Purpose and Policies
WENTWORTH ESTATE ROADS COMMITTEE (WERC)
Wentworth Estate Roads Committee was established by the Wentworth Estate Act 1964. Pursuant to the Act, the Committee became the owner of the Estate roads, verges and footpaths, and was given the right to levy an annual road rate to maintain them. The efforts of the Wentworth Estate Roads Committee focus on two main areas: planning incorporating covenant management and estate maintenance.
Planning incorporating Covenant Management
The Act gave the Committee the power to enforce the covenants attached to the majority of the properties on the Estate and the covenant structure has ensured that the special character of Wentworth is protected. Much of the Committee’s work arises from the covenant that obliges any resident to submit plans for building work for approval, whether or not planning consent is required from Runnymede Borough Council. Consent is also required for any tree removal on the Estate. On completion of the work, properties are re-valued for the purpose of calculating the applicable road rate.
The maintenance of the common areas of the Estate is another primary function for the Committee. This includes the routine maintenance of the roads, streetlights, verges, hedges, trees and opens spaces, and extends further into major road resurfacing and replacement works for bridges and streetlights.
Estate security is an additional focus of the Committee. Here its emphasis is to reduce the threat of crime, to ensure that building projects are carried out with as little disturbance as possible to neighbours and to minimise the amount of unauthorised traffic using the Estate roads. Security improvements have included the increased use of marked security patrols as well as an Automatic Number Plate Recognition system with cameras at all the 19 entrances streaming live vehicle movements to Surrey Police and Safer Runnymede, with almost immediate return notification of suspicious vehicles.
The Committee consists of six residents who are owners of a property obligating them to pay road rates and who are elected by the members of the Wentworth Residents’ Association at the Annual General Meeting. Committee members receive no payment for their work. In addition, the Committee employs a staff consisting of an Estate manager, an Office Manager, and a maintenance team of three full time employees.