Chairman’s Report for Year 2019-2020

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To All Members of Fetcham Residents Association

I would like to welcome you all to an abbreviated version of our AGM this year which will highlight those principle topics that I undertook to review when I took over as Chairman from my predecessor, Susanne Taylor, in April 2019. They were as follows:

1. Our Governance, and in particular the Association’s website and our Communications, both within the committee and with you together with our Membership initiatives. Our two Vice Chairmen, Richard Bradfield and Ian Anderson, together with our local IT firm Tekmate, have re-vamped all aspects of the website to make it both very informative and user-friendly. This upgrade has greatly improved our communication with our members and with the local community as a whole and updates on the website and social media are being posted on a daily basis. Ian Anderson and Richard Bradfield have provided more detailed information on both Communications and Planning respectively in separate reports to you.

2. Membership.

Following the last AGM, Sue Joyce took over the mantle of Membership Secretary and to date has doubled our membership numbers during the past twelve months. Thank you Sue for all your efforts.

Our objective is to achieve membership of at least 50% of the residents of Fetcham.  The monies raised will help us give more support to projects and causes in the village.  It remains the case however that membership levels are quite low in several roads, so Sue has re-instigated Road Stewards to help raise our profile and win new members.

3. The Committee

During the last twelve months we have been delighted to welcome new members namely:

Dan Phillips, who will work closely with Sue Joyce and Ian Anderson to link all aspects of Social Media with our website.

Patrick Bisgood, who is now our Norbury Park Liaison member who dovetails also with Richard Bradfield and Martin David on Planning and Highways.

Kate Pocock has had to stand down as Secretary for maternity reasons and I would like a volunteer to step forward from our Membership to assume this post, which today is seen as a co-ordinator’s role.

I would like to record my grateful thanks to all the committee for their support during the past twelve months and appropriately to name them with their responsibilities:

Vice Chairman-Richard Bradfield- our lead on all matters relating to planning.

Vice Chairman-Ian Anderson-our Communications and Newsletter editor

Sue Joyce-Membership Secretary

Sara Gyngell-Village Events

Betty Williams-Tree Steward-Maintenance of Verges in Fetcham

Patrick Bisgood-Norbury Park Liaison and assists on Planning in respect of Tree applications.

Patty Harrison-All matters environmental and the Litter Pick organiser.

Mark Robinson-Look after the content of our Noticeboards.

Sylvia Oliver/Margaret Clarke-Brighter Fetcham-Ensures that the Planters are maintained in the Village.

Phyllis Avory-our Minute Secretary.

Dan Phillips-Newly joined committee member who ensures that Social media is linked to the important contents on the website.

James Fairclough-Our Honorary Solicitor.

Alan Pooley-Our long serving Treasurer in excess of 25 years who is retiring and handing over to Tony Rozier at this AGM.

Linda Tippelt - Chairman of Fetcham and Leatherhead Flood Action Group.

Caroline Cardew-Smith-Founder of the Friends of the River Mole and our local representative within thee Leatherhead and District Countryside Protection Society.

Martin David - All matters that relate to Highways.

Our Surrey and District Councillors have attended the majority of our monthly meetings and our President Tim Hall -Surrey County Councillor gives good advice on many issues that affect the Local Community.

4. The past 12 months

A. The Association has been very active (together with our neighbouring residents’ associations) in highlighting the serious flaws contained in Mole Valley Council’s Draft Local Plan. This is the blueprint document for planning matters in our area for the next 15 years, so it’s vital that we influence the process and protect Fetcham’s interests as far as possible.

We submitted a detailed written response to the Council, and organised a public meeting on March 1st in the Village Hall.  Key decision making figures from the Council were present and went away in no doubt as to the strength of feeling against some of the proposals.

In particular, the Local Plan process has highlighted the concern in the community that the undeveloped land at Fetcham Springs, between Cobham Road and the railway line, is protected and enhanced for the public good.  The FRA is now committed to doing all it can to support these efforts.

The Association is also deeply concerned at the weight of development planned for the north of the district, much of it on Green Belt land, which will severely impact our already stretched infrastructure.

The revised Draft Plan is expected later this year, and we will continue to monitor the process closely.  All this work has been in addition to the ongoing monitoring of all planning applications as they arise. 

B. I am pleased to see the progress at the Molebridge GP practice in Cannonside, which was taken over by new partners last summer.  The Practice now enjoys the financial backing of the Epsom Hospital Trust, and the Cannonside surgery has been refurbished.

C. I am delighted (as mentioned above) with the progress undertaken on our Membership subscriptions, and the action taken on our website.  We were also pleased once again to host a Christmas event in the village, and I would like to thank our traders for their support.

D. We have been lobbying continually on the state of our roads in Fetcham, and with our Councillors, achieved the speed zoning in Bell and School Lanes with associated bumps to slow traffic flows, thereby protecting our children from potential accidents.

E. The failure of developers to make progress on rebuilding the Tudor Motors site continues to be a drag on the trading prospects in the village.  We will continue to lobby the council and the owners of the site for a resolution.

6. Covid-19

There has been an amazing community response to the crisis caused by this disease and we are doing our best to play our part. We are using our website to update our residents on help and services available locally, including the services being offered by our village traders.

We have also been delighted to make cash donations to the local volunteer help group Community Coronavirus Care, and to Mid Surrey Community Fridges.   We are continuing to hold our monthly committee meetings, but have moved them online.

5. The next twelve months.

In these challenging times we require more input to our existing committee structure. I have mentioned above the requirement of a Co-ordinator/Secretary to assist with the internal and external communications. That person should have good computer and digital skills and to assist with the collation of the bi-annual Newsletter.

I expect for the foreseeable future to continue with Zoom committee meetings and the committee needs your help to communicate effectively with ALL our Fetcham residents.

Meanwhile we will continue to push forward with our priorities of growing our membership, and making sure that our voice is heard on the matters that affect our quality of life, such as planning, roads and health.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity of thanking every member of the Committee for their support and ideas and I look forward to representing our Community in the future.

Keep safe and well.

Tim Waller

Chairman

Fetcham Residents Association

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