Life savers installed across the Borough

defribbiltator in action on man

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council have worked in partnership with national charity Community Heartbeat Trust to install 12 new 24/7 defibrillators across the borough. The project was delivered with funding secured via the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

Defibrillators are designed to be used by members of the public with no previous experience in the event of someone going into cardiac arrest. They can, and do, save lives. The new defibrillators have been installed in the following locations:

  • Market Place, Epsom
  • Ebbisham Centre, Epsom Square, Epsom
  • Town Hall (Rear entrance)
  • Harold Bell Solicitors, 174 Kingston Road, Ewell
  • St John’s Parish Centre, Station Approach, Stoneleigh
  • Auriol Park Café, Salisbury Road, Worcester Park
  • The Parade Dental Practice, 177 Kingston Road, Ewell
  • Ruxley Chemist, Ruxley Lane, Ewell Court
  • Horton Pharmacy, Pelman Way, Epsom
  • Horton Country Park, Horton Lane, Epsom
  • Londis Convenience Store, Hollymoor Lane, Epsom
  • NISA Convenience Store, Ruxley Lane

Councillor Barry Nash, who put forward the CIL bid, said, “After a lot of hard work by all involved, I am so pleased the defibrillator project has now been completed.

“I’d like to thank our partners from the Community Heartbeat Trust who shared their expertise with us, provided and installed all the defibrillators across the borough and will continue to provide a post-rescue counselling service.”

Councillor John Beckett, Chair of the Environment and Safe Communities Committee, added, “You never know when a medical emergency may occur. Time can be extremely limited and having the right equipment on hand will save lives.

“The installation of these 12 new defibrillators will ensure the borough is prepared and our community is safer.”

Image: Evacuationchairs – Own work. CC BY-SA 4.0

We can help your school reunite.

School reunion poster

Follow the example of a 50 year reunion for Ewell County Secondary School reported here. Epsom and Ewell Times can help your school reunion by putting the word out in these pages.

Former pupils of Ewell County Secondary School gathered at The Station pub in Stoneleigh on Saturday to reminisce and celebrate fifty years or more since they left and entered the working world.

The poster for the event borrowed from the Rolling Stones back catalogue to stress: “This Could Be The Last Time” and over a hundred schoolmates took heed and presented themselves for register. The reunion was aimed at those pupils that left the old schools then situated in Ruxley Lane and Danetree Road between 1971 and 1976. Organised by Ray and Bob Baxter, Tony Jones, Dave Reynolds, Martin Knight, Kevan McIlroy and Kevin Merchant the event was a huge success with only minimal corporal punishment and detentions administered. Friendships that were interrupted by leaving school and moving away in some cases were resumed after fifty years. Bob Baxter commented: “It was wonderful to lean our walking sticks against the wall, kick our zimmer frames away and boogie to T. Rex, Slade and The Rubettes again.” By popular demand another reunion is being planned for 2025.

This is “offensive”.

Dog Poop bag on tree

In our letters page today a Ewell resident rightly fulminates against the selfish habit of leaving dog poo bags for others to remove.

“To the person who tied a Dog Poo Bag to the fence between the NESCOT Playing Fields and the College buildings yesterday (Thursday).

You said you would return to collect it later as you didn’t want to carry it with you. You will have noticed it was not there on your return as I added it to my Litter picking bag.

Image – c. Bill Kasman – under licence illustrates the wider problem.

Had I come along 5 minutes later, when I wouldn’t have heard your explanation, how would I have known you would collect it? How would I have known that the other (very similar) bag dropped 2 metres further on was not yours? Or the black bag on a branch in the hedge round the corner? Or another deposited in a popular dropping spot on the edge of the Rugby Grounds?

Would I have been sure that the 4 people who threw glass beer bottles into the hedge, or the cans along the roadside, or the fast food packaging etc would be collected later to be deposited in the bins on the route, or taken home to be put in their own bins? No.

Your bag probably weighed no more than 100 grams. The bag of rubbish I collected weighed about 8 kilos when I’d finished. Approximately 2,000 items (I didn’t count beyond 250); Fine potential of £200,000.

You’re probably saying “mine’s different”. NO. It’s Litter. It’s Offensive; It’s an Offence.

Jennifer Brzozowska  

Ashtead Choral Society celebrated Surrey’s Vaughan Williams.

