My activity update to 30 November as College Wards’ Residents Association Councillor by Cllr. Nigel Collin
November has been affected by December’s election resulting in several meetings being deferred because of the rules surrounding purdah. The strangest outcome was cancellation of the 9 December local committee meeting; subsequently reinstated after complaints from your Councillors.
My inbox was inundated for requests to ban fireworks, except for public displays and there is very little any Council can do in this regard. The law on fireworks is such that Fireworks can be used in the UK any time from 7am to 11pm, except on Bonfire night when this extends to midnight. On New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year this extends to 1am the following morning.
The monthly RA group meeting was held on 4 November and The RA’s statement of the 6 principles on the new local plan and housing numbers was agreed. These principles were adopted by the Licensing and Planning Policy Committee on 14 November which I attended, and the decision was reported in the Epsom Comet on 21 November.
The planning committee met on 7 November and refused one application in Ewell in relation to unsympathetic design for a conservation area and lack of parking spaces as required by the council’s parking policy.
I held my surgery at the Ebbisham Centre on 9 November and met with 2 residents.
On 18 November a member’s briefing was held where Inspector Joe Easterbrook , the Borough’s Police Commander, updated members on the crime position nationally and locally.
Serious Organised Crime costs £37bn annually with 5,500 individuals in gangs, approximately 36,000 people. Drug dealing across county lines is a major problem and is occurring in Epsom as is people trafficking. Epsom is still relatively safe, but residents are requested to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to the police.
On 19 November, I attended the Standards Committee as a member
of the Planning
Committee in relation to the revisions to the planning code of practice; some amendments to the draft were approved.
On 21 November the Audit, Crime and Scrutiny meeting was held. In the afternoon of 18th November, David Gulland (a Liberal Democrat College Ward Councilor and fellow committee member) and I had a pre-meeting discussion with the principal officer to clarify certain agenda points. My specific issues related to air pollution monitoring and outstanding debtors. The internal auditors were present at the meeting and provided assurance on several matters of interest to the committee.
On 25 November I attended a pre planning meeting for redevelopment of the ambulance and police station site proposed by McCarthy and Stone who, as residents may be aware, had held presentations in the Borough.
On 26 November, the Strategy and Resources Committee met and a representative from the auditors, Grant Thornton, was present to answer members’ questions. The Committee noted that the Council had received an unqualified audit report for another year and recorded its appreciation of the work done by the Finance team.
In conclusion, I should like to wish you all a very happy and joyful festive season.