New Public Toilet on Fullers Hill, Westerham

In 2009 the Town Council took over the management of the public toilets from Sevenoaks District Council who wished to close them. The Town Council carried out a consultation which culminated in a presentation to the Annual Town Meeting.  Residents voted overwhelmingly that they wanted to keep the public toilets open. Due to ongoing maintenance issues and the building condition in 2017 the Town Council investigated modernising/or replacing the public toilet facility.

At a time when hundreds of Council run toilets are being closed, Westerham Town Council is proud to have opened new public toilet facilities in September 2018 following community demand and visitor need as confirmed in local consultations.

The old toilets – which were over fifty years old – were irreparable and a modern facility was needed to serve the community for the future.

Funded free Family Fun Sessions during the Summer holidays and school half term holidays

The Town Council funds, each year, four summer family fun sessions during August on King George’s Playing Field and also funds three other sessions during School holidays in February, April and October in Westerham Hall. These are very popular and very well supported.

 

A new bridge at King George’s Field

The bridge across the River Darent, providing access to King George’s Field from the town’s Darent Car Park, served the town well for many years. Unfortunately the main structural beams had become rotten and the bridge needed to be replaced. Westerham Town Council has used some of the Community Infrastructure Levy received from new developments in the town to replace the bridge. The new hardwood bridge has steel beams and solid foundations, to meet the standards required by the Environment Agency and planners. It’s an attractive addition to the playing field and should serve us for many years to come.

A Fabulous new playground for Crockham Hill

The playground sited in the corner of Crockham Hill War Memorial Playing Field was over 30 years old and badly needed replacing. The Trust that manage the field, worked with the school children, parents and community groups to design a new playground facility. The final design by Playdale Playgrounds was chosen by a group of local Crockham Hill Mums to provide challenging and fun play opportunities for a wider age group and for both able and disabled children.

Once the playground equipment had been chosen the Trust faced the task of raising £46,000 to fund the project. The Trust contributed, together with grants from Westerham Town Council, the local Kent County Council member Nick Chard, Crockham Park Ltd, Crockham Hill CIC and Airfast. The Trust applied to Biffa Award for a grant of £28,000. Westerham Town Council was delighted to be the 10% third party contributor to secure this grant.

The playground had a formal opening on Tuesday 11th September, attended by 30 school children from Crockham Hill Primary School, who came to try out the new equipment.

Outside gym for King George’s Field

The installation of an outside gym at KGF was one of the elements identified during the public consultation regarding the redevelopment of the site. The installation of outside gyms has seen a huge increase over the past 3/4 years and they have become a popular feature of the parks in many local areas – neighbouring Tandridge District Council have installed 8 sites, which are very well used.
Westerham Town Council joined together with HAGS SMP to install 6 items of gym equipment and an instructional panel in the area adjacent to the picnic tables. In the future this area is planned to border a walking/running/cycling path alongside the river as a continuation of the Darent Valley Path. The range of equipment selected is designed to give a full body workout and to be accessible to the greatest range of ages and abilities.
The equipment has been provided with funding from Westerham Town Council, together with contributions from Kent County Council, Aqualisa Products Limited, Sevenoaks District Council, Westerham Town Partnership, Bill Curtis Associates and MooreEnergy. A formal opening took place on Tuesday 7th March 2017 at 2pm.

New Street Lighting

In December 2016 a new street light was installed along the footpath leading to Farley Allotments/Granville Road.  This was following requests from the public for better lighting along this much used footpath.

Since 2013 The Town Council, who owns the majority of street lights in Westerham has installed new lights in the following locations in Westerham, London Road (opposite the Crown building), the footpath that runs along St Mary’s Church boundary wall and Quebec Avenue, and Oak Road.  All new street lights use LED technology. The benefit of LED’s compared to incandescent lights is that they have lower energy consumption and last longer.

In 2015 the Town Council started it’s LED street light replacement programme.  The Town’s heritage style lanterns that are on all night along the High Street, The Green, London Road and Vicarage Hill have now been replaced with LED’s as have the street lights along the main routes of Westerham; Croydon Road, Hosey Hill and the remainder of London Road.  The remainder of the street lights with change to LED over the next 3/5 years.

Speed Watch Campaign

In December 2016 Westerham Town Council purchased with the help of a grant from KCC a portable speed device.  Town Councillors, staff and volunteer members of the public now run  community speed watch campaign for Westerham.  We are always seeking more volunteers, so if you are interested contact the Town Council offices for more information.

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Forget-me-not-cafe

Our award winning Forget-me-not-Cafe was opened in October 2015 and runs on the 3rd Friday of every month (except August) at the Congregational Church, Fullers Hill, between 11am -1pm.  The Forget-me-not-Cafe is for people living with memory or cognitive issues and is run in partnership with the KCC Community Warden and Home Instead Senior Care.

Voluntary Awards          Memory cafe - webAward - Forget me not cafes

Public Defibrillators

In 2013 the first publicly accessible defibrillator was installed in the Town’s High Street, outside the former Nat West Bank in a red Telephone Kiosk with money obtained by the Sevenoaks District Seniors Action Forum (SDSAF) from the Big Lottery Fund, with help from the Westerham Rotary and Westerham Town Council.

