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LPRA - a brief history

Lea Park Residents' Association (LPRA) is a not-for-profit organisation open to all residents of Lea Park, Thame. We wish to give greater opportunities for residents to feel part of the community and have the necessary tools to help each other as well as themselves.

In early 2007 Russell Payne recalls the main concern was the lack of maintenance around the town, as it was difficult to find the right department to report the problem to, causing frustration for a lot of residents.

There was standing room only at an early meeting and a lot of people were very 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 and then, after several months, 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 the LPRA £500, pending the promised grant of a similar amount from the Town Council. The call was made for volunteers Committee members and at the time Russell was working locally, had the time, and he wanted the project to succeed, so he volunteered. The Committee established the logo, the newsletter with customer discounts, the first website and organised various events. Membership fee was £1 per household, later increased to £2 per household.

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 was very ill, Russell, Membership Secretary and Angela as chair, came back on the scene and arranged the AGM at The Well and more people were invited to join the Committee.

Notable projects include the Say No to 850 houses, adoption of drains/sewers on the estate, input to the Core Strategy and participation in delivery of Thame Neighbourhood Plan, installation of grit and extra litter bins, participation the Tidy Thame Days, improved road signage, clarified ownership of untended pockets of land and planned dropped kerbs for wheelchair and buggy users. Problems with the car parks on the estate is a continuing project for the Committee as is the campaign for 20 mph speed limit on Lea Park. Restoration of The Moats area.

LPRA have arranged several successful events including an Open Gardens day and Quiz Night and their annual AGMs.

Russell served the LPRA proudly for several years and said “each person on the committee was a pleasure to know, and best of all, everyone understood that whilst being a committee member was not that time consuming on the whole, in times of our lives we have more pressing matters that need our time and on those occasions the rest of the committee would step in to help…..TRUE TEAMWORK….. I am still a member and wish the LPRA every success for the future.”

There have been numerous volunteers on the Committee over the past 9 years, too many to mention by name, who have continued to make a difference to the estate and keep it a pleasant place to live.

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