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 2023 are now payable.
The following press release from the Council has been emailed to the Association and we are pleased to reproduce it here:
Spelthorne is preparing to offer immediate assistance, with financial backing from the Government, to support Afghan refugees. The Council also stands ready to support the Government’s longer-term resettlement scheme to help those fleeing their country following the Taliban’s takeover.
Spelthorne Council officers had already prepared a report on the Afghan Relocation Scheme, which is designed for Afghani Locally Employed Staff (for example interpreters who assisted the UK armed forces, and their families), which will be presented to the Community Wellbeing & Housing Committee in September. The scheme is designed to resettle and integrate Afghan families, who have supported our Armed Forces for the past two decades, into local communities and will involve the Government fully financing any resources we commit to support and we are considering how best to help.
However, following events this week we have had emergency meetings with the Home Office with a view to offering immediate support for families who have been forced to leave their country, pending longer term accommodation being found in the UK. The Government announced on 18th August a new resettlement scheme to help 20,000 Afghan nationals take refuge in the UK over a five-year period. The Government scheme will see 5,000 Afghani nationals who are at risk due to the current crisis, resettled in its first year with priority given to women and girls, and religious and other minorities. More details about the Government’s scheme can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/news/bespoke-resettlement-route-for-afghan-refugees-announced
Cllr Lawrence Nichols, Leader of the Council, said: “We are witnessing a humanitarian catastrophe unfolding before our eyes in Afghanistan, and we have a moral obligation to help. The lives of these people are threatened, and they are in dire need of urgent assistance. Spelthorne Council is committed to doing our fair share to help. This country owes a great debt to those who worked with and supported our troops over the last two decades, so it is only right that we help them.”
The Council, recent recipients of the Gold Award in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, also acknowledges that there will be veterans who served in Afghanistan living in the Borough, who may be affected by the Taliban’s takeover. We have a veterans’ hub in the Borough, which allows the Armed Forces Community to connect. Details of which can be found here: www.spelthorne.gov.uk/article/20281/Veterans-Hub-opens-in-Spelthorne
Veterans who need specialist support are encouraged to reach out to the services available to them. Options can be found on the following websites:
Cllr Robin Sider, the Council’s Armed Forces Champion, said: “As a former member of the Armed Forces, I can fully empathise with what many will be feeling at witnessing these tragic scenes in Afghanistan. I want to assure veterans that you are not alone and support is available to you via the Armed Forces Network and the NHS.”
Meeting, plus the Regatta and Christmas Fair, not happening, our paid-up membership has dropped significantly.
Regrettably the Leo Richardson concert scheduled for 3rd August has been cancelled due to circumstances beyond the control of the organisers.
However, the exciting news is that the organisers of the famous Brecon Jazz Festival have asked Mood Indigo Events to collaborate with them this year.
Instead of being put on 'live' in Brecon over one weekend, it is to be spread out throughout August in Brecon and other various locations (including the Riverside Arts Centre).
Three excellent bands will be performing at the Centre from 2pm and the live-stream will be watched by an international audience.
In-the-venue concert tickets are being sold through the MoodIndigo website at https://www.moodindigoevents.co.uk, while the livestream tickets are being managed from Brecon - full details of which may also be found on the website.
To see poster, click here
The Leo Richardson gig at the Riverside Arts Centre which was scheduled for the same night as the European Cup Final (Scroll down to 23rd June) was postponed (unsurprisingly) through lack of support.
It will now take place on Tuesday 3rd August.
An invitation to Sunbury and Halliford businesses to register for a lunch with Business Secretary and MP for Spelthorne, Rt Hon. Kwasi Kwarteng and at which the Deputy Chief Executive for Surrey CC will also be present on 30th July has been forwarded to LOSRA by Buddhi Weerasinghe, our recently elected county councillor.
The following notice has been received from the Senior Planning Officer at Spelthorne Council. Needless to say, support for the cycle/footbridge from Sunbury to Walton would fall within the remit of this consultation, so please take this additional opportunity to make your views known.
"We are writing to resident associations in Spelthorne to introduce some new work that is underway to plan where streets in Spelthorne could be improved to make it safe and comfortable for everyone to walk and cycle, and more inviting places to be when spending time outside.
"Spelthorne Borough Council and Surrey County Council are working with Atkins, a specialist firm, to develop a Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan (GOV.UK pdf) for our borough.
"It is vitally important that improvements reflect the needs of our community, so we would like to work with resident associations and other community groups whilst developing this plan.
"At this stage, we would like to invite residents and resident associations to submit suggestions on where walking and cycling can be improved in your neighbourhood through our dedicated website:
Discover Surrey LCWIP to Have Your Say – Commonplace
"We have received a number of suggestions already, and have previously received a large volume of suggestions when we trialled this online feedback map last year. To those who have already submitted suggestions – thank you! All of these comments are currently being reviewed. The map remains open for new comments and will be reviewed by those working on the project as the plan progresses.
"Suggestions will be used to help identify areas in the borough where investment could most usefully be directed. Later in the process, having identified these areas, we will invite the residents associations for these areas to more detailed discussions on improvements that could be made in their area."
Hannah Bridges MRTPI
Senior Planning Officer (Strategic Planning)
There will be an extra live jazz event at Riverside Arts Centre on Tuesday 13th July.
It’s one of Terry Collie's ‘My Life in Music’ series but for the first time Mood Indigo Events are opening it up to a live audience as well as putting it out on Livestream.
The audience in the room will be invited to ask questions at the end of the talk part on the night which will be followed by a duo concert.
The guest will be guitarist Jim Mullen who has played at the RAC with the Terence Collie Trio in the past. As one of the most soulful and subtly virtuosic players this country has ever produced, Jim Mullen has recorded and toured with the very best, also carving his own place in jazz-funk history as a founding member of the Morrissey-Mullen Band.
