Minutes of S.O.S Save Our Village Campaign Group

Date of Meeting:     10/11/2018 @ 10:00

Attendees:               Andrew Grimes, Jim Frewin, James Reid, Mark Chatfield, Dawn Peer, Peter Hughes, John Brown, Lee Brown, James Flynn, Tony Johnson (Press)

Location:                 Shinfield Parish Hall, John Heggedon Room


The minutes of the meeting held on 6th October 2018 were approved unanimously with no corrections and were signed by Andrew Grimes.

Review of Actions

Action Ref:DescriptionUpdateOwnerStatus
20181006-01Confirm communications support will be paid for by Shinfield Parish Council.Approved up to £10k.PHClosed
20181006-02Identify communications support for the group.Local marketing companies interviewed – average cost is approx. £12kPHClosed
20181006-03Open bank account for group.Additional information needed to enable bank account to be opened.LBOpen
20181006-04Conduct research on other groups to identify lessons learnedAll successful campaigns had the support of councillors who worked alongside residents.JFOngoing
20181006-05Think about fundraising ideas for the group.Some ideas but no real progress.ALLOngoing

Matters Arising from Actions

The following items were discussed as a result of the actions taken:

  • The campaign will require access to a large amount of skills including lawyers, surveys, publicity, and IT skills. A skills audit is needed to identify who in the community have these skills and are willing to give their time to the campaign
  • There is a need to communicate what we’re doing to the wider community so everyone is aware of the campaign group and our aims. One way to do this would be to meet parents at the school gates so they’re aware of what we’re doing and spread our message
  • Mark Chatfield has raised a national House of Commons petition which everyone was encouraged to sign and send on to their contacts as a way of focusing pressure nationally on the Government’s housing policy
  • Compared to other similar local groups fighting development in their area we are quite large and from the petition conducted already there is a lot of support for the issue locally. Two of our Borough Councillors stated in writing that they oppose the development in Shinfield, but their voting record doesn’t reflect this
  • James Flynn suggested that from his review of similar groups we should ensure that our campaign shines a spotlight on the areas that would be lost so, for example, get people to use the fields that are going to be built on, put banners in key locations, and get schools involved in the campaign
  • From Jim Frewin’s research the following were key factors: the attitude of the electorate to the development, whether landowners were willing to sell the land, and how involved the elected representatives were. Where land owners don’t wait the development, it is quickly stopped but our issue is that the landowners are selling the land.

Campaign Name

The group agreed that our name would be S.O.S Save Our Villages.

Wokingham Borough Council’s Local Plan Document

  • A briefing was held on the 4th October for Parish and Borough Councillors on the new Local Plan which will outline development across the Borough to 2035 and is to be adopted in 2022
  • Some Borough Councillors are fighting the proposed development incl. Stuart Munro, Gary Cowan, and John Halsall amongst others
  • It is likely that one area of objection will be air pollution and there is a separate presentation being held to the Parish Council by a specialist consultancy on monitoring air pollution
  • Across the UK Neighborhood Plans are being over-written due to the presumption in favour of development enshrined within the legislation
  • The WBC consultation on the Local Plan goes live on the 12th November for a period of approx. 3 months (ends on 15th February 2019).

Our Response to the Wokingham Borough Council’s Local Plan

  • In responding to the WBC’s Local Plan our goals should be to:
    1. Provide a formal response to the Local Plan from this group
    2. Knock on every door to put out views across so everyone knows what we think
    3. Set up sessions for the community to explain what the Local Plan would mean
  • Our plan for responding to the consultation is:
    • 1 month to develop our message, identify how we’re planning to respond, and to agree the mechanisms for the delivery of our message
    • 2 months to carry out events such as door knocking to drum up support, hold public meetings, and to run walks through the fields so residents can see what will be lost as a result of the development.
  • Our key message will be “Enough is enough!”


The next meeting will be held on 8th December and will be immediately followed by two public meetings where we’ll report on our progress to the community.


  • Our strategy should include engaging all the candidates who stand for the Borough Council to identify where they stand on development
  • Jim Frewin relayed that at the Spencers Wood Fete a number of public letters were signed which are being sent to Charlotte stating that they won’t vote for her unless she opposes the development
  • Cutbush Lane development is back out for re-submission/public consultation for the next 30 days. Mark thinks that this could be a good catalyst to prove to people that the group is achieving something.

Key Actions

Action ref


Open a bank account for the group.




Conduct research on what other local and national groups have been doing to see if we can reuse / learn from it.




Think about fundraising ideas for the group




Identify the additional information required to enable a bank account to be opened.




Based on requests from LB create documents needed to allow the bank account to be opened.




In conjunction with the Parish Council set up a web-site to cover the consultation being run by WBC.




Secure web presence for S.O.S Save Our Village.




Create a plan for opposing the development




Create our initial message and publicity for first event




Create the technical response to the consultation




Research options for establishing our own web-site




Print DL Leaflet which can be issued out to schools




Circulate contact list of everyone




Talk to Richard about setting up guided walks around the development areas




Create response for the Cutbush Lane Development