Council review - have your say
The Local Government Boundary Commission for England is an independent statutory body, whose objectives include the provision of electoral arrangements that are fair and that deliver electoral equality for voters.
Periodically the Commission undertakes an examination of a Council’s electoral arrangements. This includes
- the total numbers of councillors to be elected
- the number of wards or divisions
- the number of councillors for each ward/ division
The review is to ensure that each councillor represents approximately the same number of voters and that wards represent the interests and identities of their local communities and to ensure the council works effectively and efficiently.
Epsom & Ewell Borough Council’s last review was in 1997 – 24 years ago.
Having conducted a very top level appraisal, the Commission is minded that the number of councillors in Epsom & Ewell should be 35. This is a change from the current borough council which has 38. This is the very start of the review process, to which residents and others are asked to participate.
The Commission wants to hear what residents and organisations think about their local area.
A 10 week consultation on the proposals will run until 19 July 2021.
The Commission is interested in views on which communities should be part of the same ward.
What facilities do people share, such as parks, leisure centres or schools and shopping areas?
What issues do neighbouring communities face that they have in common, such as high numbers of visitors or heavy traffic?
Have there been new housing or commercial developments that have changed the focus of communities?
And are there roads, rivers, railways or other features that people believe form strong boundaries between neighbourhoods?
The Commission will use local views to help it draw up proposals for new ward boundaries. There will be a further round of consultation once the Commission has drawn up those proposals.
Launching the consultation Professor Colin Mellors, Chair of the Commission, said:
“We want people in Epsom & Ewell to help us.
“We are starting to draw up new wards for Epsom & Ewell. We want our proposals for new electoral arrangements to reflect communities. We also want them to be easy to understand and convenient for local people.
“Residents and local organisations can help us understand community ties and identities at this early stage of the process.
“It’s easy to get involved. Go to our website. Or you can e-mail or write to us.
“Just tell us what you think and give us some details why you think that. It’s really simple, so do get involved.”
The Commission has a dedicated section on its website where people can give their views: https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/27356 (link is external)
People can also give their views by e-mail at email@example.com, and by post:
The Review Officer (Epsom & Ewell)
PO Box 133
Earlier this month elections were held for the county council and the position of Police & Crime Commissioner.
All 81 seats (divisions) on the council were being contended. Epsom and Ewell has five divisions.
These are now your representatives on the county council:
Epsom Town and Downs
Ewell Court, Auriol & Cuddington
The overall result has a new council comprising
14 Liberal Democrats
4 Residents Associations of Epsom and Ewell
3 Farnham Residents
2 The Green Party
2 Residents for Guildford and Villages
1 Nork and Tattenhams Residents' Association
1 Ashtead Independent, working with Ashtead Residents
1 Dittons and Weston Green Residents
1 The Molesey Residents Association
1 Labour and Co-operative
Police and Crime Commissioner
Lisa Townsend (Conservatives) has been announced as the new Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey.
She received 112,260 first preference votes in the PCC election. She was elected on second preference votes, after no candidates received more than 50% of first preference ballots.
If you want to get in touch with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner email - SurreyPCC@surrey.pnn.police.uk
NOTE: The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is a separate entity to Surrey Police. To report a crime or contact Surrey Police, please call the non-emergency police number on 101 or in an emergency dial 999.
The new Mayor of the Borough of Epsom & Ewell is Peter O’Donovan.
Peter was first elected as a Borough Councillor in 2015 for Ewell Court Ward. He has served on various council committees, most notably on Planning for six years, and spent a year as Chair of the Environment Committee. He will hold the office of Mayor for a year representing the Council and the people of Epand and Ewell at a variety of formal and informal functions and events.
Peter is 60 and has worked in the finance sector since leaving school. He joined Lloyds Bank and made his way up to the position of branch manager before leaving the organisation in 1997. Since then, his career has included working with comparison website MoneyExtra; managing the assets for the old Bradford & Bingley and Northern Rock in UKAR; and as a mortgage advisor. He is currently self-employed equity release advisor.
Peter has lived in Ewell since 2007. He is married to Sarah and has two children, Aoife (14) and Eoin (11).
Peter is a keen sportsman and helped run Eoin’s football team at AFC Ewell for a few years. He enjoys taking part in musical theatre and has performed at the Epsom Playhouse and other local venues, including the Wimbledon Theatre and the Fairfield Halls. It was whilst playing Alfred P Doolittle in My Fair Lady at the Secombe Centre that he met Sarah.
