Information received from the office of Chris Grayling MP on 1st May 2018
I am writing to you with an update on a number of local issues.
You may have seen reports that the Chief Executive of the Epsom and St Helier Trust has announced a plan to sell a significant part of the land at the rear of the Epsom Hospital site. His argument is that the sale will allow him to balance his books and spend the proceeds on improvements to the Epsom site. I have been clear to him that I am very unhappy about his plan and could only support it if the land is used for more health or social care facilities.
Last year he promised me that there would be no sale of Epsom land unless and until there was a clear resolution about the long term future of the Epsom site. That is not yet the case, and so I regard this decision as premature as well.
Over the next few days I will be having discussions with senior people in the NHS in an attempt to either get the current process halted or to secure an absolute guarantee that the sale will only be used to bring another health or social care organisation to Epsom. I will let you know how I get on and whether or how we need to talk about further action as a local community.
Many of you will share my unhappiness about the recent performance of South Western Railway on the line into Waterloo. Much of the problem has been caused by track and signal failures, controlled by Network Rail, rather than by the train company. However the situation has still not been good enough and so in my national role I have insisted that the situation is sorted out. The two companies have now set up an operational review of what is going wrong and I hope this will lead to rapid improvement.
Like many of you I am hugely frustrated by the much too slow progress towards pay as you go ticketing at Epsom. This has proved much more technically and operationally complex than anyone had realised because of fare structures and systems issues. This really matters because if we can’t get the promise for Epsom finally fulfilled, and for the stations in Hertfordshire that were also expecting integration into the Oyster system, then we cannot deliver a proper smart ticketing system across the South East either. I hope to provide you with positive news shortly, but it is very firmly on my agenda to sort things out.
I have been asked for assistance by two local charities who need volunteer support. Cruse Bereavement Support is looking for a new local Chair to head their trustee board. The Epsom Hospital Medical Equipment Fund are also looking for new volunteer help. Please let me know if you would like me to put you in touch with either of them.
You may have seen that I have volunteered to be Parliamentary Species Champion for the hedgehog. The species champion scheme is a worthwhile one run by several conservation charities and has individual MPs who raise issues with Ministers or in Parliament about threats to their species - and who help them in their conservation efforts.
Hedgehog numbers have been in rapid decline, though they have started to rise again in urban areas. I haven’t found any where I live in Ashtead, but I am always interested to hear of sightings locally (thanks to everyone who has already been in touch) and please do let me know if you see any in and around our area. You might also want to make sure that you have a small hole in your fence as garden fences make it very difficult for them to move around.
Next week is in fact hedgehog awareness week. Expect to hear more about them and how you can help in the media.
Chris Grayling “
Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP
Secretary of State for Transport
MP for Epsom and Ewell
This is one of Chris’s regular email updates for constituents. If you would like to reply to Chris please email him at: email@example.com .
Member since: 10th July 2012
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