Update from Chris Grayling MP

Dear constituent

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

Station Ticket Offices Consultation

Some of you will be aware that the railway industry is carrying out a consultation on the future of station ticket offices. Only a very small proportion of ticket sales are now carried out via ticket offices, and the industry is looking to repeat what was done on the London Underground some years ago by moving staff out from fixed ticket offices and onto the platform to carry out a broader range of customer support activity.

I know that for some people this is a controversial proposal, and so I wanted to make sure that you were aware of how to take part in the consultation if you want to do so.

This link will take you to the consultation so that you can take part.

https://www.raildeliverygroup.com/uk-rail-industry/customer-focused-reform/customer-focused-stations

Hospital Update

I have been asked to provide an update about what is happening about the proposed new hospital at Sutton.

My understanding is that the project has just been given the final go-ahead, and the remaining applications for planning consent are due to be submitted. Assuming that the local authority in Sutton gives permission, the new hospital will open in the second half of this decade.

It will provide emergency services and care for more serious conditions across our area. But most of the work currently done at Epsom Hospital will be retained, as most blue light emergencies and the treatment of serious conditions are largely already handled elsewhere.

Ashtead Good Neighbours

I have been asked by Ashtead Good Neighbours, who provide drivers for people needing help to get to things like hospital appointments, to say that they are in need of new volunteers.

Their contact details are: [email protected] – and their website is www.agn.uk.net

I hope you have a good summer.

With best wishes

Chris Grayling

How To Contact Chris:

Email: [email protected]

Constituency Office: 01372 271 036

Address: 212 Barnett Wood Lane, Ashtead, Surrey, KT21 2DB

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Train station ticket office consultation

Time is running out for you to have your say on the train station ticket office consultation which ends on Wednesday 26th July 2023.

Train operators have proposed changes to the majority of rail station ticket offices in England. The proposal aims to better support passengers by moving staff out from behind traditional ticket office windows, which would close, onto station concourses where customers need them most, making them more visible and accessible.

The idea is that staff would move to roles that cover a broader range of customer needs in the future – from travel and fares advice to accessibility assistance. These potential plans support wider moves to modernise the railway, put customer service at its heart and would offer a more varied and interesting role for colleagues.

The proposed changes also reflect the way customers buy tickets has changed significantly in recent years, with a reduction in ticket office use. Most tickets are now bought online or from ticket machines, which can sell the vast majority of ticket types, and eticket readers are fitted across the network. In fact 9 out of 10 tickets are now purchased outside of traditional ticket offices.

The consultations is being overseen by two organisations Transportfocus and London Travel Watch

For more information about the latest consultations, including details of the stations affected and how you can send in your comments. Please click on the link below of the rail operator:

For other rail operators outside of our area CLICK HERE

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FREE Summer Holiday Activities are BACK!

This summer, Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) are offering a variety of free activities in and around Dorking and Leatherhead for young people aged 0 – 16 between 24 July – 1 September.

Mole Valley District Council is delighted to be working in partnership with sport and leisure organisations to offer a wide range of free outdoor activities for children this summer. From angling to skateboarding to rap and DJ workshops there are a multitude of activities available to keep your child active and entertained over the holiday period.

Activities are being held in both Dorking and Leatherhead. The Stockroom Society have places for DJ sessions which teaches you to mix, beat control as well as the history of modern DJing. Similarly, rap sessions are being held at the same location taught by a professional who has worked with the likes of KSI, Peter Andre and more!

Dorking locations include Meadowbank Park, The Christian Centre, Dorking Sports Centre, High Ashurst, and St Joseph’s School. Children can enjoy a mobile and interactive service ‘Animazing’ which offers an experience that brings you closer to nature, through interaction with many different animals and invertebrates. Additionally, ‘Golf in the Park’ will be played on a short 6-hole course perfect for friends and families of all abilities to test their skills and challenge each other.

Choose one or more activities your child would like to take part in and register their place as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. The sessions are all mixed and while many of the activities are available to all (0-16yrs), some are age-specific. For the full range of free summer holiday activities and to register visithttps://www.molevalley.gov.uk/Summer-Holiday-Activities.

Councillor Nick Wright, MVDC’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for school-aged children in Mole Valley to enjoy themselves indoors as well as outdoors this summer in a safe, supervised and fun environment. The range of options  include  a number of brand-new activities introduced this year.! Don’t delay, register your child’s place now! It is so important for young people’s health that they keep active and sociable,  and these sessions will be a great way to make new friends while having fun. Visit our website for more information.”

