Spring 2017 NEWSLETTER Issue : 128
SCC ELECTION MAY 4th
As you may be aware, there is not a RBC election this year, but SCC are running their 4yr poll. Egham is divided into 2 “districts” : Englefield Green + that part of Egham to the left of line drawn the M25 & the railway line (called “Englefield Green”) & Egham Hythe + the rest of Egham (called “Egham”).
We can advise that Chris Fisher, an stalwart campaigner, has agreed to stand in his district & he was authorised at our AGM on February 21st as the Runnymede Independent Residents Group (RIRG) candidate for SCC’s Englefield Green. We hope you give him your support on Thursday May 4th.
Chris added : Do you feel taken for granted as a Surrey voter – now you can vote for change! In essence, I am standing for : casting light on the financial mess at SCC, which brings the threat of big cuts in public services, full opposition to the Heathrow 3rd runway, that would bring more noise, toxic air pollution & traffic congestion to our area, getting SCC to think again about switching many street lights between midnight and 5am and, finally, halting the Runnymede Roundabout “improvement” scheme. Overall, I feel deeply let down by the Conservative establishment in County Hall, who have led their finances into a “crisis”, with possible major cuts in services to be confirmed. May the 4th be with us!
Do you need a lift to the polls on election day? If so, please contact Chris (07837 782012) or Isabel (439583) & we will organise it for you. Is your property a good location for putting up an election board? If so, contact Chris or Isabel, as above.
EGHAM GATEWAY (Phase 1)
In late January RBC announced the 1st element of the re- development of Egham, the revamp of Egham Leisure Centre (artist’s impression to the right), considered with their development contractor, Places for People. Further to an initial consultation at the Leisure Centre, details of plans are still awaited.
At the AGM on 21st February, John Rice, along with representatives from Places for People & the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, revealed the 2nd element of their development : Egham Gateway (Phase 1), namely the development of Station Road North. The current plans are to create :
1. A new building for the Italia Conti Academy
2. A 750 seat theatre – leased to/used by Italia Conti but also available for the regional touring shows
3. Approx. 150-175 student units, with priority to Italia Conti and then to international students.
It is proposed to re-provide the short-term car parking spaces currently on Station Road North both on the same side of the road but the balance as an Undercroft at ground floor under the new development.
John Rice, the RBC Project Director, said that considerable further work is now required to develop the proposals, including undertaking the range of studies (including transport & parking), that will inform the public consultation and then the subsequent planning application that will follow. He even suggested that there might be another residents meeting when the detailed plans are available?
There was some concern from residents about having more students in the Town, but it was pressed for there to be a show of hands to indicate residents’ general support or otherwise for the scheme, subject to further information being provided. On a show of hands there was a clear majority in favour. However, at the time of going to press, there have been no details of plans etc from RBC for the scheme.
AGM Reports (21st February )
Jim Pearcey opened by welcoming around 100 members of the Association & others to the meeting. He reviewed recent developments in Egham, including the imminent installation in rising bollards in the High Street (two years after consultation), which should effectively protect the street from traffic in the core period of pedestrianisation. Other topics also included the Gateway development, where John Rice of RBC just informed us, the Runnymede Roundabout remodelling, which started later than planned, &, if believed, the expansion of Heathrow Airport, which will have a big impact on the roads & pollution in this area. The year started with the threat to Mrs Caddeys Field, to put football pitches etc on the site. With the support of many you here tonight, this was eventually put to rest.
On social events, we begin with the Coach Trip to Gloucester in April. After travelling through a snow storm on the way, the weather brightened up & a very enjoyable day was had by all. This year we are visiting Lichfield & the NMA & again we have to thank Adrian for organising these trips which are popular. Next came Magna Carta Day in High Street in June & thanks go the Magna Carta Committee, the Chamber of Commerce & especially Cynthia Reilly for all the sterling work to make it happen. August Bank Holiday again saw our stand at the Egham Royal Show, which was busy & thanks to our band of cake bakers & all those who took a turn in running the stall. The Barn Dance was a great success with almost 180 attending all of ages. Thanks to the continuing support for P&G and Chivers Cladding, who are our sponsors. The Community Fair in September, organised by Isabel Mullens & Kim Callaghan, was successful & helped local charities with fundraising. The Quiz Night in October, organised by Cynthia Reilly, was called the Mayor’s Quiz Night & the winning team was presented by the Mayor. Carol singing in December was arranged by Julian & Pamela Richardson & raised money for the Dyslexia Action local charity.
On Runnymede Borough Council issues, we were glad to hear David Knight was successfully re-elected as on of our Independent Councillors in May At the same time, we had the pleasure of seeing our Councillor Alan Alderson become Mayor of Runnymede, with Margaret as Mayoress.
On the Committee, many thanks go to Adrian Skelt for all the time & effort he puts in as Secretary & Editor of the Newsletter. Thanks also go to Aneesh Gupta, as Treasurer, Glenda Thisdell, as our new Membership Secretary, & Chris Fisher, for keeping us up to date on planning & transport issues. Not to be forgotten, Moreton Moore who keep the threat of gravel raising at Milton Park Farm (for year after year)!
A special thank to the Area Reps, who distribute the Newsletters, and of all those on the Committee I haven’t named. A big thank you for all the time & effort you put in to help keep Egham a great place to live. Keep the flag flying for Egham Residents Association.
