Great Langborough Residents’ Association

 

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The Salvation Army Hall, Sturges Road

12th June 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

Attendees

Committee members:

Pat Smith Chairman; Andrew Pearce Treasurer; Robin Cops Secretary; Phil Lawman, Anita McPhilimey, David Nash, Phillip Robinson

Residents:

 

Lucy Allen

Claire Cohen

Patrick Hopkinson

Bob Newman

Sydney Treadgold

Barbara Young

Wayne Barron

Nigel De Souza

Paul Jacques

Chris O’Donnell

Chris Singleton

Rory Young

Daphne Burlton

Paul Frost

Gordon Jones

Richard Pavitt

Johan Vries

 

Mel Burlton

Stanley Harris

Colm Lennon

Caroline Perkins

Marcelle Williams

 

Henry Butterfield

Margaret Henda

Pat McIntyre

Nick Ravinet

Adrian Williams

 

Frank Clisby

T. Holdstock

Stuart Mitchell

Sophie Scott

Melanie Williams

 

Mildred Clisby

Helen Hopkinson

Una Murray-Wood

Malcolm Smith

Bob Wyatt

 

 


Guest Speakers:

Councillor Keith Baker, Executive Member for Planning and Highways, Wokingham Borough Council

Jan Nowecki, Town Clerk, Wokingham Town Council

Apologies:

Gwen Garrod, George Haigh, Terry O’Donnell, Barbara & Barry Thompson

Introduction:

Pat Smith opened the meeting and welcomed residents and guests.  She introduced Jan Nowecki and Keith Baker.  She explained that their sections would precede a standard Association AGM format.

Jan Nowecki: Travellers on Langborough Recreation Ground

 Jan reported on the successful removal of travellers from Langborough Recreation Ground.  They had arrived on 4th June and left on Sunday 9th June.

She said that the distribution of emails by GLRA to residents had improved communication to residents and had enhanced the inflow of useful intelligence.

Wokingham Town Council had worked with the Borough Council and Thames Valley Police to move the travellers.  They had migrated to Elms Field, but she believed that they had now vacated that site.

The Town Council was planning to improve barriers to unauthorised vehicles entering the park.  The short term plan was to install more wooden posts and a small amount of fencing on the NE corner.  Jan invited suggestions from the meeting as to what longer term barriers should be considered.

Gordon Jones posed the danger of wooden posts being attacked with chain saws.  Caroline Perkins recommended cast iron posts.  Chris O’Donnell questioned the effectiveness of wooden posts. Philip Robinson remarked that even steel posts in Molly Millars Lane had been cut off in the past. 

Keith Baker informed the meeting that he was the Borough Councillor with responsibility for gypsy and traveller liaison.  Any intentional damage or a presence in excess of 6 vehicles would enable measures under Section 61 (of The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994) to be taken by the police to remove travellers in 24 hours.

Jan Nowecki asked for a show of hands in favour of cast iron posts.  About 10 people indicated their support for this.

Jan concluded by thanking residents for their support and notes of appreciation.

Keith Baker: South Wokingham Strategic Development Location

Progress Report

Developers, said Keith, have to take measures to mitigate the effects of additional road and junction loading that is caused by the extra population in their dwellings.

However, the local authorities have to demonstrate convincingly that the effects are likely to have an unacceptable impact.  This is especially important when a plan goes to appeal.

This has justified the acquisition of an advanced traffic simulation model by Wokingham BC.  In addition, they have employed specialist in-house consultants.  They have also carried out extensive traffic surveys to provide higher quality data.  The model simulates traffic over a wide area because of the effects of developments outside Wokingham BC territory.

A study is being carried out to predict problem roads and junctions in each SDL.  This will enable the council to demand appropriate road and junction provision and design. (This power excludes Buckhurst Farm, where the planning permissions are in place.)

Such a study is in progress in the Southern SDL south of the Reading Waterloo railway.  The study report will complete around the end of June/early July 2013.

For more details refer to Keith’s slides on See the link to Keith’s slides at ……..

There were a number of questions for Keith Baker (KB): -

Andrew Pearce: Has the purpose of the road been defined; is it a distribution road or a bypass?

KB: It is intended to fill both requirements. It will be a 30 miles per hour capacity road.

Pat Smith: Is the 30 mph limit decided?

KB: Yes

Colm Lennon: Will the road be funded and built in one piece before houses or as development proceeds?

KB: Developers will not pay up front for a complete road.  Wokingham BC is to attempt to obtain a government loan for the funding of a pre-development road.

Colm Lennon: Would WBC borrow the necessary sum and repay gradually through S.106 contributions?

KB: The cost of finance for such a large loan could be an inhibitor.  For the general provision of infrastructure (e.g. schools) there will be the usual schedule of trigger points for S.106 contributions.

At some future time, Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) will replace the S.106 scheme. 

Bob Newman: What is the validity of the plan to close the Waterloo Road level crossing?

