Minutes of Annual General Meeting held on 15th May 2013
St. John’s Church Hall, Tadworth
(Click here to view, download and print as a pdf file)

Attendance:
Present
Chairman - Clive Elcome
Vice-Chairman - Gillian Hein
Treasurer - Roger Dring

Committee - Ken Chivers, Geoff Hewitt, Ann Liddle, John Robinson, Bryan Yates, Paul Waller

In Attendance
Surrey County Councillor - Cllr. Michael Gosling
Reigate and Banstead Ward - Councillors Rachel Turner, Vic Broad
R. & B. Business and Community - Janet Hill
Engagement Officer

Apologies: Simon Carpenter, Cllr. Michael Vivona, Trish Canham, Robin and Annabelle Foster, Sylvia and David Wooderson, Ian Wright, Jean and Martin Saul, Jane Gandey, Ethel Armstrong and Lin Ferg.

1. Chairman’s Report and Welcome
Clive Elcome welcomed the residents and thanked the committee especially those stepping down, Paul Price, John Robinson who has been responsible for police matters. He gave special thanks to John Chiles for his considerable contribution to the Residents Association over many years. He will contribute in the future as a special advisor to the committee. The Chairman announced that Paul Waller will take responsibility for police matters. Gillian Bockmeulen and Hazel Loades have joined the committee and he invited residents, particularly those with local knowledge or specific expertise, to volunteer and join, especially applicants from Walton. He reported that the Association’s financial position was sound. Its input was especially effective when monitoring planning applications and had successfully achieved alterations to designs where it was felt necessary, for which he thanked Gillian Hein and Ken Chivers. The Councillors, Janet Hill and John Robinson were thanked for their help and support of the Jubilee Woodland which has been a success. The Association is an active member of the Banstead and District Federation of Residents Associations which gives additional support when considering matters affecting the north of the borough. It is also a member of NORA (National Organisation of Residents Associations). Explorative discussions are taking place concerning a proposal to create a parish council. He said that the relaxation of planning laws and the expected increase in the demand for housing to meet specific targets would be a challenge for the future. The Association was neutral on this matter and residents may object to an additional level of bureaucracy being created. A small precept would be charged if it is decided to create a parish council. A public meeting will take place on 28th May at 8.00p.m. in the Riddell Hall, Walton on the Hill.

Clive gave thanks to Eric Smith who is retiring on grounds of ill health and for his work as a road steward and for monitoring the Jubilee Woodland.

Problems with getting road stewards and the collection of subscriptions are being addressed. He outlined a possible scheme to establish standing orders and suggested that the annual subscription should be raised to £5 next April and invited views. Discussion was followed by a vote with 23 in favour, 10 against on increasing the subscription to £5. A vote on standing orders resulted in 24 in favour 2 against. It was decided that the Committee will have further discussion on this matter. He emphasised that standings orders would not be mandatory. A meeting for all road stewards will take place before the Autumn to discuss this issue. He ended his report by saying that the web site is to be re-vamped.

2. Police Officer’s Report
P.C. Pearman reported that Tadworth, Walton and Kingswood has had the largest decrease in crime in the year April to April but asked residents to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity on the 101 number .He gave a breakdown of crime from 1st February to 15th May as follows: Criminal Damage – 2 (Walton) 4 (Tadworth); Theft from motor vehicles 1 (Walton 0 (Tadworth); Burglary 4 (Walton) 0 (Tadworth); Thefts 2 (Walton) 1 (Tadworth). He advised residents to keep cars locked to prevent opportunistic crime. Information leaflets on crime prevention were available at the meeting.

He was asked if locking internal doors in property was desirable and replied that this might delay or deter an intruder.

3. Mike Fox
Mike Fox said it had been agreed last year that TWRA members would automatically become members of the Neighbourhood Watch scheme but information needed to be co-ordinated. The Police and Crime Commissioner had funds available for crime prevention and he had applied and been given monies to develop an I.T. system for Neighbourhood Watch and Residents Association which could incorporate information on the memberships, allow members to access the system and amend their details and allow the membership to receive alerts and information to help in crime reduction.The Police Commissioner wants this system to help with crime reduction. PayPal could be incorporated into the system as a means of collecting subscriptions. He stated that Surrey had one of the lowest crime rates in the country but possibly the highest rate for cyber-crime. Neighbourhood Watch and Resident Association could spread awareness especially to senior members about this threat and also advise younger members about the risks associated with revealing too much information on social media which could pose a threat. The Crime Reduction Advisor was keen to use the proposed new system.

