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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Council held on 18/02/2003






Foreword by Cllr Richard Gates – Portfolio Holder for Cultural and Leisure Provision and Youth.

1. Introduction

2. What is a Cultural Strategy

3. Benefits of a local Cultural Strategy

4. The Wider Context

5. About Waverley

- Its history and geography
- The people that live there
- Cultural provision
- Tourism
- Education
- Transport

6. Research and Consultation

- Who we consulted and methodology
- Feedback from clubs, societies and venues
- Local issues relating to voluntary and private sector
- Feedback from Citizens Panel
- Local issues highlighted by the Citizens Panel
-Delivering Tourism

7. Vision and Strategic Themes

8. Action Plan

9. Monitoring and Review

Annexe A Action Plan Table

Annexe B National and Local Cultural Indicators

Annexe C Waverley Borough Council Corporate Aims and Objectives


1. Introduction

“Culture may be described simply as that which makes life worth living”…. TS Eliot.

Culture is what both unites and divides a community; it firstly attracts people to a particular area and then fragments into smaller and separate sub-cultures or pastimes identified with certain sections of that population. The world may have moved on since Eliot’s period and society has become increasingly mobile and transient but many former pastimes still survive and flourish today.

Culture describes the common interests shared by a community or group of people. We use the term ‘Culture’ in this document in its broadest sense to define activities which people may undertake in their leisure time. These activities can be summarised under the following broad headings:-

Arts and Entertainment
Sport and Recreation
Heritage and Museums
Countryside and Environment
Parks and Open Spaces

Cultural activities help communities share a sense of identity, bring people together and help stimulate creativity and innovation. Culture can improve the quality of life for all, allowing people both to derive pleasure and to fulfil their own potential and broaden their horizons. Evidence shows that cultural activity has a role to play in tackling many social issues such as promoting safer communities, improving health, regenerating areas, stimulating life long learning and tackling social exclusion within our communities.

2. What is Waverley’s Local Cultural Strategy?

The Cultural Strategy for Waverley sets out the vision and direction for the development of cultural services, facilities and activities within the borough over the next five years. The Strategy has been produced in partnership with key partners and stakeholders including the public and private and voluntary agencies operating within the borough. The Strategy also takes into account the views of the community to identify needs and requirements. The Strategy will be a practical, working document which will ensure a co-ordinated approach to the development of cultural activities within Waverley. It will be continually monitored, evaluated and updated using the processes set out in section 9.

3. Benefits of the Local Cultural Strategy

Listed below are just some of the functions and benefits of the Local Cultural Strategy. It will:

provide a framework for the development of cultural activity within the Borough by the local authority and other providers

demonstrate the benefits and importance of developing culture within our communities

assist in identifying needs and prioritising developments based on needs

direct the work of Waverley’s Leisure Services and demonstrate clearly how culture contributes to delivering the wider corporate objectives of the Borough Council

encourage and promote partnership working and a pooling of resources to maximise opportunities

act as a lever for gaining external funding from external agencies and funding bodies

promote equality and inclusion and increase opportunity for all to access cultural activities

protect and enhance the environment

contribute towards the regeneration and economic development of the Borough

give people the opportunity to actively engage and participate in enjoyable and stimulating activities in their free time

Identify and develop opportunities for learning and discovery about the local environment

4. The Wider Context

Local Cultural Strategies set the agenda for delivering local cultural services and are a piece in a much larger jigsaw which includes other local, regional and national strategies. The aim is to be more effective in the way services are delivered and to promote joined up delivery where strategies complement each other.

The following diagram gives the wider context highlighting how the Local Cultural Strategy coincides with other strategic policies and plans. This cultural strategy will impact upon and has been informed by these other strategies.

5. About Waverley

………….its history and geography

The district of Waverley is in the south-west corner of Surrey, bordering the South Downs in West Sussex and Hampshire, and was first created as a local authority area in 1974. Covering an area of 345 sq. km (133 sq. miles) it is the largest district council in Surrey with
a population of 115,000.

It takes its name from a 12th century Cistercian Abbey situated near Farnham. Although still predominantly rural, with over 60% in the “green belt” and “areas of outstanding natural beauty”, much of its focus derives from the four distinctive and well-preserved towns of Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh. The four centres possess strong individual characteristics derived in part from history but also their relative distance from each other. Farnham was once a well-known coaching–stop en route to Winchester, Haslemere with its wooded hills was described as “little Switzerland”, Godalming was formerly Surrey’s chief wool town and Cranleigh boasts of having the first cottage hospital in the Country in the 1800s. Of the present population in Waverley 70% live in these towns and the remainder is spread over 17 rural parishes containing more than 20 villages.