In October 2016 a second defibrillator was installed in the Town in a cabinet on the wall of the Westerham Sports Association’ building on King George’s Field, Westerham. The defibrillator was funded jointly by Westerham Town Council, who manage King George’s Field, and Westerham Junior Football Club, who provide football for 420 youngsters at the site. The monies provided by the Junior Football Club were due to the fund raising efforts of two parents, Claire Sells and Sue Taylor. The ladies raised £800 in sponsorship running a 15 mile off road event, Bewl 15 in the Summer, with three quarters of the money being put towards the defibrillator.

The Town Council and the Football Club considered the installation of a defibrillator at the site to be essential due to the popularity and high usage of this much loved community facility. Westerham Sports Association supported the project by providing the ideal location for the cabinet, under the CCTV on their outside wall, close to the football pitches.

In 2018, three more public defibrillators were installed in Crockham Hill: in the telephone box opposite the Royal Oak Pub, Crockham Hill Pavilion on the Playing Field.

defibkgf     defibrillator web

 Dedication of the Weald House Memorial in Crockham Hill Village Garden

At 0337 hours on Friday 30 June 1944, a German V1 flying bomb (commonly known as a Doodlebug) was hit by anti-aircraft fire and badly damaged before it could reach its intended target of London, deflecting into Weald House.

Weald House was being used by the London County Council as a home for evacuated children at the time and twenty two children and eight members of staff were killed in the tragedy.

Members of Crockham Hill Playing Field Committee, Westerham Town Council and local residents have worked together to provide a fitting memorial in Crockham Hill for all those who died. A service of dedication was held at 12 noon on Sunday 30th October.

The memorial was created and installed by Downsview Monumental Masons – watch the video of its creation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y348h6V7COQ&feature=youtu.be

Keeping Westerham Tidy and Attractive

Westerham Town Council is keen to ensure that the Town is maintained as an attractive place for both residents and visitors alike. Hence this year the Council has budgeted to supplement the weed killing carried out around the centre of the Town by Kent County Council, with our own more frequent programme. We are determined to keep the weeds at bay!
We have also started working in partnership with the Westerham Society to provide the colourful hanging basket scheme, which makes our Town look so attractive during the Summer months. We have complemented the scheme by installing additional planters around Winston Churchill statue and on Grange Island. We have added additional planting to the flowerbed around the Wolfe statue and ensured that all our planting co-ordinates with the hanging baskets. Hopefully you’ve noticed how nice our splashes of this year’s colours, red, white and blue, are around the Town.

   

New posts along the top of the Green

In an attempt to smarten up the centre of Westerham and unify the posts around the town, Westerham Town Council have replaced the posts along the top of the Green with cast iron bollards, as can be seen below. Thanks to our local contractor, Spencer Francis Ltd, the old posts were removed and the new ones installed with a minimum of fuss and disruption to local residents during November 2017.  Thanks must also be given to our local County Councillor Nick Chard, who supported us with funding for the project.

The Town Council opened a dementia friendly café in 2015, which has become an award winning, well attended and supported facility in the town. Following this success our aspiration is to work to become a dementia friendly town. A dementia audit of our town advised that  for people living with dementia, plain black posts can become lost in the street scene and become a hazard, particularly on dull days. To make them more visible they should be highlighted with colour and it was felt that gold highlighting was more in keeping with the heritage of Westerham than fluorescent bands.

New Jubilee notice board on The Green

Together with Westerham Town Partnership and Sevenoaks District Council a new notice board was built on The Green that included tourist information, community events and maps. This has become a focal point in Westerham for visitors and residents alike.

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Taking over grass cutting from SDC

The Town Council felt that community areas were not being cut often enough by the District Council so over the last few years the Town Council has taken over more and more green areas and now cuts Verralls Corner, Granville Road, areas in Madan Road, Hartley Road and Ash Road.

Youth Shelter on King Georges Playing Field

The young people in Westerham from the Youth Club asked the Town Council for somewhere to call their own.  The Town Council helped them to achieve a youth shelter by applying for funding and organising the purchase of the shelter ; the young people raised half the monies needed by applying for youth grants. Due to vandalisism and anti-social behaviour the shelter has been removed from King Georges Playing Field.  The Council is engaging with the young people to explore re-instating the shelter subject to improved behaviour.

Youth Club

The Town Council funds a Youth Club twice a week for young people in Westerham. Initially one night a week was funded but as demand grew Council decided to increase the provision.

Christmas Lights

The Town Council helps to fund the Christmas lights which are switched on at a late night shopping event which has proved very popular in the past.

Alterations to Quebec Square

In 2012, in conjunction with Kent County Council, a road management scheme was introduced for safety reasons. This involved sorting out drainage issues, putting in a heavy duty planter, removing a bollard and better signage.

 

For up to date news on the Town Council and what we are doing go to our gallery and press page

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