Minutes of Meeting for the 2022 AGM

held on Monday 16th October 2023 at 7.30pm
at the Methodist Church, Church Road, Leatherhead

1. Present: Caroline Brown, Martyn Williams, Ray Brown, Louise Herrity, Paula Sabine, David Stoves, Fran Smith, Paula Sabine, Julia Jarrett, John Holton, Sarah Buttery, Hilary Porter, Daphne Vallins, Jenny Christie, Tony Russell, Jenny Day, Audrey Cleeve, Jane Pratt, Lesley Pearce Maureen Conrad, Margaret Sims, David Brett, Mike Herrity, Carol Webster, Tim Caffell, Alison Houslander, Steve Barrow, Nigel Sabine, Chris Goddard, David Slater, Anna Graham, Nathan Andrews, Cathy Anderson, Geoffrey West, Cllr Bridget Kendrick, Cllr Tim Hall, guest speaker Robert Edmundson.

2. Minutes Silence: The Chairman asked for a minute’s silence in remembrance of LRA member, Pam Wilson, who had died about 2 weeks previously after a painful illness. She would always be remembered for being full of energy and ideas, especially for the LRA.

3. Apologies Received From: Mrs. G. Hack, Mr. Ronald Buttery, Mr. Paul Sutherland-Waite and Mrs. Lesley Pearce

4. Approval of the Minutes from the last AGM dated 17th October 2022:

Had been posted on the LRA’s website for many months and no objections were raised. Ballot papers were then distributed throughout to all attendees, with item 1 addressed accordingly.

5. Matters Arising:

The Chairman briefly mentioned the status of 2 items associated with last year’s AGM, that the High Street seemed much better maintained these days and that the Town Clock has proved harder to get mended than anticipated, but otherwise no items were raised from the floor.

6. Chairman’s Report for the Year 1st January 2022 to 31st December 2022: 

The Chairman commenced her report by confirming that the somewhat belated details reflected the activities of our last financial year, but Covid had done a good job of separating our end of year from our AGM, hence some points may seem rather like ancient history!

Firstly, the Local Plan, which was drawn up by July 2022 and was then presented for discussion by the Autumn of 2022. However, before the Inspector could make her decisions known regarding certain aspects and in particular the use of Green Belt land, the Government, represented by Mr. Gove, decided to reconsider the loss of the Green Belt. So our Local Plan and that of many other Authorities is now in limbo awaiting further direction.

In terms of development of our Leatherhead town, the original chosen developer for Claire and James House has decided not to go ahead and so it remains as it is now. Just recently a new company, ME, had been engaged and we should be hearing more quite shortly. The improvement of the land adjacent and all along the riverside path is going to be upgraded by Messrs. Allen Scott.

For the largest and most significant change in the town of Leatherhead, known as “Bull Hill” and “the Swan Centre”, we were told in May 2022 that the well-known firm “Kier” has been approved by Mole Valley but, as yet, no details have been released. It is an 8 to 10 year development, so we will be in for a long haul.

While still considering the buildings and structural make-up of Leatherhead, our Chairman and, indeed, others too found it painful to witness the deterioration of the Santander building in its prominent position in the town centre as it falls victim to all the elements. It was noted that it has Planning Permission to create 3 flats above the ground floor, but with large parts of the roof missing, its ancient floorboards stand little chance of survival after two years of rainfall.   This sad state of neglect in our area is, unfortunately, not the only one because last year we also learned of the sewage release happening in the River Mole on a regular basis. But since then, news has surfaced that many other rivers the length and breadth of our country have suffered the same fate. The accumulation of this knowledge is at last coming to the Government’s notice and we here in Leatherhead had been invited to attend a programme called “What’s Stopping Us Stopping Change” on 28th September. River watching is continuing in Mole Valley and throughout the country, with a dedicated group in Fetcham called FoRML.

Several smaller but useful changes have occurred: Leatherhead now has a total of six ward Councillors who share the difficult task of achieving local objectives. Our Chairman stated how she admired them all, for stepping up and accepting such proposals and then trying to have them implemented!

Last year also saw the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and how we, in the LRA, were able raise some funds to help refugees. A stall had been set up in the town and furnished largely by goods supplied by Hilary Porter, rescued over the years with some such good cause in mind.

Another successful venture, this time initiated by Mole Valley district council, had seen help and advice being made available to new Retail Managers, the “classroom” for which is the former Next Shop in the town. A variety of art work and crafts all produced by skilled workers is quite amazing, but the upstairs was not to be forgotten either, being unexpectedly spacious and the goods are many and varied.

