Epsom & Ewell Walking Netball Team pivot their way to Victory!

A Walking Netball team representing Epsom & Ewell at the annual Better Club Games beat off stiff competition from 6 other teams in a round robin tournament to claim first place on Friday 13th September 2019.

The team, who are members and train at the Rainbow Leisure Centre & Spa in Epsom, have been training weekly for over a year and were well prepared to take on other teams of older adults for this annual event. Held at the Ferndale Community Sports Centre in Brixton, London, teams travelled from across London and Surrey leisure centre partnerships run and managed on behalf of local councils by Better, including Lambeth, Tower Hamlets and Reigate & Banstead.

Both walking football and walking netball are held during a separate event a week before the main event takes place on Thursday 19th September. Teams who competed in the walking sports collected valuable points, which will go towards their final totals. The Copperbox Arena at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will host the remaining sports of Darts, Dominoes, Timed Cycle, Timed Swim, Badminton, Short Tennis, Table Tennis and Short Mat Bowls, where the overall winners will be announced. In 2018, Epsom & Ewell were just pipped to the post by rivals Greenwich, who won by just a 20 point lead.

The Club Games is a celebration of our Club membership, which encourages those aged over 60 to stay fit and active, leading healthy lifestyles, with a wide variety of activities on offer. The Rainbow Leisure Centre provides an extensive program for those living locally, including Tap Dance, Aqua Aerobics, Strength & Balance classes alongside Badminton, Short Tennis and Yoga as part of the Club Membership, with many of these classes also offering affordable drop-in prices.

It would seem that no matter your age, a passion for winning and a competitive attitude is still alive and kicking!

More information on our program for older adults can be found at: https://www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/epsom-and-ewell/rainbow-leisure-centre/club-activities-rainbow-leisure-centre

Surrey Police continue crack down on moped related crime

A successful operation to tackle moped and motorbike related crime in Epsom and Ewell resulted in more than 31 vehicles being stopped and a stolen motorcycle being found.

Over the past year, Epsom and Ewell has seen a rise in moped and motorbike enabled crime including violent assaults, robberies and anti-social behaviour. Following further investigation, the borough team established certain patterns within these crimes, such as the times they were occurring and the clothing worn by suspects.

The team decided to carry out an operation to tackle the problem, which took place last Thursday (12 September), with extra officers out on patrol across the borough.

Officers were equipped with SelectaDNA tagging spray, which can be aimed at mopeds and motorbikes believed to be illegal or anti-social behaviour which fail to stop when asked to do so by the police.

The DNA tagging spray marks the bikes, clothing and skin of any riders and passengers with a uniquely-coded but invisible DNA that will provide forensic evidence to link them to a specific crime.

Casualty Reduction Officer PC Ed Ferris, explained: “Tackling anti-social use of motor vehicles is at the core of reducing casualties on the roads, not only in Epsom and Ewell, but across the county and nationally as well.

“After noticing a considerable rise in moped and motorbike related crime, we decided to carry out an operation, which was supported by a number of our own officers, as well as colleagues from the Sussex Police Tactical Firearms Unit.

“During the operation, we stopped over 25 vehicles, seized one motorcycle, located a stolen motorcycle and walked the equivalent of nine miles on foot patrol over several hours around the Longmead and Watersedge estates. A number of vehicles failed to stop for police during the operation.

“We also successfully used the DNA tagging spray throughout the day to target certain individuals and work remains ongoing to continue to identify and arrest particular offenders.”

PC Ferris added: “I would like to thank those patient motorists on two wheels who co-operated with the police checks on the day, and urge the public to continue reporting motorcycle related incidents to us so that we can continue to effectively monitor and target this issue.”

Borough Commander for Epsom and Ewell, Inspector Joe Easterbrook said: “This operation demonstrates that we are prepared to tackle this issue and reassure our local communities that we have a zero tolerance for crimes of this nature.”

If you have been a victim of moped or motorbike related crime, please call Surrey Police on 101 or report online at https://www.surrey.police.uk/contact-us/report-online/

To find out more about the use of SelectaDNA spray, please click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNvrCUflrF8&feature=youtu.be

Follow Surrey Police at www.twitter.com/surreypolice.

