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Traffic congestion, pollution and danger are major current concerns in our little corner of car-dominated Surrey and will be at the forefront of our 2014 agenda. Finding alternatives to car use - a policy embraced by central government - will play a key part in improving what is becoming a degraded local environment in Lower Sunbury.
To help in alleviating the problem, a cycle/foot bridge which was first proposed by the Thames Overways Projects (TOPS) in 2001 but sadly and for a variety of reasons fell off the political agenda, is to be resuscitated. Since 2001 the Lower Sunbury population has increased very considerably. The combined population increase of Sunbury East and Halliford & Sunbury West wards is 10.1% (2011 census) but with no commensurate improvement in local infrastructure amenity. Further, an aggregated total from 271 units of 811 additional bedrooms have been approved in recent planning applications which implies an even greater population increase before the next census is due in 2021. In short, the argument for the construction of a suitable bridge is now stronger than ever.
The River Thames is one of the greatest assets but is also a barrier between places where people live, work and play. LOSRA believes that a car-free bridge would be of enormous benefit to a wide area both north and south of the River. It would mean safer and shorter non-polluting journeys to work, schools and recreation. It would also provide an alternative to traffic-jammed Thames Bridges and the choked main roads leading to those bridges; and facilitate extended access to the Thames Path National Trail to communities north of the river, giving impetus to sustainable local tourism. The river is a beautiful linear park but it also prevents easy sharing of the excellent amenities that exist on either side of the waterway - a situation which should not be allowed to continue.
Please sign up to receive our regular e-bulletins by leaving your details via the Contact LOSRA Menu. Also, without your continued support we would cease to function so we urge you to join, or renew your membership, now. Subscriptions (£5 per household) for 2014 are now payable and may be made via the Paypal facility.
We have no way of knowing how many of our local youngsters take advantage of this facility but for those who use the skate park in Green Street, please note that it will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, 18th & 19th August. The closure is necessary to allow for maintenance and repair work to be carried out.
Anyone looking for alternative facilities in the Borough can make their way to the Shepperton Skate Park off Shepperton Court Drive; or Lammas Park off Wraysbury Road.
It was good to see so many familiar faces visiting our stall at the Sunbury Regatta. Some came to join our Association, others to renew their memberships, and many just dropping by, in search of information or simply to discuss their concerns.
Now celebrating our 41st Anniversary as a fully constituted Association and, working with our local authority and other agencies, we continue to work tirelessly in doing what we can to preserve or enhance the amenities enjoyed by the Lower Sunbury community.
Our officers and committee are all volunteers who dedicate their time and energies to further the aims and objectives of the Association; and our future depends upon your continued support. If you are not a member or have forgotten to renew your membership for 2014, please either join or renew now. Annual membership has remained unchanged for the last 8 years and, at £5, costs about the same as a pint and a half of low strength beer. You may join or renew membership via the Paypal button on the Home Page or, alternatively, by leaving your subscription at the Post Office in Avenue Parade or at Twirltours Travel Agents in Green Street. We are of course very grateful to all those who have supported the Association today and over the many years of our existence.
The following is an extract from a letter dated 6th August which has been received from the Department of Communities and Local Government;
"The Secretary of State has carefully considered the case against call-in policy, as set out in the Written Ministerial Statement by Nick Boles on 26 October 2012. The policy makes it clear that the power to call in a case will only be used very selectively. The Government is committed to give more power to councils and communities to make their own decisions on planning issues, and believes planning decisions should be made at the local level wherever possible.
"In deciding whether to call in the application, the Secretary of State has considered his policy on calling in planning applications. This policy gives examples of the types of issues which may lead him to conclude, in his opinion that applications should be called in. The Secretary of State has decided, having had regard to this policy, not to call in the application. He is content that they should be determined by the local planning authority."
In this case the local planning authority is not our local Council (who opposed the application) but the Planning and Regulatory Committee of Surrey County Council.
SATEP, (Spelthorne Against the Eco Park) and our Council are currently looking at the possibility of challenging the approved application by way of an application to the High Court for judicial review. As ever, limited resources may frustrate our progress and all contributions, however small, will be most welcome. To donate, please visit the SATEP Website: http://satep.co.uk/
The public will now be permitted to film, photograph and use social media whilst attending Council and Committee meetings thanks to the enactment of the Local Audit and Accountability Bill which brings greater transparency to local government.
