Borough Insight

This Issue

In this issue...

We are very sad to report the death this week of a long-serving councillor, Clive Smitheram. We have lowered the Town Hall flag to half mast and our thoughts and condolences are with his wife and family at this very sad time. Clive was an integral part of Epsom and Ewell for 23 years, fulfilling many roles, including as councillor for West Ewell for over 20 years, and as Mayor in 2010-11. He will be much missed for his warmth, service and commitment to the borough and its residents.

The start of the new council year in April brings renewed enthusiasm as the council seek to deliver the new agenda agreed by your elected representatives.

This year there is a focus on enforcement, especially around the theme of keeping the borough clean. We are already doing a lot – see the article on fly-tipping in this issue - but to meet this new directive, the enforcement team is seeking to increase their resources.

Another area that we will be focusing on is anti-idling, the practice of leaving vehicle engines on and pumping out harmful fumes when the engine should be turned off. Modern vehicles do not need to keep their engines ‘ticking over’ and there is no excess fuel or battery usage if the vehicle is turned off and back on. We will be initially targeting action outside schools, as children and their developing lungs can be the most negatively impacted by car fumes.

Arts and culture within the borough are thriving and are important to residents. As well as our own activities, the council is keen to support others' initiatives within the borough and we warmly welcome the opening of The Horton, the new cultural venue for Epsom.

The Queens Jubilee will see a focus on the borough and the Downs and in this issue, we revisit the exciting infrastructure renewal project currently being installed on the Downs in time for the Jubilee weekend.

And we are always pleased to be able to include a busy and varied tranche of local news.

We hope you enjoy the issue.

Image Icon - the councils six corporate themes, safe & well, cultural & creative, green & vibrant, opportunity & prosperity, safe & well, smart & connected and effective council

News

Funding available for local projects

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council is inviting bids from the community for funding towards public infrastructure projects which will benefit the borough.

Over the last four years we have allocated £1million to a variety of community-driven infrastructure projects in Epsom, Ewell and Stoneleigh. The projects, championed by residents, have included additional street lighting, restoration of public footpaths, new play and gym equipment in parks and a new bus shelter. Sustainability projects such as water fountains in borough parks have also been enabled by this funding.

Applications for the 2022/23 scheme are now open until 31 May 2022.

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) allows the Council to raise funds from developers undertaking new building projects in the borough and is used to support new physical and social infrastructure and also to improve existing facilities. Under current legislation, 80% of total CIL collected must be allocated towards borough-wide infrastructure and up to 5% towards administration.

In addition, at least 15% of levy receipts must be spent on priorities that have to be agreed with the local community. This 15% is often referred to as the ‘neighbourhood portion’ of the levy and ensures the community are fully engaged.

In Epsom and Ewell, residents and local community groups are invited to bid for these funds from the neighbourhood portion of the levy for projects within the borough, with successful bids selected by a committee of councillors.

Full details on how to apply for funding can be found on our website; www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/CIL15

Image: Icon Effective Council

 

 

Fly-tipping enforcement

Image: Fly tipping in Epsom commonFollowing an investigation by our Environmental Health team, two people from Lewisham last month paid £400 each in fines for fly-tipping in Epsom (see image right). Our actions followed a report to the council from a local resident.

Last year, we fined eight individuals for fly tipping in the borough.

We rely on the public and local businesses to help us spot and deal with fly-tipping.

A recent example of action was an issue in the Kingston Road/Ruxley Lane area, which we were originally notified about by a member of the public via the My Council Services app. While no prosecution was possible on this occasion, we engaged with local residents, businesses and visitors to investigate and arrange the clearance of the fly-tipping. This included the removal and crushing of an abandoned vehicle which was attracting additional fly-tipping.

Image: sequence of removal of fly tipping and vanFly-tipping is against the law and those convicted face fines and penalties. We will not hesitate to take enforcement action wherever appropriate. Before we can prosecute, we need to have evidence of an offence being committed which must include details of the fly-tipping as well as identifying the person responsible. Our Environmental Health team will (and literally do) wade through fly-tipped material to locate paperwork and other information to identify where the waste originated.