 

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Gang of burglars put behind bars

A gang of burglars have been sent to prison for a combined total of ten years and five months following two burglaries in Epsom and Wimbledon earlier this year.

Eric Ruben, 29, Rodrigo Castellon, 37, Diego Dias, 38 and Armando Nunez Reiveriara, 33, were sentenced at Guildford Crown Court on Tuesday (4 July), after pleading guilty to all charges.

The first burglary occurred in Epsom on 29 January, when the group were seen jumping over someone’s fence. Officers were called to the scene and noticed a car acting suspiciously nearby.

They pursued the car, which was stopped in Croydon, and found Ruben, Castellon and Dias inside the vehicle in possession of a rucksack full of jewellery and cash, as well as balaclavas and tools which were suspected of being used to break into houses.

Enquiries later identified the owner of the recovered property who lived at an address close to where the men had fled in Epsom. The owner had been on holiday at the time of the burglary, but later found that a rear glass window at his home had been smashed.

Whilst Dias was on bail for committing the Epsom burglary, he targeted another home in Wimbledon on 22 February. The occupant came home to find two men in her home before running to a neighbour’s house to get help.

CCTV later showed Dias and Reiveriara scoping out the house before jumping over a side gate to enter the property.

Reiveriara was arrested whilst attempting to flee the scene before being charged and remanded into custody in Surrey.

Following his arrest, a second get-away vehicle was seized and found to contain jewellery stolen from the Wimbledon address.

Dias was arrested a few days later at an address he shared with Castellon. Inside the address officers found tools, balaclavas, gold and diamond testing kits, and packaged stolen jewellery ready to be shipped to South America. Both men were subsequently charged with burglary related offences and remanded into custody.

It wasn’t long before the last of the four was also arrested. On 3 March, Ruben was stopped in Dover trying to exit the UK. He was also remanded into custody.

The court heard that the men had entered the country illegally and were sending stolen items back to their home country Chile.

Sentencing the four men, His Honour Judge Black commented: “I entertain no doubt that the four of you operated as a gang and had equipped yourselves to undertake burglaries and thefts.”

He continued: “Thus I conclude, and I am sure, that you were each a member of an organised crime group who but for being arrested and remanded in custody would have continued with similar criminal activity.

“The seriousness of dwelling house burglary lies not only with the invasion of a person’s home and the taking of their property but largely the psychological harm caused to homeowners who often after such a burglary feel insecure and nervous to be in their own home.”

T/Detective Inspector Tom Griffin, who led the investigation, said: “Burglary is an incredibly distressing crime for victims, who should have every right to feel safe and secure in their own homes.

“I am pleased that following a tireless investigation, all four men are now behind bars and have been stopped from committing further offences. I hope that this provides some sense of justice for the victims.”

Sentencing breakdown:

Eric Ruben, 29, DOB 21/04/94, of no fixed address, was sentenced to two years and five months’ imprisonment.

Rodrigo Castellon, 37, DOB 02/09/85, of no fixed address, was sentenced to two years and five months’ imprisonment.

Diego Dias, 38, DOB 18/06/85, of no fixed address, was sentenced to two years and five months’ imprisonment.

Armando Nunez Reiveriara, 33, DOB 06/12/89, of no fixed address, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.

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Epsom & Ewell Borough Council prepared for future funding challenges

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council is looking ahead to 2024/25 and beyond to ensure that it remains a financially sustainable council.

Like many councils across the country, the council faces the challenge of reductions in central government funding of local government since 2010, in combination with continued rising costs. As the budgeting process for 2024/25 commences as well as future planning, officers and Councillors are working together to identify savings, efficiencies and income generation options that will enable the council to balance its budget and continue to provide an extensive and stable range of services for its residents.

In a report coming to the forthcoming Strategy & Resources Committee, the council sets out a plan to address the forecast £1.1m annual shortfall for 2024/25, and to develop its new four-year Medium Term Financial Strategy, both of which will aim to maintain the financial health of the council while delivering on local priorities. The detail of the measures that will be put in place to address the funding shortfall are currently being developed and will be published in the new year.

