SILVERY SANDS RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION
MINUTES OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
HELD AT ST PETERS CHURCH HALL, MONDAY 19th MARCH 2007
Apologies: were received from Alan Seward, Pat and Paul Dodd, Joan Tait, Andy Duncan, David and Lesley Windle.
Minutes of the last meeting: The minutes of the last meeting were accepted, proposed by David Rowley and seconded by Alan Hyde.
Matters arising: There were no matters arising.
19 households were represented (total 29 people attended AGM).
This is my fourth report as Chairman of the Association, so please bear with me if it starts to sound a little familiar. Mind you, browsing through the Association records recently, it is quite evident that most issues have changed very little over the last 25 years, and probably even longer. Having made my excuses, I will summarise, as briefly as I can, what the committee has done over the past year.
Taking events in a rough chronological order, Spelthorne Council announced last April that it would take no further action with proposals for developing the field into a public open space. That is what the overwhelming majority of residents wanted to hear, so for the time being any change in the use of the field is put to rest. How long the Trustees of Strode’s College leave the matter to rest is of course another question. No doubt the issue will return again in the fullness of time.
The summer party was held in June, supported by 31 households, with over 100 adults and children enjoying a lovely summers evening. A lot of work was involved in getting everything organised, and my thanks are extended to everyone who helped to make the party a success. Once again, a small profit was achieved which is used to benefit the Association’s funds.
During the course of the summer, the committee decided that it would be beneficial both to individual householders and to the Association, to draw up a General Statutory Declaration, legally affirming the right of way we all have to our properties. This was completed in August and an explanation of the reasons for drawing up this document was set out in the October Newsletter. To date, six households have purchased a certified true copy of the Declaration.
In July, a surface treatment was applied to Wheatsheaf Lane, which should help to prolong the life of the road surface for several years. Everybody co-operated by removing their vehicles for the day, which allowed the work to proceed smoothly. Together with Thames Side, which was treated the previous year, we must now monitor how these roads stand up to wear and tear and weathering over the next two or three years. So far, Thames Side seems to be standing up fairly well, which is promising as it has the poorest composition of our three roads. Problems arising from our lack of surface drainage have also become more apparent during the past year, which we will discuss later on the agenda.
The long running saga of the gateway effect posts came to a conclusion during October when they were finally installed in Wheatsheaf Lane. A final consultation with residents during the summer had resulted in an overwhelming majority in favour of the having the posts. Following their installation, a problem with a more or less permanently parked commercial trailer immediately behind the posts, often filled with garden refuse, was resolved after the owner was asked to find somewhere else to store his machinery. I am pleased to say that so far your committee has not received any complaints about the posts --- in fact we have actually had quite a few compliments! Casual observation suggests that unwanted parking may have reduced along Wheatsheaf Lane.
In November, and with permission from the owners and the leaseholder of the field, two residents, who by co-incidence happen to be members of the committee, lopped off a number of the rather dangerous branches from trees in the hedgerow that were overhanging Wheatsheaf Lane. My thanks are extended to Paul and Alan for risking life and limb in undertaking this tricky task.
Over the winter months there have been a number of incidents of vandalism to cars and property in the neighbourhood, with most seriously, and sadly, a camper van and its contents being towed away one night from Riverside Close. Of even greater concern, last week, while the residents slept, a house in Riverside Close was broken into and some contents stolen. I understand that 6 or 7 other houses in the area were also broken into during the same night. The police are obviously involved in the more serious crimes, but incidences of low level crime are not always reported to the police. In these cases it is worth sending an e-mail describing what has happened to our Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator, currently Gulbin, who can forward it on to our Neighbourhood Watch police contact. It helps to build up their picture of where all types of crime may be increasing in a particular area, and where as a result they may need to take more action.