For further details, click here
It was just over a year ago that the exhibition of the Lendy Memorial in the Walled Garden was made the subject of a controversy by an unsolicited commentariat questioning the rectitude of its continued public display. (See previous articles of 17th June, 22nd June,17th August 2020 and 19th January 2021).
At the conclusion of discussions with the Council and all interested parties, it was finally, and with universal approval, agreed that the Memorial should remain where it is. Our past Chairman, Alan Doyle, kindly undertook to write about the history of the Lendy brothers and to make his work freely available at the Embroidery Gallery. The resulting booklet is co-authored by Nick Pollard, the historian who many will know as the Chairman of Sunbury and Shepperton Local History Society.
To read the booklet online, click here
Without a doubt, Leo Richardson is widely recognised to be one of the UK's leading Jazz Tenor Saxophonists, best known for his honest, straight-ahead, contemporary hard-bop style. His most significant influences include John Coltrane, Joe Henderson, Dexter Gordon, Horace Silver and Art Blakey.
Leo joins the Terence Collie trio at the Riverside Arts Centre on Sunday 11th July at 7.45pm.
For further information, click here
Cows will return to Sunbury Park on June 15 th for the summer grazing season. There were no cows in the Park last year because it was decided that with the Park being such a valuable and well-used area for people to exercise during the Coved emergency whenso many other activities were restricted, it would make sense not to have them during that time. However, now that things have opened up more, they are coming back this year, arriving on June 15 th .
There will be fewer of them this time – nine cows, we understand – and they we will be in the Park probably until the early autumn, maybe about four months. Having cows in the Park is the best way to manage the grassland from the point of view of keeping down the rank grasses and improving bio-diversity - mowing is expensive and difficult in the Park, and the cows’ grazing habit, tearing at the grass and exposing small areas of earth, helps the seeds of wild flowers and herbs to become established.
We are conscious that many people have acquired dogs during the last year or so and may be new to dog owning, and unfamiliar with interacting with cattle in the Park. It is obviously important that dogs are not allowed to approach, chase or harass the cows inany way, and if you are not sure how they will respond to seeing the cows it is advisable that they are kept on a lead.
Further to the article posted on this site on 10th May.
Ferries from Sunbury across the river to Walton, have operated for hundreds of years and were a vital link for the local communities. Sadly, with the advent of modern transport, bridges and road links, the ferries died out towards the 1970s – until now.
LoSRA has always championed the idea of a new river crossing in Lower Sunbury, and whilst the idea of a footbridge is still a long term objective, an initiative from Spelthorne Council (SBC), through its River Thames Task Group, sees a new ferry service beginning operation from Lower Sunbury next month.
The SBC River Thames Task Group was made up of Spelthorne Councillors, Officers and local community representatives (including LoSRA) with a knowledge of the river and the local area. The Task Group has undertaken a number of riverside projects across Spelthorne including improvements to Kings Lawn and the ferry initiative.
As part of the ferry project, two local residents, Neil Huntingford (a LoSRA Committee Member), and Simon Harris have set up Sunbury Ferry Ltd. Formed as a not-for-profit community company, they have recruited over two dozen local volunteers to operate the ferry service at weekends and public holidays throughout the summer months. Many of the volunteers are already experienced boaters whilst others have taken advantage of the opportunity to gain a qualification through training at Queen Mary's Reservoir.
The Council have generously provided the initial funding to get this community initiative up and running, with LoSRA and other local organisations adding their support as the project has developed.
Keen to be 'green', the new pontoon-style ferry is powered by a whisper-quiet electric engine and crosses the river from the Lower Sunbury bank opposite the Riverside Arts Centre, over to the Walton bank downstream of Sunbury Lock.
LoSRA is proud to be an active supporter of this new service for the local community which should also help attract visitors to the area to enjoy the many amenities on offer in Lower Sunbury as well as giving access to Walton. Please visit the ferry website for more details: sunburyferry.co.uk
Photo shows volunteers undertaking training ahead of the new ferry being delivered.
Cllr Lawrence Nichols was elected as Leader of Spelthorne Borough Council at the Annual Meeting of the Council on Thursday 26 May.
Cllr Nichols, of the Liberal Democrats, was elected as Councillor for the Halliford and Sunbury West ward in 2019 and was previously Chairman of the Audit Committee. Cllr Nichols was also a councillor between 2007 and 2011.
Prior to retiring in 2017 he had been a senior Civil Servant, having previously been an IT Director for a subsidiary of a UK bank. He is a school governor at Beauclerc and Chennestone Schools in Sunbury.
Cllr Ian Harvey was elected as the new Mayor for Spelthorne at the Annual Council Meeting on 27 May. Cllr Susan Doran was elected as Deputy Mayor.
Cllr Harvey was first elected as a borough councillor for Sunbury East in May 2013 and re-elected in 2015 and 2019. He has always taken a special interest in ward issues and works closely with local residents. He was Leader of Spelthorne Borough Council from February 2016 – June 2020.
Cllr Harvey has lived in Lower Sunbury for 24 years and is married to Helen, who is also a local councillor.
After what seems to have been an interminable lockdown, The Terence Collie Trio will be returning to the Riverside Arts Centre on Sunday, June 6th at 7.45pm.
The Trio will be joined by Maciek Pysz who plays acoustic and classical guitar with his influences coming from tango, flamenco, Latin, jazz, Brazilian and classical music. His compositions are known for their lyricism, well developed melodic sense, and imagination.
The audience will be limited in size with advanced booking and drinks served at tables. It will look and feel more like a jazz club!
For booking details, click here