Minutes of Annual General Meeting held on 14th May 2014
St. John’s Church Hall, Tadworth
(Click here to view, download and print as a pdf file - accounts inc.)

Attendance:
Present
Chairman - Clive Elcome
Vice-Chairman - Gillian Hein
Treasurer - Robin Parr-Davies
Secretary -Gillain Bockmeulen

Committee - Ken Chivers, Bryan Yates

In Attendance:
Surrey County Councillor - Cllr. Michael Gosling
Reigate and Banstead Ward - Councillors Rachel Turner, Vic Broad

Apologies: Simon Carpenter, Trish Canham, Geoff Hewitt, Jane Gandey, Paul Waller & Veronica Pluckrose

The Chairman welcomed residents to the Annual General Meeting of the Tadworth and Walton Residents’ Association and thanked the Committee, Councillors and Road Stewards for their help during the past year.

1. Margaret Mortlock, Stakeholder Strategy Manager/Community Liaison, Pfizers
Ms. Mortlock outlined her role within Pfizers and the company’s commitment to and support for the local community. It had made charitable donations in the past for community projects and this would continue but the amounts donated would be reduced to £2500 each to Walton and Tadworth, with the community deciding how these monies should be spent. In addition, Pfizers is proposing to offer mentoring to community groups. All staff are allowed 1-5 volunteering days per year and this commitment has been made for the next 5 years. Staff have already volunteered to help with the restoration of war graves in the area.

2. John Brown, Regional Development Officer, The Woodland Trust – Centenary Project
Mr. Brown outlined the plan to create a national forest to mark the centenary commemorations for the First World War, illustrating his talk with a visual presentation. An area in Langley Vale has been selected for the English forest. 650 acres have been purchased and 200,000 trees are to be planted over the next four years. It is proposed that 60% of the area will be planted with trees and 40% as open space with meadows of wild flowers and poppies and will include restoration of the hedgerows. There will be a parking area and a memorial area. The project will cost £9 million and support from the public is needed. He said that for every £1 donated, £90 is received from other grant-giving sources. £3.5 million has already been donated. He also invited people to volunteer to be involved with planting and donations.

In response to questions he indicated the land has been bought by The Woodland Trust, farming will be reduced and the access will probably be from near Langley Vale.

3. Jeff Harris, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey
The Chairman thanked Mr. Harris for facilitating the funding of the database which Mike Fox has compiled in conjunction with Neighbourhood Watch and for his generous donation of two benches to replace those stolen outside Nethercotts in Tadworth.

Mr. Harris outlined the priorities of the commission: 1. Zero-tolerance, emphasising that everyone should be involved. 2. Seizing assets from convicted criminals. 3. Putting victims at the centre of the system. 4. Getting the public to say what issues concern them such as anti-social speeding, inconsiderate parking, litter, dogs and even over-hanging branches. He said that there was now a joint enforcement team with Reigate and Banstead Council which would tackle these issues. 5. Getting more financial support for the police service. 6. Operating to the highest standards.

In general terms he said that crime was down by 8% with the exception of cyber crime and rape and sexual offences. Proceeds from seizing assets from criminals had doubled. Targets had been removed and the important issue was how quickly 999 calls were answered and how quick the response time. He urged residents to change passwords on their computers and wanted people of all ages to be safe. He spoke about the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme whereby information could be sent by alerts to residents who had signed up to the scheme. He also spoke about the Respect and Remember Scheme where those convicted and given community service orders work on gardening projects and also restoration of war memorials. Cllr. Broad said that meetings with the Chief Constable are web-cast via the Surrey County Council website: www.surreycc.gov.uk/webcasts. Mr. Harris requested questions by e-mail at surrey.pcc.gov.uk.

4. Minutes and Matters Arising:
A proposal to adopt the Minutes was made by Cllr. Turner and seconded by Ken Chivers. There were no matters arising.

5. Treasurer’s Report:
Robin reported that a copy of the annual accounts was tabled with copies available to residents and the fully signed version was available for inspection.

