Monday, 23 October 2017

CWRA 2017 AGM Minutes


MINUTES OF THE 68TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
COULSDON WEST RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION
Thursday 7th September at 7.30
Coulsdon Community Centre

Current Committee:                                                                Apologies
Chair   (Vacant)                                                                     Peter Appleford
Vice Chair (Vacant)                                                              Lynne Rothberg
Lucy Acres                                                                              Rachel Warner
Peter Appleford                                                                    Jaydev Vyas
Rita Barfoot (Secretary-Elect)                                                        Cllr. Mario Creatura
Regan Barfoot                                                                                  Lewis White
Geoff Hunt (Meeting Chair)                                                                                  


Debbie Lamont                   
Steve Mead              
Michael Southwell (Treasure-Elect)
                       

Members in attendance – approximately 65

1. The Chair welcomed attendees and introduced the Committee.

2. The Minutes from the last AGM were approved and seconded by the attendees.

3. Matters/Actions arising from last AGM.
·    The Chair expressed the Committee’s appreciation and gratitude to our road stewards and repeated the request for more to help distribute the Newsletters and help with the webpage. He also invited interested others to join the Committee. Sumera Shamin volunteered to join the Committee, which was approved by the attendees and welcomed by the Committee.
·    A23 Access, CVR/LGR alterations. During a meeting with Cllr. Newman and others it was concluded that the junction alterations (a condition of Cane Hill approval) should proceed with a review after 6 months to judge improvements.
·    Purley GP Hub. After 3 years of intense negotiations with CCCC a GP Hub was opened at Purley Hospital in April, offering treatment for minor injuries and ailments from 8am-8pm, 365 days/year. Although appointments can be made via 111 to reduce wait times at busy periods these are walk-ins with the aim to treat within 2hrs. Initial satisfaction reports are very good and attendance is recommended to ensure its continuation.
·    Drakes’ Field. Disappointment was expressed at the slow progress made on the landscaping, by SES water. A decision on the granting of ROW status to the footpaths is still awaited.
·    Trains.  Appreciation of the work done by the East Surrey Transport Committee, with Charlie King as Chair and Peter Appleford as Secretary to secure us more trains per hour going to where our members want to go was warmly welcomed.

4. Election of Officers
Michael Southwell was nominated, seconded and elected as Treasurer.
Rita Barfoot was nominated, seconded and elected as Secretary.
All Committee members were nominated, seconded and elected.

5. Treasurer’s Report
Detailed accounts were presented to attendees upon arrival, showing a balance of £13,027.95 on 31st December 2016, with £3,668.29 held in the current account; £4289.66 held in a bank deposit account and £5070 on deposit with Aldermore (earning better interest). Newsletter printing costs at £2100 was the greatest expenditure. A charitable donation of £250 was made to Sutton and Croydon M.S. Society. The profit for the year was £506, which was more than the previous year due to there only being 3 newsletters at a cost of £700 per issue rather than the usual 4.  Member’s subscriptions were down from £3,755.85 to £3153.15 as a result of losing road stewards. Uptake of standing order mandates is slow but continuing.  The accounts were proposed, seconded and accepted.

6. Guest Speaker: Chris Philp, MP for Croydon South
Chris again entertained the membership with tales from Westminster. He remains a fierce critic of the Southern rail service and has “stalked” Chris Grayling and even the P.M. arguing for improvements. He confirmed that the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid, has agree to review the Purley Skyscaper application and his decision is awaited.

Chris has continued to take a keen interest in Coulsdon West matters and adds great support, where appropriate, to his constituents and CWRA.  He received warm applause for his talk.

7. Update on Local Matters
·      Lion Green Car Park, CALAT, Library and Community Centre.  LBC intends to re-develop these community assets, principally to provide more housing. The developer will be Brick by Brick (BbB), their construction partner with LBC being their only shareholder. The plans for the car park are expected to be presented to LBC for approval in the very near future. Initial discussions with BbB seemed positive but have stalled in recent months. Given the damage done to Coulsdon businesses and residents by the previous unfounded Car Park closure,  all stakeholders are united in the insistence that 100-120 public car parking spaces be included in the plans. The promised sight of pre-submission plans has not been forthcoming, but are believed to encompass 107 dwellings over 3/4 blocks with an inadequate 50 parking spaces. Excess cars will obviously use the public car spaces, the actual number of which awaits confirmation, but no doubt will prove highly contentious.

            Architects are in discussions with the Community Centre management and RAs as the             aims are to include all the Centre’s activities, the library, possibly a medical centre, a      car park and housing on the site.

·      Wells Cottages.  Due to overwhelming public objections to the plans to demolish these cottages (without informing the residents) and replace them with 9 flats, completely unsympathetic to surrounding architecture and with insufficient parking provision, the developers have withdrawn the application, for the time being.

·      Grove Lane.  CWRA objected to outline planning approval sought from Sutton Council to build 100 residences on the Metropolitan Green Belt Land to the north of Grove Lane. All vehicular access to the Mount/Clockhouse is via our already congested Coulsdon West roads and it was proposed that all traffic including construction vehicles would use Grove Lane to access these roads. The only community assets proposed were a shop and a café, which would compete with those on Hillcrest Parade, with the use of Coulsdon amenities   recommended.

·      LBC remain anti-car refusing to allow adequate parking on new developments, with all the problems associated, mainly the increasingly dangerous parking on side streets, which causes much trouble (sometimes involving the police). They consistently only allow 0.3 or 0.5 spaces, regardless of the size of residences even when developers can offer more.

·      Woodcote Traffic Restrictions.  Much time was necessarily given to discussions over the implementation, without discussion, of a ban on entry to Dunsfold Rise, Meadow Rise and Fairfield Way between 8-9.30am and 2-4.30pm Mon-Fri. Monitoring done using CCTV with fines of £130 for transgression.

