With a population of over 22,000 Sandhurst shares its geographic borders with Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire.
As a result the Town Council has strong links with its peers not only within its home County of Berkshire but also with its neighbouring Parishes.
The Sandhurst Town Council has a firm belief in partnership and communication. There are five Residents Associations within Sandhurst and the Town Council has quarterly meetings with the Associations to inform and gain feedback.
To supplement the flow of information the Town Council produces four newsletters a year distributed to every household. Its two websites www.sandhurst.gov.uk and www.sandhurstpride.co.uk provide an up-to-date and effective information service. The Town Council has 30 strands to its communication strategy.
The Sandhurst Town Council has forged a strong partnership with its Unitary Authority (Bracknell Forest Council). This has been demonstrated on many occasions with a number of partnerships on Environmental, Leisure and Planning matters. Examples include the Sandhurst Clean Team that supplements the Borough Council street cleaning, recycling programmes and sponsorship of roundabouts.
The Town Council was one of the first Councils to develop community involvement with Policing, by setting up a Police Point on its grounds, manned by local volunteers. Close co-operation and communication exists with the Police and initiatives include the Sandhurst Policing Summit to identify and tackle "real" community concerns, including anti-social behaviour. The Sandhurst Town Council is a strong supporter of Neighbourhood Forums and Neighbourhood Action Groups.
The Town Council owns and administers approximately 65 acres of land of which the majority forms the Sandhurst Memorial Park. Over the years the Park has been developed as a "Peoples' Park" with attention focused on community needs. It is home to over 30 clubs, groups and organisations and amongst its features it has seven football pitches, a cricket square and pavilion, it is the home of Sandhurst Town Football Club, has a SSSI area, ancient woodland, skate park, tennis courts, Coffee Shop, picnic/playground areas and a public CCTV system. It has a Community Hall, a Day Centre, a Licensed Sports Club and has the Town Council's offices as its focal point for information. A recent sample survey estimated an annual visitor footfall of 150,000 visitors.
The site plays host to many events including the well supported Donkey Derby, Football, Cricket, Tennis and Tug of War tournaments.
For 10 consecutive years the Memorial Park has been awarded the prestigious Green Flag award. In partnership with Bracknell Forest Council, who owns and manages the neighbouring Shepherd Meadows site, the Town Council/Borough Council were the first in the Country to receive the flag for a partnership site.
The site is a testament to a working partnership with input from Thames Water, Railtrack, Environment Agency, Forestry Commission, English Nature, Thames Valley Police and many community and "friends of" groups. The Sandhurst Town Council has a seat on the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership Management Committee.
The Town Council also administers Owlsmoor Park. Working together with a residents ‘Friends of’ group this 5 acre site is being developed to specific local needs.
The Town Council has 100% of elected representation and has a firm belief in local democracy. Consultation exercises are frequent but the Members recognise their leadership role by instigating and backing campaigns for themes including responsible parenting, under age drinking, responsible dog ownership, safer parks, access for all Sandhurst Pride and ‘Sandhurst as a RESPECT, RESPONSIBILITY and RIGHTS community’.
One specific initiative was the Sandhurst Forum for the Future, which identified a short, medium and long term plan for Sandhurst. Its membership was flexible but was made up of representatives from schools, youth, elderly, businesses and many other sectors of community life. As a result of this Forum Sandhurst produced a Town Plan.
The Sandhurst Town Council encourages active resident participation. It knows the difference between Consultation and Engagement. It supports local groups by operating an annual Grant scheme and has a Community Award initiative that recognises those groups and individuals who have given exceptional voluntary service to the community.
Why is Sandhurst so special? - because it is also the home of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. As a world leader in military training, the residents of Sandhurst are proud to have the Academy within its boundaries. The Sandhurst Town Council were instrumental in awarding the Freedom of the Borough to the Academy in 1997 when 1,000 cadets marched through the streets to the Memorial Park where the ceremony took place. A truly spectacular event, which demonstrated and galvanised community spirit within the Town.
In 2006 the Royal Military Academy (RMAS) exercised its right to march through the Town. The salute was taken by the Mayor of Sandhurst on the Sandhurst Memorial Park and was followed by a true Community Day. Over 15,000 people turned out to watch a variety of events and displays including It’s a knockout, a Sandhurst Cricket Ashes match between Sandhurst Cricket Club and the RMAS and the day concluded with a fantastic fireworks display.
In 2012 the right was exercised again to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Officer training in Sandhurst.
Sandhurst Town Council is a Quality Status Council.
Sandhurst Town Council is the only Town/parish Council to be an Associate Member of the Local Government Association (LGA).
Sandhurst Town Council is a supporter of the Local Government Reputation Campaign.
Sandhurst Town Council has Members and staff who are dedicated to serving its community. With its professional and customer focused approach it has demonstrated that it meets and, in some cases, exceeds the Quality Status award criteria. With a philosophy of "To be the best that we can be" we will use the Status to improve and extend the levels of service so that we can continue to say, "Sandhurst is a very special place indeed".
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