Borough Insight

This Issue

In this issue

The success of the vaccination programme and the publication of the Government's roadmap out of lockdown came as a welcome relief on what had been a rather drawn out February. And then the sun came out and everything started to look a lot brighter. Unfortunately that also led to a lot of people deciding that they no longer had to follow the Covid rules and guidelines.

Packed green spaces and beaches led to the deputy chief medical officer for England, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam pleading "Do not wreck this now, it is too early to relax", before adding that the rules still apply even if you have had the coronavirus vaccine. He said: "there are some worrying signs that people are relaxing, taking their foot off their brake at the wrong time."

In this issue of eBorough Insight we look at the roadmap, we revisit the guidelines and why they are still important. With more people being called forward for their covid vaccination we also explore with Surrey Heartlands some of the most frequently asked questions about 'the jab'.

We also report on the council setting its budget for the next financial year and what that means to your council tax.

This month sees Census Day which provides a picture of all the people and households in England and Wales. The first Census was in 1801 and has been carried out every 10 years since (with the exception of 1941 due to the WW2). While a fascinating and on-going record of how the country and the society we live in are developing, the Census actually provides essential information.  All kinds of organisations use the data, from local authorities to charities, to help them provide the services everyone needs, including transport, education and healthcare.

This issue also features the normal roundup of borough news from the council, our partners and the community.

Stay safe.

News

COVID-19 updates

The roadmap out of lockdown

Current lockdown restrictions apply - you must stay at home, leaving only where permitted by law.

The government has set out the roadmap out of the current lockdown. The roadmap is dependent on a strategy that is informed by “data not dates”, and subjected to the following four tests:

  1. that the vaccine deployment continues successfully
  2. vaccines are effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths
  3. infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations that put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  4. the assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of COVID-19 that cause concern.

If the test are met the draft timetable is as follows:

From the 8 March pupils will be able to return to school, supported by twice weekly testing for secondary and college pupils. Two people can meet socially outdoors, but the clinically vulnerable are advised to continue to self-isolate until at least the end of March.

From 29 March the legal requirement to stay at home will be lifted, but many lockdown restrictions will remain in place, including working from home and minimising travel. The rule of six will be reintroduced outdoors and two families from different households will be able to meet outdoors, with some outdoor facilities opening, including tennis courts and pools.Image: Coffee shop reopen outside server wearing facemask

From 12 April non-essential retail may be able to re-open, alongside ‘close-contact services’ and gyms. Pubs and restaurants could provide an outdoor only service, and public libraries, community centres, zoos and theme parks may be able open their doors again.

From 17 May, if the conditions continue to be met, the rule of six will be lifted outdoors and replaced by a maximum gathering limit of 30, Indoor hospitality, cinemas, hotels, performances and sporting events will then also restart.

By 21 June all restrictions could be lifted.

As we move through each of these phases in the roadmap, we must all remember that COVID-19 remains a part of our lives. As we progress through the steps, we must:

  • carry on with ‘hands, face, space’;
  • comply with the COVID-Secure measures that remain in place at different stages;
  • meet outdoors when we can and keep letting fresh air in;
  • get tested when needed;
  • get vaccinated when offered.

A short video has been produced to explain the roadmap: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upx-7koIi5Q

Find out more about the roadmap out of lockdown at: http://bit.ly/RoadmapLdnse 

Information correct at time of publication

Free COVID testing service

A service has been launched within the borough to test residents who are not showing COVID symptoms allowing them to confidently continue their activities.

The Targeted Community Testing initiative, in partnership with Surrey County Council and the Department of Health and Social Care, is aimed at adults who cannot work from home during national restrictions. This could include delivery drivers, shop workers, engineers, window cleaners and gardeners.

The community testing programme offers free COVID -19 testing at Bourne Hall, Ewell.Image: Link to YouTube Symptom Free Testing video

Around one in three people who are infected with Covid-19 have no symptoms, so could be spreading the disease without knowing it.

Regular symptom-free testing will help reduce the prevalence of the virus.

Rapid-turnaround lateral flow tests provide results within an hour (in most cases less than 30 minutes) 

Prebooking for the Bourne Hall is essential.

For more information on how to get a test, visit the Surrey County Council website at https://scc.covid19testing.org.uk/

This service is for those without symptoms. Anyone with symptoms – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – should book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.

Click on the image to access a YouTube video on symptom free testing in Surrey

Back to school – symptom-free testing for households and bubbles of school pupils and of staff

COVID-19 Testing for households and bubbles of school pupils and of staffBack to school asymptomatic in Surrey

If you are in the same household, childcare bubble or support bubble as a pupil, or someone who works in a school or college:
You can now get twice weekly symptom-free tests in three different ways.
  • Book
  • Collect
  • Order
It's important that you follow the instructions on https://bit.ly/3sLjESf as you can only collect tests from specific test sites.

Vaccine Q&A

With more and more people being offered the COVID-19 vaccine, we're revisiting some of the most asked questions about 'the jab' with thanks to our friends at the Surrey Heartlands CCG.

