News from the Chairman of the Westcott Village Association – Village mag article Dec 2018

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Westcott Village Association

December Village Magazine Article

October was a very busy month for the WVA.

The AGM was attended by more than our usual numbers but still short of what we had hoped for given the discussions on the initial proposals from MVDC on “Modest Additions to Larger Rural Villages”. There were about 100 present at the meeting but this nevertheless represented only about 6% of the adult population of the village. The discussion was an interesting one and we tried to capture all elements of it in the letter to Mole Valley planning department which can be found on the Village Association web site – Only about 22% of those present at the AGM voted to see some form of development on the two sites put forward by the landowners. The Council will now spend the next six months working through the representations they have received and assessing all proposed sites across the District before publishing a more detailed set of proposals in the late spring of next year.

At the AGM a number of Committee Members stepped down and I would like to thank them all for the time they have spent on your behalf as members of the WVA – David Andrews as Treasurer, Ted Wilde, Alistair Meldrum, Howard Walden, Al Barnett, and David Webb; all have given their time and talents in serving the community. In addition, and as agreed at the beginning of the year, Tim Gowing will be stepping down as Honorary Secretary on 31stDecember after more than 30 years serving on the Committee as Chairman (twice) and Secretary. We all owe him a debt of gratitude for his work on the WVA, and I would like to thank him personally for his support of me over the last 12 months ensuring that the transition to a new Chairman went smoothly. We all wish him and his wife Marion well for the future, and hope they enjoy a slightly more peaceful lifestyle, free from the responsibilities of the WVA!

As a result of the changes on the Committee we now have two vacancies which we are keen to fill with active members, willing to bring their own time and talents to the work we do. We realise that this can be a daunting commitment, particularly for those with work and family commitments, but if you care about the community you live in the work can be extremely rewarding. Please think about stepping forward to work with the rest of the committee in ensuring Westcott continues to be an active, thriving, and welcoming community.

At our WVA meeting in October the Committee agreed that, after 44 years, the constitution needed updating and a working group was set up to start this process. The Charity Commission has, in recent years, developed new model constitutions for organisations like the WVA and it is important that we take advantage of this to ensure our constitution serves the village well over the next few decades. One of the opportunities it presents for us is making the WVA more accountable by holding regular open meetings (which was agreed at the AGM) and ensuring that members of the committee are more representative of the village population. There will be more to report on this in the New Year.

And one final thought. It is easy to go about our daily lives and not notice things on our own doorstep, but when things do happen, there is someone somewhere who has taken to time and trouble to make it happen. November 11thsaw the 100thanniversary of the end of the First World War and in addition to the Silent Soldier Memorial (jointly sponsored by the Hut, Holy Trinity Church, and the WVA) members of the WVA spent time in late October putting up the large poppies along the main road. These have drawn quite a few positive comments and the District Council were so impressed that they asked us for a photograph of our efforts! These are small things but, cumulatively, they do demonstrate that caring about our village makes a difference.

As always, you are invited to write to me on issues which concern you, and the WVA will do their best to address them.