Open letter to the residents and businesses of Colnbrook with Poyle Parish
Dear Residents and Business Managers,
There have been many articles and comments on local websites recently about infrastructure projects affecting our communities, several of which were also discussed at the Village Meeting held on 16th June 2015 at the Ostrich Inn and which culminated in subsequent “Heads of Groups” meetings.
We would like to clarify where we stand on these matters.
On 2nd June 2015 the CCA held a Members Meeting solely to discuss the infrastructure projects that would directly affect our communities should they proceed. This followed an article published on the CCA website on 17th May 2015 setting out the projects and the potential effects of each, and feedback received.
The outcome of that meeting was that the CCA committed to question and challenge each of the projects that threaten our community, and that is what we are continuing to do. We have responded to all consultations; we have and continue to correspond with SBC on the Brands Hill road improvements; we are working with resident groups.
We are collecting as much information on each project as we can so as to be properly informed when the time comes to “continue the fight”. We have a fairly large information bank on both air and noise pollution, and will continue to collect such other information as we can in order to facilitate fully referenced reports to any enquiry that we are faced with.
In June we sought volunteers to assist us with this substantial work load. We now have a number of CCA members and members of the community assisting with individual projects. Needless to say we would like more people to become active on these matters; a couple of hours weekly from ten residents would help enormously. Assistance from any resident or business owner would be welcomed.
Following the CCA Members Meeting on 2nd June it was our intention to hold an open community meeting for residents and business owners in order to obtain a consensus on the way forward on these large projects. However independent residents came together to call a formal Village Meeting on 16th June 2015 and we deferred to that.
The Village Meeting resulted in the formation of a “Heads of Groups” forum consisting of the Parish Council, Colnbrook Community Association, Colnbrook Residents Association and Colnbrook NAG to discuss proposals on matters of concern expressed at the meeting.
The forum was then to report directly back to the residents with their proposals at another Village Meeting.
We were somewhat perturbed to find that the Acting Chair of the “Heads of Groups” forum (Cllr Hood) had entered into discussions with Heathrow Airport without any mandate from the community. We feel this action could be detrimental as there is no decision on expansion at Heathrow; there are no formal proposals regarding compensation or mitigation; and the Airports Commission recommended an independent body to set the compensation and mitigation levels for all residents around Heathrow. This alone would invalidate any agreements reached by individual authorities or groups, and may have the unintended consequences of giving Heathrow a bargaining tool if such levels were agreed at a lower figure than recommended by the Independent Body.
We would point out that during the T5 planning procedures SBC negotiated with Heathrow; Hillingdon did not. Hillingdon gained ten times the compensation/mitigation package that Slough achieved.
The CCA has good working relationships with groups active in our communities. We would accept that at times there are conflicts between individuals, but that rarely gets in the way of helping each other out and cooperating when it is required for the benefit of our communities.
Our management committee will support the Heads of Groups committee as long as it adheres to the decisions made at the Village Meeting. It has unfortunately failed to do so thus far, and therefore we wrote to the Acting Chair to set out our concerns, and obviously those of residents, and seeking his agreement to set it back on the agreed course.
Unfortunately the responses received from Cllr Hood have left us in despair as he will not honour the wishes of residents and commit to another Village Meeting.
He simply states;-
the situation on Heathrow and what to do next can be raised at next Tuesday’s [Parish Council] meeting which is open to all”.
There is no mention of SIFE!
This is unacceptable for three reasons;-
Firstly the opportunity to discuss anything will be during the public session and this is not properly minuted;
secondly the time for discussion will be very limited, and
thirdly no formal decisions can be made by residents which are enforceable on the Parish Council.
We believe that the wishes of residents who attended the meeting on 16th June should be honoured. Therefore we will arrange another Village Meeting at the earliest opportunity in order that residents may comment on the present positions on Heathrow and SIFE and agree on the proper way forward.
We trust this explains our standing satisfactorily.
Victoria Brenner, Chair
Colnbrook Community Association