When will I get the vaccine? 
The NHS will contact you when it’s your turn – either by letter, phone call or text. We know that waiting for your vaccination may be an anxious time but we will reach everyone in turn, please continue to be patient.Image: covid vaccine

There are some scams around concerning the vaccine. Please be aware that the Vaccine is free on the NHS and that the NHS will not ask for payment or bank details. If you have any concerns about a communication you have received about the vaccine, contact your GP. 

Why is the vaccine important?
The best way to protect yourself and others from serious illness caused by the virus is to get a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as you can. 

The vaccine helps to reduce the rates of serious illness and saves lives and will therefore reduce pressure on the NHS and social care services. So when you are offered the vaccine by the NHS or your local GP Network, please do accept.

Is the vaccine safe?
Yes. The vaccine is safe and effective and gives you the best protection against coronavirus. The NHS would not offer any COVID-19 vaccinations to the public until experts have signed off that it is safe to do so. The vaccines were tested on tens of thousands of people of different ages, ethnic backgrounds and with different health conditions before being approved. So far, millions of people have been given a vaccine and reports of serious side effects have been very rare.

Can I choose which vaccine to have?
No, we’re not able to give people a choice, but any specific concerns can be discussed at your vaccination appointment. All vaccines have been approved because they pass the official regulator’s tests on safety and efficacy. So you should be assured that whatever vaccine you get it will be worth your while.

How effective is the vaccine?
The first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine should give you good protection from coronavirus, but you need to have the two doses of the vaccine to give you longer lasting protection. The advice we give is that you continue to follow the government’s guidance even once you have had a first dose of the vaccine. This means still adhering to social distancing measures - hands, face, space.

Read more about how vaccines work and what they contain here - Why vaccination is safe and important - NHS (www.nhs.uk).

What happens to ‘spare vaccine’
Occasionally our vaccination centres may have surplus vaccine supplies that need using up towards the end of the day (this generally only applies if we are using the Pfizer vaccine which has a short shelf-life).  It’s really important we don’t waste any of this precious resource but we have clear protocols in place to ensure we use the vaccine appropriately and in a fair way. 

Where we do have supplies that need using quickly, our vaccination sites proactively contact eligible patients or health and care staff on their lists to see if they can come in at short notice.  We only contact those in the current priority group.  Please do not come without an appointment.  Unfortunately we are aware of some messages circulating on social media that suggest people are able to simply turn up, but this is not the case.  We would not issue any invitations via social media.

Do the vaccines contain animal products?
No, the two approved COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any animal products or egg. The COVID-19 vaccine ingredients are available on the GOV.UK website for both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines.

Will I be protected from the virus straight after my first vaccination?
No. For both vaccines you get the vast majority of your protection from two weeks after the first dose. It is therefore extremely important that you continue to adhere to all current rules to minimise infection.

I have recovered from coronavirus. Do I still need the vaccine / am I able to have the vaccine?
The MHRA has said that getting vaccinated is just as important for those who have had COVID-19 as it is for those who haven’t.

If you are suffering significant ongoing complications from COVID-19 you should discuss whether or not to have a vaccine with your GP.

Where can I find out more? 

For more information about the Surrey Heartlands vaccination programme including a longer version of this Q&A, visit www.surreyheartlandsccg.nhs.uk/covid-19

The following links provide further information on the vaccines:

 

Council sets budget

Councillors set the budget for 2021/22 on Tuesday 16 February at a Full Council meeting.

In setting the budget, councillors have agreed a 2.43% increase to council tax (borough council portion) – this is the equivalent of 9.5p per week for the average band D property and the council tax for this borough remains below the average for Surrey. 

Image: Piggy bank with face mask

The budget was set in the climate of ongoing increased expenditure as the council addresses the pandemic within the borough, including a significant rise in emergency temporary accommodation. The council has also seen a large decrease in commercial income (eg from parking and income from rents) due to COVID-19.

Speaking at the Budget Meeting Councillor Eber Kington, Chairman of the Strategy & Resources Committee said he recognised the challenges faced by so many residents including “the lockdowns, the absence of physical contact with family and friends, the worries over employment, being furloughed, the closure of schools and the challenges of home schooling, and the toll on the mental health of so many”.

He added that “Using the ideas in the Councils Future 40 vision which were shaped by residents themselves, we will further develop our recovery plan, for the Council and the Borough as whole, to Build Back Better so that, collectively and individually, we will be stronger and even better than before”

Referencing the new council tax rate, which for the lowest council tax band will be just 6 pence extra a week, Councillor Kington said that:  “We are asking all our residents pay a few pence extra each week so that we can come through the pandemic in a stronger position whilst collectively protecting the very important services that support the most vulnerable members of our community”

Councillor Kington also said he was “Very pleased that, as in previous years, there are no cuts to the services provided by the Borough Council”.

