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.
Please sign up to receive our regular e-bulletins by subscribing via the facility at the top left hand of this page. It goes without saying that, 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 2018 are now payable.
8.30pm FRIDAY 30TH MARCH at Sunbury Cricket Club, £10 on the door. The Barnes Blues Band promises to bring us another evening of stunning high class blues and R&B from a group of seasoned professionals who have honed their skills in a variety of big name bands over the years. The band features Bobby Tench (guitar, vocals) whose illustrious background includes the Jeff Beck Group, Streetwalkers, Humble Pie, Van Morrison, Freddie King and Hummingbird, alongside one of the great blues troubadours of the British club scene Papa George (guitar, vocals), with Peter Rees and Vic Martin, formerly of Gary Moore’s band on bass and keyboards, and Darby Todd, Sunbury’s very own star drummer, who you have seen at two great gigs at the Club with Protect The Beat and Buddy Whittington.
Like those two events, this one is promoted by Sunbury colleague Brett Todd, and we thank him for arranging what promises to be another night not to be missed. Find out more at www.bobbytench.co.uk and www.papageorge.co.uk. Tickets for the Hamilton Loomis gig will be on sale at the Barnes Blues Band event.
The highly restrictive process by which a resident may ask a question of our local County Councillors has once again proved to be more important than a satisfactory outcome. Once a question has been asked, with one supplementary allowed, no further debate is permissible - no matter how important the issue. Not for the first time the Chairman of LOSRA left the Local Area Committee wondering how his time might more profitably have been spent.
The question was one which should be of interest to all our members as it concerns the cumulative effects of a number of different developments which are in prospect for the Lower Sunbury area. The answer to the first question which queried what arrangements were in place to deal with the potential problem was blandly answered with information that is already freely available on the SCC Website. Critically, the answer did not address the "how" which was the whole point of the question. The answer to the supplementary question, which was designed to elicit one named individual to whom ultimate accountability should be attached, was similarly opaque.
In short, the Chairman was none the wiser when he left the Council chamber as when he went in, having learnt nothing new or which he could not have discovered by searching the internet from the comfort of his office. He was also left wondering whether our elected representatives actually see the answers prepared by officers who seem so adept at scripting obfuscation and patronising platitudes on behalf of their political masters. It's almost as though the public are merely "them", the polloi, the dumb, slow moaning livestock of politics. This may sound harsh but this is the impression which most of those attending to ask questions took away with them.
The first question and answer may be viewed by clicking here
The Supplementary question and answer may be viewed by clicking here
The latest Spelthorne News Bulletin has some interesting items particularly for those who have children aged 5 - 11. A Spring Art Open Day on 31st March and Easter Art Workshops on 2nd April are announced. For sports enthusiasts, a swimathon at the Sunbury Leisure Centre in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care will take place over two days on 27th and 28th April; and the Staines 10k road race on 13th May (limited to 650 entrants) is now open for registration.
Of more general interest, a 'Streetbank' scheme for the sharing of goods and skills within a community is announced together with a FAQ on issues which the Council can take into account when dealing with planning applications.
For further details on all these topics please click here
Unfortunately the Surrey County Council Planning and Regulatory Committee decided to approve the Eco Park application on Friday 9th March.
Not content with passing this unproven (and therefore experimental) technology, they even refused requests to prevent access to the gasification plant by HGVs on Saturdays and Sundays; to prevent access to the anaerobic digester on Saturdays; and to restrict the operation of the gasifier at weekends.
The arguments put forward by the speakers on your behalf were delivered with conviction and should have persuaded the Committee of the concerns the residents have about the proposal. Our local County Councillors also put forward cogent and well reasoned points; and all were supported by a packed public gallery. Unfortunately, the Committee did not vote as we would have hoped.
This has been a long three years of campaigning; and the hugely disappointing outcome has served to illustrate how economic considerations seem destined to trump all the environmental deficits which will inevitably result from this project.
John Brooks (Deputy Head of Planning and Housing Strategy for Spelthorne Borough Council) attended the hearing as did Michael Graham (Head of Corporate Governance at Spelthorne Council) who is one of the Council legal team. Both took copious notes throughout. They will be looking at the legality of the process followed by the County Council and SITA UK. We will be seeking an early meeting with these officers to explore the possibilities of a challenge through Judicial Review at the High Court.
PC Caroline Barnes' report for the month of February gives an update on police attention to the Skate Park and trespass at the Police College site in Green Street.
Click here to view the latest report
Many thanks to all our members who turned up for the public meeting on 23rd February at St. Mary's Church Hall (see article of 16th February).
