March having been the rainiest March on record for 40 years, aside from the litter pick (see Councillor Fould’s update below), the Parish Council work has largely focussed on what we can do indoors. Long planned and hoped for work to tidy up more of the Crescent awaits better weather. Meanwhile, on the planning front we continue to have a planning application review workload more than double the average of previous years (pre-pandemic). The plans for the Council’s Coronation Celebration Saturday evening the 6th of May and the Council’s The Big Lunch on Sunday, replete with large brass band, have fallen into place nicely, as have many other community plans. Key events are taking place on the Glebe, with huge thanks to the Glebe for their facilities and their support. In addition to our planning and administrative workloads and our Coronation planning work, in March the Parish Council submitted responses to two consultations: the national planning policy consultation and the District ward boundary review. We also finalised and sent out a newsletter, which should have reached you in early April.
District Ward Boundary Review
As I updated last month, the District Council wards are being reviewed as part of a periodic government review. Because our district election cycle is to elect one-third of the district councillors every three years, under present legislation (unlike previously), the Local Government Boundary Commission of England (LGBCE) must try to deliver wards of 3 Councillors each, with rare exception. The Parish Council ran an online survey to which 15% of the village voting population responded and the message was clear. 97.1% of respondents wanted us to fight for Woldingham to retain its direct representation. So, the Parish Council voted to make strong arguments for retaining our Woldingham District ward as unique ward. We submitted this consultation response on the 20th of March. We know that a number of other Woldingham organisations and residents have also responded to the consultation.
The LGBCE, taking into account all the feedback it has received across the District in the initial public consultation on communities and wards, will publish its suggested map of ward boundaries by the 30th of May, thereby commencing the next phase of consultation on its proposal. We – and all of you — will then have until the 7th of August to give additional feedback to the LGBCE.
In the meantime, we are working with District Councillor Carole North on trying to reopen the conversation and vote in Tandridge District Council (TDC) with respect to the electoral cycle. Had TDC voted to move to electing all District Councillors every four years, there would be no ward size constraints. Based on the documentation the Parish Council received from our Freedom of Information request to TDC, we believe this initial vote was taken without full awareness of the impacts on communities and without full understanding of and consideration for all of the statutory criteria and the difficulty of meeting then as fixed 3-Councillor wards.
Woldingham Welcomes 30th September 2023 12-6pm, at The Village Club
This event (bar in the pandemic) used to run bi-annually. We are now trialling it as an annual event. We will also have community organisations from Surrey and Tandridge in attendance and more. No matter how long you have lived in Woldingham, we are sure you will learn something new. And meet new people! So save the date! We will share more details as the date draws nearer.
Congratulations to our Parish Clerk on her 20th Anniversary with the Council!
Clerk Karen Newman celebrated her 20th anniversary working for the Parish Council earlier this year. We are very lucky to have such a knowledgeable, capable and long-serving Clerk. The Parish Council celebrated Karen’s tenure with us and we thank her for her years of service.
Have you visited Woldingham’s Village Website recently?
It has a wealth of information including the latest news from your Parish Council, your local MP and other organisations, as well as details for many community shops, societies and clubs. The Security section includes crime reduction advice from Surrey Police and contact details for our local Neighbourhood Watch team, whilst the Environment pages give details of current biodiversity and climate projects as well as local walking routes. Give it a go: www.woldingham.com.
If you wish to include your village group’s details on the website or have some community news you wish to share with the village, please contact the firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, if you have any feedback for the Council, whether on anything we publish in the magazine or the website, or on any topic in the newsletter, please do not hesitate to reach out or call. Upcoming work includes our environmental policies in response to the climate emergency, for which we are also seeking volunteers. And as ever, if you would like to volunteer to work on any topic, please email us at email@example.com.
Chairman Deborah Sherry
King’s Coronation Celebration – Help Needed
The King’s Coronation is in a few days’ time and the Parish Council and many others have been hard at work on commemorative events. All Woldingham’s celebration events are listed in the Coronation weekend calendar in this magazine. Throughout the festivities, parking in the Glebe car park will be restricted to disabled residents.
To help with litter picking on the Glebe on Sunday 7th May (9-10am) and Monday 8th May (9-10am). Please just turn up at those times. We also are looking for volunteers to man the Glebe car park to manage the parking on both Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th during the events. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.
Please watch out for further announcements on the Woldingham Facebook page. We look forward to seeing you there.
Councillor Carole North, Vice-Chair
Spring Litter Pick
The spring village litter pick took place on Saturday the 11th of March. For the first time we were hosted by the Glebe, which meant the Pavilion was in operation for teas, coffees and cakes. Many thanks to Janine for hot drinks and cakes and for Annie (again) for another spectacular range of homemade cakes. In another first, the Rainbows joined us, so along with the Scouts we had a large and enthusiastic group of keen young litter pickers. Together with some adult helpers, we managed a pretty good coverage of the central roads and open spaces in the village.
There was much discussion about the way that many villagers pick litter from the verges near their homes as a matter of course on a regular basis, and how we might really get on top of the job if everyone did this. The twice yearly community litter picks will continue in any event.
Anyway, we collected the usual slightly demoralising pile of rubbish, but the village is cleaner as a result. With thanks to everyone who turned up to help, keep an eye out for the date of the Autumn litter pick, to be announced soon.
Councillor Alex Foulds