Cllr Neil Dallen, Chair of the Strategy & Resources Committee, said: “The future financial sustainability of the council is critical and taken extremely seriously by the council administration. We have a strong track record of meeting the considerable financial challenges the past decade has brought for local government, and we are confident that putting in place these measures alongside planning for next financial year and beyond will allow us to balance our budgets, while maintaining the wide range of services and support we offer to our residents.”

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Donate a Dress Campaign at Coral Eclipse

Sandown Park is excited to announce its collaboration with Princess Alice Hospice for a charitable clothing donation initiative as part of the Coral-Eclipse Summer Festival on 7 and 8 July. The “Donate A Dress” campaign aims to provide support to patients and families in need by encouraging racegoers to contribute their unwanted clothing items. All donations will be collected and sold in Princess Alice Hospice shops, generating funds for their essential cause.

Princess Alice Hospice is a local charity committed to assisting individuals and families during times of illness and bereavement. Their unwavering dedication has had a positive impact on numerous lives, making them an ideal partner for Sandown Park. With an annual expenditure exceeding £10 million to deliver crucial care and support, Princess Alice Hospice relies on the generosity of individuals to sustain their mission.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Princess Alice Hospice in their mission to provide compassionate care and assistance to those in need,” commented Sarah Drabwell, General Manager of Sandown Park. “Through our Donate A Dress campaign, we aim to leverage the generosity of our racegoers and make a significant contribution to the invaluable work they do.”

Duncan Lebell, Head of Retail at Princess Alice Hospice, said: ‘We are extremely grateful to our friends at Sandown Park for providing this wonderful opportunity. The ‘Donate a Dress’ initiative is a fantastic way for people to support our care services, while at the same time allowing people in our shops to buy pre-loved, high-quality goods at reasonable prices, too. The money raised will allow us to continue delivering our compassionate care, free of charge, to local people and families who need us most, we are so thankful.’

To participate in the “Donate A Dress” initiative, racegoers are encouraged to bring any unwanted clothing items in good condition. While summer dresses are particularly welcomed, the campaign accepts all types of clothing suitable for resale. Donations can be made at the Hospitality Collection Desk situated in the main Grandstand throughout the whole Coral-Eclipse Summer Festival weekend on Friday 7 July and Saturday 8 July or directly at the Princess Alice Hospice shop on Esher High Street.

For more details on the Donate a Dress campaign and for tickets to the Coral-Eclipse Summer Festival visit https://www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/sandown/media/news/2023/06/princess-alice-hospice/

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Banana Tree To Give Away 1,000 Free Katsu Curries

Banana Tree To Give Away 1,000 Free Katsu Curries To Celebrate New Reigate Restaurant

The Big Table Group’s award-winning Pan-Asian restaurant, Banana Tree, has announced that the official opening date for their debut Surrey restaurant will be Monday 3rd July.

To celebrate the opening, The Reigate site will be giving away 1,000 free Panko Crispy Katsu Curries from Monday 3rd July to its customers.

With both Chicken and Vegan options available, Banana Tree’s Katsu is the best Katsu in town. The curry features crispy panko coated chicken or vegan bites served with Banana Tree’s mouth-watering katsu curry sauce, Japanese rice, edamame, and house pickle.

To redeem the offer, guests wanting to visit the Reigate restaurant, on 1 Church Street, need to visit https://pages.airship.co.uk/forms/325/1000-free-katsu-curries-reigate and fill in the form to book their table. Once completed, guests will be sent an email to complete their booking, which will need to be done 24 hours in advance of their visit.

In addition to the free Katsu offer, customers will be given a £10 welcome voucher, to spend on their next visit to Banana Tree.

The brand-new restaurant, located on the site of the former Café Rouge, features 118 covers.  The team from Café Rouge have moved over to Banana Tree, while the site has also created 15 new jobs.

In addition to this, the full menu will be available on Deliveroo for guests to enjoy Banana Tree from the comforts of their own home.

Banana Tree hand picks the best dishes from Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia to feature on its menu, from soups and salads, to wok-tossed noodles, stir fries and curries, as well as South-East Asia-inspired desserts and cocktails.

Behind the scenes, the team is constantly developing plant-based meat alternatives and testing out recipes so that customers will love them just as much as the originals. Today, more than 40% of Banana Tree’s menu is plant-based.

Founded 30 years ago in Maida Vale, West London, Banana Tree has since grown to thirteen restaurants across London and the South East. In addition to Reigate, the company recently opened a new site at the O2 Arena, Covent Garden and Haywards Heath.


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