Helping Our Local NHS Trust in the Ashley Centre

David Beddows, The Ashley Centre Manager made this statement today:

“The Ashley Centre remains open for essential health, hygiene, food and toiletry products but the safety and wellbeing of our customers, retail staff and employees continues to be our number one priority.

“We know many of our customers doing their essential shopping in the Centre are keen to support Epsom & St Helier Hospitals Charity and so today Wednesday 29th April we have installed a credit/debit card donation point. This easy to use machine is situated by the lifts on the ground floor where customers can select the amount they would like to donate and do so simply by taping their card to the touchscreen. Choose whether to donate £3, £5 or £10 then just ‘Tap & Go’!

“Stringent cleaning protocols are in place throughout the Centre. We are also reminding employees and visitors of the guidance given by health authorities particularly the need to leave adequate space between themselves and other shoppers and retail staff. Wherever possible we would also encourage people to use contactless payment methods.

“The policies and opening times of individual stores will vary – so please check on a daily basis by visiting our website and going to the individual store profile page CLICK HERE

“Our site teams are available to help visitors with any questions they may have.

“We hope you all remain safe over the coming weeks and please take notice and follow the World Health Organisation and Public Health England advice.” 

#weareopen #wearehereforyou

Business owners urged to apply for grant funding

Business owners urged to apply for grant funding

Over 300 businesses in Epsom and Ewell are still to apply for government grants to support them through the Covid-19 pandemic, according to figures released by Epsom & Ewell Borough Council.

Grants totalling more than £6million have been paid to 490 small businesses throughout the borough since 1st April.  Epsom & Ewell Borough Council is now taking action to invite the remaining 321 businesses to submit their application for funding support.

“I’m proud of how tirelessly our team has worked,” commented Councillor Eber Kington, chair of the Council’s Strategy and Resources Committee.  “Thanks to the team’s dedication, all of the eligible applications received so far have been paid.

“The Council is committed to protecting and supporting the local economy.  We are now trying to contact the 321 businesses who have not yet come forward to make sure that they know a grant is available to them.”

Many of the 300 businesses are small or medium sized companies who don’t usually pay business rates.  This means that the Council only has a postal address for them, rather than email address or other details.

Council staff are now combing the internet and other records to find details for eligible companies so that they can contact them directly.

Small business owners can find out more about their eligibility for one of three government grants through the council’s dedicated webpage: https://www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/businessgrants2020-21 

“When the restrictions are lifted, we want our borough to continue to be a strong, dynamic place where businesses thrive,” Councillor Kington concluded.

“These government grants are a vital part of that process.  Our teams are standing by to process eligible applications promptly and get the grants to the businesses who need them the most.”

There are three different grants available:

  • Small Business Rate Relief.  To date, 348 out of 527 businesses have applied
  • Retail rate Relief (£10,000 grant).  To date 14 out of 82 businesses have applied
  • Retail Rate Relief (£25,000 grant).  To date, 128 out of 202 businesses have applied

These business grants are available to business rate payers who have a rateable value under £51,000 and are currently in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief or Retail Discount. The criteria for receiving these grants are very specific and businesses are requested to fully read the guidance before making an application.

All figures are correct at the time of issue and are subject to change.

Charities Working Together

Two local charities, Epsom RDA from Ewell and Park Lane RDA based in Teddington, have found a way of supporting each other during the Corona Virus/COVID 19 lockdown.

With only a small number of volunteers being allowed on site Epsom RDA were finding it a challenge to keep their grazing under control. At the same time Park Lane RDA were looking for extra grazing for some of their horses while they are not able to work during the lockdown. A few emails later and Epsom RDA have four new horsey residents in one of their fields.

Jo Lee, Epsom RDA Horse and Pony Trustee, explained: “This is a difficult time for all RDA Groups as our riding activities are suspended and our fundraising events cancelled. We are too aware of how expensive it is to feed horses and thought that another RDA might be able to make use of our extra grazing. We asked the RDA Regional office if they knew of another Group who we could support in this way. Park Lane RDA came back to us almost immediately. We are so pleased to have been able to help out.”

Natalie O’Rourke from Park Lane RDA said: “We are relieved to have been able to find somewhere for four of our horses to be able to enjoy some grazing and have a lovely field to run about in. It’s a tremendous weight of our minds. RDA is known for its’ community spirit and this is another example of two Groups stepping up to support each other at this difficult time.”

Epsom Riding for the Disabled Association (Epsom RDA) provides disabled people with the opportunity to ride to benefit their health and well-being.

It’s provides over 3,000 riding lessons for 350 disabled adults and children. Epsom RDA is entirely funded by donations and our own fundraising efforts.