He reported that he had taken over from Roger Dring mid way through the year and wished to thank him, on behalf of the Association, for all his years of service and his assistance in drawing up the year- end accounts. Robin hoped that Roger would remain around to give his wise counsel whenever needed.

He thanked the Accounts Examiner, Arthur Elson who has also retired. His role will be fulfilled by Chris Jenkins.

2013 saw a reduction in subscription income from just over £4k to £3.3k, a drop of £786 or 19%.

He explained that we are introducing the Standing Order facility for those residents who would like to pay their subscription in this way as this would help hard-pressed road stewards. He asked that residents wishing to set up their S O’s through internet banking add an extra “0” at the beginning of our account number as the internet form seeks an 8 digit account number. We shall also, later in the year, look to make paying by PayPal available.

He stressed that any residents who wishes to continue to pay with a cash payment collected by the road steward would be able to do so. He reported that our expenditure was about the same as last year being just £73 lower. The bulk is spent on communications in particular the twice yearly Newsletters.

Our bank balances and reserves remain healthy which is fortunate as we shall be investing some of that for legal representation at the forthcoming Public Inquiry into Walton Heath Golf Club’s application to deregister the bulk of Beecham’s Field.

The Pfizer funds, which remain outside of our accounts but are managed by us, stands at £2,436 and is to be spent on a new flower bed outside the TSB in Tadworth.

A further donation from Pfizer of £2,500 is due shortly for each of Tadworth and Walton. He was asked why the reserves were so large and explained that monies had to be available to fund, for example, legal representation where necessary. However, the Association does make donations to local groups and requests for grants and ideas on how monies could be spent are invited.
Proposal to adopt the accounts was made by Martin Stringfellow and seconded by Ann Liddle

6. Chairman’s Report:
Clive thanked Roger Dring for his many years of service as Treasurer at the TWRA, support and advice and expressed the gratitude of the Committee. A small presentation was made to him.

Bryan Yates has also resigned after 13 years on the Committee. His contribution was acknowledged and he was thanked for all that he had done, especially dealing with health and planning issues. He was also presented with a small gift.

Clive announced that he would not be seeking re-election as Chairman at the next A.G.M. and will be leaving the Committee at the same time.

He spoke about the setting up of the standing order scheme which was felt necessary as some road stewards had resigned and many experienced difficulties collecting subscriptions. He explained that the web-site had been redesigned and thanked Tony Andrews who had generously given his time to design and complete the web-site.

He expressed thanks to Mike Fox who has worked tirelessly to set up the software and create the Neighbourhood Watch database and membership list which will significantly help the committee.

Clive said that Paul Waller through his connection with a nursery group, is hoping to attract younger residents to become involved with Association and wishes to encourage them to join the Committee.

He thanked the road stewards for their efforts and the Councillors, Rachel Turner, Vic Broad, Michael Vivona and Surrey County Councillor, Mike Gosling.

7. Planning – Walton: Ken Chivers
Ken said a new application for 7 flats had been submitted for Lavingtons, Heath Drive and another for Meadow Walk. These will be discussed at the next TWRA Committee meeting.
Budgens new store was causing concerns about parking and traffic near Walton School. Agreement has now been achieved whereby deliveries are made between 9.00-10.00am and between 5.00-8.00pm avoiding school time.
The development of the former Police Training site was nearly complete and he had received assurances from Berkeley Homes, the developer, that they had no plans to develop the adjoining lane which they own and is Green Belt. He said that they had adopted and adhered to the traffic management plan.
There had been many applications for tree work and many were protected with Tree Preservation Orders.

8. Planning – Tadworth: Gillian Hein
Gillian reported that planning permission has been granted for 11 houses on the Ketchams site, White Lodge, Tadworth Street. This is next to Jubilee Woodland which is likely to be badly affected by the proximity of the new buildings. Two dwellings are going up on the site of 14 Downsway.

