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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You have probably been following the News with increasing horror and dismay regarding civil unrest - not only across London, but also Birmingham, Bristol and many other towns and cities. Some of what has been happening is not too far from our borders so I write to update you on the present situation and to reassure you, as best I can, that the Council is working very closely with the Surrey Police with regards to this delicate issue.
I have set up regular daily updates with Sarah Greenhalgh of the Surrey Police as well as with our Emergency Planning Officer, Nick Moon, who is updating me on Surrey Resilience Forum news.
The Surrey Police “intelligence” is that it is ‘business as usual’ and should the situation change for whatever reason we will let you know. They are continuing to monitor Social Networks and have indicated that as only 2 of the police staff in the Spelthorne deployment have the appropriate qualifications/experience to be loaned to the Metropolitan Police, that in practice, our Community Policing presence will remain unaffected.
In terms of our organisational preparedness, I would urge Councillors and staff to remain calm, yet vigilant, and to report any untoward activity as soon as possible to the Surrey Police. Our Leisure Services staff will continue to provide Youth related leisure provision so that the UJAM music, dance and arts event planned for Staines this Thursday, 12 to 4pm will proceed as planned. Everyone Active (SLM) will continue with their summer programmes in both Sunbury and Spelthorne Leisure Centres; Building Control will be asked to pay extra attention to the security of building sites to ensure materials are stored with greater security. Our Street Scene staff are being asked to ensure that litter bins remain emptied to minimise the chance of being set alight and we will be paying particular attention to our street sweeping so as to clear any potential ammunition debris.
You will note that this is also copied to our colleagues in both the Elmsleigh Centre and the Two Rivers as well as our colleagues representing the business communities of Ashford, Sunbury, Sunbury Cross and Shepperton.
Again, the message is of calmness and business as usual, helped by our local Police who will be maintaining a visible presence.
Clearly, events could change quickly but I felt it appropriate for you to at least be aware of how we are taking-stock of the situation.
Residents planning to take a road trip on Sunday 14th August should be aware that The London-Surrey Cycle Classic Road Race is taking place in preparation for The Olympic Games.
The race will pass through southwest London and Surrey, starting and finishing in central London. Roads will be closed along the route and over 60 bus routes will be affected from very early in the morning until mid-afternoon.
Tube services in the area will run as normal but they may be busier than usual. If you intend to travel in the area, you are strongly advised to plan ahead. For more information please visit tfl.gov.uk/testevent
A day of exciting twenty/20 cricket is in prospect at Sunbury Cricket Club this Friday, 5th August.
Jimmy Adams, formerly Captain of the West Indies and one of the Clubs Vice Presidents will be playing for Sunbury CC. The guest teams are Stoics CC, Free Foresters CC and Ripley CC.
For more details visit the Club's website: http://www.sunburycricket.co.uk/
Recent concerns about the new skate park in Green Street are covered in PC Caroline Barnes' police report for the month of July. To read, click here
Further to the article published on this Site on 4th July, Solicitors were instructed by LOSRA to write to the Secretary of State for the Department of Communities and Local Government to refuse the application for the Eco Park development; or to call it in for his determination.
In this we have been jointly funded and supported by the Charlton Village Residents Association (CVRA)and Shepperton Against The Eco Park (SATEP).
The letter offers robust grounds for the SoS's refusal and readers are invited to view the (emailed) copy of this letter click here.
On our instructions the Solicitors have also written to the Head of Legal Services at Surrey County Council. To view this letter, click here.
Readers may already be aware that our local MP, Kwasi Kwarteng, has secured a debate in Parliament on the Eco Park. He has tabled an adjournment debate on Monday 5th September in the House of Commons which should last about half an hour. Kwasi will make a speech on the subject to which Eric Pickles or a junior minister from Dept. Communities and Local Government will respond.
All is by no means lost.
Local residents in Spelthorne are invited to come down to the River Thames on Saturday 13 August to enjoy the 12th annual River Day and Sunbury Regatta.
The Mayor's flotilla will depart from the Thames Lodge Hotel at 9.30 that morning, and travel through the four locks of Penton Hook, Chertsey, Shepperton and Sunbury to arrive at Rivermead Island to join the Sunbury Regatta at about 1.30pm.
The Mayor, Cllr Sam Budd, will be rowed in a Henry V111 style shallop called the Jubilant, which was built by Mark Edwards in Kingston. Mark will be cox on River Day, and the crew will include the Spelthorne MP Kwasi Kwarteng, and former Mayors including Andrew Hirst, Husseini Jaffer and Malcolm Royer, together with Paul Stubbs, son of former Mayor, and Nick Wood-Dow, husband of former Mayor Judith.
At the regatta, the Mayor's crew and the other boats in the flotilla will join in a special pre-Olympic event from 1.30 until 3pm, which is an Edwardian re-enactment of a regatta held in 1901. The participants will be dressed in Edwardian costume, and will recreate a typical event of some 110 years ago.
This re-enactment is part of the Surrey Heritage Sporting Life programme, and the Cultural Olympiad events in the run-up to the London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.
The participants hope for good crowds on the riverbank, at the four locks, and at the Sunbury Regatta for the pre-Olympic re-enactment event. for more information click: http://www.sunburyregatta.com/
LOSRA has received formal notification that, following the conclusion of the Public Inquiry, the Inspector is now in the course of preparing his report and recommendation(s) to the Secretary of State for his consideration.
