Who are we, what do we do?

The Walton Society is an amenity society, whose fundamental aim is to make Walton-on-Thames an even better place in which to live and work.

The Walton Society was formed at a public meeting in St. Mary’s Church Hall in November 1975. The meeting was called to address residents’ increasing concerns at inappropriate developments within the town. Demolition of much-valued older buildings was having a detrimental effect on the visual character of the town. The newly-formed Walton Society quickly set up an infrastructure to deal with residents issues, including conservation, traffic, amenities and commercial development. The main aims since the outset have been to protect our local environment, enhance local amenities, and promote a sense of community.

To ensure that the voice of Walton was heard by local government, the Society successfully sponsored its first candidate in the 1980 Elmbridge Borough Council elections.

The Society has no national political party affiliations, a fact clearly appreciated by Waltonians who are now represented by three Walton Society Councillors.

Since 1975 Society membership has grown steadily and currently stands at about 1700. Its work is organised throughout Walton in 65 areas, each with its own co-ordinator, whose role is to link with members and relay their views and needs to the Executive Committee. Sub-Committees concerned with planning, transport, publicity, amenities, housing and social events report to the Executive Committee. Co-ordinators also meet, when business and other matters are discussed and courses of action agreed.

Members receive regular Members’ newsletters covering the Society’s views, news and activities, these being distributed by our co-ordinators. Members’ as well as Public meetings are arranged, often with invited speakers. A variety of social events is arranged for members and their friends.

The Society has undertaken many successful initiatives, including the establishment of the Walton-on-Thames Community Arts Trust (which managed the restoration of the Riverhouse Barn and its subsequent development into the riverhouse Community Arts Centre), a Walton Heritage Trail, and the annual best shop window competition and played an active role in averting the closure of Ashley and Groveland Schools. The Society also supported the Walton Bridge Campaign to fight for a more modest replacement bridge commensurate in scope with the local road network, rather than the grandiose motorway-style dual-carriageway construction planned by Surrey County Council.   Our Councillors, officers and active members work on behalf of all Walton residents throughout the year. We communicate issues of local importance on a regular basis through our ‘All Walton’ newsletters, delivered to each Walton household by our co-ordinators, and now via this Website.

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