WATC Annual Meeting

WARA attended the WATC annual open meeting and put a number of questions to councillors. We brought up the subject of Japanese Knotweed prevelant in the open ditch outside King Harold School and also at neighbouring Galley Hill with the junction of Broomstick Hall Road. Councillors promised to investigate this issue and get back to us. Council members also asked to get back to us on a couple of other topics we raised and we  publish here those questions. We will also publish WATC answers when received.

  • The threat to the Royal Gunpowder Mills is a major worry to Residents. Its significance, together with the Abbey Church is the very history of Waltham Abbey and should be a priority for this council to maintain and defend to the death.
  • It seems that the Town Council is quite prepared to allow this important part of Waltham Abbey’s history and its main employer for generations, to be taken over and turned into some sort of privately run children’s attraction, despite its initial plans being rejected.
  • It has been clearly demonstrated over the years, that the Trust set up to protect this site is incapable of managing such a project and consequently it now seeks a means of shirking its responsibilities even further by this action.
  • We ask why the Town council hasn’t come up with any initiatives on how to generate more interest in this very historic and important place and why is has not assisted in promoting it.
  • We ask that you lobby the District council for funding, so that staff can be tasked to investigate and hold dialogue with similar institutions elsewhere to find a more appropriate solution.
  • This should not mean surrendering the site but reinvigorating it with perhaps a more sympathetic partner with innovative and enterprising ideas that engage with the town. We would like the District Council to offer guidance to the trust on what is beneficial for the District and what is appropriate development following this investigation.
  • Finally we urge you not be remembered as the councilors who let us down by not even attempting to save the site for the benefit of the next and future generations of the Town.
  • A children’s holiday camp is definitely not the answer.
  • The second topic of questions relates to our twinning with Horstell.
  • With regards to the proudly proclaimed “twinning” with Hörstell, a similar town in Germany. We have 6 points of queries regarding our participation:
  • 1. Germany is famous for its Christmas markets, why is there no such Christmas market in Waltham Abbey in conjunction with our twin town and has this ever been discussed2. Do councillors and their partners pay their own fares and hotel expenses when visiting Hrstel or is this funded by the council?3. When councillors from Hörstel visit Waltham Abbey, who decides on the itinerary, for instance do they visit schools, church, police and fire representative etc, and do they get introduced to residents. Very little information gets reported and residents are left in the dark on these visits. Why not publish this information in the Town Crier4. What meetings are held between the two councils and why do residents not get to hear of them and their outcomes.

    5. Unfortunately, with the lack of information available, not one of WARA ‘s commitee feels there is any benefits to Waltham Abbey from this association. We must have much better communication if we are to continue with this association.

    6. WARA has no member on our committee that is aware of the original intention for our twinning with Hrtsal. So can you please inform us as to what the original purpose was of twinning and what benefits Waltham Abbey receive by this arrangement

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