Do not split Kingswood: An Established Community in Surrey
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Boundary Commission Proposals for Kingswood
As you may be aware, the Boundary Commission (BC) is revising the ward boundaries throughout the country making adjustments to achieve a more even number of voters in each ward. This exercise is undertaken from time to time to adjust for population changes.
In the course of making any changes, the BC is also directed to avoid splitting established communities. However despite this directive, the draft proposals now out for consultation, show a new boundary straight through Kingswood following the railway line https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/11616.
The village would thus be split with the majority of residents in one ward and the minority, along with the village hall, shops, pub, restaurants and railway station in the other.
The KRA, the KVCA and our 3 Councillors, Rod Ashford, Ros Mill and Simon Parnall strongly oppose this proposal and are calling on as many residents as possible to object to it. To that end, the Letter of Objection below is being distributed to all Kingswood households.
If you agree that the proposed boundary is unacceptable, and you have not already sent your comments by post or email, please take the time to sign this letter here online, no later than 10 August 2018 to enable us to submit to the Boundary Commission.
The more responses they receive the more likely it is that we will be able to keep the community of Kingswood together! Thank you.
Des Camblin, Chairman, KRA
Bob Gunn, Chairman, KVCA
Letter of Objection
Review Officer (Reigate and Banstead), Local Government Boundary Commission for England, 14th Floor, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP
Re: Proposed boundary change for Kingswood
Having examined the proposed changes for Kingswood put forward by the Boundary Commission, I wish to record my strong objection to the current proposal which would divide the Kingswood community into two wards. There exists in the village a very strong and long-standing community spirit, yet the present proposals would place the majority of the community in a separate ward from the hub of the village including the shops, restaurants, pub and the village hall.
Most households are members of the Kingswood Residents Association which works closely with our current Councillors (Rod Ashford, Ros Mill, and Simon Parnall) to address planning, environmental and many other local issues across the entire community.
The Kingswood Village Community Association manages the Village Hall which is used for a wide range of events throughout the year by the whole community.
- the Kingswood drama group KADDS which presents high-quality stage productions
- the Kingswood Thirteen Society (Illustrated talks)
- the Carol Anne Dance Academy (CADA)
- the Laird Ballet School
- the Kingswood Village WI
- the Kingswood Parish
- Village Film Nights
- Village Live Music Nights
- Village Flower Arranging Club
- Village-based local charities including NSPCC and the Kingswood Supporters Group of the Children’s Trust.
- fitness, yoga, tai chi and pilates
- and it is the Polling Station for the village.
The KVCA also produces “The Village Voice”, a quarterly magazine with a circulation of around 1,500 which is distributed to all properties in Kingswood. Again, the KVCA finds it very helpful dealing with one set of Councillors for Kingswood on the many issues related to the Hall and the community.
In addition, the Kingswood Arms, No 12 Restaurant, Waterhouse Café and Khyber Tandoori put on community-linked events, host village groups, and link with events at the Hall.
In short, Kingswood is clearly a very cohesive community. I understand that the indivisibility of identifiable communities is a core tenet to be followed by the Boundary Commission in the course of completing its task. This being so, the present proposal is totally unacceptable and would lead to confusion, potential duplication, and inefficiency.
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