This year, we are investing in a new enforcement team to boost our response. Once the new team is in place, they will be carrying out patrols throughout the borough, with preventing and addressing fly-tipping a major area of their responsibilities

If you witness any fly-tipping, you can report it on our My Council Services app - details here: www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/residents/my-council-services

Householders have a legal responsibility to ensure their waste is properly removed. If someone else is hired to dispose of your waste, you must ensure they are a licensed waste carrier, as if they subsequently fly-tip the material, it could be you who is prosecuted. You can contact the Environment Agency directly on 08708 506 506 and ask for a free instant Waste Carrier Validation Check or check on the Environment Agency website
https://www.surreyep.org.uk/fly-tipping/how-to-dispose-of-waste-legally/#1551976441339-8550d044-11b3

 

Supercharged car parks

Electric vehicle charge points in Hook Road car park in EpsomWork has begun on the installation of the first Park and Charge electric vehicle charging points within our car parks.

Hook Road car park and the Ashley Centre are the first council car parks to benefit from the scheme. Four new Park and Charge electric vehicle charging points have been installed in Hook Road car park. These will allow people to pay for both charging and parking their electric vehicles at the same time and it is good to see them already being used.

Councillor Neil Dallen, Chair of the Environment and Safe Communities Committee said “The best travel options for the environment are walking, cycling or using public transport. The use of electric vehicles can be a positive contribution to air quality, as they emit fewer greenhouse gases and air pollutants than petrol or diesel cars.

“This new facility can help support drivers make the switch to electric vehicles. It can also encourage electric car drivers to visit the borough, supporting our local businesses, shops and amenities.”

The installation work is being undertaken in partnership Joju Solar, a UK company for electric car charging point installation.

Councillor Neil Dallen added “This initiative is being undertaken with a partner to ensure that the associated costs do not impact on council taxpayers who may want or need to use these new facilities”.

Work will continue in other council car parks later this spring. A total of 18 electric chargers will be installed with this number reviewed as use demands.

The installation work may involve some car park bays being fenced off temporarily and some short-term limited disruption to each car park. The council aims to keep disruption to a minimum and reduce any inconvenience to car park users.

The initiative forms part of the council’s aspirations to provide more sustainable transport options in the borough.

Image: Icon smart and connected

A few good apples

Image: volunteers tree planting in the orchard80% of small traditional orchards, havens for wildlife, have been lost since 1900 in England and Wales.

On a glorious day in March, the Countryside Team volunteers planted 21 new apple trees in Lambert’s Mead and Lambert’s Orchard in Horton Country Park (Lambert’s Mead was a cricket pitch in the hospital days, now it’s an important extension to Lambert’s Orchard).

In 2018, Epsom & Ewell Borough Council worked with the Orchard Project, as part of a Heritage Lottery Fund bid to encourage landowners to enhance their orchards. They led workshops for our volunteers to give us guidance on managing our veteran fruit trees, helped us organise a BioBlitz (an event that focuses on finding and identifying as many wildlife species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time) and helped us run an Apple Day.

One workshop involved grafting new trees using vintage varieties such as Carswell Orange, Merton Joy and Non-Pariel. We also took cuttings from our veteran fruit trees in Lambert’s Orchard, including Dummellor’s Seedling and Duchess’s Favourite, and grafted them on suitable root stock. It is these grafted trees, now four years old, that were planted last month.

Last year, we planted 24 trees in Lambert’s Mead, two thirds of which were paid for by the Friends of Horton Country Park, to celebrate their 20th anniversary. These were a combination of apples, pears, quince and crab apples to enhance the biodiversity of the orchard and the wildlife that thrives there.

Traditional orchards can support wildlife, such as flies, bees, bats and birds. The knotted trunks and branches of trees provide a home for patrolling bats, while flowers are a food source for pollinating insects.

It is good to see these trees blossom and thrive!

Image: Green & vibrant icon

A trailer...

Image: Epsom Downs (Image Adam Young)

Work has now started on improvements to the infrastructure of Epsom and Walton Downs, as we reported in the last issue of eBorough Insight.

New visitor trails are being laid out to encourage visitors to enjoy the Downs beyond the Derby and peak summer season and we will be keeping residents in touch with developments as new signs, benches, information points are added in the next few weeks.

Clearly designated trails will lead visitors to where they can safely view the daily training of thoroughbred racehorses, enjoy the panoramic landscapes, learn about the unique local habit and equestrian heritage plus explore the wider Downs and follow the interlinking trails across East Surrey.

Replacement wooden posts in readiness for new signage on Epsom & Walton Downs

A grant of £132,000 secured by the Council from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, boosted by funding of £18,000 from The Jockey Club and £20,000 from the Epsom & Walton Downs Conservators, is specified for supporting the local economy by encouraging visitors.

