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Founded 1937

2013


MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM) 2013

OF THE RIDDLESDOWN RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION (RRA)

Held on Wednesday 8 May 2013 at 7.30pm,

at St Edmunds Church Hall, Mitchley Ave, Riddlesdown


Apologies were received from Phil Thomas and Fred Wallis on the RRA Committee.  


Local Councillors Cllr Lynne Hale & Cllr Tim Pollard were thanked for attending the meeting.


Minutes of the previous AGM:

Minutes were distributed to those attending the AGM. These were approved and taken as an accurate record of the 2012 AGM.


Action Points arising from the 2012 AGM:

Most matters have been acted upon or will arise during this AGM.


Finances:

Brian Longman reported to the AGM that the RRA Treasurer Bernard Munn had been very seriously ill during year which had affected his work for the RRA.

Bernard Munn presented the accounts for the past financial year to the AGM.

Link


Income:

It was explained that the first column in this report shows last year’s finances compared with those of previous years

The main financial news this year is that the RRA has not collected all its membership subscriptions and in fact has only collected half the amount of income which was collected last year and during previous years.

It was noted that the RRA has struggled with the infrastructure of road stewards , some of whom are ‘missing’ or who have retired, etc.

Bernard Munn stated that he views this as more of a blip than a trend.

The RRA is still currently organising new road stewards for roads where no there is no steward and in the process of trying to collect and round up late money.

However it was noted that the recession is a factor and it was wondered if some people may not be able to or wish to afford the RRA membership subscription.

The RRA membership subscription has been £3 per household now for 7-8 years.  

The AGM discussed whether membership fee concessions should be continued in the future.  It was agreed that £3 is not much and although this amount should be kept for this current year, that in future years there should be no membership fee concessions made.

It is hoped by the RRA that the present situation is just a problem for this one year rather than a permanent downturn in membership income.

The other main source of income is advertising in the Recorder and the RRA has just about maintained its advertising income for this year, although noting that figures in the accounts are slightly skewed by people and businesses taking some time to pay the RRA.

In future the aim is to try to obtain more advertising income and for the latest issue advertising rates have been increased and also advertisers have had to pay up front, aiming to avoid the issue of late or non-payers.

It was noted there had been a refund in the accounts for Funday insurance as this had been renegotiated.

Expenditure:

One of the main items of expenditure is the RRA Funday which is felt to be very worthwhile.

The RRA Recorder magazine had increased expenditure with printing costs increased.

Membership card expenditure was a similar cost to previous years.

Stationery expenditure increased due to the Recorder printing

Loss of membership fees and increased Recorder printing costs created a loss of c. £1500 for the year.

The RRA 2012 Accounts were approved by the meeting.


Chairman’s Report:

Brian Longman then highlighted local matters arising over the past year since the last AGM and in particular current issues.

Brian Longman noted he will also review planning and environmental matters, due to the AGM absence of Phil Thomas on the RRA Committee.

Brian Longman noted that both he and Phil Thomas have also provided full reports in the RRA Recorder, and this information is also available on the RRA website:

Chairman’s report  Link

Planning & Environmental Report  Link


Woodland Appeal:

The RRA bid unsuccessfully to try and buy local land in the past which had been discussed at previous AGMs.  This money is now kept on a ‘ringfenced basis’ as an RRA ‘fighting fund’ eg. to take legal advice if this is needed. For example, at present the farmer has been given notice on the fields along Mitchley Avenue and Hill.  This land is both greenbelt and agricultural status. The RRA is working with local councillors on this matter but may need to use the ‘fighting fund’ for legal advice regarding farmland status.

Before Christmas there had been two new planning applications for building on local greenbelt land, both of which the RRA acted upon. All this information has been put in detail in the RRA Recorder and on the RRA Website.  The RRA has liaised with Croydon Collegiate, the Woodland Trust, Croydon Council and Croydon Councillors regarding these planning applications.

It was noted this is a lot of work for the RRA Committee as volunteers dealing with concerned residents and other bodies and dealing with these planning applications on an ongoing basis.

With these current planning applications the RRA had just about managed to keep these under control, with just the loss of a few local trees and no loss of local greenbelt land.

It was explained the whole issue is bigger than just Riddlesdown and affects periphery greenbelt around London, which is all under attack.  


Croydon Council Planning Notices:

Brian Longman reported on concerns of Phil Thomas that the Council are now not notifying houses directly about local planning applications.  

Instead these are now posted on lampposts.

Phil Thomas and Brian Longman checked around the Riddlesdown area and found there were notices in wrong places with the RRA being contacted by concerned residents saying they know nothing about new planning applications very near them.

It was asked by the meeting why the Council cannot transfer money to people who make the planning application in the first place and noted that Tandridge Council do this.

