Councillor Update

31st Dec 2020

My activity update to 31 December as College Wards’ Residents Association Councillor by Cllr. Nigel Collin

On 1 December, the Financial Policy Panel met to consider the following matters; the interim treasury management report, the S106 and CIL update report and the capital programme for 2021/22. Members noted that, as a result of the pandemic, funds were now held in money market deposits rather than fixed term deposits resulting in lower interest rates, resulting in an anticipated shortfall in interest for 202/21. The reports were all duly noted as received.

The CWRA committee met on 2   December and the committee discussed arrangements for May’s County Council election. The December newsletter, having been agreed, was in print and delivery arrangements were finalized. The committee discussed the possibility of implementing a school street pilot scheme and agreed that this should be followed up for the Council’s consideration in due course

On 7 December the Local Committee met. Prior to the formal meeting, members had a presentation by the Surrey Fire Brigade to outline recent service improvements. Concern was expressed that the closure of the station in Banstead would leave Epsom with only one engine to attend a fire in a large area. Members were advised that Epsom was the best protected district in the county and that the risk assessments had shown that a second engine, if required, would meet the 15 minute standard.

The formal meeting considered the parking review (phase 13), the highways update report and the decision tracker. Various additions and amendments were made to the reports. The committee noted that the highways budget funding from SCC was to be reduced from £254k in the current year to £193k for 2021/22. Accordingly, a member tabled a motion asking for the cut in funding to be restored. The motion was passed.

The RA group also met on 7 December to consider update reports from the Committee Chairmen. The KPMG commissioned report in support of a non-unitary authority in Surrey has been finalized and would be considered next week. RASSU had lodged a complaint about SCC’s marketing of the unitary proposal and a reply was awaited from the Market Research Society. The Council’s injunction in relation to travellers is inoperative and the outcome of the appeal against the decision is awaited in January.

On 8 December a virtual full Council meeting was held to receive the Chairmen’s statements and the annual report of the Audit, Crime and Disorder and Scrutiny Committee. Councillors also approved the calendar of meetings for 2021-2022.

On 10 Dec I spoke at the planning meeting in support of the objection in respect of the planning application at 15 Beech Road. The objection related to the failure to maintain the 1 metre distance of the proposed extension from the boundary of the adjoining property. This is a requirement of EEBC’s Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG). Sadly, the appeal was lost on the grounds that the recently enacted  permitted development regulations override SPG.

On 15 December Cllrs attended a virtual briefing meeting hosted by EEBC’s Legal Officer. The subject was member-officer protocol and various scenarios were discussed with reference to the constitution.

My last meeting of the year took place on 22 December, this was a Strategy and Resources meeting. Matters considered included granting an extra day’s leave for the staff in recognition of their dedication in dealing with Covid 19, discretionary schemes for business grants, funding for planning appeals and parking charges for community vaccination at Bourne Hall. All reports were approved.

Sadly, the January opening of the Epsom Repair Café has had to be postponed indefinitely because of the Tier 4 Covid restrictions in place. The Trustees have agreed that the Café will not open until the alert level has reverted to Tier 2 or hopefully below.

My case load this month has mainly included planning matters.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy and safe New Year 2021

Please address any urgent issues via email to info@collegeward.org