Earlier in February, the Surrey Police and Crime Commissioners office announced that the Surrey Police portion of council tax would rise by 5.5%, and Surrey County Council announced their portion would rise by 2.49%

From this April, the percentage of the overall council tax being paid this year by residents of Epsom and Ewell to the Borough Council will be 10%, Surrey Police will receive 14% and 76% will fund Surrey County Council activities.

Full details of the council tax, including literature from the County Council and Police and the Crime Commissioner will be published on our website
https://www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/what-is-council-tax

Wasting food feeds climate change

This month saw the UK’s inaugural Food Waste Action Week from 1 - 7 March. 

The Waste Resources and Action Programme (WRAP) organised a week-long event that is designed to highlight the wasting of food in the home. 

WRAP with the support of Government and other partners is dedicating an entire week to both raising awareness of the environmental consequences of wasting food and promoting activities that will help make wasting food a thing of the past. The stark message is that wasting food contributes to climate change and is no longer acceptable.Image: Wasting food feeds climate change

Charlotte Henderson, WRAP programme manager says that ‘around a third of the food we produce worldwide is lost or wasted. This is having a significant impact on climate change, contributing between 8–10% of the total man-made greenhouse gas emissions.’

The Week is trying to get the public involved by inviting them to try reducing their own household food waste to as close to zero as possible.

Each day has a different focus, based on the seven main causes of food being wasted in the home. Daily themes will include food storage and portion planning, creative ways to use up food, and practical steps such as setting fridge temperature correctly.

Food Waste Action Week is aiming to link organisations across the food supply chain and beyond to stop food going to waste and curb the contribution it makes to climate change. Producers, packaging companies, distributers, supermarkets, takeaway chains and councils are all promoting the week.

At the Borough Council, we're part of the Surrey Environment Partnership (SEP). SEP is supporting the WRAP campaign and raising awareness of food waste and its environmental impact on our planet.

SEP social media channels are encouraging Surrey residents to reduce their food waste by freezing food near its ‘use by’ date, make meals from leftovers and plan meals in advance to avoid over-buying.

If you don’t follow the SEP channels already then please take this opportunity to do so and help reshare these important messages:

Reducing the amount of food that gets thrown away is a priority for the partnership and has been a key focus of the current Watch Your Waste campaign and will continue to be in the upcoming SEP programme.

More information on Food Waste Action Week can be found here.

Sculpture takes shape

The Emily Davison sculpture that will be unveiled later this year in the Epsom Market Place has reached an exciting milestone.Image: The sculture takes shape

The clay model has now been completed and has been approved by the project organisers.

In the latest YouTube video from the project, artist Christine Charlesworth explains the next stage in turning her clay model into the finished bronze.

Christine also explains the various emblems and details she has incorporated into the artwork (and no, that’s not a Blue Peter badge on her lapel).

You can see the video here

The life-sized sculpture will be depict the famous suffragette who met her death at the Derby, seated on a bench close to the Clock Tower.

The project is community funded (with a contribution from the council).

More news on the project can be found on the group's Facebook page - https://m.facebook.com/EmilyDavisonMemorialProject/

Epsom's portraits of the unremembered

The forgotten faces of people who found themselves in the borough's asylums at the turn of the twentieth century have been revealed in a dramatic new art exhibition in Epsom town centre.Art exhibition Epsom Town Centre

A Covid-proof street gallery has been created in store windows on Ashley Road, at the back of the Ashley Centre, for all passers-by to enjoy.

The work of artist Georgia Kitty Harris has been presented by the local charity behind The Horton Arts Centre, to help promote the new venue ahead of its opening later this year.

Inspired by a heritage workshop organised by the charity, Georgia has produced dozens of incredible drawings over the last 18 months. Exploring the archives at Surrey History Centre, she viewed original patient photographs from medical case files from what was then called the Manor Asylum and Ewell Epileptic Colony (St. Ebba’s), some of which were water-damaged. Each individual has been painstakingly portrayed in graphite – capturing the emotion of the moment the photograph was taken. 

“I don’t think I’ve ever been so captivated by the people I’m drawing,” said Georgia. “It has been a fascinating experience. I can’t wait to get back to look for more photographs when lockdown is over.” 

You can find out more about the people portrayed in the exhibition from Georgia’s research notes, published on The Horton’s website: https://thehortonepsom.org/news/portraits-of-the-unremembered/

Georgia studied Fine Art and Printmaking at Kingston and the Royal College of Art. More of her work will be included in a permanent exhibition about the intriguing history of Epsom’s hospital cluster to be displayed at The Horton itself.

The Horton will be an independent, not-for-profit venue for arts, heritage and events. As well as exhibitions, The Horton will host live music and performance, and offer workshops, courses, venue hire, gardens and an atmospheric café-bar.

The conversion of Epsom’s former Horton Chapel, which began in 2019, is nearing completion and set to open in 2021. The listed building was saved from dereliction and from developers by local residents who set up the charity Horton Chapel Arts & Heritage Society in 2016.

