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Dear constituent

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

Firstly this year’s Epsom Business Awards are now under way and open for entries. The awards are now in their eleventh year and are intended to recognise businesses which provide an excellent service to their customers or who do good work in the community. You may have seen the stickers for past winners and runners up in the windows of local shops and other businesses.

Please do join in the awards and nominate your favourite local business – or if you are a business, ask your loyal customers to do so. You can find all the details of how to enter at https://epsombusinessawards.co.uk/

The awards are presented in November each year. Please do join in and make your favourite business a winner.

Charity Volunteer Fair

I have now got a new date for the Charity Volunteer Fair which was postponed because of the sad death of  Her Majesty the Queen. It will be held between 4pm and 6pm on Friday 21st October at the Dell Centre, St Giles Church, Park Lane, Ashtead.

More than 20 charities will be there, and there will be a wide range of volunteering opportunities. So please do put it in the diary and come along. If you can’t make it but are interested in volunteering please let me know and I will steer you towards the right opportunities.

Volunteering Citizens Advice – Legal Support

If you are looking for volunteering opportunities and are a retired legal professional or one with some extra spare time, Citizens Advice in Epsom are looking for someone who can help co-ordinate pro bono work with a small group of firms who are offering help to its customers.

They estimate the role will require no more than 3 hours per week but this is flexible.

If you are interested, there is more information here. https://www.caee.org.uk/volunteer/volunteer-legal-advice-coordinator/

Vaccinations Programme

I have been asked what is happening about flu and covid jabs this autumn. The vaccination programmes have started, but as with the pandemic the early vaccinations are being concentrated on the oldest patients. Those over 65 should hear from their practices soon, if they have not already.

The Energy Bill Relief Scheme

I have further information for those of you involved in business or voluntary sector groups concerning the energy price issue, which I know has been a matter of great concern to many of you.

The Energy Bill Relief Scheme will provide protections for all businesses, voluntary sector and public sector organisations in Great Britain which face excessively high energy bills over the winter period, whether they are on existing fixed price contracts agreed on or after 1 April 2022, signing new fixed price contracts, variable or deemed tariffs or flexible purchase contracts To administer support, the Government has set a Supported Wholesale Price – expected to be £211 per MWh for electricity and £75 per MWh for gas, less than half the wholesale prices anticipated this winter – which is a discounted price per unit of gas and electricity.. Suppliers will pass the reduction in the wholesale price through to their customers.

The Energy Bill Relief Scheme will run initially for 6 months covering energy use from 1 October 2022 until 31 March 2023.  I expect further support after that depending on circumstances.

Best wishes

Chris