The project will help promote the many activities that can be enjoyed on the Downs, such as hack riding, flying model aircraft, kite flying, rambling, nature conservation, golfing, dog walking, running and cycling. We hope the initiative will also support other local attractions, such as the developing Woodland Trust Centenary Wood and food, drink and accommodation providers.

Epsom & Walton Downs are private land owned by Epsom Downs Racecourse and managed by the Epsom and Walton Downs Conservators through an Act of Parliament. The Conservators’ principal obligations are to enable the training of racehorses and activities of associated staff that currently use the gallops up until noon every day, to preserve the Downs in their natural state of beauty, to maintain the public’s right of access and to ensure that the various users respect each other’s rights and the Downs environment.

(Image bottom right): As part of the planned work on significant improvements to amenities and infrastructure, the wooden posts on Epsom & Walton Downs have been replaced in readiness for fresh new signage. 

Image: The logos of Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Jockey ClubImage: Green & vibrant icon

Centre gets a new start in the community

The Council is to transfer the running and activity of the former Wells Centre to Epsom Wells Community Association (EWCA), a registered charity.

The Strategy & Resources Committee agreed at its meeting last month that the community group would take responsibility for the building and put it back into use for hire, a café, and a range of community-led activities. The council will grant a lease of the site with an initial two-year rent-free period after which the rent payable will reflect the community use of the building.

EWCA have produced a viable business case that sees the existing building renovated, and long-term managed by the Wells residents at no short or long-term costs to the Council and council taxpayers. The business case proposal is for a “reimagined centre” which will mix community group use, private hire, business hub and hot desk space with a community café.

It plans to reinvigorate the offering on the premises to deliver a modern, forward-looking, multi-generational community centre. The centre will support Epsom & Ewell’s “Future 40” plans, helping to make the borough an even better, brighter place.

EWCA propose to be responsible for the Wells site in its entirety and release the Council from any ongoing financial responsibility. In addition, the Council would receive rental income from the commencement of the third year of the lease.

Image: the Wells CentreCouncillor Colin Keane, Chair of the Strategy and Resources Committee said “We have listened to the local community and worked with EWCA to enable them to develop a business case to run the centre.

“The Council is committed to enabling and encouraging EWCA to succeed and a revived facility would support the principle that enhances the Cultural and Creative opportunities in the Borough where people work together for all the community.

“Crucially, this plan will also remove any financial call on the Council’s resources to enable the Council’s other key priorities for residents to be pursued”.

Image: Icon Cultural and creativeImage: Icon Effective Council

Robert Foote - in memoriam

Image: some of the people who attended the tree plantingRobert Foote was a much liked and respected councillor, who died in a tragic accident last year as he was volunteering as a marshal at Brands Hatch.

Earlier this month fellow councillors, family, friends and council staff joined together to plant a tree in his memory in Shadbolt Park.

The tree selected is a Sessile Oak, a British native tree that grows 'straight and true' and has a lifespan of over 500 years.

Robert Foote had served as a councillor for Cuddington Ward since 2003 and was Mayor of the Borough in 2014-15.

During his time as a Councillor, Robert chaired the Crime Prevention Panel and the Council’s Licensing Committee, served on the Neighbourhood Policing Panel and several of the Council’s committees. As Mayor his chosen charities were Epsom Foodbank, Epsom & Ewell Citizens Advice Bureau and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Robert was born in Bristol. He spent 30 years in the airline industry and ran a car servicing business and worked as an MOT tester. He was a regular volunteer marshal at Brands Hatch and Goodwood. Thousands of tributes were made by the motorsport community following Robert’s death, including from Formula 1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

Image: Robert Foote with his self-built Caterham 7 carIn his Mayoral speech, Rob said, ‘Most of my friends…will know me as a car mechanic, some as an aircraft engineer and some as a close friend and for me the latter is priceless. During my life, I have had numerous interests, hobbies and different jobs and that has brought me into contact with many people from different backgrounds and cultures. This has stimulated an interest in individuals and people from all walks of life, rather than interaction with mechanically propelled vehicles, which has been my day job”.

What happens to Surrey’s waste?

If you’ve ever wondered what happens to your recycling and rubbish once it’s collected, now you can find out.

The Surrey Environment Partnership’s (SEP) new report reveals what happened to Surrey’s waste in 2020-21 and contains detailed information on the waste that was collected, what happened to it and where it went to be treated or recycled.

