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 2021 are now payable.
The car parks below allow you to park free for one hour, however, you must make sure that you obtain and display a free one hour ticket from the pay and display machine:
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the awards evening was unable to be held in 2020 but all entries and nominations are being carried over to this year's competition.
There are 13 categories to choose from and entry is free. Businesses must have a trading address in the Borough. Online entry is live until 31 July 2021 and the black tie gala dinner to announce the winners will take place on 14 October 2021 (subject to change depending on the Coronavirus situation).
Click here for further details
Sadly, the late Peter Francis the LoSRA Committee member who fought tirelessly on behalf of the Association and for SATEP (Spelthorne Against the Eco Park) is no longer with us to share this news.
Peter, a chemical engineer, had claimed from the outset back in 2012 that the installation of an incinerator on the Charlton Lane site was both unviable and potentially dangerous. He was able to support his claims by drawing on years of experience in the petro-chemical industry.
Regrettably, his efforts remained unrewarded as, not for the first time, politics trumped science and the incinerator was given the go-ahead by the Planning and Regulatory Committee of Surrey County Council in 2014.
The following is a the press release from Surrey County Council which may ultimately vindicate Peter and his professional opinion:
16 March 2021
Campaigners are holding their breath as Surrey County Council has announced it is now in legal proceedings, which they hope will lead to the Council abandoning plans for its gasification incinerator in Spelthorne in north Surrey.
At the Council meeting on 16 March 2021, the Cabinet Member for Environment & Climate Change announced: “after exhausting other options available, we have now entered legal proceedings with Suez to resolve our issues. We hope to bring this to a swift conclusion to allow us to move forward with the Eco Park and resolve the matter.” SATEP had raised numerous issues, most of which remain unresolved.
The Council first approved an incinerator on this site in March 2012, and approved the current version in March 2014, despite strong opposition by local residents and campaigners. It was part of the Charlton Lane ‘Eco Park’ though campaigners say there’s nothing ‘eco’ about a waste incinerator of inefficient design, which would emit toxic pollutants and carbon dioxide, increase the transport of waste, and limit recycling.
Ever since, the Eco Park has been beset by technical and operational difficulties. It is a source of considerable disruption and concern to residents, affecting quality of life in the area and triggering health fears among the most vulnerable. The company that made the gasification plant has now stopped making them for municipal waste.
Adrian Corti, local resident and member of Spelthorne Against the Eco Park (SATEP) said: “Now is a time to cautiously celebrate in Spelthorne and across Surrey at this process which could spell the end to the Eco Park gasification experiment. We also hope that this is backed by a firm commitment to no other new forms of waste burning in Surrey, which will benefit the health, welfare and environment in many ways.
“Now is the time to right the wrongs that have got us here, rather than dwelling on the past. I hope we can finally put the last decade, which has been an absolute nightmare for local residents, behind us. It has brought us together as a community for the wrong reasons and is not something we would want to wish upon anyone else in Surrey.
“The Eco Park experiment has clearly demonstrated that gasification is not just dirty and dangerous, but a non-viable way of disposing of household waste.”
Local Green Campaigner Paul Hollingworth said: “We would like to thank those who have campaigned tirelessly over many years against these latest plans for waste incineration in Surrey, particularly the Spelthorne Against the Ecopark (SATEP) campaign. SATEP should be proud of their persistence. We would like to acknowledge the efforts of Peter Francis and Ian Robinson, who are sadly no longer with us to share in this decision today. Also we would like to thank UK Without Incineration Network (UKWIN) for their support in highlighting the waste, climate and health impacts of incineration (which includes gasification technologies).
“The individuals and groups who opposed the Eco Park will stand strong in opposing any future attempts to impose incineration of waste elsewhere in Surrey.”
Jonathan Essex, Green Councillor for Redhill East said: “The Eco Park has been a complete waste of taxpayers’ money, which could have been used to improve the quality of life of residents.
“The case against incineration technologies, including gasification, continues to grow. Incinerators block investment in reuse and recycling, and lock-in carbon emissions. This is unacceptable as Surrey, among many other Councils, have declared a Climate Emergency.
“This week’s announcement should signal a shift in both Surrey County Council’s and the government’s strategy. Instead of pouring money into polluting technologies such as complicated and expensive waste disposal methods that create a perverse incentive to burn recyclable waste, it is time to shift investment to making it easier for all of us to reduce, reuse and recycle.”
Shlomo Dowen, Coordinator of the UK Without Incineration Network (UKWIN) said: "The Spelthorne gasification failure joins a long list of such false starts that have proven to be a costly distractions from building the facilities that are needed to make our economy ever more circular. UKWIN salutes the determination and persistence of local campaigners who helped Surrey Council start the difficult process which we hope will lead to end to plans for incineration in Surrey. We look forward to Surrey being freed to pursue a path towards greater resource efficiency that will bring environmental benefits alongside creating much-needed green jobs.”
In September 2020, Surrey County Council announced its plans to submit a proposal to Central Government, to amalgamate its 11 District and Borough Councils into one single, Unitary Authority. The proposed move would be part of its new 'Putting Residents First' strategy, which, it claimed, would bring decision making and services closer to local communities.
