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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February's fraud newsletter, where the police caution against Covid-19 vaccine fraud. HMRC and broadband scams may also be viewed by clicking here
The Council has released the following letter to the local press to put on record Spelthorne's deep concerns over the level of housing demanded by the Government.
To view, click here
We hope that the Minister's reply (if indeed there is one) will also be published.
Further to the article posted here on 18th January, the Association has made the following submission to be considered by Cabinet on 27th January:
"It is great news that the O&S Committee is recommending to Cabinet that the hoarding on the Lendy Memorial [pictured] be removed. The further recommendation that the Council should support additional research by two Brunel University academics is more problematic.
"One of those academics, Dr Dornan, tweets: "Toppling monuments does not mean erasing history ... Nor is putting them in a museum a way of removing them from public scrutiny – quite the reverse. Pulling down statues has nothing to do with history, & everything to do with memory. Statues are about the present, not the past" A delightfully equivocal polemic from Dr Dornan, it could be argued; however, any vestige of ambiguity disappears when we consider a re-tweet (amongst others) from Dr.Inge Dornan's Twitter account on 25th August which reveals with alacrity the British Museum's removal of the founder's statue over slavery links: "Hans Sloane pushed off pedestal"
"It is curious that one of the lead voices in the O&S debate, Cllr. Langden (Staines), postulated that support for the two academics would "send out the right message nationally" (whatever that means) and that bias might be perceived if the well researched paper by Alan Doyle was seen as "just from a local resident" and would scream "dodgy". A few minutes of research by Cllr. Langden would have revealed that the academic in whom he asks the Council to put its trust is anything other than impartial; and this goes way beyond a mere 'perception'.
"The academic, Dr. Inge Dornan, is of course entitled to her views and, laudable though they may be, she will not be perceived as an honest broker in this affair. In any event, as the officer was able to inform the O&S Committee, the two academics would proceed with their work regardless of Council's endorsement. If such an endorsement were to be forthcoming it's reasonable to suppose that the Council would find itself beholden to the outcome whatever that may be.
"We ask therefore that you decline the recommendation of the O&S Committee which was passed with the least possible majority of one vote."
A number of residents are puzzled as to why, having gone through a 'Call for Sites' process already, the Council should be repeating the process three years later. The following email has been received from the senior planning officer which explains why:
"The Council did indeed run a call for sites in 2017. We are now running a further call for sites to identify any new sites that may have not been on our radar previously. The Council has a challenging housing target of 606 homes per annum and we are looking to explore all of our options for meeting this need.
"The Council have previously left an open call for sites on the website so that landowners that wished to promote a site could do so, however it is hoped that this further ‘formal’ call for sites will help to boost activity and our awareness of potential development sites in the Borough.
"Following our Preferred Options consultation, councillors are in the process of deciding on the Local Plan strategy to take forward to the next stages of the Plan. We will assess any new development sites thoroughly and carry out a public consultation at the next stage of plan preparation."
Hannah Bridges MRTPI
Senior Planning Officer (Strategic Planning)
Spelthorne Borough Council is launching a consultation to establish whether residents support the introduction of a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) prohibiting the possession and use of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) in the Borough.
Formerly known as ‘legal highs’, NPS contain one or more chemical substances that produce similar effects to drugs like cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy. It is not currently an offence to be in possession of, or to use, NPS which means that authorities are unable to take any action in Spelthorne unless a PSPO is put in place.
The PSPO would be enforced by Council Officers and the Police, and anyone breaching it could be prosecuted or issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £100.
Nitrous Oxide, or ‘laughing gas’, is a well-known example of an NPS and Spelthorne Council receives many complaints from residents concerned about the large quantity of tell-tale silver canisters discarded in the Borough’s streets, parks and open spaces by users of this particular substance.
Cllr Richard Barratt, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: ”Use of NPS appears to be a growing problem in the UK, particularly among young people, and we are very concerned about the negative impacts for the individuals themselves and our local communities which are impacted by associated anti-social behaviour and litter. We are keen to gain residents’ views on the possible introduction of a borough-wide PSPO to help tackle this, and I encourage as many people as possible to take part in our consultation.”
To take part in the consultation which runs from 18 January – 28 February 2021, visit https://spelthorne.inconsult.uk/
To listen, please go to YouTube.com on Tuesday evening and type "spelthorne overview scrutiny" into the search bar at the top. The 19 Jan meeting should appear.
To see our Chairman's submission to the Committee, click here
The story so far has been described by earlier entries on this site dated 17th June, 22nd June and 17th August.
There will be a Mobile Testing Centre at Green Street Car ParkSunbury Park on the following dates:
Sunday 17 January to Tuesday 19 January
No vehicle access to the carpark will be available during this time.
Anyone with Coronavirus symptoms should self-isolate and get tested now, so we can control the virus and protect each other.
The symptoms of Coronavirus are:
Anyone who has symptoms can book a test by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus or call NHS on 119 to get a test.
The Council will be operating free Christmas tree collections from 11-15 January 2021.