In 2020-21, Surrey had the third best recycling rate of all 30 two-tier local authority areas in England. 55.1% of its waste was recycled with the rest treated as rubbish. Of the rubbish that was collected, only 3.8% of it was sent to landfill, less than half the England average of 8.0%.

What happened to Surrey’s waste after it was collected?

Surrey’s waste was turned into a variety of new materials:

  • Glass was crushed, melted and turned into new bottles and jars or aggregate.
  • Paper and card was turned to a pulp and then made into new paper.
  • Plastic was melted into pellets and made into new products.
  • Metal tins and cans were shredded or combined with other materials and turned into new metal products.
  • Food and garden waste was broken down and turned into compost.
  • Textile waste was passed on to be reworn or turned into new products such as insulation.
  • Small electrical waste was shredded and separated into different materials and used in various new products.

Rubbish was mostly used to generate electricity

76.9% of Surrey’s waste was treated or recycled in the UK. It only went abroad when there was no capacity at facilities at home or when there was no market demand for the product made from the waste.

Was Surrey’s dry mixed recycling actually recycled?

Almost all the dry mixed recycling (paper and card, glass, plastics and metal put into household recycling bins) that was collected was recycled. However, 13.5% of material that was put into recycling bins was non-recyclable material.

When this happens, it can cause big problems because it is difficult to separate the good recycling from incorrect items such as black sacks and nappies, which might mean that an entire truckload of recycling is treated as rubbish and not recycled. If this waste had gone into the right bins, it would have made a big difference for the environment.

This is a increasing issue in Epsom and Ewell. Our teams are now instructed not to collect recycling from bins that has been contaminated in this way.

You can make sure you are putting the right things in the right bins by checking on the Surrey Recycles search tool and app. This allows you to enter your postcode and the item you are throwing away to find out which bin it goes in.

Most of our rubbish was turned into energy…but it wasn’t all rubbish!

90.8% of Surrey’s rubbish was turned into electricity; enough to power 38,000 UK homes for a year. However, a large amount of food waste was found in rubbish bins. If this waste had been put into caddies instead it would have been better for the environment and saved Surrey councils a whopping £4 million.

If you need a replacement food caddy or any bin, please visit our website and request through My Council Services.

You can read the full report on the Surrey Environment Partnership website here

Sun? Ski? Staycation? Scam?

A happy holiday starts with booking it safely.Image: Holiday destination artwork with the \'Stay Save Online\' \' branding

The internet is by far the most popular place to research and book holidays and travel, offering fantastic choice, convenience and value. Unfortunately,however, fraudsters are always there in the shadows trying to scam you with holidays, accommodation and travel that don’t actually exist.

They use fake websites, listings, emails, advertisements, social media posts, texts and phone calls to lure you in, exploiting your desire for an annual family holiday or short break … whether it’s in Barbados or Bournemouth.

And at the moment, they’re still taking advantage of the fact it’s been a long time since many of us had a holiday, making us even keener to get away.

To help you avoid the financial losses and disappointment that can result from falling victim, Get Safe Online have put together some expert tips on searching and booking holidays and travel with confidence.

To read the tips visit the Get Safe Online website www.getsafeonline.org/holidaybooking/  where there are also other great internet safety tips on a range of subjects.

 

Spotlight on

Switch off when stationary

Stopped for more than a minute? #EnginesOff Let\'s reduce emissions and improve air quality in Epsom and Ewell Stopped for more than a minute? #EnginesOff
Let's reduce emissions and improve air quality in Epsom and Ewell

Drivers who leave their engines running in Epsom and Ewell are being targeted in an anti-idling campaign.

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council is to engage with drivers and, when necessary, will take enforcement action against vehicle idling within the borough.Image: A delivery driver turns of his engine while waiting for a colleague

Engine idling produces air pollution and increases the amount of toxic air that we breathe, which can have significant impacts on people’s health. Children and elderly people are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution. Improving air quality can help cut heart disease, reduce lung cancer and prevent asthma.

Councillor Neil Dallen, Chair of the Environment and Safe Communities Committee said “Idling is sometimes unavoidable but there are instances, such as waiting for a takeaway or when collecting children from school, when idling is not necessary.

“Our advice is to switch off your engine when parked or waiting for a minute or longer, to reduce emissions and help improve our local air quality; that’s a small change that can make a big difference”.

There is a borough-wide traffic management order in place which prohibits vehicle engine idling within Epsom and Ewell.

