I am writing to you concerning a couple of local issues.
Firstly many of you will be aware that the Mayor of London has decided to widen London’s ultra low emission zone from later this year. This has significant implications for our area.
I won’t get into the politics of this now, except to say that I am strongly opposed to the change at this time because of its impact on our area, on pensioners and people on low incomes with older cars and most significantly those seeking treatment at St Helier or the Marsden. I have asked him to reconsider this aspect of the scheme in particular.
But I thought that I should give you a picture of what the change means for us locally.
The first thing to say is that the plan does not include extending the zone right to the London boundary everywhere. For us the outline ULEZ map says it will not cover the route from Epsom to the M25 via Malden Rushett or from Ewell to Tolworth and the A3 going southwards. There has been some confusion over the status of Rushett Lane and I am checking that with TfL.
It will also not include the north end of Stoneleigh and parts of Worcester Park.
Full details of the plan and what cars are included are here, together with Transport for London’s map of the new extension.
The target date for the launch is August 29th, though that may slip as some councils are refusing to work with the Mayor to install the cameras that will be needed to make it operational.
Epsom & Mole Valley Local Plans
There have been two new developments on the Local Plans which shape the future of housing development in our area – in Epsom and Ewell and Mole Valley.
Epsom and Ewell Borough Council is due to publish its draft plan in the next few days, and this will show the degree to which it has decided to push for development on local green belt land. I very much hope they have chosen to focus on brown field sites and particularly on the potential for the Kiln Lane and Longmead areas.
If you have not previously seen my proposal for the area, you can find it on my website page here.
I will include links on my site to the Council’s local plan documents when they are published. Please do take part in the public consultation. This will affect us all.
Meanwhile in Mole Valley, the Council has asked the Planning Inspector to delay consideration of their plans, following the Government’s revision of its national planning policies. It is too early to know if this may affect the plans for Ashtead, but I will keep you posted.
Energy Support Scheme
Many thanks to everyone who donated to the Energy Support Scheme. In total we have raised about £45,000 and this is being used by the Good Company, which runs the food bank, and Citizens Advice, to help people struggling with high bills this winter to deal with short term problems with their bills and to buy low energy appliances. I am really grateful to all who have contributed.
If you would still like to help, details are at www.justgiving.com/campaign/epsom-ewell-energy-support-scheme
Epsom Citizens Advice
Finally a word of congratulation to Epsom and Ewell’s Citizens Advice team for putting together a very good financial awareness training programme for local sixth formers, which has been trialled initially at Epsom and Ewell High School. This is a really important area, and hopefully other schools locally will be able to benefit soon as well. Details can be viewed here.