16 January 2014

Ham United Group Meeting: January 2014

I am not yet an active member of Ham United Group (HUG) but I like to go to their meetings to find out what is going on locally. My Master Plan is to get involved in some of their many projects and probably to run some of my own later on.

This is what I learnt in January.

New garden at Ham Library. A competition about to start to pick a design for the shady part of the garden. The winning scheme will require funding for plants etc.There will be other category prizes too, eg. under 20s. The ball-park estimate c£1500. Will be other funding and, possibly, sponsorship.

HUG is looking for more interesting venues for meetings to mix things up. It was suggested that we combine a meeting at St Peter's Church with a graveyard tour. Apparently the graves include a Napoleon descendant and 4 MPs.

Green Screen will be starting soon.

Cleaning materials have arrived and we will do clean-up of Ham Lands later this year, to be organised by the FoHL sub-group. Other ideas are being considered, such as a new pond.

The Ham and Petersham Association are planning more, unrelated, work on the pond by Ham Gate. Personal view: this is something else that the H&PA has got completely wrong and the pond was better before they started to interfere with it.

Latchmere planning application is due soon. The amount of affordable housing is an issue and it does not help that the site crosses borough boundaries and so two separate applications are required.

Affordable housing is also an issue on the Star and Garter Home too.

The new Russell School application is also due Spring, with the school due to be open in September 2015, but likely to be controversial. The consultation led to no changes; no surprise.

The Ham and Teddington Hydro. public meeting in Teddington was difficult. Minor changes will be made to the design as a result, to reduce height.

The Neighbourhood Forum was due to be approved by LBRUT that evening. The target for referendum on the Neighbourhood Plan is still the date of the 2015 General Election, despite delays to process.

The Ham Close workshops were happening that week to be followed by a public meeting at Grey Court next Monday. It was not clear how this work fitted in with the Neighbourhood Forum.

Concerns were expressed that it might be difficult to meet the changing standards for social housing and this could force them to become private housing eventually.Not sure how much money is available for this. The consultation questions are blue-sky, lacking a framework or options to make it meaningful.

The body that owns Cassel Hospital is about to become a foundation trust. The attempt to let it appears to be bogus, it's just an attempt to show that the site is not viable as a clinic. The badger area cleared against LBRUT agreement.Want to include this site in the Neighbourhood Plan.

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