Review of Epsom & Ewell Parliamentary constituency

The Boundary Commission for England is the independent organisation responsible for reviewing Parliamentary constituency boundaries in England 

The current review will conclude with their formal report and recommendations in June 2023, so they refer to it as the ‘2023 Review’. For a detailed description Click Link  Guide to the 2023 Review . Recent changes to the law make it very likely that their recommendations from this review will be implemented, so we encourage you to participate in the process by giving them your views through their website.

Consultation is currently open until Monday 2nd August 2021 – please make sure they receive your response by that date at the latest, or it will not be considered

Message from Epsom & Ewell MP Chris Grayling regarding the 2023 Review of Parliamentary constituencies

Dear constituent
 
I am writing to you about a different subject to normal.
 
Some of you may be aware that the Boundary Commission for England is going through one of its periodic reviews of the parliamentary boundaries for a General Election. The latest review would mean a significant change for our area.
 
Up to now the Epsom and Ewell Parliamentary Constituency has included the whole of the Borough of Epsom and Ewell, plus the Nork and Tattenhams area at the top of Reigate and Banstead borough and Ashtead, which is in the Mole Valley council area.
 
The latest proposals would remove Nork and Tattenhams from the constituency and replace that area with the whole of Leatherhead. This is being done because the existing constituency is too big and needs to be reduced in size and Leatherhead has a smaller population than Nork and Tattenhams. It is also, I suspect, designed to reduce the number of constituencies that cross more than two council areas. Another reason is that there are quite significant changes taking place at the other end of Surrey, with a new constituency being introduced on the border with Hampshire.
 
The change would move Nork and Tattenhams into the Reigate constituency which is currently represented by Crispin Blunt MP.
 
All of this is currently a proposal, and may be subject to further change. But I wanted to make sure that you had the opportunity to make any representations if you choose to do so.
 
Response to the consultation can be made at:
 
https://www.bcereviews.org.uk/
 
I hope this is helpful.
 
With best wishes
 
Chris

Mayor Opens Ewell Hall

The Mayor and Mayoress of Epsom and Ewell visited Ewell Hall in the heart of Ewell Village on Tuesday 11th May. The hall formerly known as St Mary’s Church Hall has had a major refurb during lockdown. Ewell hall, which is located near The Spring Tavern and opposite St Mary the Virgin Ewell Parish Church is a wonderful community event space open to hire by all.

A working party was started in March 2020 to review how the hall is used by the community.

Carmella, a volunteer for the working party stated ”it is wonderful to show the Mayor and Mayoress the potential this event space has. High ceilings and plenty of natural light make for a welcoming venue for a variety of occasions. Our opening hours are flexible and our hire rates are very competitive”. 

The Mayor commented “Ewell needs a hall that is available to everyone. The revamp has been very effective and given an extensive overhaul of the facilities. It is great for group meetings, lectures and talks. This is nothing but good for the village of Ewell“.

Over the past year a variety of enhancements have been made to the facilities including installation of Wi-Fi and baby changing facilities and new tables. More is planned with a buggy park and bicycle racks to ensure the hall continues to meet the needs of users.

Deputy Hall Manager Barb said “We had the opportunity during lockdown to consider the space and enhance the facilities. We are so excited for Ewell Hall to be used as a community asset again. We look forward to welcoming you soon.”

The hall has everything you need including a fully operating kitchen, serving area as well the basic needs for any event. I have often driven past the hall but this was my first visit and I was surprised by the size of the hall. So much so I am looking to hire the hall myself soon.

For more information please visit; https://ewellhall.uk/ and follow them on Facebook @ewellhallewell

Boundary Commission looking to reduce the number of Councillors

A new pattern of wards is being developed for Epsom & Ewell Borough Council

The Local Government Boundary Commission has decided that the number of councillors in Epsom & Ewell should be 35. This is a change from the current council which has 38.

The Commission wants to hear what residents and organisations think about their local area. A 10 week consultation on the proposals will run until 19th July 2021.

The Commission is the independent body that draws these boundaries. It is reviewing Epsom and Ewell Borough Council to make sure councillors represent about the same number of electors, and that ward arrangements help the council work effectively. It wants to be sure that its proposals reflect community ties and identities.

