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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It has been reported in the national press that more than 1,700 deaths in the Uk have been avoided in the past month due to lower air pollution during lockdown. The following is an extract from an email received by LOSRA on 30th April from Spelthorne Council's Principal Pollution Control Officer:
We have been starting to look at the impacts of lockdown on local air quality. Spelthorne’s Air Quality consultants, Ricardo, have been analysing the environmental impact of Covid19, which you can read here: https://airqualitynews.com/2020/03/31/ricardo-an-analysis-of-covid-19-lockdown-on-uk-local-air-pollution/.
We have been advised that the analysis for London Harlington will be in the right ball park for Spelthorne. It has been suggested to us by them that Spelthorne will be benefitting from 30-40 per cent reduction of nitrous oxides (NOx). Harlington is downwind of Heathrow so will be more impacted by reductions in airport operations. The Air Quality News website has a number of articles about local air quality during the Covid-19 pandemic.
As said before, weather is a massive factor in air quality. Until yesterday, the weather during lockdown has been warm and settled. This means that emissions do not disperse and hang around and build up in levels. At the start of lock down the wind direction was from the east and so we were getting long-range particulate pollution from Europe. Consequently, due to both these factors there have been a number of regional pollution incidents across Surrey/ the South East since lockdown started: e.g.
If you have the chance to remind your members about our AirAlert pollution episode alert service to assist those with heart and lung conditions, that would be much appreciated. People can sign up via:
The following comprehensive press release from our Council (and which has cross party support) was released on 24th April. We are very pleased to reproduce it here and to extend our heartfelt thanks to all the officers and members who have worked so tirelessly on our behalf:
Spelthorne Borough Council is working tirelessly to best support our residents and local businesses throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Spelthorne Borough Council closed its offices 6 weeks ago in response to Covid19 and rapidly moved to a virtual footing, successfully adapting our services to ensure residents still had access to the support they needed while maintaining ‘business as usual’ across our remaining services.
Since the crisis began daily conference calls of senior managers have coordinated the provision of services for residents. These have become a vital tool in order to orchestrate immediate support to vulnerable residents in our community and trying to mitigate the impact on businesses in the Borough. Regular engagement with regional and local resilience forums has ensured a coordinated and effective response to this unprecedented situation.
Covid-19 has highlighted extreme challenges for the Council with staff redeployment (roughly a quarter of our workforce have volunteered to be redeployed) a necessity to establish our community hub ‘Support4Spelthorne, support the increasing number of welfare calls to our residents and reassign staff to assist with the customer services team offering financial and housing advice.
A summary of actions taken by the Borough include:
Food and welfare support
In this unprecedented time, it has never been more important for councils to communicate effectively with their community ensuring information is up to date, accurate and accessible.
“Our staff have been working hard around the clock to best meet the needs of our community, especially the most vulnerable. Many teams have been re-deployed and are doing a fantastic job in difficult times. We want to assure you that the Council will continue to work tirelessly to offer the essential services that residents in the Borough require. We are also immensely grateful to and proud of all NHS staff, care workers and key workers working on the frontline saving lives and making sure that essential services and care are being provided to those in need. We are also immensely heartened to see that residents are providing neighbourhood support, are assisting food banks and Voluntary Support North Surrey. While these are difficult times, the fact that our community is helping and supporting those in need shows how caring our Borough is.”
Cllr Ian Harvey
Leader of the Council, Conservatives
Cllr Sandra Dunn
Leader, Liberal Democrats Group
Cllr Jan Doerfel
Leader, Green Party Group
Cllr Veena Siva
Leader, Labour Party Group
Kwasi Kwarteng, MP for Spelthorne, said: “I want to thank all the key workers across the Borough for the work that you continue to do as we get through this coronavirus pandemic together. I pay tribute to all those involved at the Council with establishing our community hub, ‘Support4Spelthorne’. For many this service will offer a lifeline of hope – ensuring we are reaching out to those must vulnerable in our Borough. Thank you to all the volunteers in Spelthorne, I am so proud to be the MP for Spelthorne. The level of support and generosity shown by people across the constituency wishing to help those self-isolating has been incredible.”