For all non-emergency policing matters there are a number of ways to contact the police including reporting online at https://report.police.uk/ and calling 101.

Call 999 if you have a genuine emergency requiring the attendance of the police (eg a crime is in progress or someone is in immediate danger)

Call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 if you have information about a crime and don’t want to leave your name.

THE ASHLEY CENTRE ANNOUNCES CHARITY OF THE YEAR

The Ashley Centre has chosen Love Me Love My Mind as their charity to support during 2019/20. Earlier in the year local charities were asked to put themselves forward to be The Ashley Centre’s Charity of the Year and after a lot of thought and consideration Love Me Love My Mind has been selected.

The Ashley Centre General Manager David Beddows said: “There are some wonderful charities operating locally and deciding which one to choose was extremely hard. We are delighted to be supporting Love Me Love My Mind, a small registered charity based in Epsom which aims to promote better understanding of mental health and to support the wellbeing of everyone in the community. The charity is run entirely by volunteers and funded by grants and donations.”

 Love Me Love My Mind offers encouragement, support and friendship to people with mental health issues and their families. It signposts people to helpful mental health resources and challenges stigma wherever it occurs. As well as organising the annual Epsom Mental Health and Well Being Festival the charity also provides a regular Monday drop-in session.

 Sue Bull, Chair of Love Me Love My Mind said: “We are delighted to become The Ashley Centre’s Charity of the Year. The Ashley Centre’s support will greatly help us run our weekly drop-ins and the Epsom Mental Health and Well-Being Festival.”

Support worker Caroline Wright said: “My daughters Millie and Ellie are our youngest supporters from birth. They even had a bib made up saying ‘my 1st Epsom Mental Health Week’. My girls are growing up with the charity. Hopefully like my girls, others can also be educated (if that’s the correct word) by Love Me Love My Mind as society needs understanding people to understand and accept mental health. I myself support Love Me Love My Mind 100% as I have a long history of mental health and now work in the field as support worker and applying my graphic design to mental health. So I’m not just a graphic designer with Love Me Love My Mind but a supporter.”

For more information about Love Me Love My Mind please go to: www.lovemelovemymind.org.uk

For more information about The Ashley Centre and all the latest events, please “like us” on Facebook facebook.com/theashleycentre, follow us on Twitter @ashley_centre or visit our website theashleycentre.co.uk

Support Worker Caroline Wright with daughters Millie and Ellie.

Epsom and Ewell Community Fayre

Not in their wildest dreams could the organisers Epsom Rotary Club  and Ewell Rotary Club could have dreamed how lovely the weather was for the first Epsom & Ewell Community Day, but it did bring its own problems.

This was the first Community Fayre following on from the Epsom and Ewell Fun Day. Gone was the main arena and the fun fair also the entry fee. In their places was a more focused community event with FREE entry.

The Mayor and Mayoress arrived in a 1940’s jeep and drove around the arena before opening the Fayre. The Mayor Cllr. John Beckett is a member of U.S Army 4th Infantry reenactors and its great to add something different to the mayor’s entrance.  He was joined in the jeep by the Mayoress and  the president of Epsom Rotary Club Veronica Smith.

As I said at the beginning the weather did take its toll on the event. The Marching Band as well as some stall holders pulled out at the last minute. The number of entries in the dog show were down. As the temperature rose there was also a lack of shade to get out of the sun and numbers of attendees was not as high as expected. I imagine most preferred to spend one more day in the garden before Autumn sets in. 

But those who did attend found an great event smaller then in the past years but with a good mix of community/charity stalls and Trade/craft stalls offering plenty for all the family to do. Knowing that every penny you spent on a community stall went to that charity. 

Among the stalls was the Epsom and Ewell Town Twinning Association who had representatives over from Chantilly, the Association aims to bring the two towns closer together to form lasting friendships by putting individuals, groups, and associations in contact with each other.

The traditional dog show also took place but numbers were down due to the heat. despite this fun was had by all especially during the puppy class.