As expected, it was an occasion of much animated debate as London Irish presented their proposals for both their Avenue site and Hazelwood Golf Course. The Secretary of State's appeal decision and the Planning Inspector's recommendations following the public inquiry were published on this site on 25th November 2011 and, on careful reading, it was almost inevitable that having satisfied the reservations expressed in the decision notice, they would come back to the table with further applications. These documents may again be viewed by clicking here.
London Irish intend to lodge their applications in the middle of this month and the public meeting, called by LOSRA, gave them the opportunity to present their proposals in advance. For those who were unable to attend, a copy of the minutes may be viewed by clicking here.
The next Music Night at Sunbury Cricket Club is next week Friday 9th March when SCC welcome back The Mustangs, who entertained us so royally last autumn.
Those of you who saw them on their first visit to the Club last year will know why The Mustangs have established such a formidable reputation as one of the country’s most dynamic blues/rock acts, and have been hailed as a real breath of fresh air on the British blues scene.
Behind their success is a unique combination of the power and punch of old school R&B with top class original material and a high octane stage act, and they are certainly among the UK’s hardest-working and most charismatic blues attractions.
In 2010 they were nominated for Best Band in the prestigious British Blues Awards, and over the last few years have become a must-have band for just about every British Blues Festival – this coming weekend they are back at the Swanage Blues Festival, and later in March appear at the spiritual home of British Blues, the Eel Pie Club. Their latest album, the sixth of their career, has been well-received by critics, as the attached reviews demonstrate, and we are delighted to have them back at Sunbury Cricket Club. It should be another rip-roaring musical night to savour, so don’t miss it! if you haven't heard them, there are plenty of music clips on their excellent web site at www.themustangs.co.uk.
Also, by clicking here, you will find a schedule of forthcoming events at SCC - regular visitors will note that we have added The 60s All Stars in June. It's intended to have the Hamilton Loomis tickets on sale at The Mustangs gig, so that will be a good opportunity for everyone to get them well in advance.
As LOSRA is so vehemently opposed to the installation of the Eco Park incinerator at Charlton Lane, we are more than happy to support an initiative which aims to reduce black bag waste and promote recycling. A new food waste campaign between Surrey County Council and Spelthorne BC is being launched this week.
Recent research indicates that Surrey residents produce about 83,000 tonnes of food waste every year, which has significant environmental and financial implications. The cost of collection, disposal and treatment runs into millions and according to WRAP wasted food costs the average family up to £50 a month.
So to help you waste less, Spelthorne Borough Council and Surrey County Council are providing helpful tips on how to plan meals, perfect the right portions, store correctly and use up leftovers, helping residents to waste less and save more. For the waste you can’t avoid, residents are being encourages to use Spelthorne’s new food waste collection service. By keeping the food separate to general waste it can be processed in a more environmentally friendly way and turned into fertiliser, rather than be sent to landfill with other black bag waste.
For more information visit the SCC Website by clicking here.
Following a Freedom of Information request to Surrey County Council we were astonished to find that they have spent £48,300 of tax-payers money on the services of a barrister to advise on whether, or how, the Eco Park incinerator application could be passed without it being put before a second Planning Committee following the Secretary of State's decision not to get involved.
We have always argued that material facts have emerged since its first approval in June 2011 which require the application to be re-heard. The barrister obviously came to the same inescapable conclusion.
The Planning and Regulatory Committee of Surrey County Council will now re-hear the planning application at 10.30am on Friday 9th March at County Hall, Kingston. We are hoping for a good turnout. Please be there if you can.
The Chairman of LOSRA has replied on behalf of the Association and his letter of objection may be viewed by clicking here.
You may also view a recent clip on the subject from a documentary report about incinerators in the the Midlands. http://satep.co.uk/#/gallery/4544877373
Next Friday, 24th February, Sunbury Cricket Club welcomes the Marshall Taylor Band for their debut at the Club, and the first of their free admission nights. It was Mark Doyle of the Marshall Taylor Band who recommended that SCC book The Good Old Boys.
Mark's band now has the opportunity to play a gig at the Club and reach a wider audience. This Kingston-based 5-piece outfit play classic rock, pop and blues from the '60s and '70s, and play regularly at The Crown in Chertsey. You can find more details and some music on their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Marshall-Taylor-Band/75147413516. SCC hope you will support this development of the Music Night programme, and look forward to seeing you on Friday.
St Mary's Church Hall, 8.15pm, 23rd February.
London Irish have informed us that they will very shortly be submitting two new applications on their Avenue site and one on the Hazelwood Golf Course.
We have asked them to a public meeting to present these pans to the community at 8.15pm on 23rd February at St. Mary's Church Hall, Green Street.
Please come along to the meeting to hear what they have to say and also have your say. This is your opportunity to listen and speak.
