allocated your property as being unmatched. We need to check with you that we have everyone at your property that is eligible, registered properly.

        • We will post a form to the property. The form will have elector details printed on it if there are registered electors at your property or if no-one is currently registered then it will be a blank form
        • We need a response to this form even if there are no changes to report and information will be provided about how you can do this either on-line, phone or by post.
        • If we do not receive a response, we will make other attempts to get a response from you. This may be via reminder forms, calling you or a visit to your property so please respond as soon as you receive the information from us.

        Route 3 – These properties are Care Homes, student dwellings and Houses of Multiple Occupation. We will be contacting each on an individual basis depending on the type.

        • We will supply information regarding the registered electors either by post, email or by phone.
        • A response will be required to confirm that we have the correct people registered or if there is no-one eligible to register.

        Will returning the form register me to vote?

        No, adding your name to your canvass response will not register you to vote. Voter registration is a separate process and once you have told us you need to register we will send information to each unregistered person at your property giving information on how to do this. You do not need to wait for this information, you can register via the national voter registration website www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

        You can help us save money and resources by responding to the canvass forms and or by registering online as soon as possible.

        There is information regarding electoral matters on our website https://www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/council/elections-and-voting

         

        Fly tipping horror

        It's a subject we have highlighted before in eborough Insight; if you employ someone to dispose of your rubbish and they then fly tip it, it could be you ending up with a fine.Image: fly tipping Surrey Environment Partnership

        Last week the subject was featured in the BBC show Fake Britain. A lady had seen an advert on social media and had paid of household rubbish to be removed. A month later the lady received notification from her council as the rubbish had been dumped a few streets away (literally in the street) and she was threatened with a huge bill.

        If you’re having work done on your home and someone else is taking your waste away, all you need to do is:

        1. check online if your trader is registered before you employ them

        2. obtain a receipt for any waste taken away by a trader.

        You should be particularly vigilant if a door-to-door trader offers to take your waste away.

        The council offers a bulk waste collection service for all residents at a very reasonable cost.

        Fly-tipping is a blight on the environment and expensive for the taxpayer who ultimately pays for it to be cleared up. That’s why in Surrey 100% of fly-tippers who go to court are convicted. Punishment can result in a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months in prison.

        You can find out all you need to know about fly-tipping in Surrey, including how to report it where you live, on the Surrey Environment Partnership website.

        Poetry please

        In the last few issues of eBorough Insight, we've included poems from the community with their take on the COVID-19 situation. This is the latest we've received - more please! 

        The Ballad of the Covid Mask

        My wife said to me Image: shopping with a mask
        I have you a task
        Can you get me some shopping?
        But you must wear a mask.

        And to keep yourself safe
        At all times keep it on
        If you take it off
        It would be terribly wrong

        She said she had written
        It all down on a list
        And she said to make sure
        That nothing is missed

        So, I put on my mask
        It made me feel rather lonely
        But it is only a short way
        To the shops down at Stoneleigh

        But my glasses steamed up
        Cause what had occurred
        The mask made me too hot
        So, my vision was blurred

        When I got to the Broadway
        I looked at her note
        But through the mist on my specs
        I couldn’t tell what exactly she’d wrote

        And I recalled her words
        She’d stated so clear and so strong
        Don’t take off your mask
        That would be terribly wrong

        I wasn’t quite sure
        If I had got everything right
        Did I get some things wrong ?
        I admit that I might

        So, when I got home
        We unpacked the shopping
        And by the time we got through
        My wife she was hopping

        And though I said
        I couldn’t quite see
        She said your excuses
        Cut no ice with me

        You bought some tomatoes
        When I asked for potatoes
        And a length of brown rope
        When it should have been soap
        And 12 cans of Dutch ale
        That should have been kale
        And a bottle of brandy
        That should have been candy
        And some ointment for bunions
        Instead of red onions
        And a string of clothes pegs
        That should have been eggs
        And six tins of baked beans
        That should have been greens
        And some real runny cheese
        That should have been peas
        And two bedside lamps
        That should have been stamps
        And a bucket and spade
        And not lemonade
        And an x-box type game
        Not that sort of game!

