Epsom and Ewell Phab Charity Number: 298452

Why have you not listened to our views when deciding to sell the Linton Centre?

Epsom Phab is an Inclusive youth club – some members have physical disabilities, some have learning difficulties and some members are able bodied. There are 120 members age 8 – 16 years and 20 Young volunteers age 14 – 20. We are an entirely voluntary group.

Every Friday evening around 100 youngsters come along and have fun together taking part in sports, crafts, playing games, music, drama, dance and socialising with around 40 members completing Youth Achievement Awards and organising our own shows, festivals and events. For example, our last show was directed and produced by 13 and 15 year olds with 60 people on stage and 500 people watching it, including the Mayor of Epsom.

 Phab enables all young people to gain confidence and skills they can use in later life. An example is Olympic Gold medallist David Weir and others who have gone on to work in special needs and outdoor education.  We were one of the first groups in the country to receive the Queens Award for Voluntary groups and in Golden Jubilee year were featured in the Queen’s Christmas broadcast. We are already making plans for next year, including an adventure holiday in the Lake District, water sports day, visits to theme parks, theatres and festivals and of course several trips to the Paralympics.

We are here because we feel young people should be involved in discussions and decisions affecting them. Our Phab club has worked in Epsom for 3 generations so far and we want to carry on into the future.

The leasehold of the Linton centre has assurances that if we cannot use the Linton Centre, the young people of Epsom would have a purpose built centre with all the facilities we need. If you sell the Leasehold you will leave us with nowhere to meet.

We want you to assure us that we can have a building that allows our club to carry on. What we already have at the Linton Centre and what we need the building to be:

We understand that decisions have to be made with finance in mind, however we hope you can listen to our views and make a decision with Young people in mind

Zoe Giles, Epsom Phab


Cabinet Meeting at County Hall 20th December 2011

Statement made by Zoe Giles at the meeting.

Link to audio recording of statement

Link to web cam recording of statement.
Start point 01:30:00

Are you going to make Epsom Phab homeless?

You may wonder why we are here.  You may believe, as we did, that Epsom Phab had been saved.

You may have been told, as we were, that a grant application for a 2 Million pound new building at Nescot had been successful and Phab would be involved in developing the plans to ensure our needs could be met on the site.

This is not the case. We have received an apology for the misunderstanding, as the Surrey County Council officer, Garath, had not read the grant application. The grant is actually for remodelling a corridor area at Nescot with no outdoor provision. We have been to Nescot and looked at the latest plans, unlike the officer who produced the wrong plans at our task group meeting. We have been told by those doing the development that it will not be ready for us to use by March and a suitable outside space could take 5 years.

We have all just done our exams. If we hadn’t read the questions and have given the wrong answers, we will have failed.

We have put in a huge amount of effort working with Surrey County Council on the task group to secure an alternative venue for our club. This has resulted in 3 options, an extension of the Harriers in Ewell, adapted facilities at NESCOT or a conversion of Horton Chapel. None of these can be available within the timescales.

We have been pleased with the overwhelming support we have received from members, parents, families, friends and members of the public in signing our petitions and cards. We now have 760 signatures, with support from MPs, Councillors, Schools, the Police and local businesses.

However, we find ourselves in a worse position than we were in when I spoke to you in December 2011. Then we had 12 months to find a home. The date has been pushed back by just 3 months and so we have only 8 months left  – but now we KNOW that there are no alternative venues available.

Plan E is the local development framework for Epsom Town Centre. It was approved last year after wide consultation. It clearly states that any redevelopment of the Lintons Centre must include a reprovision of the community facilities for young people currently provided, somewhere on the site. It specifically says that ‘Surrey County Council will work in partnership with Epsom & Ewell Borough Council and the landowner to ensure that community uses are retained on site, either in their current form, or as part of a comprehensive redevelopment of the wider site.’

 Under the terms of the lease, we understand that the funding for the redevelopment is to be provided by the developer.

Now, it’s exam time for you, Surrey County Council Cabinet and we, the young people of Epsom & Ewell are the exam board.

If you agree to fulfil your obligation under Plan E to work with Epsom & Ewell Borough Council and the landowner to provide a facility for the young people of Epsom & Ewell, including Epsom Phab, on the Linton Centre site, you will get an A*.

If you continue with the decision you took in December 2011 to sell the lease, a decision which did not comply with Section 149 of the 2010 Equality Act, to consider the needs of disabled people and young people, you will get an F for failed – as you will have Failed the young and disabled people of Epsom.

Zoe Giles, Epsom Phab


Cabinet Meeting at County Hall 24th JULY 2012

Statement made by Zoe Giles at the meeting.

Link to web cam recording of statement.
Start point 00:08:00