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These are some of the points that emerged from the stakeholder meeting held a Bourne Hall on Friday.
· Councillor Jan Mason, Chairman of the Leisure Committee, confirmed the Borough Council’s commitment to restore the House for community use.
· The Borough Council is still awaiting the results of the investigations by Surrey Fire and Rescue, the Loss Adjusters and Insurers as to the cause of the fire.
· Councillor Mason has written to the Chief Fire Officer thanking the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service for their prompt action during the early hours of the morning and for the bravery of the fire fighters at the scene.
· Confirmation was given of the extent of the damage (as reported previously). The floor of the first floor meeting room at the far end of the building where the fire started is unsafe preventing access to the ante room on the ground floor. There has been some water damage to the wooden panelling, but not fire damage, therefore the panels will be taken down, dried and placed back wherever possible. There is no fire damage to the staircase. An important stain glass window has not suffered any damage.
· Security remains in place 24/7, although boarding up the building began on Thursday.
· Plans are in hand for lighting in the avenue leading up to Ewell Court House and, for security purpose, on the House itself.
· All short and medium term bookings and users have been re-located, bar one. Three weddings booked for December have also been relocated.
· Specialist firms have been approached to provide a roof cover to ensure the building is water-tight. It will also have to be secure enough to withstand winter weather conditions including wind etc.
· A specialist firm will be employed to dry out the building once it is watertight.
· Advice on the restoration of the House will be sought from the Conservation Officer and English Heritage.
· A timescale for the House to be back in use was given as 18 months to two years. However it was stressed that doing a proper and quality job is more important that doing it quickly.
· Questions were asked on a range of topics including: actions which would be taken to minimise disruption to other users while reconstruction takes place, internal decoration, opportunities to include modern conference facilities in the reconstruction, disabled access and applying for grants.
· Representatives of Surrey Library Service attended and reported that a separate meeting was planned between SCC and EEBC to finalise plans for the refurbishment of the library in anticipation of it moving to volunteer management.
· It was agreed that the stakeholder group would meet again if required. One point of contact was also agreed for future enquiries.
On a personal note I felt that the meeting provided a positive statement of intent by Epsom and Ewell Borough Council, but crucially it showed that the Council and the groups and individuals who care about the House are united in their desire to see Ewell Court House restored so that it is, once again, at the heart of our community.
Please feel free to circulate this briefing note to others.
With all good wishes
Councillor Eber A Kington
Ewell Court Ward
020 8786 9271
Reort from Councillor Eber A Kington
Ewell Court Ward
Report No 8