Today, the villages of Windlesham, Bagshot and Lightwater are represented by a single 'Windlesham Parish Council', with a group of 18 councillors representing a Parish of over 17,000 people. To put this in context, 80% of parishes in England have populations of less that 2,500 and the average number of councillors is between 5 and 7.
Only 3 of the current 18 Parish Councillors live in Windlesham - the other 15 all live in Bagshot, Lightwater, or further afield. More than 1,000 Windlesham residents (who live in "North Windlesham") are not represented by Windlesham councillors at all - they are considered to be part of Bagshot!
The current arrangement is even an anomaly within Surrey Heath - the neighbouring Parish Councils of Bisley, Chobham and West End are all 'village-specific' and have much smaller groups of local councillors (see image to the left).
Over 700 Windlesham residents signed a petition in early 2019 requesting a review of these arrangements. They indicated that they want a smaller, more local group of Parish Councillors representing all of the village of Windlesham.
The ongoing Community Governance Review was launched by Surrey Heath is in response to this petition.
If we are successful and Surrey Heath approves the formation of a new Parish Council for the village of Windlesham, we believe there will be three big improvements: