Minutes of SDRA AGM 28th May 2024

Stoke D’Abernon Residents’ Association Annual General Meeting held on 28 May 2024, 8pm Stoke D’Abernon Village Hall.

Attendees: Ian Nelson (Chair), various members of the Committee, general members of the Association (60 or so), Alison Kilby (Secretary)

Invited Guests: Police Inspector Bert Dean, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey Ellie Vesey-Thompson, Cllr Alistair Mann, Cllr Andrew Burley, Stephen Finch (Cricket Club President)

Apologies: Ros and Martin Price, Jenny King, Anne Davidson

Attendees were offered a glass of wine before the meeting opened at 8pm.

1. Welcome & introduction

Ian chaired the meeting and welcomed everyone. He outlined some of the SDRA accomplishments in the past year (as mentioned in Spring 2024 Newsletter).

2. Committee Appointments

Ian confirmed the position of Chair (himself), the new Secretary (Alison Kilby replacing Glenys Layzell), and the new Treasurer (Garret Guilfoyle replacing Richard Kirchner). Garret introduced himself.

Alison read out the list of proposed committee members, as follows: Ian Nelson, Garret Guilfoyle, Alison Kilby, Cliff Simmonds, Richard Kirchner, Jenny King, Brenda Way, Ros & Martin Price, Glenys Layzell, Warwick Hutchinson, Sue Prentice, Dave Phillips, Clive Friend, Ron West, Becky Moorman, Anne Davidson, Nick Price, Lynne Wood, Anthony Green, Stuart Brameld.

There were no objections to these appointments.

3. Accounts

The appointment of the new Independent Examiner, Fiona Briscoe, was announced. A summary of the audited accounts was provided on the Agenda for the meeting (see also below). The outgoing Treasurer, Richard Kirchner, was thanked for his 4 years in office. Richard summarised the accounts and they were approved.

4. Villager of the Year

Guest Speaker Police Inspector Bert Dean, announced Glenys Layzell as the winner of the Villager of the Year award, for her long service as Secretary for the SDRA. A prize was presented and opened, which was a replica of the Stoke D’Abernon village sign, handmade by Committee Member Nick Price.

5. Guest Speakers

Ian introduced the Guest Speakers – Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner (DPCC) for Surrey, Ellie Vesey-Thompson and Police Inspector Bert Dean. Ms Vesey-Thompson spoke first, passing on apologies from the recently re-elected Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Surrey, Lisa Townsend, who was unable to attend at short notice due to illness.

The roles of the DPCC and PCC were outlined and it was explained that it is the PCC who sets the Policing part of the Council Tax budget each year. A small amount of this budget is held back for grants, which can be applied for throughout the year. Police Inspector Bert Dean spoke about his role, and how his team respond to around 4000 emergency calls per year. There have been 20 reports of crime in the area in the past three months. All crimes reported must be investigated by law, but there must be evidence in order for criminals to be positively identified and for conviction to follow. Concerns for safety cannot be ignored. Our area’s proximity to London, with easy access to the M25 and ongoing routes, mean we are a target to both home-grown criminals and those who come in from elsewhere.

The floor was then opened for questions, which Bert Dean and Ellie Vesey-Thompson answered between them. These covered: Unauthorised Encampments; Mutual Aid; the now defunct High Court Injunction, where ‘unnamed people’ could in the past be removed from a site; the impression that Nextdoor and similar social networks gives that crime is on the rise; the recent Northfield Road assault – could there be more information given on the Surrey Police website about this, as people are upset; visible policing; why the PCC is an electable position.

The guests then left the meeting.

6. Proposed McDonalds restaurant in Cobham

The floor was given to a Cobham resident, who spoke compellingly about the impact that the proposed development of the old Loch Fyne restaurant site into a McDonald’s restaurant would have on local residents and those further afield. A woman living right next door to the site also attended the meeting. They brought leaflets, which provided a link to the petition they have set up, which they left in the lobby area. They thanked Ian for the opportunity to present, and then left the meeting.

7. Tilt Road ditches proposal.

Cobham Councillor Alistair Mann spoke about the Council’s proposal to remove rotten posts around green areas of Tilt Road, replacing them with ditches and banks to prevent problem parking and encampments. It has been decided to take time to decide what to do, rather than removing all the posts, some of which are quite new and have a long life ahead still. Mr Mann proposes that councillors will find out from residents what they think would be the best way forward rather than rushing ahead to put in ditches, and he assured the meeting that a cost benefit analysis is being done.

8. Proposed cycle lane from Painshill to Waitrose, Cobham

Cllr David Lewis spoke about £2m, ringfenced by National Highways for a proposed cycle path, connecting Feltonfleet School, with Cobham (Waitrose area). A section of the path has already been started, although further unforeseen underground works required on the A245 near the school has halted completion for now. Plans for the cycle path are unconfirmed, and after David Lewis spoke to groups including Cobham Heritage and Stoke D’Abernon Residents’ Association, it seems the general view that if the money is available, it should be taken. Concerns are for the Between Streets section – how the path could be worked in around that tricky section. National Highways have been noncommittal on future plans.

9. Stoke D’Abernon Cricket Club President, Stephen Finch

Mr Finch thanked Villagers for using the Recreation Ground with care and spoke briefly about the success of the Club: they offer Ladies’ Cricket, there are many community aspects to membership, the old nets are being replaced, lengthened, and increased from two to four. They have a very active Colts section, with parents involved in Club management. Matches are held at the weekend around 12:00 – 1:00pm; league matches played on Saturdays and friendlies on Sunday.

The problem of parking around the Club was raised, which is particularly noticeable at the weekends when Cricket Club practice is going on. This particularly impacts Station Road around the Old Plough Pub down to the Village Hall, and sometimes there is dangerous parking on Blundel Lane at the junction with Stoke Road. Mr Finch said that considerate parking would be re emphasised to Club members. Ian mentioned that some of the ashes of the late Bob Willis MBE, Surrey and England cricketer who grew up and practised his fast-bowling in and on Bray Road, were scattered on the outfield of the Club, after his death in 2019.

10. Wisley former-airfield planning decision

Cllr Andrew Burley mentioned that the Planning Inspector has granted planning permission for around 2000 homes to be built on the former airfield site. There are two avenues left for preventing it, both of which have a low chance of success.
1. The Wisley Action Group (Ockham) may seek a judicial review.
2. The Secretary of State could call in the decision, although this is politically sensitive and very unlikely.

Attendees and speakers were thanked for attending, and the meeting ended at 9:20pm.

Accounts Summary

Year ended 30 September2021
Other50014031 (Memorial Park grant from Elmbridge CIL fund)0
AGM and meeting expenses296249161
Christmas Lights Event0526329
Other50014121 (Memorial Park: trees, benches, signboards)151
Cash at bank and in hand350939503811

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