If you would like to volunteer, please visit www.spelthorne.gov.uk/volunteer
The following notice regarding bonfires has been issued by the Council:
We are seeing a sharp rise in the number of complaints about garden bonfires.
Many people are having to stay at home due to the coronavirus (covid-19) (and this includes those who are working, those that do not or are unable to work and/ or those convalescing). This, along with the good weather is drawing people into their gardens. We therefore urge everyone to be considerate towards your neighbours, particularly during this difficult time.
We know that you will have more difficulty disposing of your garden waste at this time (normal refuse collections should not be impacted), but please do not have a bonfire - whether it be an open fire or an incinerator. Not only can it be a nuisance, it can cause distress to your neighbours particularly those suffering from respiratory and/or other medical problems. The smoke caused by a bonfire will make those problems worse.
Instead, if possible, please store what you can until things get back to normal and/or consider composting your waste.
Domestic, trade or building waste should not be burnt.
Any bonfires that the Council considers to be a Statutory Nuisance will be served with an abatement notice. Failure to comply with an abatement notice could result in prosecution and a fine of up to £5,000.
Further information about bonfires can be found here: https://www.spelthorne.gov.uk/article/17865/Bonfires-and-smoke
The Friends of Sunbury Park (FoSP) have discussed with the Council the annual grazing of cattle in Sunbury Park and the impact this year of the Covid19 pandemic.
Both the Council and the grazier agreed that this year, the effects of the coronavirus meant that things would need to be a little different.
Based on the representations put forward by FoSP and others, in the spirit of compromise and maintenance of the council relationship with the grazier; and being seen to do the right thing by the users of Sunbury Park, the arrival of the cows would be delayed at least until the lockdown is over.
The situation will thereafter be revisited to assess whether any grazing is required or warranted for the rest of the season.
The following notice has been published by Spelthorne Council and we are pleased to reproduce it here:
Our welfare operation, Support4Spelthorne, is fully functional as part of our emergency response to #coronavirus.
Protecting the most vulnerable is our number one priority. Council staff have been redeployed to ensure the elderly and at-risk groups are protected as well as supporting those who have been economically impacted by this global crisis.
We have made over 1,900 welfare calls to vulnerable residents so far and have identified a further 2,500 residents that may need our support which we expect will increase as the pandemic continues. We have been acting on information from these calls and making a local decision, delivering a food package or referring to who can help, within two hours. Our dedicated team have also been ensuring prescriptions are delivered where necessary.
We have created a storage facility for food and other essentials for the parcels to be produced and sent out to those who need it.
This is a seven-day-a-week operation, which will run for as long as it is required to support those who need it most in our community.
If you or someone you know needs this support, please contact Spelthorne Borough Council on 01784 446446 or email Covid19welfare@spelthorne.gov.uk where the dedicated team will ask you a few questions to work out what your needs are and how we can help. The Spelthorne4Support community helpline is open 7 days a week.
#Support4Spelthorne #SpelthorneMeansBusiness #Localgovernment #CouncilsCan #covid19
The following email dated 26th March from Spelthorne Council has been received by LOSRA and we are pleased to reproduce it here:
NHS workers and social care staff are working tirelessly in the fight against Coronavirus and as a small gesture of appreciation, Spelthorne Council is offering these critical workers free parking in all its car parks until the end of April.
Cllr Richard Barratt, Portfolio Holder for Environment, said: "As a nation, we are all extremely proud of our NHS and social care workers who are currently having to work in the most difficult of conditions. They are on the front-line in the fight against Coronavirus and working around the clock to save lives and keep people safe during this awful pandemic. We are very grateful to them and hope this initiative will make their lives just a little bit easier."
"Additionally, we have also recently announced that we are giving over the use of one of our car parks to Ashford Hospital for exclusive use by their staff."
In light of the current situation and the uncertainty of being able to deliver Sunbury Matters as usual, Monica Chard, the Editor, has asked us to share the digital version on this Site. We are very pleased to oblige.
