Update from The Crescent Working Party
Whilst the ongoing work is perhaps not too visible I’m pleased to say that actions are moving forwards. As ever, if anyone has time to volunteer or a specific skill they can offer to assist, we would be grateful to hear from you. Please email Karen, WPC Clerk on firstname.lastname@example.org
We are working on a host of actions to improve The Crescent. The Chairman and I have requested that Surrey County Council complete the work required to redesign the crescent parking; we await next steps from them. Jenny King has received the deeds for The Crescent and has kindly offered to pull together the summary for us to consider as part of the parking solution. Mark Sculthorpe, Mark Tapley, Paul Lunn and myself have met to review and finalise plans for the Scout area, Crescent paths and The Glebe playground and are waiting for quotes from landscape companies, who will complete the work. Janine Battersby has kindly researched bench and bin options, so we are primed and ready to purchase and install as soon as we reach that stage of redevelopment
The next things on our list to tackle are the replacement of the notice board and addition of electrical sockets.
Cllr Becky Rush
Woldingham Station Comfort and Safety
Over the past few years, I have taken a very keen interest in the upgrading of customer facilities at Woldingham Station. I have previously written an article for this Magazine and this submission is an update.
The Station waiting room was renovated which included the repair of facilities. Stage 2 has just been completed which appears to be the replacement of seats and new flooring. I, for one am delighted that the cold metal seats that have been removed, will mean the writers bottom will no longer freeze in the Winter while perched waiting for a train. The heater, which unfortunately cuts out every minute – presumably to ensure wastage of power, is minimised – helps keep the waiting room above freezing.
So overall, there have been improvements. The old signage in the room has also been removed. It seemed unnecessary to advise passengers of flooding issues from two + years previously.
My concern however are twofold:-
1) The waiting room is only open when The Station is manned.
2) The gritting at The Station has been sporadic.
The Station is never manned continuously. I think I am being generous when I state that the ticket office is open 2 / 3 days during the week. Some weeks I have noted it is not open at all. The automated machines are often ‘out of order’ which means the traveller has to seek out a guard on the train to purchase a ticket. When the station is empty, the ‘new’ waiting room is padlocked. The lights are on but you cannot go in. During the Winter months, this room is a welcome refuge while you await a service that is unreliable. I understand Southern lock the room to ensure vandals are kept at bay but I believe this waiting room is a requirement of a busy station and should not be a treat! It needs to be unlocked daily.
A serious health and safety issue is the gritting of the platform. The Station Manager, I believe, has in the past performed this role. If The Station is unoccupied who will grit? I have been witness to numerous accidents on the platform, as the black ice takes no prisoners. I shudder to think what could happen if a tumble results in a fall off the actual platform. I understand Southern despatch a gritting team to The STation in times of inclement weather. The platform is lethal without salt and so is the footbridge. On 19th March, the station was not gritted and became a hazard.
The Station Manager (Debbie) has been unwell but I believe over a year is sufficient time for Southern Rail to organise a regular replacement. Debbie use to open the waiting room and grit the platform. It appears to me that since her absence, standards have dropped and the paying customer has suffered not just in terms of comfort but also from a safety angle.
I do realise we are now in Spring and my two issues are not so critical but I have spoken to Southern Rail numerous times and now is a good time to ensure we do not have a repeat of this going forward next Winter.
I will continue to contact Southern Rail and I suggest any concerned reader does the same.
Councillor Nick Langley
Over the last 30 to 40 years the silt from Long Hill has been washed down to Woldingham Road and then through the cut channels into the field opposite. However, the build up of these deposits had blocked the flow of water, with the result being an increasing problem with flooding on Woldingham Road, that has also had a significant impact on Dene Cottage. The Parish Council would like to thank Juliana, the owner of the adjacent field, for permission to excavate and remove the silt from this field. The water is now able to drain through the channels and into the field and we hope it will be a long time before the problem reoccurs.
The work was carried out on our behalf by Church Farm Services.
Councillor Marc Sculthorpe
Annual Parish Meeting
Finally, please join us for the Annual Parish meeting. Your WPC has been very active this year. From parking, to safety, to The Crescent regeneration, to planning matters and to village activities, it has been a busy year. We have been working on issues raised to us by you – in surveys, at meetings, in writing, and at the Annual Parish Meeting. This year we have Louise Round, Chief Executive of Tandridge District Council, as our Guest Speaker. Many of your vital services and concerns are local ones, so it is your chance to hear from and speak to your WPC and the Chief Executive of Tandridge District Council.
The meeting is on Wednesday 23 May 2018, at 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start at the Woldingham Village Hall. Refreshments will be served and many of your neighbours will be there. So join us! Come and hear about what is happening in the village and in the district. And share your thoughts. Woldingham needs you!
Councillor Deborah Sherry