All in all Well Done to the organisers for a great event. Personally I feel it needs something extra, possibly a vintage car show, moving the dog show more central. I don’t know. What do you think? Did you attend if YES please comment below what you think was missing. If you didn’t attend what put you off from going? Please add your comments below.

A great family event and looking forward to next years and expect this event to grow and be a fixture on the borough calendar.

Nominate a local sporting hero for the Epsom and Ewell Sports Awards 2019

In the last year have you been inspired by a local athlete? Impressed by a volunteer? Motivated by a coach? If you know a local sporting hero that deserves to be recognised, show your appreciation and nominate them for this year’s Epsom and Ewell Sports Awards at www.awards.activesurrey.com

The ninth annual Epsom and Ewell Sports Awards, organised by Epsom & Ewell Sports and Leisure Council, in partnership with Epsom & Ewell Borough Council will be held on Tuesday 19th November at Epsom Downs Racecourse.

The Awards provide a fantastic opportunity to recognise and reward talented local athletes, coaches and volunteers for their outstanding achievements in sport over the past 12 months. Each of the awards is sponsored by a local organisation or business and are as follows:

  • Sports Personality of the Year sponsored by Better

  • Young Sports Personality of the Year sponsored by Epsom Gymnastics and Trampoline Club

  • Coach, Leader or Instructor of the Year sponsored by AFC Ewell

  • Inclusive Sports Award sponsored by Epsom & Ewell FC
  • Outstanding Service to Sport sponsored by The Rotary Club of Epsom

  • Volunteer of the Year sponsored by Surrey Playing Fields

  • Active Community Project of the Year sponsored by Epsom & Ewell Colts

  • Active School Innovation of the Year sponsored by The Royal Automobile Club

For information on nomination criteria for each award and to nominate please visit www.awards.activesurrey.com  and select Epsom and Ewell. Nominations close at midnight on Sunday 20 October 2019.

Councillor Barry Nash, Chair of the Council’s Community and Wellbeing Committee said, “The Epsom and Ewell Sports Awards celebrate the sporting achievements, dedication, commitment and excellence in the borough over the last 12 months.

Show your appreciation and nominate your local sporting hero today and help us reward our borough’s deserving sportspeople who have made a difference in Epsom and Ewell.”

For more information on the Epsom & Ewell Sports Awards visit www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/sportsawards

Update on Local Issues From Chris Grayling MP

Dear constituent

I am writing to update you on a number of local issues.

Firstly, the latest developments on the future of Epsom Hospital. The local NHS management is still working on a plan to consolidate high-end emergency and acute services on a single site in a new hospital unit. Their preference appears to be to site this new unit at Sutton next to the Royal Marsden, though they have sought to be clear that they have not taken a decision. As you may remember, I have said all along that it is wrong to have this debate locally unless and until the NHS nationally indicates that this project is high on its priority list and so money may be available to pay for it. So far that has not happened. The issue is now being considered by NHS England centrally, and the local team have agreed not to do any further work on the project unless they get an indication that the money is available. Although the NHS is receiving a large budget increase in the next few years, much of the focus for new investment is on more community-based treatment and on joining up health and social care services.

If the NHS does decide to take the new hospital project forward locally, I will argue strongly that Epsom should be the centre for that new investment, particularly as other hospital services are further away from here than they are from, for example, the area around St Helier. Whatever happens though Epsom will retain most of what it does at the moment, and is likely to see its services for the frail elderly expanded in the future.

There have been a number of outbreaks of crime and particularly theft from vans parked overnight and burglaries in recent months. After problems in Stoneleigh earlier this year, I asked police to step up patrols in that area; if there are issues in a particular area, Surrey Police are usually ready to increase their presence there. Please let me know if there appear to have been a spate of incidents in your part of the constituency and I will ask the police to act. I will also be pressing the Home Office to ensure that border areas around London, like Surrey, get a proper share of the extra 20,000 police who are being recruited, as we are particularly vulnerable to criminals crossing the London boundary to commit crimes and then returning to the City.

