Press: Ashtead & Leatherhead Local

Summary:

In this months article, a Committee member writes about:

  • the Expansion of the LRA
  • The Leatherhead Conservation Areas
  • Neighbourhood Watch


The Leatherhead Residents Association (LRA)

As a residents’ association the LRA could be described as the ‘New Kids on the Block.’ Although we know that many of our members have been actively working for the betterment of Leatherhead for very many years, we are aware that we are in our early stages of development as a residents’ association. Luckily we are surrounded by some of the best and most active residents’ association in the country. Ashtead, Bookham and Fetcham have reason to be proud of their excellence in serving their members. We have made no secret of the fact that we have looked to emulate these wonderful groups. When asked, our neighbours have freely shared their experience and advice. By studying the constitutions of these groups we learned that simplicity was the key. Although our own constitution is modeled more closely to a constitution with links to the Civic Trust, it is streamlined like that of our neighbours. The large memberships of each of the local residents associations is enviable. Our membership committee is mainly based on the road steward system of Bookham. We know that hard work by a dedicated team of volunteers is a major factor in achieving large numbers. Paula Sabine has organised our most recent membership drive that resulted in thousands or membership forms and newsletters being distributed in a matter of days. This was done by our own dedicated team of volunteers. As we continue to aspire to the strength and large membership of other local residents’ associations we are encouraged as Leatherhead residents continue to join weekly. A cordial welcome to our new members who are invited to our open meetings at the Letherhead Institute on the first Monday of every month at 7 p.m.

Neighbourhood Watch and LRA work together

We think our members will be very happy to hear that we are forging a close link with
Neighbourhood Watch. Both Neighbourhood Watch and the LRA have common goals of making Leatherhead a safer and better place to live. With common aims it makes sense to share the leg work as well. To this end Alan Berridge, the MVDC Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator, and our own road stewards and volunteers have leafleted selected streets that have proven more difficult to reach. Neighbourhood Watch needs volunteers to drop police reports on crime and safety into the letters boxes of their neighbours once a month. There is no financial obligation. The LRA needs a large, active membership. With our very affordable subscription fee (£2 annually or £5 for 3 years) this provides for an inexpensive team working to communicate with all and being there when a helping hand is required.
We look forward to Alan Berridge’s campaign to bring ‘NO COLD CALLING’ to Leatherhead. Some of us were disappointed when Leatherhead was not included in the last campaign which brought Ashtead, Bookham and Fetcham on board. In the new year we will be hearing more about this campaign that is closely linked with Trading Standards.

Conservation Area Appraisal

About 3 years ago the Leatherhead Society Committee (now incorporated as the LRA) had the opportunity to meet with the Head of Planning of the MVDC. Planning Committee Member, Richard Eckersley, boldly ask if Leatherhead could have a Conservation Area Appraisal. At that time, we were told that such a study was not forthcoming. Well things change and how wise Richard was to foresee such a need. The LRA has recently been asked to comment on the appraisal format. The MVDC has commissioned consultants, Forum Heritage Services, to draft the conservation area appraisal and a management plan for the Leatherhead Conservation Area. All those people who live or work in the Leatherhead Conservation Area will be ask to fill in a questionnaire. Completed questionnaires should be returned by Monday the 14th of December. They can be posted to the Council or returned to the Help Shop at 25-29 High Street, Leatherhead.

Best wishes for a happy and peaceful holiday season. Submitted by Cheryl Allen

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