Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Royal Star & Garter update

The clocks have gone back and the days have become much shorter as we enter the winter months. We have reached a critical part of the construction now as we try to get the roof watertight so that internal work can commence in earnest. The low level roof is on and practically complete while the high level roof is structurally complete and the timber rafters have just started. The brickwork is making its way up the building and we are preparing to start applying the external render. The building will start to look like the architect’s impression as we approach Christmas.

Important news for those who live in Langley Avenue: we are about to start making the final drain connections which are in Langley Avenue and, predictably, the foul drain is on the opposite side of the road to the site. This would normally mean a road closure for about two weeks while the road is dug up and the drain connection made. To avoid this disruption we are going to approach the challenge slightly differently. The plan is to dig a vertical shaft in the parking bays to the North side of Langley Avenue and then tunnel beneath the road to find the drain and make the connection. This allows us to keep the road and the footpath open during the work with minimal disruption above ground.

The internal works to the building are underway with the walls starting to go up in the ground and first floors. Building Services have started to be installed and the site is generally very busy with up to 70 men on site each day.

Windows to the ground and first floor should complete by the 16 November and the ground floor doors will start to go in before Christmas.

That’s about all there is to tell you this month and in the meantime I look forward to updating you with further progress in December.

Gordon Craig MInstF
Director of Fundraising & Marketing
The Royal Star & Garter Homes
Richmond Hill, Richmond, Surrey TW10 6RR
Tel: 020 8439 8110
Fax: 020 8439 8004
Registered Charity No. 210119Follow Us: Facebook | Twitter

Thursday, 18 October 2012


On Thursday 4th October 2012, Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra was invited to the ‘topping out’ ceremony of the new Royal Star & Garter Home in Surbiton. The Princess was met by Vice Admiral Sir John Dunt, Chairman of Governors and the Mayor of Kingston upon Thames, Cllr Mary Heathcote.

HRH Princess Alexandra is the President of the Charity and was invited to carry out the traditional Saxon ritual of anointing a Yew tree branch attached to the building’s ‘last roof beam’ with wine, oil, corn and salt symbolising wisdom, liberty, prosperity and hospitality. This ceremony is traditionally held when the highest point of a new building has been constructed and therefore represents a significant milestone in the Home’s construction.

The Home will provide specialist nursing care for 37 residents and specialist dementia care for a further 26 residents. The new state-of-the-art home is located in a pleasant residential area, only five miles from the Charity’s current home in Richmond.

The Home is being constructed by leading construction and infrastructure company, Morgan Sindall and is due to be completed in the summer of 2013.

Guests included Mr John Graham, Deputy Director General, Finance, from The Royal British Legion, which has most generously made a £2.05 million gift towards the specialist dementia care facility, and Mr Philip Wiles, Head of Housing and Care Services, from The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, which has most generously made a gift of £2 million for the Charity’s building projects, £700,000 of which will go towards the overall construction in Surbiton. The Royal Star & Garter Homes is most grateful for these gifts.

Mike Barter, Chief Executive of The Royal Star & Garter Homes, said: ‘It is exciting to see that only six months after we held the ‘turning of the first turf’ ceremony, the basic structure of this building is nearing completion. When the Home opens to residents next summer we will be able to deliver The Royal Star & Garter Homes special brand of care to our deserving disabled ex-Service men and women in high quality state-of-the-art surroundings.’

Sue Freeth, Director Operations, The Royal British Legion, said: “We’re pleased to be supporting the new Royal Star and Garter Home. The Legion is committed to helping veterans of all ages live independently – and with dignity. The UK’s ageing population means cases of dementia will, unfortunately, only increase, and the need for dementia care with them. The Legion’s Admiral Nurse service offers support to family members of those suffering with dementia and we expect The Royal Star and Garter Homes new dementia facility alongside our existing services to be a valuable resource for Armed Forces families over the coming years.” 

Mr Philip Wiles, Head of Housing and Care Services, from The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, said: ‘The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund has supported The Royal Star & Garter Homes for many years and we are delighted to be able to continue playing a significant part in enabling high quality care for RAF veterans and their spouses.’

David Sershall, Area Director for Morgan Sindall, said: “A topping-out is similar to a ship-naming ceremony, an age-old ritual designed to shield the ship from harm. In our case, the ceremony marks a significant milestone in the construction of this development, which will provide an outstanding care home for those who have proudly served our nation.”

