Spring Grove Residents' Association

Draft Minutes of the AGM – 28 April 2005, Parish Hall

Alan Leeds Treasurer: Karol Smal Secretary: Jackie Steinitz
Committee members: Patrick Rayner, Gordon Bell, Deborah Robinson, Andrew Jordan, Jill Collis, Charlotte Stockley, Rachel Rafter
Residents: Approximately 60
Guests: Deirdre Ferrier and Anne Williams (New University Project team, Kingston University), Inspector Rob Weir (Operations / Town Centre Inspector at Kingston Police Station), Councillors Chrissie Hitchcock, Rachel O’Connor and Bart Ricketts, (Councillors for Grove Ward), Edward Davey (MP 1997-2005 and candidate at next week’s election)

1. Minutes of the 2004 AGM
These were approved. (Proposer: Karol Smal, Seconder: Gordon Bell)

2. Chairman’s Report
Community life has continued to flourish – there have been many events in the Spring Grove area. Thank you to all who organised, were involved with, and supported these events, and thank you to Joan McConn and the Parish Hall committee for their work associated with the hall. Over £7300 was raised in total for charity plus over £2100 for local causes.




Funds raised

Mayhem – an evening’s entertainment


Amanda Shaw/Spring Grove Fringe

Breast Cancer Research - £1800

Hogsmill Blue Bridge party


Special committee/Hogsmill Action Group


Summer barbeque



Non-profit making

Talk on the Hogsmill by Barbara Webb


Jackie Steinitz

Lower Mole Countryside Trust £30+



Spring Grove Fringe production

British Legion £1600



Joan McConn/LEAH

Learn English at Home £1000

Windies benefit gig


Plan B

Caribbean Hurricane Appeal £1000+

Evening of Roald Dahl stories


Spring Grove Fringe production


Tsunami benefit gig


Plan B

Tsunami appeal £1900+

Barn dance



SGRA - £220

Treasure Island


Spring Grove Fringe production


Film and Music quiz


Bill Price

Parish Hall - £1900

During the year the committee has been active on a number of issues:

There had been several departures during the year: Chris Boucher and Adrian Simpson had resigned from the SGRA committee, and Roger Hayes had resigned from Kingston Council. Thanks were expressed for all their work on behalf of the area in the past. Annabel Shilson-Thomas was welcomed as priest in charge of St Johns in September.

3. Treasurer's Report
The accounts for FY2004/5 were simpler than the previous year as in 2003/4 a number of special events were held to celebrate the centenary of the Parish Hall (Street party, dinner/dance, raffle). Income totalled £490.87 generated primarily from the barn dance (£220), advertising receipts from Springboard (£160) and the SGRA’s share of the profit from the jumble sale (£94). Expenditure totalled £444.34 of which Springboard costs plus other administrative expenses were the largest item (£217) followed by annual public liability insurance (£123). Income thus exceeded expenditure by £46.53. At 31 March 2005 the SGRA had an accumulated fund of £543.90. The accounts have been audited. All the records were at the meeting and available for inspection.

4. Election of the Committee
All posts were unopposed.
Chairman: Alan Leeds (Proposer : Karol Smal, Seconder : Jill Collis)
Treasurer: Karol Smal (Proposer : Gordon Bell, Seconder : Deborah Robinson)
Secretary: Jackie Steinitz (Proposer Karol Smal. Seconder : Joan McConn)
Committee Members; Patrick Rayner, Gordon Bell, Deborah Robinson, Jill Collis, Rachel Rafter, Charlotte Stockley and Andrew Jordan all offered themselves for re-election. (proposed by Karol Smal, seconded by Debbie ???). Phil Chapman has agreed to represent Alfred Road. (Proposer Karol Smal : Seconder Rachel Rafter).
There were no volunteers to represent either Lingfield Ave or Villiers Road.

5. Introduction of Guests
The Chairman introduced the guests (see list at top) and thanked them for attending.

6. University Issues / New University Project (Deirdre Ferrier)
Deirdre Ferrier thanked the SGRA for inviting the team to the meeting. She distributed a number of leaflets from her colleagues Helen Trott and Clare Nightingale, including the events calendar, a leaflet on the Readers’ Festival, a list of contact numbers in case of any concern relating to the university, and a card of key facts and figures.

