The active pace continues for the Woldingham Parish Council. And we are pleased to see our ranks grow to help us address the work in the village.
Co-option of New Councillor
We are delighted to announce we co-opted a new Parish Councillor at our February meeting. We welcome Daniel Mann to the Council. Daniel brings lots of energy and has jumped straight in, helping fundraise for the North Downs Open Space project and working on our new Resilience Plan.
The Council has one remaining vacancy. If you are interested in serving on the Council, please join us for a Council meeting or email us at email@example.com. Our activities are extremely varied. Please get in touch to learn more.
Planning applications continue to come in at a rapid rate. We had 11 to respond to in February, once again nearly double the number of previous years.
North Downs Open Space Project
We are hard at work building business plans and fundraising for the North Downs Open Space project to enable us to bid for the North Downs Golf Club, which is up for sale. If successful in our bid, we have three main aims for the land:
- Create community nature reserve and park for recreation and leisure pursuits
- Help to reverse declines in biodiversity
- Protect the land for posterity from inappropriate development in the green belt
The site currently comprises a 68 acre, 18-hole golf course. The WPC registered the golf club as an Asset of Community Value, which quite simply gives the community bidding rights if it is sold. While we recognise the long-standing golf tradition on the site and the disruption to existing members, regrettably, there is no viable way for the Parish Council to retain golf facilities on the site. However, there are other golf facilities in the area which can accommodate new members. A sensitive renovation of the site’s grassland habitats could provide amenity for residents and the wider public to use for fitness, health and wellbeing. In addition, the rewilding of these lands will likely restore them to a rich and rare condition similar to nearby Sites of Special Scientific Interest, thereby further preserving the Green Belt.
The challenge is great but achievable. We must raise funds and then be the successful bidder. We are encouraged by recent local projects like Pewley Meadows, near Guildford. The community recently raised £1.5m to buy 37.5 acres which were won in a bidding war and are being managed by Surrey Wildlife Trust. We must raise at least £2.7million to fund our venture. All pledges, large or small are very welcome. If you would like to pledge to support us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Woldingham Parish Council (WPC), along with many other Parish Councils in the County, have created a Resilience Plan. Under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, the duty of response to incidents falls to Category 1 responders, primarily; blue light services, health teams and both County and District Councils. Category 2 responders are also expected to respond which include all forms of transport and utilities companies.
Under the Act, Parish Councils are not duty-bound to respond, but we play a key part in communicating and escalating issues to receive help. In addition, we can provide local points of contact and disseminate information. A pro-active and prepared Parish can be a great deal of help. An organised and updated Parish emergency plan will provide a single resource document that will enable a fast-paced response to the demands of the incident and aid restoration for the local community.
In addition, the WPC is working with other neighbouring Parish Councils in North Tandridge to ensure that we can coordinate and help each other as needed.
We continue to progress path regeneration where paths need attention and to pursue speeding abatement in the village. We are running another speed test with Surrey in the coming months at the south end of the village. And of course, see below for updates on the Platinum Jubilee and our work on village safety and security.
Chairman Deborah Sherry
Platinum Jubilee Update
The plans for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations are really coming together. If there are any artists who would like to display and sell their art on Saturday 4th June (11.30am – 4pm) please do contact Carole North. We also need more volunteers to help with the clear up and litter pick on the Glebe on Friday 3rd (10am), Saturday 4th (3pm) and Monday 6th (am). If they can help please email email@example.com
Vice Chairman Carole North
Village Security walk (and other safety issues)
As part of the increased engagement of the village with Surrey Police, following up a recent meeting with the Surrey Police Commissioner organised by Surrey County Councillor Becky Rush, several interested groups joined members of Surrey Police on a village walk to discuss areas of concern and look at practical solutions aimed at reducing risk in the community.
Joining the Police were representatives of Keep Woldingham Safe, Woldingham Neighbourhood Watch and the Woldingham Parish Council.
We visited the Crescent, the access road between The Glebe and rear of the shops, the Viewpoint car park, the first Gangers car park, St Agatha’s car park and Church Rd (Woldingham Station end).
Whilst there was evidence of antisocial activity in some of the car parks it was low level and therefore did not warrant excessive extra security. This should be limited to considering barriers which could be locked at night. All three of the car parks are outside the jurisdiction of the Parish Council however the Parish Council will advise the relevant parties of the findings so they can take appropriate action.
With regard to Church Rd, there is an increase in usage of this for car parking during the day by rail passengers as more people return to working in offices as we come out of the pandemic restrictions. There is a security CCTV camera covering the lower end (nearest the station) however it was recommended that a second camera be placed further up the road to cover the upper end of Church Rd.
Surrey Police also confirmed that they are proceeding well with the ANPR camera project which will cover key points in Tandridge with three cameras sited in Woldingham and a second virtual liaison meeting with Surrey Police was held recently to continue to develop the various initiatives identified to help keep us safe. It was stressed that reporting of incidents by residents was of great help to the Police in identifying effective solutions to safety issues.
Councillor Peter Hutchinson