The Chairman expressed the feeling that one of the joys of living in this part of the world, and in Leatherhead in particular, is the sheer variety of other local activities to look at or partake in:  Mole Valley has drawn up a list of 24 lovely walks and Heritage Week opens up doors, normally closed, to the general public. Early booking is often essential and now Arts Alive performances are in full swing.   The full list of offerings can be found at Google <Arts Alive> and many of the activities are both free and open to audience participation.

The biggest and most serious item on the current agenda, as far as our town is concerned, is the proposed development on Headley Road east, on the far side of A243. This is not just a small collection of houses, but instead a very large estate badly placed in the Green Belt, on the far side of an open and exceedingly busy road with no local amenities like shops, surgeries, schools etc.   The LRA are currently working with other local groups to get this Application dismissed.

To end on a positive note, the Chairman informed the meeting that Cllr Keira Vyvyan-Robinson had suggested that the LRA put in a bid to have a Mural painted on the brick structure (the ‘tool house’) on Station Road, next to the half dozen free parking places. It will probably have a large swan on it somewhere and should improve that rather messy and overgrown area. The Chairman did point out that when builders Kier get going it might have to come down again, but Kier’s work is, apparently, going to last 8-10 years so it will have a reasonable life span!

Also, the Community Hub is thriving and ideas are being assembled to deal with the perennial Roundabout problem nearby. It does seem like other hopes and objectives, such as stylish Planters in the High Street and the Banking Hub, will just have to wait a bit longer.

Finally, the Chairman reminded attendees that the Statement of Accounts, pertaining to this AGM, had been dealt with at the August meeting and so will not feature further at this time.

The Chairman then made way for Cllr Tim Hall to independently conduct Voting items from the Agenda.

7. Voting matters including election and re-election of Directors:

In the process of handing over to Cllr Hall, our Chairman addressed the floor by stating how pleased she was that all existing directors had agreed to serve for another term, if elected, and that we also have Hilary Porter and Tony Russell offering themselves for election as new Directors.

If elected, Hilary would retain her interests in Health problems generally in our town and will also continue with the Access group and report back on any significant changes that she hears about.   She would also continue with designing her excellent posters and using the barrow in the Swan Centre prior to special meetings to alert both members and non- members.

Tony is to continue to let us know about serious traffic accidents and problems, keeping us abreast of any further changes in medical provisions within our area. This is very likely to involve the Ashlea Practice at Linden House, although we were unlikely to hear more until Transform Leatherhead makes its official appearance! This same document is likely to include changes in our roads layout and Tony will study it and then bring the results to our notice.

The full list of voting matters were confirmed as:-

Resolution 1: Adoption of the last AGM minutes
Resolution 2-4:  re-election of Paula Sabine, Fran Barnby-Smith and Louise Herrity
Resolution 5:- re-election of Martyn Williams
Resolution 6:- election of Hilary Porter
Resolution 7:- election of Tony Russell

Cllr Hall then went onto the floor in the collection of voting forms, followed by the count, the results of which are given towards the end of this meeting, within section 9 of these Minutes.

The Chairman then gave a warm welcome in the introduction of our guest speaker.

8. Guest Speaker: Mr. Robert Edmundson, with a presentation in respect to Local Flora and Photography:

Robert opened his talk by stating that all wild plant and flower varieties in his presentation were taken within 3 or 4 miles of Leatherhead. These were:-

Cowslips – related to primroses, found early in the year and referenced by Darwin for cross – pollination
Rosebay Willowherb – (fireweed) – tall spikes of pink flowers found on roadsides and riverbanks
Bluebells – some found with white flowers, taken on Ranmore. Not to be confused with the invasive Spanish bluebell
Dandelion clock – recommend taking the pictures into the sun!
Celandine – (stinking hellebore) is also part of the buttercup family but is not the same plant – found on slopes on the outskirts of Dorking
Guelder rose – this has “false flowers” on its outside, to encourage pollination of the small inside flowers
Wild carrot – (very common in the area) has one dark flower in the centre of the white flower
Toadflax – with yellow flowers like snapdragons, and found growing in meadows, roadsides and open grassy places
Yellow Rattle – (the conservationist friend) to be planted where invasive plants are a problem
Ribwort Plantain – grows on roadsides and meadows
Teasel – on local hillsides (guides insects with “lines”)
Rose of Sharon – attractive, but is actually non-British and an invasive species
Deadly Nightshade – beautiful flower but poisonous
Alkanet – quite attractive with red buds opening into blue flowers
Greater Bindweed – beautiful white trumpets but very invasive!
Wood Anemone – a very common ground cover plant
Sweet Woodruff – delicate and common
Greater Stitchwort – commonly found close to bluebell woods
Early Purple Orchid – often grows between bluebells
Pyramidal Orchid – purple in colour
Common Spotted Orchid – pale pink, almost white
Bee Orchid – very colourful
Musk Orchid – strong smell of honey, but only when close
Ivy-leaved Toadflax – found on walls around Dorking and Leatherhead, but from Italy
Eyebright – small white or lilac flowers
Corn Salad – grows as a weed but is also cultivated as a salad crop known as lamb’s lettuce
Spindle Tree – small, but beautiful red/orange flowers
Common Vetch – attracts ants and they work together to repel harmful insects
Robert recommended The Collins Book of Wild Flowers for anyone interested in learning more.

