Minutes of Annual General Meeting held on 26 May 2015
Lord Riddell Hall, Walton on the Hill
(Click here to view, download and print as a pdf file)

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

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

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

1. Welcome & Apologies for Absence
Clive Elcome welcomed residents to the 2015 Annual General Meeting and reported apologies had been received from the following: Mo Atkins, Peter Bright, David Robson, Mike Hopkins, Neil Thomason, Ann and Grant Webster, Sylvia and David Wooderson, Sheryl Eastoe and Peter Dodd. He introduced the first of three speakers.

2. Jeff Harris - Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner
The topic for Jeff Harris’s talk was cyber crime and how people could prevent being targeting by fraudsters via their computers. He said that identity fraud was a growing problem globally but gave the following advice. He advised that unsolicited e-mails should never be opened and do not open any of their attachments. People should not open any links to these e-mails as this might enable fraudsters to download malware or viruses in the computer and obtain person information. It was essential to have up to date anti-viral software and advised against using so called free anti-viral software which might not offer protection against a cyber attack. Latest updates from providers should be installed as they often react quickly to the latest scams and this will help prevent the computer becoming corrupted.

There are 4.5 billion I.P. addresses and it is important not to share personal information as this could be sent anywhere in the world. Using the same password is not advised but a password manager programme can be obtained from service providers who help people remember specific passwords for their various accounts. Organisation like the DVLA, Banks and H.M.R.C. never send e- mails and will always write if they need to make contact. Some fraudsters use e-mails which appear to come from official bodies. 80% of cyber crime is exploitative and he said that 70% of parents in Surrey did not know which web-sites their children were accessing via social media such as Facebook and Twitter. It was important the parents had this knowledge in order to keep their children safe.

If people believed they were being targeted they should inform the police and also computer users should visit the Get Safe On-line website.

When asked if a suspicious e-mail had been opened Jeff said you should close the site quickly and contact the service provider. Often its software would protect but it was important to contact them.

Geoff Hewitt asked what should be done if people were being blackmailed via the computer and was advised that in all cases contact the police.

Jeff will give a talk on cyber crime on 30th June at the Tattenham Library at 8.00pm. when he will give a more detailed account of the cyber crime.

3. Margaret Mortlock – Stakeholder and Strategy Manager – Pfizer
Margaret explained the Pfizer has always had good links with the local community and continues to support charities. The way the Community Fund operates has now changed as monies are now given directly to them to select how it is spent using certain criteria. Additionally because of the wealth of experience within the organisation it is now offering a skill-based mentoring service where charities can request and get help in areas such as marketing, I.T. legal and finance advice. Pfizer are also organising a science day in schools where staff talk to pupils about work and issues connecting with working within in a science environment. It has also given 100 lap tops to Surrey Learning and supported Home Start, the Children’s Trust and 2 local foods banks. It is also involved with Reigate and Banstead Borough Council’s group for local businesses. Staff are allowed time off to volunteer their help and expertise to local charities.

Finally, a Trusteeship programme has been set up whereby senior executives can be co-opted on to the boards of local charities.

Rachel Turner thanked Margaret for all the support Pfizer gives to our community and especially their help to the Children’s trust.

4. Simon Bateman – Woodland Trust
Simon gave brief history of the Woodland Trust, the leading wood conservation charity which started in 1972, has 1300 sites and now 300,000 members. Its aim being to protect, restore and create woodland. He talked about the creation of the Centenary Wood project at Langley Vale covering 650 acres where 10,000 trees had already been planted by volunteers, an Environmental Impact Assessment was now being undertaken and when approval by the Forestry Commission has been obtained there would be further planting of up to 200,000 trees. It was important that this was done sympathetically with the landscape and there is also collaboration with other organisations such as Natural England and the RSPB. Facilities will be created in 2017, a car park, visitor hub, toilets and waymarked routes. Planning applications will be submitted to the three local planning authorities at the end of August but there would be drop-in dates on 3rd and 4th July where members of the public could view plans. The car park will have 150 spaces with an overflow area for 100 cars. It will not be seen from the road and will include planting to soften the area.

Langley Vale has three areas of ancient woodland including Great Hurst and Little Hurst Wood, i.e. ancient woods are over 400 years old and some coppicing has been undertaken in Little Hurst.

The area will comprise wild flower meadows and open arable ground. Avenues of lime trees will also be included in the plan with a memorial area for quiet reflection located for easy access. Paths for use by cyclists and horse riders will be provided with hedging to separate the two and it is anticipated there will be 20 kilometres of waymarked routes on the site. Notice Boards, leaflets giving the history of the site and World War 1 together with photographs will be included.