Council Enforcement Officers will approach drivers where they observe engine idling and request that they switch the engine off whilst stationary. If the driver refuses to switch off the engine, they could receive a Fixed Penalty Notice (£20 raising to £40 if not paid within 14 days). Exemptions exist where the engine is required to power specific functions of the vehicle, such as refrigeration units.

Councillor Dallen added “We don't want to issue fixed penalty notices, and it will be a last resort, but we do want to enforce the new anti-idling regulations effectively to improve air quality”.

Find out how you can help reduce the harmful effects of engine idling, visit www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/enginesoff

What's On

Epsom Markets this month

Regular markets take place on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday plus special markets are held on most Sundays.Epsom Market

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

Farmer's Market
Sunday 1 May
This market usually takes place on the first Sunday
of the month from 9.30am - 1.30pm.
Find out more at www.surreymarkets.co.uk/event/epsom-market/

Taste Of The World Market
Sunday 8 May
This market includes a selection of international street food to takeaway.
For more info see: www.facebook.com/TasteOfTheWorldMarket

Vegan Market
Sunday 22 May
The Epsom Vegan Market usually takes place on the fourth Sunday of the month from 10.30am -3.30pm.
For more details visit:  www.ethicalveganevents.com/marketinfo/epsom

The Horton is opening its doors

The Horton, the new cultural venue for Epsom, is opening its doors this month, initially for three days a week plus evenings for events.

This renovated Grade II-listed former Horton Chapel offers atmospheric and welcoming spaces for live performance, events, exhibitions, workshops or simply a coffee with friends.

The Horton operates as a not-for-profit venue, managed by registered charity Horton Chapel Arts & Heritage Society. The Horton Arts Centre Epsom

Surrey Historic Buildings Trust recently announced The Horton was winner of the Best Overall Project in their annual awards.

The sympathetic architectural conversion has enhanced the stunning historic features of the building whilst delivering excellent contemporary facilities. The restoration of the building has been made possible with grants from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Viridor Credit, the Architectural Heritage Fund and others, plus support from Epsom & Ewell Borough Council.

The Horton will be opening from Thursday 28 April, initially for three days a week plus evenings for specific events. An opening programme of events is also now on sale (see below), with courses, workshops, and more performances to be announced soon.

The Café will be open during the day Thursday to Saturday and will operate as a bar during evening events. Activities will increase over the next few months, as a full programme of events is developed. The next phase in the life of this historic building is about to begin!

For more information visit www.thehortonepsom.org 

Opening programme

Exhibition: 28 April – 14 May
Portraits of the Unremembered - Georgia Kitty Harris
Artist Georgia Kitty Harris has created an incredible collection of patient portraits from the turn of the twentieth century. Working from found photographs, Georgia explored the archives at Surrey History Centre to view original portrait photography from medical case files from what was then called the Manor Asylum and Ewell Epileptic Colony (St. Ebba’s).
Free

Music: Saturday 30 April, 8pm
Blunter Brothers
Celebrate the opening weekend of The Horton with an evening of classic funk, Motown and soul music from incredible 10-piece live band The Blunter Brothers.
Dancing guaranteed!
Tickets £22

Comedy: Friday 6 May, 8pm
Comedy at The Horton
Join us for the launch a regular comedy night at The Horton, bringing you some of the best stand-up comedians working the UK comedy circuit. This month offers the comedic delights of Juliet Meyers, Javier Jarquin and headlined by one of our all-time favourites Prince Abdi.
Tickets £20

Theatre: Friday 20 May, 8pm
A Room of One’s Own
Rebecca Vaughan performs Virginia Woolf's 1928 exploration of the impact of poverty and sexual inequality on intellectual freedom and creativity. Take a wry, amusing, and incisive trip through the history of literature, feminism, and gender. Meet Charlotte Brontë, Jane Austen, Aphra Behn, and Shakespeare's sister – Judith. Go forward into the far-flung future of... 2028. But whatever you do, Keep Off The Grass...
Tickets £20

Children and Family: Saturday 21 May 11am
Long Nose Puppets - The Hug
Based on the heart-warming and funny book 'The Hug' by Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar. Starring a Hedgehog and a Tortoise both in search of a restorative hug. Facing many rejections along the way, they meet a rather scary badger, an obsessive squirrel who knows A LOT about nuts, a fabulous fox and an owl who is trying hard to be wise. A tale of hope, empathy and acceptance. Suitable for ages 6 months – 4 years
Tickets £15. Family ticket £56 (admits four, at least one of party must be 18+)

Locals at the Playhouse

Image: epsom playhouseAfter the 'pandemic gap' where our local community stars were unable to perform and rehearsals were nigh on impossible, we're pleased to start welcoming them back to the Epsom Playhouse

Epsom Light Opera Company

Sunset Boulevard
Tuesday 26 April to Saturday 30 April 2022

Join the Epsom Light Opera Company in their first full musical production since their highly successful performance of Jesus Christ Super Star in the autumn of 2019.