9. A.O.B. and Closing Address by the Chairman: 

Our Chairman gave a vote of thanks to Robert Edmundson on behalf of meeting, with our great appreciation being shown in the usual manner.

Our Chairman then provided a closing address under A.O.B. raising a number of items, as follows:-

Two members, Anna Graham and Carol Webster, had volunteered to perform other tasks.

Anna, like Tony, is to keep a watchful eye on our local environment, including some roads, but this will also include our Public Gardens, particularly concentrating on the “green” areas in Leatherhead, like the Mansion Gardens and other public areas. Carol has nobly volunteered to overhaul our website and to get rid of inaccurate or outdated material, and has already started with the Bulletins, putting them in chronological order.

The Local Plan, which, of course, is delayed because of the Government’s announcement in December 2022, has still not been formalised. Hence our undefined housing targets make Mole Valley an attractive proposition for speculative builders and developers, a position probably reinforced by the Labour party speech at their October Conference. The Appellants in the Headley Road Appeal fall into this category, although this was not quite finished and results are unlikely to appear before Christmas.

Another long drawn-out battle is that of the Plough Roundabout, where it is agreed that it should present a well maintained, attractive entrance to Leatherhead, rather than just a stretch of grass very occasionally tended. But even when money is offered by Mole Valley, along with muscle to maintain it, Surrey County Council will not then permit anyone to work there, because of the risk!

Undaunted, we are to try one more solution, namely to offer our grant money to the Groundsmen of Surrey County Council, namely ‘AC Verde’, to get the work done through them. It is hoped that they have the imagination and sufficiently high standards to successfully complete this task.

Our Chairman mentioned how the Mole Valley area is extremely active at this time of year, with Heritage Open Days in September and now a whole month of Arts Alive, so we are not short of things to do! A talk next Saturday 21 October at 11 a.m. was highlighted at the Institute and called “A Celebration of Ukrainian Heritage”. Flyers had been placed on chairs throughout the meeting room in support of this event.

Reference was also made to another event, this time in St. John’s School from 21st to the 28th October (from 10-4pm) is the Autumn Exhibition of the Leatherhead Art Club, where free admission and parking is on offer.

Finally, the Chairman confirmed that the LRA will be holding our next official Litter Pick on Sunday, 29th October starting at 2 p.m. and finishing at 4 p.m. The starting point is the car park opposite the Station as usual and you can either pick up a bag and gloves etc. there (then start on whatever is your chosen area) or alternatively just drop off a bag that you have filled earlier in the week.   Julia will be there with bags and pickers.   All borrowed equipment must be returned.

Cllr Hall returned to the podium, to provide the voting count and confirm that all Resolutions had been unanimously carried. The Chairman welcomed all re-elected and new Directors, looking forward with working with them all in the months ahead.

The Chairman called for any other items of A.O.B. – whilst at the same time pointing out that 2 further Flyers had been placed on the chairs throughout the room. These related to:- The MVDC “Have we got it right?” consultation on their draft Council Strategy, running from 25th September to 5th November 2023, and The “Royal Coat of Arms” Conservation programme running at St Mary’s Church, Fetcham.

David Slater stepped up to the podium at the invitation of our Chairman and spoke briefly on this latter subject of the “Royal Coat of Arms” Conservation programme, explaining that it was affixed to the church wall, dated back to 1660 and marked the accession/restoration of our Monarchy. A request for donations was made, by either cash, QR code (on the Flyer) or directly to the Treasurer at Fetcham Parish.