She then outlined the main features of the "New University Project" - the university’s long term estates plan. This centrepiece of the project is the potential purchase of County Hall from Surrey County Council which would offer the university a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rationalise and significantly enhance its real estate. A copy of the presentation is available on the SGRA website. Key points were:

Deirdre stressed that the university is keen to maintain an ongoing dialogue with the community and is actively seeking input from residents at each stage of the project. Regular public meetings will be arranged, with the first on Wednesday 18 May at 6.30pm in the Picton Room, Penrhyn Road Campus.

In the subsequent Q+A session Deirdre confirmed that there are no firm plans for County Hall yet but it will definitely not be used for student residences or for a student union bar. The purchase of County Hall would not increase student numbers beyond what is planned anyway [Note: In an email the following day Deirdre confirmed that the forecast in on-campus student numbers is 10% between 2003/4 to 2006/7 and then 9% between 2006/7 to 2009/10 – modest compared to other universities in the region]. The proposed link between the Penrhyn Road site and County Hall would probably just be a pelican crossing; while a tunnel, or a grand bridge which acts as an entrance to Kingston Town Centre, would be highly desirable, they are not in current plans as they are too expensive. Knights Park will only be sold if the purchase of County Hall goes ahead. If County Hall cannot be purchased the university is likely to reinvest in Knights Park.

There were complaints by residents of Portland Road about the behaviour of students, the noise from the Terrace Bar at Knights Park, and speeding by university buses/ vans.

Action: Deirdre Ferrier to report back concerns of residents of Portland Rd about noise and speeding to relevant people in the University.

Note: Deirdre did the above straightaway. This is her reply

"a) Managers from every section of both KUSCO and the University which has a van have been asked to speak to staff about keeping within speed limits and respecting our neighbours. Tellings (the bus operator) are also being instructed to remind its drivers about speed limits and good neighbourly relations.
b) The University’s Student Life Office is continuing its liaison with the community police team. The Student Life Office, KUSCO security and the Students Union are meeting with them this month to discuss health and safety issues involving students and looking at student behaviour in the community.
c) Specifically on noise from Knights Park bar, the General Manager of KUSU assures me that the Union takes its neighbourly responsibilities very seriously and have introduced a number of measures to promote quietness. The Union accepts that noise inevitably carries and, to minimise this to the levels of a beer garden – people talking etc - it makes an active effort to ensure any music playing in the bar does not leak out, and it bans all reproduced / amplified music from the terrace. The bar closes at 11pm and in all seasons they ensure the terrace and bridge are cleared by 11.10 pm. The Union would welcome independent inspection of the disturbance, perhaps by the Council, and is considering active ways in which this could be carried out.

7. Community Policing (Inspector Rob Weir)
Inspector Weir (RW) has been Operation/Town Centre Inspector for the last 9 months. The town centre team has just been relaunched and now comprises a sergeant, 6 officers and 6 training officers. A sergeant and 3 officers have just been appointed for Grove Ward; they will be starting on the streets of the area in the next few weeks.

RW said that he stood at the meeting with a degree of humility as he knew that there was not a track record of community policing in Grove Ward and that there were issues that had not been dealt with in the past. However while he could not promise the earth the new team, which will be led by Sgt Matt Smith, are of very high calibre and are anxious to demonstrate success. There will be a public meeting on 10 May when the team will be launched. There will be maps at the meeting and people will be invited to point out issues and "hot spots", and the team will seek to the best of their ability to work on these issues. RW and the team aim to develop links with the university and local community. The team will become familiar faces to the community and will deal with all non-emergency issues. 999 calls however will continue to be answered by response cars – this will not be the job of the Grove Ward team.

There was an extended discussion at the meeting about a number of concerns which have been recorded separately. Inspector Weir gave his commitment to stay at the end of the meeting to take down particulars, to review the situation, to take immediate necessary action and to report back at the next meeting of the committee.

There was some discussion about Neighbourhood Watch. One resident had agreed four months ago to become the local co-ordinator but had become disillusioned after four months of non-contact and struggling by failing to find out any information about it. Another resident has since agreed to become involved. RW was not aware of the details of the Neighbourhood Watch programme in Kingston but has agreed to find out and report back.

Action: Inspector Weir to notify the SGRA about the time and venue of the meeting to launch the Grove Ward police team [Subsequent Note: It will be on May 10th at 7.30 at Kingston College], to investigate specific issues raised at the meeting and to report back to the committee on the issues and on Neighbourhood Watch.