Property owners on both sides of Shelvers Way have been approached by developers but no planning applications have been submitted. The owners of land off Lywood Close have submitted yet another application. We objected and this latest proposal has been refused. Planning permission has been granted for a block of 11 flats on the site of the Royal Phoenix restaurant fronting onto the Dorking Road. We recently objected to a proposal for a new dwelling on the corner of Copley Way and Shelvers Way. This has now been refused by the Council on the grounds of being out of character. Lastly, we objected to a garage in front of the building line at 38, Tadorne Road which was erected without planning permission. There appears to be no decision yet on the resulting enforcement appeal.

Core Strategy:
The Council’s Core Strategy or new Local Plan will, we hope, be adopted in July. Following several days of Public Inquiry in 2013, at which we gave evidence, the Inspector reported his findings to the Council in January. He recommended adoption with some changes which had already been discussed during the Hearings. The Council will be required to provide 460 dwellings a year up to 2027 and show that it always has a 5 years supply of developable land. We commend the Council and in particular the policy planning team for their hard work in getting to this stage.

Gillian reported that we are fortunate that there are no proposals for major development in the northern part of the Borough other than in Preston. Here permission has been given for 130 new dwellings on the Recreation Ground, together with the new leisure centre. Another 180 dwellings are proposed on the De Burgh Playing Fields. On both sites we have expressed concern at the poor infrastructure.

The next stage, following the adoption of the Core Strategy, is for the Council to start work on its Development Management Plan which will develop more detailed policies on such matters as design, parking and housing mix.

Walton Heath Inquiry into deregistration of most of Beecham’s Field and provision of replacement land on the south side of the M25:
This application is to enable Walton Heath Golf Club to provide better practice facilities for its members and visitors but the Residents Association and many local residents are concerned at the loss of Beecham’s Field and the remote location of the replacement land. The Inquiry is set to begin at 10.00am on 20th May at the Dorking Halls. It is scheduled to last for four days. Anyone turning up on the first day can ask the Inspector if he or she may speak.

Jubilee Woodland:
The project is going well and more schools are using it. The first birthday party was held last June and carol singing took place in December. The Woodland is always open. We would like more volunteers, preferably younger than most of us, to help develop the rear of the site as a conservation area and to remove brambles and seedlings.

Pfizers:
Gillian thanked Margaret and Pfizers for what they do for the community and also for helping us in the printing of newsletter inserts. She hoped their mentoring service would help us to develop more efficient ways of managing our database. She also told the meeting that we need a Membership Secretary.
Walton will be spending their £2500 from Pfizers for improving Walton Street and in particular Gun Island. In Tadworth we invite views on local improvements.

9. Federation Report: (read in Trish Canham’s absence by Gillian Hein):
The past year was once again a very active one for the Federation. At the April 2013 meeting we welcomed our M.P., Crispin Blunt when he reiterated his support for protecting the Green Belt and the environment. Our M.P. together with Chris Grayling, became involved in support of Epsom Hospital. Their pressure resulted in a ballot of G.P.’s and we were delighted that Epsom Hospital was finally withdrawn from the process.

The 2014 National Association of Residents Associations (NORA) A.G.M. was attended by Mike Sawyer from Banstead and Gillian. Guest Speaker, Roberta Blackman Woods, Shadow Minister for the DCLG gave a presentation of the Opposition’s policies on solving the housing problems and how the planning regime should be improved.

We welcomed Mike Fox, Secretary of the Surrey Neighbourhood Watch Association to our July meeting. Mike described the local N.W. structure and also pilot projects using resident association e-mail lists to send out crime alerts. We have to thank Mike for all his hard work.

Surrey and East Surrey Water presented their proposed five year business plan at the October meeting.

At the April 2014 meeting Cath Rose, Senior Policy Development Officer, Luci Mould, Planning Policy and Regeneration and Mike Miller, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Development updated us on the progress of the Core Strategy. Members were thanked for their contribution to the process and were asked for support in ensuring that the Core Strategy is adopted as quickly as possible,

Finally, the Federation is working towards resolving the siting of the Fire Engine in Banstead. At the moment it is proposed that it will relocate temporarily to the Police Station in the High Street. We are urging S.C.C. to find a more suitable permanent site.

10. Election of Independent Examiner:
Peter Dodd asked the meeting to adopt Chris Jenkins as Independent Examiner
Proposed: Robin Parr-Davies, Seconded: John Allinson

Election of Chairman:
Proposed: Robin Parr-Davies, Seconded: Bryan Yartes
Clive Elcome was elected as Chairman

Election of Treasurer and Secretary:
Proposed: Gillian Hein, Seconded: Ken Chivers
Robin Parr-Davies elected as treasurer and Gillian Bockmeulen as Secretary

Election of Committee: (en bloc)
Proposed: Roger Dring Seconded: Mike Fox

The Committee was duly voted in and Peter Dodd thanked the members for their work

11. Surrey County Councillor – Mike Gosling:
Cllr. Gosling informed the meeting that the flooding in the winter had cost Surrey £25 million. He reported that Tadworth High Street, Cross Road and Epsom Lane North are scheduled for road works and that the roundabout on the A217 had been tidied up. Yellow parking line work has been carried out. He reported on a meeting in Walton with businesses, Budgens Manager, publicans and others to discuss parking. It had been a successful meeting and a walk will be arranged to highlight problem areas.

He reported that the fire engine will be sited in Banstead as this was the only suitable place at present. B.T. is to install bigger boxes to provide high speed broadband. He also reported that Surrey police receive the lowest funding in the country and Surrey also received the lowest per capita funding for health. 50 new schools are now required in the county as a result of population growth.

The Preston regeneration is a partnership of Surrey County Council/Raven/Reigate and Banstead. The leisure centre will be built first followed by the housing development. He reported that initially the parking issue will be tackled in Preston to allow trucks access to the site. De Burgh development is probably 2-3 years away. He reported that life expectancy was lower in Preston than in Kingswood and this must be addressed.

12. Councillor Rachel Turner:
Councillor Turner reported that the police had been called to the Fox and Hounds Public House on 32 occasions. The Licensing Committee had reviewed the licence and it had had its hours reduced. The situation is being monitored.

She had attended the successful Woodland Trust Public meeting in Langley Vale when details of the Centenary Wood were unveiled.
She reported that the Pump House Field is again being advertised for development by a Middle Eastern company.

The second runway at Gatwick would double the number of people travelling. A decision on this will be made in May 2015.

The Chief Executive of Epsom Hospital has been seconded to another Trust and is unlikely to return to Epsom and the hospital should be in the black next year. There have been 25 additional parking places added and 100 extra places at St. Helier Hospital, half of which are for the staff. The bulk of Sutton Hospital’s services will be split between Epsom and St. Helier Hospital.

As Councillor she has £500 available to be spent on a local project and she has decided to use this money to restore the nine war graves in St. Peter’s Church.

The Tattenhams Library run by volunteers is proving successful and goes from strength to strength. It is now open longer.

13. Councillor Vic Broad:
Councillor Broad as Deputy Leader of the Council and in charge of finance reported that the Council had no debt, had good reserves and that monies invested in the Icelandic banks had now been returned. Only 10% of the council tax goes to Reigate and Banstead.

In addition to the Preston Regeneration scheme there were two major projects, one in Merstham and the Memorial Park in Redhill. He reported that 631 residents had died in the First World War.

During the recent flooding council staff had helped other parts of Surrey. Ten times as many homes had been flooded in Surrey as Somerset.

He reported all planning applications come from individuals as the Council does not build dwellings. The Planning Department has to make decision based on planning law. However, he did express concern that developments could take placed without consideration of infrastructure, schools and other services.

14. A.O.B.
Mike Fox requested that residents submit their e-mail addresses so that he can update the database.

Martin reminded the meeting that the Walton May Pageant would take place on Saturday, 17th May.

Ken Chivers requested that residents consider joining the Committee and suggested attending the Committee meetings which are held on the third Tuesday each month (not August), in the Good Shepherd Church Hall.

Clive thanked members for attending.

The meeting terminated at 10.pm. and about 90-100 people were in attendance.