Based on Billy Wilder’s Academy Award winning film, Sunset Boulevard takes place in Hollywood in 1949.  The plot revolves around Norma Desmond, a faded star of the silent screen era, living in the past in her decaying mansion on the fabled Los Angeles street.  When a young screen writer Joe Gillis accidentally crosses her path, she sees in him an opportunity to make her return to the big screen.  Romance and tragedy follow.

Prices from £19
(concessions £17 available for 2.30pm performances on 26 April and Sat 30 April only)

Epsom Symphony Orchestra

Sunday 15 May 2022

Join the Epsom Symphony Orchestra, once again under the baton of Darrell Davison, for a great evening of light entertainment. 

An Elgar arrangement of Handel's Overture in D minor opens the concert, followed by Brahms' Violin Concerto, expertly performed by Ionel Manciu - a previous winner of the Croydon Concerto Competition.  Described by Classic FM as being cheery and lyrical, and drawing inspiration from Bohemian folk music, Dvorak's Eighth symphony completes the programme; so there really is something for everyone.

Prices from £13.00

Epsom Male Voice Choir

Saturday 21 May 2022

After an unprecedented three-year gap Epsom’s very own male voice choir are finally able to return to the Playhouse for their annual gala concert.

With Musical Director Ian Assersohn, pianist Lynda Change and special guest violinist Mary Young, the lads will present their usual glorious mix of male voice classics, familiar songs and unexpected treats. Not to be missed.

Prices from £17

Full details and how to book
see

Telephone: (01372) 742555 / 742227
Email: playhouse@epsom-ewell.gov.uk
Epsom Playhouse, Ashley Avenue, Epsom, KT18 5AL

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Celebrations

Image: The Jubilee logo

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
Thursday 2 to Sunday 5 June 2022

Excitement is building as we get closer to this year’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations and the next issue of e-Borough Insight will be a Jubilee special with lots of detail about events across the borough.

In June 2022, Her Majesty The Queen will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee after 70 years of service, following her accession to the throne in 1952.

Epsom and Ewell will be celebrating with activities and opportunities for all ages across the Borough over the coming weeks.

For more information on what’s going on, please visit www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/jubilee or Go Epsom’s dedicated Jubilee website, https://www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/council/queens-platinum-jubilee-2022

Putting Epsom firmly on the map is the Derby at Epsom Downs, and this year’s race will be one to remember. Epsom and Ewell has been a special place for Royalty thought history with many Kings and Queens visiting over the years.

Planning an event?

If your local community is planning to hold an event, there's lots of useful information here - Planning an event to help with the organising.

If you are planning a street party and require a road closure, you will need to apply for a temporary road closure. While the road closure is normally processed by us, we need to coordinate with different agencies (including the highway authority and emergency services) this can take time, especially when across Surrey thousand of similar events are planned for the same weekend. Our deadline for applications was the end of April however we will endeavour to process any later requests but we cannot guarantee to get them approved in time for the jubilee weekend   – please see Street parties and temporary road closures on our website.

Look out for our special Jubilee edition of e-Borough Insight in May which will showcase many more events and activities building up to the big weekend.

Key Facts

Remote access scams

Image: Woman on laptop realises that she has fallen victim to a scamMore than £50 million was lost last year to scams where victims are tricked into handing over control of their computer or smartphone to criminals.

New data from Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, reveals that 20,144 people fell victim to scams where they were persuaded to grant criminals remote access to their device.

Victims reported losing a total of £57,790,384 – an average loss of £2,868 per victim. 

What are remote access scams?

Remote Access scams will often begin with a browser pop-up saying that your computer is infected with a virus, or maybe a call from someone claiming to be from your bank saying that they need to connect to your computer in order to cancel a fraudulent transaction on your account. Regardless of the narrative the fraudster’s use, their goal is to steal your money or access your financial information by tricking you into allowing them to remotely connect to your computer.

