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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Spelthorne Council has published its response to the draft National Planning Policy Framework and this may be viewed by clicking here. The Local Planning Authority has, amongst other things commented upon contradictions within the text, lack of definition and clarity; and insufficient recognition of local planning strategies or community input . LOSRA has no hesitation in endorsing the Council's response so far as it goes. We are in the course of drafting LOSRA's response which will be posted on the Website in the coming week for comments by members. (See article of 20th September below).
If you have not yet seen the Government's draft, if may be viewed by clicking here.
In evidence to the Audit Committee, the UK Environmental Law Association said the proposals in the National Planning Policy Framework were so flawed that “the system may well stumble and fall before it can find its feet” It’s earnestly hoped they are right. A barrister in a Bristol law firm said "We don't think the way it's phrased at the moment is going to speed up or simplify anything. It will just provide more fodder for argument". She agreed that it would be a financial benefit for lawyers adding "It will lead to more appeals, more inquiries, more legal challenges. The problem lies in the vagueness of the definition of sustainable development".
LOSRA is in the course of preparing a response to the consultation before the closing date on 17th October. A draft will be posted on this Website for comments before submission. In the meantime, please have a look at the email we received today and sign the petition if you agree:Our English countryside is under threat again. The government is trying to rush through massive changes to the planning system, which would make it much easier to build on green field sites. We've just a few weeks to stop this happening.Experts are lining up to condemn the government plans. The National Trust warns of "unchecked and damaging development".  Friends of the Earth predicts "a building free-for-all that will blight our countryside with bad building". A massive people-powered petition can make the government think again. It worked to stop England's forests being sold off.  It can work again to stop precious countryside being wrecked by bulldozers and concrete.Please add your name now, then forward this message to all your friends:https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/save-our-countrysideThe English countryside is something we all enjoy. It's far too precious to build on willy-nilly. Once our green fields are gone, they're gone forever.If we work together, we can stand up for a balanced, careful approach to deciding what to build and where to build it. We can protect local communities' right to have their say, make sure social housing is built where it's needed and protect wildlife and beautiful, tranquil places.Having to act fast to stop an urgent threat to our countryside feels eerily familiar doesn't it! It's only a few months since half a million of us came together to stop plans to sell off England's forests. It worked that time - now let's come together again to stop this new threat to our beautiful green places.Take two minutes now to add your name to the petition:https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/save-our-countrysideThanks for being involved,David, Hannah, Johnny, Marie, Cian, Becky and the 38 Degrees teamPS: The government "consultation" ends in October. They say that after that they want to press ahead quickly. So we've got just a few weeks to make this petition huge. Please add your name now, then forward this e-mail to all your friends and ask them to sign too:https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/save-our-countryside
A distressed member at the end of her tether has got in touch with LOSRA. Apparently a resident or business in the Batavia Road/Claremont area is burning waste through the night. She is amongst a number of residents who's comfort and sleep is regularly disturbed by the smoke being emitted from premises, the location of which and despite local enquiries, remains a mystery. A letter drop in the affected roads and in The Avenue has not produced any results and one resident is even considering moving from the area. Others with health problems are also vulnerable.
If you are aware of the premises or owner please bring this email to his/her attention. LOSRA would be happy to put both parties in touch with one another to attempt a resolution to the problem. Any information may be left with us through the Contact LOSRA menu option.
Shepperton Players present Last Tango in Whitby, by Mike Harding (directed by Marion Millinger).
Mike Harding's comedy follows a group of dancing friends on their holiday by coach to Whitby. The group are 'golden-agers' but far from past it, and holiday romance is in the air. Well-observed characters and a witty script promise lots of laughs (especially on "Talent Night") and some pathos beneath the mirth.
For those who remember tea dances in the church hall, this will be a riot of nostalgia.
The Last Tango will be bring laughter and tears - not in Whitby but in Lower Sunbury on October 6th-9th.
Riverside Arts Centre, 59 Thames St KT16 5QF.
Tickets available from the box office : 07505 206757
Sunbury Cricket Club have enjoyed another successful season in the top echelons of the Surrey Championship where all 4 Saturday XIs play in their respective Premier Divisions. The 1st XI came 2nd in a two horse race with Wimbledon who had the good fortune to play on days when the weather denied Sunbury the opportunity to start or finish matches when open skies allowed Wimbledon to play elsewhere.
