"Epsom would be welcomed into London with open arms", says Sutton and Croydon Assembly Member

Councillor Steve O'Connell, London Asssembly Member for Croydon and Sutton, said Epsom and Ewell should become part of London

Councillor Steve O'Connell, London Asssembly Member for Croydon and Sutton, said Epsom and Ewell should become part of London

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

Epsom would be "welcomed with open arms" if it became part of the capital and the borough's residents should be given a say on the issue, according to a London Assembly member.

Last week, the Epsom Guardian revealed that planning expert Barney Stringer had raised the question of whether London is too small, based upon the number of people commuting from towns just outside London into the city for work.

He said that since many districts, such as Epsom and Ewell, provide fewer jobs for their residents than London does, it may be time to consider whether London should re-draw its boundaries to "embrace these areas that already function as part of the city".

While a number of Epsom's councillors did not believe the boundary change would be right for the borough, Councillor Mike Teasdale said he has always felt there is a case for Epsom to merge with another London borough such as Sutton.

And Sutton's representative on the London Assembly, Councillor Steve O'Connell, agrees.

Conservative Coun O'Connell, London Assembly Member for Croydon and Sutton, and a Croydon councillor, said he believes the people of Epsom and Ewell should be consulted on whether they would like to be part of London.

He said: "I’m a democrat. 

"I think the people of Epsom and Ewell should be given a say because there is a very strong case for it being part of London and a borough such as Sutton. 

"It would be great for Epsom and Ewell and Sutton."

This Is Local London:

The blue areas on this map indicate areas in which more people work in London than their home districts. Picture: Barney Stringer / OS / ONS Census 2011

In what he termed a "tongue-in-cheek" appeal for the change, he added: "As London Assembly member for Sutton and Croydon I would welcome with open arms the good people of Epsom and Ewell into the world's greatest city. 

"They would benefit from the economic powerhouse that is London with an uplift in transport investment. 

"The senior Epsom and Ewellers would of course benefit from the Freedom Pass and be able to sail around London 24 hours a day free on buses. 

"They will be able to benefit from the munificence of a London Mayor as he extricates from central Government more dosh for London.

"They might be tempted to support South London's premier football team, Crystal Palace.

"They might even have me as their Assembly Member. What's not to like?" 

In a poll on the Epsom Guardian website this week, 33 per cent of those who voted said Epsom and Ewell should become part of London, while 65 per cent said it should not, and 2 per cent said they did not mind. 

What do you think? Leave a comment below or email Hardeep Matharu on hmatharu@london.newsquest.co.uk.

RELATED STORIES:

Should Epsom become part of London?

'Epsom should merge with a London borough like Sutton', says councillor

 

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:54pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Expatasb says...

I suppose it would be something like Britain's membership of the EU - or whatever they call it now. There would definatelly be more 'investment' from London but it would be paid for by increased local taxation. I'm sure that Epsom and Ewell would be seen as some kind of 'cash cow' to finance a lot of unwanted programmes - not all of which would have any direct benefit locally. When I lived in London for a few years, prior to emmigrating, I came to regard it as a great place to visit, but not such a great place to live. You can still visit London without having London visit you.
I suppose it would be something like Britain's membership of the EU - or whatever they call it now. There would definatelly be more 'investment' from London but it would be paid for by increased local taxation. I'm sure that Epsom and Ewell would be seen as some kind of 'cash cow' to finance a lot of unwanted programmes - not all of which would have any direct benefit locally. When I lived in London for a few years, prior to emmigrating, I came to regard it as a great place to visit, but not such a great place to live. You can still visit London without having London visit you. Expatasb
  • Score: 15

4:03pm Thu 28 Aug 14

treblegold says...

Councillor McConnell has no locus in this issue, and - whether tongue in cheek or not - his comments have no more relevance than those of any man in the street. This is even more true of the "planning expert" who floated this idea in the first place.
Councillor McConnell has no locus in this issue, and - whether tongue in cheek or not - his comments have no more relevance than those of any man in the street. This is even more true of the "planning expert" who floated this idea in the first place. treblegold
  • Score: 3

8:39pm Thu 28 Aug 14

MikeyF says...

