Lea Park Residents’ Association (LPRA) is a not-for-profit organisation open to all residents of Lea Park. We wish to give greater opportunities for residents to feel part of the community and have the necessary tools to help each other and themselves.
In 2007 Russell Payne recalls the main concern was the lack of maintenance around the town, it was difficult to find the right department to report the problem to, causing frustration for residents.
There was standing room only at an early meeting and people were angry. Angela Willson recalls that the Town Clerk suggested we start a Residents’ Association to help resolve the many issues raised.
A public meeting at the Town Hall followed where Angela asked for people to come forward to join a working party, an Open Day was held at Barley Hill School where the first Committee was elected and the LPRA was officially formed!
A founder member was Garry Garretts, who kindly loaned £500, pending the promised grant of a similar amount from the Town Council. The Committee established the logo, newsletter, first website and organised various events. Membership fee was £1 per household per year, later increased to £2 per household per year.
Both Russell Payne and Angela stepped down at that point. LPRA was then chaired briefly by Phil Dumelow, with Tim Gabb, another founder member, took over the role.
When Tim Gabb had to step down, Russell, Membership Secretary and Angela as chair, re-joined & arranged the AGM at The Well. People were invited to join the Committee.
Notable projects include Say No to 850 houses, adoption of drains/sewers, input to the Core Strategy and participation in Thame Neighbourhood Plan, installation of grit and extra litter bins, participation in Tidy Thame Days, improved road signage, clarified ownership of untended pockets of land, dropped kerbs for wheelchair and buggy users. Problems with the car parks on the estate is a continuing project, as is the campaign for 20 mph speed limit. Restoration of The Moats area is ongoing.
LPRA have arranged several successful events including an Open Gardens Day, Hanging baskets and pots competition, stand at Barley Hill School fete and Quiz Night and their annual AGMs. Covid has prevented any events in 2020/21.
The newsletter is produced twice a year, distributed to every household, and provides the residents with information about current projects on the estate.
There have been numerous volunteers on the Committee over the past 15 years, too many to mention by name, who have continued to make a difference to the estate.