Sarah Buttery, a resident of Beech Holt, Fortyfoot Road, then took to the podium to highlight local traffic and parking problems being experienced in the area, including the blocking of pavements, where the disabled and the blind were being particularly disadvantaged to the point of being house-bound.   Should the need of a Fire Engine ever arise, it was considered unlikely that it would be able to reach the event! In addition, noise levels on the nearby A24 in Leatherhead now had an assigned Action Group and a petition was in the process of being raised, so the future support of the LRA in such local issues was requested.

Finally, Tony Russell wished to acknowledge the wonderful contribution of our Chairman, where great appreciation from all those present was shown towards Caroline Brown.

The meeting closed at 9.05pm.

End of November 2023 Bulletin

Dear Member(s),

I hope this Bulletin finds you warm and in good (or reasonably good!) health.   I keep expecting to see a white lawn in the morning, but so far, so good!   

You will be aware of Gatwick Airport Limited’s (GAL) application to bring the existing emergency runway into regular use.  Mole Valley Council has submitted their views on this and has, therefore, secured their future involvement in this process.  There are wide ranging concerns about this proposal, and they will be addressed at a public examination likely to be held early next year.

Still on the Planning front, I have heard within the last week that it seems highly likely that the Planning Inspector will announce his decision in respect of the proposed residential development on Headley Road (east) by the end of this month.   Assuming that is the case, I will let you all know in the next Bulletin.

Another item of general interest is that of the Railway Ticket Offices.   I am pleased to report that, as a result of the public outcry, Train Operators have withdrawn their proposals to close all ticket offices across England and that would, of course, include Bookham, Ashtead, Dorking and Leatherhead.

Some Residents will be relieved to hear that the Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO) have been extended for another three years.   These orders help to deal with low-level anti-social behaviour including alcohol consumption and dog fouling. 

I am also informed that our council has been making strong efforts to press Royal Mail to return postal service levels to normal for residents of Dorking and Leatherhead.    An answer is expected any day soon. Meanwhile, I would like to remind you of the seasonal entertainment available on our doorstep: Robin Hood is being staged in the Leatherhead Theatre and Snow White in Dorking Halls.   Appealing perhaps to a different audience, our local “Moodswingjazz” group has hired the Mezz Bar in the Leatherhead Theatre on Tuesday, 5th December and have a special guest, Stacey Dawson.  Stacey has played privately for Tony Blair, Barack Obama and Prince Charles.   His music degree was obtained at Guildford

and he plays in all the top London venues, including a regular slot at the Dorchester.   (Tickets are £10 which includes £1.50 towards the Theatre Restoration Fund).

Many of you will, I am sure, remember Mr. Bill King who came to talk to us last August about the very old Royal Arms painting hanging in St. Mary’s Church in Fetcham.   Efforts to raise funds for the cleaning of the painting (on wood) have now received a major boost.  The Surrey Churches Preservation Trust has given £2,000 towards the Appeal target of £10,000 which is the estimated cost of cleaning off years of dirt and varnish.  Local people have also donated around £1,700.   And for those who missed the talk, a little of the background history: This large picture of King Charles II’s Royal Arms is dated 1660, the year he was restored to the English throne after more than a decade of Commonwealth rule under Oliver Cromwell.  Sadly. no records have come to light to show exactly when it was acquired by the Church.   Many people have asked how rare the painting is.   After the Restoration, churches were required to display Charles’ royal arms as a symbol of supremacy over the Church of England.   But the practice died out as royal arms changed and only one or two similar pictures have been located.

Returning to the subject of the L.R.A. and our next meeting, I am pleased to be able to tell you that this will be on Monday, 15th January 2024 at 7.30pm, in the Leatherhead Methodist Church.   One of our new Directors, Tony Russell, has bravely offered to organise a quiz and there will be prizes!

So, with that I will now thank all my Directors – old and new – and wish you all a very happy Christmas. 

With all best wishes for next year,

Caroline Brown (Chairman).

*Further donations would be much appreciated.   “St. Mary’s Fetcham Parochial Church Council.”   Sort code:  20 29 90   A/c no. 00774715, and ref. “Royal Arms.”

End of October 2023 Bulletin

Dear Members,

It was good to see so many at our meeting on Monday, 16th October.  I do realise that sorting out the intricacies of a Limited Company are not compelling reading or listening, but the more care we take with our outward appearance, the more seriously we will be taken by the powers that be.

Two new Directors were voted in at the meeting:  Hilary Porter and Tony Russell.  Hilary will retain her interest in Health problems generally in our town, will continue with the Access Group and report back on any significant changes that she hears about.  She will also continue with designing her excellent posters and using the barrow in the Swan Centre prior to Open Meeting so as to alert both members and non-members.

