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Dear constituent

I am writing to you with an update on a few local issues.

Firstly, although we have having an unseasonably warm autumn, now the weather is turning colder, there will be more help locally this winter for people struggling with high energy costs.

*WARM WEDNESDAYS*

To start with, Epsom Methodist Church is relaunching its Warm Wednesdays initiative this year. They will be once more offering a warm space, hot drinks, lunchtime soup, friendship, an after school club and an evening meal every Wednesday from November 1st to March 13th. But an important innovation this year is that with a number of partner organisations across the Borough they are also offering a weekly one-stop advice cafe providing support on mental health, welfare rights, housing, jobs, energy, money management and help in a crisis. All of this is available free of charge to anyone – no appointments are necessary.

If any of you would like to help by serving teas and coffees, preparing and serving meals or making a financial contribution, please contact Robert Hill at roberthill.home@icloud.com.

I will provide more updates about help that is available locally shortly.

*CASTLE ROAD FOOT BRIDGE*

A few people have asked me what is happening about the footbridge over the railway line in Castle Road in Epsom, which remains closed at the moment. I have talked to Network Rail, who tell me that it is expected to reopen in November. The delays have been caused by issues with the power cables that run across the bridge.

*SURREY LOW EMISSIONS GRANT*

If you have a business or charity and regularly drive a diesel van along the A3 through Guildford a new scheme has been launched aimed at reducing emissions on the stretch between the University and the A31, which has particularly bad air quality problems.

The scheme will give a grant of up to £10,000 towards the purchase of a new electric vehicle. It is being run by National Highways and promoted by Surrey County Council.

Full details are at https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/community/climate-change/businesses/grant-programmes/a3-ev-grant

*DEFIBRILLATOR FUNDING*

For those of you involved with a local sport or community organisation, the Department of Health and Social Care has announced the launch of a grant scheme if you want to purchase a defibrillator to have locally.

To receive funding, community organisations will be asked to demonstrate that defibrillators will be placed in areas where they are most needed, such as places with high footfall or spaces for vulnerable people. The aim is to ensure that defibrillators are evenly spread throughout communities and are easily accessible if someone is experiencing an unexpected cardiac arrest.

Details of how to apply are at:

https://www.defibgrant.co.uk/#apply

I hope you are keeping well.

Best wishes

Chris Grayling