The Inspector expects to have completed his submission by 28th September. The Secretary of State will issue his decision on or before 30th November 2011.
The following email has been received by LOSRA. If you wish to make a representation please do so direct by clicking on the link below:
Spelthorne Borough Council is undertaking a review of its polling districts, polling places and polling stations. The review requires the Council to ensure all electors in the Spelthorne Constituency have such reasonable facilities for voting as are practicable and have regard to the accessibility needs of those with various forms of disability.
Representations and comments are invited from elected persons, local political parties and electors, persons or organisations with particular expertise in relation to access to premises for people with different form of disability and local community groups. In the event that you do not think an existing polling place/station meets the needs of its electors, it would be helpful if an alternative venue could be suggested.
All information concerning the review and proposals is on the website at www.spelthorne.gov.uk and also available in hardcopy at libraries throughout the Borough. Forms for comments/suggestions/alternatives are provided on the web or can be obtained from this office.
If you should require any information or a hardcopy of the Review, please let me know and details will be forwarded by return.
Jayne McEwan, Electoral Services
Our Walled Garden is one of the Best in the Country and that's official. Today, the Walled Garden will receive the Green Flag Award, a sign to visitors that the park is well maintained and well managed, with excellent facilities. A high quality green space in the Village, the historic Walled garden in Sunbury Park was most probably built in the early part of the 18th Century for the large mansion built on the site for Sir Roger Hudson; and there is a drawing in Colin Campbell's 'Vitruvius Britannicus' showing the housing in Sunbury Park in 1714.
Walled gardens were a particular feature of the larger Georgian and Victorian Houses and were used for the growing of high quality fruit and vegetables for the wealthy owner of the house; and typically would have included a specialist range of greenhouses for the growing of peaches and grapes. The Sunbury example is particularly fine, covering as it does some two acres with the original walls, in many places being eight to ten feet high. The Green Flag Award Scheme is managed by a consortium, comprising Keep Britain Tidy, BTCV and Green Space. Known collectively as the Green Flag Plus Partnership, the Consortium manages the Scheme in England on behalf of Communities and Local Government (CLG).
All award-winning sites now have the chance to receive a further award from the Green Flag Plus Partnership, the People's Choice Award. The award is voted for by the public, so if you want to see your local park receive a national accolade as the people's choice, then vist the Green Flag Award website now to register your vote: http://www.keepbritaintidy.org/GreenFlag/Awards/GreenFlag/Default.aspx
'Thames 21' a Registered Charity is appealing for volunteers to help in a clean-up operation at Sunbury Lock Island. This location is a charming part of the Lower Sunbury riverscape and we are being asked to join a team to give it a clean-up on Sunday 17th July. Click here to view the poster.
Volunteers are asked to report to the footbridge ahead of the lock at 10.45am. Old clothes recommended but all necessary equipment will be provided. For more details, go to http://thames21utp.tumblr.com/
At the AGM on 22nd June the Constitution was amended to allow residents to sign up for life membership to LOSRA. The change to the Constitution was brought about following requests from residents who, rather than having to remember to renew each year, preferred a one off facility. The amendment to the Constitution was duly put before the AGM and passed.
The life membership may be paid in the same way as annual membership; ie. by completing the tear-off slip at the back of the newsletter and depositing a cheque at Twirltours in Green Street, or at the Post Office in The Avenue. We have also included the facility to pay via PayPal on the Home Page of this Site.
LOSRA is very pleased to post this invitation on behalf of St. Mary's: St Mary's Church will be holding a Community Event which will take the form of an Afternoon Tea Party in the Church, on Saturday 16 July between 3.00pm and 5.00pm.
Home made scones, clotted cream and music on the grand piano will all make for a very pleasant afternoon.
Please come and join us as we would love the Sunbury community to be with us.
The Friends of Sunbury Embroidery are once again organising an evening concert in the Walled Garden. This year the Panama Cafe Orchestra will be playing with "nostalgia, wit and authentic sounds of the 20s & 30s" (www.panamacafe.co.uk).
Bring you own chairs, tables and picnics... and although it will be summer it will be impossible to tell, so bring something warm to wear just in case.
Gates to the Walled Garden will open at 6.15pm for a 7pm start. The concert will finish at approximately 9.30pm. Tickets are now available in the Embroidery Gallery. £12.50 adult and £6 for under 12s.
Despite the combined efforts of SATEP, CVRA and LOSRA, the Planning and Regulatory Committee of Surrey County Council approved the development of the 'Eco Park' proposal on 30th June. To do otherwise would have meant SCC having to repay substantial PFI loans and this was a consideration which would outweigh all others no matter how persuasive the opposing arguments proved to be.
A refusal of the application would also have risked reputational damage to SCC. The possibility of financial loss and reputational damage has been recorded in an official SCC 'Risk Assessment' document (now in LOSRA'S possession) compiled at the request of the Leader of the Council; and which was presumably not intended for wide circulation. It is inconveivable that members of the Planning Committee were not aware of this document and its content before deciding to approve their own application.
The joint campaign group will now be lobbying the Secretary of State to 'call in' the application and will be seeking a top QC's legal opinion before considering our next steps.