When can we get the vote to leave Croydon and go back to being in Surrey. Old Coulsdon Residents........
When can we get the vote to leave Croydon and go back to being in Surrey. Old Coulsdon Residents........ MikeyF
  • Score: 1

12:45pm Fri 29 Aug 14

EwellMan says...

Why on earth would Epsom want to become part of London. Makes no sense other than the council getting more money.
Why on earth would Epsom want to become part of London. Makes no sense other than the council getting more money. EwellMan
  • Score: 5

2:06pm Fri 29 Aug 14

niftynigel says...

It's worth being on our guard, but I don't believe it will ever happen.

If there was ever a serious consideration of Epsom & Ewell becoming a London Borough or merge with another borough it would probably be part of a larger exercise to consider expanding the Greater London area. Although people talk about it from time to time, there isn't really any groundswell of support for it to happen.

In the last major government reorganisation affecting the region, Spelthorne faced the same situation. Spelthorne and it's residents wanted to become an independent area (governed by unitary authority), however the choice they had was if they were granted unitary status, it would have to be as London's 33rd borough. This was a deal breaker and Spelthorne voted against that proposal.

I think there are many advantages of being a London Borough, but equally, there would be disadvantages. As it's a low priority for the powers that be (Westminster / Greater London Authority), I can't actually seeing it progressing beyond just the occasional suggestion / opinion / someone's wish list / speculation.

One of the supposed advantages would be that Epsom station would be included in Zone 6. However, this has already been agreed to happen when South West Trains franchise comes up for re-tender (if not earlier). There are also disadvantages to this too. Some single and return (London zonal fares) will rise. It's actually more expensive to travel from Epsom Downs to Selhurst than Epsom to Selhurst! Hoewer, the Epsom Downs Travelcard is cheaper than Epsom's! As part of Greater London, the over 60s would enjoy the Freedom Pass, but the extra cost would be paid for out of extra Council Tax to Transport for London (as would converting most/all Epsom bus routes toTfL routes).

Whenever there are changes, there are winners and there are losers. That's life. That's not to say the 'current' or 'before' is best and change is bad. It needn't be.

I don't know about a cash cow but Council Tax would rise as Epsom & Ewell residents would need to pay the Greater London Authority as opposed to Surrey County Council along with Transport for London and whatever successor there would be to Epsom & Ewell Borough Council.

I think this is all a mute point as there is no official desire for Epsom & Ewell, Spelthorne, part of Elmbridge etc. to become part of London.
It's worth being on our guard, but I don't believe it will ever happen. If there was ever a serious consideration of Epsom & Ewell becoming a London Borough or merge with another borough it would probably be part of a larger exercise to consider expanding the Greater London area. Although people talk about it from time to time, there isn't really any groundswell of support for it to happen. In the last major government reorganisation affecting the region, Spelthorne faced the same situation. Spelthorne and it's residents wanted to become an independent area (governed by unitary authority), however the choice they had was if they were granted unitary status, it would have to be as London's 33rd borough. This was a deal breaker and Spelthorne voted against that proposal. I think there are many advantages of being a London Borough, but equally, there would be disadvantages. As it's a low priority for the powers that be (Westminster / Greater London Authority), I can't actually seeing it progressing beyond just the occasional suggestion / opinion / someone's wish list / speculation. One of the supposed advantages would be that Epsom station would be included in Zone 6. However, this has already been agreed to happen when South West Trains franchise comes up for re-tender (if not earlier). There are also disadvantages to this too. Some single and return (London zonal fares) will rise. It's actually more expensive to travel from Epsom Downs to Selhurst than Epsom to Selhurst! Hoewer, the Epsom Downs Travelcard is cheaper than Epsom's! As part of Greater London, the over 60s would enjoy the Freedom Pass, but the extra cost would be paid for out of extra Council Tax to Transport for London (as would converting most/all Epsom bus routes toTfL routes). Whenever there are changes, there are winners and there are losers. That's life. That's not to say the 'current' or 'before' is best and change is bad. It needn't be. I don't know about a cash cow but Council Tax would rise as Epsom & Ewell residents would need to pay the Greater London Authority as opposed to Surrey County Council along with Transport for London and whatever successor there would be to Epsom & Ewell Borough Council. I think this is all a mute point as there is no official desire for Epsom & Ewell, Spelthorne, part of Elmbridge etc. to become part of London. niftynigel
  • Score: 7

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree