Great British Spring Clean 2018

We will be holding a litter pick on Saturday 3 March, as part of the national Great British Spring Clean event. Please meet at 10am at the scout hut. We will be picking up litter along Mill Lane, Melksham Lane and Coombe Lane.

Bags and equipment will be provided, but please bring your own gloves if possible.

We hope to see as many of you there as possible.

New councillors

We are delighted to welcome Trish MacGregor and Jonny Barden onto the council.

Trish is well known in the village as landlady of the Bell.  Prior to that she was an ICU nurse and has a law degree.

Jonny too will be known to many in the village as a former governor of St Mary’s school and chair of the village hall committee.  Jonny is Head of Technical and Production Services at Bath Spa University.

Trish and Jonny bring a wealth of skills and experience to the council and we are very pleased they will be part of our team.

 

Traffic Issues Data

We are collecting data on our traffic issues so that we can get evidence about the problems we face.  We hope that this will lead to a proposal that we can put to Wiltshire Council.

Please help us by recording any issues you come across in our traffic issues log, which is at https://tinyurl.com/BGTrafficIssue.

We are also hoping to do a traffic count, probably in the week beginning 11 September.  The details will depend on how many volunteers we get.  Please contact us if you would like to help.

Public meeting on traffic issues

Please come to a public meeting on Thursday September 21 at 7pm in the village hall, to discuss ideas about how we can sort out our traffic problems.  We have invited traffic expert, Ben Hamilton-Baillie to give a presentation on possible approaches.  Ben specialises in working with rural communities to address traffic issues in smaller towns and villages.  You can see more about Ben and examples of his work at www.hamilton-baillie.co.uk/.

Ben will spend the day in the village looking at our parking, speeding and other issues.  He’ll share his ideas with us in the meeting and everyone will have a chance to contribute their thoughts.  We hope that this will lead to a proposal that we can put to Wiltshire Council.

In the meantime, we will be collecting data on issues and conducting a traffic count.  Please contact us for more details of how you can help.

Sorting out our traffic problems

We have been looking at how we can sort out our traffic problems.  We have asked a transport consultant to help us come up with effective solutions.  We will hold a public meeting in September where he will present some suggestions and everyone can have a say in how we proceed.

We all know the issues we face; speeding, parking, large vehicles etc.  However, it’s more difficult to know what approaches will work.  We have discussed a number of solutions, including 20 mph speed limits, gates at entrances to the village, chicanes, yellow lines, speed humps and so on.

We need to look at our traffic issues as a whole.  For example, if we stop parking in one place, the problem could just move to somewhere else, or speeding could get worse.  If we introduce parking restrictions or speed limits, we need Wiltshire Council or the police to enforce them, which is unlikely because they don’t have the resources to do it.  We feel that we need professional help and expertise to make the right decisions.

So we’ve asked Ben Hamilton-Baillie to help us.  Ben specialises in working with rural communities to address traffic issues in smaller towns and villages.  You can see more about him and examples of his work at www.hamilton-baillie.co.uk/.

Ben will be coming down in September to look at our issues and suggest approaches to addressing them.  We’ll have a public meeting in the early evening where he will share his thoughts on how to tackle traffic issues in villages most effectively, together with his initial recommendations for priorities and further studies.  Everyone will be welcome to contribute.

This approach will give us credible and evidence-based proposals, which we can take to Wiltshire Council.  This gives us the best chance of getting approval and funding.  In the meantime, please contact us if you have any issues or ideas that you’d like to share.

Parish Steward work

Please let us know if you notice any minor highways or maintenance work.  Our details are on the Contact us page.

We have a parish steward who visits us once a month.  He can carry out a wide range of tasks including:

  • Hand clearing and cutting of growth from drainage grips and drain gully covers
  • Hand clearing of blocked drainage gullies, culverts, pipes and pits
  • Clearing storm debris from the roads and footways
  • Clearing collision debris, clinical waste etc
  • Pedestrian barriers repairs, preparation and painting
  • Cleaning, re-installation and straightening of small road signs, street nameplates and bollards
  • Installation of small road signs, verge marker posts and supplied street name plates
  • Removal of limited graffiti from road signs, bollards and street nameplates
  • Hand cutting of grass and vegetation in visibility areas
  • Hand treatment of weeds in rural areas
  • Removal of ragwort and other noxious weeds
  • Clearance of encroaching growth and soils from footways
  • Repair of minor surface defects in roads and on footways

We prioritise the jobs that he does, so let us know if you notice something and we will add it to the list.

If the work is major, urgent or safety-related, use the My Wiltshire app to report it.   You can read about it here.

 

Think before you park

Last week, a lady who lives in Newleaze Park and uses a wheelchair had an accident as a result of a car parking over the pavement around the Newleaze Park junction.  The lady was unable to negotiate her wheelchair through the narrow space on the footway left by a parked car and so tried to get on to the road and around the car. She toppled over and fell into the road and was badly bruised.  Paramedics had to be called to help restore her to her chair and obviously she was very badly shaken.

A few days earlier, the we received an email from another driver who lives in Newleaze Park, to say she was almost involved in a collision on the Newleaze Park junction due to visibility being blocked by careless parking.

The Parish Council is asking for your help to make this area safer.  Please ensure that you do not park over any footways or the on the Newleaze Park junction.

We are working on longer term solutions for traffic issues in the village, but would appreciate everyone’s help now.

Special Planning Meeting Wednesday June 7

There will be a special planning meeting on 7 June 2017 at 7:30 pm in the village hall, which you are welcome to attend.

We will discuss a number of applications including:

  • from Norrington Solar Farm to vary the conditions that Wiltshire Council set in their original approval.
  • from Cotswold Homes to build ten houses on the site of the Robotech factory.

You can see the agenda at https://goo.gl/24vU6V.

 

Parish Council Co-options

We have two vacancies for parish councillors.  It’s a great opportunity to serve your community.

We will co-opt someone to fill the vacancy at our July meeting, which should be on 12 July.

If you want to apply to be a councillor, all you need to do is send the clerk an email or letter that:

  • confirms that you meet statutory requirements to be a councillor (you can find them here);
  • gives your reasons for wishing to be a member of the parish council; and
  • explains what skills, qualifications and community experience you feel you will bring to the council.

The deadline for applications is 4pm on Saturday 1 July.

You can see our co-option policy here.

Please contact any councillor if you would like to know more about what it’s like to be on the parish council.  You can also read this guide.