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Chessington District Residents Association is a voluntary, non political organisation working on behalf of the residents of Hook and Chessington.  The aim of the association is to ensure that residents have a strong meaningful voice on matters that have an impact on their community.

 

Membership costs only £3.00 per household for one year

 

 

Colin Punch, CDRA Chairman

Telephone 0208 397 2659

 

Some of Our Achievements during the Past Year

 

 

 

 
     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Council Committee’s and Public Meetings

 

This year we have attended all of the South of the Borough Neighbourhood Committee meetings, the Residents Steering Committee meetings and all of the Council’s Health Overview Panel meetings.  At the Neighbourhood Committee meetings we take full advantage of the resident’s question time and this year many of our questions have focussed on the detailed aspects of how the planning application rules and policies are being developed and used.  A summary of the answers we received will be published on our website.

 

We strongly supported the campaign to have all Council meetings audio recorded, which was accepted by the Council. Residents can now log onto the RBK website and listen to what was said at Council meetings.  Another innovation is the recording of how each Councillor on a committee voted.  In the past only the overall decision of the committee was recorded.

 

Planning

 

During the year we have studied all planning applications, discussed the dubious ones and on occasion submitted objections.  When asked we have advised residents and spoken on their behalf.  However, as the national economy is depressed there have been fewer applications than usual. 

 

A lot of our time has been spent studying the passage through Parliament of the Communities Bill which quite radically changes the planning process.  As it stands the legislation has many problems and the Government Minister has said further legislation will be needed to sort it out.  A more realistic RBK Planning Officer recently said that the sorting out will be done by lawyers in the law courts.  So difficult times lie ahead for our Councillors. 

 

Police

 

We continue to be represented and to play an active role on our local Safer Neighbourhood Steering Committee’s and on the Kingston Community and Police Partnership. However, it has been a difficult year.  We lost our two excellent Sergeants when Jon Truelove retired and David Boyle was promoted and moved to other duties.  Some Constables were transferred elsewhere and a number of our PCSO’s left to train to become Constables.  The riots during last summer and the spate of burglaries in the north of the borough during the autumn required many of our officers to be withdrawn for other duties. There was a resulting loss of local knowledge and a break in the established working relationships between the Police and the community.

 

All this happened during the period when the Police were struggling to cope with large cuts to their budget.  Our troubles are not yet over as the Olympic Games will put a great strain on Police resources and our local officers are expected to be called to help. Afterwards our Policing will, we hope, regain its normality.  Our one replacement Sergeant, Wendy H. Parker, arrived at the end of last year and is already very well spoken of.  We understand that in early June the new Commissioner will announce reforms that will have a positive impact on local policing.

 

Education

 

The construction of the new Ellingham School is now well underway and some of our members recently had a meeting with the headmistress, some of the teachers and governors.  We were very impressed with the plans for the expansion for the school and the quality and determination of the staff.  Somewhat less impressive has been the problems caused by the size of the car parks and traffic problems originating mainly from parents taking their children to and from school.  As so often happens in Kingston, projects are built without adequate improvement to the local infrastructure and the lives of local residents are subsequently blighted.

 

We have also recently visited Chessington Community College to have an update from the headmaster Robert Niedermaier-Reed and the Chairwoman of Governors Brenda Brevitt. Absolutely outstanding work is being done with excellent results being achieved.  After a long and intense meeting we have great praise for the headmaster, teachers and governors.

 

Community

 

Healthcare – At our AGM we are going to be brought up to date on the healthcare currently available to our community.  We have a good team of members who work on the various medical centre and practices ‘patients panels’ to monitor what is happening locally.  Our community has also benefited in the past municipal year from local Councillor Margaret Thompson’s good work as Chairwoman of the Health Overview Panel.

 

Borough Wide Planning – The Core Strategy document, which will shape the Council’s planning for the future of Kingston, has now virtually completed its gestation.  We do not like some of the detail.  Nor are we happy with the Kingston Waste Plan, which we think does not support our communities’ interests.

 

Vehicle Generated Air Pollution -   We have done a lot of work on this topic which has revealed how serious a threat it is to the health of our community.  Last year the Council monitored ‘background’ air pollution levels which we thought, and said, was a waste of time and money.  After some prodding, they are monitoring the obvious pollution hotspots during the current year. Kingston is also getting its own air pollution monitoring station.  Local doctors have told us that the South of the Borough has higher levels of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease than elsewhere in Kingston, but our efforts to have the location of sufferers plotted, to see if they are linked to the great amounts of vehicle generated air pollution coming from the A3 and the A243 Hook and Leatherhead Road, have been continually thwarted by NHS personnel.  One of them even said that our smoking habits were the cause of the problem!  However, we will not give up until we get the data we want!!

 

Transport for London – In the past year we have continued to complain about their inadequate performance as our road authority.  For example, among the host of problems is the urgent need, agreed by TfL, for three new pedestrian crossings.  When will they be built? Answer, no real date available from TfL!

 

Our Association

 

This is our 37th AGM and over the years the Association has done much for the local community.  Yet every year that passes more needs to be done and new opportunities present themselves.  Some of our members are beginning to feel their age.  We could do with more  people to further engage with planning issues, air pollution, administration and the research and development of new topic areas for our website.  Remember, to join our Executive Committee is a simple process; you just put your hand up to volunteer at the AGM. 

 

Join our Executive Committee

Diane Brannan our Membership Secretary says:- To achieve our objectives and to maximise the benefits we need active support and input from you, the local residents.  If you would like to help us make a difference, we are always looking for enthusiastic local residents to join our Executive Committee.

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
Text Box: To join or renew your subscription to the Residents’ Association, please complete this form.

I wish to join the Chessington Residents’ Association 2012/2013
I agree that my details may be kept on computer to be accessed only by the committee.

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Amount £3 per household, or more if you would like to make a donation.

Please return to Mr Jim Taylor, 1, Selwood Road,  Chessington,
Whitfords News Agency, 1 North Parade, Chessington.