Ciara Hardman
Marketing & Communications
The Royal Star & Garter Homes
Richmond Hill, Richmond, Surrey TW10 6RR
Tel: 020 8439 8118
Registered Charity No. 210119

Friday, 14 September 2012

Update Royal Star & Garter - September 2012

Site opening times: Monday to Friday 8am—5.45pm Occasional Saturday opening (for specific operations) Progress to the structure throughout the Summer (what there was of it!) has been good. The concrete structure is up to first floor complete and we have commenced the second floor to the higher section of the building.

The steel frame roof has been completed to the lower roof and the carpenters have started to pitch the rafters starting to form the shape of the roof. The flat areas of roof in this area have received the steel deck and plywood ready to receive the waterproof membrane. Internally we have started screeding. This is the layer of flooring which is laid wet but goes hard. It forms a very smooth flat floor onto which the carpets and vinyl can be laid. Internal walls have also started.

What's Next? From the out side the building will continue to grow to its highest level and the steel frame roof will be installed during September /October. Brickwork and windows will start to climb up the building giving the impression of a building rather than a concrete shell. Internally we are anticipating the building services to start during September. This is the key to progressing the internal fit-out. Several miles of cable and pipework are to be installed behind walls and above ceilings throughout the building over the next several months. This all needs to be tested before walls are completed.

The services all need to be connected into the building before October. The electricity is already connected and the gas is being done as I write. The water is due towards the end of October. We apologise for any inconvenience during these installations.

As usual we are grateful for the comments and correspondence we have received in order for us to maintain our best relations possible with our neighbours and the local environment. Best regards Rob Siddens Outline Construction Programme January and February 2012 Spring 2012 Summer and Autumn 2012 Crane erected Concrete frame complete Autumn and Winter 2012 Cladding and external finish work Steel roof superstructure complete Building services start Internal walls and floors Plant installation. 2013 Internal fitting out Landscaping Completion and building handed over to the Charity during Summer of 2013.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Update Royal Star & Garter 26-6-12

From: Robert.Siddens@morgansindall.com [mailto:Robert.Siddens@morgansindall.com]
Sent: 26 June 2012 13:11
Subject: Royal Star & Garter Surbiton 91M005

2 weekly update:

“At last we seem to have come out of the monsoon period and we can start to produce some work without the need to don sub-aqua gear every day! Progress to the underground floor slab is nearly complete with the last section going to be poured by the end of June. the columns and floor slab above the basement are already underway and the first section of building has now appeared above ground.

I’m sure you will have been aware of the temporary traffic lights in Upper Brighton Road over the course of the last week. This has been unfortunately necessary while UK Power Networks brings the electric cable from the road into the new sub-station. The final piece to the jigsaw is to repair the footpath and the road can be fully opened again. This should be by the end of June. May we extend our apologies for any inconvenience this work has caused.

Next week we will be concentrating on preparing the ground floor slab over the basement and preparing the first floor slab to phase 1 for the delivery of the steel roof later on in July. Here’s to a rain free July!”

Robert Siddens
Project Manager
Southern Home Counties

Wednesday, 30 May 2012


Dear neighbours,

we have reached week 17 of the project. Already a quarter of the way through! Over the past few weeks we have been battling against the wettest April and early May in history. As you can appreciate this has made progress difficult as conditions were far from ideal for digging out a basement in London clay! Our main priority was to make sure that this difficulty did not impact on the roads surrounding the site and we employed a stringent wheel wash regime at the site entrance.

However the sun is now out and hopefully we can look forward to a glorious Summer. The last couple of weeks has certainly improved progress and the general mood on the site. The crucial step forward in progress is that we have built the first section of the building to come out of the ground. The south west wing now has walls (don’t worry they aren’t going to stay blue!) and the first floor slab is in progress. So far we have poured over 500m3 of concrete and laid over 400m of drainage.

Over the next two weeks we will be continuing with the basement slab and underground car park while progressing with the first floor to the South West wing.
The site will be closed over the long weekend and will not open again until Wednesday 6 June.

Have a good holiday.
yours sincerely

Rob Siddens – project manager
Morgan Sindall

Monday, 28 May 2012

INVITATION to Residents, Businesses and other stakeholders

The Council has received funding from Transport for London (TfL) to review traffic arrangements throughout Ewell Road. 

