Minutes of Annual General Meeting
held at Cannizaro House on June 10th 2019
The Committee was re-elected for another year. Proposed by Lesley Jenkins, seconded by Jenny Melman
Guest Speaker: Charles Beazley
Charles Beazley spoke about the proposal from the CAA and Heathrow Airport to increase plane traffic by a further 25,000 landings per year and move the approach system from beacons to a sat nav method. This will involve directing air traffic over the Wimbledon/Merton area at a rate of one plane every 1min 27 secs. This proposal is going to be in place whether there is a third runway or not. This proposal needs to be contested from a number of aspects:
Merton Council has not expressed any views or opinions on the issue. Stephen Hammond MP for Wimbledon has taken up the issue. 2023 is the time when this decision will be made by the CAA and it will require a local, coordinated campaign to prevent this proposal being approved.
Clive Hilton explained that Charles Beazley will be speaking at the next Wimbledon Union of Residents’ Associations (WURA) meeting when he will talk through the need to start organising an action group to challenge the proposal.
CH expressed his sadness at the death of Caroline his wife of 43 years, who had been a treasurer of WCWRA for 10 years.
The Study School
The Chairman updated the meeting on the outcome of last year’s Judicial Review.
The case was considered in the High Court by Mr Justice Ouseley, who agreed that Merton had acted unlawfully by not complying with the Development Plan for the area. However, he went on to say that in his view planning permission would probably still have been granted by the Planning Committee even if the issue had been considered within the proper framework. The result of this is that the performance hall and new classroom development will go ahead.
The WCWRA does not usually get involved with residential planning issues but the application put in by the new owners of Westside Lodge would take away a number of parking spaces on Chester Road, which would affect the amenities in the area. Despite the local objections the application was allowed in full.
Local Good News
The Chairman reported on the news that the Wimbledon Prowler had been caught, as had the moped gang who robbed the jewellers Michael Platt in the Village.
The Wimbledon Village Farmers’ Market had started on Sundays. There is a desire to find a replacement for the Village Fair. A commercial organisation is working on a plan to see if there is a viable option.
Westside Common footpath.
The Chairman talked about the need to have the footpath repaired. The estimated cost would be £8,000-£15,000. A discussion took place as to how the funds might be raised. This could involve asking the owners of the properties along Westside to contribute. Further discussion will take place before a decision is made.
The Chairman thanked the rest of the officers and committee members; the staff of Hotel du Vin for allowing the use of the room; and Susan and all the other people at Robert Holmes who had given their support during the year.
The Chairman’s report was proposed by David Jenkins and seconded by Lesley Jenkins.
The Treasurer’s Report
The Treasurer, Hugh Rance, talked through the accounts for the year ending 31 December 2018. There was an income of £403 for the year, which was less than the previous year due to a reduced number of subscriptions. The total number of members remains around 70. A suggestion was made that local estate agents might be asked to encourage new home owner/tenants to sign up to the WCWRA. As at 31 December 2018 the Association had £5,588 in the bank. The Treasurer noted that WCWRA is moving to Internet banking.
Colin Price gave feedback on the meeting he had had with Philip Walker (Bursar) and Susan Pepper (Headmistress) of the Study School. The work on the new development will begin in July. There will be considerable disruption to the area during the 18 months/2 year building period. This will include Camp Road being regularly closed for up to four hours at a time with traffic being directed via West Place, North View and Camp Road. There will be advance warning of these closures. In order to minimise the impact communications need to be established clearly with local residents, the Fox & Grapes, golf clubs and the Wimbledon Almshouses. The school car park will not be available during construction and the staff will therefore be parking on the Causeway.
Philip Walker answered questions which included giving reassurance on the following points:
The Chairman thanked Philip Walker for attending the meeting.
Guest Speaker: Simon Lee CEO of WPCC
Simon Lee spoke about a number of successful projects that had been carried out during the past 12 months, including the clearing of Beverley Brook which has resulted in the return of fish to the river. Peter Haldane runs a successful litter picking volunteer group which meets regularly. There is currently a responsible dog ownership campaign underway, as there has been a marked increase in the number of dog walkers on the Commons. The Conservators are setting up a Friends of Wimbledon and Putney Commons group which is due to be launched in the autumn. The appeal to raise £20,000 for a wildlife garden had so far raised £17,000 with work likely to start during the summer.
Simon Lee announced that for the first time in a number of years the WPCC had made a small surplus of £70,000.
Upcoming events included the annual Open Meeting on June 26th.
The Chairman thanked Simon Lee for his informative and useful talk.
The Prudential Ride London event will happen on August 4 this year. Clive Hilton will be attending a meeting with the organisers to express the neighbourhood’s displeasure at the road closures.