A relatively mild beginning to February weather-wise was the counterpoint to the pace of work in the Council last month. A near record fourteen planning applications flooded in for commentary. We continued to work on feedback for the National Planning Consultation and the District Ward Boundary Review. And as ever, planning for community events and celebration continues.
The National Planning Policy Consultation
The National Planning Policy Consultation, as mentioned last month, is important to us because crucially, amongst other planning rules, how and whether to enforce housing targets are under review. Hitting fixed housing targets that have been uniformly shared across the country is incredibly difficult in a District like Tandridge, which at 94% Greenbelt, contains the highest percentage of Greenbelt land in the country. We completed and submitted our feedback on 2 March. The consultation is now closed and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities is ingesting the feedback. We will report the outcomes and policy changes, if any, once they are shared.
The District Ward Boundary Review
The District Ward Boundary review is a thorny issue. We may lose our direct representation as Woldingham as a result of this review. Today we are one electoral ward, with one directly elected representative that represents our interests and works on our challenges – District Councillor Carole North, who is also our Parish Council Vice-Chairman. The current proposal on which we are commenting, is to reduce the number of wards and so to create larger wards with three Councillors per ward, each elected by the full ward. The Local Government Boundary Commission for England last reviewed the boundaries in Tandridge District Council 25 years ago. We are working hard with the Woldingham Association and others in the community to make a case that protects Woldingham’s voice in District matters. By the time you read this, we will have had a public meeting on the proposals on the 16th of March and will have submitted our feedback to the consultation shortly thereafter. I will summarise that feedback in the May edition of the magazine and lay out the next steps in the consultation process.
The Coronation Celebration 5-8th May
The Coronation Celebration is taking shape across the community. The vast majority of the events will take place on the Glebe, our wonderful village centre, with satellite events on the Village Green and at the Woldingham Village Club. As a reminder:
5th of May: Performances of The Fat Lady Sings in little woldie” in both the afternoon and the evening from the Woldingham Players at the Village Club.
6th of May 5pm-1130pm: The Council’s Coronation Celebration. Bar and food stalls open from 5pm, with bao buns, hog roast, spit roast chicken, sausages and more. Barn dance and caller with Moves aFoot from 530-8pm and local rock and indie band Parallel Sky from 9-1130pm.
7th of May: 10am Thanksgiving Eucharist for the Coronation at St Paul’s Church, followed by The Woldingham Association’s treasure hunt, at 11.30am. The ‘Coronation Big Lunch’ on the Glebe from 1230pm – bring a picnic and enjoy the large Croydon Brass Band 2-4pm. Bar and burgers and more available on the day.
8th of May: The Big Help Out takes place. More information will be available soon. The Glebe is looking for volunteers for their garden projects. If there are any other community volunteering projects, or if anyone would be interested in volunteering for other projects, please do get in touch with Vice Chairman Carole North at email@example.com.
A number of associations and residents are also planning activities across the weekend. The History Society will be displaying the Royal beasts (created by Hazel Dixon for the Silver Jubilee), along with a portrait of His Majesty King Charles III, on the Village Green throughout the weekend. The Glebe is running an art competition, email theglebewoldingham:gmal.com for details, deadline 24th April 6pm. The Woldingham Writers Group are running a poetry competition, deadline 24th April, email wwgpoetry@firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Woldingham Welcomes 30th September 12-6pm, the Village Club
Turnover in the village has increased over the last decade, and our demographics have shifted, as evidenced by the latest census. We are trialling moving the Woldingham Welcomes event to an annual event. Like last year, this will be held at the Woldingham Village Club. There is always new information about what Woldingham organisations offer and are doing. We are also inviting some Tandridge and Surrey organisations to partake, so watch this space for more information. There was a great and social turnout to the last one, so save the date!
Annual Parish Meeting, 14th April 6.30pm, the Village Hall
Our Annual Parish Meeting is taking place on the 14th of April. Want to hear about your village in detail and share ideas and concerns? Then please join us at the Annual Parish Meeting. More details on the agenda will be posted on the village website, the village Facebook page and the noticeboard at the Crescent in early April.
Chairman Deborah Sherry
Dog walkers in Woldingham
The upsetting, and extremely sad, incident at Gravelly Hill, Caterham, has brought the role of dog walkers into prominent focus recently. Many of us rely on walkers to care for our dogs while we are unable to walk them during the week but the shortage of dog walkers in the district means that we may be less rigorous in vetting them.
If you are looking for a dog walker please make sure they have insurance, which will only cover up to six dogs per walk, and are licensed with Tandridge District Council. Professional, licensed dog walkers will take their time to understand your dog’s behaviour and habits. Usually, they will request a trial walk before introducing them to other dogs they walk to make sure their temperaments are matched and don’t be surprised if they want to keep your dog on the lead for the first few walks while they work on recall. All of these steps are important to keep your dogs, the walkers and members of the public safe.
Vice-Chairman Carole North
Climate Emergency Policy
We are in the final stages of agreeing a policy on the climate emergency. Whilst the Parish Council does not own any buildings, and we have therefore limited direct impact on climate change, we know that this is a really important issue for us all. We also know that Woldingham has a much higher consumption footprint across all indicators that contribute to greenhouse gases (including heating homes, transport, food consumption and disposing of waste) than the borough and the country as a whole.
We therefore want to work within the scope of our powers and resources to protect our wildlife and habitats, and to enable residents to benefit from a green and beautiful environment. Activities such as the regular anti-litter campaigns, action to keep footpaths in good order and the way we procure and support events all have an impact on our environment. We know that there are many great ideas and activities already happening across Woldingham and we are keen for you as residents, local groups, schools and businesses to share your ideas and initiatives that we can help support and promote.
Councillor Daniel Mann
As you may recall, residents in Woldingham hosted many Ukrainian refugees in their homes. Much of this was coordinated by local resident Claire Dunn. While the war itself remains a prolonged and tragic situation, many of those housed in the village now have jobs and are looking for permanent homes. Local housing is not easy to procure, but very important, particularly as many refugees now have jobs in the wider area and children at schools in the area. Flats in the area urgently needed, so if you own a flat and would be willing to rent to a Ukrainian refugee and their family, please get in touch with Claire Dunn at email@example.com.