Tony will continue to let us know about serious traffic accidents and problems and will keep us abreast of any further changes in medical provision in our area.  This is very likely to involve the Ashlea Practice in Linden House, but we are unlikely to hear more until Transform Leatherhead makes its official appearance.  This same document is likely to include changes in our road layout and Tony will study it carefully and bring the results to our notice.

Talking of which, new Director Tony Russell has been looking into the unsafe situation in Forty Foot Road caused by the traffic going to and from the school but also from the Mid-Surrey Mencap.  He was shocked at what he saw which was a total disregard for normal rules regarding where and how to park.  It is hoped that by requesting a Fire Engine to attend as if to a fire, it could be shown that the road width is simply not enough for it to pass through unimpeded.

Now, an important item:  one of our members, Mrs. Julia Jarrett is organising a litter pick on Sunday, 29th October.  We, the LRA, have some equipment, and MV Waste Management Dept. is going to lend us some more.  The litter spot you personally would like to clear up needs to be decided upon now and you can then contact Julia to see when would be convenient for both of you to collect the picker, the jacket and the black plastic bag.   The equipment contains a small box of plastic gloves, but really I think that stout gardening gloves, if you have any, would be better.   Julia will be in the park between Randalls Road and Station Road between 2 pm and 4 pm on Sunday 29th October and has arranged for MV to collect the bags the next day. Mole Valley gives us £1 per (largish) black plastic bag, which in turn, enables us to sponsor other charitable events.

Julia is very anxious to know who will be supporting her efforts on the 29th. Please complete our contact form with your details and inform her whether you plan to do an “early” pick or an “on the day” pick.

Two further members have offered to help with running our LRA but not to become Directors. They are Anna Graham and Carol Webster.  Anna will keep a watchful eye on our local environment, including some roads, (a bit like Tony), but will include our Public Gardens.  She will concentrate on the “green” areas in Leatherhead, like the Mansion Gardens and other public areas.  Carol has nobly volunteered to overhaul our website and to get rid of inaccurate or outdated material.  She has already started with the Bulletins, putting them in chronological order.  I am hoping to meet up with her soon so as to get other areas sorted out.

This time last year, the hot topic was the new Local Plan.  But, as many of you will remember, this plan was halted in its progress by Mr. Gove announcing possible changes to the regulations as to how many houses councils must provide where this might involve encroaching into protected land, such as the Green Belt. This prompted MV to pause consideration of their draft Plan by the Inspector.  Unfortunately, Mr Gove has yet to confirm the anticipated changes and this has left MV without an up-to-date Plan, which makes MV an attractive proposition for speculative builders and developers.  The Appellants in the Headley Road Appeal fall into this category.   After a Hearing of two weeks in length, the Inspector has now left Pippbrook and will be considering all the evidence presented to him. We are unlikely to hear his decision before Christmas.

I do hope many of you will take advantage of the invitations being offered through the “Arts Alive” month of October.   One event particularly easy to access is the Exhibition put on by the Leatherhead Art Club in the old Chapel of St. John’s school.  This starts on 21st October and lasts until the 28th (10 am till 4 pm).  Conveniently, there is free admission and free parking.

And now for a small bit of really good news – just right to finish with:  one member has been complaining bitterly about the state of the pavements along Poplar Road and part of Forty Foot Road. The bushes alongside had become so overgrown that they covered the pavement, and one tree stump completely blocked any wheeled vehicle from using the pavement in that area.  Now both the Surrey Roads management team and NHS Property have looked into it.  The bushes are now cut back and revealed the fence in its state of disrepair which the NHS Property group plan to mend!

Finally, fans of Greggs donuts and sandwiches will be happy to learn that the whole of the current business is moving into the ground floor of Santander and will be opening up in the new year.

With best wishes to you all,

Caroline (Brown).

End of June 2021 Bulletin

L.R.A. Bulletin for the end of June 2021

Dear Member(s),

I hope you are well (or reasonably so!) and I am sure you have your eyes firmly fixed on July 19th in the hope that this does not prove to be another false dawn.