Throughout the whole of the year, various members of your committee have attended a burgeoning number of local meetings organised by Spelthorne Council. These have included a forum called the Your Shout for Residents Associations, the Spring and Autumn Area Forums, and the Spelthorne Community Support Group. Also, if we wish, we can make representations to the Local Spelthorne Partnership. I think the Council is keen to develop its links with resident associations in order to improve its communication mechanisms with local residents, but so far there seems to have been plenty of talking but not a great deal to report. Probably the most significant issue concerns the Spelthorne Community Support Group which has been set up by the Council to provide a two way reporting mechanism between resident associations’ and the Thames Flood Forum. The Thames Flood Forum has emerged from the now defunct Flood Risk Action Groups (FRAGs) which investigated the cause of the 2003 Thames floods. Its membership is drawn from ten Thames Valley local authorities, the Environment Agency, Thames Water, the ThamesAwash and ThamesUpstream pressure groups, and from the local authority Community Support Groups. The role of the Thames Flood Forum is to look at proposals for future flood relief schemes which are now emerging from the Environment Agency’s Lower Thames Strategy programme. At this stage however, the bottom line is that the government currently has no funds available for flood defence schemes in the Lower Thames area, or, it seems, for the foreseeable future, so progress is going to be rather slow.
It finally remains for me to thank all the members of the committee for their time, effort, and support over the past year. In particular, I need to mention Linda, who has looked after the Association’s finances for the past four years, and Gulbin who has been our Secretary for the past two years. They are both standing down this year because of other commitments, so I am sure you will all join me in thanking them for all they have done.
No questions were asked by Association members.
The Treasurer submitted a balance sheet showing income and expenditure for the year to 31.12.2006.
Out of 84 houses, 65 paid for 2006, with a total of £4541.00 in subscriptions. The treasurer informed that the Nationwide Treasurer’s Account (that has been opened in 2005) brought an interest of £58.72. Additionally the summer party has brought £242.50 profit. Sale of the first three Statuary declarations brought £120.00. With the balance brought forward from 2005 the total funds available in 2006 was £8459.52.
After going through the expenditure for the year (AGM room hire, road repairs, posts for Wheatsheaf Lane, Statuary declaration) we were left with a balance in the account at the end of 2006 of £2442.41.
The accounts that have been previously audited by David Rowley, were accepted by the members, proposed by David Rowley and seconded by David Blum.
Following discussion and a vote, it was agreed by the members, that the subscription for 2007 would be £65, an increase of £2. Proposed by David Rowley and seconded by Alan Hyde. Yearly subscription runs from January to December.
ELECTION OF COMMITTEE:
Geoff Richardson agreed to remain and stand as chairman. Linda Graves and Gulbin Chaworth-Musters are both standing down this year because of other commitments. The remaining members, Paul Dodd, Bob Douglas, Richard O’Halloran, and Alan Seward agreed to continue as members. Two new members were elected to the committee; Philip Berquist agreed to take on the Treasurer role, while in the absence of any volunteers David Chaworth-Musters agreed to take on the Secretary role. The election of the new committee was proposed by David Blum and seconded by Nick Keyser.
N.B. Following the AGM, the committee co-opted Gillian Kneale from 74 Thames Side who was prepared to take on the Secretary role. David Chaworth-Musters therefore gratefully stood down!
ROAD MAINTENANCE 2007
Two areas were discussed – road maintenance and surface water drainage.
The above proposals were accepted by members.
Surface Water Drainage
The 2006 summer party took place on the 17th of June and the event was considered to be a great success with the participation of 31 household out of 84. Ticket sales have generated £709.50 and the raffle tickets £94.00. Food, marquee, tables and flowers expenses were £561.00. The profit is £242.50 and will be added to the fund to help repair the roads.
The committee suggested the same format for 2007 and it was accepted.
· Joan Tait has kindly volunteered to do the food organisation.
· Pre-planning meeting will be held on Monday 14th of May at 8.00 pm at Joan’s house.
· Proposed date 30th of June was agreed.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
The meeting closed at 9.00 pm