Their vision is to bring this stunning building back to life as a valuable social and cultural asset for the whole community. The project is being supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The charity is grateful to W H Smith, Epsom for allowing the use of their windows for this exhibition.

For more information visit: www.thehortonepsom.org 

The Horton Arts Centre, Haven Way, Epsom KT19 8NP 

Help the fight against fly-tipping

If a trader dumps your waste, you could be in a for a £400 fine. If you're getting someone in to work on your house or garden, before you agree anything, check they are a registered waste carrier. That way you'll have peace of mind that when your trader takes your waste away it won’t be dumped, causing damage to Surrey’s beautiful countryside and unnecessary work for your council.

It’s easy to do and could save you a £400 fine, because if your waste is found dumped it’s you who’ll be fined, not the rogue trader. Just visit the Environment Agency’s website to find out if your trader is registered. And remember to get a receipt for the disposal of your waste.

Fly-tipping is anti-social and punishment can result in a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months in prison. In Surrey 100% of fly-tippers who go to court are convicted, so help us to stamp out this unacceptable behaviour by running a quick check online before you employ anyone.

Surrey Environment Partnership chairman and Epsom & Ewell Borough Councillor, Neil Dallen, said: “At this time, Surrey’s countryside is particularly precious and doesn’t deserve to be damaged by fly-tipped waste. As residents, all we need to do is quickly check online before someone takes our waste away so please, let’s get together and do our bit to get rid of this unseemly practice.”

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.

And remember:

  • If you leave donations on the pavement outside charity shops, this is fly-tipping. As charity shops, like other ‘non-essential’ retail are closed, staff and volunteers will not be available to collect donations, so please do not leave items you wish to donate outside these shops. Please hold onto donations until shops can accept them 
  • Please don’t leave items beside full recycling banks as this is fly-tipping. Hold on to your items until the bank has been emptied. 

You can also take items to Surrey County Council's Community Recycling Centre on Blenheim Road, Epsom. Visits must be pre-booked, for more info see: https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/waste-and-recycling/community-recycling-centres/epsom 

Get some gnome comforts by recycling your garden waste

We could all do with a little gnome comfort at the moment, and what better place to feel at home than in your garden.Gnome grown - garden waste collection and recycling

If your garden is in need of spring cleaning, a subscription to your local garden waste collection service could be the perfect way to watch your waste and keep your garden looking green and feeling like gnome sweet gnome.

You can also compost your garden waste at home – it’s the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of it. Make sure your plants and flowers are all gnome-grown by snapping up a discounted compost bin through the Surrey Environment Partnership for just £14.20. There’s gnome reason not to give it a go!

Garden waste should never go in your normal rubbish bin as it’s bad for the environment. Signing up to your local garden waste service to collect all your garden waste from your door, or composting it yourself at home, is the most sustainable way to get rid of leaves, grass cuttings, twigs and dead plants once you’ve tidied your patch. You could even share a garden waste subscription with a neighbour if you don’t think you’ll fill up a whole bin with your garden waste.

To find out more, visit www.surreyep.org.uk 

For information on our fortnightly garden waste collection service please see: https://epsom-ewell.gov.uk/residents/recycling-and-waste/simply-weekly-recycling/garden-waste-recycling-fortnightly-collections 

Shop safe, shop local

Not long to wait now for the restrictions to be eased so we can all enjoy our favourite shops, cafés, restaurants and pubs.

Now more than ever, it is so important to support our local businesses to ensure they are here for years to come.

Image: shop local graphicIt’s vital we support our own communities. By buying your meat from a local butcher, purchasing from one of the new stall holders at Epsom Market, opting to use the shops at Stoneleigh or by ordering a takeaway from a local café or restaurant in Ewell, you will provide much-needed support to your local community.

Research form the campaign group Independent Retailer Month, suggests that for every £1 spent locally around 50p - 70p of that money recirculates back into the local economy.

That’s why the Council’s 'Shop Safe, Shop Local, Shop Epsom & Ewell' campaign is encouraging residents to shop safely and buy locally wherever they can.

The message is simple, by supporting local shops, retailers and market stall holders, they will stay in business through this difficult period.

The Shop Safe, Shop Local campaign will demonstrate the measures that have been put in place to keep everyone as safe as possible and will urge residents to support their local High Street during the pandemic by shopping local, whether that be in person, click and collect or online.

Spotlight on

Census 2021

Image: logo Census 2021

The census is coming, and it’s about you.

By taking part, you will help inform decisions about the services you and your community need, like doctors’ surgeries and new schools.

Without the information you share, it’d be more difficult to understand our community’s needs and to plan and fund public services.

Whether it’s using census data to plan apprenticeship schemes, new bike lanes or nursery spaces, your information makes a difference to the life of every single person in England and Wales.

Because these things matter to all of us, everyone must complete the census.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) runs the census in England and Wales and is independent from government. Any information you share in the census is protected by law and the census only ever publishes anonymous information. Do not worry, government officials dealing with applications you’ve made or payments or services you receive cannot see it.