To view, click here
Spelthorne Borough Council would like to reassure residents that they will be doing everything they can in order to keep waste and recycling collection services as normal during the Coronavirus pandemic and can confirm that currently all collections are on schedule.
For more detailed information and the Communiity Recycling Centre, click here
As an Association we cannot itemise every public event to have been cancelled during this difficult time. Nevertheless, we do encourage all of our readers to set up community groups within their particular localities if they have not already done so.
The elderly, especially if they are not tech-savvy, may be particularly vulnerable.
The Presiddent, Chairman and Committee wish all our readers good health now and in the difficult months ahead.
To connect to the Sunbury Health Centre, click here
A deeply affecting play, with great one-liners and entertaining writing about the nature of reality. In 1979 Esme is a middle-aged West End actress, and a successful one, although life is becoming increasingly difficult for those making a living on the stage. Despite the early death of her husband, life is sweet and she can rely on her own self-mocking wit and the devotion of her grown up daughter, Amy.
Esme is sufficiently financially privileged that she can write a cheque for £5,000 for Amy, pregnant by Dominic, a chippy, penniless would-be film-maker who thinks theatre is dead. The play follows the family over 16 years - a period in which a lot can change.
Amy's View mixes love, death and the theatre over the course of 16 years, in a way which is both heady and original. It is another great example of the cultural and political commentary David Hare is known for. Amy's View was first performed at the National Theatre, London, in June 1997, and transferred to the Aldwych Theatre in January 1998. You can book your tickets now, details on the poster here
Spelthorne Borough Council is launching a consultation for residents on Monday 9 March in order to find out how they feel about the work being undertaken by Surrey Police, Spelthorne's Community Safety Partnership and other local agencies to tackle crime and disorder.
To take part, click here
The Council is offering a great opportunity for you to embrace the outdoors, explore our beautiful Borough and exhibit your photography skills.
The overall winner will see their photo as the cover for the Council's summer edition of the Bulletin Magazine and across their social media pages.
You don't need an expensive camera to take part, any camera or smartphone will do, as long as the photograph was taken in Spelthorne within the last two years and is submitted by the closing date for entries, 30th April 2020.
To see Council announcement click here
The next Music Night at Sunbury Cricket Club is a special event, as the Club features its all-star house band THE CHAIN GANG performing in aid of the Mayor of Spelthorne’s Charities.
It’s become something of a tradition that the Club devotes one of its Music Nights to such an event every year, and they have proved extremely successful evenings, so they are delighted to be able to repeat the exercise this year. This year’s Mayor of Spelthorne is Cllr. Mary Madams, a Laleham & Shepperton Green councillor, who visited the Club for this year’s MCC lunch in Cricket Week. Once again the Club has assembled the usual suspects from the great and good of the local music fraternity who are regulars at the Club in a dozen-strong band to play under the name of The Chain Gang in honour of the Mayor’s chain of office.
The Mayor’s charities are Midas Plus, a local registered charity based in Staines-upon-Thames, run to help local people in need, raising and distributing funds for community groups and individuals (mainly in Spelthorne) who have nowhere else to turn, and Eikon: an award-winning charity which provides long-term support to some of the county's most vulnerable young people, with a vision is to develop happy, thriving and resilient young adults who make a positive contribution to society.
The musicians will be giving their services free, so all the door money will go to the charities, and there will also be a raffle. It will be a great night of top-class rock ‘n’ roll, blues, ‘60s R&B, rock and country. It’s all for a great cause and will be a fun community night, so it's hoped to see you there.
Please note that as guests of the Mayor will be coming from different parts of Surrey, the start of this show will be a bit earlier than usual, and the band will be on stage at 8.30pm. Food will be available as usual. It’s £10.00 on the door and doors open at 7pm.
Please also note that because repair work is being done to the area of car park adjoining the Clubhouse on the following day, Sat. 14th, that strip will be coned off to ensure it can be kept clear for the morning. It will be used during the evening for staff, the Mayor and her guests, and band members.