Detective Chief Inspector Craig Mullish, from the City of London Police, said "While remote access tools are safe when used legitimately, we want the public to be aware that they can be misused by criminals to perpetrate fraud. We often see criminals posing as legitimate businesses in order to trick people into handing over control of their computer or smartphone. 

“You should only install software or grant remote access to your computer if you’re asked by someone you know and trust, such as a friend or family member, and never as a result of an unsolicited call, browser pop-up or text message.”

How to protect yourself

  • Only install software or grant remote access to your computer if you’re asked by someone you know and trust, such as a friend or family member, and never as a result of an unsolicited call, browser pop up, or text message.
  • Remember, a bank or service provider will never contact you out of the blue requesting remote access to your device.
  • If you believe your laptop, PC, tablet or phone has been infected with a virus or some other type of malware, follow the NCSC’s guidance on recovering an infected device.
  • Protect your money by contacting your bank immediately on a different device from the one the scammer contacted you on.
  • Report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via actionfraud.police.uk. If you are in Scotland, please report to Police Scotland directly by calling 101.

 

Your Community

Epsom Safe Haven to relocate

Safe Havens provide out of hours help and support to people and their carers who are experiencing a mental health crisis or emotional distress.

Safe Havens are open evenings, weekends and bank holidays. The Safe Havens are designed to provide adults with a safe alternative to A&E when in crisis.

The Epsom Safe Haven will be moving to new premises at the Brickfield Centre, Epsom in the next month.

The Epsom Safe Haven is currently located in the Surrey Choices building at The Larches, 44 Waterloo Road, Epsom, KT19 8EX. It will continue to see people in person and virtually until the service is moved to the Brickfield Centre, Portland Place, Epsom, KT17 1DL.

The move will take place in daytime hours so the Epsom Safe Haven will be open and ready to support people from 6pm on the day of the move, ensuring there will be no disruption to the service.

The relocation follows a decision by commissioners from Surrey County Council, funders at Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System, as well as service providers Mary Frances Trust and Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SABP) that the current building is no longer suitable to deliver the service. After an extensive engagement period to gather views from people using the service as well as partner organisations and local stakeholders, it was decided that the best location for the service was at the Brickfield Centre in Epsom.

The Epsom Safe Haven will continue to be open from 6pm-11pm every day of the year (including bank holidays and weekends). People experiencing a mental health crisis will be able to continue to receive help both in person or connect to the Epsom Safe Haven virtually.

To find out more about the move, visit the Mary Frances Trust website here
To find out more about the Epsom Safe haven, visit the SABP website here

Keyless car theft

Keyless car theft is something we’ve seen on the rise in Surrey. Criminals are using increasingly sophisticated technology to break into and drive your car right off your street.

If your car has keyless entry or keyless start functions it can leave you vulnerable to vehicle thieves who use relay devices to hack into and steal keyless cars. It is estimated that thieves now exploit this technology in approximately 90% of vehicle thefts in the UK, and it can take less than 60 seconds.

Below are Surrey Police's top tips for securing your vehicle from keyless car theft:

  • For as little as £5 you can protect your car by using a signal blocking pouch, also known as a Faraday bag. This is a simple, affordable level of security that blocks a key’s signal due to metallic material lining the pouch.
  • Car keys are often kept near the front of a property, close enough for thieves to hack the signal and break into your vehicle. Consider storing keys in signal suppression bags, disabling the wireless signal or turning off keyless entry if possible.
  • Not got a keyless car? It is still essential to store car keys and fobs out of sight. As a rule, if thieves can see keys through a window or letterbox, they can steal them.
  • Old-fashioned tech can be the most effective. A Pedal Box is a bright yellow metal box made to wrap around your foot pedals and prevent access to them. Steering wheel locks are also highly effective, and both can be easily seen through a car window and act as a deterrent. 
  • CCTV can deter potential thieves and play a pivotal role in any future police investigations. You can get cameras for all budgets, including doorbell video cameras. Already got CCTV? Make sure lenses are clean and free of obstructions such as garden foliage and cobwebs, and check the camera is in a good position to capture unwanted visitors to your home.
  • Most of us treat our garages like an outdoor storage room. Garden supplies, Christmas decorations, fitness equipment that started gathering dust around February…but do you actually use your garage to store your car? Keeping your car in a locked, secure garage is one of the most effective ways of protecting your vehicle from thieves.
  • Improve the chances of recovering your vehicle and catching car thieves by installing a tracker. Trackers can help you find vehicles even if they are concealed from sight in shipping containers, disguised or hidden underground. They can also aid police investigations, helping us bring car thieves to justice. There are lots of different vehicle tracker companies offering a variety of payment and security plans. Do your research to pick a tracker that works for you, and make sure it holds some form of official approval or accreditation.
  • We see numerous examples of work vans being targeted for tools due to their value, or other vehicles broken into if there are signs of valuables inside such as GPS holders or phone charging cables. Although we know it isn’t always possible, please remove any valuables that can be stored elsewhere and lock and secure vehicles when you leave them. Also check that your insurance covers any potential theft from your van.