Ethnicity, religion and national identity
The ONS will ask you about your ethnicity, religion and national identity.

You can identify with your chosen background, religion and national identity. If you cannot find the option you require, you can use the search-as-you-type function.

Alternatively, you can request a paper questionnaire. That will allow to you write in the identity that you feel most accurately represents you.

Sexual orientation and gender identity
Census 2021 asks voluntary questions about sexual orientation and gender identity for the first time.

This is to give us more accurate information on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations. It will help organisations combat any inequalities these groups face and show where services are needed.

The ONS will only ask people aged 16 years and over these voluntary questions.

If you do not feel comfortable identifying on the same form as the rest of your household, you can request an individual census questionnaire and answer separately.

Armed Forces
For the first time, the census will ask if you’ve served in the UK Armed Forces.

The information you share will help understand the numbers, locations and ages of our armed forces community. This will show where resources and services are needed to make sure those who have served, and their families, are treated fairly.

You only need to answer this question if you are aged 16 years or above.

Census Day is Sunday 21 March. You can fill yours in online as soon as you get your access code in the post. If your household circumstances change on Census Day, you can let The Office for National Statistics (ONS) know.

Remember, it’s up to you to decide how you would like to answer each question. Do it in the way that you feel best represents you.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help or advice, visit http://www.census.gov.uk/

 

 

What's On

Epsom Markets this month

In keeping with current government guidance, Epsom markets consist of stalls selling food and essential items only and fast food Epsom Marketsoutlets are takeaway only.

All markets take place in the Market Place under the clock tower.

If you plan to visit, please remember Hands-Face-Space and to shop safely. 

There are now markets on a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday plus special markets are held most Sundays.

For information on the weekly markets at Epsom Market Place see: www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/market 

Every Friday, in addition to our regular essential food stall market traders, UK based market traders selling French food also trade at Epsom Market Place. For more info see: www.facebook.com/PopUpFrenchMarket 

Sundays

Taste Of The World Market
Takes place on a Sunday from 9.30am - 3.30pm. The next Sunday market is on Sunday 14 March. This month, due to a non-food market not being able to take place an additional market will take place on Sunday 21 March. This market includes a selection of international street food to takeaway only. For more info see: https://www.facebook.com/TasteOfTheWorldMarket

Vegan Market
The Epsom Vegan Market usually takes place on the fourth Sunday of the month from 10.30am -3.30pm. The next market will take place on Sunday 28 March. See https://www.ethicalveganevents.com/marketinfo/epsom

Farmer's Market
The next Epsom Farmer's Market is on Sunday 4 April. This market usually takes place on the first Sunday of the month from 9.30am - 1.30pm. Find out more at https://www.surreymarkets.co.uk/event/epsom-market/

When visiting our markets please 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.

Key Facts

It's still important

While we are all looking forward to the easing of restrictions and while some of us have had the vaccine, the basics to help reduce the risk of catching coronavirus (COVID-19) and passing it on to others remain important and will continue to be so, even as life returns to 'normal'.

Keep a safe distance (social distancing)Image: women putting on a face mask

  • stay at least 2 metres away from people you do not live with or who are not in your support bubbler
  • limit the time spent in crowded areas where it may be difficult to socially distance (such as shops and supermarkets)
  • avoid direct contact and face to face contact with people you do not live with
  • stay at least 2 metres away from anyone who visits your home for work reasons such as a cleaner or a tradesperson doing essential or urgent work.

Why keeping a safe distance is important

  • The further you can keep away from other people, the less likely you are to catch COVID-19 and pass it on to others.
  • COVID-19 spreads through the air by droplets and smaller aerosols that are released from the nose and mouth of an infected person when they breathe, speak, cough or sneeze. The closer you are to a person with COVID-19 (even those without symptoms), the more likely you are to become infected.

Wash your hands

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day. You should wash your hands after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose and before you eat or handle food. Wash your hands after coming into contact with surfaces touched by many others, such as handles, handrails and light switches, and shared areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. If you must leave your home, wash your hands as soon as you return.
  • Where possible, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. If you do need to touch your face (for example to put on or take off your face covering), wash or sanitise your hands before and after.

Why hand washing is important

  • Hands touch many surfaces and can become contaminated with viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer viruses to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, viruses can enter your body and infect you.
  • If you are infected with COVID-19, you can pass the virus from your nose and mouth (when coughing or talking) to your hands and infect the surfaces that you touch.
  • Washing or sanitising your hands removes viruses and other germs, so you are less likely to become infected if you touch your face. Using soap and water is the most effective way to clean your hands, especially if they are visibly dirty. Hand sanitiser can be used when soap and water is not available.

Clean your surroundings

  • Clean surfaces often. Pay particular attention to surfaces that are touched frequently, such as handles, light switches, work surfaces and electronic devices.
  • Use disposable cloths, paper roll or disposable mop heads to clean all hard surfaces, floors, chairs, door handles and sanitary fittings – think ‘one site, one wipe, in one direction’. Any cloths, paper roll or mop heads used can be disposed of with your usual domestic waste.

