Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Public Meeting and AGM THURSDAY 1ST DECEMBER 2011 at 8.00pm


Public Meeting and AGM
THURSDAY 1ST DECEMBER 2011 at 8.00pm

Every resident in the area is invited to a meeting at
6 Langley Road, Surbiton, Surrey KT6 6LN

Guest Speaker
Dr Phil Moore

The leading Physician at the Central Surgery, Oakhill Road & one of the surgeries going into the new Health Centre will talk about and answer questions on The new Surbiton Health Centre and our Community - at odds or buddies?

preceded by
The Annual General Meeting of the Association

Receive the annual report
Receive a financial report
Fix the annual subscription for 2012
Elect Officers and Committee of the Association for the
Year 2011-2012
Consider a proposal to have Residents’ Association Candidates at Future Elections
Any Other Business
Close 9.45pm


Oakhill & District Residents’ Association (OADRA), part of the Surbiton Hill Ward, came into being to help look after the interests of the residents of the area, specifically with regard to the environment and planning matters. At the first general meeting of the Association on the 5th May 2010 the need for an Association was overwhelmingly endorsed and an interim committee was established. At the first Annual General Meeting on the 7th October 2010 a committee was voted in and the meeting was addressed by members of the NHS and the Borough Council on the necessity of having a school and a health facility on the Surbiton Hospital site.

From late 2010 until the decision was finally taken on the Hospital site in March 2011, your committee and other committed residents have read hundreds of pages of reports and documents issued by the Council and have undertaken their own studies and demonstrated that there were viable alternatives to putting a school as well as a healthcare centre on the same site. This was argued at numerous meetings. However, in this and in other matters we received no assistance from our Councillors—quite the reverse—and, as you all know, the work on the site is proceeding.

Several things are interesting to note about this saga. The first is that certain Councillors clearly had not read the documentation and just voted for the scheme. Secondly, the parties voted as a group, nobody departed from the Party line either for or against the proposal—quite remarkable. Thirdly, although the plan was to move 8 GP surgeries to the site (and we were told they had been consulted and were in favour of relocating), only four have actually agreed to participate. Fourthly, although the Council argued that the need for a school on this site was overwhelming, because there were so many children in the area needing places, the published criteria for places at the school does not list children who live nearest the school as the top priority. The School Travel Plan assumes that children will come from within half a mile, and that 90% will walk to school. Fifthly, this project (costing some £25 million) has gone ahead despite only 121 local people responding in favour of the joint scheme, out of a claimed 36,000 consulted. Many homes in Oakhill received no consultation papers.

It was clear at last year’s AGM that many residents were strongly in favour of rebuilding the Hospital, but were not convinced about centralising almost all GP practices, by the “ambitious” travel plans, nor by failure to explore other options for a school. The people of Surbiton raised money originally to buy the land for healthcare, and a covenant on the land forbade a school. Now it seems we are buying part of the land again, for several millions of pounds (although details of the deal with the NHS seem to be secret).

Other matters in which the committee has been involved have been enforcement of the Planning Inspector’s decision regarding Tudor Lodge—still a live issue, despite the fact that councillors at a Neighbourhood Committee gave six months for works to be completed, one year ago. Also, the Police Federation Building and the road humps in Langley Road. In all of these cases, the Councillors were at the least ineffectual.

On a larger scale, the new RBK Core Strategy (part of the Local Plan), which will affect everyone who lives in the Borough for the next 15 years, has been through the Examiner’s review. Representatives from your Association attended some of the examination hearings, after making comments on the draft. We await the Examiner’s decision soon. One major impact in our area will be the proposed development of homes on Surbiton Station car park, and the likely reduction of car parking spaces there. The Association will keep a close watch on what is proposed.

The lack of care and attention to the views of the residents of our area has led us to consider the desirability of having our own Residents’ Association candidates standing for Borough election in 2014. They would be free of Party Political interference and able to concentrate on what is good for the Ward as well as for the Borough. Discussions have begun with other Residents’ Associations in the Borough to see if this idea will catch on. Our neighbours Epsom and Ewell have had a successful Residents’ Association-led Council for very many years, and Elmbridge and Mole Valley have Residents’ Association Councillors.

It has been a hectic year for the committee and I should like to thank the members for their hard work. Special mention must be made of the work done by Alan Manchester who really led the Association’s research on the Hospital site and the new Core Strategy, and spent very many hours reading documents and responding to the inconsistencies which lay therein. Special thanks are also due to Graham Goldspring as our Publicity officer who kept the OADRA name to the fore, with several articles and letters being published in the Informer (now defunct), Guardian and Surrey Comet newspapers.

In order that we can progress as an Association and monitor what is happening in the Borough and make our voice heard on behalf of the residents, we need more people to become members of the Association, and for some to give a few hours a month to serve on the committee or as road representatives. We hope to see you at the AGM on 1st December and to hear your views about the issues that concern you.

Robert Lewis - Chairman