        And explain to your betters
        Why you bought the French letters
        I asked for electrical flex
        And not some Durex

        And a whole leg of lamb
        That should have been jam
        And a brand-new big telly
        When I wrote tagliatelle!
        And the box of Rice Crispies
        Has become a selection of whiskies
        And the food for the cat
        Is now a new hat

        And why did you buy
        A brand-new garden shed
        When all that I wanted
        Was a loaf of brown bread

        And so, it went on
        My trip was a flop
        But the upside is next time
        She’ll go to the shop!

        Spotlight on

        Are you sitting comfortably?

        People living in Epsom and Ewell have the highest levels of life satisfaction within Surrey, recent government figures show.

        The government’s National Wellbeing Measures, which are based on a survey of 139,690 participants across the UK, also show high levels of happiness within the borough.Satisfied image

        The levels of life satisfaction are compiled for each local authority in the UK. Epsom and Ewell scored 8 out of 10, the highest in Surrey. Lower levels were recorded for all our immediate neighbouring boroughs – Sutton (7.5), Kingston upon Thames (7.6), Reigate and Banstead (7.7) and Mole Valley (7.7).

        Happiness was measured as 7.8 out of 10 for Epsom & Ewell. This compared with Sutton (7.3), Kingston upon Thames (7.3), Reigate and Banstead (7.6) and Mole Valley (also 7.8).

        Levels of stress within the borough were measured as significantly falling from previous years. This was in direct contrast to the rest of the UK which saw average ratings of anxiety increase. Across the country average ratings of life satisfaction and happiness deteriorated; within Epsom & Ewell they increased.

        Councillor Barry Nash, Chair of the Community & Wellbeing Committee said “While it is fascinating to compare ourselves with our neighbours, the real purpose of these statistics is for local authorities to measure their performance over a period of years in order to continually improve the services they provide for their residents. Since these figures started being compiled by the Office of National Statistics ten years ago, this borough has seen a steady increase in levels of life satisfaction and happiness.

        “There is growing evidence that volunteering and being an active citizen increases an individual’s wellbeing and self-worth. I would like to think this borough with its strong community spirit, recently demonstrated during the lockdown, is one of the factors behind these remarkable statistics.

        “It will be naïve to think that these figures, which are for the year ending 30 March, won’t be significantly impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic and how that has affected borough residents and businesses.

        “As things return to a form of normality, the council’s four year plan details the steps the council will take to lead the community into an even brighter future”.

        What's On

        Markets update

        Markets are back and we're hoping to new stalls and new markets to our existing events over the coming months.
        Remember to follow the socially distancing queuing system in place at each market stall. Use hand sanitiser and wash your hands as soon as you get home. Shoppers are encouraged to only handle items they intend to purchase and to pay via contactless where they can and when it's available.

        Farmer's Market
        The next Epsom Farmer's Market is on Sunday 6 September at Epsom Market Place.

        For more info and list of traders see the Surrey Farmers' Markets Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SurreyFarmersMarkets/

        The Epsom Farmers' Market takes place on the first Sunday of the month from 9.30am - 1.30pm, this market is a treasure trove of fresh, tasty and attractive local produce. To find out more, come to the market  http://www.surreymarkets.co.uk/epsom-market/

        Market imageAntique & Brocante Street Market
        Sunday 20 September, 10am to 4pm

        We're promised something a bit different with a market that features retro and collectable furniture, lamps, trunks, brass & copper artefacts, textiles, postcards & advertising memorabilia, vintage cashmere, retro homeware, vintage clothing & accessories, jewellery & collectable glass, posters, toys, posters, silver items, illustration, Vinyl records, antique tools, objet d’art, kitchenalia and reclamation items. For more information please visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Fairs1950

        Vegan Market
        The next monthly Epsom Vegan Market is Sunday 25 September in Epsom Market Place.

        For more info and list of traders see the Surrey Vegan Market Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/surreyveganevents/

        The Epsom Vegan market takes place on the fourth Sunday of the month from 10.30am - 3.30pm, the go to market for all things vegan and more! See: https://www.surreyvegan.co.uk/epsom.html

        Market imageFrench Market
        The French Market we were bringing to you this month has been postponed due to the quarantine measures bought in for those travelling from that fair country.
        Le marché français sera de retour!

