Update From Chris Grayling MP

Dear constituent

I am writing to you with one of my regular updates about local issues.

Firstly the latest on the Chalk Pit in Epsom.

Chalk Pit Epsom

I am waiting for news as to whether the controversial retrospective planning application will be called in by the Government. This does not normally happen if a local authority has given permission for a development, but I am hoping that this case will be different. If it is called in, there will be a proper enquiry into the situation.

In the meantime, the business which has been causing most of the problems has been sold and is moving its operation off the site. Unfortunately another firm has been using the site as well, and is now applying to take over the permit for the site. As this firm were ordered to leave a previous site in Morden because of noise and dust pollution, I am strongly opposing the granting of a licence to them. After representations from myself and local residents, the Environment Agency has agreed to treat the application as a matter of high public interest which means it will be subject to a much more detailed investigation and consultation than would normally be the case.

In addition I met the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency before Easter to discuss the problems at the Chalk Pit and I am hopeful that the Agency will now be more robust in its approach to dealing with the noise and dust nuisance there. I know that the high level of nuisance has been continuing and will do all I can to hold them to the promises that they are now making.

Local Train Services

I have also met the Chief Executives of our two local rail companies to protest about the poor levels of service at the moment. On the Southern Route I have been promised additional trains from Epsom to London Bridge, but I am pushing for them to go south of Epsom as well as the service from Ashtead and further down in Mole Valley is not good enough at the moment.

With SWR I am in particular pushing for additional trains from Ewell West, Stoneleigh and Worcester Park in the peak as crowding levels are clearly now bad again. In particular the service after 8am is much too thin. I will update you when I get a response from them.

New Hospital

I have been asked by some local residents what is happening about the potential new hospital at Sutton. This has clearly been delayed by the pandemic, but I understand that a planning application is due in the coming months. I do not expect the new facility to be open until the second half of the decade, though. For now I do not expect any change to local services.

Citizens Advice Epsom

The Citizens Advice team in Epsom have restarted their drop in service at their office in the Old Town Hall after closing it during the pandemic. The service can offer you help and guidance about a range of issues, including benefits, housing, debt, fuel poverty and family issues.

The service is available as follows:

Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm Adviceline Telephone service

Tuesday (from 17th May) 10am – 1pm Drop in service

Thursday 10am – 3pm Drop in service

Address: Citizens Advice Epsom & Ewell, The Old Town Hall, The Parade, Epsom KT18 5AG

Adviceline: 0808 278 7963 (free to call)

Email: [email protected]

100th Anniversary – 3rd Epsom Scout Group

Finally an appeal for former Scouts in the area.

3rd Epsom Scout Group is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Based in the Scout Hall behind St John Chandler Hall on Church Road (just off East Street), we are the oldest continuously running Scout Group in the area.

Did you attend Beavers, Cubs, Scouts or Explorers with the Group when you were younger? Did your children go there? Did you volunteer as a leader there? If so, we would love to hear from you.

This summer we are holding an event to celebrate our centenary and would love to have old members and other friends of the Group join us. If you have any memories or photos of your time in Beavers, Cubs, Scouts or Explorers, we’d also love to hear from you.

To join our alumni mailing list and find out more about how we’re celebrating,
go to: https://www.3rdepsom.org.uk/Alumni.html
or contact us at: [email protected]

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

Sutton In Bloom

Sutton Council are on the hunt for the top green-fingered enthusiasts who help brighten up our borough for Sutton In Bloom 2022.

The Sutton in Bloom competition categories include:

        • Best Front Garden

        • Best Community Garden

        • Best Business Frontage

        • Best Allotment Garden

        • Best School Garden

        • Best Container Garden

This year competition is now open and will close on 20 June. Entering is easy – simply complete the online application form or contact Ian Wolstencroft via email ([email protected]) or by post (Ian Wolstencroft, London Borough of Sutton, Environment, Housing & Neighbourhoods, Civic Offices, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, SM1 1EA) for a paper form. If you don’t have green fingers yourself, why not nominate a neighbour or local business, organisation or school?


Best Front Garden

We are looking for the best private residential front garden in Sutton. The judges will be looking for an attractive garden layout with a colourful display featuring any combination of hard landscaping, good quality bedding, herbaceous plants, shrubs, trees and lawns. Entries in this category must be visible to passers-by and can include gardens with plants in pots and hanging baskets.