Ashtead Choral Society in Epsom St Martins

Andrew Storey conducts the Ashtead Choral Society with enthusiasm and vigour, presenting them at their
best in this delightful programme, showing off a range of music by Ralph Vaughan Williams in the 150th
anniversary year of his birth. A review of the concert held on 25th February in Epsom.

Starting the evening with Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical songs, the choir began with a warm and harmonious
sound, which remained well balanced and well blended throughout the evening. Accompanied solely by Stephen
on the piano, the sound filled the wonderful acoustics of St Martin’s Church in Epsom. The choir provided
excellent support to the baritone soloist, Daniel Tate, who gave an especially commendable performance as a last
minute stand-in, and whose tone and clarity propelled the storytelling of RVW’s Mystical Songs. The choir especially shone as the focal point in the 3rd song, demonstrating a beautiful understanding of tonality, and picked up the pace for the 5th song – the well-known ‘Let all the world’ – with an injection of energy to finish off.

The second piece of the evening was The Lark Ascending, played by The Kent Sinfonia with Christian Halstead as
lead and violin soloist. As one of Vaughan Williams’ most famous pieces, and an award-winning performance behind Halstead, the audience had a lot to look forward to, and it was as outstanding as we could have imagined!

The orchestra crafted a full-bodied sound and yet took no attention away from the exquisite violin solo, which had the audience mesmerised.

The second half began the titular piece of the evening, Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony. Demonstrating strong
entries all round, the choir and orchestra provided a majestic sound, with especially impressive lone chorus entries standing up to the magnificent sound of the orchestra. We also had our first entry of the soprano soloist Eleanor Pennell-Briggs, who gave another sparkling performance. My own conductor often tells me that “Musicians must be actors!”, which both soloists and ACS demonstrated beautifully this evening, conveying the power and emotion of the sea.

The symphony continues with some elegant call and response passages, well executed by both choir and orchestra, and it was especially pleasing when the main melody passes around the orchestra sections. The scherzo then starts, feeling energetic and urgent, with the chromatic passages handled with great skill and empathy by the choir. The dynamic contrasts by both parties provide drama, again echoing the feelings of the sea.

The final movement begins cinematic and sweeping, with precision by the chorus when they are left exposed. There is power when the basses sing alone, with a great contrast to the delicate female voices. The orchestra and soloists have a moment to shine on their own, with both soloists again demonstrating exceptional storytelling, before the chorus returns for the start of the finale. The regal fanfare from the horns and the vivid energy from the choir draws to a close to finish up the piece.

Overall both ACS and Kent Sinfonia provided a thoroughly enjoyable evening, showcasing a range of musical talent and shining a spotlight onto Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Lizzie McCaffrey

Public meeting on Local Plan dominated by greenbelters.

Steve McCormick speaks at public meeting

Monday 13th March 243 members of the public attended a packed meeting to debate the draft Local Plan issued by Epsom and Ewell Borough Council. 85 more logged in online. Cllr. Alex Coley (RA Ruxley Ward) Chair of the Community and Wellbeing Committee opened proceedings with an explanation of the housing needs in the Borough. He was followed by Cllr Steven McCormick (RA Woodcote Ward), Chair of the Licensing Planning and Policy Committee (LPP) of the Council that passed the draft Local Plan to go to public consultation. (The consultation at this stage closes on 19th March.) He stated why the Council is bound by housing targets set by The Government. He urged residents to have their say by responding to the consultation. See HOW TO RESPOND on our pages.

Photo: Cllr McCormick addresses public meeting convened by Epsom and Ewell Times. Credit Ellie Ames.

Tim Murphy, a retired chartered town planner and chair of the South-East Council for the Protection of Rural England was on the speaker panel. He lambasted the central Government’s creation of the housing targets but did not demur from their binding effect on local authorities. Chair of Epsom Civic Society and environmental and planning law expert Margaret Hollins reminded the audience that the Local Plan is not just about housing. Employment, business and transport are also its concerns. She disagreed with Mr Murphy on the wisdom of a pause to the Local Plan process to see what changes may be made on housing targets and their binding effect. She referred to the Planning Inspectors grant of a housing developer’s appeal to build on Langley Vale Farm in part due to the absence of a Local Plan for Epsom and Ewell. Delay in adoption of one will give developers further opportunities.

The debate was open to the floor for comments and questions. The majority of which were clearly resistant to any use of green belt land for housing development. Cllr Kate Chinn (Labour Court Ward) appealed for a commitment for more social housing. Cllr Bernie Muir (Conservative – Stamford Ward) extolled the virtues of local MP Chris Grayling’s ideas for housing and other development of the “brown field” sites at Kiln Lane and Longmead.