…………the people who live here

According to the 1991 national census the age structure of those living in the area peaks at between 30-45 and 46- retirement age. Overall about one-half of Waverley’s population is described as “economically active”, employed on a regular full-time or part time basis, of which about 50% travel outside the area to work, with London and Guildford being major employment areas. Most of these workers are in professional and managerial occupations whilst unemployment in Waverley is below both the national and regional average.

On a domestic scale, over three-quarters of dwellings are owner-occupied and over 40% of homes are detached with between 5-6 rooms. Average house prices, are at currently more than double the national average whilst two-car + families represent over 40% of all households. Schooling and further education centres are well provided in the area with a mix of state and independent establishments.

Against this relatively secure socio-economic background other sectors of the community are not overlooked. People with special needs and the elderly represent a significant proportion of the local population and recent surveys depict an aging population with a forecasted decline in all age groups under 50 years up to 2006 with converse increases in the 55-64 group and over 85s.

………..cultural provision

Arts, Galleries & Entertainment – Waverley benefits from having two multi-arts facilities within the Borough. Farnham Maltings and the Cranleigh Arts Centre both offer a wide range of arts events and activities ranging from theatre and cinema to comedy, children’s workshops, adult education, music and dance as well as providing flexible space for events and conferences plus valuable artists studio space. Other important facilities such as the New Ashgate Gallery in Farnham, the James Hockey Gallery at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design and Sculpt It studio in Godalming also play an important role in the cultural life of the Borough and attract many visitors from outside the area as well as locally.

The Borough Council, through its Arts Development Service, provides a wide range of participatory community arts projects working with key partners and target groups across the Borough. Within the Borough there are a number of community halls, which provide venues for regular entertainment including the Memorial Hall in Farnham, Borough Hall in Godalming, The Haslemere Hall and various village and church halls which also provide valuable spaces for cultural activity.

Sports & Recreation- Sport is adequately catered for within the Borough with each of the four towns having its own Sports Centre. Farnham, Haslemere (The Herons and The Edge) and Cranleigh Sports centres are managed by private sector contractors on behalf of the Borough Council with the John Stanley Jeffries Trust operating Godalming Leisure Centre. There are a large number of commercial leisure operators providing health & fitness facilities within the Borough and schools with extensive dual-use facilities open to the public.

The Council is the majority provider of outdoor sports pitches in the borough and these are predominantly located on sports and recreation grounds. these areas are managed by the Parks and Landscape service and are mainly maintained by the Council’s appointed Grounds Maintenance Contractor.

Waverley Borough council through its Sports Development service promotes a wide range of annual community sports events which include the Inter-Town Sports Competition, Mayor’s Challenge, Surrey Youth Games and the ‘kwik-cricket’ Festival. The Borough also benefits from having four independent Sports Councils who, as independent umbrella organisations, support the development of voluntary sports provision within the Borough by providing advice, information and grant aid.

Waverley Borough is a member of the Surrey Active Sports Partnership (Active Sports being the nationwide sports programme co-ordinating the delivery of sports development across the country) with local sports clubs actively participating in the scheme. This scheme provides a continuum for young people through all stages of sports development from taster sessions to competition.

Museums & Heritage – There are four museums in Waverley. The Museum of Farnham is owned and operated by Waverley Borough Council; Godalming Museum is run in partnership between Waverley Borough Council and an independent Charitable Trust. Haslemere Educational Museum and The Rural Life Centre at Tilford are independent. Groups and organisations such as Godalming Trust, Farnham Society, Farnham Building Preservation Trust, Haslemere Society, English Nature, surrey Archaeological Society and other local history groups, support the preservation of the heritage of the area and are active in promoting it. They provide public talks and events, guided walks and local heritage awards as well as participating in Heritage Open Days Weekend in September. The number of listed buildings, conservation area and archaeological sites all contribute to a unique sense of place.

Countryside, Formal Parks & Open Spaces - Over 60% of Waverley is Metropolitan Green Belt and over three quarters of the whole Borough, amounting to some 26,700 hectares (over 100 square miles) is designated as Areas of Great Landscape Value. The Council manages 1,600 hectares of countryside areas for public use and these sites, managed by the Waverley Borough Council Countryside Section, range from small areas of woodland and village greens through to areas such as Farnham Park and Frensham Common. The Rangers promote an annual programme of educational events and opportunities for volunteer countryside conservation work to help maintain the areas of countryside they manage. Farnham Park and Frensham Common are Areas of Special Historic Landscape Value.