Cllr Tim Pollard said there are set costs and a national scale of charges.  The government is also introducing new schemes making it easier for people to apply for new extensions etc. meaning that people do not even need to apply to the Council in all instances.

He noted there is a new feature on the council website, meaning that individuals can save a search and set it to email you regarding planning in particular areas and although this was felt to be difficult to use at present Cllr Tim Pollard also explained that he has already asked the Council IT web team to work on making this easier to use in the future.

Brian Longman and Cllr Tim Pollard noted they had picked up one application with no objections which when other nearby residents notified, they were all horrified about this particular planning application.  The notice on the lamppost near this property was actually about a completely different planning application.

It was noted that the RRA did not get involved in individual neighbour planning disputes or concerns, it would only raise any particular very controversial planning application issues.

The RRA has expressed concerns to the Council and Councillors regarding the new planning application system and individual residents also need to personally act, they can write to the Council, Councillors, their local MP, etc. about this.


Lower Barn Road new Flats Development (Riddleah Court):

It was noted these are currently being built but there are still some issues regarding the phone mast location, which still remains unclear and which is ongoing.

The RRA is currently trying to find out where the mast will be sited.

The RRA objects if this phone mast is planned to be moved away from these new flats and moved closer to existing properties, it is a very unfair situation if this happens just to sell the flats.


Police & Safety:

It was noted that Safer Neighbourhood Teams were established about five years ago.

Brian Longman has represented the RRA on the Safer Neighbourhood Team, alongside other residents associations, schools, businesses, shopkeepers, etc.

This looked at trends and the concerns of the area and overall worked very well.

It reduced complaints and problems.

In the last 18 months people have been withdrawn from this team, in particular a sergeant was withdrawn.

About six months ago the London policing and crime plan was put up for consultation.  

Anybody could look at this and the RRA put in a comprehensive response to the consultation.

Change was proposed saying this was aiming to save money and increase efficiency.

However the RRA keep being told Sanderstead and Riddlesdown are low crime areas compared to other local areas such as Coulsdon.  The RRA felt that if  the police are put where it was felt they were most needed, as is proposed, then there were concerns that  Riddlesdown would lose out.

It was noted that the Neighbourhood Watch website used to give crime statistics and detailed crime information but this is not done anymore.

Somebody in Riddlesdown had been attacked in their front garden during daylight hours in the last few weeks, the RRA only found out because an RRA  road steward had been doing membership collection for the RRA and was told about this.

It was asked if the Councillors can do anything about providing more detailed local crime information as those attending the AGM felt this was very useful.

Brian Longman said the RRA does not want to frighten local people but perhaps should publish as much information as is available on its website.

The RRA is already talking to the police about trying to set up new burglary advice, etc.

The police had previously tried to hold surgeries eg. in Waitrose but these were not well attended.


Environmental Matters:

It was noted that Phil Thomas walks around the local area and notes all the problems and then passes these on to the Council.

There is a report about this in the Recorder and information is also on the website.

This has made a huge difference to the local area.

It was further noted that individuals can also notify the council themselves and/or let the RRA know.


Parking:

It was noted there has been a recent local parking ticket issue, with tickets being issued in places where people have parked for long periods of time (in some cases 20 plus years) and then suddenly out of blue started getting parking tickets- (Riddlesdown Rd & Mitchley Ave)

Cllr Tim Pollard has assisted individuals and the RRA on this matter and a lot of tickets have now been withdrawn as they were inappropriate.

Thanks were given to the Councillors for their assistance with this matter.

It was noted there are new white lines around the area which are access protection markings.  This is because there are many local drives where people cannot see well entering and existing the drive and this is causing problems and accidents, particularly with parking too close to drives.  Croydon Council agreed to new white markings.  This has been reported in the RRA Recorder and information is also on the RRA Website.

Lower Barn Road Shopkeepers had requested better access for people to their shops, noting that parking restrictions did not apply on Saturdays which is their busiest business day and people were parking there all day.  Now parking bays will be active on Saturdays to help support these local shops.

Ongoing concerns have been expressed and remain regarding the new Lower Barn Road Flats detrimentally affecting parking.

There was considerable AGM discussion regarding local parking with various queries and points made, including the following:

There was a query re. yellow lines with restricted times and Brian Longman explained in the past the RRA held an open meeting attended by c. 300 residents to discuss and review this matter (c 10 yrs ago).  At that meeting and other consultation it was decided that the area did  not want yellow lines and a new CPZ in Riddlesdown.

Brian Longman explained that the RRA acts to drive residents ideas forward only if there are enough residents wanting things to happen for the RRA to have a mandate to act.

It was felt by some of the AGM attendees that perhaps the local situation has worsened and opinions might now have changed about having local yellow lines and a CPZ, etc.

