Coronavirus Covid-19: council services update

Date: 

Thursday, 2 April, 2020

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council is working hard to safeguard our residents and staff and keep essential services running during the present circumstances, particularly to the most vulnerable in our community.

While we will endeavour to deliver the majority of our services as normal, some will be modified as we follow Government, Public Health England and NHS guidelines. In addition, and as part of our Covid-19 planning, we have prioritised our services for those who may need additional help (delivering our Meals at Home service to the isolated elderly in our community takes precedence over grounds maintenance, for example).

Volunteering: We are aware that many people want to help older and more vulnerable people in their local area. We are directing those who wish to help their community to contact Central Surrey Voluntary Action (CSVA) who are registering a pool of potential volunteers who may be able to assist voluntary organisations across Epsom and Ewell during the current pandemic. Please see - www.centralsurreyvoluntaryaction.co.uk Telephone 01372 722911 Email: admin@csva.co.uk

Keep up to date:

For the latest NHS UK advice see: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19
For the latest Surrey County Council advice see: www.surreycc.gov.uk/coronavirus
For the latest UK government advice see: www.gov.uk/coronavirus
For the latest UK government coronavirus business support advice see: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/

Update 03/04/20

Bonfires -  Please consider your neighbours and don’t burn waste material whilst we all have to stay home to save lives. We are aware some residents are reverting to burning garden waste. The smoke can cause distress especially to those with medical conditions, so we ask that you keep hold of your waste until we can resume the garden waste collections service and the community recycling centres are able to reopen.

Update 01/04/20

Please read our latest update on - Car parking charges suspended in most of our car parks until the end of April

Epsom Market Thursday 02 April and Saturday 04 April: Our market traders will continue to provide food and produce this Thursday 02 April and Saturday 04 April in Epsom Market Place. Please be assured that they do this in strict accordance with government social distancing instructions. We are taking precautions including putting up barriers for customers to queue up in line with social distancing instructions. We also expect all shoppers to follow government advice whilst shopping for essentials. If rules are not followed, we will have to ask the trader to stop trading until the social distancing instructions are adhered to. We will continue to monitor and review the situation in keeping with government guidance.

Food markets are allowed to continue trading under government guidance, please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance

Update 31/03/20

Epsom Cemetery

In line with the government requirements Epsom Cemetery is now closed to the public, but funerals and interments will continue to take place, with some restrictions on the numbers of mourners attending as per government instructions.

This decision reflects the requirements of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020, which came into force last week.

Please read our latest update on - Social distancing in parks

Please read our latest update on - Parking in residential streets

Update 27/03/20

Due to the large numbers of people not following the Government instructions on social distancing, we have had to temporarily close both Long Grove Park and Bourne Hall Park to all users. We will be reviewing the situation and reopening the parks when it is safe to do so.

Epsom Market Saturday 28 March: Our market traders will continue to provide food and produce. Please be assured that they do this in strict accordance with government guidelines. We are taking precautions including putting up barriers for customers to queue up in line with social distancing guidelines. and expect all shoppers to follow government advice whist shopping for essentials. If rules are not followed we will have to ask the trader to stop trading until the social distancing guidelines are adhered to.

Update 26/03/20

In line with the Government’s direction to help slow the spread of Covid-19, we've taken the decision to close or restrict access to the car parks at our green spaces.

The Government has said that during the present crisis people can only leave their homes for certain purposes, including one period of exercise each day, however we have seen huge numbers driving to our parks and open spaces that are already crowded.

Epsom Downs and Nonsuch Park have been particularly busy and we’re being forced to take this stringent measure to protect the public.

If you are going out for exercise, we encourage you to stay local, observe social distancing and not to travel.

For the full government guidance on staying at home and away from others (social distancing) see: https://bit.ly/StayHome1

Update 25/03/2020

Epsom Market Thursday 26 March: We are pleased to confirm we are able to allow our market traders to continue to provide food and produce tomorrow, Thursday 26 March in Epsom Market Place. Please be assured that they do this in strict accordance with government guidelines. We are taking precautions including putting up barriers for customers to queue up in line with social distancing guidelines. We also expect all shoppers to follow government advice whist shopping for essentials. If rules are not followed, we will have to ask the trader to stop trading until the social distancing guidelines are adhered to.
For full guidance please see: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Building control inspections: New requests for building control inspections have been suspended until further notice.

Shop mobility service: This service has been closed until further notice.

Pest control service: This service has been suspended until further notice.

Parks and open spaces: If you are using our parks and open spaces for walks or to take exercise please remember to follow the government's social distancing guidance to prevent the further spread of Covid-19. Avoid crowds. Keep a minimum of 2 metres/ 6 feet apart. We will be monitoring visitor capacity at our parks and open spaces. Please see full guidance here: https://bit.ly/StayHome1

Epsom Downs is used to train racehorses every morning from 6am to 12 noon. To allow the training to take place safely, do not visit Epsom Downs before 12noon and please try to avoid the area entirely if you can

Please take your litter home. Our staff are being diverted to deliver critical services, and we need you to take your rubbish home with you rather than using litter bins or littering

Update 23/03/2020

In the interests of public safety and to help reduce the spread of Covid-19, from Tuesday 24 March all playgrounds within the borough will be closed until further notice and we will not be carrying out routine inspections of the play equipment.

Update 20/03/2020

The Town Hall building will be closed to walk-in visitors from Monday 23 March until further notice.