You are invited to attend a Working Group meeting to let us know what improvements to traffic, parking and other transport issues you would like to see in Ewell Road, between St. Mark’s Hill and Douglas Road

This will be held on:
Thursday 21st June in Dysart School, Ewell Road, Surbiton

Two identical sessions will be held, beginning at 6pm and 8pm respectively and you are invited to attend at the time which suits you best. 

Each session will begin with a short presentation, followed by a discussion of the issues. The scope of the project includes:

• Improving crossing facilities for pedestrians at junctions
• Considering options to improve parking turnover at shopping parades.
• Reviewing bus stop locations.
• Lamp columns, cycle racks, seats and bins and other street furniture
• Measures to smooth traffic flow.

If you would like to attend the Workshop, please book a place through the following:
e-mail: liam.judge@rbk.kingston.gov.uk
telephone:             020 8547 5901      

We do hope you are able to come along to the workshop. If you are unable to attend and have an issue you would like to raise, or you would like to be kept informed of future meetings, please contact me using the details given above.

Liam Judge 
Project Engineer, Traffic Management & Design
Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames

Minutes of OADRA committee meeting Monday 23rd April 2012, 8:00pm

Minutes of OADRA committee meeting
Monday 23rd April 2012, 8:00pm

Committee members present: Robert Lewis (Chair), Ken Wilkes, Graham Goldspring, Alan Manchester, and Paul Ryan.
Also present: Rosalynde Lewis, Stephen Sinclair, Michelle Stone.

1. Minutes of last meeting
Approved, after amendment of figures relating to numbers in Surbiton Hill ward.

2. Matters arising not on current agenda
Graham had made contact with Star & Garter Homes.  Regular updates about the new home in Surbiton were being received, and Ciaran is posting those on the website.

Robert will chase up the Council regarding Tudor Lodge, at the end of April.

Robert had sent a letter to the Council regarding development of the Filter Beds site, expressing several concerns.

It was decided to retain the name OADRA.  Other names, such as SHARP, might be useful later on, if there is an umbrella RA for Surbiton Hill ward.

6. Website

It was agreed to post minutes, once agreed, on the website. It was suggested that photos should be added to the website to make it more inviting and interesting.

It was agreed to circulate a short monthly newsletter by email, with matters of local interest.  Alan agreed to start doing this.  People could email OADRA to be added to the mailing list, in order to be kept informed.

Graham agreed to meet with Ciaran to discuss the website and learn how to update it, since Ciaran is often very busy.

11. Core Strategy/ Borough Plan – purchasing copies
The Council had adopted the Core Strategy.  This is part of its Local Development Framework (LDF), or “Local Plan”.  There was now a challenge period.  Alan will request two hard copies from the Council.  The CS will now be used for assessing planning applications.

8. Speakers for June meeting
Robert had arranged for Eber Kington, a leading councillor in Epsom & Ewell (and also in a minority group in Surrey County Council), to come on 18th June to explain how being a Residents’ Association councillor works in practice.  Robert intended to ask Ruth Lyon from Elmbridge to come also.

Alan agreed to try and book the Baptist Church.  If that is not available, a different venue will be needed.  Currently, building work is under way at the Church.

9. Co-ordination with other RAs
Robert/Alan will send an email to other RAs inviting them to come on 18th June.  Robert will prepare a letter explaining the purpose of the meeting.

10. Bank Account
Robert will open a bank account in the name of OADRA.  It was agreed to have 4 or 5 people authorised to sign (since it is difficult to change subsequently), with two signatures being required for a cheque.

3-5. Finalising, Production and Distribution of Flyer
The majority of the meeting was taken up with a discussion about the focus and content of a flyer, to send to all residents in Oakhill.  Originally, it was going to be a recruitment drive for members, but the intention was also to publicise the meeting on 18th June.  It was felt that it should not try to convey several messages.

A draft was discussed, and many suggestions put forward. Ken was thanked for the work he had put in.  It was agreed that the focus of this flyer should focus on publicising the meeting, and on why RA councillors are needed.  Other future communications could focus on ascertaining residents’ top concerns and priorities.

Alan agreed to circulate an updated draft, based on the suggestions of the meeting.  Alan, Robert and Paul will finalise a flyer before the meeting in May.

It was agreed that it would be best to print about 1200 copies on yellow paper, depending on cost. Graham will check the costs and possibilities for printing.

It was agreed to distribute the flyer in early June (or very end of May if it is ready).

