Redhill Grange Community Association

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December 2009

News Letters

December 2009 Newsletter

2009 Annual General Meeting

Our third Annual General Meeting was held at the Redwell Leisure Centre on Tuesday 17 November 2009, 33 people from 9 roads on the estate attended.

The Starters

Peter Bone MP:
Peter said that that his constituents had four main concerns; crime, the NHS, overdevelopment and immigration. Referring to police numbers, he said that, based on the national average, Northamptonshire should have 40 more PCs.

Peter went on to outline what his partyís policies on regional and local government would be if they were returned to power at the next General Election and finished with a review of the current position on the Upper Redhill planning application.

Hemmingwell Safer Community Team:
PCSO Helen Gardner opened her talk by reporting that the Team now consisted of 4 PCSOs and 2 PCs. She went on to say that the four top concerns reported at a recent Community Panel Meeting were litter, fly tipping, motor cycle nuisance and anti social behaviour.

Referring to anti social behaviour, Helen said that was addressed by the Anti Social Behaviour Unit and, for addressing the other issues, the Team were working with schools as education was seen to be an important tool in getting the message across. In conclusion, Helen urged residents to attend the Community Surgeries and also to fill in Interaction Cards to report their concerns to the Team.

PC Richard Horsburgh reported that there had been a 30% reduction in crime on Redhill Grange, which included a 100% reduction in housebreaking. There had been a small increase in reported theft but, overall, Redhill Grange was considered to be a low crime area.

In answer to a question, Richard confirmed that only having one exit from the estate was a deterrent to would be criminals. Asked about police presence on the estate, Richard said that it was patrolled in line with the crime rate and if the crime rate increased then the frequency of the patrols would increase. To concerns expressed about speeding, Richard said that PCSO Chris Howard was qualified to use a speed gun and he would pass the concerns on to him.

Neighbourhood Watch:
Ian Fearnley, Chairman of the Neighbourhood Watch Support Team stated that the scheme had been running for 27 years, covered 7.5 million homes in the UK and had 125,000 members in Northamptonshire. Sadly, in Redhill Grange, only Appleby Close had an active scheme as the schemes in part of Fallowfield and The Glade had closed.

Referring to the scope and aims of the scheme, Ian said that individual schemes would cover up to 50 houses and they were designed to encouraged people to look after each other, with the intention of reducing crime and the fear of crime; it was of particular comfort to people who lived alone.

To provide the visible presence of a scheme, notices were available at a small charge but were a good investment as insurance companies gave a discount on premiums to members of schemes.

Continuing, Ian said that each scheme needed someone as a contact point between the police and residents; this involved a commitment of about an hour per week on average and a little more if training or leaflet distribution were required.

To provide a deterrent, Ian said that the scheme recommended the Smartwater property identification system which could mark up to 100 items; this was available through the scheme at the discounted price of £25.

In conclusion, Ian said that members often provided additional resources to the police for lost people searches and pointed out that reports of suspicious behaviour from members were vital to the police as they often filled in the missing piece of a jigsaw that then allowed the police to act.

Upper Redhill Public Inquiry:
Before introducing Borough Council of Wellingborough Corporate Director James Wilson, Chairman Richard Lovett pointed out that the current position was as described by Peter Bone and, if the appeal is allowed, the Association would need to fully address itís resources to consideration of the detailed planning applications that will affect Redhill Grange.

Mr Wilson opened by stating that the Council Deed that the Secretary of State required to make the final decision on Northants LLPís appeal required agreements from both the private landowners and the BCoW as a landowner. The complication arose as the result of the BCoW also being the local planning authority.

He went on to say that the BCoW is negotiating to narrow the gap on the issues but, as these negotiations are ongoing, he was not in a position to add anything further.

Asked by a resident if he was for or against the appeal and if the Public Inquiry was biased, Mr Wilson responded by pointing out that the Government set up and paid for the Public Inquiry and laid down itís procedures.

Another resident pointed out that there are limitations placed on the BCoW and they could not as landowners be seen to be co-operating with the appellant because they are not, at the present time, disposed to burden their own land with a S106 obligation as required by the inspector. The Inspectors report on the Inquiry, however, would seem to indicate that the BCoW may have colluded with the appellant and prepared a draft S106 agreement in readiness for execution by the Council as landowner; this was tantamount to treacherous behaviour. This was denied by Steven Wood, Head of Built Environment at the BCoW, who had accompanied Mr Wilson.

In the concluding discussion, residents made the point for growth to be jobs led and there was no evidence that the delayed WEAST/Stanton Cross and Upper Redhill developments would provide this lead. In response, Mr Wilson pointed out the difficulties in attracting new business to the area.