For more information,please contact: Email: [email protected]

Three men behind bars following burglary spree across Surrey in 2018

Three men are behind bars following a burglary spree across Surrey in 2018, which included breaking into homes and business premises.

The three men were imprisoned to more than 25 years in total when they appeared at Guildford Crown Court on Tuesday (21 April).

The burglars targeted 12 homes in West Molesey, Shepperton, Epsom, Camberley, Walton-on-Thames, Cobham and Banstead, as well as Bracknell in Berkshire, breaking in and stealing items including jewellery and electronic goods. Sometimes the homes were empty, but in other cases victims were asleep upstairs.

Two of the men were also jailed for conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary at a petrol station in Langley Vale Road in Epsom in October 2018. They assaulted a member of staff several times, threatened him with a knife and sprayed him in the face with a fire extinguisher, before stealing cash, cigarettes and alcohol.

The two men also targeted a garage in Walton Road, East Molesey, and a petrol station in London Road, Windlesham, which was closed at the time.

22-year-old Frank Allan Fisher from Upper Halliford Road in Shepperton, was arrested and charged as part of the investigation on 23 January 2019.

Following a trial, Fisher was found guilty of conspiracy to commit dwelling burglaries, conspiracy to commit non-dwelling burglaries and conspiracy to commit an aggravated burglary at Guildford Crown Court on 27 September 2019.

Fisher had also pleaded guilty to conveying class B drugs into prison, supplying class B drugs, and conveying a prohibited article into prison at an earlier hearing.

He was sentenced to 12 years in total, including (to be served concurrently):

  • 12 years for conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary;
  • 8 years for conspiracy to commit dwelling burglaries;
  • 1 year for conspiracy to commit non-dwelling burglary;
  • 6, 7 and 8 months for conveying various articles into prison.
  • He was also ordered to pay a £500 surcharge, to be paid within three months of his release.

On 6 March 2020, 25-year-old Shane Warburton of Highdown in Sutton was found guilty of conspiracy to commit dwelling burglaries, conspiracy to commit non-dwelling burglaries and conspiracy to commit an aggravated burglary following a trial at Guildford Crown Court.

He was sentenced to 10.5 years in total, including (to be served concurrently):

  • 10.5 years for conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary (*reduced from 12 years by 18 months for time already served);
  • 8 years for conspiracy to commit dwelling burglaries;
  • 1 year conspiracy to commit non-dwelling burglary;
  • 6 and 6 months for handling stolen goods;
  • He was also ordered to pay a £500 surcharge, to be paid within three months of his release.

20-year-old Charles Pardoe of Park Road in Feltham pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit dwelling burglaries and was sentenced to a total of 26 months’ imprisonment, including 20 months for the burglary offences and a further six months for drug supply offences. Pardoe was also ordered to forfeit £1,500 cash which was seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

He was also sentenced to six months in prison for dangerous driving (to be served concurrently), and disqualified from driving for 37 months, with the requirement to take an enhanced re-test. He was also ordered to pay a £500 surcharge, to be paid to the Rape and Sexual Assault Centre in Guildford within three months of his release.

An application for a Criminal Behaviour Order for Pardoe was refused on the basis of his age and lack of previous offences.

Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Brett Harris said: “This court result reflects the hard work put into this investigation by both Surrey and Thames Valley officers. I’m pleased that we’ve secured such a positive result for the victims involved and would like to thank all those that contributed to this complex investigation.

“Burglary can have a devastating effect on people’s lives. The loss of sentimental items and intrusion into your home can have long lasting effects for victims. These sentences will allow the victims to move on with their lives in the knowledge that those responsible are behind bars.”

We’d like to take this opportunity to remind you of the following crime prevention advice:

  • Leave a light on when you leave your property to deter opportunistic burglars.
  • Shut and lock all windows and external doors when you are not using the room, at night, and when you leave your property
  • If your home has UPVC doors or windows with multi-point locks make sure they are locked with a key and that door handles have been lifted properly. Remove the key after the door or window is locked and leave it out of sight.
  • Don’t leave other keys visible from outside your home or near a letterbox.
  • Consider using timer switches for lights and other electrical appliances like radios while you are out.
  • Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property and that ladders and tools are properly locked away. Consider an alarm system that’s clearly visible and outside lighting to deter opportunistic thieves.
  • Always check who is knocking before you open your door and use door chains and spy holes to help you to identify who it is. Don’t feel pressured to open the door and call 101 to report anyone acting suspiciously.
  • Register your valuables using an accredited property database.
  • Take photographs and keep documents like receipts related to your property so you can prove ownership.
  • Mark your property with a forensic marking product such as www.selectadna.co.uk

For more burglary crime prevention advice please visit: https://www.surrey.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/residential-burglary/

 

 

EEBC supporting local residents

Councillor Dalton calling residents from the community hub from her home.