Best Community Garden

Awarded to either a group of gardens, frontages of buildings or area of ground where the displays have been created specifically for the shared benefit and enjoyment of others. This may include a street, square, close, cul-de-sac, community project, or the gardens of a care home, community centre or place of worship. The judges will be looking for displays which are well-designed, provide an array of colour and encourage wildlife. Only one nomination per street, group of gardens or project.

Best Business Frontage

An opportunity for the owners of pubs, hotels, leisure facilities and business premises that take pride in their buildings to be recognised for bringing a splash of colour to the neighbourhood with hanging baskets and eye-catching planting schemes.

Best Allotment Garden

There are numerous allotment plots throughout the borough and many are packed with tasty vegetables and colour from an array of stunning, sweet-smelling blooms. This category aims to celebrate and reward those hard-working gardeners who achieve excellent crops and beautiful plots.

Best School Garden

This popular award as part of Sutton in Bloom aims to encourage and reward the efforts of young people involved in planting and maintaining a specific school garden or planting area as part of their curriculum or a gardening club. The judges will be looking for good design, use of plants and shrubs, the role of the garden as part of school life and its impact on the environment.

Best Container Garden

We are looking for entries to showcase innovation and creativity using the space available. 

The container garden needs to be viewed/judged from the ground so, unfortunately, no high balconies are able to be entered. 


Once you have registered or put forward a garden, judges will visit the garden and decide on a winner, runner up and third place for each category. The best entries may be invited to represent Sutton at the prestigious London in Bloom competition.

Children’s Design A Stamp Competition

Bourne Hall museum are asking Children to design a postage stamp to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and you may win the chance to have tea with the Mayor of Epsom and Ewell in his historic parlour at the Town Hall.

There are two age groups 4 to 7 and 8-12. Your design can be of anything you like ‒ a picture of the Queen or other member of the Royal Family, perhaps the Queen at the Derby, or just the Derby, a street party, or another Jubilee event. 

You can download a template for your design from the Bourne Hall website www.Bournehall.org or pop into Ewell Library at Bourne Hall and pick one up. They will have materials available, so you can complete your design there and then. They will be available from 26th April, and you can leave your entry with the library, but make sure you put your contact details on it along with your age.

If you download a template when you have finished your design email it to  [email protected]  ‒ again, don’t forget your contact details and age.

Designs must be in by Wednesday 1st June 2022

Good Luck 

Honeywood Museum Spring Exhibitions

There is so much going on at Honeywood Museum this Spring with Exhibitions, Events and groups to join. See Details Below

Park Life Exhibition

23 April – 4 June

A contemporary exhibition showcasing the work of the artists currently at the Oaks Park Studio, on the theme of the beauty, nature and history of Oaks Park and its buildings. Including work by Neal Vaughan, Doug Shaw, Jo Sharpe, Kate Marsden, Simon Burder and more.

The artists cover many disciplines of creativity from glass, ceramics, mixed media, oil, print, sculpture to storytelling and performance. Work will be available to purchase.

The holistic exhibition will be built from many facets, glimpses of times past, to bring local history and stories to life for the borough.

Some of the exciting work being made is highlighted here. Ingrid Barber will be looking at the characters and ghosts from the rich history of the Oaks house and she has used mixed media to depict an imaginary tea party where the Earl and his wife entertain the recent Derby winners in the drawing room at Oaks Park.

Guest artist Neal Vaughan has developed his workshop idea into a beautiful animated horse sequence to be displayed on a loop in the gallery at Honeywood. There will be

      • Photos of 3D creatures,
      • A Spellbound sketchbook by Doug Shaw ,
      • Woodcuts and prints by Kate Marsden and other members of the newly created print workshop.
      • Jo Sharpe is focusing on the wild flora around the park
      • Simon Burder is exploring work about Woodmansterne Road and the fields around the Oaks Track.

Free. Drop-in exhibition.

Story Of The Oaks

23 April – 4 June

The Oaks, which stood in what is now The Oaks Park was one of the great sporting houses of Georgian England. It was here that the Earl of Derby and his friends devised the Oaks and Derby horse races which are run at Epsom each year. The slide show explores the history of the house and the people connected with it.

This exhibition is in collaboration with The Friends of Honeywood Museum.

Free. Drop-in exhibition.

Visit the Friends of Honeywood Museum here

Family Activities at Honeywood Museum

The Reading Corner at Honeywood

21 April – 19 May 10am – 4.30pm

A changing selection of books themed to the exhibitions and activities happening at Honeywood each month for families to enjoy together.

Drop in. FREE

Join a group at Honeywood Museum

Honeywood Draughts & Chess Group

5 and 19 May

9 and 23 June

7 and 21 July

All dates 10.15am – 12.15pm

Join our new group for a fun couple of hours alternate Friday mornings.

