Annual General Meeting Report

A copy of the full minutes of the meeting can be found here.

Our AGM on Monday evening was well attended and residents generated a lively discussion.

Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner Election Presentation

The evening started with a presentation by Alex Coley who is planning to stand as an independent in the May election for Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner (see note below). Alex was born and raised in Surrey, still lives locally and has been a local RA councillor since 2018.  He has a strong interest in, and experience of policing and is a believer of visible policing.

He does not believe things are working well now in Surrey and set out what his priorities would be.  In his opinion this is more because of a political choice to build up reserves than a lack of resourcing.  He also highlighted that Surrey Police was alone in being majority funded by council tax rather than government funding which was moving towards an American model of policing which would lead to a lack of consistency across England and was not an approach he wanted to see continuing to be rolled-out. 

Residents discussed with Alex their concerns about the safety of women and girls in the borough not being given the attention it needed; the street lighting policy; drug use; anti-social behaviour and the importance of restoring activities for young people in the borough.

Residents’ Issues

The formal AGM business was concluded with a minimum of fuss to allow most of the time to be spent on what was a lively and engaged discussion about local issues and concerns.  The two main areas of discussion were local planning and the state of our roads.

Local planning and in particular

  • The Guild Living Site at Epsom Hospital and the related application for a multi-storey car park and we were pleased to announce that James Blythe, the Managing Director of the Epsom & St Helier University Hospital NHS Trust has agreed to speak at our next Residents meeting about the plans for Epsom Hospital. The meeting is at the Epsom Sports Club at 7.30 pm on Thursday 17 October 2024.
  • Construction problems; planning enforcement issues and car parking problems at the Woodcote Grove residential development.
  • Closure and rebuilding of the Castle Road footbridge and the impact of the works on Epsom Common.
  • How the Borough had to start building houses again if our young people are going to be able to live locally and how it would take a complete change in approach.

State of local roads

The appalling condition of many local roads; the impact of potholes on residents, the number of accidents and how it is preventing them from cycling locally and the congestion on the A24 at the junction with Woodcote Green Road and suggestions made of how this could be addressed were discussed.

Ideas were also shared about how to address some of the challenges facing the council if they are to continue to meet the needs of residents in the borough including the most vulnerable and those impacted most by the cost-of-living crisis; the growing levels homelessness and the costs and difficulties sourcing temporary accommodation and the level of suicide across the Borough which has been higher than most other parts of Surrey.

Finally there was an interesting discussion about the work of the Environment Committee and the Climate Action Plan; the importance of cycling to local people and the plans for a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan in Epsom & Ewell. The tree planting strategy in the Borough and how the management of local allotments was being improved.

Find out more here about the Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner Election, 2 May 2024. A full list of persons nominated will be published on 8 April 2024.

Find out more about Alex Coley

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