8. Hogsmill Party on the Blue Bridge – Sunday 19th June (Ruth Dalton)
Last year’s party was a joint venture between the Hogsmill Action Group (HAG) and a specially formed local committee. Kingston Council no longer have a representative for HAG so this year’s party is being organised just by a committee. So far, and by chance, the committee happens to consist of residents from north of the river, but the committee would welcome members from the Spring Grove with open arms. If you are interested in helping in any way please get in touch either directly with Ruth or via the SGRA committee/website. The event will probably start at 2pm and continue in the evening.

9. Jubilee Bridge
The SGRA have received a letter form Capita Symonds, an infrastructure consultancy, who have been appointed by Kingston Council to look at various options for repair and replacement of the Hogsmill Jubilee Footbridge (which runs from Portland Road to the Stanley Picker Gallery). They recommend that the existing structure is too corroded for repair and have considered a number of different forms of construction taking into account site constraints and the desire of residents for something similar in appearance to the original. Their recommendation is for a steel construction replacement bridge and they have sent drawings for our information – these were on display at the meeting. The proposals will be subject to formal planning consent but RBK have asked for any informal views prior to the planning process. Residents are invited to submit their views either through the committee or directly.

Annita Barbieri of the Mill Street Residents Association provided some background to the bridge. It had been repainted in green and gold in 2002 by local residents to celebrate the Queen’s jubilee. Mill Street Residents have already replied to Capita Symonds. In their letter they have agreed that they would wish any replacement bridge to be of similar design to the original, and have asked for a meeting on site to discuss details. However they have pointed out that if there are major development works at Knights Park this could result in damage to any new bridge. Also the potential planning gain when the site is redeveloped should not be overlooked.

Action: SGRA committee to reply to Capita Symonds regarding the Hogsmill Bridge

10. Spring Grove Residents’ Website - www.springgrovekingston.co.uk
The website was launched at the AGM last year so has been running for exactly a year. The website now has 16 main pages as summarised in the table below. Print-outs of some of the pages were on display at the meeting.

Two new pages as of this week are:

SGRA Website - Main Pages as of April 2005


Page Name




Introduction to SGRA. Map. Latest additions to the site

News + Reference



Latest news. Copies of Springboard



5 day weather forecast for Kingston

Maps of the area (useful for directing visiting friends)


Useful links

Very useful! Links to council sites, MP, education, health and transport, arts/leisure, university events


Telephone Numbers

Emergency numbers, Help-lines, Councillors, Health, Travel



New. K1 & K4 bus timetables for Geneva Rd and Villiers Rd stops. Bus map. Hoping to add train timetable



Times/dates of local events



Small ads

Free advertising for local residents


Local Business

New page – for businesses of relevance to local residents – if they are based/operate in the area, run by a resident or have an interesting offer for residents!.

Local Information


Spring Grove Fringe

Previous productions. Photos.


St John’s Church

Service times. Vicar’s address / telephone number



Local history written by Isobel Robinson


Photo Gallery

Photos of the area. Please send contributions




Reports of meetings with the University. Links
Telephone numbers




To air your views on local topics.



Contact Us

Use this page to send an email to the committee

Two favourite pages include the Maps/weather page (#3) which has a five day weather forecast for this area, and Useful links (#4) which has links to many relevant sites so that with a couple of clicks you can find out what’s on at the cinema, council information, when the school holidays are, how to get to wherever you want to go etc.

For the future we would like to maximise the benefit of the website to the community and would welcome: suggestions of anything that would be useful, write-ups of anything relevant, photos and advertisements. A website is like a snowball – the more people who use and contribute to it the bigger and better it can become. Thank you to those who have already used it, and thank you in advance for adding it to your list of favourites and using it in the future.

11. Councillors
Chrissie Hitchcock added a few points on the issues that had been raised during the meeting.

Action: Rachel O’Connor to send the SGRA details of the Graffiti hotline to add to the website
[Subsequent note: This has been done. The phone number for the graffiti hotline is 020 8547 4646 and it is available 24 hours a day as there is a voicemail facility on the line. Also graffiti can be reported at graffiti@rbk.kingston.gov.uk. It is also possible to fill in a form online and all the details are at www.kingston.gov.uk/graffiti]

12. Edward Davey
Ed stressed that since the dissolution of Parliament on April 11 he was not currently the MP for this area – his status was that of candidate for the next election. Since the other candidates were not at the meeting he did not want to gain unfair advantage by talking politically so would ensure that all his comments were non-political, relating only to feedback on local issues and information on topics raised this evening:

13. Any Other Business
There was a question about the fading paint on a disabled parking space. The Councillors agreed to address this.


The meeting closed at 10pm