Mole Valley District Council has informed me of several initiatives, some of which I feel may be of interest to you:

1. Tickets are now on sale (via internet or phone) for The Mole Valley Community Lottery.   This weekly online lottery raises money for good causes and green initiatives in the District.     Players have a chance of winning a £25,000 jackpot each week.    Tickets start at £1 and the draw is held weekly on a Saturday evening, starting Saturday, 24 July.   Other prizes include a Dorking Halls Family&Friends Membership and a Surrey Hills Enterprises shopping voucher.    Half of the ticket money goes to a good cause of the player’s choice and 10% goes to a fund run by the Council which benefits climate change initiatives and the Environment Fund.   To view the various “good causes” asking for help, and for further details about the Lottery, visit www.molevalleylottery.co.uk or phone 01306 310016

2. The District Council’s  “Walk for Health” group walks have resumed across our District.    This is a programme of fun, free and accessible weekly walks ideal for anyone looking to become more active and meet new people.    It can also, if advised by a doctor, assist with recovery from the long-term effects of Covid.   The walks last from 30 to 90 minutes, ideal for a wide variety of ability levels.    There are weekly walks in Leatherhead, Dorking, North Holmwood, Buckland, Brockham and Bookham.   The group is always looking for new volunteer Walk Leaders, so please get in touch if you are interested.   Training, support and equipment is provided and walks can take place anywhere in the district. during the day or evening.     For more information on the walks or to find out how to become a walk leader, visit www.molevalley.gov.uk/walkforhealth  or email wellbeing@molevalley.gov.uk or call 01306 885001

3. Mole Valley Climate Emergency’s Hub is going ahead, and in Leatherhead this will be at the former Book Potato shop, in the Swan Centre in September and October.   In a nutshell, this will be:

  • A drop-in information centre for passers-by and interested people to relax, chat and find out more about what is happening in our world.
  • Lasting for 9 weeks throughout September and October, 10-5 pm (or later, if evening meetings).   Potentially a longer term presence.
  • Each Thursday, Friday and Saturday
  • And it will have displays,  a workshop/talk area with coffee and biscuits etc.

Each week will have a theme with linked workshops, talks and activities such as plastic pollution, biodiversity, travel etc.    This is also an opportunity for you to enlarge the membership of your own group and to publicise your aims and campaigns.

And now for other news concerned with Leatherhead:

1. The application for a very tall mobile phone mast on “The Circus” roundabout off By-Pass Road, has been turned down.   We shall have to wait and see if an Appeal is submitted.

2. I am sure you will be pleased to know that the LRA made a donation to The North Leatherhead Community Hub.

3. We are organising a Litter Pick in Leatherhead on Sunday 25 July, starting at 2 p.m. and finishing in the Red House Gardens at 5.00 pm.   At the end, there will be refreshments and a chance to meet up with old friends and acquaintances.    Perhaps our regular Pickers could let me know which area they, personally, would intend to cover  and also offer a couple of suggestions as to other littered areas which new volunteers could deal with.   Our long-standing member, Dorothy Stapleton, has kindly agreed to organise the details of this, where to work and so on.

Finally, concerning the wooden planters in the High Street, some may be interested to know  that I have written to the relevant person in the District Council for some indication of their budget for the upkeep and re-planting of the planters..    So far, I have learned only that Surrey Council was responsible for the installation, but someone also needs to actually carry out their proper maintenance

Following up on my email requests to lapsed members to renew their membership, we have had some success, but there still remain many who have not renewed.   Could I, therefore, make another plea to those people to renew?   It is easily done via the LRA website by entering www.leatherheadresidents.org.uk/contact

Finally, a reminder that our next Open Meeting will be on Monday, 2nd August at 7.30 in the Methodist Church in Church Road.   Jenny Moore of B@titude and also of The Hub in North Leatherhead has kindly agreed to give us all an update on developments and hope in that area.    Should the meeting prove impossible , due to continued restrictions, I will let you know well beforehand.

With all best wishes,

Caroline Brown (Chairman) 30:6:21

Telephone:  01372 813013    email: info@leatherheadresidents.org.uk

Registered Office: Fewston, St Nicholas Hill Leatherhead

A company limited by guarantee registered in England & Wales number 10248803

End of March 2021 Bulletin

LRA Bulletin for the end of March 2021

Dear Member(s),

1. I am sure you will all be delighted to know that I had a truly excellent response to the request I made in early March for people to write in with their personal evaluation of the 7 Local Green spaces in Leatherhead.    Although it was not specifically asked for, I am sure it can have done no harm for our Councillors to hear (again) that we do not want these and one or two other sites developed and that we have not “forgotten” about them.    Unfortunately, we are unlikely to hear the result of our lobbying until July.