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the borough council has decided to close the main, housing benefits and council tax receptions. Please email contactus@epsom-ewell.gov.uk or call 01372 732000. For queries regarding homelessness please email: housing@epsom-ewell.gov.uk

At this busy time, please contact us online at www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk where at all possible - you can do this using our report it/apply for it/pay for it pages.

Epsom Cemetery will close at 3.30pm daily from Monday 23 March until further notice.

Garden waste recycling collections: As we prioritise activity, we have had to take the decision to suspend garden waste recycling collections with immediate effect. This includes collections due today, Friday 20 March, which will not take place. For more information please see our website.

Committee meetings - The following committee meetings have been cancelled:
Environment and Safe Communities Committee 24 March
Audit, Crime & Disorder and Scrutiny Committee 9 April
Council 14 April

Update 19/03/20

Supporting our local businesses - Please read the following press statement from the Chair of the Strategy & Resources Committee, Cllr Eber Kington, for information on

  • Temporary business rates retail discount
  • Out of hours deliveries
  • Hot food takeaway
  • Statutory sick pay
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  • Government support for businesses

Bourne Hall and Ewell Court House are closed as of today, Thursday 19 March.

Bulky waste collections - As we prioritise activity, we regret that we are unable to accept anty new bookings for bulky waste collections. We aim to collect all existing bookings made by 18 March as advised to each individual customer. But we cannot now accept any new bookings until further notice. Please see our website for further information.

The gates on Old London Road on Epsom Downs are now closed until further notice.

 

Epsom Playhouse

The safety of our audience is paramount to us and in light of the most recent official government advice and decisions being taken by the production companies, the Epsom Playhouse is currently closed and will remain closed until further notice. Where possible, shows are being rescheduled for later in the year this year and tickets will be automatically transferred.

If you have bought tickets to a show that has been cancelled or are unable to attend the revised show date, then you are entitled to a refund and we will be in touch. Please bear with us and do not contact the box office as the team deal with the huge workload generated by this unprecedented situation.

Community and wellbeing centre

In response to advice that people in the most at risk groups should avoid contact with others; we are temporarily suspending visitor and public access to the Centre from Friday 20 March so that we can increase meals production and distribution to older and more vulnerable people at their home.

The vast majority of our clients who had been visiting the centre are already self isolating so we are carefully assessing with them how we can best meet their needs at home and ensuring that our service can respond to this.

Events

Please note, changes to the following events:

  • Round the Borough Bike due to take place on 10 May has been rescheduled to take place in September
  • Diabetes Walks programme has been postponed
  • Just Play held on Mondays and Epsom Community Football Project held at Court Recreation Ground on Mondays and Tuesdays has been cancelled.
  • Bourne Hall Museum Kids Club activities in April and May have been cancelled. 

Update 17/03/2020

At Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, we're working hard to safeguard our residents and staff during the present circumstances.

We are continuing to follow government, Public Health England and NHS UK guidelines and we have instigated the following initiatives to protect residents and staff:

Our residents, customers, local businesses

  • We are sharing the latest health advice and information from the government, Public Health England, NHS UK and working with our partners including Surrey County Council and neighbouring borough and district councils, to ensure information and advice is shared through a variety of channels
  • Intensifying cleaning regimes at all council buildings and venues
  • We have temporarily moved the Town Hall reception to the old cash office / Post Office are in Civic Street
  • We have provided Surrey wide advice on our website regarding disposing of personal waste by those who are self-isolating. For more information please see our website
  • The Community & Wellbeing Centre will be temporarily closed from this Friday 20 March for clients and the public to attend. However, we will continue to support the vulnerable members of our community through our Meals at Home, Transport from Home, community alarm and shopping services
  • We are increasing the capacity of our Meals at Home service, acknowledging that there may be many more residents who will want to use this service
  • We are increasing our capacity to supply community alarms for vulnerable residents living independently
  • We have increased our arrangements with local retailers to be able to provide shopping for vulnerable residents
  • We have increased the interior cleaning of our Transport from Home and Meals at Home services and parking payment machines
  • We are actively considering the suspension of activities at Epsom Playhouse, Bourne Hall and Ewell Court House. Further information will be made available as soon as possible
  • Ensuring we provide relevant advice to all sections of our community, including rough sleepers
  • Working closely with hospitals to support discharged patients.

Our staff

  • -We are signposting staff to Public Health England and NHS UK health advice. Information and posters have been placed around all council buildings and venues
  • Additional anti-bacterial wipes and hand sanitisers supplied have been made widely available throughout our offices
  • Requiring staff to self-isolate if they have symptoms
  • Providing guidance for managers on how to support and answer queries from employees and volunteers
  • Requiring staff to wash their hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitiser if they are out and about
  • Intensifying the cleaning of our offices, community centres and vehicles
  • Providing equipment to enable staff to work from home if needed and to use conference call facilities
  • Cutting back on non-essential travel, meetings and training
  •  Heads of Service and their teams are reviewing business continuity plans as appropriate to ensure continued services

Additional actions will be taken in line with occupational health and public health practices as they emerge.

Our contractors

  • We are in contact with our contractors to ensure they are following national advice with regards to hand washing and the spreading of germs
  • We are also ensuring their business continuity plans are up-to-date if needed.

Our tenants

  • We are communicating central government and Public Health England messages regarding hand washing and the spreading germs to our tenants both at the Town Hall and in our other buildings.