Why cleaning your surroundings is important

  • COVID-19 spreads through small droplets, aerosols and direct contact. Surfaces and belongings can be contaminated with COVID-19 when people with the infection touch them or cough, talk or breathe over them.
  • Viruses on a surface could infect another person if they touch the surface and then touch their eyes, nose and mouth. Cleaning surfaces will reduce the amount of contamination and so reduce the risk of spread.
  • The more you clean, the more likely you are to remove viruses from an infected surface before you or another person touches it.

Cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze

  • Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze.
  • If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not into your hand.
  • Dispose of tissues into a rubbish bag and immediately wash your hands.

Why covering your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze is important

  • Coughing and sneezing increases the number of droplets and aerosols released by a person, the distance they travel and the time they stay in the air.
  • A cough or sneeze of an infected person which is not covered will significantly increase the risk of infecting others around them.
  • By covering your nose and mouth, you will reduce the spread of droplets and aerosols carrying the virus.

Wear a face covering

  • You should also wear a face covering in indoor places where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
  • Wearing a face covering may not be possible in every situation or for some people who are exempt; please be mindful and respectful of such circumstances.

Why wearing a face covering is important

  • COVID-19 spreads through the air by droplets and aerosols that are exhaled from the nose and mouth of an infected person when they breathe, speak, cough or sneeze.
  • The best available scientific evidence is that, when used correctly, wearing a face covering reduces the spread of COVID-19 droplets, helping to protect others. A face covering may even reduce spread in those who are not experiencing symptoms by reducing the amount of the virus being released when they talk and breathe.
  • Face coverings are mainly intended to protect others from COVID-19 rather than the wearer and are not a replacement for social distancing and regular hand washing.

Let fresh air in (ventilation)

  • Make sure you let plenty of fresh air into your home by uncovering vents and opening doors and windows, even a small amount for a short period of time. If you have an extractor fan (for example in your bathroom or kitchen), leave it running for longer than usual with the door closed after someone has used the room.
  • If someone in the household is self-isolating, open a window in their room and keep the door closed to reduce the spread of contaminated air to other parts of the household. Leave windows open fully for a short period after someone working in your home such as a cleaner or tradesperson has left.
  • If you are concerned about noise, security or the costs of heating, opening windows for shorter periods of time can still help to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. Wearing warm clothes or extra layers can help you to keep warm. You may be able to change the layout of your room so that you do not sit close to cold drafts from open windows or doors.

Why letting fresh air in is important

  • When a person infected with COVID-19 coughs, talks or breathes, they release droplets and aerosols which can be breathed in by another person. While larger droplets fall quickly to the ground, smaller droplets and aerosols containing the virus that causes COVID-19 can remain suspended in the air for some time indoors, especially if there is no ventilation.
  • Ventilation is the process of replacing this shared air with fresh air from the outside. The more ventilated an area is, the more fresh air there is to breathe, and the less likely a person is to inhale infectious particles.

Get tested if you have symptoms

  • The most important symptoms of COVID-19 are:
    • a new continuous cough
    • a high temperature
    • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
  • If you have any of these symptoms click get a free NHS test or call NHS 119 to book a free COVID-19 test. You should arrange a test even if you have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or if you have had COVID-19 before.

Why getting a test is important

  • It is important to know if you have COVID-19 so that you stay at home, self-isolate and do not infect other people.
  • Testing positive means that anyone you may have already infected (those who you recently had contact with) can be identified through contact tracing (contacting people you may have been in contact with) and advised to self-isolate. This is an important action to stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • We do not know exactly how long immunity following COVID-19 infection or vaccination lasts so it is important that anyone with symptoms arranges a test.

Self-isolate if you have COVID-19 symptoms or a positive COVID-19 test result

  • Self-isolate immediately if:
    • you develop symptoms of COVID-19 - you should self-isolate at home while you arrange and wait for the results of your test
    • you test positive for COVID-19
  • Your isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day your test was taken if you do not have symptoms), and the next 10 full days.
  • Self-isolation means you must stay at home at all times and not have contact with other people, except in very limited circumstances, for example to seek medical assistance. You may have to ask others to do your shopping, and you may have to make alternative plans if you are currently supporting a vulnerable person. Do not invite visitors to your home or garden.

Why self-isolating is important

  • If you are instructed to self-isolate, it is because there is a high risk that you will spread COVID-19 to others, even if you feel well and have no symptoms at all. It is therefore crucial that you follow the guidance and complete the full period of self-isolation.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19 you must self-isolate immediately and for the next 10 full days because this is the period of time when the virus is most likely to be passed on to others (the infectious period).