        Thursday and Saturday markets
        The regular market is back in the Epsom Market Place!

        www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/market 

        Music in the Market Place

        Go Epsom has teamed up with MGSO4, the organisation behind the arts festival, to bring some live music to Epsom Market Place. Featuring a different  fantastic professional act every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday lunchtime through August into September. For more information please visit: https://goepsom.com/music-in-the-marketplace

        Image: Music in the Market PlaceFriday 28 August - Melodic Panman
        Magaron Destang is a Steel drum player, soloist, singer and guitarist. He plays a mix of genres including Caribbean music, pop and reggae.

        Sunday 30 August - Raul D'Oliveira Duo
        Internationally renowned trumpeter, percussionist and vocalist, Raul has played with Elton John, Wham, Mike Oldfield, Joan Armatrading, Cliff Richard, Mica Paris and Boy George amongst others. Greatly in demand as a session player and educator, he is a master of all things Latin!

        Wednesday 2 September - Jonny Hepbir Duo
        Internationally renowned, hailing from the deep south of England and specialising in a vibrant mix of gypsy swing, jazz and funky latin, played on an all-acoustic line-up of two guitars.Recent appearances include the Django Reinhardt Festival in Samois Sur Seine in France and Birmingham International Jazz and Blues Festival.

        Friday 4 September - Smokestack (Duo)
        For 25 years this roots and blues outfit has performed at venues and blues festivals in both Europe and the UK, including sharing the bill with BookerT and the MG's, Nina Simone, Peter Green, Taj Mahal at the UK's legendary Bishopstock blues festival.

        Sunday 6 September - ‘It Had To Be Two'
        Following the great examples of love set out by the likes of Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael, Bach & Beethoven, classical pianist Nadine André & jazz drummer Paul Cavaciuti create a unique blend of music from 19th Century Europe & 20th Century America that set a fine example of how to live in perfect harmony, both on and off stage.

        Grease is the word

        To find out more and to book your tickets to Age Concern Epsom & Ewell's Charity Drive In Cinema Event on Saturday 19 September showing Grease on the UK's LARGEST outdoor cinema screen please visit http://ow.ly/lfRP50B73Gk 

        To stay up to date visit Age Concern Epsom & Ewell's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ageconcernepsom/

        Grease Drive in movie 19 Septemeber Hook Road arena in aid of Age Concern Epsom & Ewell

        Virtual Epsom Open Day

        Racing Welfare is a registered charity supporting the workforce of British horseracing. They will be holding a Virtual Epsom Open Day on Bank Holiday Monday.  

        • Watch video tours and get other behind-the-scenes insights from racehorse trainers in Epsom
        • Meet a section of Epsom’s equine superstars
        • Meet the local racing staff and hear from them on what makes their job so special
        • Look ahead to horses to follow for the rest of the season

        For full details and to register, visit the Racing Welfare website - https://racingwelfare.co.uk/epsomopenday/

        Running alongside the Virtual Open Day will be a national online auction to assist in Racing Welfare’s fundraising efforts, which will run until 24 September.  The fantastic lots on offer include a private tour of the National Stud in Newmarket complete with an overnight stay at the historic Jockey Club Rooms, and a 2021 share in a racehorse with the Hot to Trot syndicate. Funds raised will go towards Racing Welfare’s Emergency Appeal, donations to the appeal can be made here: justgiving.com/RWEmergencyAppeal

        Image: Virtual Epsom Open Day

        Satisfied Eye

        This year is the third year of the Satisfied Eye International Film Festival.Image: Satisfied Eye festival poster

        With the vast majority of film festivals going online, Satisfied Eye are bucking the trend with the entire programme of screening to be held live at the Odeon Epsom cinema on 9-11 October .

        This has been after considerable consultation with audience members and filmmakers, the vast majority of whom (to the surprise of the organisers) have voiced that they would rather an in person event than a virtual one.

        Bigger and better than ever before, you will be able to watch dozens of feature films, documentaries, short films, animation in the comfort of the Odeon Epsom, including People's Choice, Children's Animation, laugh out loud comedies, the best foreign cinema (submitted from over 70 countries), edge-of-your-seat horror and sci fi - there's something for everyone!

