We hope you are keeping safe and well.
This is another message to let you know what is happening in the Borough Council at present, particularly in respect of the Covid-19 situation. However trying put together an update at the moment is difficult as things are still changing so frequently and sometimes at short notice. To check for the latest position and other guidance, please see the website, www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk
Cemetery – the cemetery is now open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 3pm for those who wish to visit the grave of a friend or family member. During the week it remains closed to the public except for funerals and internments, when there are strict controls on numbers of mourners in place.
Exercise – Please stay close to home for your daily exercise. The car parks on the Downs have had to remain closed because there were so many visitors – very many from outside the area – and it was not possible for people to observe social distancing, and many did not understand that the area is a racehorse training ground. If you do live close to the Downs and are going there to exercise, please do so in the afternoon.
Shielded and very vulnerable – There have been very many more people added to the Borough Council’s list of people who fall into the category of needing shielding or who are very vulnerable. EEBC has set up a Community Hub and all those on these lists are being contacted to check that they are able to get vital supplies of food and medicines, and to check that they do have some social contact. If you, or someone you know, are self-isolating or very vulnerable and not able to get food or medicines delivered, or need other support, please contact the Surrey County Council’s Community Helpline number: 0300 200 1008 and they will refer you to the appropriate Hub. Age Concern is working with us to provide practical help and to they have a number of volunteer befrienders who keep in phone contact with those who are lonely.
Planning – The Government has been quite clear that the planning process should be interrupted as little as possible during the pandemic so that much needed housing can be approved and developed. Changes in regulations have enables Planning Committees to meet remotely, and Epsom & Ewell will be holding remote Planning Committee meetings from May.
When a planning application is submitted to the Council, assuming all the paperwork is in order, the Council has to proceed with the application process as in the National Planning Policy Framework.
I know that at this time it may be more difficult to keep track on applications, but we do alert you to anything major via the W(E)RS website. As an update on the Langley Bottom Farm application (20/00475/FUL), the consultation period has been extended, so if you do want to make a comment it is not too late.
Garden waste – Not only is the garden waste collection (brown bins) up and running again, but the Council is also taking new subscriptions. If you do not currently use this service and would like to, please see https://www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/residents/recycling-and-waste/join-our-garden-waste-recycling-service
Grass Verges – Many of the Council’s personnel and services have been redirected to deal with the Covid 19 crisis. This means that many of the frontline staff are now looking after the most vulnerable residents. It appears that one of the services that is going to be affected is the grass cutting of the highway verges. The Borough Council undertakes this on behalf of Surrey County Council. Surrey only pays for 4 cuts a year and these will be undertaken but it is highly unlikely that any extra grass cutting that the Borough normally provides will take place for some considerable time.
If you have a grass verge outside your property and you wish to cut it, please feel free to do so. This has been cleared with the relevant authorities. We appreciate that your thoughts may be – “ well what do I pay my council tax for, it not my responsibility” but if you are willing and able to cut it, this will enhance the area.
You could put the grass cuttings in the brown bin or compost them at home. Alternatively you can leave the clippings on the verge.