4. Janet Hill
Business and Community Engagement Officer
Janet Hill said the Jubilee Woodland had been a successful project since its opening last June which had been marked with a celebration attended by Crispin Blunt, Council members, local Councillors, volunteers and residents. £50,000 had been raised to fund this project and £33,927.39 had been spent with plans to spend the rest. She invited volunteers to help run the project which is now managed by the Jubilee Woodland Management Committee. A First Birthday Celebration is being held on Saturday, 8th June, 2013 to which residents are invited. The Woodland can be used for fund raising events.

Clive Elcome offered Janet thanks on behalf of the committee for all the work she has done for the Woodland and the community. As her role is changing within the Council, it was unlikely that she would continue to be so involved with local Tadworth and Walton issues. Janet was presented with a small gift in appreciation for everything she has done for the local community.

Clive Elcome reported that Maggie Campbell who administered the community fund at Pfizers is not carrying on as she has moved to a different position in the company. Pfizers, who contributed to the funding of the Woodland and who make charitable donations to community projects in Tadworth and Walton, is amending its funding policies in future

5. Minutes
The approval of the Minutes was proposed by Councillor Turner and seconded by John Robinson. There were no matters arising.

6. Treasurer’s Report
The Treasurer reported that there was a surplus this year compared to the small loss of £21 in the previous year.

A copy of the accounts was tabled and copies were available to the residents. These were proposed by Ann Liddle and seconded by Ken Chivers

7. Election of Independent Financial Examiner
Arthurs Elson had expressed a willingness to continue and this was unanimously approved.

8. Planning Applications and Core Strategy
a) Tadworth Planning Gillian Hein
Gillian Hein reported the committee has objected to the Ketcham site proposed development on the grounds of over- crowding and the impact on the Jubilee Woodland. She informed the residents that Pump House Field behind White Beam Road had been purchased by a company based in Dubai which hoped to sell off plots of land on a speculative basis, the plots shown on the plans are very small. The Council has acted quickly in placing an Article 4 with a warning on the web site. Such practices are becoming a worrying development and in the past speculators have been prosecuted under the Trades Description’s Act, however, as this company is registered off-shore the council is investigating the legal situation.
The Rear of Crewe Court and 14 Downsway appeals had been turned down but the High Street/Chapel Road appeal had been allowed which will affect the Edwardian feel of this part of Tadworth. The committee have objected to a back land proposal at the rear of 8, Epsom Lane South which is yet to be considered.

Permission has been granted for 130 dwellings on part of the Recreation Ground at Preston. Concern has been expressed at the high density but this is only an outline application. Full planning permission has been granted for the new leisure centre and pool, a compulsory purchase order will be made to buy some of the football land. No response has yet been received from the Walton Heath Golf Club following objections to the proposed land exchange of Beechams Field with an area of land on the other side of the M25.

b) Walton Planning Ken Chivers.
Ken Chivers reported the Transport Police building had been demolished and 13 houses are to beconstructed. The Cabin planning application had been turned down for a second time. Holly House had been demolished and two houses built. 6 flats are being constructed on the Coral Bazaar site. No.4 Little Chesters appeal had been refused. The Millgate development on Hurst Drive has two new houses in the front and four at the rear. He had inspected the area and thought the developers were re-instating area to a high standard. In Wonersh close there was one new house and at the Brackenwood site 10 flats are completed and the developers had re-instated the area.
At Lavingtons there was a proposal for 11 flats and this has gone to appeal. There had been a change of use application for Traffic Garage but no further information was available. He reported problems with the Fox and Hounds Public House and said that Enforcement Officers were involved with this and other planning infringements in the area. The Frith Park site has a planning application for 22 dwellings with an application to be lodged for a further 2. e reported that the farm had been sold for agricultural use.

John Chiles asked if the Residential Areas of Special Character were to be retained by the Council in view of the scale of recent development. Gillian reported that although these are a local and not national designation, the Council had asked the Residents Association to suggest other areas which may benefit from similar designation. Rachel Turned explained that objections were raised but if appeals were made, the council was unable to do anything. The committee is reviewing areas in Tadworth to establish areas of special interest.

Core Strategy
The Examination in Public is taking place and will continue for two weeks. The plan, if adopted would replace the local plan, and proposes 460 new dwellings a year. Development involves going into the Green belt east of Redhill|/Merstham and the south west of Reigate and possibly nears Salfords. We argue that 350 homes would be more appropriate which would allow for a small amount of inwards migration. Our case in part is to counterbalance that of the developers who want 900-1000 new homes. The high figures are self perpetuating as they are based on population projections with a high element of inwards migration rather than looking at capacity and available infrastructure. The Inspector was concerned at the high government household projections. It was hoped a plan would go through as this is the third attempt.