He advised that volunteer days for additional planting will take place in November/December and notices will be placed locally and on the web-site. Volunteers for all aspects of this project are invited to contact the Trust, whether for planting or ecological monitoring. The Trust needs and welcomes support from the local community.

Geoff Hewitt asked if the car park would be policed and was informed that a consultation report is being carried out to review security issues but there would not be personnel on-site. It was anticipated that barriers would be in place to stop caravans accessing the site. He was asked where the car park would be sited and replied the Langley vale/Headley Road junction was the only suitable place but accepted the area needed to be reviewed before a planning application was submitted to the various councils who are involved with the project.

Gillian Hein asked if other ecological and wildlife organisations are involved and was told that expert advice was being sought from Natural England, R.S.P.B. and others.

5. Minutes & Matters Arising:
Proposed: Ken Chivers, Seconded: Pauline Shaw

6. Chairman’s Report: Clive Elcome
Clive thanked the Councillors for all their support for the Committee by attended our meetings, talking about matters which affect the community and giving feed-back on issues raised. He welcomed the newly elected councillor, James Clarke.

Ken Chivers is retiring from the Committee after 16 years and Clive thanked him for the considerable contribution he had made during his time and especially all the work in connection with Walton Planning. A presentation was made to Ken on behalf of the Committee.

Clive had previously indicated that he would step down in 2015 but was now offering himself for re- election as Chairman. He welcomed Ann and Grant Webster, residents in Walton and Alanna Coombes who is studying for a Masters degree in Town Planning to the Committee. She is also involved with the Walton Action Group which looks at signage and other issues in Walton, she will take over from Ken and deal with planning matters in Walton.

Clive thanked Mike Fox for developing the database for the T.W.R.A. and being responsible for sending out e-mails and newsletters. He has worked tirelessly to support the Committee on this.
He also thanked Pfizer for its support and especially the new mentoring scheme from which the Committee was getting help with marketing and how to develop ideas for improving communication etc.

He expressed his sadness that the Beecham’s Field case had been lost, firstly at the Public Inquiry and subsequently at the Judicial Review. The judge’s decision had only been received two days ago and would be put on the web-site. Considerable time and effort had been given to try and secure Beecham’s Field for future generations and it was to be regretted that this had not been achieved. Following this the Committee have requested a meeting with John Jory, Chief Executive of Reigate and Banstead Borough Council to review what happened in relation to the signing of the Deed of Variation concerning deregulation and to ensure a similar situation does not occur in the future. He said it was now desirable to establish a better working relationship with the Walton Heath Golf Club.

The Sainsbury planning application for the Citygate site had been controversial with many people objecting. The T.W.R.A. were initially unable to make a decision and canvassed opinion, mainly by e-mail and additionally were influenced by the petition and written comments to the Council, as a result of which a detailed objection had been lodged.

He explained that the database was being developed for e-mails and to help monitor subscriptions and how they are paid. 30% are now paid by standing order which greatly helps the road stewards who collect them.

The T.W.R.A. web-site which has been developed by Tony Andrews is up and running. Tony also produced the new look newsletter. Clive emphasized the need to increase membership especially younger members and we have now established communication channels through the social media sites, Facebook and Twitter. We are also investigating more sophisticated systems to canvass members’ opinions.

Members will be aware of the newly formed Tadworth Forum, instigated by Deidre Walking and Chris Chapman. They hope to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan which will require the approval of the Council. A decision will be made at the Council’s Executive meeting on 25th June on whether or not to give formal approval of the Forum. The Plan, if adopted, will identify areas in Tadworth which could be developed and look at other areas of concern. It would be developed in parallel to the Council’s Development Management Plan. The T.W.R.A. has offered support but our resources are limited, however, we would offer help where needed. Jill Bockmeulen will represent the Association on the Tadworth Forum.

A tree planting scheme is being developed by Gillian Hein to replace trees lost in Tadworth, initially in Shelvers Way, but it is hoped to extend it to Tadorne Road and Kingswood Road when funds permit.

The T.W.R.A. continues to support the Jubilee Woodland in Tadworth and also has responded to a request for a seat in Shelvers Way.

7. Treasurer’s Report: Robin Parr-Davies
The Treasurer, Robin Parr-Davies summarised the costs incurred for the Beechams Field Public Inquiry and subsequent Judicial review followed by a summary of the progress on Membership numbers and Standing Orders for subscriptions culminating in a presentation of the full year accounts for 2014. He confirmed that copies of the Accounts were available in the room and were published on the T.W.R.A. web-site.

