OF THE 18TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE EMMER GREEN RESIDENTS'
ASSOCIATION, HELD AT ST BARNABAS HALL, EMMER GREEN ON 18TH APRIL
meeting was chaired by Mr Paul Gallagher, and 60 others were present,
including Councillor Bob Green.
Mr & Mrs G S Child, Joy Lowther, Bill Harper, Sue Ronay, Susie Downer,
Eddy Hooper, Vera Bodman, Geoff Goldsmith, Cllr Annette Hendry, Cllr Chris
Brown, Mr & Mrs Halter
The minutes of the 17th AGM held on the 26th April 2001 had
been circulated and it was agreed they were an accurate record of
the proceedings. They were signed by the Chairman.
Topics other than those covered in the Chairman's report were raised.
It was noted that the home had been closed and the building was empty encouraging
vandalism and dumping. Cllr Green said that the Council intended to demolish
the building as soon as possible and the land would be cleared and fenced off.
He would keep the Association briefed about any proposed redevelopment.
Grove Road Hedge
The Council had been much more efficient with the cutting of the hedge and
it was looking better than it had done for years. It was hoped the care would
Temporary repairs had been made to the surfacing, as major gas pipeline works
were to be carried out in the summer, and a date for future resurfacing of
the site was uncertain.
Surprisingly the issue had surfaced again during the summer of 2001, but the
outcome was the same and the path would not be re-opening.
Park Open Day
Everyone who had been lucky enough to get tickets to view the property and
the grounds agreed what a splendid afternoon it had been. It was hoped the
event would be repeated this coming September.
The ‘new’ 44/45 service was working well despite the fact that
some of the services had been cut back. Long waits for buses had been less
frequent, but there was still room for improvement, as noted by Mrs M Churcher
who had recently waited 1¼ hours.
A lot of work had gone into the book, which had been highly successful. It
was possible that some of the profit made could be put towards the village
sign. Other suggestions from members were welcome.
The Berkshire Woodcarvers were waiting for the final go-ahead on what we hoped
would be our Jubilee project. Funding would either come from the book profits
or a grant from the NACC (see below). Plans were passed around for people to
indicate their favoured position for the sign. The majority (67%) opted for
a location on the grassed area just to the south of the pond.
End Road Car Parking
Margaret Ormonde was thanked for conducting the consultation exercise. It had
been very successful with an 80% response. Unfortunately the Council had put
things on hold whilst the issue of Residents' parking permits was debated nationally.
These were seen as a first step to helping residents, but not necessarily a
solution to the problem. It was for the local residents of KER to decide how
to resolve things.
The lighting between Chiltern Court and Gorselands had been a success. The
small projects committee of the Forum had been asked to investigate whether
there was a need for improved lighting at the bus stop at the bottom of Courtenay
Drive. The current Chairman Derek Bartlett (CADRA) was due to stand down this
year. He had done an excellent job and it had been decided that in the future
a dozen Residents' Associations would share the role, taking turns each year.
Because of their consistent support for the Forum, EGRA had been asked to provide
the first chairman.
Area Consultative Committee
The committee had given grants of £2000 per ward, which in
previous years had gone to Thames and Caversham. It was understood
that Peppard would be favourably
looked upon this time (see account of village sign), but the outcome was unlikely
to be known for at least a couple of months.
Reading Youth Project
Emmer Green Community Centre was about to be re-decorated and a DJ
was to be employed to encourage attendance by older youngsters. The
at Clayfield Copse was not adequately used and this was probably because the
equipment was poor and out-dated. There was to be a consultation exercise with
young people and expenditure considered was likely to be around £20,000
for a new facility incorporating the latest equipment.
houses were now complete and some occupied. There had been a compromise
regarding the retention of the laurel hedge along Kidmore End Road.
A wooden fence had been erected in front of it, leaving only the top
of the hedge visible. It was hoped the blank ‘canvas’ would
not be a target for vandals and graffiti artists.
Although the plans to build between Grove Road and Knights Way, south of
house no 37 had been approved, the development with access from the road
beside Unity Court had been rejected on the grounds of safety.
The application submitted for land next to no. 164 had been rejected.
The application for land between 70 and 76 had been withdrawn from
the next RBC
planning committee, awaiting more information from the developer. Controversially
the plans for a new junction, opposite the playground, to provide access
would involve removing some of the grass verge, and moving the bus stop.
