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Waltham Abbey
Town Council
Town Hall
Highbridge St
Waltham Abbey
Essex EN9 1DE

Phone: 01992 714949
Fax: 01992 763774

Town Council Offices Are Open From:
9AM - 5PM
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Annual Town Meeting

At the Annual Town Meeting, committee members of the Waltham Abbey Residents Association asked the Town Council questions on the Royal Gunpowder Mills and Town Twinning.

Please find below the response from the Town Council.

 a)      Gunpowder Mills


Dear WARA members and residents, since our AGM , a lot of positive activities have happened to the RGM site. As I represent the Council to the Trustees’ meetings I gave the members the latest information regarding the PGL/Foundation appeal. The appeal has been withdrawn and the Operating company has put different Plans for the future of the WARGM.

There has also been a common understanding for the formation of a working group with members from both the Foundation and the Operating Companies in order to discuss and agree proposals for long and short-term business plans.

The site -wide plan will be compliant with the Local (EFDC) plan, National Planning Policy Framework, Green belt and Landscape regulations, Listed Building, SSSI and Conservation Area policies, as well as regional strategies for tourism, enterprise, training and education. In this way investment and strategic partnerships, grant-givers and wider stakeholders can be identified, thus ensuring long-term support and sustainability.

A variety of new uses might be accommodated in areas of the site. Future plans could include a small-scale holiday camp, rental of several buildings, examples might include scientific uses such as research, training for heritage and conservation, educational/museum/leisure accommodation etc.

The WARGM site has proven significant value already as a film and photoshoot location, so it is important that this continues. It is with great pleasure that my report reflects the positive activity and thoughts discussed in the recent meeting.

I have passed my warmest wishes and the members’ wishes as the WARGM and the Foundation are looking forward to the future in  such a  positive way.

It is with great pleasure to report that there has been an intensive interest by members of the WATC and EFDC, with the view to assist in any way with the new phase of the development of the RGM , but it has been considered by all parties and it is understood that it is preferable to wait for  any progress between the Trust and the Operating Company.

Cllr Mrs H Kane

b)      Town Twinning:

. 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 discussed. There have been a number of Continental markets in the town in recent years, including French and Italian.  Unfortunately, the response from the residents in sales terms has never been good enough to encourage other markets to attend.  There is also the fact that long term markets, such as the Continental ones have an adverse effect on local retail outlets and our charter market.

  2. Do councillors and their partners pay their own fares and hotel expenses when visiting Hὃrstel or is this funded by the council? Councillors always pay all their own expenses when visiting Horstel.  There is no call on Council finances for these visits abroad. The majority of visitors to Horstel from Waltham Abbey are not Councillors but members of the Town Twinning Association.

  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 Crier. It is the Horstel Town Twinning Association that visits Waltham Abbey, rather than Councillors. There have only been two civic visits over the past few years, and these have both been to celebrate 20 years of our twin towns, one in Germany and one here. This information has been published in the Town Crier.

4. What meetings are held between the two councils and why do residents not get to hear of them and their outcomes.  As previously mentioned, there have been no formal meetings between the two councils.  The Town Twinning is led by the Town Twinning Associations.

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. Information on the Waltham Abbey Town Twinning is readily available, eg on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/WalthamAbbeyTTAssociation/.   We feel sure the Town Twinning Association would be delighted to welcome more members. The Association had a stall at this year’s  Town Show, advertising for new members,  they had all kinds of material to illustrate the benefits of Town Twinning. 

6. WARA has no member on our committee that is aware of the original intention for our twinning with Hὃrtsal. So can you please inform us as to what the original purpose was of twinning and what benefits Waltham Abbey receive by this arrangement.  There is an interesting article at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/apr/30/is-there-a-point-to-twin-towns This describes the benefits of Town Twinning by a local resident. 


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