7. Dates of Future meetings and venues
Dates confirmed as the third Monday of each month, i.e. 21st May, 18th June, 16th July, no meeting in August, 17th Sept, etc.

Alan was waiting to book the Baptist Church, since building works were under way.  It had been hard to contact anyone.  Therefore, venues will be confirmed soon.
Robert will visit St. Matthew’s School to see if they would allow us to hire it for free.

Stephen, and Robert & Rosalynde gave their apologies for being unable to attend the meeting in May.  Graham gave his apologies for being unable to attend the June meeting, but is willing to chair the May meeting.

12. AOB
Graham had met Tom Barnes, the reporter responsible for covering Surbiton in the Surrey Comet.  He was interested in OADRA’s objective of working towards RA candidates in local elections, and had drafted a story, which Graham read out.  Graham will keep in touch with him, and hopes that Tom will publish a story in June.

Graham reported that the large oak tree outside the Oakhill Health Centre had just been cut down.  The Council said that the tree was diseased and in a dangerous condition.  Graham had written to Ben Morgan at the Council, asking for a copy of the tree surgeon’s report.  It was costing £2100 to remove the tree, and a sapling will be planted to replace it in November.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Minutes of the Committee of OADRA on Monday, 19th March 2012 at 8:00pm

Those present: Robert Lewis (Chair), Alan Manchester, Stephen Sinclair, Keith Revoir, Ken Wilkes, Ian McNicol, Graham Goldspring, Ian Wilson, Michelle Stone and Paul Ryan.

Robert started the meeting by opening the discussion on membership.  We need to increase our membership of OADRA.  We need to establish which roads we want to cover and we need to finalise a list of roads.  First and foremost, we need a strategy. 

This led onto the idea of a pamphlet.  It should be something to explain who we are and what we do.  Residential support would endorse our representation of this community. Robert had produced a first draft as a basis for discussion. 

The discussion moved onto our objectives as an RA.
Steven Sinclair shared with us his views on the matter, which, he admitted, were strongly held.

Firstly, there were difficulties if OADRA was going to engage with residents on the doorstep to obtain members.  Security is an issue and there is no good reason why residents would give money towards such a local, political cause.  Why would any of us give money to someone on the doorstep claiming to be a) part of the community and b) willing to engage on our behalf with the council, local politicians and the media?  

Secondly, we need to be clear about our objectives and what views are being put forward.  The question was raised as to whether we should we have a formal plan.  

Thirdly, one of our most vital key objectives would be to obtain RA Council members to be our voice where it mattered in local politics and decisions. 

This led onto a general discussion amongst us about membership and representation.  Robert said that after we gain members, we want to invite similar representatives from other communities.  Alan also mentioned that we need to use our email list and send a neighbourly newsletter about once a month.  We have a database of about 150 people already.  Paul suggested that we should have a mission statement and Stephen said that timescale, budget and getting a representative for us in the council should be our goals for now.  It seems as if we should approach this in a business-like manner.  If we aim to have an RA Councillor to represent us at the next set of elections then that would be a major step forward. 

The question was raised as to the effectiveness of RAs within the community.  What degree of control do we have over a selected member of the Council?  We would have the power to select or deselect them from the Council.  When there are key votes in the Council, we can intimate the way we want our councillor to vote.  Alan suggested a meeting to get RAs together.  In the Borough there are some very small RAs based on streets.  They start with an issue. Small RAs can come under the umbrella of a larger representative organisation.  It has to be considered though whether small views and minor issues are effectively represented by large umbrella organisations.  It would give us more clout but not necessarily more democracy. 

At present, we are not at all happy with our local councillors who operate on party lines.  We need RA members to watch and analyse the situation to feedback to us as a committee.  Robert stated that often, it is the council leader who tells the others how to vote.  Should we consider an over-arching RA group? 
Graham posed the question as to what aims do we have, now.  It was agreed that we should get the residents together, get their concerns on paper and then get their support for OADRA.   From a previous leaflet drop of 1500 we had a response of 80. Graham also mentioned that the Comet reporter was willing to do an article on OADRA and he was meeting him on Wednesday 21 March.  