The Commission is interested in views on which communities should be part of the same ward. What facilities do people share, such as parks, leisure centres or schools and shopping areas? What issues do neighbouring communities face that they have in common, such as high numbers of visitors or heavy traffic? Have there been new housing or commercial developments that have changed the focus of communities? And are there roads, rivers, railways or other features that people believe form strong boundaries between neighbourhoods? 

The Commission will use local views to help it draw up proposals for new ward boundaries. There will be a further round of consultation once the Commission has drawn up those proposals.

Launching the consultation Professor Colin Mellors, Chair of the Commission, said:   “We want people in Epsom & Ewell to help us. We are starting to draw up new wards for Epsom & Ewell. We want our proposals for new electoral arrangements to reflect communities. We also want them to be easy to understand and convenient for local people.”

“Residents and local organisations can help us understand community ties and identities at this early stage of the process. It’s easy to get involved. Go to our website. Or you can e-mail or write to us.”

“Just tell us what you think and give us some details why you think that. It’s really simple, so do get involved.”

The Commission has a dedicated section on its website where people can give their views: https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/27356

People can also give their views by e-mail at [email protected], and by post:

The Review Officer (Epsom & Ewell)
LGBCE
PO Box 133
Blyth
NE24 9FE

An interactive map is available at https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/27356

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England is an independent body accountable to Parliament. It recommends fair electoral and boundary arrangements for local authorities in England. In doing so, it aims to:

  • Make sure that, within an authority, each councillor represents a similar number of electors
  • Create boundaries that are appropriate, and reflect community ties and identities
  • Deliver reviews informed by local needs, views and circumstances

Round the Borough Bike is back!

With a chance to win a Sprint Whisper Hybrid flat bar road bike

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council has announced that Round the Borough Bike, the popular non-competitive cycle event, is to return next month.

Rather than a one-day experience, this year sees a new dimension, with a month-long opportunity to undertake the event. This means the route can be done in one go as normal or in stages, over different weekends for example, and it can be cycled in either direction.

This year’s virtual Round the Borough Bike is a 20 mile long, beautiful circular route taking in the borough’s iconic green spaces.

Participants register on the council’s website and can then challenge themselves and set their own personal riding goal, taking part any time in May.

Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist who has taken part before or are new to cycling and ready to take on your first challenge on wheels, Virtual Round the Borough Bike is open to anyone. The route is mostly off-road and is clearly signposted.

There will be the chance for those taking part to win a brand new Sprint Whisper Hybrid flat bar road bike, kindly donated by Fudges Cycle Store, 21-23 Upper High Street, Epsom.

To win the bike, participants need to register at www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/RBHB and follow the instructions. One winner will be randomly selected from those who take part.

Support your local area – let’s shop!

The Prime Minister has confirmed that ‘non-essential; shops, hairdressers and gyms can reopen in England from Monday 12 April. Boris Johnson said that the next stage of England’s roadmap out of lockdown can go ahead as planned.

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council is urging local residents to shop local. 

A spokesperson said “It’s vital we support our own communities. By buying your meat from a local butcher, purchasing from one of the new stall holders at Epsom Market, opting to use the shops at Stoneleigh, ordering a takeaway from restaurant in Ewell and getting a haircut at one of the many shopping parades across the borough, you will provide much-needed support to your local community.

“Research form the campaign group Independent Retailer Month, suggests that for every £1 spent locally around 50p – 70p of that money recirculates back into the local economy. That’s why the Council’s ‘Shop Safe, Shop Local, Shop Epsom & Ewell’ campaign is encouraging residents to shop safely and buy locally wherever they can.

“Supporting local businesses means that they will stay in business through this difficult period.”

Staying local, as individuals can walk and cycle, also boosts exercise and is more environmentally sustainable.

Some retailers will be taking advantage of temporary relaxation in trading rules that will allow them to stay open until 10pm from Monday to Saturday in a bid to spread out shoppers and avoid congestion.

Pubs, restaurants and other hospitality can reopen from 12 April, but customers must sit outdoors and be served via table service. Indoor leisure centres – including swimming pools and gyms can also open their doors again.

