Borough Insight


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;

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:

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


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  where there are also other great internet safety tips on a range of subjects.


Taylorfitch. Bringing Newsletters to life