We moved into a new house in St John’s Close when we married in 1971 and have lived in Waterbeach ever since, moving twice within the village. I have been involved in many different ways. I was a Waterbeach School governor for many years (with a couple of spells as chairman). I was a District Councillor for two years when I retired from teaching in 2004 which gave me an excellent insight into how local government works and who is responsible for what. I have been a Parish Councillor since 2005 and am on the Neighbourhood Planning working party. I was part of the working party which was responsible for getting funding for Tillage Hall and overseeing its construction and am still actively involved in its management. Currently I am a volunteer driver and a coordinator for the Beaches Community Car Scheme, which provides lifts for elderly people for medical appointments and other journeys who have no alternative means of transport. I have worked closely with Ingrid Tregoing on the appointment of a Community Warden whose role it will be to provide some extra support for up to 15 elderly residents in the village who do not have close family or friends nearby to keep an eye on them. I am also Chair of Trustees at the Farmland Museum at Denny Abbey. I am a member of the PCC at St John’s Church and sing in the church choir
Waterbeach is a very special community facing enormous changes at the moment. These create threats but there are also positive opportunities for the village and the role of the Parish Council in engaging with developers, planners and other stakeholders so that our views are heard and the essential character of Waterbeach is not destroyed, is really important. Parish Councils have very limited powers and do not have decision making powers for planning issues or a number of other areas of concern, but they are consulted and their views are taken into account. Although decisions do not always go the way they might like. Parish Councils are able to make decisions on the way in which sums of money provided by developers (S106 Funding) can be spent on projects for the benefit the village as a whole as well for the new residents.
My particular interests are in planning and community development, in trying to identify what makes our community so special and in the story of our village as it has evolved during the last 80 years. It is really important that we do not lose those things which make Waterbeach such a good place to live. The role of the Parish Council in ensuring that our village is kept looking as lovely as it does, in maintaining our recreation facilities and in putting our views to planners, developers, the Highways authorities and many other agencies, is crucial to the survival of the character of a very special village in a time of unprecedented change.
Do contact me using the form below if you would like to raise any local matters. I’ll respond either personally or via this site (but won’t mention your name if I reply publicly).
Published by JaneWilliamson of The Willows, Long Drove, Waterbeach, Cambridge CB25 9LW.