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.