As winter rolls in and our new fiscal year approaches, the Parish Council have been working on, amongst other things, budgets, and grants.
Budget and Grants. This year, we so far have allocated grants for the upkeep of the graveyard at St Agatha’s, to The Glebe for CCTV, to the Horticultural Society for plants and flowers for the village, to the Cricket Club for cricket practice net refurbishment and to the Woldingham Pantomime for operations after the pandemic losses. You will hear more about our budget in detail in the upcoming newsletter, but we have kept the precept for the coming year unchanged in light of the economic challenges that are facing us all over the coming year.
Safety and Security. We continue to collaborate closely with the police on safety and security. And by the time you read this, all, or most of our Automated Number Plate Recognition (“ANPR”) cameras should be installed, forming part of a network around Tandridge and with surrounding areas outside the District Council area.
We would like to thank Keeping Woldingham Safe (“KWS”) for their help. The communications tools and network they have launched and their responsiveness to help others have been invaluable. We would like to remind everyone, as they do, that reporting crime and suspicious behaviour and vehicles, and doing so timely, is vital. It we take the time and trouble to report things, we get more support from the police.
KWS (and many others) have again raised the issue of safety on The Ridge, which is often very foggy and dangerous. We take this up annually with SCC, as does our County Councillor, Becky Rush, on our behalf.
As a reminder, Surrey Highways removed the cat’s eyes and centre line on The Ridge as the rules on road safety and white lines had changed. Roads usually have a white line in the centre and, when needed, cat’s eyes, but for roads below a certain width it is considered safer to paint white lines on the outer edge only. And so, this is what SCC Highways have done on the Ridge. However, mud and debris obscure these lines in many places.
Vice-Chairman North, who is also our Tandridge District Councillor, reached out to TDC and in December they sent a sweeper to clean The Ridge, as this year, due to the weather and to construction taking place on The Ridge, the white lines were unusually obscured. SCC Councillor Rush has undertaken to ensure SCC Highways repairs the few sections where the road has eroded away, thereby destroying the white lines, and to come back to us with Highways feedback as to what sort of reflectors and barriers we can put on the roadside to ensure the road shape and width is visible. She will also ask again whether they would consider painting a white line and adding cat’s eyes. KWS have kindly offered to organise a cleaning party, should the Tandridge sweeper not clear the white lines well enough.
North Downs Golf Club. The Parish Council invited Ed Richardson, the CEO of GetGolfing, who hold the lease for North Downs Golf Club (“NDGC”), to come and speak to the Council and the community about their plans for NDGC. We were pleased that he joined us and that many people from the community attended to hear the plans and ask questions.
Mr Richardson shared with us that for the first year of management of a new club, they make few changes as they need to get to know the club, its facilities, and its grounds. He confirmed that GetGolfing and the owner of NDGC are ‘not interested in pouring concrete on grass’ and that he has a 25-year lease on NDGC that cannot be broken, for which they pay the same annual rent from year 1 to year 25. He said that there had been some restructuring and staff changes but although the clubhouse and ambience need improving, this project would not commence until they know the club better. He expected changes to take place over the next 5 years. In response to questions, Mr Richardson stated that they were working to increase the membership, and gave an example from one club they manage, Hampton Court, at which they had successfully increased the membership from roughly 160 to nearly 1000. He also stated that like many in the community, they did not wish to see parking along Northdown Road and that at some stage they would have to work with us on how to increase parking facilities and he welcomed suggestions.
Mr Richardson said that we should be proud that we have a golf club in Woldingham. And he also reminded us of GetGolfing’s charitable aims. They are a charity so they can reinvest all earnings back in the club. And they work closely with the community and community charities and are seeking a local charity which is interested in raising its profile in the community and would like to use the NDGC facilities to meet.
Road Gritting: On inspection, it is clear there are still some overgrown hedges narrowing the roads in the village. Please ensure your hedges and foliage are cut back so that gritters and ploughs may pass and turn as needed.
By the time you read this it will be the New Year. The Parish Council hope that you have all had a wonderful Christmas and wish a very happy New Year and good tidings to all.
Chairman Deborah Sherry
Mobile Network Operators Covering Woldingham
Having moved to Woldingham only a few years ago, I personally find that one of the many features that make Woldingham such an attractive place to live is the fact that it is rural, quiet, and yet in close proximity to buzzing London. However, this idyllic location means that trying to work from home or catch up with friends and family over the phone can be tricky at times!
So, in the last few months, Cllr Carole North and myself carried out a survey of mobile operators and their coverage in the village. We produced a useful schedule to cover the following network providers:
• Vodafone (includes Lebara, TalkMobile and VOXXY)
• 02 (includes GiffGaff, Lyca, Sky and Tesco Mobile)
• 3 (includes iD Mobile, Smarty & SuperDrug Mobile)
• EE (includes ASDA, BT, Orange, PlusNet, T-mobile, Vectone and Virgin)
During the survey we identified some roads / areas of the village where reception varies depending on the network operator. Broadly speaking, these are (parts of): Long Hill, Camp Road, Northdown Road, The Ridge, Southfields Road, Lunghurst Road, Slines Oak, Butlers Dene, Church Road, Woldingham Road, Station Road and Halliloo Valley Road.
For more information, please regularly check our Mobile Network Coverage page. We keep the detailed schedule up to date for each of these providers and their respective gaps in coverage across the village. The aim is to make this an easily accessible guide to anyone in the village interested in switching from one provider to another, and to anyone wishing to move to Woldingham.
Councillor Irina Hoble-Aldersley
Ukrainian War Refugees
Since the first appeal for support to Ukrainians escaping the war, we have seen our community in Woldingham respond positively and enthusiastically through donations, events, and hosting families. As the initial 6 months commitment draws to a close, there is little sign of the war coming to an end. Many hosts are extending support, some across Tandridge are not able to. Many guests are anxious to return home and start rebuilding their country.
We are asking people now to think hard and creatively about how they might help. Does anybody have any short-term accommodation that they are willing to let for a limited period?
Secondly, we are looking to host a local job event in January showcasing employers who may have suitable positions for our Ukrainian visitors. If you are a local employer – or have connections to people who are – please let us know via the Oxted and Warlingham Ukraine Support Group: email@example.com, so we can include you in the preparation.
Councillor Daniel Mann
The winter litter pick took place on Saturday 12th November. The weather stayed dry for us and more than 50 enthusiastic volunteers, young and old, turned out to lend a hand. As usual, the scouts were there in force and within just a couple of hours most of our roads and public spaces in the village had been given the once over. And as usual, unfortunately, there was again a large pile of litter collected, reminding us that this is a never-ending and worthwhile task.
Volunteers all enjoyed coffee, tea and hot chocolate and a magnificent array of cakes, baked by Annie Anderson. My personal favourite was the sultana, date, and cherry fruit cake, but there was something for everyone and we all left happy. Thanks again to Annie and all the volunteers. Look out for the Spring Litter Pick date, published soon.
Councillor Alex Foulds