Simply remove the base and decorations and leave your tree out with your bins on your usual collection day.
Now that there is no overall majority at the Council it is perhaps inevitable that their model of governance is to be revisited. Residents are invited to participate by completing a simple questionnaire by 14th January at www.spelthorne.gov.uk/currentconsultations
What is a governance model?
A governance model determines how an authority is run. There are three models of local government:
Leader and Cabinet - Spelthorne currently uses this model. This is also the system used in national governance.
Directly elected Mayor and Cabinet - This is the model used in London where the directly elected Mayor forms their cabinet and makes decisions for the area.
Committee System - This is the proposed system for Spelthorne and is used in other local authorities, for instance Maidstone.
Why is it important?
A good governance model provides:
What is the Council's current model?
Spelthorne Borough Council operates what is known as the Cabinet model of governance. This means that apart from the decisions which legally have to be taken by the Council and are delegated to officers, all other executive decisions are taken by the Cabinet which is made up of between 7-9 councillors selected by the Leader.
What will moving to a Committee model mean?
Under this system councils are divided into politically balanced committees that make the decisions. As such, these councils are not required to have an overview and scrutiny committee, though some do have one or more.
When the consultation closes, the Council will collate all our responses and comments and will take these into account as they further consider, develop and refine the proposed changes. There will be an update at the Council Meeting in February and this will confirm whether an extraordinary Council Meeting should be held in March to finalise and agree the proposed changes.
The Covid -19 vaccination programme has started and, on the basis of vulnerability, the over 8o’s and over 70’s have priority. Many do not drive and cannot use public transport so it is difficult to get out and about, particularly in January, February and March.
Sunbury Neighbours is a local voluntary group of drivers who take older people and anyone who finds it difficult to get around to appointments at local surgeries and hospitals. Over the coming months, Sunbury Neighbours will be helping those who have priority by driving them to vaccination appointments if they need transport.
If you would like to support the vaccination programme and could spare some time to drive older people to a vaccination centre and then take them home, we would love you to join us. If we contact you with a request and you can’t help, it is fine to say “no”.
The more people who sign up, the more likely it is that we will be able to help someone in our community with a very practical transport problem. And don’t worry, we will not sign you up for evermore – although you would be very welcome to join us! This is a time limited initiative that we are setting up to help in response to the current crisis and the need to ensure that the vaccination programme is successful.
If you would like to help or would like to find out more please contact Sunbury Neighbours on 07956822546.
Surrey County Council is giving local communities up to £100m over the next five years to spend on projects that improve their local area. A footbridge between Sunbury and Walton has been proposed to be considered for some of this funding.
LOSRA has shown this project has enormous local support. See the banner at the top of the homepage.
Please show your support by voting for this proposal.
Go to following website to vote:
Alternatively, scan the QR code below (simply aim your phone’s camera at square code). Scroll to bottom of page and click AGREE.
The council will take these votes of approval into account when deciding where to spend the money, so every vote counts!
Alan Barnes is a prolific international performer, composer, arranger, band-leader and touring soloist. He is best known for his work on clarinet, alto and baritone sax, where he combines a formidable virtuosity with a musical expression and collaborative spirit that have few peers.
He joins the Terry Collie trio at the Riverside Arts Centre on 20th December at what promises to be a great night out and which will include mince pies and mulled wine for all!
To see full booking details, click here
Judging by the many posts on social media we are aware that many local people have been affected by the smell, noise and light pollution from the gasifier (euphemism for incinerator) at the Eco Park in Charlton Lane.
Surrey County Council 03456 009 009 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays - normal rates apply)
Online complaint form, click here
Spelthorne Pollution Control (areas cover contaminated land and air quality)
Spelthorne Residential Team (areas cover noise, housing and public health)
How to find your local councillor:
The Spelthorne councillors for Halliford and Sunbury West, where the park is located, are:
To find other councillors:
Spelthorne Borough Council: https://democracy.spelthorne.gov.uk/mgFindMember.aspx
Surrey County Council: https://mycouncil.surreycc.gov.uk/mgFindMember.aspx
The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a planning charge, introduced by the Planning Act 2008, as a tool for local authorities in England and Wales to help deliver infrastructure to support the development of their area. It came into force on 6 April 2010 through the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010. The Levy is designed to help fund the infrastructure, facilities and services - such as schools or transport improvements (eg, dare we ask, a cycle/footbridge across the Thames at Sunbury?) needed to support new homes and businesses.
It is our understanding that the CIL fund for Spelthorne currently exceeds £5m and is supposed to be under the control, or at least be monitored by, the Surrey/Spelthorne Joint Committee. Our Chairman, Paul Thompson and Tom Fidler, local Councillor and a member of the JC, have asked a number of questions about CIL but have not yet received any useful answers, beyond establishing that any allocation would go on behind closed doors.
We accept that the Covid pandemic has been immensely disruptive to the Council's order of business but will nevertheless continue to press for answers as and when circumstances allow.