Good evening everyone, Lovely to see you all.
My name is Penny Hoskyn and I am Joint Chair with Pauline Hedges of the West Byfleet Neighbourhood Forum.
Pauline is also chair of the West Byfleet Business Association.
First of all I would like to thank the Residents’ Association for their support in setting up the West Byfleet Forum; to Godfrey Chapples and John Bond for their support and advice but particular thanks must go to the members of the RA committee who live in West Byfleet namely Phil Wilson, Carole March, Eileen Perryer and Richard Thomas.
I think it is fair to say that without the support of the RA the WB forum would probably not have been formed.
After our public meeting in November 15 residents volunteered to form a committee. We presented our application and constitution to WBC in December and became an official Forum in March this year. I should add here that we have had the full support of our Councillors Richard Wilson and Gary Elson at least one if not both have attended most of our committee meetings. The councillors do not have a vote as the Forum is non-political and has been formed solely for the benefit of the residents of WB.
Since November the committee have been meeting monthly at the WB Social club. The aim of these meeting has been to understand and get to know how West Byfleet functions. One of the informative talks we were given was by Byfleet United Charities who own a large swath of land in West Byfleet.
From July our committee meeting will take place in the partner’s dining room of Waitrose, and we thank their new manager Peter Collis, who have offered this facility for free. We should also add that another of the managers is on our committee.
So what have we achieved in our first few months?
Thanks to Mark Fuller, we have a West Byfleet Forum webpage; this is updated with minutes of our meetings taken by our secretary Ian Yates. We also update on other matters that are of current interest and which affect life in West Byfleet.
We have a Forum logo which was created by our publicity officer Emma Hier .
In April we distributed a questionnaire to all the homes in our neighbourhood and on the 1st of May held a Drop In session at the Library. The aim of this exercise was to find out how people felt about West Byfleet. Over whelmingly people like WB, it still has a village feel, is friendly, convenient to motorways and airports but also close to open countryside. Dislikes; well that large building namely Sheer House, the traffic congestion, lack of parking. People would like a DIY shop, a shoe shop and a bench between the shops and Woodlands Ave., This request we forward onto Richard Wilson and one has been found and will be installed soon.
Full analysis of this questionnaire, which was done by done by Lisa Graae, can be found on our webpage.
The first of our planning groups has been formed and will be led by the WB Business Association.
They will look at the commercial centre as defined in the Woking Core Strategy document along with the Camphill industrial estate, which is built on land owned by the Byfleet United Charities.
The Business Association is in the process of putting together a questionnaire which will be sent to the 100 or so local business in West Byfleet as a first step towards gaining the views on the challenges that businesses face in WB. In due course they will involve the residents.
We are also setting up 4 Neighbourhood planning groups covering the residential area around West Byfleet.
Many of our Forum members have shown interest in belonging to such groups and we have invited those residents along to a meeting on the 11th July with the object of instigating the formation of the planning groups.
Anyone here tonight who would like to become involved do let me or Pauline know. You would be very welcome to join us. All details are on our webpage www.wbnf.org.
I would like to close by thanking the West Byfeet Neighbourhood Forum committee for their commitment and support.