As with any other local neighbourhood, the policies and actions which affect the character and future of Lower Sunbury are generally framed and implemented by a combination of local and national government, along with the vested interests and market forces which operate within those frameworks. Lower Sunbury is by no means unique in being under threat from a creaking infrastructure brought about by rapid urban development, the growth of traffic, and other pressures affecting the quality of life and the character of the area.
Working with the local authorities, we see it as the responsibility of residents’ and amenity groups such as LOSRA to address the underlying issues which fundamentally affect their members’ lives, as well as the minutiae of everyday life with which such groups are often concerned.
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Residents living in the vicinity of the Hazelwood Training Centre will have noticed the thoughtless and inconsiderate parking by many of the visitors to the London Irish annual Mini Festival on 26th April. After receiving a number of complaints the Association raised the matter at a meeting with the Chairman of the Organising Committee.
Before discussing steps to be taken to minimise disruption next year, the Chairman was anxious to point out the measures they had taken to prevent parking congestion before this year's event and it is only fair to point these out:
The L. Irish Amateur RFC investigated multiple options for car parking and rented 2 separate locations together with a shuttle bus transfer service at a combined cost of £1,800:
Despite these measures, 'residents parking only' signs at the top of roads parallel to Croysdale were destroyed beyond repair by vandals in the days before the Festival; some visitors chose to ignore pre-festival communications or ignored car parking marshals "as they are entitled to park as they pay road tax like anyone else".
It should be stressed that this is the first year that Hazelwood has hosted the Mini Festival and it's not surprising that there are lessons to be learnt for future years. One identified weakness is that visiting clubs did not adequately communicate to their members the information packs issued by London Irish. The Chairman has undertaken to be much more forceful in his communications to visiting clubs next year whilst accepting that this is unlikely to deter the awkward minority who have no regard for the inconvenience caused to local residents.
Next year's event is scheduled to take place on 24th April and the Chairman has agreed to communicate with LOSRA beforehand in order to alert residents through this website.
If, rather than simply being a spectator (see article below), you would like to take a more active part in the forthcoming local events celebrating the sealing of the Magna Carta, you may be interested in volunteering at the celebration events?
On Saturday 6th June there will be a Medieval Fair for which volunteers are required; and Volunteer Event Marshals are needed for the Sunbury-Staines Flotilla on 13th June. For this event, volunteers will be required at the Lower Sunbury Lock, Shepperton Lock, Chertsey Lock and Penton Hook Lock to act as marshals. The flotilla of boats will arrive in Staines-upon-Thames at around 5pm. The Medieval Fair at the Lammas in Staines-upon-Thames will include hog roasts and a jousting display. Magna Carta Event Volunteers will be required to:
Volunteers are also needed to help at “ The Baron’s Gathering,” on Saturday 13th June. Their role will be to help set up and clear up the event, help direct the public and generally being a point of information; and to help sell programmes. The event will take place between 12.15 and 20.15 and will feature all things Medieval including jousting, falconry, combat displays and children’s activities. Finally, volunteers will be required to assist on Sunday 14th June, whilst the boats are moored at Staines and before they sail up the river to Bell Weir Lock.
The 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta is being celebrated in style along the borough’s stretch of the River Thames on 13 June.
Everyone’s invited to enjoy a joint river spectacle featuring a flotilla from Sunbury to Staines-upon-Thames, taking in Shepperton Village fair and culminating in a free Medieval community celebration at its destination.
Click here for further details
People in parts of London and Surrey are being reminded not to touch the caterpillars of the oak processionary moth (OPM), which are now emerging in oak trees in these areas.
They are also advised to keep children and animals away from the caterpillars and their nests, because the caterpillars’ hairs can cause itching skin rashes and other health problems. Residents are also being asked to report any sightings.
Affected areas include: several boroughs in West and South-West London; Bromley and Croydon and southern parts of Lewisham in South London; and Elmbridge and Spelthorne in Surrey.
OPM caterpillars are a tree pest which were accidentally introduced to Britain. They feed on oak leaves, and in large numbers they can severely defoliate trees and leave them vulnerable to other pests and diseases.
Their tiny hairs contain a protein which can cause itchy skin rashes and, less frequently, eye and throat irritations and breathing difficulties in people and animals. The hairs can be blown on the wind, and left in their nests in and under oak trees. The greatest risk period is May to July, although nests should not be approached at any time.
The Forestry Commission, councils and land managers are tackling the pest with a carefully controlled programme of tree treatment and nest removal. Ian Gambles, the Forestry Commission's Director England, said the public could play an important role in helping to control the pest by reporting sightings, but advised caution: “We need reports of the caterpillars or their nests from the public or others, such as gardeners, tree surgeons and ground-care workers, who work or relax near oak trees,” he said.
“However, they should not try to remove the caterpillars or nests themselves. This needs to be carefully timed to be effective, and is most safely done by specially trained and equipped operators.”
Dr Deborah Turbitt, Deputy Regional Director for Health Protection, London, endorsed the ‘don’t touch’ advice, saying: “We strongly advise people not to touch or approach the caterpillars or their nests because of the health risks posed by the hairs. Pets can also be affected, and should be kept away as well. The Forestry Commission website has pictures to help identify the pest.
“See a pharmacist for relief from milder skin or eye irritations following possible OPM contact, or consult a GP or NHS111 for more-serious reactions. Contact a vet if animals are affected. We have issued advice to local GPs and health professionals to help them identify when patients have been affected by the caterpillars and to advise them on appropriate treatment.”
Trees are treated by fully qualified operators under strict health, safety and environmental controls to ensure it is safe for people and animals.
Further information is available from www.forestry.gov.uk/opm.
From the article published on this site on 30th December, many residents will be aware that an appeal had already been submitted following the refusal of planning permission for application 14/00322/FUL.
The Association has now been advised that another appeal has been submitted following the refusal of planning permission for application 14/02189/FUL. The Planning Inspectorate has decided that both appeals will be heard together at an informal Hearing on 23rd and 24th June at 10am to be held at the Council Offices, Knowle Green.
Residents who have previously objected to either or both of these applications should have been notified separately. If you have not been contacted before and wish to make representations to the Planning Inspector, this should be done in writing to the Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/06 Temple Quay House, 2, The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN, quoting the inspectorate appeal reference numbers: APP/Z3635/W/15/3009449 in respect of 14/02189/FUL; or APP/Z3635/W/14/3000993 in respect of 14/00322/FUL.
Any comments or representations must be submitted in writing and in triplicate by 26th May. (This antediluvian method of communicating with the Planning Inspectorate is still current practice it would seem!).
The next music night at the SCC falls on Friday 15th May, when they welcome back the 60s All Stars Band who pioneered their Music Nights four years ago, and are firm favourites at the Club.
The band will need very little introduction to most of you, featuring Mick Avory, the original drummer from the Kinks, guitarist Alan Lovell, who is still playing with the Swinging Blue Jeans, bass guitarist John Dee from The Foundations, and guitarist Del Mandel, who was with Crispian St. Peters and also played with George Harrison’s band.
They are one of the very best of the ‘60s revival bands on the circuit, and guarantee a hugely entertaining evening of beat era classics as they draw on their amazing repertoire – challenge them with a request for something really obscure – It's never beaten them yet. The cricket season is now well under way, so bring friends along and make it a real early summer party night.