The 2nd XI were 4th in their Division, just one point behind rivals Reigate Priory. The 3rd and 4th XIs both finished in a respectable 5th place. Strong performances by the Sunday Chieftains and Academy XIs, who fielded predominantly youth sides also reached more than respectable positions in the Thameside Surrey Cricket and Surrey Trust Leagues respectively. The Colts section also had runaway successes winning the Middlesex U15s title.
The season is not over yet with the final match scheduled for the 18th with plans for a late fixture on 25th September also being investigated.
The regular monthly Friday Music Nights at Sunbury Cricket Club continue on Friday 9th September with the appearance of Blues Patrol. Led by singer Andy Roberts, the band were formed back in the '90s by the late guitarist Phil Newton, the band have carried on the tradition of performing classic blues and R&B, and are a popular attraction at many venues in the Surrey area. They will certainly kick off the autumn season of events with an entertaining show.
The music events at the Club are promoted under the auspices of the non-profit making Sunbury Sports Association, and are an important aspect of the SSA's strategy to maximise the income from the Club's facilities and bar to ensure the continued availability of high quality sports facilties at the Club, where the four league cricket teams have enjoyed another successful season in the Surrey Championship.
Sunbury Library Coffee Morning on the first Friday of each month
Organised by The Friends of Sunbury Library but all invited. Coffee and cake for 25p at Sunbury Library.
The Parade, Staines Road West, Sunbury-on-Thames, Middx, TW16 7AB
The next one is on Friday 2 September, and then 7 October, 4 November & 2 December!
The next Sunbury & Shepperton Local History Society Photo Exhibition at Sunbury Library on Saturday 12 November
Some months ago the Advertising Standards Authority was asked to look at the Contractor's Claims regarding the 'Eco Park' incinerator at Charlton Lane. As will be seen from the attached link, only one of the five complaints was upheld: http://www.asa.org.uk/ASA-action/Adjudications/2011/5/SITA-UK-Ltd/TF_ADJ_50367.aspx
Since then, the findings of the ASA were appealed to The Independent Reviewer of ASA Adjudications, Sir Hayden Phillips and in a letter dated 25th August he wrote the following:
"As promised in my letter of 14 June 2011 I am now writing to let you know my conclusion on the request set out in your email to me of 13 June 2011 and in the light of the statement of case which you enclosed. I believe there are grounds for my taking the matter further. In due course, after I have completed some further work, I shall bring the case back to the ASA Council.
The next step is that I must give the advertiser the opportunity of commenting on your statement of case. Having considered any such comments, I will then invite the Council to decide whether or not to retain unchanged its published adjudication in this case. The Council will have before your email of 13 June and its enclosure. The Council will also have a recommendation from me as to the decision I consider it should make, but it is in no way bound by that recommendation. The Council’s ruling following its reconsideration is final. I will, of course, write to tell you of that ruling as soon as I know what it is.
I know you will understand that my decision does not necessarily imply that the Council will change its original verdict or any other aspect of the adjudication. It indicates simply that, having reviewed the ASA file in the light of your request and of the arguments you have put to me, I am satisfied that the Council should be given the opportunity to reconsider its adjudication.
(Sir Hayden Phillips GCB DL)"
LOSRA has been informally advised that requests for reconsideration of adjudications by the Independent Reviewer are unusual.
*Sir Hayden Phillips GCB DL is Chairman of the National Theatre, Independent Reviewer of the Adjudications of the ASA, a non-Executive Director of a number of companies and Chairman of Marlborough College. He was Permanent Secretary of the Lord Chancellor's Department from 1998 to 2004, and Permanent Secretary of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport from 1992 to 1998. Before that he held senior positions in the Home Office, the European Commission, the Cabinet Office and the Treasury. He became an Hon Bencher of the Inner Temple in 1998. He lives in Wiltshire (where he and his wife have a farm) and in London. Most recently known for his enquiry into political party funding and campaigning.
Caroline Barnes has sent her police report for the month of August. The Skate Park at the top of Green Street is proving to be a welcome diversion for many of our local youngsters but there will always be those who spoil it for the majority. An unauthorised vehicle was seized by police after a warning had been ignored.
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As reported in our article on 28th July, residents may wish to watch the Parliamentary debate called by our local MP Kwasi Kwarteng on 5th September. LOSRA has been in correspondence with Mr Kwarteng to assist him in his speech to the House. All legal submissions from ourselves and Spelthorne Borough Council have also been forwarded to him.
The debate will be followed quite swiftly by a Secretary of State's decision on the 'Eco Park' application which he has 'called in' for his consideration. He may choose to refuse it; to call it in for his own determination (i.e. authorise a public inquiry); or allow it. Naturally, we earnestly hope that he will not decide on the third option!
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