Councillor Update

31st March 2021

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

The RA group met on 1 March to consider, among other matters, the request from SCC to provide council tax support for care leavers. It was agreed that officers would be asked to provide further information on the costs involved before any decision is taken. Reports from the Committee Chairs were well received, and it was reported that Merton had not gone ahead with the threatened judicial review of the new hospital at Sutton thereby giving the project the green light.

On 2 March as part of the Finance Local Government Association (LGA), together with two other Cllrs, I was interviewed by the review team who enquired into the work carried by the Financial Policy Panel.  Their report will be published on the EEBC web site when the review is completed.

The CWRA committee met on 3 March and finalized plans for the forthcoming Annual General Meeting and discussed preparations for the SCC Cllr elections in May. The dust and noise pollution emanating from the Chalk Pit was considered and it was agreed that residents should be made aware of the potentially harmful effect to health of the dust being generated by the present activity in breach of the current waste licence. It was noted that a retrospective planning application had been made to SCC to support the activity and it was agreed that residents would be encouraged to send objections this application.

On 16 March a special meeting of the Strategy and Resources Committee was held to consider the following three reports; local government reorganisation and collaboration in Surrey, the draft covid 19 recovery plan for Epsom and Ewell and the submission to the local government boundary commission. After due deliberation the report recommendations were all approved.

The CWRA AGM was held on 17 March by way of a zoom meeting. The meeting was well attended and the speeches by the Chairman and myself are available on our web site. Residents who were unable to attend may wish to refer to them.

On 18 March Tim Oliver, SCC’s Leader and Hannah Dalton a fellow Cllr and promoter of the RASSU campaign debated RASSU’s petition against Surrey’s unitary proposal in a webinar. Mr. Oliver asserted that no further work was being undertaken on this project. However, he did not confirm that the unitary proposal had been abandoned.

The Local Committee met on 22 March and considered the following matters. The chair referred to the proposal by the Mayor of London to introduce cross border vehicle charges to recover in part TFL’s deficit resulting from the pandemic. This could mean that a resident travelling to St Helier would have to pay a daily charge of £3.50p per journey. The Chair advised that Surrey had lodged a robust objection to this proposal. Ward matters discussed included a parking prohibition on both sides of College Road by the Chalk pit. In addition, the provision of signage to prevent HGV’s travelling down the bottom end of College Road was discussed. The Committee agreed to include both proposals on Surrey highways forward plan.

A Council Meeting was held on 25 March where the recommendation was to seek approval for the submission on Council size to be submitted to the Boundary Commission. The submission proposed a reduction of one member in five wards alongside the creation of a new ward in Horton with 2 members. The submission results in a total of 14 wards and 35 members. The reduction of just under 8% in total member numbers was felt to be in line with other Surrey Districts and Boroughs. College ward will still have 3 members under this proposal. Members approved the recommendation as set out in the submission.

The Strategy & Resources Committee met on 30 March and considered the following matters; the external audit update and audit plan for the current year, EEBC’s framework for diversity equity and inclusion, Vat on election expenses and the need for additional resources to finalise the local plan. After due deliberation all recommendations were passed.

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