One upset member of the public asked why there were no proposals for green belt development in Cllr McCormick’s own Woodcote Ward. Another pointed out that there was no Councillor present on the occasion of the LPP’s vote on the draft Local Plan from the wards of green belt effected areas.

Paul Bartlett from Elmbridge and the London Green Belt Council stated that his Borough Council had removed all green belt housing development from its draft Local Plan after resistance was shown. He also suggested that Epsom’s draft’s statement that the requirement to build 5400 houses was an exceptional reason to use green belt ran a serious risk of opening the flood-gates of green belt development where the central government’s target for the Borough is over 10,000.

Cllr McCormick fielded the majority of the questions and you can read in the next article on Epsom and Ewell Times his personal and considered responses to many of the frequently asked questions.

The meeting was chaired by local solicitor Lionel Blackman.

An Extraordinary full Council meeting has now been fixed for March 22 to debate a motion to pause the Plan until new government planning guidelines are confirmed in May, following an intervention by Cllr Eber Kington and other councillors.

Meanwhile, green belt protectors have mustered over 10,000 signatures to an online petition at change.org. Epsom and Ewell Times cannot verify the residency of the signatories. Below is a screenshot confirming the numbers at the time of going to press. If all petitioners are different Epsom and Ewell electors the numbers reached by the Epsom Green Belt Group compares well to an estimated turnout of about 20,000 electors at the 2019 Epsom and Ewell Borough Council election.

Related reports:

Mole Valley Local Plan paused: official

Can Epsom and Ewell get more dense?

Possible pause to Plan pondered ……

Epsom and Ewell last in Local Planning

MP’s housing solution for Epsom and Ewell

Dementia Hub serving Epsom and Ewell

Dementia care

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council have renamed their Dementia Daycare Service the Dementia
Hub – and are using the opportunity to remind those living locally about the fantastic service
the Hub offers for the community.

The Dementia Hub, situated in Sefton Road in Epsom, offers specialist respite daycare for
people living with memory loss and dementia. It offers a safe, friendly environment where
clients can enjoy activities, social interaction and develop skills to improve their quality of life.
The Dementia Hub is part of the Community & Wellbeing Centre, a support hub which offers
social and recreational activities for over 55s. The Community & Wellbeing Centre also
provides services including assisted bathing, a community alarm service, foot clinic, meals at
home, a shopping service and transport from home.

The Dementia Hub’s new name and logo will make it easier for people to find information
about the facility online, as well as helping create a stronger identity for the service.
Councillor Alex Coley, Chair of the Community and Wellbeing Committee, said: “We’re
incredibly proud of the work that the Dementia Hub does to help enrich the lives of people
living with memory loss and dementia, and the lives of their carers too.

Alex Coley
Cllr Coley RA Ruxley Ward Chair Community and Wellbeing Committee

“The specialist team at the Dementia Hub provide a home-from-home environment where
people can take part in memory therapies, gentle exercise, art therapy and more – whilst also
making friends. “Caring for a loved one with dementia or memory loss can be challenging at times. The
Dementia Hub also enables carers to take precious time to rest and recharge – or simply catch
up with essential tasks.”

People who are interested in finding out more about the Dementia Hub or who’d like to book a
free assessment can call 01372 727583 or visit: www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/dementia-hub

The Dementia Hub is a service offered by Epsom & Ewell Borough Council at the Community & Wellbeing Centre, on Sefton Road in Epsom.
Full and half day sessions are available for people aged 50+ living with memory loss, dementia, confusion due to medical conditions such as a stroke, conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease, and more.
For more information on services offered by Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, visit: https://epsom-ewell.gov.uk/residents/communities-health-and-wellbeing

Epsom and Ewell Times now hot off the press

sample print epsom and ewell times

Think of friends or relatives or neighbours who would appreciate a printed version. Not everyone has computers or smartphones. Places of work, dentists waiting rooms, libraries and coffee shops etc., all welcome to print and make available. All the files are pdf and A4 size.

Got a printer at home or work? You are free to print and distribute for free or sell up to the cover price to cover your printing costs. As many copies as you like. If you wish to donate from time to time the proceeds of your sales to Epsom and Ewell Times that would really be appreciated. We do have running costs to cover. Go to our donate link above.

CLICK HERE for our downloadable PRINT editions.