We had a vote on several matters.  First, it was agreed that we should do a leaflet drop.  Secondly, that we should find out the top three issues affecting our local residents individually so that we could have a remit to start from as a committee.  We need a subscription and the delivery of the leaflets is aimed for April/May.  It was agreed that Ken would do a first draft of a revised aims and objectives and circulate to the committee for their comments

On the subject of finances we have £145 of which £68 was paid to Graham for his work on our publicity.  We currently have 33 Members.  Robert said we should open a bank account and it was suggested that the Unity Trust Bank, Birmingham, would be the ideal way to do this as they were dedicated to small organisations.  We can create a cheque book and provided we do not make more than £100k (!) per year the banking is free.  Robert has the form and Alan stated that we need to establish at least three signatories.  This was proposed by Alan and seconded by Graham.  Either Nat West or Barclays bank would be suitable.  There was no clear consensus at the time.  Paul suggested that the branch should be open on Saturdays as we need the most flexibility. 

The new Star and Garter. 
Susan Hartley, Marketing Officer and PR for the home said that she will update us.  She already updates Southborough RA and Graham will put Sarah in contact with Keiran, our webmaster. 

Tudor Lodge
Robert.  A plan has to be put in and the work has to be done by June.  A resin bonded gravel surface has to be laid down but nothing has happened so far. 

The new hospital
Graham mentioned that the building seems to look bigger than the plan.  Architecturally it is going to be out of keeping with the surrounding. 

New Schools
A politician on the radio was heard admitting that numbers for places in schools had been exaggerated.  We should pressure the council to re-consider the future of this development. 

Filter Beds
How are we in OADRA affected by the development of the filter beds?  A developer has put in various applications for this site for 64 luxury floating homes.  The homes will be below eye-level and a walkway will be created that is open to the public.  A big restaurant facility will be created.  We know, so far, that Ann Brown is pro this development.  Currently, the site provides a habitat for bats (who are a protected species by law - PR) and this may save our campaign if we are agreed on it.  There was some discussion about the Thames Landscape Strategy and about Boris Johnson’s support for the Thames Path to be continued.  Robert will draft a letter to us to get our agreement on the issue.

Diamond Jubilee Celebration.
Ken is also a member of the St Matthews RA.  He mentioned that one of his members, there, is keen on a Diamond Jubilee celebration.  It was suggested that we could exploit this as an opportunity for promoting OADRA. However it was agreed that the timescale was too short for OADRA to do anything.
Currently, Surbiton Hill ward has an estimated 10,700 residents (out of 39,800 in Surbiton Neighbourhood, and a total 157,200 in RBK).  Based on an estimated 64,900 households in the Borough, that suggests about 4450 households in Surbiton Hill, of which we counted about 1300 households within our Oakhill “borders”.

Committee meetings
Mondays or Thursdays for our Committee meetings?  We may have to find bigger venues and Alan has sought a few out.  Oaklands Baptist church (now, Surbiton New Life Baptist Church) will have a few rooms to hire in the future.  The New Prince was suggested by Paul a while ago but on investigation recently a Lib Dem meeting was taking place.  Alan prefers the Methodist church but we could have the Baptist church as well as a back up.   It will cost us £11 p/h for the Methodist church.

Dates for Committee meetings...
23rd April
21st May
18th June                     
16th July
August – no meeting
17th September
15th October
19th November

Alan will notify us of the venue, and the meetings will start at 8pm. 

Michelle asked if we could change the name of OADRA?  It sounds like ODOUR!  Alan asked if there was a national association of RAs.  ROADA?  Residents of Oakhill And District Association...
There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 10pm and we thanked Robert for his hospitality in accommodating the meeting for us in his home. 

In summary, we have a lot of work on our hands if we are to get this Residents’ Association off the ground.  Committee members should make a note of the following:
We need to increase our membership of OADRA. 
We need to establish which roads we want to cover and we need to finalise a list of roads. 
We need a strategy. 
We need a publicity leaflet. 
We need to be clear about our objectives.
We need to aim to have an RA Councillor to represent us at the next set of elections.
We should have a mission statement.
We should get the residents together.
We need a venue to hold meetings.
We should find out the top three issues affecting our local residents individually.
We need more subscriptions.
We should open a bank account.

THE ROYAL STAR & GARTER HOME - SURBITON, update 23rd April 2012

Morgan Sindall Project Manager Robert Siddens reports on likely activities over the next two weeks: The excavation to the basement is approaching completion. Once it is complete we will have removed about 8,000m3 of soil which is equivalent to about five Olympic-size swimming pools.

The soil is being used to cap an old waste landfill site in Chertsey. The drainage to the new building has started and the foundations are continuing. This week sees the erection of the tower crane which is 38m tall (in order to clear the tallest tree) and 40m in length. It will be based directly in the centre of the site and will not over-sail any adjacent property. We have chosen a crane that is operated from the ground which has the benefit of avoiding any privacy issues. 

