Community engagement is a key component of the formulation of Westerham Town Council’s (WTC) strategic plan. This page sets out the Council's priorities and evidences the actions and projects undertaken as a result of local engagement.
Community engagement is a key component of the formulation of Westerham Town Council’s (WTC) strategic plan.
Each new council defines its key strategic priorities and following the election of the new Council in May 2019, Westerham Town Council re-examined its strategy for its period of office.
The initial community engagement was a combination of a postcard and Survey Monkey request to ask residents to list their top 4 priorities for the incoming council.
These responses were analysed and in combination with WTC ongoing obligations the key priorities for the 4-year council term were set.
The following link takes you to the Strategic Plan
The initial survey was only a starting point and throughout this council term we have continued to get your views and refine goals. We have listened and acted on direct communications and social media responses. All our council meetings are publicised and have an Open Forum for residents to air their views. We have hosted Annual Town Meetings to listen to your comments, run stalls at fairs and events and have conducted additional surveys and set up focus groups for specific projects.
We have endeavoured to ensure that our plans and responses to your questions have been communicated using direct responses at meetings, newsletters, social media and on our website
We are all aware of the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on Westerham and Crockham Hill and wider society but we have strived to continue to support and improve our community. We have continued to have our meetings and progress projects whilst complying with national legislation surrounding the pandemic.
Despite restrictions we are proud that during this four-year term the Town Council has completed or commenced the following key projects: –
Worked closely with Sevenoaks District Council, which is responsible for rubbish collection, The immediate and most visible result is the mini road sweeper now positioned in Westerham. This has made a marked difference to the centre of the town. Our thanks go to SDC for providing this.
Worked with the community to undertake regular litter picks
Four schemes the extension of Costells Meadow car park, additional on street parking in both Madan and Hartley Roads and a new car park at Crockham Hill have all been completed. Together these have provided over 70 extra spaces. This is no mean achievement in a town where space is hard to come by.
It has been a source of great satisfaction that the long campaigned for 20mph speed limit on the A25 though the town has been introduced. Stretching from Vicarage Hill in the east to beyond Verralls Corner in the west and encompassing the roads which feed into it – notably parts of London Road and Croydon Road – this is proving to be an effective means of slowing through traffic. Taken together with the one-way system round The Green, the schemes are starting to calm and control the traffic at a speed which is acceptable and practical for the town and improves the quality of life for residents.
Your Council is not so naive as to think that all traffic will immediately obey the new restrictions, so it is reviewing, together with Kent County Council, their effectiveness to see if any additional measures are needed. It is also planning to step up Speedwatch.
We have rolled out the replacement of high energy consumption street lighting with more efficient LED street lighting. Reducing carbon emissions and our electricity costs
We have run a variety of activities for our younger residents ranging from Free Food Friday where we engaged young people to understand their needs and wishes, resulting in the Town Council setting up free Boxing and fitness classes. We run Family Fun sessions during the school holidays on King George’s Playing Field and in Westerham Hall at half terms. We have supported exercise in the form of boxing and street dance sessions. Supported the Sea Cadets and much more.
We have supported events in the town often working alongside the Westerham Town Partnership.
We have continued to think of the vulnerable and older members of our society and amongst other initiatives have continued our support of projects such as the monthly Forget-me-Not Café, a monthly Lunch Club and set up Coffee, Cake and Chat monthly sessions in Crockham Hill.
Following our consultation with residents last year, we used your feedback to finalise a Master Plan to redevelop King George’s Field. This will be tackled in 5 phases:
We have extended and resurfaced the car park, transforming the area and adding 14 additional parking spaces.
We have refurbished the playground. You asked for a better surface, more colour and some new equipment, which we are pleased to have been able to deliver. We have levelled the surface and added some equipment that is inclusive for all, including a wheelchair friendly roundabout and basket swing. We have installed several pieces of equipment that can be used by children playing together, including a gravity bowl, a role play train and loudspeakers. There are also play panels offering funny mirrors, music and a game, so there is lots to explore. We do hope the children like it! 😊
These phases were funded through two successful CIL (community infrastructure levy) bids to Sevenoaks District Council, together with the Town Council’s own CIL funds and reserves.
This is the next phase of this project. We have completed the tender stage and are having additional user group consultations to finalise the design. To complete this phase we will need help from the community with fundraising – if any individuals or organisations are able to help, we’d love to hear from you!
During this council we launched our new ECO Policy (click for link) and again we engaged with you looking for your suggestions as to what we should prioritise.
All council committee now have an ECO action plan as a standing item on their agendas and we have already undertaken many initiatives to reduce our impact on the environment.
In 2022 we applied for a Wilder Kent Award (Wilder Kent Award Submission – click for link) and we are proud to be given a Silver Award is recognition of our environmental activities. Silver awards are unusual for first time applicants!
Community engagement is vital to ensure that we, as your council, are able to deliver the projects and services that Westerham and Crockham Hill require. We would encourage you to take the opportunity to attend any of our council meetings (Council Meetings – click for link) and our Annual Town Meeting (Annual Town Meeting – click for link)