Hosted activities at council venues, including at Bourne Hall, will be re-established in line with the government roadmap, increasing the activities available to residents and supporting neighbouring businesses.

Please help us continue to make the borough safe for the return of shoppers by:

Following social distancing guidelines:

    • Paying by contactless where possible
    • Following directional signage

    • Being considerate and give way

    • Wearing face coverings when social distancing isn’t possible.

It’s a kind of magic

Children’s ward appeal flies high with Theo the Magician

Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity is delighted to announce that award-winning Theo the Magician will be hosting a fun interactive online magic show to raise money for the dedicated children’s ward at Epsom Hospital.

Theo the Magician’s magical event will support Casey Ward’s appeal to fund a ‘magic carpet’ for the young patients on the ward. With a mobile projector, motion sensor and interactive mat and lots of preinstalled games and apps, the Magic Carpet provides children with a range of activities for physical, mental or sensory simulation, from being transported to a virtual seaside, to taking part in a dance off or completing a puzzle.

And even more importantly for these times, play can be touchless while the mat is easy to clean and sanitise between users.

Well know Sutton resident and member of the prestigious Magic Circle and Equity, Theo Theodoris, normally performs shows all over Surrey and South London, but is currently delighting young audiences using the magic of zoom to bring abracadabra into the room!

His show, exclusively for the Magic Carpet Appeal, will be at 10am on Saturday 10 April. Bookings will remain open until midday on Friday 9 April. The show will last around an hour and will contain tricks, illusions, and games to suit children of all ages.

For your invitation and more information, the Charity and Theo kindly request a minimum donation of £10 for every child who watches the show. Every penny will go towards the appeal.

This won’t be the first time Theo has chosen to support his local hospitals. Back in 2003 he raised a staggering £17,000 for St Helier’s neonatal unit who saved the life of his daughter Elena who was born 10 weeks early and weighed just 2lbs. Since then, he has continued to hold numerous fundraising events for the unit bringing the total, so far, up to £25,000! This includes his Magic Sunflower Competitions and during last year’s lockdown he also chose to donate some of the fundraising to the Charity’s Covid Appeal.

Theo said: “I’m delighted to be able to help entertain the kids with my fun interactive magic show while at the same time helping Casey Ward get this exciting piece of equipment, powered by digital magic! Unfortunately, I know all too well the anguish of having a child who is very poorly and needs hospital care. But I also know that the children’s team at Epsom always know what’s best for their young patients and are fully committed to them. I have no doubt that this magic carpet will make a real difference to the kids on Casey Ward.”

To book your ticket for Theo’s magic show, please make your donation at www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/Casey-Carpet (you can do this as a guest).  Then email [email protected] with your contact details and the number of children participating, and their ages. Alternatively, you can donate over the phone by calling the Charity on 01372 735 262.

The Charity always welcomes support from local people and businesses – if you would like to make a donation to this or any other project, please contact the team by email at [email protected] or call 01372 735 262.

For more information about Theo the Magician please visit: www.magictheo.com

Local projects awarded funding

Borough Councillors have chosen to allocate over £216,000 of Community Infrastructure Levy funds on a selection of projects within Epsom and Ewell.

Each year, borough councillors and local community groups are able to bid for funds from the Community Infrastructure Levy for local projects, with winning bids selected by a committee of councillors.

The projects receiving funds this year are:

• 1st Ewell Court Scout Group for storage facilities
• Girl Guiding Epsom to fund a trench for utilities to service campsite lodge
• Outdoor gym for Court Recreation Ground
• CCTV for Alexandra Recreation Ground
• Rifle Butts Alley footpath resurfacing
• New gates at Hook Road Arena to address anti-social behaviour
• New drinking water fountains in six parks as part of a push against single use plastics
• A replacement playground for London Road Recreation Ground
• Refurbishment of the Longmead MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area) with specific emphasis on deterring antisocial behaviour.

Councillor Eber Kington, Chairman of the Strategy & Resources Committee, said “The Community Infrastructure Levy provides us with an opportunity to use contributions from developers for the benefit of our residents and I am pleased that, once again, we have been able to support a range of bids from community groups providing new infrastructure in locations across the borough.

