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.

Note
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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Langley Bottom Farm Residential Development

Demolition of the farm buildings is now advanced. The developers are proceeding on the basis of the original permitted appeal scheme. We’ll be keeping a close eye on developments and will update further as soon as we have any details on timeframes etc.

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National Day of Reflection – 3 March 2024

Yesterday our Councillors laid ribbon wreaths on the Covid Memorial Benches installed across the Borough to commemorate all those who lost their lives in the pandemic.

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ONLY A WEEK TO GO – MAKE SURE IT IS IN YOUR DIARY – THERE IS A LOT GOING ON IN EPSOM ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – 11 MARCH 2024

Please come along and offer your support for what we do.

Haywain Brewers Fayre on Dorking Road Epsom on 11 March 2024 at 7.30pm. It is an important opportunity for you to hear about what is going on in Woodcote and Langley Vale and to contribute your thoughts on how we can help to improve where we live.

Our speaker will be Alex Coley, who will be running as an independent for the role of Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner in the May elections.

The agenda and papers are now available here


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Review of Public Rights of Way

A public right of way is a path that anyone, by law has the right to use.

Surrey County Council is responsible for around 2164 miles of public rights of ways. These paths are in both the countryside and urban areas. They are important for enjoying and exploring, for travelling to work or school and for health and wellbeing.

Work has now begun to update Surrey County Council’s Rights of Way Improvement Plan. The current plan dates back to 2014. These plans set out how the public rights of way network can meet everyone’s needs now and in the future.  

A public online survey has been set up and Surrey County Council hope as many members of the public will complete it as possible. 

You can find the survey is at  https://www.surreysays.co.uk/environment-and-infrastructure/rowip-public and closes at midnight on 10 March 2024.


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Epsom Hospital Multi Storey Car Park Development – to be delayed and reviewed

WERS is pleased to have received a helpful car park update from Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust. They have also confirmed that trust Managing Director, James Blyth, has agreed to speak at our Autumn Open Meeting – details to follow shortly.

We understand that plans for the multi-storey car park are not going to progress on the short term.

Instead, the hospital is looking at potential upgrades and maintenance to the current Epsom Hospital car park while they review different design options and potential improvements before a formal design phase later in 2024.

They are re-looking in particular at:

Legal requirements including the need for wider bays to make access earlier for blue-badge parkers

Exploring ways to make car parking as sustainable and future-proof as possible including adding additional electronic vehicle bays and ways to support staff travel schemes

Further traffic modelling to confirm the projected parking needs once the new Specialist Emergency Care Hospital is opened in Sutton by 2030.

More to follow shortly on improvements over the past year, the findings of a new condition survey currently underway and plans for a new five-year estates strategy.


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Footpath Closure – End of Castle Road – Update

A temporary closure order has now been made by Surrey County Council for a period of 5 months from 19 February. The remedial works to the footbridge will be undertaken between 8am and 5pm. It is aimed to complete the works as soon as possible within that timeframe.

Meanwhile the existing diversion arrangements will remain in place as shown below along the Dorking Road and Wells Road.


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AGM Newsletter

Our latest newsletter is out now and is currently being dropped through doors by our road reps.

We hope you find it interesting and informative. It includes our annual review and updates on latest planning matters affecting the local environment that we all value so much.

We are continuing to raise construction problems and planning enforcement issues on this important site in the Chalk Lane Conservation
Area.


We are continuing to raise concerns about what is happening with the Guild Living site at Epsom Hospital and are posting updates on planned works as we receive them


We are dependent on your active support to continue this work in representing your views on local issues

Please renew your annual subscription – it will only take a few seconds – and attend our AGM on 11 March if you are able to do so. We look forward to seeing you there.

Alternatively please email us or join our e-mail list to keep up to date with the work we are doing on your behalf.


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Epsom Hospital Demolition Works – Latest Update

The demolition works are due to be completed in July. Demolition of the walls to Woodcote Lodge (the former nurses’ quarters) is due to start on 12 February. To avoid major dust and noise problems we understand that there is not to be any crushing of masonry on site.

We expect to be able to post a more detailed update on the expected works activity programme after the next site meeting on 26 February 2024.


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How much would you be willing to pay towards policing in Surrey

This is an important opportunity to influence the outcome. It only takes 5 minutes to complete the four questions in the survey which is open until 30 January 2024.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey sets out the vision of the new Chief Constable for Surrey Police for the next two years. She believes the plan will significantly boost the service provided but requires an annual increase of between £10 and £13 for an average property. An increase of less than £10 a year by an average property would include cuts in staff numbers.


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