Earlier in the year it was being reported in the press that
due to police budget cuts we might be losing our local Police Community Support
Officers (PCSOs) and other parts of our local neighbourhood policing. We would
not want to see any reduction in our local policing and our chairman, Simon
Densley called an extraordinary Police Ward Panel public meeting, both to quiz
our politicians on the truth behind the situation and to decide how to oppose
any reduction in our local police.
The meeting (held on Friday 30th October) was well attended
by local residents and also by Steve O'Connell AM, Cllr Paul Wingfield and Paul
Scully MP - representing all levels of government between them.
Steve O'Connell, our representative to the London Mayor,
said that "Boris would never simply sit back and allow the successful
neighbourhood policing in London to simply be taken away." he also said
that this was effectively a negotiation in public with all the options on the
table, even the unpalatable ones. He didn't believe that something as
successful as the neighbourhood policing program would actually be cut but
would ensure the mayor was aware of our concerns.
Paul Scully promised to talk to the chancellor George
Osborne about the issue and do all he could to safeguard our local police here
in Worcester Park.
The meeting resolved with everyone in agreement that Simon
Densley, as chair should write to Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe to express the views
of the meeting and ask that the existing policing situation in Worcester Park
be retained. That letter was made public on the WPRA website here: wpra.org.uk.
We were all very pleased a month later when it was announced
by the chancellor that there would be no cuts to the police budget and our
local neighbourhood policing system was safe. The WPRA will continue to be
vigilant however and be ready to fight for our local police where necessary.
Local Police and
Over the last several months the incidents of most crimes
have gone down in comparison with the same time period last year. Burglary
however has increased and the police are asking residents to be vigilant when
it come to closing and locking premises and not leaving valuable on display in
cars etc. Burglary is almost always an opportunistic crime and burglars will
choose places that look easy to get in to and out of with a low risk of being
spotted. So a home with an open window concealed from the road by a hedge will
be a much more likely target than a locked home with security lights that can
be seen by neighbours. Always double lock doors so they can't be opened from
the inside without a key and also keep garages and sheds well locked up too.
The police would also encourage members of the public to
look out for each other. If you see a neighbour's car with the window down or
something of value clearly visible, just given them a knock on the door and let
them know. You might save them from being a theft victim.
The good news is that after several months of being closed,
the police office at 154 Central Road is open to the public again, at least for
a few hours per week. Some new volunteers have enabled the office to open from
10 until 2pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays again and sometimes on Thursdays. They
are looking for more volunteers who can enable the office to open for even more
hours so if you or anybody you know would be interested in helping out, please
contact Sergeant Andrew De'Voreaux by email on Andrew.S.De'Voreaux@met.pnn.police.uk
or by telephone on 020 8649 3590.
Home Group, the company that now owns Victoria House gave a
presentation to members of CHAPRA (Church Hill, Abbots, Priory Residents'
Association) in November in which they outlined their revised plans for the
site at the North Cheam crossroads.
The revisions came after a public consolation last year. The
main changes they have made to their plan are:
Reduction in height at the tallest point from 12 to 10 storeys.
Reduction in the number of residential units from 93 to 90.
Increased car parking provision from 50 to 55 spaces.
Changes in the materials, colours and façade design to improve the building aesthetics.
Ladbrokes, which was holding up the development have now vacated the site after negotiations
with Sutton Council and the developers, meaning that demolition works are now
able to take place.
Home Group are looking to submit plans to Sutton Council
shortly after which there will be a public consultation period followed by a
decision from the council. If permission is granted, Home Group have said they
want to demolish Victoria House around May/June and then build their
development over the two years after that.
2-4 Green Lane
The biggest issue the WPRA has had to deal with over the
last few years has been the planning application to turn 2-4 Green Lane into a
place of worship. Previous WPRA Chair, Arthur Hookway, now a local councillor
has taken on the position of lead councillor on this issue in order to keep a
close eye on things.
Members will remember that twelve conditions were placed on
the applicants as part of the granted planning permission. Five of these
required detailed plans to be submitted to the local authority. Over seven
months on from the permission being granted, Arthur reported that not a single
one of these has yet been submitted to the council, leading to questions about
what will actually be happening at the site and when.
Paul Scully MP is in contact with the owners of the building
and trying to still help them find somewhere more suitable for the development
and also negotiating to help further mitigate the effects on local people with
regard to parking and traffic.
The Old Worcester
Holiday Inn are in the process of submitting plans to
Kingston Council to turn the Old Worcester Park Tavern into a 4 story, 90
bedroom hotel. The plans may have already been submitted by the time you are
reading this. At our last AGM this possibility was discussed and members of the
WPRA agreed that this would be a good use of the site, and helpful to the local
economy. Being directly adjacent the bus stop for the X26 bus to and from
Heathrow, and the station with trains to and from London, it is ideally suited
to business travellers. The development will be a major hotel, not just a
Holiday Inn Express and have a restaurant and bar as well. Many of the guests are
likely to want to spend money in our local restaurants, bars and other shops
and with the transport links ideally suited to these longer distance
travellers, hopefully there will be far fewer parking and traffic issues than
alternative plans for the site may create.
20 Year Celebrations:
On the 18th of April the WPRA will be officially 20 years
old. The committee felt this was indeed a special occasion worth celebrating
and plans are being drawn up for an event shortly after this (when the weather
is warmer) to celebrate - most likely on Saturday 2nd July. We would like to
include past chairs and committee members as well as current members in the
Terms Of Reference:
At our last committee meeting in December 2015, it was
agreed that the WPRA mandate would be defined by the following Terms Of
To be a lobbying group to the three local Worcester Park councils.
To improve amenities for Worcester Park residents.
To promote community consultation in planning decisions.
To raise awareness of the WPRA.
To be the voice of the local area.
The committee felt that to have our terms of reference set
out would help the WPRA to focus better on what we should be doing to help the
Those who attended our last AGM will be aware that the WPRA
now represents all parts of KT4. Simon, our newly elected Chair proposed a
change to the constitution which had previously favoured Worcester Park
residents in the London Borough of Sutton. It was proposed that this be changed
so include residents in all parts of KT4 meaning that people in Old Malden ward
in the Royal Borough of Kingston and in Cuddington ward in the borough of Epsom
and Ewell are also welcome to join. The full constitution is available on the
WPRA Website here: www.wpra.org.uk/p/about-us.html.
Future Meetings (For
There will be a WPRA public committee meeting on Tuesday 23rd February at Maple Lodge in the
Hamptons. This will begin at 7:30pm. The Maple Lodge management would like
to remind people that there is no public parking at Maple Lodge so people who
are driving will need to park their vehicles outside the Hamptons and walk.
Our next AGM will be on Thursday
the 7th July at 7:30pm. This will be held at Christ Church With St Philip.
Please come along to help elect the next committee (or volunteer to join it!)