Robin noted that the Beecham Fields costs are spread over two financial years, 2014 and 2015. Costs incurred in the 2014 Accounts were £7,550 comprising £3,150 for the initial Public Enquiry and £4,400 relating to the Judicial Review. Further costs amounting to £8,400 associated with the Judicial Review will be recorded in the 2015 accounts of which £5,000 related to the ‘capped’ costs to the Treasury Solicitors as we lost the case.

Robin noted that there were 1,317 “households” as members of the T.W.R.A. in 2014 which, if we were to estimate a ‘household’ as on average 2+ people meant that we were representing between 2,500 and 3,000 residents of Walton and Tadworth. The campaign to increase the proportion of subscriptions paid by Standing Order had gone quite well with about 30% now paying by this method which should make life easier for our hard pressed Road Stewards.

Finally, Robin turned to the 2014 full year accounts. He noted that the increase in subscription income to £5 per household per annum was the main reason for the increase in income. He said that the committee had no plans to increase the subscription any further for some years. The largest cost element incurred as the Beecham Field legal planning costs of £7,550 previously discussed. However, some additional cost came from a marketing effort involving the Spring Newsletter which had a much larger print run so that it could be distributed to all houses in the area. Unspent Pfizer monies in the year have now started to be distributed with £2,500 from 2014 accounts having been passed over to the Walton Forum to contribute to the planned new Bus Shelter adjacent to Walton Pond. In Tadworth, the Pfizer 2014 £2,500 is now earmarked for replacement road verge trees. Despite the legal costs incurred in the year and subsequently, The Association remained in reasonable financial health, although Robin commented that there is a job to do in restoring our reserves in the event that we might, once again, need the funds at some stage in the future.

He was asked why the T.W.R.A. held Lloyds Bank shares when there was now no branch in Tadworth. Roger Dring, the former Treasurer, responded by saying they had been held for a number of years. It is understood that a dividend will be paid on these shares.

8. Walton Planning – Ken Chivers
Ken Chivers reported that the development at Crown House was underway and was causing little inconvenience to traffic movements etc. in Chequers Lane. The site at Lavingtons had been granted planning permission to build flats. He expressed concern about developments of this type in the conservation area and with properties that are in the R.A.S.C. resulting in changes to the area and explained that the Committee opposes such plans.

He gave a brief resume of the planning application for the Frith Park estate development. The plans had been opposed and he thanked Rachel for her assistance in this. Despite objections especially the single access via Sturts Lane the plans had been approved. It had been estimated there will be 350 vehicular movements per day via Sturts Lane. The plans had been before two committees and also before the Secretary of State for the Environment who had returned it to the Council for a decision. Furthermore, there has been no decision on affordable housing. In such cases the developer can pay money and build affordable properties elsewhere but this issue has yet to be resolved.

He concluded being saying it had been a pleasure to work on the Committee.

9. Tadworth Planning – Gillian Hein
Gillian informed the meeting about the proposed Chinthurst planning application for new nursery and pre-prep school and 4 dwellings but said that as there had been a number of changes in the administration at the school no decision has been made on whether to implement the proposals should planning permission be granted. The Committee had listened to a presentation by the Acting Chair of the Board of Governors and the Acting Headmaster at their May meeting. The Acting Chair said the school was anxious to work with the community and confirmed pupil numbers would be capped at 250.

She reported that the Committee has objected to a development of three houses at Little Ambrook in Walton and reiterated Ken’s concerns at the scale of new development recently permitted in the Residential Area of Special Character despite specific policies in the Local Plan to protect the spacious character of the area

The Core Strategy Plan was adopted in July and the council is now working on the Development Management Plan. 460 dwellings per year until 2027 are to be built with 930 houses allocated for the northern part of the borough, many in Preston. The D.M.P. will update council policies and open spaces etc. We have submitted our views and there will be a public consultation in October/November. She reiterated the information that a decision will be made by the Council in June on whether the Tadworth Forum Neighbourhood Plan should proceed.

As a Committee we consider government documents and consider traffic and enforcement matters, parking and enfringements, with Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and Surrey C.C.

As many of the trees are dying and S.C.C. does not have the funds to replace them we are working with Mike Gosling who has generously given his councillor’s allowance to pay for some replacement trees in Shelvers Way. Each tree costs £285 + V.A.T. for S.C.C. to plant and maintain. There are legal issues why individuals and the Residents Association cannot plant on verges such as interference with cabling, pipes etc and also third party insurance matters. The Committee has now agreed to pay £8,000 for trees with money coming from Mike Gosling, Pfizer and a small contribution from the Residents Association. People were asked at the May Pageant to choose their favourite tree and residents will be consulted on the site and type of tree they would like.

The Federation of Residents Associations has 16 local members and meet 3 to 4 times a year. It is an opportunity to voice shared concerns and liaise with the Council.