Spelthorne Borough Council wholeheartedly rejects this proposal of creating the UK's largest single Unitary authority encompassing a population of 1.2 million and on the 24 September 2020, Members of Spelthorne Borough Council voted unanimously to agree motions to oppose a single Surrey-wide Unitary Authority.
Depending on one's point of view, the move by SCC was intended in part to introduce economies of scale or, more cynically, represented a blatant political land-grab.
To see the whole press release, click here
The following press notice has been issued by the Council and it will strike a chord with a number of residents across our Association:
An estate agent has been fined by Spelthorne Borough Council for fly-posting.
The Council operates a 'zero-tolerance' policy on fly posting. We have responded to frequent breaches by estate agents who have allowed their contractors to erect for sale, to let, sold boards etc signage on publicly owned/maintained property such as grass verges, road signs and other roadside furniture maintained at public expense.
In order to tackle this problem, our Law Enforcement team have repeatedly written to estate agencies within the Borough highlighting their individual responsibilities to remain within the law, and our team continues to hear concerns from residents on the matter.
After a clear breach of this policy was brought to our attention, the offending sign was removed from the road sign it was attached to and a fixed penalty ticket was issued to a local estate agency, which has been paid by the offending company.
Cllr Richard Barratt, Portfolio Holder for Compliance, Waste and Risk, said: "This Council has demonstrated that it takes a zero-tolerance policy towards fly-posting. We hope that our actions will send a message out to the business community that we will act if they break the law. I ask that residents continue to inform us if there are any breaches of the law so the Council can ensure we have a cleaner, greener Spelthorne for everyone."
Residents can report fly-posting by visiting: www.spelthorne.gov.uk/article/2234/Fly-posting
The following press notice has been sent by the Council and we are pleased to reproduce it here:
If you're getting someone in to work on your house or garden, before you agree anything, check they are a registered waste carrier. That way you'll have peace of mind that when your trader takes your waste away it won't be dumped, causing damage to Spelthorne's beautiful green spaces and create unnecessary work for the Council.
It's easy to do and could save you a £400 fine, because if your waste is found dumped it's you who'll be fined, not the rogue trader. You should always get a receipt for the disposal of your waste. Find out via the Environment Agency's website to if your trader is registered: https://environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/index.
Fly-tipping is anti-social, and punishment can result in a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months in prison. In Surrey 100% of fly-tippers who go to court are convicted, so help us to stamp out this unacceptable behaviour by running a quick check online before you employ anyone.
Councillor Richard Barratt, Portfolio Holder for Compliance, Waste and Risk, said: "Our green spaces are particularly precious and do not deserve to be damaged by fly-tipped waste. It takes two minutes to check online to check whether your trader is registered. Let's all work together and do our bit to get rid of this unseemly practice."
You can find out all you need to know about fly-tipping in Surrey, including how to report it where you live, on the Surrey Environment Partnership website: https://www.surreyep.org.uk/fly-tipping/
The following article is posted at the request of the Census Engagement Manager North Surrey, Office for National Statistics:
The census is coming. By taking part, you can help inform decisions on services that shape your community, such as healthcare, education and transport.
The census is a unique survey that happens every 10 years. It gives us a snapshot of all the people and households in England and Wales – the most detailed information we have about our society.
It’s important that you fill in your census questionnaire. Without the information you share, it’d be more difficult to understand your community’s needs and to plan andfund public services.
In one way or another, your information touches the lives of every single person living in England and Wales, whether it’s through using census information to plan new schools, doctors’ surgeries or bike lanes.
Because these things matter to us all, everyone needs to complete the census. Do not worry, government officials dealing with applications you’ve made or payments or services you receive cannot see it.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) runs the census in England and Wales and is independent from government. Your details are protected by law and information published is always anonymous.
Census Day is Sunday 21 March 2021. You can fill yours in online as soon as you get your access code in the post. If your household circumstances change on Census Day, you can let the ONS know.
Everyone should have the support they need to fill in the census. If you, or anyone you know, needs help, there’s a wide range of support services available.
These include a contact centre that can give you help over the phone and guidance in a range of languages and accessible formats, including paper questionnaires andlarge print.
If you need help or have any questions, visit http://www.census.gov.uk/
Surrey Heartlands Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) commissions non-emergency patient transport services for residents within the local catchment area. The CCG is currently reviewing these services and wants to hear the experiences of service users and their carers or family members who have helped them access the service.
The CCG hosted five Round Table discussions late last year. These were multi-disciplinary sessions with clinicians, NHS teams, and service user representatives including learning disabled, the elderly, physically disabled, and service users with sensory impairments.
Based on the themes that emerged at the Round Tables, the CCG has launched an online User Survey. It’s a quick, online survey of multiple choice questions.
As some patient transport users may not have access to technology, we are inviting service user carers and families to complete the survey on their behalf.
To take the survey, click here: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/PTS_ServiceUserSurvey/
It closes at 11.59pm on Sunday 7 March 2021. Please take five minutes to offer your experiences and suggestions.
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)