        The Odeon will be ensuring full COVID-19 requirements including social distancing measures will be in place and followed.

        Tickets (including early bird discounts) are now available.

        For more details see the Satisfied Eye website (https://satisfiedeye.com/) or  Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/satisfiedeye/

        Visit The Horton, virtually

        The Horton Chapel Project is the restoration and refurbishment of Epsom’s Grade II listed Horton Chapel to be run as not-for-profit arts centre The Horton.

        The project to convert the building, which has stood empty for many years, is managed by charity Horton Chapel Arts & Heritage Society, set up by local Epsom residents.

        As part of the national Heritage Open Day scheme, between 11 and 20 September, online visitors will be able to join a ‘walk’ around The Horton building, using their mouse or cursor keys, to ‘look’ around 360 degrees. For more information please see the Horton Chapel Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/hortonchapelepsom which includes a link to the vitural tour https://www.facebook.com/events/426591954924773/

        Using a smart phone, computer or tablet, viewers will be able to scroll ‘up’ to see the newly decorated triple barrel-vaulted ceiling and new roof light, or ‘down’ at the patterns in the original encaustic tiled floor. No special app is required. The film will be available on YouTube and Facebook.

        Some of the original features, including organ pipes and important war memorials, are currently in storage, but the tour guide will direct viewers to where they will be incorporated into the new design.

        The tour will reveal some of the twentieth century stories about the building, the hospital site during war time, and historic approaches to the care and treatment of people who were identified as having a mental health condition.

        The Horton is due to open in spring 2021.

        For further information visit the website: https://hortonchapelproject.org/

        Photography competition

        The Friends of Horton Country have organised a photography competition - theme: Horton Country Park local nature reserve. The competition closes on 30 September. For further details visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/EpsomLocalNatureReserve/

        Please remember when you are outdoors, to follow the Countryside Code and government advice by staying alert and maintaining social distancing to keep everyone safe. For government guidance on accessing
        green spaces safely, see: https://t.co/dIKn9cVo8e

        Image: Friends of Horton Country Park photo competition

        Key Facts

        Face coverings

        Image: Wear a face covering

        Face coverings are mandatory on all public transport, in shops and in most public indoor spaces.

        When you wear a face covering make sure you:

        • wash your hands before and after putting it on or taking it off
        • fully cover your nose and mouth
        • don't touch the front of it
        • wash the face covering regularly.

        Please respect those who can't wear a face covering. Remember not all health conditions are visible.Image for phone: Be kind, give me space

        To stay up to date on the latest government face covering guidance please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own 

        Optional badges/lanyards to promote ongoing social distancing

        Optional badges have been issued by the government that can be used to show the carrier may have concerns in maintaining social distancing. They can be used to signal to others around them that they need to pay attention and be given space.

        For printable badges and a mobile phone graphic, please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/please-give-me-space-social-distancing-cards-or-badges 

        Face coverings in schools and colleges

        This week, the government confirmed that head teachers in secondary schools across England will decide whether face coverings are needed in their school communal areas where social distancing is difficult. Face coverings become mandatory in secondary schools in regions where restrictions are in place due to higher coronavirus transmission. The new rules do not include classrooms and do not affect primary school pupils.

        For more information please see: https://dfemedia.blog.gov.uk/2020/08/26/face-coverings-in-schools-and-colleges-your-questions-answered/ 

        Latest COVID-19 updates

        • Latest COVID cases
          The County Council is publishing a weekly report of COVID-19 cases in Surrey on its website - these are broken down to District and Borough level. surreycc.gov.uk/covidcases

        • Increase in Surrey cases
          Data is showing some rises in COVID-19 case numbers in areas of Surrey, including a small rise in cases in Woking. Ruth Hutchinson, Surrey’s Director of Public Health said: “To date we have seen a fantastic response to this crisis, with the overwhelming majority of our residents adhering to our request to keep surrey safe and follow public health guidelines. Compared to the national picture Surrey still has relatively low numbers of Coronavirus infections. But we cannot be complacent. Everyone in Surrey has a role to play in slowing the spread – by getting tested if they have any symptoms, making sure they continue to socially distance, washing their hands and wearing face coverings".