2. And now another item which I think will become more desirable, if not essential, as the years go by and more housing is squeezed in at the expense of our existing trees.    The company known as CGI , who occupy offices on Springfield Drive, have offered to provide, completely free of charge, a number of native trees for us (Residents of Leatherhead) to plant or have planted wherever we like, providing, of course, that their siting does not cause  a nuisance.    This, sadly, is the case with trees planted on verges as all manner of lines (telephone, electricity, computer) are located just below the surface.   I was thinking more of some spots in the 7 Local Green Spaces and on some of our school grounds. It might also be possible to put some in gardens belonging to flats, albeit they would have to be visible by the Public and  hence of benefit to the Community .    I do have the list of offered trees, but I would like to hear from some of you about where you think additional trees would look nice.   CGI offered to help with the planting, but would also expect some of us to lend a hand.

3. As I think we all know, litter has become a major problem since the start of Covid-19.    I find it difficult to believe that those dashing outside to run or walk in order to avoid putting on weight are those very same who take out cans of calorie-rich drink and bars of chocolate!   I put the blame firmly on waste bins that get too full, open topped rubbish lorries (not the Suez ones) and general sloth on the part of a minority !   One of our members has told me that he had spent three hours clearing a small patch at the end of his road!   We have had Litter Picks twice this year, but I am looking forward to the ones where we can all meet  to collect rubbish together – such a satisfactory sight – and where we finish with tea and biscuits and a chat.      Perhaps we should be grateful that none of our parks has been used for a huge and rowdy public gathering!

4. As seems to be generally well known, our revised  draft Local Plan , will be revealed in July.     We have to hope that the heaviest of the burden,  proposed in the previous draft and falling on Poors Allotments and the adjoining land (550 dwellings),  and the Red House Gardens (450) , can be substantially mitigated.    Also, according to outline documents recently made public, Bull Hill, (the road between Kingston Road, and Leret Way) remains intact and there are no plans for shops in the Red House  Gardens.   While comments on the new draft will be sought, these will merely be forwarded to the Inspector along with the Draft.    Alterations to the Draft will only be made if they are based on a legal flaw in the Draft, or are the result of the Traffic Survey.

5. At a recent meeting I attended with MV, we were told that the Council has plenty of CIL money but has not yet decided how to spend it!    (C.I.L = Community Infrastructure Levy paid by developers and intended for use by the Council to improve the quality of life around the new houses etc.)

6. A Boundary review for MV is being considered.    This would be likely to impact on the number of Councillors representing us and could result in the dead “Purdah” period only occurring every fourth year instead of yearly as at present.

7. The window boxes outside the NatWest are definitely past their prime and were not helped by that section of the pavement being closed off.     I am prepared to collect them and return them, but urgently need someone to do the job of replenishing them with something bright and cheerful.    Planting expenses are, of course, re-payable.

8. A member has complained to me about the unpredictability of some cyclists using the Swan Centre and, I would add, the High Street, too.   They seem to ride in both directions and, unfortunately, are not audible.    I did spot one notice saying that cycling in the Swan Centre was not allowed, but it was not very visible and no one enforces it.    If anyone else has a problem like this, do contact the Centre Manager, Mr. Richard Keele, or write to me.     However, I shall take a week or more to see how many people write to me before passing on any complaints.

9. Finally, and it seems a long way ahead at the moment, I am trying to collect articles for a proper Newsletter to come out in about August or September.    If you have any little story, funny or sad,  about Leatherhead (with a picture if possible), do let me have it  so it can be stored away until about July when we will start the drafting process .

10. In case you have forgotten, subscription renewals were due on 1st January (for all 1 year members and those 3 year members whose membership expired at the end of 2020)    You can pay online via our website http://www.leatherheadresidents.org.uk   Look under “Membership.”        (1yr. = £2.50;  3 yr. = £6)

Meanwhile, I wish you all a Happy Easter and hope that it wont be quite as cold as the forecasters are predicting!

With very best wishes,

Caroline Brown, (Chairman )


Notice of AGM 2020

Notice of Annual General Meeting 2020

Our Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held at the Leatherhead Methodist Church, Church Road, Leatherhead, on Monday 5th October 2020 commencing at 7.30 pm. Because of Covid-19 precautions, there will be no refreshments beforehand but as registration may take longer than normal, can we please ask that attendees arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the meeting.

Also because of the Covid-19 precautions, we are limited to a maximum of 40 attendees (including LRA officers). As we don’t wish to turn anyone away on the night, we need to agree beforehand who is to attend. Accordingly if you would like to be present, please notify the Chairman by Wednesday 23rd September via email at chairman@leatherheadresidents.org.uk or, if you do not have email, by phone on 01372-377212. (If you have already confirmed your wish in response to the Chairman’s invitation contained in her bulletin of 25th August, you do not need to notify her again) If, as seems likely, we receive more requests than we can accommodate, we will aggregate all attendance requests and then pick names out of a hat and confirm your attendance or otherwise shortly after Wednesday 23rd September. Can we please request that as attendance has to be so restricted, only one member per household applies to attend.