Self-isolate if you live with someone or are a contact of someone who has COVID-19

  • Self-isolate immediately if:
    • you live with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has symptoms and is waiting for their test result - your isolation period includes the day the first person in your household’s symptoms started (or the day their test was taken if they did not have symptoms), and the next 10 full days
    • you are a contact of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 who is not from your household - your isolation period includes the date of your last contact with them and the next 10 full days
  • Self-isolation means you must stay at home at all times and not leave, except in very limited circumstances, for example to seek medical assistance. Do not invite visitors to your home or garden.
  • There is further guidance on self-isolation and support available to those self-isolating.

Why self-isolating if you live with someone or are a contact of someone who has coronavirus is important

  • If you are a contact (you have recently been in contact with someone who has tested positive or has symptoms of COVID-19), you must self-isolate for 10 full days following your contact with that person.
  • You must self-isolate for 10 days because this is how long it can take to develop the infection after being exposed (the incubation period).
  • If you are instructed to self-isolate, it is because there is a high risk that you will develop COVID-19 and might spread it to others, even if you feel well and have no symptoms at all. It is therefore crucial you follow the guidance and complete the full period of self-isolation.

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-stop-the-spread-of-coronavirus-covid-19 

Information correct at time of publication

Your Community

Speak up anonymously to help save lives

In the first three weeks of the lockdown in March 2020, 14 women and two children were killed as a result of domestic abuse in the UK - the highest rate for 11 years.* One year on, and as Covid-19 restrictions remain in place, the charity Crimestoppers  is appealing for anyone who is aware of domestic abuse happening to contact them 100% anonymously.

Last year, Crimestoppers – along with Refuge who run the National Domestic Abuse Helpline – saw a worrying rise in domestic abuse reports, largely put down to people being forced to remain at home to help stop the spread of Coronavirus. During a lockdown, home isn’t always a safe place, as victims of domestic abuse are trapped with their abuser, with less chances to seek support from loved ones.

The #YouAreNotPowerless campaign that has been running across Surrey and Sussex consists of a hard-hitting short video depicting various scenarios. More details can also be found on the Crimestoppers website.

Domestic abuse can be physical, psychological, emotional, sexual or financial. Any adult can be a perpetrator, with one in four people reoffending. It affects one in four women and one in six men during their lifetime. In too many cases, it results in death with two women murdered by a current or former partner each week across the UK. Statistics also tell us that one in five children sadly witness domestic abuse, which can impact their physical, psychological and emotional well-being and development.

You may be a neighbour who has seen or heard threatening and intimidating arguments, which may involve abusive language that can escalate into a violent argument where the partner blames the other for their actions, saying they are “asking for it” or deserve the abuse. You may have seen bruising or other visible marks on a friend, family member or work colleague – this may be the sign of physical abuse. It’s always better to be safer than sorry, so please contact the Crimestoppers charity 100% anonymously.

A team of professionals working at the Crimestoppers national Contact Centre anonymise all information received – to ensure the person giving the details can never be identified - before passing it on to police to investigate and safeguard. Whether it is a neighbour, friend, work colleague or relative, no one will ever know who provided the information.

Previous domestic abuse lockdown campaigns and appeals last year saw numerous victims safeguarded and action taken against perpetrators as a result of anonymous information our charity received and passed on. 

Glenys Balchin, Surrey & Sussex Regional Manager at the charity Crimestoppers, said: “Every day we hear distressing and poignant stories from people who are doing the right thing and telling us anonymously when they think domestic abuse is happening. We all need to realise that victims may be too scared and traumatised to seek help. We know that a victim typically endures up to 35 assaults before having the strength to speak up, and that can be for many different reasons; fear of losing their children; fear of losing their home; fear of not being believed; even thoughts that they are somehow to blame.

“Our video shows that people may be aware that a neighbour, friend or family member is a victim of domestic abuse but may feel unsure about reporting to police. It highlights that Crimestoppers provides a safe and anonymous way to speak up about suspicions of domestic abuse.

“Information, given to our charity by people across Surrey and Sussex, helps law enforcement bring a halt to abuse and violence in the home. Our message is clear – by working together, being aware and reporting what we know, we can help put a stop to domestic abuse and we can save lives.”

To report domestic abuse 100% anonymously, visit Crimestoppers-uk.org and fill in the simple and secure anonymous online form or call the 24/7 UK Contact Centre on freephone 0800 555 111, 365 days of the year. In an emergency, always call 999.

Other support

Due to Crimestoppers’ anonymity guarantee, they cannot take information from victims. Support and help are available to victims of domestic abuse, whether or not it is reported to the police, via the following organisations:  

Perpetrators who recognise they need to change their behaviour can contact:

  • The Respect Phoneline on 0808 802 4040

Crimestoppers are also working with the following organisation to encourage companies to improve how they support potential employees who have experienced domestic abuse or guide staff on what to do if they have suspicions:

EIDA (Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse) for information and resources www.eida.org.uk/ and Hestia at www.hestia.org/

Family help hub

  • Baby not sleeping? Image: families

  • Toddler throwing tantrums? 

  • Teenager struggling with anxiety?  

We all need a bit of help sometimes, especially when managing the highs and lows of family life.