Epsom and Ewell Borough Council will this autumn be launching the consultation processes around its proposed local plan. Please do take part in this if you live in the Borough. The Council is being asked to make significant provision for extra housing to meet an acute local need – there is a very real shortage of both affordable and social homes, and family homes in the area, and it is very difficult for those who grew up locally to afford to stay here. But the extra housing provision has to be done very carefully, and not in a way that does serious damage to the green belt. There are a number of areas locally where mixed developments of offices and flats can provide extra homes close to work. My own view is that a big part of what is done should be the progressive redevelopment of the Kiln Lane and Longmead areas to achieve this. I will update you once the full consultation starts. Meanwhile Reigate and Banstead is already well on the way towards finalising its plan, and so far it has done a good job of protecting the green belt. I remain concerned, though, about the continued pressure for backland development in Nork and Tattenhams.

I have lodged objections to two developments in Epsom. I do not agree with the plan by the Borough Council to redevelop the Wells Centre. The Wells is set apart from the rest of the Borough, and I think it needs its own village hall. The current plan puts in place a community facility which is much too limited in scale. I am also very concerned about applications in Epsom and Stoneleigh to build high rise blocks that are completely out of character with the surrounding area. There is a need for some increase in the height of some local developments, but this should not include building a series of tower blocks.

Finally thank you to the people who entered the competition I ran to raise awareness of the plan by Wildlife Aid in Leatherhead to build a new animal hospital and education centre near their existing site. The winners of the cutest dog, cat and pet that is not a dog or a cat will be sending their owners and their families for a day out at Hobbledown.

With best wishes

Chris Grayling MP

Epsom Playhouse Pantomime Cast Photo Shoot

Every year there are certain events I look forward to attending, The Derby, TriFest and The Epsom Playhouse Pantomime Cast Photo Shoot. In the past I have made children’s TV presenter Dave benson Phillips walk down a yellow brick road that doesn’t exist, Heavy D lining up for noodles at Bamboo Basket and the ugly sisters posing with the statue outside the playhouse. The less we say about that the better. But one thing they all have in common They Love Panto.

This year was not to be any different than the pass. The day starts with the official photographs being taking by the brilliant photographer Steven Peskett Steven’s main area of work is within the Television Industry and over the years he has worked on TV shows such as The X Factor, Take Me Out, Crime Stories, Britain’s Got Talent, Eastenders, Holby City, Casualty,  Celebrity Juice,  The Rob Brydon Show, Escape To The Country, Death in Paradise and many more. I have worked alongside a lot of photographers and most of the time you are fighting to get the best shot but not Steven he always there to help.

Once the single and double shots are done, not drinks well not yet, its time for the group photo. This will be the one you will see on websites, social media and newspapers in the build up to the show opening. Trying to get 8 people in different costumes and poses is an art and with the Playhouse Fiona on hand to help it always works out brilliantly. When finished the fun begins.

Its at this point in the day the cast in full costume takes to the streets of Epsom to thank the local businesses who sponsor the show. First visit was off to The Ashley Centre to visit Toy Barnhaus Not only did the cast pose for photos with staff and customers there was time for a quick sword fight. All was going well until The mermaid found the crocodile this stopped Hook in his tracks.

From here its was just a few steps to the Hatty’s Sweet Shop where once again the cast were happy to pose for photos with customers and staff. They even had a go at serving. Next stop Bill’s Restaurant 

Now the walk from the Playhouse to The Ashley Centre in full costume was easy. Ashley Centre to Bill’s was another story. Navigating the works in the marketplace and then the crossing by Marquis was no easy task but the people stopping for photos and the cars tooting their horns made the cast fill very welcomed. For the majority of the cast it was the first time they have visited Epsom.

Now Bill’s was interesting especially as the duty manager hadn’t  been told about the photo shoot. you should have seen the look on his face as Peter Pan, Captain Hook and the rest of the cast walked in to book a table. 

It had been a long morning and the cast were grateful for the drinks provided by Bill’s. Highlight of the visit had to be when the duty manager become one of Captain Hook’s crew and compared moustaches.