KB: The major consideration is safety.  There is an opportunity to consider closing the crossing.  However, there will be extensive consultation on the subject.

Caroline Perkins: What measures are being considered to eliminate major “pinch points” that cause congestion? Is the possibility of opening through Woosehill Lane still under consideration?

KB: Woosehill Lane as a through route is not now possible because of the houses that have been built.  WBC highways engineers will negotiate a number of improvements as appropriate with developers.

Phil Lawman: What are the 3 optional routes for the Southern Distributor road?

KB: Not in a position to answer that before release of the study report around the end of June/early July 2013.

Robin Cops: It appears from some planning estimates that there is an assumption that many pupils from the Southern SDL will walk or cycle to school.  Could KB initiate a review of this assumption, which seems unrealistic?

KB: Thanks for the information. He will look into it.

Annual General Meeting Business  

Pat Smith summarised the Chairman’s newsletter, which is available on the www.glra.org.uk web site.

She also directed the meeting to the site for the 2012 Chairman’s newsletter, the 2012 AGM Minutes, the 2012 Treasurer’s Report and various reports on the Town Centre and South Wokingham SDL Forums from the past year.

She mentioned that the Town Centre plan appeared to have slipped by about a year.  Early phases will include Peach Street residential development, the station and slip road construction followed by Elms Field.

She recommended that residents submit comments to the formal consultations during the statutory periods.  The members of the Town Centre Forum had been disappointed that their workshop recommendations had not been taken into account, as they had not been repeated as input to the consultation.

She was surprised to find that, on the occasion that she visited the Public Realm forum, she was the only non councillor present.

Chris Singleton made the meeting aware that he is on the regeneration working party and was thus a local councillor contact.

Election of Committee and Officers

George Haig was not offering himself for re-election.  All other committee members had indicated their willingness to serve another year.  Robin Cops was standing down as Secretary; David Nash had offered to take on this role.

Marcelle Williams proposed that the Committee and Officers should be re-elected en bloc.  Sophie Scott seconded and the motion was passed.

Treasurer’s Report

Andrew Pearce gave the main features of his report to be available on www.glra.org.uk He reminded the meeting that, in the absence of an annual membership levy, voluntary contributions were needed to support the ongoing activities of the Association. The AGM alone costs about £80 to arrange.

Note: There was an exit collection which raised less than £50.  Other contributions would be gratefully received.

As “web master” for the Association, Andrew asked how many of the residents at the meeting had used www.glra.org.uk – only a small number indicated that they had. Pat Smith asked for a show of hands to indicate that the website would be valued and should continue given the cost. This was agreed.

David Nash took an action to put the South Wokingham SDL Forum dates on the site, as these are public meetings.  He would also provide links to the Public Realm Exhibition illustrative panels.

Any Other Business

1.             Gordon Jones raised an issue of the danger of crossing Langborough Road at the exit from Howard Road.  He was of the opinion that many drivers accelerated out of the Langborough Road chicane.

KB recommended that Gordon Jones should raise this concern through ward councillors, copy himself.  They would then progress the matter through Wokingham BC officers.

Pat Smith added that there were other areas that raised similar concerns.  There was very little police and zero warden presence. What were the options for residents who had concerns?

KB answered as follows:

·                      Report parking obstruction to Thames Valley Police via the non-emergency 101 number.

·                      When there general speeding complaints, the measures are to gather data by road sensor, analyse them, present the evidence to the police.  An average of 30 mph ± 5 mph was considered as “acceptable” in a 30 mph limit area.

·                      Accident statistics from those reported to the police were also important.

 

2.             Colm Lennon: Is the traffic model being used to study areas outside those immediately impacted by the SDLs?

KB: Yes. For example, it is being used to study the impact of 2-way traffic in Rectory Road and other traffic congestion issues.  In the case of Langborough Road, KB was not sure of the current situation.  He directed future resident queries to WBC Cllr. Chris Singleton, recently appointed as Deputy Executive with responsibility for congestion.

3.             Colm Lennon: Are air pollution levels being monitored?

KB: Yes. There are a number of air quality monitoring boxes are moved around to measure this.

4.             Phil Frost remarked that residents have a duty to monitor their own speed.  They should remember that, if they stick to the limits, drivers following are also forced to stay at the same speed.

5.             Phil Lawman asked which organisation decides on pedestrian crossings.

KB: The Highways Department of Wokingham BC.  Signalised crossings cost from about £50,000 to £100,000; without signals – around £30,000.  Residents should address requests for crossing provision to the Highways Department or through the ward councillors.

6.             Caroline Perkins thanked Phil Lawman for alerting residents to the original plans for the Langborough Recreation Ground play area.

7.             Dangers to pedestrians crossing Langborough Road at the Fairview junction: At least ten residents supported Phil Lawman's request for the council to review the possibility of putting a pedestrian crossing at a suitable point near to this junction. 

ACTION: This request should now be put to Ward councillors for them to request support from Keith Baker.

The meeting closed at 9:15 p.m.