Dear Resident,

I hope that our members had an enjoyable Christmas and that we can look forward to a peaceful and prosperous New Year.
This bulletin comes rather soon after the last one but we want to get them coming out at the beginning of the month, usually in time for the coffee mornings at the Crate and Apple, rather than at the end.
The New Year is going to be a busy one on the political scene with the start of the Brexit negotiations and the Trump era in America. No one knows what it will hold but let us hope that in twelve months we shall look back and say it was a good year.
Locally we shall also be busy. As soon as the Councils get back to work, the Section 106 negotiations will be underway with the developers of Whitehouse Farm, to agree what infrastructure improvements, mainly roads, will be paid for by Linden and Miller Homes, as part of the permission to build this large suburb onto Chichester. If all goes well they should make a great deal of money and it is only right that some of it should come back into the community. We are very fortunate in having Louise Goldsmith as our local Councillor as she is very active on our behalf. She is going to chair a steering group of the Residents Associations with the developers, so that we shall at least have our voices heard when the decisions about the shape of the area is being decided for the future. The developers have been very slow in communicating with the locals and it is only as a result of Louise’s work that we now hope to improve this. We are also fortunate in having a good relationship with Dominic Smith the head of highways strategic planning at the WSCC, who has been very open in sharing his thoughts with us with regard to changes in the road layout resulting from the development and giving us opportunity to discuss these with him. He is responsible for the WSCC side of the S106 negotiations so it is very valuable that he is prepared to give us an opportunity to express our views. Everything will go quiet for a few months now, but there will be a great deal of important work going on in the background.

The WGRA AGM, Saturday January 14th at 2pm
Please put this important day in your diary. AGMs are not the most exciting events, but we have come a long way in the last year and had terrific support from local residents, notably at the Whitehouse Farm planning meetings, but also for our social events. It is a great encouragement to the committee and also to the increasing number of people who are getting involved in various projects, that their work is appreciated and supported. We are very fortunate in having a very vibrant community in Westgate, please help to nurture it.
After the business of the meeting, tea and cakes will be served with an opportunity for another get together and to meet neighbours, who may not have been before. Please make them welcome.

Brewery Field
A committee meeting was held on 13th December and it is very pleasing to see that a significant number of Westgate Residents are supporting this initiative. Colin Hicks our secretary is the Chair and is going to organise a number of events throughout the year. It is very much a case of “use it or lose it” so I know he will be very grateful for all the support you can give.

Events in January

Saturday 7th January – WGRA Coffee morning at the Crate & Apple from 10am.
Saturday 14th January – Westgate Residents Association AGM at 2pm at St Wilfrid’s Church Hall in Sherborne Road.
Sunday 15th January – Quiz night at the Crate and Apple at 7.00pm
(this is not an WGRA meeting but the last one was very well supported by members and the more we use the Crate and Apple the more Charlotte will be able to do for us. Sadly, we do not have a community hall in Westgate. We have been lobbying the Bishop, about the currently unused St. Bartholomew’s Chapel for the last year, but so far without success).
Wednesday 18th January – the first WGRA locals evening will be held at the Crate and Apple from 5.00 until 8.00pm, when a meal will be served including a drink for £12. We hope this will become a regular event and will be an opportunity for singles and others who have been apprehensive about venturing out, to join the regular WGRA supporters.

I look forward to seeing you at the events.

Richard Brownfield (Chair)

Colin Hicks

Site Admin - Westgate Residents' Association Chichester

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