Together, we make a difference

Three squares of colour. The first one has text in it that says we make a difference. The second says "Last year we helped over 20,000 people across the borough to vote". The last has an Epsom & Ewell Borough Council logo in it.

We're a small borough and council, but we are passionate about what we do.

We work hard with, and for, our residents to make Epsom & Ewell a great place to live, work and visit.

We're telling some of the stories of the work done by Epsom & Ewell Borough Council's staff, Councillors and residents that make a positive difference to our borough.

⇒ Got a story you'd like us to share? We'd love to hear from you. Email contactus@epsom-ewell.gov.uk 

Read the whole story below.

 

Transport & Waste Services team

Our Transport & Waste Services team make half a million collections a month, and sometimes find themselves dealing with the unexpected.

“We’re responsible for refuse and recycling collections in Epsom & Ewell, including developing the waste & recycling strategy which involves developing our recycling services over the years, and responding to the government’s national waste strategies.

My team of 38 people and I are responsible for collecting refuse & recycling across the borough.

We make around half a million collections (yes!) every month so there is always – always – the opportunity for something out of the ordinary to happen. We’ve rescued live animals from bins, from hamsters to dogs to terrapins (often they’ll find a new home with one of our staff!).

Since the pandemic, a big challenge has been the lack of drivers, without whom we can’t make collections. You may have read in the news about the national shortage of LGV drivers which has made it hard to recruit new drivers. Another challenge sadly is the aggression we’ve found in society since the pandemic. We’ve had to call the police four times in the last year as a result of verbal or physical abuse against our operatives.

The most enjoyable thing about working in this team is our team spirit. And we really appreciate the many people we see when we’re out and about in Epsom & Ewell who smile at us and say hello.”

Democratic Services team

The Democratic Services team supported around 20,000 people to vote in the last local election.

“I manage the Democratic Services team at Epsom & Ewell Borough Council which is responsible for the management of the council’s committees, electoral registration in Epsom & Ewell, elections management and Councillor support services. 

Elections are an interesting and exciting time for everyone in the borough, and a high-profile project for us. We begin planning around a year before the election, reserving a venue for the election count hall and venues where people will be able to vote. Last year this was at Epsom Racecourse.  

We form a project plan and an election management team to oversee its implementation and ensure compliance with all legal and other requirements, and work with colleagues across the council  to organise and run the election.

Borough council elections are perhaps the most complicated of the elections we run. Last year there were 135 candidates for 35 council seats across 14 different wards.  Each ward had separate candidates, election agents and polling stations. It was imperative that across the voting and count periods that none of the ballot papers or information became mixed.

Nearly 59,000 polling cards and over 9,500 postal votes were sent out in advance of the polling day and around 20,000 ballot papers were counted.  Last year's election also saw the introduction of voter ID for voters at polling stations for the first time, a significant change for the election management team to plan, communicate and implement.

Day to day, we maintain the Register of Electors, which contains the names and addresses of everyone eligible to vote at elections held in the borough and run elections in Epsom & Ewell. The register is updated every month when people move in or out of the borough but there is also an annual canvass to make sure that the register is as accurate as possible.  The canvass involves contacting all residential properties in the borough (over 33,333 properties) by various methods to ensure the details on the Register are correct. In Electoral Services we receive registration applications and enquiries each day, both from the national portal and directly from local residents.  At times, there will be several detailed and sensitive enquiries to manage, such as researching records from decades ago. 

My team and I also support the five policy committees: the Community and Wellbeing Committee, Crime and Disorder Committee, Environment Committee, Licensing and Planning Policy Committee and the Strategy and Resources Committee as well as regulatory and audit committees, three advisory panels, and joint and sub-committees. These committees decide upon the strategy of the council, how public funds are allocated and how the council is run. We ensure that all public matters discussed at committee, and decisions, are available to view on our website; and that meetings are able to be run smoothly and broadcast live on YouTube, so that people can watch at home.”

- Tim, Democratic Services