Ask the Leader

The Leader of Wealden District Council is Councillor Bob Standley. He will be pleased to answer any question you may have about Wealden District Council's policies, or other matters involving the Council, which you think are of interest to people living, working or visiting Wealden.

To ask your question, please use our or Ask the Leader - Submit a Question Form

Councillor Standley is the Conservative Leader of the Cabinet of Wealden District Council and has represented Wadhurst since 2004.

Specific inquiries about particular services such as planning applications, licensing or accommodation can be reported online. Please use our 'directory of tasks on online services' to find the appropriate form. You can also email

We will try to respond within ten working days of receiving your question and your question and the Leader's reply will then be posted on the website. Please provide your name, we don't need your address. If we think the question is inappropriate for publication we will contact you by email to say why.

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The latest Ask the Leader questions and answers are shown below. To view more questions and answers, use the search above, or the 'In this Section' menu.

Local lettings policy


When we objected to the proposed construction of the affordable housing project at Court Lodge which adjoins our property, we were all told at the Council Meeting that the project was essential to house local families. Indeed the term used by your officers was "disadvantaged locals".

We were told that there were far more families in dire need locally than this development could cater for. I have met some of the families who tell me that this location is a world apart from where they came from in south London. My question is how many tenants in this development are "disadvantaged locals" and how many are from other regions of the Country?

Mr Patrick Quinn


Dear Mr Quinn,

I am unable to give you the detailed information you have requested about the property, as this would infringe the Data Protection Act. However, I can confirm that all of the new homes were let in accordance with the Council’s Allocations Policy and specifically, the Parish Lettings Policy and s.106 Agreement for the development.

The Parish Lettings Policy gives priority to applicants with a local connection to the parish. In the event that no applicants with a connection to the parish have expressed an interest, we then consider applicants with a local connection to an adjoining parish, and following this, applicants from the Wealden District. This is also in accordance with the s.106 agreement in place for this development. 

We carry out a Housing Needs Survey for all the villages and town in Wealden at regular intervals and aim to provide the type of housing that best meets this demand.. When the development was approved by  Planning Committee South in  May 2012, the Council reported that there was an unmet housing need within the Parish with 14 applicants with a local connection to the Parish on the Council’s Housing Register. The 2009 Housing Needs Survey identified an annual gross need for 9 new affordable homes within the Parish.

Personal circumstances and needs may have changed by the time this affordable housing  went on the market for letting.

For information, under the Parish Lettings Policy, a local connection is defined as:-

  • People in need of separate affordable accommodation who currently live in the parish and have normally done so for a continuous period of at least five years.
  • People with close adult relatives (over the age of 18),  generally defined as parents and adult children or siblings who live in the parish and normally  have done so continuously for a period of at least ten years.
  • People who have lived in the parish for five years out of the last ten years and who had to move away from the parish because of a lack of affordable housing.
  • People who have 'established' employment within the parish, or have a genuine offer of established employment within the parish, which provides an important service to the local community and who need to live locally to carry out their duties.
  • Exceptional circumstances - where failure to reside in the parish would cause hardship to the applicant or others.

I hope you find this helpful.


Bob Standley

Litter on the A26


The whole of the A26 from Uckfield to Tunbridge Wells is still looking like a third world country.  Do Keir only have one set of litter pickers ??

Phil Ireland


Dear Mr Ireland,

I have made enquiries and the stretch of the A26 from Eridge to the Boars Head was litter picked three weeks ago as the street cleaning crew progress south towards Uckfield. This stretch of the A26 was cleared again last week.

This is a main route through the district to the South Coast and there does appear to be a lack of concern for the appearance of the countryside among some motorists. It is difficult to prosecute unless we have clear evidence, including the identity of the person throwing litter from a vehicle.

Kier’s crews consist of eight employees, and in the course of their duties, can be re-deployed to deal with other litter hot spots.

Thank you for bringing this to my attention.


Bob Standley

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