The work of the Association & its Committee

As put in an article by Bill Wilson in the 1979 Newsletter ...

There is a clause in the deeds of most of the houses in the Park which obliges owners to contribute towardsthe upkeep of the Park roads which are not adopted and, therefore, are not maintained by the Highway Authority. This condition is not included in the deeds of some houses which are outside the original Park area, but the owners of these houses have joined the association and have always contributed their share to the maintenance of the roads, trees, borders, etc.

The function of maintenance and repair of roads, some drainage, trees and grass verges, is carried out for the benefit of all residents by a committee which is elected each year at the Annual General Meeting, usually in the month of May. Maintenance costs are kept to a minimum consistent with the wishes of the members as resolved at the AGM, when the Park rate to cover these expenses is fixed by a majority vote.
--------- Bill Wilson UPPA Chairman 1979

Custom & Practice of the Association

There is no constitution but certain resolutions made at UPPA general meetings over the last 100+ years and other established custom & practice do control the process of this management -

  • Today the Covenant is between all covenanted land owners. This group is the Proprietors Association and other proprietors of property within what is now Upton Park are taken as equal members of that Association.
  • Between 1952 and 1954; rules to define a constitution were considered by UPPA with the help of a solicitor proprietor who acted as the 'legal advisor' on the committee. The conclusion was to leave things as they were.
  • The Annual General Meeting is open to all proprietors. Proposals must be received before the formal notice. The notice calling the AGM is circulated at least 2 weeks before the AGM.
  • Various early minutes (early 1900's) define the officials but not until Harold Sabine in the mid-1930's was a working committee and road maintenance established as it is known today.
  • The fair means of allocating 'sharing' in raising Park funds has been reviewed at AGM and changed over the years. See below for summary of this history
  • A budget for the following 12 months is prepared by the treasurer; discussed in committee and then put to the AGM to fix the levy for the year.
  • The 1988 AGM resolved by a majority of 18 to 1 that a majority of 75% of all households (not just 75% of AGM voting attendees) was needed for significant expenditures from funds other than for normal road maintenance.
  • Established practice at the AGM has allowed only one vote per rate paying household. The use of Proxy vote has been discussed and rejected by very high majority.
  • The committee usually meets 4 or 5 times a year. Committee minutes are only circulated to committee members. Newsletters are produced and circulated throughout the Park when deemed appropriate by the committee.
  • Any issue for committee should be put in writing to the Chairman or secretary.

How the committee was established and its role defined

From the early days of setting out the Park until the end of the 19th century it appears that a rate was collected from proprietors by ' a collector' but no accounts are known to exist. On 25 July 1899 a meeting of Messrs J Smith (chairman); Edward Dean; William Shone & the collector was called. A minute book incorporating limited accounts was started and a formality established for regular convening of proprietors.

A separate accounts book was started in 1921 initially naming proprietors and listing their Park rate contributions.

The Associations Minute Book

From 1899 until 1974 the minutes of both the committee and the AGM were recorded in a single bound book. These records have been summarised within the reference section.

The basis for sharing the Association's costs

Today the rate is equal for each household.

Based on the Covenant; the rate was originally based on plot area but it appears that some owners with many undeveloped plots were often not paying and the system was seen as unfair. In 1928 the association changed the basis of the rate to be based on the Urban District Council set rateable value (RV) ie so much in the . The Council would revise these periodically and as the decades passed; the newer properties which could command much higher rents; were having RVs several fold more than old property on larger plots.

An equal rate was first formally proposed and discussed at the 1966 AGM but was rejected. Eventually though, the current equal rate was arrived at as the most acceptable when considering issues such as wear-and-tear on road caused by traffic and an acceptance that number of vehicles owned and number of motorised visitors was not related to the plot size or the previous RV (or today's tax band).

Pre 1970s the rate fluctuated widely according to maintenance costs.In recent decades the policy has been more towards a steady increase to build reserve and avoid sudden large increases.

Commission & Honorarium

    Today's Park officials give their services voluntarily but in the past commission or honoraria were the order of the day..
  • The Park minutes for 1920 record L J Gowings as taking on the roles of Hon Sec and treasurer for UPPA on a commission basis of 10% of total Park rates collected plus reasonable out of pocket expenses and with authority to sign UPPA cheques on a newly established UPPA bank account at Lloyds Bank.
  • By 1929 the decision is taken to pay a fixed honorarium of 5 p.a.
  • In 1940 the 5 honorarium is again stated.
  • At one point a single person held all the key roles with sole authority on signing cheques. Needless to say this situation was very short-lived.

UPPA officials over the years

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