Kind regards,
Susan Harley
Marketing & Communications Manager

The Royal Star & Garter Homes
Richmond Hill, Richmond, Surrey TW10 6RR

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

THE ROYAL STAR & GARTER HOME - SURBITON, update 27th March 2012

Morgan Sindall Project Manager Robert Siddens reports on likely activities over the next two weeks: The installation of the deep piled foundations is now complete and the tall piling rigs have left the site. The next operation is to expose the tops of the concrete piles to incorporate them into the foundations. These are called pile caps; they are 1 metre deep foundations made of concrete and steel reinforcement which sit on top of the concrete pile columns to take the load of the building columns. We are also about to start the construction of the basement. The walls of the basement have already been built using a system called contiguous piling. Essentially this means putting in over 300 piles next to each other forming the perimeter of the basement. Firstly we have to build a capping beam on this line of piles, similar to the pile caps, then we can excavate out the earth from the area which is to be the basement. This is approximately 2500m3 of London Clay to be dug out and transported to an old landfill site where it will be used for capping of the landfill for landscape reclamation. April is potentially a wet month - although you wouldn’t know it at the moment - and there is a risk that we may carry mud onto the road during the bulk excavation of the basement. To avoid this we have installed a bespoke wheel wash system which cleans the wheels of each lorry as it leaves the site. The beauty of the system we are using is that it recycles and filters the water it uses and only occasionally needs topping up. The topping up will be carried out using harvested rainwater from the roof of the house we are using as our temporary site office, therefore not using any extra water during this hose pipe ban period.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Latest news from the Star and Garter Surbiton site

6th March 2012:

Morgan Sindall Project Manager Robert Siddens reports on likely activities over the next two weeks:

Activities on site will be intensifying with the introduction of a second piling rig for the main building foundations. The foundation piles are producing a lot of surplus soil which is having to be removed by lorry at regular intervals. Next week sees the introduction of a third piling rig. This is a mini version of the large machines specially designed to work in root protection areas. Also next week we will have finished the piles to the main entrance which allows us to install the wheel wash system. This is a ride on/ride off piece of plant which automatically detects when vehicles are leaving the site and cleans their wheels. It filters and reuses its own water to reduce water consumption and avoid sending any silt down the drainage system.

20th February 2012:

The installation of the piling mat is ongoing. This is a temporary bed of crushed concrete about 400mm thick and is necessary to provide a stable base for the piling rig.

To reduce the carbon output of the project we try to reuse materials wherever we can. An example of this is to reuse the material recovered from the deconstruction of the three houses previously on the site as part of the piling mat. The material has to be crushed down to a suitable size and this activity will be carried out on site over the course of a couple of days starting on 20 February.

27 February sees the arrival of the piling rigs. These are the machines which drill up to 20m into the ground to ensure the foundations for the new building are on solid material supported by the deep concrete columns. The type of piling that has been chosen is called Continuous Flight Auger piling. This is the quietest form of piling and involves drilling out of the ground and pouring concrete into the hole rather than hammering piles into the ground.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Minutes of OADRA’s 2011 AGM Held 1st December 2011

Minutes of OADRA’s 2011 AGM
Held 1st December 2011, 8pm,
at the Baptist Church, 6 Langley Road, Surbiton
Committee members present: Robert Lewis, Graham Goldspring, Alan Manchester, Ian Wilson, Ian McNicol (apologies from Ciaran Oates; Stephen Glands stepped down from the committee recently).
Also present: 38 local residents (apologies received from John Ibbett)

Welcome and Introduction by Robert Lewis, Chairman
Last year we outlined the area that OADRA covers. We are happy for those outside this area, but affected by the area, to join.
The Minutes of last year’s AGM, held 7 Oct 2010, have been on OADRA’s website for a year. They were approved.
My Chairman’s report for the past year has been distributed by email recently; if anyone wants a copy, there are some hard copies available. Most people know about our activities, in particular in relation to the new school and hospital.
Last year we circulated initial thoughts on what OADRA exists for. We have redrafted it, with the help of the committee and Stephen Sinclair. A copy was recently circulated by email. The main points are:

1. OADRA is the Association formed to speak for residents and businesses in the Oakhill neighbourhood. We aim to ensure that your voice is heard, your concerns are recognised and your values are properly regarded, in all the key issues that shape the character of the community in which we live.