The following questions on air pollution have been kindly converted into layman's language by the forensic toxicologist Dr Keith Williams, BSc (Hons) who is a member of our campaign group opposing the installation of an incinerator at Charlton Lane.
What are PM’s?PM’s (particulate matter) are tiny particles that float in the air and are breathed in all the time. They can be produced by natural sources but the amount of particles in the atmosphere is greatly increased thorough the burning of fossil fuels, incineration of waste and other industrial processes.
Are all PM’s the same?They can be divided in to three broad categories, based on size. The largest of these PM10 are small enough to get into our lungs. PM 2.5 can penetrate into deep lung tissue and embed in the lung walls. PM 0.1 have the ability to cross the lungs and get inside tissues inside your body. Each type of particle will cause damage to your body in different ways,potentially causing health issues. It has been scientifically demonstrated that the greater the number of PM’s you breathe in the greater the risk to your health.
Where do they come from?In the Spelthorne, there are currently two major sources; aircraft and traffic. SITA will increase the amount of PM’s is the air we breathe by building a gasifier, at Charlton Lane Recycling Centre. They claim that any output from the incinerator will be filtered and that any increase in PM emissions will be negligible. Scientific fact however tends to differ in its opinion. There is currently no technology available that will remove all these particles from the chimney of the incinerator. In addition, any filtration system can fail and when, and if, it does, this failure will expose the general public to large quantities of these dangerous materials, as happened in Scotland.
What will the PM’s do to me?The more PM’s in the air we breathe, the greater the number of health issues and unnecessary early deaths will occur. Scientific studies have demonstrated beyond all doubt that PM’s will cause asthma, lung cancer, cardiovascular issues, birth defects, and premature death. COMEAP, an independent advisory body to the government, estimate that on average we each lose 6 months of life due inhalation of PM’s. Surrey County Council’s air quality expert has admitted in a public meeting that quality of life for all will be improved by any reduction in PMs in the air we breath.
Why therefore are SITA UK proposing to increase these dangerous particles, poisoning the air we breathe?Money and profit.
Who is particularly at risk?Unborn children, young children, the elderly, anyone with a respiratory disease and the weakest of our population. There are 4000 children within 2 miles of the proposed incinerator that will be exposed on a daily basis to this unnecessary increase in pollution.Their future health is being put at risk. Furthermore, depending on the weather conditions, a local high pressure zone could significantly elevate local exposure over a short period of time and therefore increase all of our acute risks.
Is the UK government concerned about PM’s and their effect on health?Yes. They have recently launched a two year study into the dangers from incinerators prompted by the results of a Japanese study that clearly indicated an increased rate of birth defects in areas surrounding incinerators.
What can I do about this?Visit www.satep.co.uk for further information, and details about how to object to this ill-judged proposal. Write or Email your local County Councillor and your Borough councillor to make your objections known by 24th February (See article of 1st February). Contact your local MP to make your views known.
It seems almost unbelievable that half term is already nearly upon us. If your children or grandchildren are at a loose end, why not let them get messy at a free art open day being held at the Resource Centre in Staines Park, Commercial Rd, Staines, on Saturday 11 February from 10am-2pm.
The session is open to children aged 4 – 11 years old. Children must be accompanied by a parent or carer throughout the session. Please dress children in clothes that can get messy.
At the Residents Associations' quarterly meeting with the Local Planning Authority on 23 January there was particular interest in hearing more about mineral extraction. The LPA offered to arrange a special meeting on the subject and the offer was widely supported by those present.
This special meeting will be held on Monday 27 February starting at 7.00pm and will be held at the Council Offices at Knowle Green. The meeting will not end later than 8.45pm but as always the LPA will be happy to stay on longer to talk informally with those who may have further questions. The evening will be in two parts with a slide presentation on the subject by John Brooks, Head of Planning Policy, followed by time for questions. As with all of the meetings with residents groups this will be an informal occasion with Council officers.
This meeting will be very timely as the Council is expecting two large mineral proposals to be submitted in the next few months – at Manor Farm between Laleham and Staines; and Watersplash Farm between Shepperton and Sunbury. In the coming few years there are also likely to be further proposals. Whilst planning application decisions on minerals and waste matters are taken by the County Council, the Borough Council is a statutory consultee and will always give its views. Such proposals always arouse concern and the LPA hopes to provide a good background on the subject for residents.
The following will give you an idea of what the LPA will try and cover:
In view of the likely wider interest in the subject the LPA plans to use the Council Chamber rather than the Committee Room. LOSRA is being invited to send 3 or 4 people. This is not a public meeting and we may exceed this number if necessary.
If you would like to attend, please use the Contact LOSRA menu button by Wednesday 22nd February and leave your details. We will operate on a "first come first served" basis.