Watch a short animation with some of Surrey Police's key tips: https://youtu.be/oGAXw2A5lPY

For more info see the Surrey Police website: https://www.surrey.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/keeping-vehicles-safe/vehicle-safe-and-sound/

Check what financial help you can get from HMRC

Customers in the South East are being encouraged to check online for the range of financial support available from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to help with living costs.HM Revenue & Customs logo Check what financial help you can get from HMRC

HMRC has listed the support available in one place to ensure people are not missing out and can easily find out online if they are eligible and how to claim.

The new GOV.UK page pinpoints people to a one-stop shop of all the benefits, credits and allowances available to individuals and families, making it easier than ever for people to claim what they are entitled to.

This includes:

Child Benefit

Child Benefit can be claimed if someone is responsible for bringing up a child who is:

  • under 16
  • under 20 if they stay in approved education or training

Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child. It’s paid every 4 weeks and there’s no limit to how many children you can claim for.

Tax-Free Childcare

Working parents can get assistance of up to £500 every 3 months (up to £2,000 a year) for each of their children to help with the costs of childcare until the September after their 11th birthday. If a child is disabled, this goes up to £1,000 every 3 months until the September after their 16th birthday (up to £4,000 a year).

Marriage Allowance

Marriage Allowance allows individuals to transfer 10% (£1,260) of their personal tax allowance to a husband, wife or civil partner if they earn less than the personal tax allowance, which is usually £12,570.

Work-related expenses and uniform allowances

Tax relief can be claimed on money spent on things like work uniform and clothing, tools, subscriptions or business travel.

The GOV.UK page also includes guidance for those on a low income wanting to make the most of their savings and help for those struggling to pay their tax bill.

Myrtle Lloyd, Director General Customer Services Group, HMRC:

“We understand these are very difficult times for many so it’s vitally important we continue to highlight the range of support available.

“We’d encourage those who think they may be eligible for support to take a look and claim what they’re entitled to – it could make an important difference to household budgets at a time when it’s needed the most.”

 

3rd Epsom Scout Group - 100th anniversary

3rd Epsom Scout Group is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

Based in the Scout Hall behind St John Chandler Hall on Church Road (just off East Street), they are the oldest continuously running Scout Group in the area.

Did you attend Beavers, Cubs, Scouts or Explorers with the Group when you were younger? Did your children go there? Did you volunteer as a leader there? If so, they would love to hear from you.

This summer the group are holding an event to celebrate their centenary and would love to have old members and other friends of the Group join them. If you have any memories or photos of your time in Beavers, Cubs, Scouts or Explorers, they would also love to hear from you.

To join their alumni mailing list and find out more about how they are celebrating, go to: https://www.3rdepsom.org.uk/Alumni.html or contact them at: 100years@3rdepsom.org.uk

Epsom & Ewell Talking Newspaper

A free regular audio news service from an independent charity for those who are blind or visually impaired.

Local news, magazine articles and general features are recorded and distributed on memory sticks to local residents who are blind, partially sighted or have difficulty reading some text. 

Small easy to use audio players can be provided free of charge if required. 

To become a listener or to volunteer with the charity please call and leave a message on 01372 721519 or visit https://eetn.org.uk 

Your Council

Council meetings

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


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

Image: Icon Effective Council

Contact us

The most effective way to contact us to report an issue, such as a missed bin collection, to report graffiti or to arrange collection of bulky waste items, is via our website.

Website: epsom-ewell.gov.uk   

You can also call our Contact Centre via email contactus@epsom-ewell.gov.uk or on 01372 732000 (the Contact Centre operates normal office hours but this phone number can also be used to contact us in an emergency as it is monitored 24/7).

We also operate a text service for those who are deaf or have hearing difficulties: 07950 080202.
 

eBorough Insight is published by Epsom & Ewell Borough Council for residents in the borough.

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. Email: binsight@epsom-ewell.gov.uk

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