            From a RA perspective, issues that unite the community so effectively are usually to be           welcomed but this was so appallingly handled, was unnecessary and might have been        avoided if LBC had shown the respect due to Croydon Charge payers.

            Further to these discussions and other meetings held, CWRA subsequently submitted             the following objection to Parking Design. It by no means includes all the valid   consequences raised by members but addresses LBC’s aims associated with the             restrictions.

                  Coulsdon West Residents’ Association (CWRA) strongly objects to the introduction of these restrictions,                implemented with no adequate consultation (generally accepted as requiring discussion before                    implementation) with our members. These restrictions were made under a TTMO, which although not legally requiring communication with residents shows total disrespect to the many Council Charge Payers adversely             affected by this ill-conceived order.
                  It is widely accepted that most of the problems surrounding schools are caused by a small number of inconsiderate offenders consistently parking across drives, on junctions and even on double yellow lines.          CWRA believes that consistent and effective enforcement of existing regulations would relieve much of the        parking rage experienced and we call on LBC to provide this enforcement.
                  At a recent meeting, Cllr. Stuart King stated that due to the geographically wide distribution of pupils   attending Woodcote Primary: 50% of the 700 were eligible to travel by car: 50% were ineligible using a           distance/time formula which assumes that 4yr.olds, 10 yr.olds, 20 yr.olds and aged grandparents walk at the   same speed. Some do and some do not but mobility issues have not been considered, with blue badge holders             finding there has been no provision put in place for exemption. He stated that by a show of hands on a single     day 65% of pupils travel by car, which is deemed unacceptable. No figures have been presented to show how        many pupils actually walk to school at present nor the results of any surveys performed to discover why           parents need to drive e.g. children attending different schools/nurseries, parents having other caring                    responsibilities or even needing to get to their work. We believe that this research should have been a fundamental requisite before the order was considered.
                  The stated aims of these restrictions are laudable but we do not believe that they will be achievable and will       be made worse because of the lack of reasoning employed here.

1. Improving Safety
There have been no reported accidents in these three roads for at least 5 yrs, some reports suggest 7yrs, while there have been a number, some serious in Woodcote Grove Road (WGR).  Statistics show that children are 15X more likely to be killed or injured when walking to school than when being driven. Your car dispersal to surrounding unsuitable roads requiring more children to walk along WGR will likely increase the current zero accident rate to the pupils. The only safety provision made is to provide a Lollypop person at Meadow Rise to help with the exodus from the High School, which is ironic as previous requests for a crossing here have been refused on safety grounds. Egress from the surrounding cul–de–sacs with poor sight lines and where you expect the displaced drivers to park is difficult at all times of the day, and it should be obvious that the safety risks to drivers and pedestrians will be greatly increased.

2. Reducing pollution
Again we would have expected to see the results of air-quality studies carried out, before the building works began, to judge any reduction in pollution in the three roads as a result of these measures. It must be obvious that pollution will increase in the surrounding roads as drivers execute three-point turns and wait for a considerable time before being able to exit. What plans are in place to measure this and what base line will be used?

3. Helping traffic flow
In the absence of any presented traffic assessment we must base our comments on our extensive local knowledge of traffic flow. Given the volume of traffic using WGR at these restricted times it beggars belief that there has been no consideration of the impact of even slight delays on local pinch points such as the Marlpit Lane and Foxley Lane roundabouts, as well as increased flow along our already congested side roads by drivers seeking alternate routes. Delays will NOT be slight as displaced drivers turn into and out of the affected roads. Traffic delays along WGR interfere with bus schedules meaning that many more people, unconnected with Woodcote, will suffer disruption to their daily commute or to their lives in general.  Just how is it proposed to measure these impacts?

4. Changing peoples’ behaviour
This is perhaps the most contemptuous, insulting and unjustified of the aims and is deeply resented by our members. By what right do you presume to demonise people who drive children to school when you have absolutely no idea of the lifestyle factors influencing their need to drive?

By acting like Feudal Lords of old you have managed to cause conflict between parents and over worked school staff to whom you seem to have delegated responsibility for the scheme’s administration, have alienated CWRA members who will suffer considerable disruption to their daily lives, and in our opinion will have achieved little except to further erode trust and confidence in LBC to act in the best interests of constituents. You have solved nothing by moving isolated problems to affect a greater number of people.

I am sure our members will advise you of their particular difficulties, as there are far, far too many for inclusion here.

We have to conclude that your handling of this issue has to constitute the worst LBC PR exercise most of us can remember, and there have been a few.     Rita Barfoot, Secretary- Elect

·      Future Challenges
            To oppose LBC’s anti-car policy which causes so many problems for members by            continuing to press home that Coulsdon has hills, an older demographic with many areas lacking public transport.
            To seek proper enforcement of laws and regulations, which would do much to ease     tensions among residents.
            To seek swift action to remedy anti-social behaviour, littering, pot-holes, overgrown    vegetation, street cleaning and, of course, Parking.

8. Guest Speaker: Alan Archbold from Purley Fire Station.
Alan gave an interesting and informative talk advising attendees both on how to avoid fires and how best to react should one occur. He recommended requesting a home inspection from the fire service, provided free of charge, to give individual advice. They will also supply and fit smoke detectors free of charge where needed. He supplied useful booklets, which were gratefully received by many attendees. Unfortunately, because he and his accompanying team members were actually on call, time was limited but his attendance was much appreciated by members.

9. Councillor’s report: Councillor Luke Clancy hosted a Q&A session with attendees, covering several topics, which was well received.

                       

Given the lateness of the hour, the Chair closed the meeting with thanks to attendees and the invitation to partake of more refreshments.