Springwell Village Residents Association
27th November 2018
Springwell Social Club
Chairperson Ms A Templeman
Secretary Ms P Cooper
Ms L Pickup
Treasurer Mr G Martin
Ms C Brown
Ms M Lambton
Ms M Johnson
Ms H Fife
Councillor H Trueman
Councillor D Trueman
Mr D Lambton
Councillor B Scaplehorn
Approximately 32 residents attended
1. Minutes of previous meeting – moved and seconded.
2. Police Report
No Police representatives were in attendance but provided a report listing 16 incidents including thefts, arson and burglary – full report on SVRA website.
3. Fire Brigade Service Proposed Cuts. The Meeting was informed that there is a proposal to relocate 2 of the 3 fire appliances from the Washington area to the City Centre. This will affect Springwell Village. A consultation event is to take place on Thursday, 29th November, 6 pm at the Washington Academy, Spout Lane.
4. Bowes Railway. A report from Bowes Railway listed the following events:
* Elves Tea Party & Visit to Santa- 1st & 15th December
* Christmas Wreath Making- 2nd December
* Fellgate School Choir in the Tearoom – 6 December
* Meet Santa – 8 December
* Buy Bowes Merchandise at Washington Village Fayre – 8 December
5. Outstanding Issues from last meeting:
a) Great North Forest. The Meeting was informed that funding for the Great North Forest ended in 2008 and therefore any hoped development of the forest in the Village would not be possible.
b) 20 mph speed limit. The Police have no speed cameras available. The Council usually only provide flashing light signs for 30 mph and above zones but further options will be looked at. The cost of installing a flashing light is £1200, the Community Chest funds might possibly be a funding option.
c) Traffic sensor wires have been put across Peareth Hall Road and Springwell Road near Mount Lane. Questions were asked about their purpose. Enquiries have revealed that they do not belong to the Council. Anyone can lay down these monitoring wires. A contact telephone number listed on the attached box was tried but there was no reply. Their usual purpose is to monitor volume and speed of traffic.
6. Development Plan/Greenbelt Campaign.
a) Four committee members attended the full Council Meeting the previous week when the CSDP was presented to the Council. Unfortunately it was approved by Councillors.
b) Prior to and after the meeting emails etc. were sent to all Councillors and Council Officers condemning the Report and complaining about the unacceptable process that had been used.. 8000 comments had been received by the Council from over 2000 residents but none of these comments had been included or amendments made to the Plan in respect of the issues raised in the comments. However, comments from the small number of developers, house builders and green belt land owners were commented on and amendments made to the CSDP reflecting their views. One significant change is that greenbelt land ‘may’ be developed had been changed to ‘will’ be developed.
c) Some Councillors (eg from Shiney Row) expressed views against the Plan at the Council meeting but still voted to approve it. The Plan will now be submitted to the Secretary of State for approval. All the comments submitted will be sent to the Planning Inspector. A complaint has also been made by the Residents Association to the Labour Party about the way our councillors were not allowed to speak at the Council Meeting or to vote against the Plan, with the threat of suspension from the Labour Party being used against them. Many residents expressed their dissatisfaction at the local councillors. Councillor Harry Trueman explained they were very unhappy at what had happened but were bound by a Code of Practice. They also had to consider a number of other residents in their Ward who they would not have been able to help with a wide range of very serious issues. Councillor Trueman said he is trying to find out why some councillors were allowed to speak against the Plan but Springwell Village councillors were not.
d) There was a discussion by many residents about their general unhappiness both with the Plan and the process. Some of the points raised included the Council not making full use of brownfield sites for housing; building the wrong type of housing which will not meet local needs; and that building executive homes will not attract businesses to invest in Sunderland. It was noted that the Council is relying on Nissan and the new advanced manufacturing park and basing the overestimation of housing need on these factors when no one knows if they will still be here in the future.
e) It was explained that the Plan will now go to the Planning Inspector and could take over a year to be determined. It is important that all local groups work together. There will be an Examination in Public with residents being able to speak at the meeting. Ms L Reid and Ms A Templeman will speak on behalf of SVRA. There was some debate as to whether the three Ward Councillors would be able to speak against the Plan at the Examination now that they voted to approve the Plan.
f) Residents were asked to spread the word amongst other residents and to try and get more people to attend SRVA meetings. Ms L Reid offered to speak to the groups that attend the Springwell Village Community Venue.
g) The possibility of getting more publicity was raised. Residents were told that this had been tried but getting local press interest was very difficult. Anybody with contacts in this area were asked to let the Committee know. Local TV, radio and press have all been contacted and interviews given.
7. Any Other Business.
a) Rubbish bin at bus stop opposite the old Co-op building. Funds have been raised to provide a bigger bin which will be placed at the side of the block due to the narrow space between the railing and the bus stop. .A resident stated that the problem is the bins are not emptied often enough. It was noted that another problem is that some people put large bags of household rubbish in the public bins, filling them to overflowing.
b) Flower beds by Fairhaven. Last year the SRVA received a grant for plants but have been told this will not be available in the future. Also, perennial plants have been stolen from a number of tubs throughout the village. Given this situation SRVA proposes to ask the Council to grass over the two large flowerbeds, leaving the concrete well. This was voted upon and agreed.
8. Date and time of next meeting – 7 pm, Tuesday, 8th January 2019 at Springwell Village Social Club.