St. Leonards Neighbourhood Association

Minutes of the 46th St Leonards Neighbourhood Association AGM at 7pm on the 27th April 2018

at The Cardinal Newman Centre, Wonford Road.


1. Apologies for absence. Jack Webber, John and Sheila Stirling, Mike Wozniak, Kate Stych, Stephanie Brown, Joshua Hamilton, Mrs M and Mr R. Bishop, Judy Coleman, Edward MacMullen and Beryl Whidden. 45 people attended the AGM. Devon County Councillor Carol Whitton and Exeter City Councillors Matthew and Natalie Vizard were present.

2. Minutes of the 2017 AGM on the 19th May 2017 were read and approved.

3. Matters arising. Marion Dunkeley who for many years was secretary for the SLNA has recently died and will be sadly missed. John Coleman who used to help us at fairs and in other ways died recently and will equally be missed, our condolences go to his wife.

4. Chairman’s report:-

There is continued monitoring of emissions from the Secanim meat processors and the Energy Recovery Facility. Nigel has arranged several tours of the Recycling Facility and the Energy Recovery Plant and more can be arranged in future. Exeter recycling performance helps keep council tax down.

The former Chinese restaurant in Magdalen Road has now been redeveloped into an estate agent and looks smarter.

Fair Park Road Almshouses development Bull Meadow, the planning application for this has only just been submitted. A contentious area is the plan for a turning area at the end of Temple Road, which will take up some of Bull Meadow Park. People are not keen on the setting of a precedent of removing green space and more traffic going along Temple Road and next to the playing area of Bull Meadow. The planning officer Moran Golan said the turning area and 3 parking spaces are only for people servicing the proposed 31 new flats. Deliveries should all be via Fairpark Road and the postal address and postcode of the flats will be that of Fairpark Road. The planning officer also said the new turning area would be adopted as a public road. Nigel showed us photos from the architect of the new flats which replace 12 current dwellings.

ERADE site. Planning permission has now been granted for the redevelopment of this site on Topsham Road providing flats, a small house to accommodate the preschool, a large Care Home and some houses. The residents of Weirfield Road will end up with more traffic as the Care Home will have an entrance onto Weirfield Road where currently there is just access to the Headmaster’s House.

ERADE playing field. Local schools including St Leonards Primary, the Maynard and the Preschool are already interested in using the site. The SLNA are keen to keep the area as an asset of community value.

Inter-generational event. In collaboration with St Leonards Primary School older people are being invited to attend an event the afternoon before (18/5/2018) the Royal Wedding for tea, cakes, conversation and decoration making with the pupils. Nigel has visited the school and met some of the pupils who have plenty of topics for discussion. Anybody who knows anyone who might want to go should contact Nigel.

Roberts Road Church hall. This sold at auction for 411,000 to a couple living in Switzerland who wanted to convert it to residential use. The council have said that nothing can be changed without planning permission. A member of the audience suggested that if it is empty maybe the council can be asked if it can be used by the homeless.

Bull Meadow improvements. Kate Stych and other volunteers have planted parts of the area and when the wall of the Jewish Cemetery has been repaired they will plant this area. There is a sinking drain with fencing around and Wild City are going to plant this area, as they did last year, with wild flowers. There is a dispute between the council and South West Water as to who has to pay for repairs which has caused the delay. There is concern expressed there are few places in St Leonards to kick a ball around and the fenced off area and possible encroachment by a turning area for the new Almshouse development do not help this.

Dissenters’ Graveyard. This is open twice a month, the next open days are 10am to 4pm, 5th and 30th May, 2nd and 27th June.

Salmonpool Lane Playground, has new play equipment and the Neighbourhood Association has offered to pay for a noticeboard.

The SLNA website has been hosted free by TalkTalk for the last 10-15 years but they will no longer do this. There is now a new web address This includes the virtual noticeboard which has the same information as the newly replaced Real Noticeboard which is on Magdalen Road next to the Sandwiched Inn.

Christmas Fair 2017 was very successful with great comments from stallholders as to the friendliness of volunteer helpers and the atmosphere. Nigel finds buskers on the High Street who give performances. Anyone who knows of musical entertainers are welcome to put them in touch with us.


5. Community Builder report. Jayne Leavers gave a presentation about her work locally. There are well recognised health benefits to social interaction. Jane put an article in the Neighbourhood News encouraging people to connect with neighbours. She was contacted by a resident at Wellingtonia Park who wanted help creating more social activity. They knocked on doors and found out what other residents would enjoy. There is an article about this in the May Neighbourhood News. Jane has done ‘asset mapping’ to document local social activities. It was suggested this information might be put on the website.

6. Patients’ Group update. Niall MacLeod distributed contact details of local Patient Participation groups and encouraged people to join. Some practices run activities such as walking and gardening.

7. Treasurer’s Report. John Adcock handed out copies of the year’s accounts of the SLNA.

8. Neighbourhood News report. Norman and Brigid Shiel attended the meeting, they have recently moved to Pennsylvania but continue to work on the Neighbourhood News. Norman drew attention to the regular contributors, the IT help he receives and his wife’s injection of rigour. The deliverers are an important part of the distribution. We discussed the next party for deliverers which hopefully will be around September. Norman Shiel’s long record of managing and editing the Neighbourhood News is much appreciated and there was a round of applause in recognition of this. A member of the audience commented on the editorials Norman has crafted for each issue which are always a good read. When Norman has to stop this role there is a possibility it could be taken over by the man who produces the Heavitree News.

9. Election of Officers. During the last year we co-opted Mike Wozniak and Craig Walker onto the committee. Nigel suggested they be made permanent members and there were no objections. The rest of the committee were also re-elected nem con. They are:- Nigel FitzHugh Chairman, Catherine Adcock Vice Chairman, John Adcock Treasurer, Susan Melzer secretary, Committee members, Dave Parsons, Cathy Moran, Kate Stych, Niall MacLeod, Nina Morgan.

10.Any Other Business. Judy Coleman has been trying to get a change to the Salmon Pool Lane parking restrictions. Currently there is no parking allowed from 9am to 6pm to discourage County Hall employees parking. This means dog walkers and people wanting to take children to the play area cannot park. Judy felt if parking was relaxed so maybe you could park from 10am so they can use the park. The Devon County councillor Carol Whitton said that residents should contact Steve Leadbetter as he covered that area. There was further discussion as to residents concerns over the encroachment of green space in Bull Meadow for the Fair Park Road Almshouse development. Natalie Vizard (City councillor) said she would represent residents feelings about the importance of protecting the green space of Bull Meadow.

Other topics mentioned were the exhibition at the Barnfield of works from a collaboration between Gallery 36 and Age UK running between the 5th and 31st of May. Also there are concerns at the traffic density and air pollution which is present 3 times a day on the Topsham Road. It was felt the only remedy was behaviour change so people walk and bicycle instead of driving.