Questions:
Charles Harvey congratulated the Committee on its handling of planning matters and hoped for better co-operation with the Golf Club in the future.
Peter Bartram asked if the land adjacent to the M25 which is near the access to the replacement land offered by the golf Club could be cleared to allow parking.

10. Election of Committee, plus Ann and Grant Webster and Alanna Coombes
Bryan Yates invited the meeting to elect the Committee en bloc. A vote was taken with one objection by Cliff Weight who queried the validity of the election of Clive Elcome as Chairman.

A separate vote was taken at which the meeting voted for Clive to be Chairman with Cliff Weight objecting.

The proposal to elect Ann and Grant Webster and Alanna Coombes was proposed by Rachel Turner and seconded by Robin Parr-Davies

11. Election of Independent Financial Examiner:
Robin Parr-Davies proposed the re-adoption of Chris Jenkins as Independent Financial Scrutineer and seconded by Rachel Turner.

12. Councillor Michael Gosling – Surrey County Council
Michael announced that he had resigned as a Cabinet Member on S.C.C. During the past years when he had been responsible for the Health and Well Being Committee medical and social services were now providing better adult and child social care in the county.

He reported that Surrey’s reserve money will have been spent by the end of this year and savings will need to be made. £700,000 million is spent on social care and new schools at the secondary level will be needed.

His current plan is to tidy up the local environment and he wishes to concentrate on Tadworth by donating his councillor’s allowance for tree planting. Trees being planted in Preston are financed by different funding.

Parking is another concern and he reported that some yellow lines are being removed in Walton to allow more parking. He is considering yellow lines along one side of The Avenue in Tadworth and also along one side of Kingswood Road and asked residents to e-mail him with their views.

Three roads are to be re-surfaced, Epsom Lane North, Station Approach and the High Street, Tadworth, although the gas board needs to undertake work on Epsom Lane North.

13. Councillor James Clarke
James thanked residents who had supported him in the recent election. He had previously been a councillor in Epsom and Ewell with experience on various committees and he looked forward to serving the community.

14. Councillor Rachel Turner
Rachel reviewed her work in the last 12 months starting with working with Jeff Harris and Richard Bennett to get travellers removed from the Tadworth Cricket field. She reported on the changes at the Fox and Hound Public House which now has new management. Enforcement had been involved to deal with problems in the past and the BBQ which had caused problems has now been removed from the front of the property. The Fox and Hound do allow parents collecting children from Walton Primary School to park in their car park. The Blue Ball is undergoing restoration with some additional building work at the rear and it is hoped it will open in the Summer. Unfortunately the Council has now had to remove the recycling bins which had previously been placed in its car park due to the dumping of sofas etc. The cark park was then blocked off and unfortunately the council has not found a suitable replacement site for the recycling containers.

The shops in Walton now have a late night shopping event every month and the T.W.R.A. gave £250 to provide an advertising banner.

She reported that Barclays has closed in Tadworth with the loss of the A.T.M. which has also affected the local shops’ turnover. There is a planning application to build flats at the Gemini restaurant site but the Council were not happy with the plans. McCarthy and Stone are submitting a new planning application for the site in The Avenue but parking still remains a major concern. She reported that some people are in favour of Sainsbury’s proposed shop at the Citygate site.

The new Chief Executive at Epsom Hospital has confirmed that maternity, paediatrics and the A. and E. Department will remain open for the next five years. There has been discussion about opening a new hospital at the Sutton Hospital site.

She reported that she has spent her councillor’s allowance of £500 on a new road sign near Chinthurst School and the traffic lights in Tadworth.

Reporting on Council numbers she said the previous 550 staff numbers had been reduced to 480 staff and there were now 10 managers as opposed to 30 managers previously employed. It was necessary to save £2 million in the future.

The new swimming pool on the Preston estate will open in the Summer.

15. A.O.B.
Gillian Gibbins wrote to the T.W.R.A. suggesting that an all weather notice board be placed by the pond and additionally suggested that Walton shops sell suitable food for feeding the birds on the pond. This matter was considered at the May Committee meeting and it was agreed that Walton Forum should deal with her proposal.

Keith Lewis asked why the Cricket Club was now being asked to pay £1,000 per annum for ground maintenance. Rachel replied that she had made representations about this and suggested he contact Councillor Vic Broad directly about his concerns.

Mike Fox announced that the Police Panel meeting would take place at the meeting room of the Church of the Good Shepherd on 27th May, at 7.30p.m.

Clive ended the meeting by reminding residents that the £5 subscription was not just for the two issues of the newsletter but finance the various Residents Association activities and provide a reserve.

The meeting closed at 10.05pm, 70 residents attended.