The Business

Minutes of the Last AGM:
Chairman Richard Lovett referred the meeting to the minutes of the last AGM printed in the Welcome Pack. As no objections were raised, David Wilson proposed that they be accepted as a true record of the meeting and this was seconded by John Burton.

Chairmanís Review:
Richard reviewed the last year, pointing out that one of the Associationís main achievements continued to be the web site, which had attracted over 7,000 hits in June. All credit went to Webmaster Graham Mower.

Richard continued that the Committee had held 15 meetings; had attended 4 Council meeting to put forward objections to the Wellingborough North Sustainable Urban Extension guidance document; attended, with the support of over 100 residents, the Full Council Planning Meeting; attended all 10 sessions of the Upper Redhill Public Inquiry, which included the presentation of a submission; and had meetings with Council officers.

The Association had also assisted Peter Bone MP with the arrangements for his November 2008 meeting at the Redwell Leisure Centre and answered many of the question posed by the audience at the meeting.

To keep residents informed, 3 Newsletter had been issued and delivered to all 395 addresses on the estate as well as various leaflets.

Richard concluded by thanking the members of the Committee for their hard work and particularly mentioned Mrs Hayley Mitchell, who especially wanted to attend the AGM but was unable to do so due to illness.

Treasurerís Review:
Honorary Secretary Mike Chislett, in the absence of the Honorary Treasurer Ian Brown, presented the Accounts. Mike opened by explaining that Ian, who was a FCCA, had taken on the position following the resignation of Sarah Lammin, who had to step down for personal reasons.

Referring to the statement of Accounts contained in the Welcome Pack, Mike reported that the Associationís main income had again come from the very welcome BCoW Annual Revenue Grants for Voluntary Organisations fund. In explanation of the expenditure, Mike stated that the significant increase in Printing Costs was due to the Association losing the free service previously provided by a resident and having to take on the printing in house as a result. Mike went on to explain the other expenditure, drawing attention to the inclusion of the room hire cost for the AGM, which had previously been free, but noting that DC Leisure were only charging half the normal hire rate.

Pointing to the £377 end of year balance, Mike reported that this was higher than expected as the three Ward Councillorís had generously funded the soon to be installed Redhill Grange Notice Board.

As no objections to the Accounts were raised, Jean Bretherton proposed that they be accepted and this was seconded by Heidi Tilley.

Discussion Time:
Richard stressed the need for new residents to come for forward to replace the members of the Committee who are standing down so that Redhill Grange Community Association continued to maintained itís strong presence in Wellingborough for the benefit of all residents.

Mike supported Richardís statement by pointing out the fact that David Lock Associates had made efforts to find out what the Associationís submission to the Public Inquiry was going to be showed that strong position.

In addition, the Association was now the Redhill Grange contact point for the Borough Council, the Police, Northamptonshire County Council, the North Northants Joint Planning Unit and the East Midlands Regional Assembly; a contact point that had been sadly lacking prior to the Association being formed.

No points were raised by residents

Election Time:
Richard referred the meeting to the Nominations List for the new committee, contained in the Sign In pack, and pointed out that, as there were less than 10 names put forward, an election would not be necessary. The List was unanimously approved as follows:-

Richard Lovett - Appleby Close
Sarah Lammin - The Downs
Richard Fraiel - The Meadows
Sue Suttle Ė The Banks
Ian Brown Ė The Glade

Mike again emphasised that there were vacancies on the Committee and asked for any resident who would like to fill the positions to contact him.

To Finish

Councillor Graham Lawman:
Graham referred to the Hemmingwell councillors using their ward money to finance the Redhill Grange notice board and went on to urge residents to support the Shop Local campaign.

Graham continued that residents were welcome to attend a Budget Consultation session that the BCoW was holding at 5:30 pm on the 26th November 2009 and recommended attending the switch on of the Christmas lights in the town centre on the 28 November 2009, which was good family entertainment.

Referring to the start of work on the Wellingborough Town Centre Area Action Plan, Graham said that this was an Important step towards the improvement of the town centre.

Graham went on to announce that, for the convenience of residents, the BCoW were considering setting up a Polling Station on the ĎOck Ďní Dough car park for the next election, which would save the trip to Oakway School.

Referring to the Smartwater property identification system mentioned by Ian Fearnley, Graham said that it was proving very effective in deterring the theft of property and suggested that residents give it serious consideration.

In conclusion, Graham reported that Council Leader John Bailey had confirmed to him that the Council remained opposed to the proposed development of Upper Redhill.

The Close:
Richard thanked residents for their attendance and closed the meeting at 9:30 p.m.


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