All abilities and beginners are welcome.

FREE entry. Book in advance here

Honeywood Embroidery Group

6 and 20 May

10 and 24 June

8 and 22 July

All dates 10.15am – 12.15pm

Excited by embroidery? Come along for a morning of stitching with fellow enthusiasts. A chance to compare notes on your current project. Please bring your materials with you.

FREE entry. Drop in event.

To book any of the events above CLICK HERE

Platinum Jubilee Weekend at Epsom Downs

The Jockey Club has today announced details of how Epsom Downs Racecourse will celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s contribution to horseracing on Cazoo Derby Day, which forms part of the official Platinum Jubilee celebrations on Saturday 4th June.

As well as The Queen’s Stand being permanently renamed The Queen Elizabeth II Stand, a guard of honour will be formed on the track by 40 retired and current jockeys to have ridden for Her Majesty, dressed in the monarch’s famous purple and gold silks, to greet her arrival.

The welcoming party of jockeys will include 79 year old four-time Derby winner Willie Carson, who also rode The Queen’s Oaks winner Dunfermline in 1977, and John Reid, who won The Derby in 1992. Current riders joining the line-up will include Frankie Dettori and Ryan Moore, both of whom have won The Derby twice, and another of The Queen’s regular jockeys, Hayley Turner.

The Derby – known as the world’s greatest and most prestigious Flat race – remains the only one of the five ‘Classics’ Her Majesty is yet to win as a racehorse owner, despite having finished second with Aureole in 1953 just four days after her Coronation and third in 2011 with Carlton House, who was her 10th runner in the race and the last horse to contest The Derby in her colours.

It is hoped that Her Majesty, who is Patron of The Jockey Club, will also have a runner in this year’s Cazoo Derby, with three horses currently entered in the race – Educator, General Idea and Reach For The Moon. A victory for Her Majesty would be only the second time a reigning monarch has won The Derby, after Minoru in 1909 who ran for King Edward VII.

To recognise Her Majesty’s contribution to horseracing and her long association with The Derby – which includes missing just two Derby days between her 1953 Coronation and the start of the Coronavirus pandemic – The Queen’s Stand at Epsom Downs Racecourse will also be permanently renamed as The Queen Elizabeth II Stand on Thursday 2nd June, two days before the 243rd running of The Cazoo Derby.

The two-day Cazoo Derby starts on Friday 3rd June with the running of the Cazoo Oaks, followed by Derby Day itself 24 hours later – an event which forms part of the official weekend of Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

A maximum capacity crowd in the ticketed enclosures at the racecourse of more than 35,000 people is expected, with tens of thousands more expected to take their place in the free enclosures on what is known locally as The Hill.

Phil White, London Regional Director at The Jockey Club, said: “We are absolutely delighted that this year’s Cazoo Derby will be a part of the official Platinum Jubilee celebrations and excited and proud to be able to take the opportunity to thank Her Majesty The Queen for her enormous contribution to horseracing over many, many years.

“We know that The Queen intends to be with us on the day and to mark her arrival at the racecourse we will form a guard of honour of around 40 retired and current jockeys all dressed in Her Majesty’s silks. We’re also inviting members of the local community and some local charities to support the guard of honour as flag bearers.

“Derby Day always has that spectacular carnival atmosphere and we’re looking forward to a display from the Red Devils and a military band’s performance of the National Anthem which will all add to a wonderful occasion.”

Other plans to mark the occasion include the unveiling of 15 special hats created by milliners in association with the British Hat Guild, which will be auctioned in aid of Brain Tumour Research.

Images from the Go Epsom, Brain Tumour photo shoot, at Epsom Downs Racecourse

White added: “As well as her amazing association with horseracing and horses, The Queen also has a special relationship with The Derby. She has only missed four since her Coronation and two of those were in the last two years during the pandemic. To permanently recognise this we are renaming The Queen’s Stand as The Queen Elizabeth II Stand. A plaque to recognise this will be unveiled on a community night at the racecourse on Thursday 2nd June.

“On the same evening we also have a Community Beacon immediately adjacent to the racecourse, which will be lit on Thursday evening at 9.45pm. We’re opening the gates at the racecourse for a community event as a Derby Weekend launch, free to attend for the community.

“Some of the schools will be showcasing the hats they’ve been making in the lead-up to the weekend and there will be food, drink and entertainment, before people make their way to the Beacon lighting to finish the evening.”