Attendees should also note that the Church has a number of Covid-19 rules that we must comply with, including:

  • enter the building via the main tower porch door (on right side of building when facing from road)
  • wear a mask and use the hand sanitiser provided
  • register on entry, confirm contact details and confirm you have no Covid-19 symptoms
  • sit where directed by stewards (sit from the front first)
  • windows will be open for ventilation so bring warm clothes
  • if necessary, use “disabled “ W.C. only
  • exit the building from the rear first via the “car park “door, (the door our meetings usually use)

Documents relevant to the AGM (the 2019 AGM minutes, the Chairman’s Report, The Treasurer’s Report and a Proxy Form) can all be found on the Company’s web-site (links below) or in hard copy at the Library in The Mansion House in Church Street, or in the library of the Letherhead Institute at the top of the High Street.

If you are unable to attend the AGM and would like to appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf, please note that the Form must be received at the registered office by Friday 2nd October. As whoever you might appoint to represent you may or may not have secured attendance, we suggest you appoint the Chairman to vote on your behalf in accordance with your stated wishes.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, but would like to ask a question, please send the question to the registered office (chairman@leatherheadresidents.org.uk or by post) by Friday 2nd October. It will be read out at the meeting and answered and a summary of the response will be sent to you and recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

Following the formal proceedings we are pleased to welcome as our guest speaker, Councillor Mary Huggins, Chair of Mole Valley District Council, who will recount to us some of her memories of being on the Council, from representing Capel, Leigh and Newdigate to becoming the Chair.

We regret that we will not be able to welcome as many of you as we would like to this important event in the LRA’s calendar, but the Covid -19 restrictions mean that this is the closest we can offer to a normal AGM. Indeed even these arrangements could be in question if tighter restrictions are re-imposed, but we would notify you all asap were this to happen. Assuming that does not happen we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on Monday 5th October.


  • Apologies for absence
  • Approval of the minutes of the last AGM, held on 1st April 2019
  • Matters arising
  • Re-election of directors retiring by rotation
  • Chairman’s report
  • Treasurer’s Report & Accounts for 2019
  • Any other business.

Cheryl Allen

Cheryl Allen

It is with great sorrow that I write to tell all who look at this page that the LRA has just lost one of its most energetic and imaginative members. Cheryl was so active in our ranks that she will be impossible to replace. Her ideas got the Open Gardens going, the Litter picked, the Nat West planters prepared and watered, the Newsletter written, the Race Night tickets sold and the LRA January party fed and watered. She did all this with steely determination, a colourful flair and a bright smile. Her aim was always to include as many people as possible so as to build up the strength of the Local Community here in Leatherhead. She succeeded, raised the profile of the town and sent a clear message to the Council that this is our town, we are the stakeholders and we will work to preserve it, despite the efforts of those outsiders who seek to frustrate us.
She will be sadly missed but her spirit and beauty live on whenever we hear laughter, whenever we have a sunny day and whenever we enjoy beautiful flowers.

Caroline Brown (Chairman)

Cancellation of Meetings until October

Our AGM for 2020 should be on the 6th October. In order to keep members in touch without having to go round delivering sheets, it would be appreciated if those not yet on my email list (i.e. never get any email notification from me) could let me have their online address. Use “Contact” on this site. (With thanks to those who have already given me this information). I usually send out about 8 communications a year. However, we are still hoping to be able to send out a hard copy Newsletter at the beginning of August. Caroline Brown, Chairman.

And now a notice from John Howarth of the Chamber of Commerce:

The chamber of Commerce is offering all businesses operating in MV Free Membership for a 6 month period in order to help them expand their contact base. For more details, please refer to the Chamber website: www.leatherheadchamber.co.uk

Cancelled – Agenda 6th April 2020


2. Minutes of the meeting on 3 February

3. Matters arising

4. Chairman’s Report, including a quick summary of the proposed Development sites in Leatherhead.

5. Report on anything further in the Local Plan by Martyn Williams (7.50 to 8.20)

6. Report rom our Planning Officer, Fran Smith

7. Report from our Environmental Officer, Cheryl Allen.

8.Presentations by local activists, including David Woodhead on SA48 and some others TBA

9. AOB and our next meeting will be on Monday May 18th at 7.15 for 7.30.

We have been very lucky to secure Councillor Mary Huggins, current Chair of MVDC, who will talk about her life on the Council and will also give her ideas of what the future may hold for us.