Letter from the Chairman
Even as the spring rains continue, I note that our village is out walking, working and celebrating together. Greenery abounds, but we hope that drier weather approaches for summer’s enjoyment and more village events this summer. Meanwhile, for the Parish Council, planning applications continued to roll in for commentary, but at a slightly slower pace – at last! While the proposal to turn the Chalkpit Quarry into a housing estate has not reached us, the management team from Southern Gravel will be presenting in our meeting on the 31st of May.
The WPC had hoped to assume ownership of the Village Green from Tandridge District Council. We had felt this desirable for a number of reasons, as TDC could do anything they wish with the Green and do not spend money on it to protect it in an attractive manner. However, one resident on the road called The Green advised that Tandridge District Council had paid 50% of costs towards the repair of the road The Green.
It is unclear why the owner of Village Green would bear 50% of the responsibility for road repairs, and likely shouldn’t, however, given the precedent, ownership would present a cost too high for the Parish Council’s current budget. Therefore, at our May meeting the Parish Council voted unanimously not to pursue ownership of the Village Green.
Despite asking them to do so, TDC will not remove the unsightly concrete blocks that remain on the Village Green. We are aware that there are now gaps significant enough for vehicles to access it, but we are currently at an impasse with TDC. We have already approached TDC about installing posts along the road, but they will not given there may be utilities beneath them (and will not fund them). The Parish Council hope to start a fund, funded by both the Parish Council and donations, to fund a better solution for the protection of the Village Green.
Annual Parish Meeting
We held our Annual Parish Meeting in April at the Village Hall. Our Head of Finance, Peter Hutchinson, and I updated the attendees on the year’s activities and expenditure and District Councillor North spoke about the District and its work and her priorities. The attendees were then split into groups to ascertain the concerns of residents. Concerns had not shifted since research had been done for the Neighbourhood Plan, and include continuing to address crime and speeding, protecting the character of the village and the Green Belt, protecting our airspace from noise pollution and focussing on more social activities and children’s facilities.
District Ward Boundary Review
As a reminder, the current statutory ward boundary review will most likely result in the merger of the Woldingham ward with a larger District ward on our boundary – most likely West Warlingham. Although we submitted arguments that we believe are compelling, legislation is not on our side. District Councillor Carole North brought a motion to the District to reconsider the electoral pattern, for if we moved to a cycle of electing all Councillors every four years, ward sizes could vary. However, the District Council voted not to revisit the decision, on the grounds that it was undemocratic to vote again on a motion that had taken place 9 months previously. Therefore, the District Council declined to reopen the matter. Accordingly, we now await the proposed map of new wards from the Local Government Boundary Commission of England, due at the end of May. The consultation on the proposed ward map then commences.
Having previously declared a climate emergency, the Parish Council adopted a climate policy in the April meeting. We are now seeking volunteers to form a small committee that can prioritise actions for the village. If you are interested in volunteering, please email parish.clerk@Woldingham.com.
Safety and Visibility on The Ridge
The WPC brought a list of requests to County Councillor Becky Rush, who has pursued them with Highways. We had hoped that cat’s eyes might have a hope of reinstatement, that side reflector posts might be possible and that the crumbling road edges and white lines could be repaired. Unfortunately, cat’s eyes on a road the width of The Ridge are still out of guidelines and reflector posts were deemed not viable. However, the white lines and road edges will be repaired.
Leanna McEwan put herself forward for co-option for the Parish Council’s vacant post. Cllr Holbrook and the Chairman met with Leanna and the Chairman proposed that she be co-opted onto the Council. The Council voted in favour for the co-option of Leanna who will join the May meeting.
We hope you all enjoyed the community festivities at the Coronation Celebration
The Council worked hard to deliver a great set of community events – the Saturday Coronation Celebration and the Sunday Big Lunch. And we hope you will continue to support the events in Woldingham across the year. Read Carole North’s Coronation Celebration Reflections.
Woldingham Parish Council Newsletter
A Parish newsletter was sent to all households in Woldingham in early April. If you did not receive this newsletter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can send you a copy. Or use the link above to view the online version.
And please do remember to check Woldingham.com for updates on parish news and events, safety advice from Surrey Police and oh so much more!
Chairman Deborah Sherry
Speed Watch Returns to the Village
Over the last two years we have collected two sets of traffic speed data through the village (as reported in this magazine) but the feeling is that this could be augmented by a speed watch team, not least to get better coverage.
We last tried to get a village speed watch set up during lockdown, but although we had a list of volunteers it wasn’t possible to get training nor calibration of the speed gun. We are now having another go, and we have a volunteer to lead the team so if you are interested in getting involved, please contact me email@example.com.
Councillor Alex Foulds