Local people working together for our local community
What do we do?
Put simply, we work with the residents to try and keep our area a pleasant place to live.
- We look at planning applications and comment where required.
- We liaise with the police to help to keep the locality safe and free from crime.
- If there is a broken street name sign, or a street light is not working, or the grass on the verges needs cutting, we tell the appropriate people.
- We have road representatives who keep in touch with residents and report your concerns.
- We keep our members informed through our regular newsletters.
- We are available to hear your views and to act on them.
Working with the Council
- Residents Association Councillors have been in control of the Borough Council for the last 75 years.
- We are not connected with a national political party (i.e. not Conservative, or Labour, or Liberal Democrat, or UKIP) and we are proud of it.
- Our Councillors are local people making local decisions about local issues.
What’s important to us?
- Keeping the area pleasant to live in – and our approach has worked for many years.
- Keeping in touch with residents, so that you can affect our actions.
- Taking a non-political approach to local issues.
- We can’t promise you will always get the result you want. Some issues (such as transport, roads and schools) are managed by the County Council or by central government – but we can lobby and speak on your behalf.
How do I become a member?
- It is easy to join – no forms to fill in. Just contact the person shown below for your area.
- Membership is voluntary, with a subscription of £3 per household per annum. This helps us to help you.
Chair – Woodcote Epsom Resident’s Society (WERS)
The County Council cabinet has decided that cuts have to be made in the opening hours and days for many of the County’s recycling centres. Our centre at Longmead will now be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week starting from 18th January. They made this decision without being able to tell Epsom & Ewell Council how our refuse lorries will dispose of the household recycling materials and waste they collect on those days!
They are also abolishing the one free sack of DIY material that has applied since charges were introduced.
Posted in EEBC, News, SCC
We are sorry to report that local artist Keith Charles died recently.
Many years ago he gave us permission to use the illustration used on our front cover.
He was very much a local character and painted many views of Epsom and the town in particular.
The Borough Council has agreed to set up a Local Authority Trading Company (LATC) which will enable it to invest in commercial properties outside of the Borough. It will also be able to acquire housing to meet our homelessness need without those units being subject to the right to buy provisions. The Council has taken both financial and legal advice on the most suitable LATC structure for it adopt.
We have been told by Surrey County Council that they are launching a consultation about possible changes to community recycling centres (CRCs).
They say that Council very much regrets having to make these proposals. Whilst the proposals create efficiencies, which take into current account patterns of use, they are at the same time a reduction in service that they know is highly valued by our residents.
SCC state that continued cuts to funding, rising costs and increasing demand for key services mean that the need to find savings has reached unprecedented levels.
The following changes are proposed:
1. Permanent closure of four smaller CRCs – Bagshot, Cranleigh, Dorking and Warlingham
2. Ending the free daily allowance of non-household waste
3. Closing CRCs on two weekdays so all sites are open for five days a week
4. Restricting users of vans, trailers and pick-ups to larger CRCs only
5. Ensuring CRCs in Camberley and Farnham are only used by Surrey residents
For more information, please visit the consultation webpage at www.surreycc.gov.uk/recyclingcentres. The questionnaire will be live from Friday 23 June.
Hard copies will also be available at CRCs and by calling 03456 009 009 or texting 07860 053 456. The consultation closes on Monday 7 August. SCC is encouraging consultation returns to be made via the above webpage where at all possible for ease of processing.
The consultation responses will be used to inform the final plans which will be agreed by SCC’s cabinet this autumn.
Following a public meeting in Langley Vale Village Hall where the Borough Council, Police and Racecourse explained to local residents that plans that will be put in place to manage the Derby Festival, Cllr Liz Frost – with the support of our local police sergeant – requested that Surrey County Council left the street lights on all night in the Village over the festival period. We are pleased to share with you the response to that request. We hope that this will increase the safety and security of residents.
We have received several requests to keep the street lights in Langley Vale switched on during Derby Week. Having evaluated the information provided, I can confirm that the lights shown in green on the plan below will be switched on all night from 24 May through to 3 June.
We have received the same request via several routes, so I have included everyone in this response.
Please let me know if you have any further queries.
Contract Manager – Street Lighting
Surrey County Council – Highways
SCC’s Council Tax Rise
In January the Conservative leadership at SCC announced that they would increase their portion of the council tax by 14.99%. Although SCC’s grant settlement from the Government had been very poor, the fact that Surrey residents were to pay heavily to resolve the funding crisis was seen by most people to be unfair and unacceptable.
In the end, and at a chaotic Budget meeting in February which was delayed three times whilst the Leader of the Council sorted out what he wanted to say, the Conservatives backed down and went instead for a council tax increase of 4.99%.
It was council tax rise and a budget which could have been prepared and announced much earlier. Instead what we now have is a rushed proposal, with no detailed plans.
Resident Association County Councillors did not vote to endorse the increase because the details of where cuts and service changes will take place will not be decided and announced by the Cabinet until late March, some seven weeks after the increase was agreed.
That is not an open and transparent way to manage and spend public money.
Why the Conservatives changed their mind is a matter of debate. All indications were that a referendum, which would have been required to endorse the 14.99%, would have been expensive and produce a NO vote. One theory in the national press was that the Government, late in the day, promised SCC some additional funding in the future. However that behind the scenes “deal” had been talked about for some time, and the fact that is there is no additional money from the Government to support the Council’s services in 2017/2018.
Residents Association councillors have challenged financial inefficiencies and waste at SCC, not least at budget time, but year after year the majority group have rejected the savings proposals we have made. For example cutting the cost of agency staff; reviewing the management structure of the council to save the costs of some of the high salary posts; ending the waste of empty council care beds costing over £1.5 million a year; and of course two years ago the Conservatives raised their allowances by over 60%.
We can only hope that following this year’s chaotic budget setting process SCC will start to make some serious inroads into tackling the inefficiencies and wasteful spending that still remain.
You may have seen the notices about roadworks starting in the town this week and wondered how to find out what is going on.
The website which will keep you informed on the progress of the roadworks is https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/roads-and-transport-policies-plans-and-consultations/major-transport-projects/epsom-and-ewell-major-transport-schemes