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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.

For information on any of the Ask The Leader questions listed please contact our Communications Officer on

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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.

Infrastructure provision in the Local Plan


Could you guarantee that infrastructure & services will grow in line with extra housing? Also that the quality of the new builds will be high with good insulation and soundproofing. I have a friend who lives in the new Buxted development and she said the build is very poor. Surely new builds should be of a quality and high standard? Keep some trees and planting and green areas. S Daniel


Dear S Daniel, You have raised some very good points and I know you are not the only one concerned about what the Local Plan could mean for the District. Making sure the infrastructure and services grown in line with extra housing is one of the key issues in this process. Chapter 26 of the Local Plan: Issues, Options and Recommendations document is devoted to Infrastructure. We acknowledge that the additional infrastructure required to support the growth proposed in this Plan will be considerable. We are proposing that one of the principles behind the new Plan will to make the freeing up of land for development conditional upon there being sufficient capacity in the existing local infrastructure to meet the requirements generated by the proposed development. By using a Revolving Infrastructure Fund, we hope to be able to ensure work can begin on the necessary infrastructure improvements before new housing is completed. We will be working with neighbouring authorities throughout the Local Plan process to get a more accurate assessment of what will be required. We are also proposing to draw up a Green Infrastructure Strategy to help maintain and improve the biodiversity and landscape character of the District. Chapter 20 in the Local Plan Issues, Objectives and Recommendations document covers Design. This seeks to encourage development of high quality in terms of design and local distinctiveness. However existing national building regulations do limit the scope of the Plan in setting construction standards to apply to all new developments. Where ever we are able to, we will seek to impose the highest quality standards possible. The Local Plan: Issues, Objectives and Recommendations can be found on our website here . I know it is lengthy, but I hope you will be able to take the time to read it and raise any further points at one of the consultation exhibitions we are holding around Wealden in the coming weeks. You can find details of dates and venues here. Regards Bob Standley

Missed Bin collection


Question :- Dear Sir, My wife and I are fed up with the lies and half truths we keep being fed about Kier rubbish collections. We understand the fact Kier put in the lowest quote knowing they could not deliver the service for the price submitted, but the Council fell for the deception. Now we the ratepayers are suffering. Over some two years we at our address have suffered rude, infrequent collections that are driving us mad along with a vast number of other clients. Kier needs to be replaced. This week yet again they failed to pick up our bin, despite repeated 'phone calls and e-mails. After some 7 days our bin has not been collected. I 'phoned again this morning and was told that they had called on Saturday last, but failed to see the bin, which was on the road. If only they had the intelligence to get out of the cab they would have seen it, but they are so witless, they do not like to walk 3ft to pick up a bin. When as Council leader Mr Standley are you going to sort out Kier? As I understand from your own staff that every day there are calls about rubbish to their office. In fact voters in Hailsham think they are rubbish. Please advise as urgent. Thank you David Younge


Dear Professor Younge I understand your frustration and annoyance that your bin collection has been missed on a number of occasions in the past few months and have raised this problem again with Kier. It is important we provide a good efficient service to residents. Whilst understanding that frustration, I cannot agree with many of the points you have raised. The contract was awarded after taking into account many different factors including cost but not exclusively. There is no evidence that Kier entered a lowest quote knowing they could not deliver the service which would be in nobody’s interest especially Kier themselves. Kier collect 99.7% of bins on schedule and the recent survey showed 94% of residents were satisfied with the service. The Kier contract has increased the amount of waste recycled and reduced landfill to less than 1% of waste collected. The vast majority of waste collected that cannot be recycled is being used to generate electricity at the incinerator at Newhaven. As you are probably aware this was a joint procurement across four Boroughs and Districts in East Sussex and, in addition to increasing the range and amount of recycling collected, delivered a £750k saving to Wealden Council Taxpayers. The Council meet with Kier regularly and will continue to both monitor performance and seek improvements and your observations will be passed on to them. I am sorry you have not had the level of service the Council require from Kier and I hope that the service improves from now on. I am surprised by your comments that the collection staff are, in your view rude, and will also pass those comments on to the Kier management. Regards Bob Standley

For information on any of the Ask The Leader questions listed please contact our Communications Officer on

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