Well that was it another Pantomime Photo shoot over. The images will be out soon and will be used in the show programme as well as promotion material. The Pantomime starts on Saturday 14th Dec and runs till Sunday 5th May.

As well as the regular performances there will be a a specialised relaxed performance, perfect for anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed performance environment due to a reduction to sound levels, changes to lighting, a relaxed attitude to movement in and out of the auditorium, chill-out areas and specially trained theatre staff to make the experience as inclusive as possible.

Tickets are on sale now for all the performances to book or for more information CLICK HERE

And remember…“second star to the right, and straight on till morning.”

Council expresses frustration in latest Heathrow consultation

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council have formally responded to the latest Heathrow Airport expansion consultation. The council expressed disappointment in the lack of clear, relevant information to enable an informed response, especially given that Heathrow’s proposals are well advanced.

Councillor Neil Dallen, Chair of the Environment and Safe Communities Committee said  ‘for us and our residents, being able to understand how the Heathrow proposals will alter the number, height and timings of flights across the borough, along with associated environmental impacts such as noise, in direct comparison to what is currently experienced is essential. The absence of such information is frustrating and makes it extremely difficult to evaluate the impacts”.

The council’s greatest concern is that the proposed airspace changes and airport expansion will result in a significant increase in the number of flights across the borough. The proposals suggest that Epsom and Ewell is likely to be overflown far more frequently and at a lower altitude. 

Councillor Dallen added “The proposals for Heathrow expansion specify additional flights operating as low as 3,000 feet at a frequency of up to 64 flights per hour. This will bring significant negative impacts such as increased air pollution, which will be extremely detrimental to the amenity, health and wellbeing of our residents. This is unacceptable”.

In the response to this latest consultation the council also raised a strong objection to the relaxation of the night flight ban, the duration of which appears to be contracting, and the absence of a cap on the number of take offs and landings.

Councillor Dallen commented “Overall from the information provided, it is unclear what controls will be in place to limit climate change and other adverse environmental aspects arising from the airport expansion and we will be pressing Heathrow to publish clear information about the environmental and health effects arising from their expansion plans and future airspace changes.

“While Heathrow Airport may argue that there are wider benefits to their proposals, these should not be to the detriment of Epsom and Ewell residents, workers, school, college and university students and businesses, especially the area’s long-standing horse racing industry. 

“We hope that further Heathrow engagement with local communities potentially impacted by the proposals will be carried out in a more meaningful and transparent way”.

Details of the consultation ending Friday 13th September, CLICK HERE

2nd Old Moat Fun Dog Show

On Sunday 8th September , bathed in beautiful sunshine The Old Moat Garden Centre held their 2nd Fun Dog Show within The Walled Garden. There were 9 fun classes to enter including classes for the Dog with the waggiest tail, Dog most like its owner, Best rescue dog, Cleverest trick, Dog the judge would most like to take home and the hardest one to judge , apart from Best In Show had to be  Musical sits, like musical chairs but the dogs have to sit, Trying to see who was the last one to sit was hard work and extra eyes were required.

Judging the classes was Nikki Brown, aka The UK’s Leading Natural Dog Whisperer. During the interval Nikki took questions from the audience regarding any problems people were having. She also gave advice on reading and understanding your dog’s behaviour. A very interesting chat which has made me stop and think about what I am feeding  my dog which may be the cause of his nervousness.  

As the classes continued for some it was time for nap

But the classes kept coming and so did the dogs. In total there were over 80 entries  in the 9 classes cost £2 per entry. With all the money going to The Old Moat.

The last class of the afternoon was the Best In Show. This was made up by the winners of the 9 classes and Nikki was joined by  Cllr. Bernie Muir, a great supporter of The Old Moat, Like the Musical  Sits this was a tough job. All the dogs deserved to win but there could only be one winner. This went to Franki, a Standard Poodle,. Franki is a Family Support Dog and a Therapy Dog for Dementia suffers.

The afternoon was not just about have a good time it was also to raise funds for the work The Old Moat does. 

The Old Moat Garden Centre is not just a garden centre. They are part of Richmond Fellowship, a national mental health charity, and reinvest all their profits into supporting the recovery of local people living with mental ill health. 

