Details received from the office of Chris Grayling MP
I am writing with an update on a number of local issues:
Future of Epsom Hospital
The Chief Executive continues to argue for a new build hospital on the Sutton Hospital site, with a lot of services integrated with the Royal Marsden next door. His plans would leave outpatient services and planned care, like that provided by the Orthopaedic Centre at Epsom, but would transfer emergency services to Sutton.
As I have indicated before, I remain sceptical about the viability of the idea and the concept is still very much on the drawing board. If the NHS centrally does decide that this is something that it does want to pursue, I will take soundings locally about what people think before deciding how to respond. But I don’t want to waste everyone’s time, or to raise the ante on the issue, unless and until this becomes a genuinely serious proposal.
In the meantime, Epsom is not one of the hospitals highlighted recently as facing possible service reductions, and the Epsom and St Helier Trust is seen by the NHS as doing a decent job in tackling its financial issues.
Oyster and Southern Rail
As you will probably know, I was appointed Transport Secretary when Theresa May became Prime Minister in July. Sadly this doesn’t mean that I can automatically order Oyster cards for Epsom and rezone the station – there are strict rules (rightly) to stop Ministers doing pet projects in their own constituency. However the issue is now firmly on the agenda given the promises made in 2014.
In addition, there is a firm requirement in the South West Trains franchise renewal process for the introduction of Oyster or a similar system as part of that new franchise as well. But that’s a couple of years away – and I don’t want us to wait that long.
So whilst things are happening much too slowly, I am pushing to get this sorted as quickly as possible.
I am, though, working as hard as I can to ensure that the problems on the Southern routes are dealt with as quickly as possible. The industrial dispute remains an ongoing issue. But it is not the only problem.
At the moment GTR, the train operating company, runs the trains, and Network Rail runs the tracks and the signals. But if things go wrong, the tendency is for those involved to blame each other and not work together to sort them out quickly. That must change now. So I am establishing a Project Board, which will be led by one of the most senior figures in the rail industry, to fix this, and to create one single team that works together to run this railway better.
In addition, there are too many little breakdowns which cause chaos on the network. So I’ve put in place a £20m scheme to tackle some of the causes of these breakdowns.
Southern have also started to put back some of the services that were withdrawn temporarily in the summer, and I hope the rest will return shortly. I can’t promise overnight improvement, but I am determined that we will sort things out and believe that things will start to get better.
Epsom and Ewell Business Awards
The closing date for nominations for this year’s Epsom & Ewell Business Awards is at the end of this month. This is the sixth year that we have organised the awards, which are designed to give local people and businesses the chance to nominate firms or businesses that have done a particularly good job for them over the past year. Please do go to the website, www.epsombusinessawards.co.uk, and nominate someone who has done a great job for you. Last year’s outright winner was Home Instead Senior Care. Congratulations again to them. Who will win the various awards this year? That’s down to you – they can only win if you nominate them!
7th Epsom Scout Group
On a different matter, I have been asked by the 7th Epsom (Methodist) Scout Group for help in finding someone who might take over as its new leader. The incumbent Neil Dallen is retiring, and I am grateful to him for all the work he has done for the scouts locally.
The local Scout organization tell me that the Group is “a significant contributor to the Borough of Epsom and Ewell and its young people. It is one of the largest scout groups in the UK, is financially sound and has its own purpose built Head-Quarters.”
If you are interested, please email Kevin Mead, via email@example.com.
Dinner with Lord Dobbs (author of House of Cards)
Finally, as you know, I normally keep Conservative matters out of these more general emails. But for those of you with an interest in politics, on October 14ththe Epsom and Ewell Conservative Association is holding an Autumn Dinner with Michael Dobbs, the author of the original House of Cards, and co-producer of the US version, starring Kevin Spacey. If you are interested in a ticket please click here for further information or order tickets online following this link
I hope you had a good summer.
Chris Grayling “
This is one of Chris’s regular email updates for constituents. If you would like to reply to Chris please email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Chris also holds regular Advice Surgeries in the constituency. These surgeries give Epsom & Ewell constituents the opportunity to discuss matters which are important to them. If you would like to arrange an appointment please contact the constituency office on 01372 271036.
Member since: 10th July 2012
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