2. OADRA has shown it has the ability and commitment to challenge major planning decisions. With your support we will continue to defend the interests of those who live and invest in our neighbourhood by creating widespread awareness of contentious Council initiatives, putting forward solutions which are a genuinely good fit with the needs of the neighbourhood, and rigorously opposing those which are not.

3. We believe that local interests will be best met if our elected Councillors are chosen from the residents of the areas which they represent, rather than selected by the established national political parties.

Regarding the final point, we recently met with several other Residents’ Associations (RAs). I can do no better than quote from the recent edition of “Focus” – which states that the new school and healthcare centre are being built despite opposition from the local Conservatives. There is no mention of the views of residents. Similarly, the new RBK Core Strategy (part of the Local Plan) makes references to several partners for future development, but hardly mentions local residents.

We can only succeed in our efforts if many local residents join RAs, and if we can communicate and hear your views.

Report by Ian McNicol, Treasurer
A financial statement had been circulated prior to the meeting.
In the Year to 30 Sept 2011, £185 income came from donations and membership fees, and we spent the money on hiring the hall for the AGM, photocopying and stationery. The £48.37 surplus no longer exists, because it was spent on publicity leaflets for this 2011 AGM.

David Widdup and Rosalynde Lewis proposed that the accounts be accepted. This was agreed.

Robert proposed that the subscription for 2012 be £5 per person, which was agreed. He encouraged everyone present to join or re-join OADRA, and to help in asking local neighbours to join. We need to build up funds, so that if anything comes up (such as in the Local Plan) that will negatively affect the area, we will have sufficient money to draw upon in fighting it. We need to be alert to issues affecting our area. If we have our own elected RA councillors, things might be different.
The OADRA committee meets about every 6 weeks, but we’d like those meetings to be open, as in some other Boroughs. E.g. in Epsom & Ewell there is an RA-led council, and open meetings are held monthly between the various RAs. So it is much more democratic.

Election of OADRA committee
Robert Lewis said he had agreed in 2010 to be Chairman for one year, and asked if there were any volunteers to be a new chairman. No one volunteered. He said we need someone younger soon.

Ian McNicol was re-elected as Treasurer.
Alan Manchester was elected as Membership Secretary.
Paul Ryan agreed to be Secretary.
Graham Goldspring was re-elected in the role of Publicity/ Public Relations.
Ciaran Oates was not present, but it was hoped he would continue as Webmaster.

Robert Lewis asked people to think about if they could join the committee, or do anything else, and to please let us know. For example, we need people on a rota to attend Neighbourhood planning meetings.

Silvina Bonasea-Ryan said that she usually attends all of them. Robert asked her to report back to OADRA on important matters. It would still be good if others could attend.

Robert stressed the importance of active Road Reps. We need to aim for 70 to 80% of all residents to become members of OADRA. We therefore need road reps who will help deliver flyers, and also involve their neighbours and encourage them to join. Road reps can attend committee meetings even before we open them up to all residents. More road reps would be a great help in enlarging the association. Please let us know if you could help!

Ian Wilson asked whether other committee members needed to be re-elected or elected.

Ian Wilson was re-elected.

Alan Manchester proposed that Ken Wilkes be asked to join the committee. He agreed, and was elected.

Alan also proposed Stephen Sinclair. This will be taken up with him later; no one objected to him joining the committee if he is willing.

Proposal to move towards to having RA candidates at future RBK Council elections
Robert asked for a show of hands to indicate whether residents supported the idea of RA candidates. It was a vote on the idea in principle, rather than on a detailed proposal about how this would be managed… There is still a long way to go on working out details. A vote was taken:

In favour – about 35 hands; Against – one.

Robert said it was clear that we should proceed along that line and continue to report back on developments.

Guest Speaker
The formal part of the AGM was closed, and Robert then introduced the guest speaker, Dr. Phil Moore, the leading physician at Central Surgery (one of the surgeries in Oakhill Health Centre that will relocate in 2013 to the new healthcare centre). He is very involved in planning local health services, as well as on some national bodies.

Several residents asked questions or made comments during the talk, and there were a couple of questions at the end.

Robert thanked Dr. Moore very much for coming, and for giving such an informative talk. All applauded.

The meeting closed at approx. 9.45pm, although some residents stayed longer to ask further questions to Dr. Moore.