“Many of the projects will support outdoor leisure activities, particularly for young people, at a time when being outside and active is encouraged. Keeping people safe is also a theme of the bids, and I am pleased that we have been able to support those projects too.”

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 to improve existing facilities. Under legislation, 80% of total CIL collected has to 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 as agreed with the local community.

Kissing Gate - Hook Road Arena

Latest news from Chris Grayling MP

Dear constituent

I am writing to you with a further update on the Coronavirus crisis. I also wanted to tell you about what I am planning to do with these emails going forward.

Vaccinations

Firstly, many of you who are eligible for vaccinations will be aware that you have not been able to book second jabs at the racecourse after mid-May. This is because the NHS only has access to the course up to that time. After that it will hopefully revert to normal for the Derby meeting in early June and the resumption of regular events if the rules are lifted in the middle of the month.

There have been two different vaccination centres operating side by side at the racecourse. Vaccinations have been organised both by the NHS on a regional basis and also by local GP practices on behalf of their patients. This has enabled the centres to get through lists more quickly, and in particular has allowed the GPs to concentrate on some of the more vulnerable groups.

There are four local groups of practices working together on a variety of issues including vaccination. Three have been operating together from the racecourse for the vaccinations, and the fourth, the Integrated Care Partnership, has been operating from Fitznells in Ewell.

After May the regional operation at the racecourse will move to Sandown Park in Esher, and you should soon be able to book second appointments there. The three practice groups have not yet finalised which local centres they will be using, but I would expect them to have local premises available.

If you received your first appointment after a message from your GP practice, the advice is to wait, and they will contact you to fix a second appointment locally in due course. If you went through the national website to book the first time, then the best advice is to book the closest available centre for the second and then rebook at Sandown if you need somewhere closer once appointments are available there online in the coming days.

Infection rates in Surrey

The levels of infection in our area have continued to fall sharply, which is good news, as has the number of patients in Epsom Hospital which is now a fraction of the peak level. There may be an increase in infection levels again now the schools have gone back, but my impression is that our local schools are doing a very good job of managing testing to keep any spread of infection under control. I am grateful to all local heads, teachers and school staff for what they are doing. I visited one local secondary this week and the arrangements were very impressive.
 
The latest information about infection rates in Surrey is here

Lockdown rules

A few people have asked me specific questions about what the rules are likely to be after April 12th and the other dates that the Government has set out for the easing of restrictions. I do not yet have any firm details beyond the outline in my last email bulletin. These are all provisional, and I expect full details from the Government about a week before each date. I will keep you updated as soon as I can, and will do my best to give you sensible steers for difficult questions. But there will not be definitive answers until the full guidance is published ahead of each date, pandemic progress permitting.

The Chalk Pit site

There is one other item of current local news I wanted to mention. Many of you will be aware of the controversy around the expanded use of the recycling facilities in the Chalk Pit in Epsom. This is now being used for a level of activity that is far beyond what has previously been permitted and the operators are applying for retrospective planning consent.
 
In the meantime the operation has been causing considerable nuisance to local residents. I am pushing the Environment Agency and the County Council to step up their enforcement action and have lodged a formal objection to the planning application. I am in regular contact with local residents, but if you are one of those affected please feel free to get in touch.

With best wishes 

Chris Grayling

New Local Testing Site Opened In Epsom

A new walk-through coronavirus testing facility has opened for those with symptoms to book appointments at the Upper High Street Car Park (KT17 4DU) in Epsom, as part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to continue to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for local communities.

Testing at this site is only available for those with coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. Anyone with one or more of these symptoms should book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. The government is committed to continue expanding the capacity of the network of UK test sites and laboratories to make it even easier to get tested and reduce the time it takes to receive test results.

The new site is situated so it is easily accessible without a car. Those being tested will be required to follow public health measures, including social distancing, not travelling by taxi or public transport, practicing good personal hygiene and wearing a face covering throughout, including while travelling to and from the testing centre. 

Anyone attending an appointment at a walk-through test site will be provided with guidance on getting to and from the test site safely, with additional support for vulnerable groups and people with disabilities.