Epsom Downs Racecourse has also announced the Jubilee Family Festival, which will feature a main stage on The Hill and activities for various ages to enjoy.

And White explained: “We have more than 35,000 tickets in our paid enclosures on the racecourse side, but then there will be tens of thousands more on The Hill, and it’s free to walk on there, so we’re expecting a big crowd. It really is what makes the event unique – the atmosphere, the energy and the people out there are all amazing.

“This year we’re also introducing the Jubilee Family Festival. We’ve had a family enclosure before but this is bigger and better than ever and we’ll be launching it in a special year. We’ll have a main stage with lots of entertainment on, a range of activities for different age groups, and it’s something we’re really looking forward to introducing on The Hill.

“As part of our Family Festival zone, there will be an adjacent area where we’re inviting lots of racing charities to showcase what racing does so well. There are a number of charities being represented form a racing point of view, so it’ll be a nice showcase on a special weekend to show all the good work that takes place in the industry.

“You can buy a ticket in one of our paid enclosures to guarantee your spot, or you can walk onto The Hill free of charge, and be here in person to help celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. I think it’s a unique opportunity to be part of what promises to be something truly special.”

Speaking at a launch to announce The Jockey Club’s plans for this year’s Cazoo Derby, a number of former and current jockeys paid tribute to Her Majesty The Queen’s passion for horseracing.

Willie Carson – who won The Oaks on Dunfermline for The Queen at Epsom Downs in her Silver Jubilee year in 1977 – said: “When you put The Queen’s colours on, especially at Epsom, a jockey would grow six inches. It makes you feel important when you put those colours on. The Queen is the most famous woman in the whole wide world, so you’re privileged.

“She’s the patron of racing. Without her we would be a little bit lost, because her patronage is a very valuable thing.

“It’s not just the horseracing she enjoys, she enjoys the breeding side of it. She likes to know from trainers how the horse is behaving and its attitude, its temperament. She wants to know those things. That’s what she’s really interested in. The winning post is the end result and she enjoys that, of course, but she enjoys everything before you get to the winning post. That gives her the most pleasure.”

John Reid first rode for The Queen while still an apprentice jockey and went on to ride dozens of times in her famous silks.

Speaking about lining up in the guard of honour on Cazoo Derby Day, he said: “It’ll be pretty special. It’s something I’m looking forward to. I always come to The Derby anyway, but it’s going to be a very special occasion this year. I think there will be a big turnout from that point of view, a lot of people are going to want to be here. I’m expecting a big turnout and I’m sure it will happen.”

Another who is looking forward to this year’s Cazoo Derby and a potential Royal runner in the race is legendary broadcaster Brough Scott.

Scott, who has presented The Derby on TV more than 20 times and remains part of ITV Racing’s coverage team, said: “The thought of The Queen winning The Derby this year, of all the fairy-tale stories, that would be beyond it. It’s a wonderful thought.”

  • Tickets for this year’s Cazoo Derby on June 3rd and 4th are still available. For more details visit thejockeyclub.co.uk/epsom
L-R: Jockeys James Doyle, Franny Norton, David Probert, Hayley Turner and John Reid in the Royal silks at Epsom Downs

The HORTON Epsom to open its doors this April

Epsom’s new creative arts and cultural centre The Horton is ready to open to the public. 

The opening programme of events is now on sale, with courses, workshops, and more performances to be announced in the next few weeks. 

The Horton Epsom will open its doors to the public on Thursday 28 April 2022, initially operating for limited hours three days a week, and in evenings for specific performances. Opening hours will increase over the next few months, as a full programme of events is developed, leading up to a grand opening in the summer. 

The Horton Café will be open during the daytime Thursday to Saturday and will operate as a bar during evening events. Opening times will be variable, please check the Visit page of the website to find out more. 

The Horton will host a rich programme of performance and events including live music, from classical to contemporary; theatre and dance featuring critically acclaimed tours and engaging new work; interactive shows for children and families alongside stand-up comedy and an inspiring selection of creative courses, exhibitions and talks. 

The former Horton Asylum Chapel, an impressive grade II-listed building constructed at the turn of the twentieth century, has been saved and renovated as part of a £3m community-led project. 

The result is a stunning, award-winning conversion, that highlights the building’s many heritage features and includes a permanent free exhibition about the fascinating history and compelling stories of Epsom’s vast hospital cluster. 

The restoration of the building has been made possible with grants from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Viridor Credits, the Architectural Heritage Fund and others, plus support from Epsom & Ewell Borough Council. 

