Ask the Leader

The leader of Wealden District Council is Councillor Ann Newton. She 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 Newton is the Conservative leader of the Cabinet of Wealden District Council and has represented Framfield & Cross-in-Hand since 2007.

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 info@wealden.gov.uk.

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 pr@wealden.gov.uk.


Land between Willingdon and Polegate

1 November 2022

Question: Dear Councillor Newton, Now that you have succeeded in joining Willingdon to Polegate and destroying the identity and character of each, will you be renaming the ugly town you have created? The original names seem pointless now. Tony Robinson

Answer: Dear Mr Robinson, Thank you for your question. I am unsure if you are aware but this extent of development at Mornings Mill Farm was vehemently refused by Wealden District Council’s Planning Committee. Councillors did all they could to stop the scale of development which was in excess of the area identified as a Strategic...

Will there be a rebate for garden waste collection service not collected during strike action?

6 July 2022

Question: Dear Councillor Newton, With regards to the bin strike. Wealden has stated there will be no rebate. Why? Regardless of how much of the Council Tax is collected and retained by Wealden with regards to refuse collected, a service is not being fulfilled. Are there not defaults in the contract with Biffa and if so,...

Answer: Dear Mr Richings, Thank you for your question and apologies for the delay in providing a response. This has been due to officers dealing with the industrial action which has now ended. We are unable to offer a Council Tax refund in response to the industrial action.  Only 9% of Council Tax collected by Wealden...

When will I receive my Council Tax rebate?

5 July 2022

Question: Dear Councillor Newton, Please could you advise when the Council Tax rebate will be paid. I have checked the website and it clearly states from 23rd May 2022. I pay by Direct Debit. My April one cleared and still nothing. Tomorrow we will be in June and it will be a Bank Holiday weekend this...

Answer: Dear Caroline Morgan, Thank you for your question and apologies for the delay in coming back to you. Those delays were due to officers dealing with the waste collection industrial action. We have now processed more than 31,000 payments (74%) to Direct Debit payers and are working to contact all those Direct Debit payers who...

Where is my Council Tax rebate?

5 July 2022

Question: Dear Councillor Newton, Where is my council tax rebate? You’re hanging this out as all the others have all been paid. From Shaun Clay  

Answer: Dear Mr Clay, Thank you for your question and apologies for the delay in coming back to you. Those delays were due to officers dealing with the waste collection industrial action. We have now processed more than 31,000 payments (74%) to Direct Debit payers and are working to contact all those Direct Debit payers who...

I believe Wealden has let me down

5 July 2022

Question: Dear Councillor Newton, I wrote in May to Wealden District Council requesting an update on when I would receive the government £150 Council Tax rebate. Apart from the automated reply, I have not received any reply to my query. I understand people are busy and the rebate needs to be verified but we now entering...

Answer: Dear Mr Peters, Thank you for your question and apologies for the delay in coming back to you. Those delays were due to officers dealing with the waste collection industrial action. We have now processed more than 31,000 payments (74%) to Direct Debit payers and are working to contact all those Direct Debit payers who...

When will my rebate be paid?

5 July 2022

Question: Dear Councillor Newton, It is now June and we, and many many other residents, have still not received the rebate payments that were due in April. Eastbourne council has done theirs and Rother council also. I am a direct debit payer and two payments have been taken from my account for council tax. This rebate...

Answer: Dear Lisa Woolridge, Thank you for your question and apologies for the delay in coming back to you. Those delays were due to officers dealing with the waste collection industrial action. We have now processed more than 31,000 payments (74%) to Direct Debit payers and are working to contact all those Direct Debit payers who...

I am waiting for my Council Tax rebate

5 July 2022

Question: Dear Councillor Newton, To date I have not received the council rebate or a code to provide my account. What is taking Wealden District Council so long? From Ann Walusimbi

Answer: Dear Ann Walusimbi I gather from my officers they contacted you directly and your rebate claim is being processed. In addition, we have now processed more than 31,000 payments (74%) to Direct Debit payers and are working to contact all those Direct Debit payers who have not received a payment yet as well as all...

Council Tax rebate

18 May 2022

Question: Dear Councillor Standley, Could you please advise why your council is taking so long in processing the Council Tax rebates that the Government announced in February? Other comparably sized councils (such as Eastbourne) are well on their way to completing the rebates, when your council has not even started them?  

Answer: Dear Lee Hurst, Thank you for your question. Before processing we have followed the guidance which suggests allowing DD’s for April to clear before using those details to pay the rebate, we have and are currently working through the other verifications for these. The application process will commence in June for those that we cannot...

Council Tax reduction due to industrial action

18 May 2022

Question: Dear Councillor Standley, The bin collection people are on strike, I know. You as a council have contracted Biffa to empty our bins once a week which we pay for in our Council Tax. And you have paid them to do so. Are you going to get a refund from them and if not why...

Answer: Dear Mr Tree, Thank you for your question. The industrial action taken by the GMB union is disappointing to say the least especially as the pay offer was accepted by Biffa, our contractor, for the Hastings and Rother depots. We have a joint contract with those authorities. With regards to Council Tax, only 9% of...

Trees felled at development site

17 May 2022

Question: Dear Councillor Standley, There is a new development by ‘Inspire Villages’ in Ben Hall Mill Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 5JW, which comes under Wealden District Council. Can you please explain how the developers are allowed to cut down hundreds of mature trees and clear completely a woodland site and wildlife habitat. At a time when...

Answer: Dear Mr Fairbrass Thank you for your question. Not surprisingly, I am aware of this development as it is in the ward I represent. On many developments there are requirements to remove some trees to enable construction, but these are kept to a minimum. I have been assured the trees removed are those identified when planning...