Car parking space already at a premium would also be reduced. Petitions from
residents had helped to bring residents’ concerns to the Council and
Jon Barclay was thanked for organising these petitions. Revised plans had
also been submitted for developments at the back of 46-52 KER.
There had been recent consultation with Hutchinson 3G about more masts on
the water tower. Although a discussion meeting was arranged at short notice,
it was quite productive and concessions were agreed, such as lowering the
height of the extra masts and painting them a colour to match the water tower.
There was still concern about radiation produced from multiple antennae.
South Oxfordshire District Council had also provided plans submitted by Airwave
mmO2 Ltd (a Marconi company) for a proposed 25 metre 'TETRA' mast at the
reservoir. This was to provide cover for the emergency services such as police,
fire and ambulance. Further consultation had been requested by the Association
and as they weren't tied to being in Emmer Green it was felt that Crowsley
Park might be a much more appropriate site. RBC were set to recommend that
A lot of work had gone into creating a website for the Association and member
Clive Ormonde was thanked for this. The Chairman reminded everyone that
it wasn't just a static site and that there were regular monthly updates.
Also contributions of photos from members of the Association and other
residents were welcome.
The Chairman thanked the committee for their hard work throughout the year
and in particular thanked the retiring Treasurer, Jill Verran, for her
magnificent work for over a decade in the position.
of the Chairman's report was proposed by Jill Verran and seconded by
A copy of the treasurer's report has been circulated showing that
a balance of nearly £2,800 is held in the Portman Building Society. There was a
surplus of £467 for the year. A separate account had been opened for
the Emmer Green Book, and although things still had to be finalised it was
estimated that there was a profit of around £2,300. Thanks were given
to auditor Julian Pearce for his continued work. The adoption of the accounts
was proposed by Anne Ayres, and seconded by Owen Jewiss. There had been 77
new members throughout the year bringing the total to a record 391 households.
There was also a warning that photocopying costs might rise in the future.
OF OFFICERS, COMMITTEE AND AUDITOR
All of the committee had agreed to stand for another year, but
Bill Harper was to take over the role as Treasurer, leaving Jill Verran
to retain the role of Membership Secretary. For family reasons Sue Ballard
was to relinquish the job of Vice-Chairman to Bob Cruickshank. Other
officers were all remaining in their current posts. Julian Pearce had
offered to continue auditing the accounts. The committee and auditor
were proposed by Sir Anthony Durant and seconded by Jon Barclay.
The first question raised was by a resident disappointed not to get a copy
of the Emmer Green Book, asking when it was likely to be reprinted. The possibility
was under consideration, but it was not likely before 2003.
It was felt the safer schools initiative around Emmer Green School had been
a success and that the Hill School was due to get the same treatment. However,
local residents were not entirely happy with this, pointing out that it was
a few insensitive drivers that had consigned them to living with humps all
the year round. Suggestions were made that a car park be created on land adjacent
to the school.
Green said there would be a full consultation and all ideas would be
was also insensitive drivers who were parking at the post box outside
the church. It was felt a post box might be needed down in Bugs Bottom
to help the situation. It was agreed that the question of double yellow
lines around the corner near the post box should be raised with the
was expressed about potholes in the roads and pavements. Frustratingly
many of these had been highlighted in paint suggesting they were about
to be repaired, but this seemed to be a false hope. It appears this
was because they were largely the fault of contractors (eg cable layers,
gas, electricity etc) and RBC spent a lot of time trying to prove liability
and get them to repair the damage.
The potholes in the car park were still an unresolved issue. There
were also abandoned cars, which even if they were cleared away by
either SODC or RBC,
the debris (glass, plastic, oil, etc) which accompanied them was not. RBC was
now able to remove scrap cars for a fee of £25. It was agreed that the
contact at RBC for dealing with follow-up cleaning would be identified and
the details published in the next newsletter.
Chairman Paul Gallagher was thanked and given a spontaneous round of
applause for his continued work for the Association. He thanked his
wife for her support.
Lady Audrey Durant gave an animated and informative illustrated talk on the
history of the Surley Row Conservation Area, which was very well received.
There was an opportunity afterwards to look at the selection of photos she
had brought along.
was followed by wine and nibbles.