On becoming Mayor, Peter said: “Epsom and Ewell is a special place; successful, welcoming, inclusive – the ideal environment to bring up a family and to run a business. My aim as mayor is to give something back to the borough I call home and to meet and thank the people who contribute so much to our community”.
Peter will be using the opportunity to raise funds and recognition for three (organisations that mean a great deal to him. These are…
- Epsom RDA
A local organisation providing disabled people with the opportunity to improve their health and wellbeing through horse riding
- My Time for Young Carers
A charity providing fun activities for young carers aged between 7 and 15 who live in and around Epsom and Ewell, and Mole Valley
- Look Good Feel Better
A national charity who help boost the physical and emotional wellbeing of people living with cancer.
The Mayor is the first citizen of the Borough of Epsom & Ewell and has several specific roles during their one-year term of office. These include representing the Council and the local community at formal and ceremonial occasions, both within the borough and elsewhere, and chairing full meetings of the Council. During the mayoral year the Mayor is strictly politically neutral and the work representing those in their ward is undertaken by the other ward councillors.
Great British Spring Clean
The Great British Spring Clean is a campaign with one simple ambition: to bring together people from across the country to clear litter that blights our towns, countryside and coastline.
Litter is a huge problem across the UK, causing harm to the environment and wildlife. Over the past year, COVID-related litter, such as face masks and gloves, have added an additional risk to both the public and our green spaces.
The campaign, from 28 May to 13 June, is a key milestone in Keep Britain Tidy’s calendar, encouraging thousands to help clear up their neighbourhoods.
For 2021, the charity is calling on volunteer ‘litter heroes’ to help it reach a target of a million miles of picking (#MillionMilesMission). All minutes and hours promised will be converted into miles and counted on the Great British Spring Clean website. On average it takes 20 minutes to walk or litter pick a mile - you can help the campaign reach the million mile goal by pledging to pick around your local area on their website - here.
The local community group, Keep Epsom & Ewell Tidy (KEET), has organised a borough-wide litter pick on Monday 31 May (details on their Facebook page). The council are supporting this initiative by providing litter pickers and arranging for collections of the group’s collected litter from pre-arranged locations.
If you are one of the over 900 people who have signed up to the council’s litter picking pledge, we’re urging you to join in by undertaking the litter pick with KEET or on another day as part of the Great British Spring Clean.
Individuals litter picking on their own should put their collected rubbish in their normal domestic refuse bin.
Please see the volunteer litter pick guidance on our website (here)
It's where you live
Epsom and Ewell has been revealed as one of the most prosperous areas in Britain.
The Legatum Institute, an independent think tank has published the UK Prosperity Index to track the Government's progress on its 'levelling up' agenda.
This borough is rated the fourth most prosperous of the 379 local authority areas in the UK.
The index compares nine individual pillars and then gives an overall rating. The pillars include:
- Personal safety
- Living conditions
- Enterprise conditions
- Natural environment
Coming behind North Kesteven in the East Midlands, Epsom and Ewell was rated with the UK’s second highest score for ‘Governance’. The Governance pillar measures the quality of local democracy and the effectiveness of local government services.
Wokingham in Berkshire is rated overall the most prosperous local authority area in the UK. Glasgow City (377), Middlesbrough (378) and Blackpool (379) are rated the least prosperous.
Image: Stoneleigh Temple festival
In cooperation with the Epsom Common Association, the Lower Mole Partnership and Natural England, the council’s countryside team are bringing back the cattle to Epsom Common as the summer annual grazing project resumes.
The grazing project helps manage and restore wood pasture (a priority habitat) on the Common.
Grazing was re-introduced in 1997 and this season there will be 12 animals in three areas from May until autumn. The project is carefully monitored by the council’s countryside team and Natural England under the guidance of the Common’s management plan.
The return of the cattle marked the end of a period starting in the early twentieth century when grazing disappeared from the Common. Without cattle, following the Second World War, the largely open treeless landscape of Epsom Common was transformed into the landscape dominated by the developing woodland, as we see today.
The progression to a single, uniform habitat of woodland has the effect of reducing biodiversity on the local nature reserve. The grazing project is part of the vision to achieve a balance between woodland, scrub, grassland, open water and the important transitions between these habitats.