        • Crack down on illegal gatherings
          A new criminal offence for people organising or facilitating unlawful gatherings comes into force on Friday 28 August 2020. Those facilitating or organising illegal raves, unlicensed music events or any other unlawful gathering of 30 people or more may face a £10,000 fine – placing a new deterrent on the breaches that put the public most at risk. Fines of £100 can continue to be issued to those who participate in illegal gatherings and those who have already received a fine will see the amount of doubled on each offence, up to a maximum of £3,200

        • Scam scum
          Unfortunately, COVID-19 has created the perfect environment for scammers to thrive. A contact tracer will never ask for any payment, details of bank accounts, or passwords or PINs.

        • If you have symptoms
          If you have any symptoms – a persistent cough, high fever, or a change in smell or taste – then you can easily book a test by calling 119 or visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.

        • Self-isolation period has been extended to 10 days
          Since our last e-Borough Insight, the government has stated that the evidence has strengthened to show that people with COVID-19 who are mildly ill and are recovering have a low but real possibility of infectiousness between 7 and 9 days after illness onset. The self-isolation period has been extended from 7 to 10 days for those in the community who have symptoms or a positive test result.

        Image: Self-isolation periods

        Your Community

        Green fingered volunteers needed

        Image: allotment volunteersThe Sunnybank Trust, an Epsom based charity that works with adults with Learning Disabilities has been given a local allotment, so that their members can learn how to plant and grow vegetables, fruits and plants.

        They are really keen to find volunteers that have an interest in this area, whether it is to help plan, getting involved with the preparation of the area, or helping members to plant and learn about the different types of vegetables and fruits.

        The Sunnybank Trust are a fun and lively group, that would love to hear from you.

        If this interests you, please email info@sunnybanktrust.org

        For more information on the Sunnybank Trust visit their website: http://www.sunnybanktrust.org/ 

        Bank Holiday pharmacy opening times

        Many community pharmacies are open this August Bank Holiday weekend - please remember your face covering and to follow social distancing rules. 

        For opening hours and more info on NHS services over the weekend, please see: http://surreyheartlands.nhsdigital.org.uk/news/latest-news/information-on-nhs-services-over-august-bank-holiday
        Pharmacy image

        The beautiful gardens of Epsom and Ewell

        During the last few months many of us have turned to gardening to help us through. The happy by-product is that many of us now have lovely gardens, patios & hanging baskets to be proud of!

        In recognition of these wonderful gardens Epsom Rotary Club ran a ‘Lockdown’ Garden photograph Competition, for the local community, during the months of June and July and the judging has now taken place.

        Our judge, the MD of Garden Genies, had an extremely difficult task as the standard of entries was extremely high.  She had to be very critical, even down to who had been most careful about dead-heading the plants in some cases!


        Epsom Rotary Club would like to thanks everyone who sent in photographs of their lovely gardens. Unfortunately there can be only one winner and one runner up in the two categories and they are as follows 

        Baskets and Window Boxes category


        1st prize - "My Little Haven of Calm" by Mrs Jan Evens

        Image: My Little Haven of Calm


        2nd prize - "My Patio 2020" by Janice Pond

        Image: My Patio 2020

        Gardens category

        1st prize - "Floriferous Front Garden" by Jamie Barnes

        Image: Floriferous Front Garden


        2nd prize - "A Thistle in my Garden" by Alexandra Hendy

        Image: A Thistle in my Garden

        Serve up some savings by reducing your food waste

        Image: Surrey Environment Partnership food waste reduction campaignIt may be simpler than you think to save some money this summer. Reducing your food waste will not only keep the pounds in your pocket but will help the environment too.

        While recycling any food that cannot be eaten is good for the planet, throwing away less in the first place is even better. Save more and waste less by trying these three tips:  

        • Plan your food shop in advance so you only buy what you need.
        • Freeze food before it reaches its ‘use by’ date.
        • Use up your leftovers by trying out a new recipe.

        Make reducing food waste even easier by downloading an app that helps you to plan your shops or donate excess food to your neighbours. With the money you save you could also buy some items to donate to your local food bank.

