Rail Inquiry: Werrington Neighbourhood Council (WNC) represented local residents at the recent Public Inquiry into the Network Rail (Werrington Grade Separation) Order which closed on Friday 15th December 2017. Network Rail are proposing to build a dive under allowing trains to cross under the East Coast Main Line at Werrington Junction to access the Great Northern Great Eastern Line. Alan Smith presented local residents views following an extensive door to door survey undertaken by the Railway Action Group. He highlighted the concerns of residents living close to the line about increased vibration and noise from both the construction work and the subsequent use of the line. Whilst the WNC supported Network Rail’s proposals, he hoped that mitigation measures would be considered to protect the local residents. Vince Moon, Chair of WNC, added that the people of Werrington were very fortunate to be so ably represented by Alan Smith, who had done a tremendous job preparing and presenting the residents’ case.
The outcome of the inquiry is awaited in the next few weeks.
Farewell: It was with some sadness that we received Alan Smith’s resignation from WNC from the beginning of December, although we fully understand that this was the correct course to follow given his move to Norfolk. Clearly our lost is Norfolk’s gain.
Alan felt strongly that WNC is a worthwhile organisation. Alan was a former Chief Planning Officer at Peterborough City Council and the residents of Werrington have benefited hugely from his expertise and input as the WNC Chair of Planning over the last ten years. Council members felt that he spoke the wisest words at our meetings and will be sorely missed. He will be a very hard act to follow and his offers of assistance while handing over his role are very much appreciated.
The work of the Neighbourhood Council will hopefully find a way to continue in some form or other in the future. The need for a non-political body representing residents has been emphasized by the way that he so ably carried out tasks.
We wish him and his wife well for the future in their new home.
Help now needed: With Alan Smith’s departure we are urgently looking for someone to assist the Neighbourhood Council to monitor the City Council’s local planning applications and any other consultations affecting Werrington. Ideally we are looking for someone with experience of planning policy but equally we would like to hear from anyone with a keen interest in planning issues and their impact on the area. The member vacancy will be filled by election at the Neighbourhood Council’s Annual General Meeting in June, along with the other vacancies created through the end of appointments. In the meanwhile if anyone would like to find out more about the Neighbourhood Council and what membership involves please do not hesitate to make contact with our secretary Sally Weald.