Re West Byfleet Children’s Play Area
As many of you will know there was an urgent item of business at last Thursday’s Woking Borough Council Executive (28th June 2018) – Agenda Item 3 – West Byfleet Playground.
A paper and questions were tabled on the night. These documents plus the webcast, are available at
Subsequently, Stewart Dick, Chairman of the RA has sent the following email to David Bittleson, Leader of Woking Borough Council.
I was unable to attend on Thursday evening (nothing to do with football!) but watched the webcast on catch up. Out of interest it took me many attempts before it worked with sound.
I was particularly grateful to Councillor Boote for a balanced, constructive, accurate and persuasive speech.
So over the summer months Officers will undertake a “wider engagement” with the community so that “the many not the few” can decide. I would have thought that a petition with over 1,800 signatories was an extremely good indication as to the thinking and wishes of the many but clearly Councillor Azad does not share that very reasonable opinion.
I would be grateful if you could advise me as to:
> start and finish dates
> which Officers will be involved
> the role of our Councillors
> how will this process be managed
> what questions will be asked and what information sought
> what geographical area will the consultation cover
> how will the results be analysed and by whom
> will this process be managed independently of WBC
> the portfolio holder on the Executive who will assume responsibility.
£60,000 has been available for renovation for many months. Suddenly with a shake of the WBC money tree a further £240,000 has become available. Of course this will only be truly available when the playground moves to a new and larger site beside a busy road with everything that entails. It would also be alongside the bowling club whose members, while playing what I understand is a peaceful activity, will have to endure the inevitable noise of children enjoying themselves.
One thing that this consultation will achieve is further delay. I know that on Thursday it was stated that the current playground meets all health and safety requirements. Perhaps so, but nothing can change the fact that the current playground is a disgrace and an embarrassment and brings shame on West Byfleet.
So once again I ask why the delay. There is no reason not to begin certain improvements immediately and that is what should be happening. I also note from Appendix 1 that there is the scope to enlarge the current playground (doubling its size?). Why has this not been proposed before?
It was stated on Thursday that while the Executive cares passionately, there has been a breakdown in communication with the community. Your mission statement going forward is to:
We will hold you to that.
The West Byfleet Recreation Ground is designated Local Green Space within the Neighbourhood Plan. I am sure that you are aware of this and its implications. Further, this is in accord with both the WBC Core Strategy and the National Planning Policy Framework.
When in May of this year you introduced your new Executive team you talked about protecting our Green Belt and investing in our cherished open green spaces.
West Byfleet has a cherished open green space and wishes it to remain so.
Byfleet, West Byfleet and Pyrford Residents’ Association
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Byfleet, West Byfleet & Pyrford Residents’ Association
c/o Byfleet Village Hall
54 High Rd
West Byfleet, Surrey KT14 7QL
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Best Regards WBNF Committee