In John Ashmore’s continued absence, David Knight had been re-elected in May & has been representing local residents on matters that include the County Councils plans for flood management and Heathrow’s plans for expansion, as well as supporting specific resident issues. He serves on many of the RBC Committees : Environment & Sustainability, Overview & Scrutiny (decision making processes) & the Crime & Disorder Committee, & he seats on the River Thames Alliance, which is concerned with flooding, education & commercial use of the river.
Alan Alderson reported that he is coming towards the end of mayoral year &, as such, does not do much on RBC’s council work. He have kept in touch with RHUL & agreed to speak to the Principal about recent student “nuisance”.
Examined accounts as @ 31/12/16 were circulated at the meeting and Aneesh Gupta summarised the key points, which showed a positive trend of income over the expenditure for the year – for the first time in several years. The issues in the 2015 accounts had been resolved &, overall, the year posted a profit of
£220 with 2016 actually giving general funds at year-end of c.£7,500.
The lengthy presentation by John Rice, RBC Project Director, and RBC’s chosen development partner, Places for People, also with representatives of the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, on the Egham Gateway (Phase 1) development plans in Station Road North is summarised in Page 1.
Following a major last-minute panic over funding requirements, SCC finally obtained approval to progress the project at Christmas, with expected start-up in late-January. As ever with SCC Roadworks, work has not started yet & the current schedule is :
• Vegetation clearance – April
• SCC’s contractor to mobilise on site – late April/May 2017
• Traffic management measures and site preparation – 21 May 2017*
• Construction works are planned to commence – 22 May 2017
• Construction works are anticipated to complete – middle of January 2018
* during the works, to enable traffic to continue using Runnymede Roundabout and ensure the safety of both road users and staff working on site, traffic management measures will be in place. These measures will include the provision of static narrow lanes and some lane closure & there will also be a temporary reduction in the speed limit to 30mph. Some parts of the work will also require overnight road closures & advanced warning information will be provided on this in due course.
The delay in start-up of construction has enabled SCC to revise the construction period to allow a more shorten period of disruption of c.8 months (cf the previous estimate of over a 1 year). This is, of course, assuming that the current plans stay in place (as SCC admit, these are ”subject to change”)??
Following the strident discussion at the AGM about recent RHUL student problems, we proposed that we approach the College and ask for a public meeting to take place in Egham, to be attended by RHUL, the Police,
Runnymede Borough Council, ERA and residents. Through the auspices of the Mayor, Cllr Alan Alderson, we have proposed dates to RHUL (at end April/early May) but, at the time of gong to press, no date has yet to be confirmed. We will thus get back to members by EMail Alert, as soon as we are able to, and hope that people can pass on the required date & location.
MILTON PARK FARM GRAVEL
That’s 8½ years from application!! SCC has recently advised that the gravel extraction application from Hansons have now been deferred, yet again, for consideration by their Planning & Regulatory Committee until the 14th June (at the earliest). Nil Desperandum!!
HEATHROW – ANPS CONSULTATION
Further to the government’s decision last Autumn to recommend a new 3rd runway at Heathrow, the Dept of Transport have announced a public consultation of the new draft Aircrafts National Policy Statement (ANPS) This covers the planning policy framework which the applicant would have to comply with in order to get development consent. This saw a public session at the Hythe Centre on 20th February, has been rather quiet since
& closes on 27th May. People can send their views to the DoT on the scheme via responding online (https://runwayconsultation.dialoguebydesign.com/), by e-mail (RunwayConsultation@dft.gsi.gov.uk) or by post (Freepost RUNWAY CONSULTATION).
In the meantime, a discussion with Philip Hammond (MP) on his changed views on Heathrow will be heard at the Jurgens Centre in EG at 7pm on 31st March ………………..
ERA NOTICE BOARD
Just a reminder that, in order to promote the Association, & advise residents of events affecting the Town (including copies of our Email Alerts for those people who don’t have access), an ERA noticeboard exists on the outside wall of Costa Coffee in the High Street (facing the Town Square). If you would like to see any Town-related events on the noticeboard, please contact Isabel Mullens on 01784 439583
LICHFIELD COACH TRIP
Saturday 22nd April
Last chance to book the few places for this year’s
trip to Lichfield & National Memorial Arboretum.
Tickets are £17.50 for ERA members (or £20 for non-members)
For tickets contact : Adrian SKELT on 434593
After a flirtatious attempt to charge a 15% increase, SCC at the last minute went for a more modest
4.99% rise, which includes 3% increase to be used for adult social care. Surrey Police now receives the next highest amount, but the rates increase were keep at a minimum of 1.9%.
Runnymede remains the lowest charging borough in the county & the 6th lowest in the UK, although the rate is 3.33% above last year. RBC’s budget for 2016/7 & 2017/8 amounts to
£7.25mm, which is paid by central government & local taxpayers as follows :
£mm 2016/7 2017/8
General grant from central govt 0.75 0.30 Business rates retained 2.50 1.85
Other items (0.95) –
Council Tax payers 4.96 5.15
Budget Requirement 7.25 7.30
Overall, the charge for a Band D property
increases by 4.44% from April to :
Surrey County Council £1,331.55 (77.8%) Surrey Police £224.57 (13.1%) Runnymede Borough Council £154.59 (9.1%) TOTAL £1,710.71