Brian Longman stated that if enough residents are concerned they should then contact Croydon Highways in the first instance.

Local concerns were noted that parking problems can be driven into other roads and there were previous concerns how far yellow lines and a CPZ area was required for Riddlesdown.

There were other concerns that if it is made difficult to park in Riddlesdown then this could also cause commuter problems and Riddlesdown station is already the ‘poor relation’ compared to other local stations.

Upper Warlingham station is now in the same travel zone 6 as Riddlesdown and has much more parking there.

Brian Longman encouraged people and residents to support the local transport and in particular to show use they use Riddlesdown Station eg. by scanning their Freedom passes when they travel through Riddlesdown.


RRA Recorder:

Karen Whitehead had stepped in to temporarily edit the latest Spring-Summer 2013 issue in the absence of any new volunteer.

Karen had tried to make the Recorder work easier for anybody editing the magazine in the future.

New procedures had been introduced for this issue.

In particular the RRA new printer now sets the magazine for the RRA and the new printer is Cherrill Print, which is owned by a local Riddlesdown resident.

The RRA desperately needs a new permanent Editor for the RRA Recorder and appealed for volunteers.

People do not need any publication or IT or editing experience at all.

Although it had previously been wondered if the Collegiate could produce the magazine, this is difficult with their curriculum, etc. but some six formers have got involved in the past two issues, researching and writing articles and providing photographs, etc.

Karen and previous recent Editor Monica Pugh and previous longstanding Editor Nick Bygrave were all available to assist any new volunteer and were thanked for their previous work.


RRA Funday:

This year it is scheduled to take place on 9th June 2013.

It will have the same sort of attractions as previous years and has been moved away from Fathers Day.

Although it is a free day for those attending, residents do pay for this as part of their membership subs and this day is very much part of the local Riddlesdown community.

The RRA does need to look at the Funday because costs keep going up and it needs to consider how to get sponsorship and new support in the future.


AOB:

Questions & topics were invited from the audience on other topics, in particular matters raised and discussed were:

Frankie Wheeler noted the death last year of resident Tony Smith, whose hard work keeping Riddlesdown clear of litter was noted and thanks expressed.

Frankie  Wheeler noted that she personally tries to pick up local litter.  She appealed to those present to also do this.  It helps to keep Riddlesdown a nicer, cleaner, tidier place.


RRA Generally:

Brian Longman noted that the RRA needs to keep evolving to exist and best serve the local Riddlesdown community.

It currently has a website and produces a printed magazine and holds the Funday.

In the past the RRA did different things eg. it also ran barn dances and a children’s Christmas party, etc. which were discontinued.

It was queried how the RRA can still exist and serve Riddlesdown in 20 – 30 years time?  


AGM Committee Elections:

This is the formal part of the AGM.  Anybody present was asked if they wished to stand for any posts on the Committee, which nobody volunteered to do at this point in the meeting.  It was reiterated that people do not need to join the committee at the actual AGM, but RRA members can also join the Committee generally during the year or residents can also just come along to RRA committee meetings.

Details of meetings and the committee are publicised in the Recorder magazine and on the RRA website.  

Residents were also asked to contribute to the Recorder and the RRA website and to help with local events.

It was noted that Karen Whitehead is stepping down from the RRA Committee as RRA Secretary and also Riddlesdown Collegiate Liaison and Temporary Recorder Editor. Karen was thanked for her work for the RRA over the years.

It was questioned if anybody wished to propose themselves as RRA Chair.  Bernard Munn noted how much Brian Longman does for the association and his re-appointment was proposed, seconded and approved by the meeting.

Brian Longman spoke about the role of Treasurer and asked if anybody wanted to take on this role.  Bernard Munn’s re-appointment was proposed, seconded and approved by the meeting.

All officers were named and thanked for their excellent work for the RRA.  All the other committee members were also nominated, seconded and approved by the meeting.

The other Committee Members elected for 2013-2014 were named as the following and introduced if present at the meeting:

Phil Thomas – who is responsible for Planning & Environmental Matters & also managing the RRA Website

Janice Kedwards – who is responsible for Social Events & Activities.

John Rapp is responsible for Transport and also Membership secretary.

Mavis Wilder – who is responsible for liaison with St. Edmunds Church and is a President of the association and one of the longest serving members, who moved to Riddlesdown in 1936.

Diana Chitty – who is responsible as joint Footpath Officer along with

Frankie Wheeler – who works with Diana Chitty as joint Footpath Officer.  

Bill Whitmarsh is continuing as a committee member.

Fred Wallis is continuing as a committee member.



The AGM was then followed by wine & nibbles kindly provided by Waitrose in Sanderstead.


 Minutes taken by Karen Whitehead, RRA Secretary



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