Cattle grazing is a sensitive way of maintaining the grassland without causing disturbance to other wildlife. In preference to other grazers, such as sheep, cattle create a varied structure in the grassland which is beneficial to wildlife. Additionally, cattle are easier than ponies, goats or sheep to contain within temporary fencing and are far less susceptible to being frightened by dogs.
In order to ensure the welfare of the cattle, the animals are checked on a daily basis. Daily inspections are also undertaken to ensure that the electric fencing and water supply in the grazing area is in good working order and that the cattle's mineral licks are in place.
Round the Borough Bike
Still time to win a Sprint Whisper Hybrid flat bar road bike
Round the Borough Bike, the popular non-competitive cycle event, is back with a difference.
Running throughout May there is the opportunity to undertake the event in your own way and in your own time. This means the route can be done in one go as normal or in stages, over different days for example, and it can be cycled in either direction.
Round the Borough Bike is a 20 mile long, beautiful circular route taking in the borough’s iconic green spaces.
Participants register on the council’s website and can then challenge themselves and set their own personal riding goal, taking part any time in May.
Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist who has taken part before or are new to cycling and ready to take on your first challenge on wheels, Virtual Round the Borough Bike is open to anyone. The route is mostly off-road and is clearly signposted.
There will be the chance for those taking part to win a brand new Sprint Whisper Hybrid flat bar road bike, kindly donated by Fudges Cycle Store, 21-23 Upper High Street, Epsom.
To win the bike, participants need to register at www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/RBHB and follow the instructions. One winner will be randomly selected from those who take part.
Image: What's on in Epsom
Active April winner
Last month we encouraged borough residents to boost their mental and physical wellbeing in the borough’s great outdoors.
As part of a fun challenge, residents were asked to sign a pledge to take part in Active April and make a note of all the activities they were doing each week. This could have been how many hours they had jogged, miles walked, or types of sports played. The most active person in Epsom and Ewell was promised a £25 sports voucher to spend in their local chosen sports outlet.
Winner of the voucher was Charlotte Hornblow (congratulations)!
Charlotte is the Fundraising & Marketing Coordinator at Age Concern Epsom & Ewell. She's had a very active month taking part in Age Concern Epsom & Ewell Virtual Easter Bunny Hop throughout April as well as the Great Run Solo April Challenge.
Charlotte told us how amazing it was she had won the voucher and that she never normally wins anything, especially not fitness related.
She said "I seem to now have the running bug and have signed up to take part in the London Vitality 10k on the 31 May 2021. The Active April challenge was timed perfectly as it fit in very nicely with my training for the 10k and also as part of my training for our Mount Snowdon Trek this August to raise funds for Age Concern Epsom & Ewell..
"Since January I have been on a mission to get and stay active, to ensure I can reach the summit. In light of this challenge ahead, I would love to have a voucher for Sports Direct as I will need some new walking boots for the trek".
Charlotte is pictured right with her Great Run Solo April Challenge medal.
Ask Me About Domestic Abuse
15 June 2021, Zoom Webinar
1 in 3 women will experience Domestic Abuse at some point in their adult lives and as many as 1 in 6 men
This online event is open to any member of the public, business owners and community leaders.
The event is bought to you by Elmbridge, Epsom & Ewell and Spelthorne Community Safety Partnerships and the North Surrey Domestic Abuse Service. We aim to raise awareness of domestic abuse and local support services available across North Surrey and provide participants with the knowledge to:
- Understand why we need to break the silence on domestic abuse
- Be confident to recognise indicators of domestic abuse and in particular coercive control
- Know how to support a friend, family member or work colleague that may be experiencing domestic abuse
- Consider becoming an ‘Ask Me’ Community Ambassador
The webinar will take place at 10.00am on 15 June 2021. You will hear from Community Safety representatives, North Surrey Domestic Abuse Service and Surrey Police
Click here for information on how to book.
EU deadline looming
European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss citizens, or their family members, need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) before 30 June 2021 to protect their rights whilst living in the UK.
If those residents do not apply by this deadline, they could lose their existing rights to live, work, and access free healthcare in the UK.
If an applicant has accrued five years of "continuous residence" in the UK, then they may be eligible for "settled status" (also known as permanent residence or Indefinite Leave to Remain). If an applicant does not have five years of "continuous residence" in the UK but has been "resident" in the UK at some point before 31 December 2020, then they might be eligible for "pre-settled status", a five-year UK visa. A pre-settled status holder can apply for settled status once they are eligible.
For full information visit https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families