As the Government brought in measures to keep the most vulnerable safe from Covid-19, Epsom & Ewell Borough Council quickly set up a community hub providing help and support to those that need it most.

The hub is supporting the most vulnerable residents who are in self-isolation often with no family or friends to help, as well as those who are identified as being extremely vulnerable on the NHS ‘shielded’ list.  Support on offer includes delivering food and other essential items, collecting and delivering prescriptions, and offering a friendly link with the outside world.

Last week, the council received details of a further 500 residents on the shielded list.  This means that there are over 1,500 local residents who have been told to remain indoors for 12 weeks because of the Coronavirus – all of whom are being regularly contacted by the community hub team.

As well as council staff, councillors stepped forward to be trained on contacting and engaging our vulnerable residents, providing a reassuring contact for those that need it.  Councillor Hannah Dalton is one of the councillors who has volunteered and is making calls for the hub from home.

Councillor Dalton said “it’s amazing what a difference something as simple as a phone call can make. Whilst the individual conversations remain confidential, what I’m hearing from the people I am speaking to is that friends, neighbours and family are great at making sure that they have food supplies but what is missing is regular social contact.  I’m urging everyone who knows someone having to self-isolate to pick up the phone, and call them for a chat because it really will make a huge difference to that person.”

Residents are warned that there has been an increase in scammers around Covid-19.  If the council contact you from the community hub they will not ask for financial details.


If you are in need of assistance, please contact the Surrey-wide Community Helpline: 0300 200 1008 who will be able to direct you to the services that can help. 

Council delivers small business lifeline

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council has taken action to protect and support the local economy, releasing nearly £6 million in grant funding to local businesses in a fortnight.

In March the Chancellor announced a host of measures designed to support businesses facing financial hardship in the Coronavirus lockdown period. With very little notice the Government handed the task to manage and distribute the funds to local authorities.

The council’s Revenues Team have been working around the clock to ensure the money gets to businesses as soon as possible. Staff are working through many detailed applications a day, and the council has now released payment of grants to businesses totalling £5,935,000.

Councillor Eber Kington, chair of the Strategy & Resources Committee said “We know how important these grants are to local businesses, and that is why our teams have been working very hard to process applications.

“We are in uncharted waters dealing with a huge volume of applications in such a short space of time, but we are pleased we are getting the money out to the businesses that really need it.”

“It is important that when economic activity returns to something like normality our previously thriving and creative businesses are in a position to restart and return the borough to its status as a great place to work, to trade and to do business”.

Business Grants are available to business rate payers who have a rateable value under £51,000 and are currently in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief or Retail Discount.  The criteria for receiving these grants are very specific and businesses are requested to fully read the guidance before making an application.

Full details on the grants and the application process can be found on the business grants pages on the council’s website – https://www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/businessgrants2020-21

Fifty households a week using council shopping service

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council has re-invented their home shopping service to support self-isolating households across the borough, delivering household necessities to those who cannot get supplies in any other way. 


Until now, the service has been mainly used by older residents – but the Covid19 response has prompted the council to think about new ways to support borough residents using existing services.

This week 50 households used the shopping service, where a range of groceries and other essentials can be provided at cost plus a small delivery charge for those who cannot leave their properties or shop online and have no other support network.

The Council is working with the Epsom branch of Waitrose, who are prioritising the council requirement. The Ruxley Foundation, a charity based in Ewell, has donated fresh fruit and vegetables. Deliveries are made by council staff, who have been DBS checked and delivered to home addresses across the borough.

Councillor Liz Frost, Chair of the Health Liaison Panel and Covid-19 spokesperson, said “We know that for many this is a very worrying and difficult time. When responding to this pandemic, our aim is to ensure everyone gets the support they need, especially our most vulnerable residents”

If you are in need of assistance please contact the Surrey-wide Community Helpline: 0300 200 1008 who will be able to direct you to the services that can help. 

 

These are tough times but Well Done Epsom & Ewell Council to raising to the challange and supporting those who need it most.

For more links and advice regarding Covid-19 visit our Covid-19 Info page  CLICK HERE

Update from Chris Grayling MP

Dear constituent

I am writing to you with some further updates about the Coronavirus crisis.

Most importantly, for those who have found themselves missing out on the employment support scheme because they were not on the payroll on the 28th February, the Government has just announced that the date will be moved forward to the 19th March. This will help those who were between jobs on the 28th and means that new employers will be able to furlough them as well.

Here are the details which I hope will be helpful.

Click here for details of the Government Furlough scheme

Use of paper lanterns in honour of the NHS staff

You may have seen that there is a suggestion that people should buy and release sky lanterns in honour of the work being done by our NHS staff. Please do not do this. There are many ways to celebrate the extraordinary work being done by our local and national NHS teams but this is not one of them. These lanterns are a fire hazard, particularly in dry weather, and are more likely to add to pressure on the emergency services.

