Exclusive to the Epsom and Ewell Times we have brought you statements from each Party standing for election to the local council this Thursday 4th May. We conclude today with the ruling Residents Associations.
The Residents’ Association (RA) is independent and not a political party. Rather it is a group of individuals who live in the Borough and are passionate about keeping party politics and rhetoric out of local government decision making. At a time when national politics is in disarray, it is more important than ever that our residents have independent representation.
Photo: RA candidates clockwise from top-left: McCormick, Frost and Froud – Woodcote and Langley Vale; Beckett and Talbot – Auriol; Kington and Ladwa – Horton; Dalton – Stoneleigh; Day, Brooks and Collin – College. “Say Her Name” is from the “Reclaim These Streets” march that Cllr Dalton organised following the rape of a female jogger in Nonsuch Park.
RA candidates stand out from their national political party counterparts; manifestos are written by the candidate using their understanding and insight of the issues which are important to residents. Manifestos are factual, demonstrating a track record of delivery, the commitment to continue to work hard and do our best for our residents. This is in sharp contrast to some of the disappointing negative and baseless campaign messages we see elsewhere.
The Local Plan
As a local authority council, we face many challenges because of central government planning policy to build houses and the data used to set housing numbers. We have listened to our residents and their concerns in response to the recent draft Local Plan consultation (Regulation 18), and we will continue to consult with you and listen, as well as lobby Westminster on new national planning policy and legislation.
The outcome of central government’s Fairer Funding Review from 2016 remains outstanding as does the outcome of their National Waste Strategy. These combined with the continued one-year government funding arrangements creates uncertainty around our longer-term funding. At a time when many local authorities are facing significant financial pressures, Epsom and Ewell BC under an RA led administration continues to have strong financial management and deliver best value for our residents. This is in sharp comparison to other politically led councils in Surrey and further afield.
The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)
The London Mayor’s decision to expand ULEZ is going to impact many of our residents and businesses negatively. RA councillors will continue to work with other effected Councils to oppose these plans.
RA track record of delivery
As an RA led council, Epsom and Ewell BC has a long track record of working for you. In the last four years we have delivered:
o A wide range of Council services across the Borough, despite retaining only 10% of council tax.
o Support to the community during COVID, including the timely distribution of grants to local businesses.
o A Youth Skills hub that has helped hundreds of young people find work, training and education.
o Electric vehicle charging points in Council run car parks as part of our Climate Change Action Plan.
o A reduction in our homelessness numbers.
o Safer Streets and CCTV in Epsom Town Centre.
The next 4 years
o Continue to listen to you and represent you.
o Keep our Borough safe and secure.
o Improve the health and wellbeing of our communities with a focus on those who are more vulnerable.
o Work with partners so that the Borough is a place where people want to live, work and visit.
o Enhance the borough’s natural assets, preserving and increasing biodiversity.
o Work to meet our ambitious target of becoming Carbon Neutral by 2035.
o Promote our rich history and heritage with further events and activities.
o Keep national party politics out of local decision making.
I hope that you will vote for your RA candidates on May 4th and continue to see the benefits that an independently led council has on delivering for you through keeping national party politics out of the decisions which impact you.
Cllr Hannah Dalton
Chair, Residents’ Association Majority Group
Ed: The Residents’ Associations are fielding candidates in all 14 wards in the Borough