Update to 31st Aug

31st August 2019

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

August is usually a quiet month since the Council is in recess but it did not feel as though this was the case for me.

The ward tour with Kathryn Beldon, EEBC’s chief executive, on 1 August was a great success. I was accompanied by CWRA’s Chair and Secretary and the highlight was a tour of Epsom College. We were able to show Kathryn our ward’s many diverse aspects.

On 5 August, the RA group met to discuss the Local Plan which needs to be updated. EEBC is facing significant challenges in relation to the additional housing mandated by HMG.

On 12 August, Councilor Kington and I visited the long disused Stones Road allotment site part of which is alongside a site of special scientific interest since it is home to the largest colony of great crested newts in the South East of England. The Council recently passed a motion requesting the Secretary of State to deregister the allotment categorization and it is planned to ultimately convert the site to a nature reserve

The future of Epsom General Hospital (EGH) is reaching a critical juncture with the pre-consultation plan recently submitted to NHS England. This has ranked a new build in Sutton as the 1st preference, St Helier as the second and EGH is in 3rd place. I cannot accept this and feel that pressure must be brought to bear to ensure that EGH’s excellent services are retained to prevent it from becoming a walk in District Hospital dealing with day cases only. No funding has been secured for the new build in Sutton and it looks highly unlikely that this will be provided. Our MP and I have corresponded on this and he has advised that funding for a new build will not be forthcoming. Without funding, no consultation will take place with the result that St Helier, having migrated the acute services away from EGH, EGH’s current services will be significantly reduced. As matters stand, St Helier will be the main hospital for the following acute services namely; Accident &Emergency, Maternity, Paediatrics, Intensive Care, Cancer Care and Coronary Care. I had a very constructive meeting with the Chairs of our Health and Wellbeing and Health Liaison Panel on 15 August to consider the RA’s response to this situation. After further clarification of the proposals with the Trust’s Chief Executive, it is proposed to hold a Public Meeting.

In the interim, I would urge you to write or email Chris Grayling our MP so that he is made aware of your views.

On 20 August I met Lisa Davis, CEO of Epsom’s Citizen’s Advice Center and learnt about the excellent work carried out for the community.

In the afternoon, the CIL panel met. This panel allocates the community infrastructure levy funds, paid to the Council by developers. Since there were bids some 1.8 times greater than the funds available, all of which had merit, selecting the winning bids was not an easy task.

One development I would like to mention is that, as a result of a residents’ enquiry, the Chief Financial Officer has agreed to provide more transparency to the Budget Book in relation to pay. Currently this includes the cost of agency, employer’s NI, pension contributions casual staff and overtime costs significantly distorting the average pay for established posts. These elements will now be separately disclosed in the future. The average pay per full time EEBC equivalent employee is £29,632 compared with the Office of National Statistics provisional figure of £36,611.

A date has now been set for the long delayed South Hatch stables planning application to be heard. This is now scheduled to take place at 7.30pm on 17 September and is the only application to be considered on that day.

Finally, I am abroad from 22 August until 2 September, please address any urgent issues via email to info@collegeward.org, thank you.