Waverley Borough Council owns and manages approximately 180 hectares of public open space on nearly 400 sites borough-wide. This provision consists of 9 formal ornamental parks & gardens, 26 sports and recreation grounds, 40 open spaces and approximately 50 hectares of amenity land. The diversity of provision on the recreation grounds includes bowling greens, cricket tables, tennis courts, and numerous winter sports pitches.

The Council is also responsible for the upkeep and improvement of 60 children’s playgrounds across the borough, and 4 skate parks – one in each of the main towns. These areas are managed by the Parks & Landscape service, with maintenance being carried out by an appointed grounds maintenance contractor.

In addition to the Council managed facilities, there are numerous recreational facilities owned and managed by private clubs and Parish Councils.


Tourism in Waverley supports over 2600 jobs and is worth some 100million for the local economy (source: South East England Tourist Board/Cambridge Model 2001). One in five new jobs are created in the tourism sector and tourism plays an important part in the economic, social and environmental well-being of the area. However recruitment in this sector can be particularly difficult as jobs tend to be lower paid.

The term ‘tourism’ relates to people who travel to a destination for a variety of temporary purposes. Tourists therefore include people who:

visit the area for business or pleasure;
stay in hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation;
stay with friends and relatives
visit the area for a day or half a day and spend money locally on sport or culture, in shops and attractions or in tearooms, pubs and restaurants.

Waverley manages a branded Tourism Information Centre in Farnham and supports the provision of visitor information at other locations such as Haslemere Museum and through websites created by the Town Initiatives in Haslemere and Cranleigh and the Town Councils in Godalming and Farnham.


Waverley has a high standard of educational provision. In the state sector there are Beacon Schools at infant, primary and secondary levels; there are also two sixth form colleges – Farnham College and Godalming College. In the private sector too there are many well- known and highly-regarded schools including Charterhouse, Cranleigh, The Royal and St Catherine’s Schools. The Surrey Institute of Art and Design, University College in Farnham is one of Europe’s largest colleges specialising in art, design, media and communication, with over 3,000 students.


Waverley and South West Surrey are easily accessible with Heathrow, Gatwick and Southampton International Airports and the ports of Southampton and Portsmouth all within an hour’s drive. The A3 joins the M25 at junction 10, just 13 miles outside the Borough; the Blackwater Valley Road A331 joins the A31 at Farnham to the M3 at Camberley.
Farnham station is served by South West Trains mainline service to London Waterloo via Woking. Farncombe, Godalming, Milford, Witley and Haslemere are on the South West Trains Waterloo – Portsmouth mainline service.

Due to the rural nature of the Borough there are significant issues in relation to transport networks connecting the towns and rural areas. Young people have particular difficulties in accessing cultural services if they live in the outlying villages in terms of affordable and regular public transport.

6. Research and Consultation

This document is the culmination of an exercise that has involved consultations and feedback from individuals, clubs owners/managers, and societies in the area as well as other key agencies. As a result, it is hoped that the new strategy will bring users and providers closer together and help to unlock potential funding resources for projects and programmes, a common theme identified in the consultation process.

……who we consulted

Before drafting this document Waverley was very keen to hear from local people about cultural pursuits and facilities in the area and the ways in which improvements could be made. Although it was not possible to canvas the entire local electorate, extensive consultation was carried out on a more focussed basis using two different questionnaire formats :-

(a) a questionnaire sent to 549 voluntary clubs, societies and venue managers in the area, designed to obtain information about levels of participation in their activities and any facility needs they had or were attempting to meet;

(b) a structured survey of 657 local households across the whole area to establish individual/ family usage of particular cultural facilities and to seek opinions on how they could be improved to better meet needs;

In addition to the two methods outlined above feedback from previous research and consultation was also utilised. This included user surveys from Godalming Leisure Needs Study, non-user surveys relating to Farnham, Haslemere and Cranleigh Sports Centres, feedback from Friends Groups, Youth Surveys and existing strategies.

Feedback from Clubs, Societies and Venues

In Waverley, the voluntary sector is by far the largest provider of opportunities for leisure. Whilst these are predominantly sports-based there are nevertheless a whole range of artistic and environmental organisations operating out of church and village halls as well as arts and countryside centres. The questionnaire also specifically included organisations involved in providing youth activities in order to establish their needs and parish councils in Waverley some of whom also act as providers of small-scale leisure facilities.

