Councillor Update

31st Aug 2021

My activity update to 31 August 2021 as College Ward’s Residents Association Councillor by Cllr. Nigel Collin

August is traditionally the month when meetings do not take place because of the holiday period. This year, unusually, because of the work load, this was not the case.

The Twinning Committee held its first meeting on 4 August after several months due to postponements caused by Covid’s impact in both Chantilly and Epsom. Inevitably this meant that joint 25th anniversary celebrations would be scaled down and that a celebration might take place in 2022, subject to a relaxation of travel conditions.

As part of the celebrations it was agreed that the Prix de Chantilly horse race would be held at Epsom Race course on 31 August.

In addition, on 12 September a marketplace stall to promote twinning would participate as part of the Taste of the World promotion.

The Annual General Meeting would be held on 5 October at the Epsom Club, the Town Hall was unable to accommodate the numbers envisaged due to Covid prevention measures. The Chairman, Cllr Clive Woodbridge announced that, since he would become the mayor next year, he intended to step down at the AGM. Subject to ratification at the AGM, the Committee agreed that I should assume the role of Chairman.

The Committee considered possible future dates and activities and felt that it was not possible to make any firm plans until the Covid situation in both countries improved. The future strategy was also discussed and there was a possibility that two new committee members would be recruited at the AGM. Cllr Barry Nash was warmly welcomed as a member of the Committee.

In the afternoon of 9 August, together with 15 other Cllrs from Surrey, I participated in on online meeting with the deputy police and crime commissioner, Ellie Vesey-Thompson. At 26, she is the youngest person to hold this office in the country. The meeting’s purpose was to seek Cllr input into the Police and Crime Plan being prepared. Specific points made were as follows; a more visible police presence was needed, better focus on ASB reported crime, enhanced 101 phone system needed and improved feedback to residents reporting crime in general; all comments were well received and would be considered.

In the evening the RA group met to consider the draft of the Annual Plan. A one-minute silence was observed in memory of Cllr Robert Foote. Members raised several points which required clarification, and these would be passed on to Officers for amendment. The performance indicator matrix was felt to be both difficult to understand and incomplete. This required a lot more work to be carried out to make it easy to understand.

The inaugural meeting of the Local Plan cross party member working group met on 10 August by way of a zoom meeting. This is an informal group to provide comments on the emerging local plan to the LPP Committee. Papers considered were the Communications and Engagement Strategy, the Housing Challenges and a report on the standard method used to compute housing numbers. The group made several suggestions for further consideration and revision.

The second meeting of the Local Plan cross party member working group took place on 25 August. Members considered the housing options and noted that only land which had been offered for development could be included in the plan, thereby reducing the land available to build HMG’s requirement for 579 homes pa. Additionally, land had to be found to increase the capacity for both playing pitches and sports facilities. Finally land for the infrastructure requirements for, schools, doctors and dentists etc needed to be overlaid. Members asked officers to present a composite diagram at the next meeting to enable the overall available land to be evaluated.

With the relaxation of Covid restrictions, I am delighted to be able to confirm that my regular monthly surgery will commence on 11 September.

My surgery will be held, as previously, on the second Saturday of each month between 11am and noon in the Esquires coffee bar on the first floor of the Ebbisham Centre.

Dates until the end of the year are; 11 September, 9 October, 13 November and 11 December.

I look forward to meeting you on these dates.

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