Epsom Rotarians win Citizen Award.

Anne and Clive Richardson with the Mayor and Mayoress of Epsom and Ewell

Each year the Council formally recognises a member of the Epsom and Ewell community who goes above and beyond in a voluntary and/or campaigning capacity. The Active Citizen award is within the incumbent Mayor’s gift. The individuals are permanently recorded on a special citation within the Town Hall and receives a medal at the evening reception honouring volunteers from across the borough.

Photo: Anne and Clive Richardson (left) with the Mayor and Mayoress of Epsom and Ewell

So it is with great pleasure we congratulate Epsom Rotarians Anne and Clive Richardson being awarded the Epsom & Ewell Borough Council Active Citizens Award by the Mayor of Epsom & Ewell Cllr Clive Woodbridge. The award was made during the evening of 10 March 2023 at the Mayor’s Civic reception. Anne and Clive  have given much of their time to help with many local charities through Epsom Rotary Club and are active within the Epsom & Ewell Twinning Association.

Photograph Competition Open to Scouting and Guiding Groups

Each year Epsom Rotary hold a club photography Competition open to Scouting and Guiding Groups. This year the theme is the built environment and entries are welcome by the end of March 2023.  For details of how to enter, visit the website :


Final Call to public meeting on Draft Local Plan

A packed Council meeting

Monday 13th March at 7pm at Wallace Fields Junior School Dorling Drive, Ewell, Epsom KT17 3BH, Epsom and Ewell Times will chair a public meeting on the Draft Local Plan. The meeting will feature a panel of experts. Tim Murphy CPRE, Margaret Hollings Epsom Civic Society and Chair Licensing Planning and Policy Committee Cllr Steven McCormick (Council officers invited). Questions and view points from the public attending will be allowed. We will confirm if the meeting can be followed online in the next few days.

Registration to attend is not required but it would be helpful to us if you did inform us of your intention to attend. This will help some planning. Also it would help the chair of the meeting if you submitted questions in advance.

You can tell us if you are attending the Epsom and Ewell Times Local Plan Public Meeting and suggest a question by filling in:

Local Plan meeting attendance and question form.

Related reports:

Epsom and Ewell Local Plan meeting times

Mole Valley Local Plan paused: official

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council Draft Local Plan.

Green-belters seeing red on Local Plan?

Hook Road Arena plans and links to many other related reports.

Surrey academic wins ‘Woman in Innovation’ award for tackling bias against neurodivergent people

Dr Alison Callwood

On International Women’s Day Surrey University announce a prize winner among its female academics.

Online technologies to help neurodivergent people successfully enter the workforce are being developed at the University of Surrey, led by Dr Alison Callwood, in a project that has seen her win one of Innovate UK’s ‘Women in Innovation’ awards. 

 The Generating Neurodiverse Inclusion Selection (GENIUS) project will explore what communication methods and personalisation options could be used to optimise access and performance in online interviews and assessments for those with neurodiverse conditions such as autism, ADHD, and dyslexia.  

Dr Alison Callwood, GENUIS project lead and Senior Lecturer in Integrated Care at the University of Surrey, said:  

“Approximately 15 to 20 per cent of the UK population is neurodivergent. The unfairness they experience in the recruitment field is unjustified. Tackling this issue will not only improve the working lives of neurodivergent people by unlocking the valuable contribution they can make, but it will also boost the economy by helping address the rising number of unfilled positions in the workforce. 

“I am delighted to receive this award which includes a £50,000 grant. The support it offers is invaluable to this project.” 

This project will build on previous work by Dr Callwood who has developed the successful interview tool SAMMI which reduces bias and provides robust, reliable, and cost-efficient interviews and assessments for employers.  

Helping to further the project, the funding awarded to Dr Callwood will give her access to tailored business coaching, mentoring and a wide range of networking and training opportunities designed to help grow this innovative project.  

Professor Paul Townsend, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, said:  

 “Congratulations to Alison on winning this award. Being one of only 50 recipients of this prize, shows the strength of her project and her hard work and dedication in this field. Her skills and the diversity of her career are valued greatly here at Surrey, and I am proud to have her in our team.” 

 Indro Mukerjee, CEO, Innovate UK, the United Kingdom’s innovation agency,  

“We are proud to support this group of trailblazing women who are changing the world through the power of their ideas. Their innovations underpin solutions inspired by societal and environment challenges, as well as their own lived experiences. I hope their stories will encourage and inspire others to follow their lead.”