As I finalised this month’s update, we were all faced with the devastating news of the death of Her Majesty, our beloved Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty was an extraordinary and unique public servant – the longest serving monarch in our history and the second longest in the world. While the official mourning period will have ended by the time you read this, the national grief for Her Majesty the Queen will continue. For never in the history of our great Kingdom have we had the privilege to be ruled for so long but such an incredible and humbling public servant. We can never underestimate how much joy and stability she brought to our United Kingdom, or how much she contributed to our global standing with her selfless, incredible work rate as she travelled the world in her service to us all. She is an inspiration to generations and to the world. We were blessed to have her as our Queen. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will always be remembered and beloved. Our grief for Her Majesty, our longest reigning monarch, is endless.
By the time you read this you will have read many more beautiful words than ours, but this Parish Council grieves for her, grieves with the village, grieves with the nation and with the world.
And despite our sadness, we also rejoice in our new King, King Charles III. Long live the King.
Although it pales in significance, Woldingham Parish Council work and news continues.
We remind everyone that we have one vacancy for a Parish Councillor. Parish Council work is very varied, from running community events to planning work or upkeep in the village or work on security. There are many different ways to get involved and you do not need any specific expertise. If you might be interested, please reach out to email@example.com.
As you may be aware, Vice-Chairman Carole North has been spearheading the effort to ensure we bring high speed internet to everyone in the village. She wrote a detailed update last month. As a reminder, we have 358 houses and businesses, so nearly half the village, that is not yet served. Vice-Chairman North worked with Openreach on the matter, but as we were nearly in the position to get things moving, the rules in the national subsidy scheme (known as the voucher scheme) changed, requiring the WPC to sign a contract that underwrote the costs if people did not sign-up for the service, at a level that far exceeded the Parish Council’s annual precept budget (income from taxes) of £46,284. Vice-Chairman North has now strongly raised the matter with our MP, Claire Coutinho, as the new rules fly in the face of the ethos of the project, which aimed to bring fast, reliable broadband to everyone in the UK. We hope that with new leadership in place, the project restarts in a way that delivers for the village and for the UK.
Although the pandemic seemed to bring our efforts to revive Speedwatch work to a halt as training from the police was difficult to obtain, we are now moving again. Councillor Alex Foulds is driving our Speedwatch team revival. We are still seeking more volunteers, as Speedwatch is done in pairs. Woldingham are on the waiting list for Speedwatch training. You must take this training to participate. We are still seeking volunteers so if you are interested in helping out on Speedwatch, please contact our Clerk on firstname.lastname@example.org
Carols in the Crescent
Carols in the Crescent will be on December 10th, 2022, at 6.30pm. More information will follow next month, but please save the date! Last Christmas, we had a beautiful concert with the North Downs Consort and enjoyed mulled wine, hot chocolate and mince pies.
We presently have two defibrillators in the village – one on the Village Hall and one on the Garden Village Peace Centre Hall. We know our defibrillators have been used to save lives. They are expensive pieces of equipment, and we are currently pursuing grants to provide an additional one on the Glebe.
Grant Applications Due Soon
While we will entertain timebound grant applications throughout the year, the Woldingham Parish Council has an annual process to review the vast majority of requests. We review grant applications annually at our November meeting. This year’s grant applications are due by the 23rd of November. Please use this WPC Grant Scheme Application Form to apply (it can also be found in the Parish Council Documents section of the website).
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us as you are drafting your application. Please contact our Clerk at email@example.com.
As a Parish Council, our role in the national procedures for our Sovereign is small, but we are all a part of Operation London Bridge. We were given clarity of what we must do in August and sadly had to act on this when we lost our beloved Queen Elizabeth II in September. Your Parish Council ensured that our flag was flown correctly upon announcement from the Palace, Proclamation from the Accession Council and throughout the mourning period and funeral. We posted messages, as every arm of government was required to do per Operation London Bridge, and we provided a Book of Condolences at the Church and worked with the Church to ensure everyone in the Community knew where and when to sign it, lay flowers and join in the service for Queen Elizabeth II. Although our official role is small, our sense of loss and our mourning is great. God Bless Queen Elizabeth II. May she rest in peace. Long live the King.
Chairman Deborah Sherry