I shall be away when this bulletin is published so it will be edited by our secretary Bebette Jones. However, I wanted to add a couple of items.
Firstly, I want to say how grateful we are to Julia Smith for all the work which she put into the Westgate Action Week. Under her leadership it was a great success and I believe raised the profile of Westgate as a residential street rather than a through road. The effect on slowing down the vehicles was very noticeable when the resident groups were present and hopefully it will have some ‘knock on’ effect. (We also twice had mentions and photos in the Chichester Observer – ed.)
Julia has also organised for Westgate to join the Speedwatch Campaign. We have a few trained operators for the speed gun (Genesis Speed Indicating Device). More are needed as this will be the most effective way of taking control of our street. It is very easy to qualify, Julia will give details, please join.
Secondly the Infrastructure Steering Group for White House Farm held an informal meeting on 19th July, which I attended with John Davies as technical adviser to WGRA (He was a Traffic Planning consultant before his retirement). There was a wide-ranging discussion and it was decided that Steve Shaw (Dominic Smiths’s replacement) should press the developers to set up the form- al Infrastructure Group, as required in the s106 agreement, as soon as possible. This agreement is now available on the CDC website.
Note that the whole agreement is on the website in 9 parts. Plans of the roadworks affecting this area are in parts 3 and 4.
Westgate Action Week
As previously reported, Westgate Action Week was held from 9th-13th July. It was truly a community effort with sign-making, press releases and meetings in the run up to the week itself. The focus of the week was on discouraging speeding and cutting through Westgate and we had two teams of volunteers wearing high-vis jackets who braved the sunshine each day to monitor traffic between 8.30 – 9.30 and 4.30-5.30pm. We have also gained approval for one site on the street where we can use the speed-gun to catch and report speeders using Operation Crackdown. The site outside no.19 is not ideal as it is not where the main speeding happens, but even here there were people speeding, particularly in the middle of the day, and there was a change in driver behaviour whenever they saw the bright yellow jackets! As well as getting a serious message across about traffic volumes and speeds, there were lovely new connections made and conversations between residents out on the road, and passers-by were on the whole very supportive of our initiative.
It was a lot of work by a few key people, but it certainly empowered our community and it felt good to take some action and feel like our efforts could make a difference. We hope to repeat the effort, but also believe that we can have most impact through supporting the Community Speedwatch scheme and having teams out there with the speed radar gun. If you would like to get involved in the speedwatch effort, it is easy – 30 minutes training time online, go to www.communityspeedwatch.org, click register and then click FinishTraining to carry out the online training and test. Then you will need practical training handling the gun which we can arrange on the road. Sandra Young (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Julia Smith (email@example.com) are keen to keep the momentum going. Sandra has kindly volunteered to be the Speedwatch coordinator, as somebody has to be in charge of coordination and uploading offender details, so we are looking into this in order to plan an Autumn initiative. Please do contact us if you are willing to be involved and help out next time.
In the meantime, anyone can report bad driving, speeding, abandoned vehicles etc atwww.operationcrackdown.orgso this is another resource.
Thank you to everyone for their huge efforts during the week. There are too many to list, but whether you were able to make it out onto the street, or just gave your support to our efforts, Westgate Action Week was a real success.
This is on hold at the moment but look out for further news in next Bulletins
There are lots of lovely Street Party photos on our internet site: www.westgatera.org.uk
Crate and Apple First Anniversary – Join Andy and the gang at the Crate and Apple for their first Birthday celebration on Wednesday 1st August, From 18.00. A relaxed casual evening of drinks in their lovely garden, Live Music and BBQ if you get peckish. If you would like a table, please book this with them direct Tel. 01243 539336.
WGRA Coffee Morning – Every 1st Saturday morning of the month at the Crate and Apple. Just turn up between 10am and 11am and meet your neighbours. The next one is Saturday 4 August
WGRA AGM – Our AGM will be held on Saturday 17 November 2018 at 10am at St. Wilfreds Church Hall. Please make a note in your diaries. All are welcome but remember that only paid up members of WGRA are entitled to vote at the meeting.
Knitting and Social Group – Every Monday morning from 10am – 12 noon. Knitter or not, please come along and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea at the Crate and Apple. Organiser: Sally Lowe (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Bavardage au Pub” Last Monday in the month at the Crate and Apple at 6.30pm. A relaxed hour or so speaking French. All levels welcome. Contact Jane Davies (email@example.com) 07792 708229. Next meeting is on 30 July 2018. A note from your organiser:- “Je suis en Suisse jusqu’au 5 aout but that won’t prevent you getting together for another sociable French session – ça marche tout seul maintenant! If there are any new people – could one of you please take down their name/email and pass on to me or, give them my email. Merci et bavardez bien! Jane”
Bebette Jones, 26 July 2018