Testing at the new site started on Tuesday, 16th February, with appointments made available each day.

The site is part of the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history which has the capacity to process more than 700,000 tests a day and includes more than 800 sites across the UK, including 88 drive-through sites, 493 walk-through sites, six Lighthouse laboratories, home testing and satellite kits, and a large number of mobile units.

Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them trace their contacts. This will help to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission.

Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, asking them to stay at home for ten days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus. They will be advised to also book a test if they develop symptoms.

Health Minister, Lord Bethell, said: To respond to the coronavirus, we have built a major testing and tracing system from scratch. We are constantly working to expand and improve it with new technologies and innovations so everyone with symptoms can get a test.

“New walk-in sites like this one makes it even easier to get a test no matter where you live. If you have symptoms of coronavirus, I urge you to book a test today and follow the advice of NHS Test and Trace if you are contacted to protect others and stop the spread of the virus.”

Baroness Dido Harding, Interim Executive Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, said: “Walk-through sites offer communities better access to coronavirus testing, so everyone with symptoms can get a test. This new site is part of our ongoing work to expand our testing network across the UK which now has the capacity to process more than 700,000 tests a day. We will continue to expand capacity to improve test turnaround times and push forward testing innovations to make sure anyone who needs a test can get one.

 “Please book a test if you have coronavirus symptoms: a new continuous cough, a high temperature and a loss or change in sense of smell or taste, and follow the advice of NHS Test and Trace if you are contacted.”

 The testing centre is being operated in partnership with Serco and will offer self-administered tests.

 Jonathan Brasher, Serco’s Director for Testing Centres, said: “We are pleased to be supporting the Government, in their work to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, as one of the providers managing testing centres, including this new local test centre in Epsom.

“I would like to thank all my colleagues within Serco who work extremely quickly and professionally to set up these testing centres, alongside the other organisations involved. I know that they are proud to be playing their part to help deliver this vital programme.”

Asymptomatic Coronavirus Test Centre

Normally at this time of year Bourne Hall is getting ready to host Herald of Spring with What’s On In Epsom Spring Craft Fair but like most events since March 2020 this will not be taking place this year. Today in the fight against Covid a new Asymptomatic Coronavirus test centre has opened at Bourne Hall for those essential workers who are not tested in the workplace and show no signs of any symptoms. I went along to get tested and to show you what to expect.

To get a test you must book via Surrey County Council website CLICK HERE The site also has information on who can have the test.

The first thing to note is that the Car Park at Bourne Hall is still pay and display so you will need to allow for this on your arrival. If you have Ring Go on your phone you can pay via the app. 

Entrance to the test centre is to the left of the main entrance, the main entrance is for click and collect from the library,  At the entrance to the site you are met and shown to the Registration area. 

Here you will need to show proof of your address, tests are for residents of Surrey, and your test booking. Staff are on hand to sign you in. Once completed you will be shown to one of the 10 bays for your test.

Here you will be explained the test procedure and you start by blowing your nose. Once you are happy to start you will be handed a swab. Holding the swab in your hand, you open your mouth wide and gently rub the swab’s fabric tip over both tonsils at the back of the throat for 10 seconds, I must say I don’t like this bit at all, Once completed you put the same end of the swab gently into one of your nostril until you feel some resistance. Rotate the swab for 10 to 15 seconds and slowly remove it. 

You then place the swab in the tube provided and break off the tip of the swab and hand back to the member of staff. The test is now complete and you are shown the way out at the other end of the hall turning left down the corridor and back out into the car park near the Way Out gate of Bourne Hall.

I did noticed on my way out that the bays are cleaned thoroughly after each person has been tested and from the time you enter the building till the time you leave you are required to wear a face mask.

I was in and out in no time at all with the result texted to my phone after 30 mins. I must say the staff are very helpful, friendly and understanding.

As well as Bourne Hall you can also have your test done at Nima Pharmacy in Stoneleigh

For More Information or To Book A Test CLICK HERE

A big thank you to Ben and the team at Bourne Hall and to  Surrey County Council for allowing us to visit and take photos.

Oh and by the way I tested negative…..