Some people have contacted me about how they can best make a donation to help those in difficulties locally. I am supporting the local Foodbank, which is doing a very good job helping people who are struggling. If you want to make a donation then please do so via this link. Epsom and Ewell Foodbank – Covid19 Crisis Appeal

Best wishes
Chris Grayling

For the full list of government guidelines and advice CLICK HERE

Contact Chris:

Email: [email protected]

Telephone Constituency Office: +44 (0)1372 271 036

S.C.C Children Services Survey

Surrey County Council are  looking to hear the views of Children & Young People living in Surrey and give them a chance to influence services that are available to them.

They would really appreciate your support in helping them to hear what the children and young people of Surrey want. 

All Children & Young People who complete each survey will be in with a chance of winning either £250 worth or vouchers or an IPad!

Closing date for submissions 17 May 2020

For children & young people of Primary school age:

https://www.surreysays.co.uk/csf/our-voice-matters-survey-primary/

For Young people aged 11-25:

https://www.surreysays.co.uk/csf/our-voice-matters-survey/

An Update from Age Concern Epsom & Ewell’s

A Message from Age Concern Epsom & Ewell’s Chief Officer – Dorah May Hancock

Dear Age Concern Epsom & Ewell Supporters,

I hope you are all well and are keeping safe. My name is Dorah May Hancock – Chief Officer at Age Concern Epsom & Ewell and I would like to take this opportunity to contact our supporters personally with an update regarding our services during the Coronavirus pandemic. We are all living through unprecedented times at present, with the Coronavirus affecting each and every one of us on varying levels.

Age Concern Epsom & Ewell’s mission is to provide a range of services for older people that improves their lives and enables them to be socially active and independent. The Coronavirus is a direct threat to our charity’s mission, and we will work as hard as we can to ensure that we bridge the gap between our older community members and the wider society, until this pandemic ends.

Age Concern Epsom & Ewell have been working in partnership with Epsom & Ewell Borough Council and Central Surrey Voluntary Action to provide immediate relief within our community. Our main purpose, in line with these new partnerships, is to provide essential, new, relevant services to the older members of our community. We are working very hard to try and assist our older and more vulnerable residents to stay as happy and healthy as they can during social isolation. We are able to do this by providing clients with emergency essential shopping, telephone befrienders to help alleviate feelings of loneliness, letters from local children and adults to lift spirits and providing essential prescription deliveries. Due to such high demand for our services within the local community, we took the decision three weeks ago to extend our Information & Advice Helpline opening times. This now means that our lines are open from 9am – 4pm Monday – Friday on 01372 732 456. Please do feel free to offer this number to anyone within the Epsom & Ewell Borough, who you feel may need our assistance, although we are closed over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

Last week we released some interim figures which illustrated how many clients we had assisted so far. However, the need for our services have dramatically increased this past week with these numbers spiking, and we expect this need to continue to increase in the coming weeks.
We are proud to say that to date we have called 3500 of our elderly clients by telephone to offer reassurance and to check on their welfare, and we have 1600 clients remaining to call. We have assisted 188 of our clients with emergency shopping and prescription deliveries, of which 98 have been direct referrals from community members, family members or volunteers. 70 of our face-to-face volunteer befrienders have now become telephone befrienders to help our clients to feel less alone. We have had over 50 people register their interest in volunteering with Age Concern Epsom & Ewell for the first time and so far have been able to enroll 34 new volunteers to assist us with our Coronavirus Relief Effort. We have been very grateful to receive 21 letters from local school children and adults from the local community for our elderly clients.

We would not have been able to assist our clients on such a scale without our dedicated and compassionate team of volunteers and staff, who have been going above and beyond to help us deliver a seamless service. A simple thank you does not feel sufficient.
Dawn Austwick, OBE, Chief Executive, National Lottery Community Fund said this week “I’ve been inspired by how charities and voluntary groups have stepped up to support people and communities through this crisis.” I can say she is not alone. I am blown away by the level of support and community spirit that we are receiving within the heart of Epsom & Ewell.

We have a message from Age Concern Epsom & Ewell’s Chair of Trustees – Doug Earle for our supporters, clients and our amazing community, “Once we get over this current attack on our society, it is fair to say that our way of life will never be the same again, and the changes will be quite dramatic. We will realise how little we need, how very much we actually have and the true value of human connection. So, in the meantime please keep safe and stay home as much as feasibly possible.“

I would finally like to wish you and your families a very Happy Easter – Please do enjoy your Bank Holiday weekend safely and in line with government guidelines.

Take Care and Stay Safe

Dorah May Hancock
Chief Officer