The LRA’s constitution requires us to hold an Annual General Meeting within three months of our year end – that is by 30 June. Whilst the government’s hope remains that all covid restrictions will have ended in the last few days of June, the committee propose that this annual review is supplemented by a meeting in September by which time members are more likely to feel comfortable joining a well-attended indoor event. We hope you understand and support this. The meeting will be an opportunity to hear your views on matters of local interest and to ask questions. We plan to invite a guest speaker to talk about local matters.
The pandemic has had a profound impact on all our lives over the last year. It has also affected every organisation with which we all are connected. The LRA is no exception. We were unable to organise any events during the year and only now are residents starting to mix a little bit more.
The summer fair normally takes place at the beginning of July. It takes several months to organise and we have been short of man and woman power. This year we have decided to hold an afternoon event to celebrate the end of restrictions in conjunction with the Friends of Laleham School. We continue to plan on the basis that restrictions will have been lifted according to the original time table.
The event will take place at the Laleham Recreation Ground on Saturday 26 June from 12 noon to 5pm. The idea is to give our members, Laleham residents, the parents and pupils from Laleham School and the 70 volunteers from Laleham Friends, who did shopping and collected prescriptions for those who were shielding, the opportunity to re-meet with each other and enjoy a hopefully sunny afternoon. There will be a licenced bar, a BBQ, a paella stall, ice cream van, live music and a host of activities. For more details see the attached flyer. Please come along and enjoy the festivities.
We hope to recommence other social activities in the autumn.
Unsurprisingly the accounts show a deficit for the year. Our income significantly reduced due to the lack of events but income from membership fees was at a record level and we are most grateful for those whose subscription fell due in the second half of the year paying a little more than in previous years. A major item of expenditure was the railway sleepers now bordering the plot next to best one and we are grateful to Maureen Attewell for facilitating a grant from Spelthorne towards this cost.
We took the decision to bear all of the cost of the hanging baskets for the year. They looked splendid and bought much joy in troubled times. We are very grateful to all of you who have contributed towards the cost of this year’s baskets.
A copy of the accounts is attached. The deficit for the year was £2,363. We have strong reserves but are mindful that surpluses in previous years have been largely based on events and that we are dependent on those with the skills and time to put on those events. Unfortunately some are no longer available to us.
We have been very engaged with planning issues. You will recall there have been ongoing conversations with Tarmac regarding their proposals to build homes on Home Farm. A public meeting was planned in April 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic. The purpose was to get views on the perceived upside of a bypass around the centre of Laleham, additional land for the Recreation Ground, a possible community centre and a possible state of the art children’s playground against the downside of a housing development. The committee’s view was that the initial outline proposals were worthy of consideration by residents. Discussions continued on that basis. Tarmac then submitted a very different plan in Spelthorne’s ‘call for sites’ for the local plan which include a doubling the number of units and a road going through the new development rather than a bypass. We have made it clear to Tarmac and Spelthorne that we will not support this revised proposal. The call for sites has not yet been published but we understand the proposal will be rejected by Spelthorne as it is on green belt.
The pandemic has been cited as a reason or more accurately excuse for lack of action on other planning matters. We have been advised that Surrey’s planning team have been diverted to Covid matters for much of the year and that the zebra crossing in the village legally due to be installed by July 2020 will not be completed until the final quarter of this year. Similarly progress on the 20mph zone in Laleham is also sitting in Surrey’s in tray. We will be asking our new Surrey Councillor, Maureen Attewell, to provide updates and to progress matters.
Similarly progress on the regeneration of the business park at Littleton Lane and restoration of the remainder of the site to green belt, incorporating a nature trail, has been slow largely as a result of delays by Brett. We continue to chase and put pressure on them on a regular basis.
We engaged with Spelthorne regarding the installation of polytunnels at Laleham Farm and our concern about the number of mobile homes on the site for seasonal workers. As a result Spelthorne’s enforcement officer visited the site and the activities are being regularised.
We have attended meetings of the Residents Forum, instigated by John Boughtflower, the leader of Spelthorne Council and the Shepperton Studios Liaison Group
We will update you on all these issues at the September meeting and hope there will be some progress to report by then.
Our committee secretary Debbie Parkes has stepped down from the committee after many years of enthusiastic contribution. Raj Mohan, our Treasurer for the past two years, and previously owner of Best One in the village, recently moved to Kent and he too has stepped down. We thank them both for their all they have done for the LRA and wish them well.
Michelle Purnell joined the committee last summer. Michelle is a conservation architect and has provided invaluable assistance in some of the planning issues mentioned above. Roger Lynch has joined as Treasurer. Roger has lived in Laleham Abbey since 1985 and is also Treasurer of the Laleham Abbey management board. We welcome them both to the committee. We are also in discussion with two other residents who have expressed an interest in joining the committee.
We hope you will join us in September to meet the new and old members of the committee when you will have the opportunity to re-elect us (or not as the case may be).
We hope to see you on 26 June and that this year will be a very much better year for everyone.
Chair – Laleham Residents association