        Surrey Environment Partnership (SEP) chairman Councillor Neil Dallen said: “More time at home means Surrey residents are buying and cooking more food than ever before. We should use this time to think more about what we buy and how we can waste less.”

        Discover leftover recipes, storage tips and app recommendations on the SEP website.

        Ready for pregnancy

        Ready for pregnancyA 12-month campaign has launched across Surrey to encourage women to get fit and healthy before they try for a baby. #ReadyforPregnancy aims to raise awareness of how women’s health when they get pregnant affects them and their baby not only throughout their pregnancy, but also at birth.

        The campaign will focus on a different aspect of health each month. These can improve a couple’s chances of conceiving and going on to have a happy and healthy pregnancy and birth. Topics include taking regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, stopping smoking and mental wellbeing.

        Gemma Puckett, Head of Midwifery at Ashford & St Peters Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is such an exciting time for couples but we know that most women don’t seek health advice before becoming pregnant and are often unaware of the risks to themselves and their baby. There is a clear link between a mother’s health before pregnancy, the risks she is exposed to or exposes herself to, and her baby’s health.

        “We want to every woman in Surrey to know how to prepare themselves for a healthy pregnancy which they can enjoy, and a few small changes can make a big difference. #ReadyforPregnancy is a great way to help raise awareness of things women can do before conception to improve fertility, pregnancy health and their baby’s future health.”

        The campaign will run on social media across Surrey and you can keep updated by following https://twitter.com/surreyheartland or www.facebook.com/SurreyHeartlandsICS.

        You can also find out more at https://www.healthysurrey.org.uk/children-and-families/ready-for-pregnancy

        Keeping it real – live a life less disposable with cloth nappies

        If you’re having a baby soon or already use disposable nappies have you considered switching to cloth or reusable nappies instead?Image: Surrey Environment Partnership cloth nappies myths busted

        There are a few myths about real nappies, but the facts are very different.

        Busting those myths

        1. They cost more – reusables can work out cheaper than your overall spend on disposables. More so if you use them for your next baby along with the hand-me-down clothes, books and toys! Picking up and selling reusables is really easy, check your local Freecycle and Facebook groups or NCT nappy library.
        2. Create more laundry – many can go straight in the wash causing minimal increase to your laundry and you’ll stand to halve your average weekly household waste.
        3. Use too much water - washing your nappies each week will never rival the amount of water or energy used to manufacture disposable nappies, and you can minimise energy output by washing at lower temperatures, line-drying instead of tumbling and washing a full load.
        4. Smell bad - many include the option of a biodegradable, flushable liner so the smelly waste is flushed away rather than hanging around in a rubbish bin for a week or two and nappy buckets have a lid and are emptied every 2-3 days.
        5. They’re fiddly to use - there’s a wide choice compared with our parents’ generation – with nappies now shaped just like disposables. Many are fitted with Velcro or poppers that fasten just as easily – no pins! Take your waterproof wet bag with you and transfer used nappies to the washing machine when you return home.
        6. Leaks and nappy rash – leaks are caused by a bad fit, regardless of nappy type. The soft, natural fibres are more breathable for a baby’s skin than plastic; doctors often recommend that babies with sensitive skin switch to reusables.

        When it comes to wanting a life less disposable, cloth could well be for you.

        Find out more at: www.surreyep.org.uk 

        Your Council

        Council meetings in September

        The following meetings of the Council will be held in September. Meetings will be held virtually, using GoToWebinar.

        The agendas and details on how to view the council meetings will be published 14 days before the relevant meeting on the website links above. 

        Contact us

        Website: www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk   
        Tel: 01372 732000
        Text: 07950 080202
        Email: contactus@epsom-ewell.gov.uk   

        Borough Insight is published by Epsom & Ewell Borough Council for residents in the borough. For more information and to view the current issue of the magazine visit:

        http://www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/borough-insight

        If you have any queries on its contents please contact The Editor, Borough Insight, Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, Town Hall, The Parade, Epsom, Surrey KT18 5BY.

        Tel: 01372 732000.
        Email: boroughinsight@epsom-ewell.gov.uk

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