The new Family Help Hub has tips, advice and tools that can help you and your family manage or deal with those day to day challenges and worries about your child’s behaviour. 

The Family Help Hub is a new initiative from Surrey County Council to help you find useful information, advice and support for those times when you need it.

Latest WEA Spring term courses

Latest WEA Spring term courses

All courses are currently being delivered via zoom. Most of these courses are free of charge. Courses are being added to all the time, for the latest information please visit: www.wea.org.uk/eastsurrey

Employability and Volunteering Courses:

IT Skills for Work  

https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/Online/2019/CourseInfo.aspx?r=C3746460

or phone 0300 303 3464 quoting C3746460

Thursdays 11 March - 1 April (every Thursday for 4 weeks)

Cost: £24 (free to those receiving income related benefits)

Managing Conflict and Building Resilience at Work (free)

https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/Online/2019/CourseInfo.aspx?r=C3746102

Or phone 0300 303 3464 quoting C3746102

Wednesdays March 17- 31 March; 2-4pm

Level 2 Award in Support Work in Schools and Colleges

https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/Online/2019/CourseInfo.aspx?r=C3746384

Tuesdays 30 March - 13 July (every Tuesday for 13 weeks); 9.30am- 2.30pm

Cost: £259.00 (free to those receiving relevant income related benefits)

To arrange an initial assessment contact samanthajohnson@wea.org.uk or phone: 07825 112798

Schools and Parenting and Family Support Courses:

Supporting Autistic Children (free)

https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/Online/2019/CourseInfo.aspx?r=C3746445

or phone 0300 303 3464 Quoting C3746445  

Tuesday 9 March 10am - 12noon

Helping your Child to Manage Stress and Anxiety (free)

https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/Online/2019/CourseInfo.aspx?r=C3746443

or phone 0300 303 3464 Quoting C3746443

Thursdays 18 & 25 March 10am - 12noon 

Encouraging Positive Behaviour in SEND children (free)

https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/Online/2019/CourseInfo.aspx?r=C3746446

or phone 0300 303 3464 Quoting C3746446

Wednesdays 24 & 31 March; 7pm - 9pm 

Encouraging Positive Behaviour in young children (free)

https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/Online/2019/CourseInfo.aspx?r=C3746447

or phone 0300 303 3464 Quoting C3746447

Tuesday 30 March 10am - 12noon

Caring to the End

A new resource to support unpaid carersCaring to the End

A new website has launched to support unpaid carers in Surrey. It brings together information you may need to know as a carer currently caring for someone with a terminal illness, from their diagnosis through to the end of their life.

The website offers practical, legal and financial information for those who are caring for a loved one, offers advice on coping with grief and where to go for support after caring for a loved one at end of life.

The new website offers tailored advice and guidance for a range of unpaid carers including parent carers, young carers or someone caring for a loved one.

Surrey County Council, the NHS and partners worked closely with carers and former carers who had experienced end of life care to ensure the most helpful and relevant information is all in one place.

To find out more, visit https://www.caringtotheend.org/

 

Worried about your drinking during lockdown?

A new NHS telephone support service has been launched to help people in Surrey cut down their alcohol consumption.

For telephone support sessions with an NHS alcohol specialist call: 0300 222 5932.

Find out more at: www.surreydrugandalcohol.com 

Rotary latest

Epsom Rotary Club continue to help local NHS services during the pandemic.

Recently they delivered 100 gift bags to Epsom Hospital.The bags contained face cream, hand cream, lip salve, biscuits and Lucozade.

Pictured is Chief Nurse Arlene Wellman accepting the bags on behalf of the nursing staff from Clive Richardson, President of Epsom Rotary Club and his wife Anne.

Image: epsom Rotary

Epsom and Ewell Showcase 2021

Epsom Rotary will be hosting a YouTube streaming evening on Saturday 1 May to showcase the best of the talents of Epsom and Ewell.  From 8pm to 10pm (after children have gone to bed!) we will run a programme of Epsom based music from choirs, musicians, and bands as well as poetry and other interests such as local interest groups and charities.  We hope to have some items of local interest like perhaps Horton Chapel explained and what the proposals are but aim to keep the information sessions fairly short.  The aim of the evening would be:-

  1. To provide an evening of fun and entertainment for local people
  2. To show what talents exist in the Epsom and Ewell area
  3. To allow some charities and interest groups to explain what they do and why its fun
  4. To raise some money for local charities

We plan to run the evening with occasional requests for money in the same way as Children in Need is run with straplines asking for donation. Access to the stream would however be free.

We will also run a session from 6pm to 7pm with children’s entertainers offering short sessions. We already have the offer of a children’s story with illustrations being read. This session depends really on demand from the public and children’s entertainers willing to give their time whilst promoting their services.

The Epsom and Ewell Showcase run by Epsom Rotary for more information and how to participate see epsomrotary.uk or email: showcase@epsomrotary.co.uk

 

Your Council

Council meetings

The following meetings of the Council will be held over the next month:

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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