The scope of the questionnaire was drawn to include the following six categories of organisations; Sports, Arts, Entertainments, Parks, Countryside, Historical, Educational. Of the 549 forms despatched, 168 were returned, a response rate of 30%. An analysis of returns from the different sectors has been broken down as follows:

Local issues relating to the voluntary and private sectors


Arts & Entertainment

Historic and Museums
Youth Sector Internet Access points –cyber cafs,
Drop-in facilities where young people can meet their peers away from adults and where they can access information
Improved safe public transport both in the towns and villages
Creative arts, as a means of expressing their feelings.
Retail – mainly clothes and affordable fast food

Parks and Countryside
In summary and using a SWOT approach (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) the following findings can be observed from the consultations with voluntary clubs, groups and societies:

Strengths: Strong and wide-ranging sports and recreation sector
Active and versatile entertainment groups Weaknesses: Limited availability or accessibility to external funds Over- reliance on small band of volunteers in youth provision and environmental conservation
Limited provision of youth facilities

Opportunities: Enhanced profile for “partnership-working” in strategy
Properly resourced programme to refurbish and enhance facilities Threats: Budgetary constraints in public sector
Over-reliance on external grant providers

Feedback from the Citizens Panel
The purpose behind the more general population survey or “citizens panel”, as it is known, was to establish general trends, usage and opinions in the area relating to leisure facilities and opportunities. Using a structured sample based on gender, age, employment, social groups and disability a number of repeat questions were grouped together under the following headings:

Indoor sports and fitness facilities
Parks and open spaces
Countryside areas
Museums and heritage sites
Art centres and galleries

Local Issues highlighted by the Citizens Panel

Indoor Sports and Fitness Centres Cleanliness - mainly at the swimming pools and the need for improvement
Provision of services for disabled and those aged 55 and over - need to provide more low cost and accessible facilities for elderly members of the community and those with disabilities
Overcrowding of facilities and classes in Council owned health and fitness centres
Opening times and other issues of time – the need for greater flexibility
Lack of active promotion of current facilities – current level of activity inadequate
Crche and nursery considerations – the need to provide additional improved facilities
General appearance and presentation of current facilities – the need to address ageing facilities Parks and Open Spaces Dog fouling – a need to impose greater control
Litter problems – a need to improve the level of collection to reduce litter
Wildlife issues and development issues- to encourage greater wildlife protection and to stop further development of parks into urban facilities. The issue of conflict between different uses was also raised
Children’s Play equipment – a need for improved provision and maintenance
Security and problems of youth – problems with teenage delinquency, underage drinking and vandalism within parks
Bench/seating provision and maintaining grassland – increased provision of seating and higher level of maintenance of grass areas Countryside Maintenance of wildlife and nature – respondents felt strongly about not “over-managing” the countryside areas and the need to encourage environmental conservation through careful management
The desire for more information, maps and interpretation
Litter control and dog fouling – the need to provide more bins
Maintenance of paths – the conflict of shared paths e.g. walkers, horses, cyclists, and the need to improve access for those with pushchairs and people with disabilities, also general poor maintenance in some areas
The need for more toilet facilities and improved standards of toilet provision
Security in related car parks and anti-social behaviour – increased security patrols Museums and Heritage Publicity – the need to increase current advertising and publicity
Specific activities museums should provide – the desire to have more inter-active displays and themed events
Size of museums - some of the museums were perceived as being too small and the smaller groups and to make museums more “child friendly”
Transport issues – parking facilities and public transport to museums inadequate Arts Centres & Galleries Cinema and Theatre provision in Farnham , Cinema provision in Cranleigh
Musical activities – the need for more venues for both classical and pop concerts and outdoor concerts
Evening classes and workshops – a desire for more provision Delivering Tourism

The Tourism sector has been identified as a key sector to be supported as part of Waverley’s revised Economic Strategy agreed in April 2002. Detailed actions were also identified through the Council’s Tourism Strategy Visitors Mean Business, published in 1999. The sector plays a key part in helping to sustain the rural economy and there are clear links between the sustainability of arts and culture, rural crafts and tourism.

Waverley has limited resources allocated for tourism and as a result works with a range of partner organisations to add value and create a co-ordinated approach over a wider area. Waverley’s main areas of activity in its tourism role are:

undertake strategic research and planning which will help others focus their activities;
co-ordinate and progress actions which will help signpost and direct visitors (leaflets and the Business Conference Venue Guide)
promote (in a modest way) the Borough and its attractions under the South West Surrey brand
support training for specific parts of the sector (such as the Partners in Progress scheme and bed and breakfast development courses)
policy advice to support other Waverley activities 7. VISION AND STRATEGIC THEMES Vision Themes Maximise availability of internal and external resources
Improve health and well-being
8. Action Plan
9. Monitoring and Review

comms/council/2002-03/070 33942