Minutes of the Half Yearly meeting

Stoke D’Abernon and District Residents’ Association Minutes of the Half Yearly meeting held on 19th May at St Mary’s Church Hall.

The meeting opened at 8pm and a glass of wine was offered to all attending.

1. Apologies

Apologies for absence were received from Dave Phillips and Clive Friend.

2. Presentation from Sgt. Rob Thomas

The meeting opened with a short presentation from Sgt. Rob Thomas. He informed us that there is 1 policeman assigned to Cobham and a PCSO for the area. There have been 32 burglaries in our area which he considered to be ‘opportunist’ break-ins rather than gang related.

The PC for Cobham PC Andy Lawrence is very keen on traffic management and control and is well aware of the speeding problems along the Stoke Road. Sgt. Thomas is sure that PC Lawrence will be vigilant with checking speeds in the area and he is ever alert with his speed gun.

Diana Thalben-Ball has been worried about intruders around her house and after explaining her concerns asked Sgt. Thomas if some more visible policing could be arranged. Sgt Thomas assured her he would look into the matter and get the constable or PCSO to call.

Sgt. Thomas assured the residents that we lived in one of the safest parts of the country but we should all be careful of our property, valuables and ourselves.

3. Presentation from Chris Scott, Walton Firs Activity Centre

The next presentation was from Chris Scott, Chief Executive of Walton Firs Activity Centre in Cobham. Many of those present knew very little of the Activity Centre its aims and site in Cobham so it was interesting to see pictures of the site as it was and as it is now.

The activity site is mainly for 8 to 16 years but also caters for groups from organisations wanting to hold a ‘bonding’ day for employers. There is accommodation there either in tents, a large building or new ‘pods’ that have been built to accommodate 8.

All sorts or activities are offered and taught from archery, rock climbing, field studies and more. They have groups from a large area around London and the south and they also have facilities and instructors for special needs.

Originally the activity centre was open from Easter to September but it has been found that this window has now been extended and they have some groups wanting to arrange time in January and then right though to just before Christmas. On 11th June the site is holding an open day and all are welcome.

Ian Nelson thanked Chris Scott for his very informative presentation.

4. Presentation from County Councillor David Lewis

The third presentation was from County Councillor David Lewis who gave us some news on what was happening in Surrey and Elmbridge. David Lewis has been a Surrey County Councillor for 4 years. Surrey has 58 Conservatives councillors and has the majority They have recently moved premises and the new HQ is in Woodhatch, Reigate.

Entrance to the site, off Cockshot Hill (photo by reigate.uk)

Elmbridge has 48 ward councillors now. The number has been reduced from 60. Surrey County Council is responsible for adult and children’s social care, highways, health and police – just a few of their responsibilities. David Lewis is also an Elmbridge councillor.

The Conservative party do not have overall control of Elmbridge council which is currently run by the Liberal Democrats and Independents. Elmbridge is responsible for planning, change of use, waste bins, recycling and car park. Elmbridge is helping with housing refugees at the moment from Ukraine but also Syria and Afghanistan. The refugees are provided with a home, free transport and education and health services. Finding suitable accommodation with access to nearby services is a problem.

Councillor Lewis touched briefly on the ‘housing plan’ and hoped that the plan put forward, safeguarding the green belt will be acceptable. By safeguarding the green belt it will mean there will be more in fill of existing sites and density will be increased.

5. Update on Memorial Park

Warwick Hutchinson then explained about the tree planting in the Memorial Park opposite The Old Plough.

The Memorial Park has a long history which unfortunately had almost been forgotten but some of the original trees are left and others have been planted and there will an official opening of the site and an information board will be placed there naming those who died.

Two more benches have been added to the site and the children’s play area tidied up.

6. Thanks & Close

Ian Nelson thanked everyone for coming and the meeting closed at 9:30 pm.

The AGM will be held in November

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