Since being elected in May this year activities have been busy. I elected to join a number of committees and external bodies for which a brief summary of each is outlined below:
A very technical committee and time consuming and I am loving it. The policy and framework that the borough has to review applications against is extensive and complex. Since May there have been a number of planning committee meetings and site visits. The first planning meeting reached its guillotine timing of 11pm when we had to finish the point being examined and reconvene a few days later to complete the agenda of applications. A long day.
One meeting held since May and a broad agenda of topics affecting resident’s borough wide. Key items from my point are to continue tree planting, maintain our green space, ensure air quality is maintained and improved.
A climate change working group is being setup and I have opted to join this group. Currently it is oversubscribed and it is yet to be seen if I will make the membership.
Audit, Crime and Scrutiny:
Our first meeting was an introduction and training session combined with our first agenda. More study is required to fully appreciate this powerful committee.
Epsom Downs Conservators:
Liz, Bernice and I are on this committee and Liz has covered off nicely what’s been progressed to date in her report.
Recently I attended the Trainers open day with Bernice and Liz. We visited all but two of the open yards. Ideas are being captured to help improve next year’s event, we may even get a conservators team for the space hopper race!
Attending many of the Epsom Downs race meetings has been key for me as I’m a keen photographer of racing horses for over two years now. I actively support the trainers, jockeys, exercise riders and owners with pictures at the races and on the training gallops. I have attended other race courses, such as, Lingfield to further support Epsom trainers who have been racing there recently.
Epsom Downs Consultative Committee:
No meeting as yet.
Friends of Epsom & Ewell Parks (FEEP):
A joint meeting of all Friends of Epsom parks at this meeting held at the town hall. I was unable to attend the last meeting due to my work commitments.
My activities with Friends of Rosebery Park continues and I organised the Epsom & Ewell Silver band to play in the park again this year. A good turnout was experienced and the weather held.
More recently the Epsom Food Festival was hosted in the park which was a great success.
There is a big push to make better use of our park facilities through the borough and I’m working with officers on progressing, supporting and communicating these activities.
I am very pleased to say that Rosebery Park was awarded the Green Flag award again this year. I met with Green Flag judges and provided a tour of the park and updates of works completed or in flight. They were very impressed with the engagement from the Friends group and the collaboration with Epsom & Ewell Borough Council.
Friends of Rosebery Park has its AGM on 24th September 2019.
Armed Forces champion:
A number of meetings held with the Armed Forces Covenant, an information day event hosted by the 11th Battalion, attendance and support of the Royal British Legion, and attendance and support of the breakfast club on Sunday mornings at the Assembly rooms Weatherspoon’s in Epsom.
Further study and outreach with local organisations is required to support this very worthwhile cause.
A number of councillors along with the Mayor have already volunteered to poppy collections coming up in October/November.
Met with the cycling action group who had a long meeting with Surrey County Council to prioritise cycle enablement options throughout the borough.
Due to attend the follow on regular meetings with this group.
A number of questions and queries from local residents on a range of topics from parking to road safety, trees, pond works, litter, grass verges.
I have submitted a number of questions to the upcoming local committee on Monday 16th September, covering road safety, pedestrian access and safety and parking restrictions.
A considerable amount of time has been spent with local residents working through actions from a previous local committee.
Local Government Association:
The LGA has an education programme called the Next Generation Programme 2019-20 and I have been fortunate to be able to secure a place on this prestigious programme.
“The Next Generation Programme offers ambitious and talented councillors an unparalleled political development opportunity – uniquely developed within party political traditions and with party political experts. The Programme equips emerging political leaders with the skills and confidence to be bold champions of local government and progress in their political careers.”
I continue to attend and support the Epsom & Ewell Tree Advisory Board (EETAB) in their activities and goals. I see this group as ever more hugely important in the boroughs climate change.