There will be consultation in the Summer of the Development Management Plan which details land use policies and site allocation. It is important that the local authority has a five year plan in place councils will be forced to increase building.
9. Federation Report Trish Canham
A letter had been sent with the Spring Newsletter explaining the proposals for a parish council and inviting residents to join a Steering group which is to discuss this issue. A public meeting is to be held at Riddell Hall, 28th June at 8.00pm.

Banstead District Federation of Residents Association is actively resisting the demands for increased housing which has resulted in our Council being placed in the position of identifying areas of Green Belt for urban extensions. The Federation recognises the need to build more homes but believe that these should be limited to meeting the demands of the natural population, however, local authorities have to provide housing for people moving into the area. Crispin Blunt has assured the Federation of his support to restrict unfettered growth in our Borough and encroachment into the Green Belt although in the north of the borough this is less of a threat. The Federation is also monitoring the situation with Epsom Hospital. In October Federation members met candidates for Police Commissioner. The Federation has grown in strength in the 5 years and Gillian and I attended the AGM of the National Association of Residents.

10. Election of the Committee
Peter Dodd took the chair and proposed the re-election of the committee en bloc. This was unanimously agreed.

11. Councillor Reports
Mike Gosling – Surrey County Council
Mike thanked the residents for re-electing him to Surrey County Council. He reported that the equivalent of 32 primary schools will be needed to provide for the increase in numbers in the next two years and there was an the increase in people requiring adult social care. £1.4 billion had been spent in the last 4 years with more people coming into this group. On local matters he said that £15,000 had been given to the Jubilee Woodland project and that other Surrey council grants were available. The new parking restriction consultation will be available at end of the month, changes were based on safety. He said there was a 5 year rolling plan for road improvement and pot -holes repair which effectively gave an extra 200 miles and he monitored the road situation on a monthly basis. The A217 is to be tidied and the 22 redundant posts will be removed when EDF have disconnected the power supply. The road by the Children’s Trust will be widened. Mike then outlined the background to the Better Services Better Value consultation in respect to Epsom hospital. He is Chair of the Health and Well-Being Committee.

Geoff Hewitt asked that the signage at the chicane in Walton on the Hill be restored as it had been down for several weeks.

Rachel Turner
Rachel Turner reported on the BSBV consultation saying that Epsom Hospital had been included only recently. 24% of A and E patients wait in ambulances for over 15 minutes and that BSBV had not carried out a proper investigation of the issues raised. If the plan is adopted Epsom hospital will lose its A and E, maternity and paediatric services. She reported that Epsom and St. Helier hospitals have seen a 21% increase in A and E cases, 10% increase in day cases and a 6% increase in outpatients in the last year. Savings had been made and using only 45% of the Sutton Hospital site had saved £3 1/2 million. There will be a public meeting at Epsom Racecourse on Friday, 17th May at 1.30pm and she reported that if the Surrey Downs Care Commissioning Group rejects the proposal the plan will fail. When asked about the maternity unit she confirmed that it would be in use until 2017.
She reported that residents of Shelvers Way had been approached by developers wanting to buy land. Planning issues had arisen from the Tesco application and the swimming pool.
She reported that 52% of waste is now re-cycled. Two successes were the Jubilee Woodland project and Tattenhams Library which re-opened in November, has extended opening hours and has become a community hub. A formal opening event will take place on 15th June. She reported that there have been various issues concerning the Fox and Hounds Public House and police/ council enforcement officers and the licensing committee are monitoring the situation.

Vic Broad
Vic Broad read a letter from a resident complaining about the council tax increase and questioning where and how money was spent. In response Vic read out his letter replying to these criticisms saying that only 13p out of every £1 raised goes to Reigate and Banstead Council, the rest goes to Surrey County Council. He explained that the council not only empties rubbish bins and cleans roads but is responsible for services, administration of housing benefits, maintenance of property and parks and numerous other concerns. He said that whilst he is paid a councillor’s allowance, all councillors attend council meetings, committee meetings, residents’ association meetings and are expecting to attend evening events, but they also give many extra hours of voluntary service to the community. He said that there had been a 0% rate increase for the last three years and through careful financial management the council had no debt.

12. A.O.B
Ann Liddle reminded residents that the Walton May Pageant was taking place on Saturday, 18th May

A resident asked if the blanket T.P.O. in Shelvers Way could be breached if developers purchased land between it and Tadworth Park.

A resident asked if the swans were being replaced on Walton Pond but was informed that the Swan Trust at Egham would not provide swans as no one had been prosecuted for the killing of a swan in the past.

Mike Fox reported that there would be a public meeting of the Crime Commission at the Harlequin Theatre on 8th June.