I am writing to you with one of my regular updates about local issues.
Firstly the latest on the Chalk Pit in Epsom.
Chalk Pit Epsom
I am waiting for news as to whether the controversial retrospective planning application will be called in by the Government. This does not normally happen if a local authority has given permission for a development, but I am hoping that this case will be different. If it is called in, there will be a proper enquiry into the situation.
In the meantime, the business which has been causing most of the problems has been sold and is moving its operation off the site. Unfortunately another firm has been using the site as well, and is now applying to take over the permit for the site. As this firm were ordered to leave a previous site in Morden because of noise and dust pollution, I am strongly opposing the granting of a licence to them. After representations from myself and local residents, the Environment Agency has agreed to treat the application as a matter of high public interest which means it will be subject to a much more detailed investigation and consultation than would normally be the case.
In addition I met the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency before Easter to discuss the problems at the Chalk Pit and I am hopeful that the Agency will now be more robust in its approach to dealing with the noise and dust nuisance there. I know that the high level of nuisance has been continuing and will do all I can to hold them to the promises that they are now making.
Local Train Services
I have also met the Chief Executives of our two local rail companies to protest about the poor levels of service at the moment. On the Southern Route I have been promised additional trains from Epsom to London Bridge, but I am pushing for them to go south of Epsom as well as the service from Ashtead and further down in Mole Valley is not good enough at the moment.
With SWR I am in particular pushing for additional trains from Ewell West, Stoneleigh and Worcester Park in the peak as crowding levels are clearly now bad again. In particular the service after 8am is much too thin. I will update you when I get a response from them.
I have been asked by some local residents what is happening about the potential new hospital at Sutton. This has clearly been delayed by the pandemic, but I understand that a planning application is due in the coming months. I do not expect the new facility to be open until the second half of the decade, though. For now I do not expect any change to local services.
Citizens Advice Epsom
The Citizens Advice team in Epsom have restarted their drop in service at their office in the Old Town Hall after closing it during the pandemic. The service can offer you help and guidance about a range of issues, including benefits, housing, debt, fuel poverty and family issues.
The service is available as follows:
Monday – Friday 10am - 4pm Adviceline Telephone service
Tuesday (from 17th May) 10am - 1pm Drop in service
Thursday 10am - 3pm Drop in service
Address: Citizens Advice Epsom & Ewell, The Old Town Hall, The Parade, Epsom KT18 5AG
Adviceline: 0808 278 7963 (free to call)
100th Anniversary - 3rd Epsom Scout Group
Finally an appeal for former Scouts in the area.
3rd Epsom Scout Group is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Based in the Scout Hall behind St John Chandler Hall on Church Road (just off East Street), we are the oldest continuously running Scout Group in the area.
Did you attend Beavers, Cubs, Scouts or Explorers with the Group when you were younger? Did your children go there? Did you volunteer as a leader there? If so, we would love to hear from you.
This summer we are holding an event to celebrate our centenary and would love to have old members and other friends of the Group join us. If you have any memories or photos of your time in Beavers, Cubs, Scouts or Explorers, we’d also love to hear from you.