Co-founder and project manager, Maria Reeves, said: “The next phase in the life of this building is about to begin. Everyone who has worked on the project has been inspired by the history of the site and it is entirely fitting that The Horton will be a new home for creativity and culture that brings people together. The whole team is looking forward to welcoming visitors as we gradually build up to full opening in the summer.” 

In March, The Horton won the 2022 Surrey Heritage Award, being named as ‘Best Overall Project’ by the judges for Surrey Historic Buildings Trust. 

Opening programme 

Talk: Thursday 28 April, 7:30pm Saving Epsom’s Hospital History 

Hear the dramatic personal accounts of how irreplaceable documentary archives were rescued from the jaws of the bulldozers and burnt-out buildings as Epsom’s asylum complex was demolished for redevelopment. 

Talk by Julian Pooley, Public Services and Engagement Manager of Surrey History Centre and Jeremy Harte, Curator of Bourne Hall Museum, followed by Q&A. 

Tickets £10 

Exhibition: 28 April – 14 May Portraits of the Unremembered – Georgia Kitty Harris 

Artist Georgia Kitty Harris has created an incredible collection of patient portraits from the turn of the twentieth century. Working from found photographs, Georgia explored the archives at Surrey History Centre to view original portrait photography from medical case files from what was then called the Manor Asylum and Ewell Epileptic Colony (St. Ebba’s). 


Music: Saturday 30 April, 8pm 

Blunter Brothers 

Celebrate the opening weekend of The Horton with an evening of classic funk, Motown and soul music from incredible 10-piece live band The Blunter Brothers. Dancing guaranteed! 

Tickets £22 

Comedy: Friday 6 May, 8pm 

Comedy at The Horton 

Join us for the launch a regular comedy night at The Horton, bringing you some of the best stand-up comedians working the UK comedy circuit. 

This month offers the comedic delights of Juliet Meyers, Javier Jarquin and headlined by one of our all-time favourites Prince Abdi. Tickets £20 

Theatre: Friday 20 May 8pm A Room of One’s Own 

Rebecca Vaughan performs Virginia Woolf’s 1928 exploration of the impact of poverty and sexual inequality on intellectual freedom and creativity. Take a wry, amusing, and incisive trip through the history of literature, feminism, and gender. Meet Charlotte Brontë, Jane Austen, Aphra Behn, and Shakespeare’s sister – Judith. Go forward into the far-flung future of… 2028. But whatever you do, Keep Off The Grass… 

Tickets £20 

Children and Family: Saturday 21 May 11am 

Long Nose Puppets – The Hug 

Based on the heart-warming and funny book ‘The Hug’ by Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar. Starring a Hedgehog and a Tortoise both in search of a restorative hug. Facing many rejections along the way, they meet a rather scary badger, an obsessive squirrel who knows A LOT about nuts, a fabulous fox and an owl who is trying hard to be wise. A tale of hope, empathy and acceptance. Suitable for ages 6 months – 4 years 

Tickets £15. Family ticket £56 (admits four, at least one of party must be 18+) 

All the events above, and future events will soon be bookable via their website  CLICK HERE

Council driving forward with electric chargers

Work has begun on the installation of Park and Charge electric vehicle charging points within Epsom & Ewell Borough Council car parks.

Hook Road car park is the first council car park to benefit from the scheme, with six new charging points currently being installed. These will allow people to pay for both charging and parking their electric vehicles at the same time.

Councillor Neil Dallen, Chair of the Environment and Safe Communities Committee said “The best travel options for the environment are walking, cycling or using public transport. The use of electric vehicles can be a positive contribution to air quality, as they emit fewer greenhouse gases and air pollutants than petrol or diesel cars.

“This new facility can help support drivers make the switch to electric vehicles. It can also encourage electric car drivers to visit the borough, supporting our local businesses, shops and amenities.”

The installation work is being undertaken in partnership Joju Solar, a leading UK company for electric car charging point installation.

Councillor Neil Dallen added “This initiative is being undertaken with a partner to ensure that the associated costs do not impact on council taxpayers who may want or need to use these new facilities”.

Following completion of the Hook Road installation, work will then continue Ashley Road car park and with other council car parks following later this spring. A total of 18 electric chargers will be installed with this number reviewed as use demands.

The installation work may involve some car park bays being fenced off temporarily and some short-term limited disruption to each car park. The council aims to keep disruption to a minimum and reduce any inconvenience to car park users.

The initiative forms part of the council’s aspirations to provide more sustainable transport options in the borough under the theme ‘smart and connected’.

To read the 2020-2024 Four Year Plan Click Here