Their goal is to help them gain confidence, skills and qualifications working alongside the staff and volunteers in a safe, supportive environment that encourages them to overcome challenges and obstacles. 

Their work impacts directly on about 150 people with mental ill health each year, but the ripple effect touches hundreds more as their families and friends gain peace of mind, waiting lists in doctors’ surgeries and hospitals are reduced, employers gain qualified confident staff, and the community is enriched by the increased participation of those whom we support.

The Old Moat would like to thank the following:

Judges
Nikki Brown and Surrey County Councillor and Epsom & Ewell Borough Councillor Bernie Muir,

Dog agility provider
Cathy Tse, Horton Dogs,

Master of Ceremonies
Paul Jackson, for his time, his MC skills and his music choices!

Additional prize donors
For All Dogkind, 

Mucky Pups Dog Grooming, 

Stall holders
Hound Help Canine Massage, 

K9 Paws n Play, 

Refreshments
Tiger Lily Bus Company, 

And last but most definitely not least: Their staff,  volunteers and the people whom they support.

Epsom & Ewell Council Takes Action on Unauthorised Encampments

On Tuesday 3rd September up to 50 caravans moved on to Stamford Green and into Horton Country Park.

Epsom and Ewell Council, earlier this year through the courts, secured an injunction that protects 57 areas of Council land in the borough that are vulnerable to unauthorised encampments. The injunction is in place for three years and applies to certain types of encampments for example 10 vehicles or more. The Council succeeded in securing this injunction because it was able to demonstrate to the court the harm and financial impact (eg as a result of significant fly typing, criminality and anti-social behaviour) that resulted from a number of previous unauthorised encampments in the borough.

You may have seen these High Court Injunctions pinned to posts and trees around the borough

As a result of this injunction, there has been a dramatic drop in the number of such encampments in the borough this year. Previously the more limited legal remedies available to the Council meant that these often took several weeks and a significant amount of work before they could be moved on. During the past few months, those few groups that have located themselves on Council land without permission, have left quickly, once they were formally made aware that the Council had an injunction in place. However, this week has been different.

On Tuesday evening  Council officers and the Police attended both sites that night to inform the groups that an injunction was in place and that they should leave. Both groups decided to ignore this direction and one of these groups took a more aggressive and confrontational stance with Council officers and the Police.

The only option available to the Council at that point was through the High Court. This involved Council officers preparing all the necessary legal documentation and local assessments needed to submit an application for a Writ to the court the following morning. The court agreed the application and the Writ was later formally sealed, allowing the Council to take action.

On Wednesday 4th Sept, armed with the Writ, and having secured the assistance of six court bailiffs and extra Police, both groups of travellers were informed that they would now be evicted. This did result in both groups finally agreeing to go, and given the size of the groups this took place during the course of the afternoon and into the evening, supervised by Council officers, the Police and the Court Bailiffs.

Although the process this week was both challenging and resource intensive, the good news is that now the Council has secured the Writ, it remains in place for the three year life of the injunction. The Council could not have secured the writ until this week, as no other groups had sought to resist the injunction once they were formally made aware that it was in place.

The Council’s successful actions this week, now removes the need to go back to the court should further unauthorised encampments occur during the three year life of the injunction. As a result, Council land has much stronger protection from unauthorised encampments than has been possible previously but the Council will still have to demonstrate that it is using its legal powers in a reasonable, balanced, and proportionate way.

Ultimately, the Council was able to resolve these two large encampments within 24 hours, returning the land to its original condition with achieving this with no significant incidents.

Well Done to the  Council’s Operations Team, Legal Team and to the Police for their extraordinary efforts this week to help secure a positive outcome for the Council and its residents.

As a lot of you are aware there was a further unauthorised encampment on the corner of Livingston Park, which was on private land owned by Greenbelt Energy Limited. There was concern within the community and by local Councillors that the Landowner was taking insufficient action to manage and ultimately resolve the situation.  As a result both the Council and the Police have been in regular contact with the land owner at a senior level to press them to use the legal routes available to them to resolve the situation. The site was also vacated this week.