The most significant change for 2014, which comes in under the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations, will be the use of tweeting, blogging or using Facebook to detail council decision-making as it happens, although oral reporting during proceedings is prohibited to prevent disruption.
In addition, the changes require local authorities to ensure that decisions made by officers under delegated powers are recorded and available for the public to view.
The Act and its provisions may be viewed by clicking here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/2/section/40/enacted
Many previous attendees will already have received this invitation from Joanne Jones and it has also been reported in the local press. In case you have missed it, her invitation is reproduced here:
"I’m writing to invite you to this year’s Spelthorne Assembly.
"Popular elements from previous years are again being featured – including the “marketplace” with scores of stands and displays from a wide variety of organisations; Make It Happen – where one lucky community project goes home with £1,000 following a live vote on the day.
"New this year is a Community Contact Point where those with something to offer, or request, or simply publicise - can post their messages.
Speakers and workshops are being finalised.
"Early booking for delegates is advised; casual visitors do not need to book – just turn up. Looking forward to hearing from you – and please circulate this invitation to your colleagues and contacts.
Joanne Jones, Community Development
Spelthorne Council, Council Offices, Knowle Green, Staines-upon-Thames, TW18 1XB
LOSRA has received the following invitation from Joanne Gravier (North West Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group) and is pleased to reproduce it here:
Come and help us shape the provision of services for children and young people in North West Surrey with behavioural and mental health problems.
VENUE: St James’s Parish Hall, Weybridge. (Nearest parking is Fairfield Road pay and display car park)
DATE: Tuesday 12th August 2014
TIME: 2-4pm or 5-7pm
You may be aware that CAMHS and Behavioural Services for children and young people are one of our priority areas as a CCG. We propose to add behavioural services (e.g. for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders or ADHD) to the forthcoming re-procurement of Surrey Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) to get a much more “joined up” service for children, young people and their families.
You are invited to join us on 12th August 2014, when we will be running a workshop during the afternoon and will be repeating in the early evening (2-4pm and the repeat session at 5-7pm) in the church hall at Weybridge. We do acknowledge that August is holiday time, so it’s not ideal, but it’s a continuation of the engagement we’ve been having over the past year and considerable work has been done during that time with local clinicians, schools, education and others.
We are not leading the Surrey CAMHS procurement, but want to make sure the views of our population in North West Surrey are sought and included – so we are being driven by the timeline for the CAMHS stakeholder engagement.
If you are not available on 12th August but know someone who would be interested, please do pass this on.
To book a place for either the afternoon or evening session, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Joining instructions and pre-reading material will be sent out once you’ve booked your place.
(Just attend one – the evening session one will be a repeat of the afternoon session.)
We look forward to seeing you.
The full application by Crest Nicholson for the development of the London Irish site in The Avenue (see article of 25th July) was approved by a vote of 10 - 1 with two abstentions.
The meaningful consultation with local residents by the developers may explain why very few objections had been received by the Planning Office.
There is no doubt that the construction phase will cause disturbance or inconvenience to local residents and it is the Association's intention to ensure that there is a direct line of communication with the project manager(s) to keep disruption to the minimum possible; and without obstructing the exacting conditions which have already been imposed for the approval to remain valid.
The Walled Garden in Thames Street has won the prestigious Green Flag Award for the fourth successive year. The Green Flag Award scheme recognises and rewards the best green spaces in the country and this year the Walled Garden is one of a record number of spaces to receive the Award.
The historic Walled Garden in Sunbury Park was built in the early part of the 18th Century. Following years of neglect, Spelthorne Council embarked on a restoration project of the two acre garden in 1985.
Expert use of trees, shrubs and climbers on the ancient walls, which are 8 to 10 feet high in places, make the garden a lovely place to visit. The gardens provide great inspiration for gardeners and the Lendy Memorial makes a very impressive centre piece.
The Walled Garden is open seven days a week, from 7.30am-8.30pm in the summer months and, apart from Mondays, refreshments may be purchased at the much celebrated Millenium Embroidery Gallery situated within the garden.
By purchasing a tea towel you will be supporting LOSRA and its volunteers who work so tirelessly in support of the local community.
Many thanks to Billy Rice for his video montage of Lower Sunbury
The £5 per household annual subscription can now be made on-line from the Membership page on this website.