Parish Council Meeting 9th September 2019

The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Monday 9th September at 7.30pm in the Memorial hall.  The Councillors will be on hand from 7pm if you wish to come and speak to them about any issues prior to the meeting.

ARK will be there to explain more about the work due to start in September on the water meadow to install the boardwalk and dipping pond.

It’s a hat trick for Froxfield!

After much hard work over recent months, Froxfield Parish Council is delighted to announce that we have been lucky enough to secure three awards:

1. A £5000 pocket parks grant for works on the water meadow

2. A £10,000 lottery grant for the proposed boardwalk on the water meadow

3. Froxfield has won Best Newcomer category in the Best Kept Village Competition meaning a cash prizes of £150.

And two more pieces of good news………………….

We have at long last been granted the planning permission to start the work on the water meadow.  Also, after 5 years of battling to get the issue to the top of Wiltshire Council’s priority list, we will finally see some traffic calming works taking place at either end of the village in the coming months.

 

ARK stream dipping event a great success!

The Froxfield stream dipping event organised by ARK on Saturday 18th May 2019 was a great success. It was lovely to see a good turn out of children as well as adults  who all enjoyed learning about the creatures found in our little chalk stream and their part in the eco system.

It was very pleasing that 5 ‘indicator species’ of invertebrates were found which means the stream is healthy and thriving after the recent work done in January and February by ARK volunteers and villagers to improve the flow and quality of the water.

The new planting of 1700 marginal plants that was completed in March to create the new stream bank is really starting to grow; the flag iris especially are shooting up and will look wonderful when they flower.

It is hoped that the remaining work to create the nature reserve with the boardwalk and dipping pond will soon be taking place as funding has been secured from a Pocket Parks grant and also a Lottery grant.

Footpath to The Pelican cleared

Our very obliging steward, Will, who visits Froxfield one day per month, has very kindly hired a special machine and cleared the footpath from The Lodge towards The Pelican.  It was very overgrown and narrow making it quite a hazard with the traffic rushing past so close.  He’s done a great job.

Letter from The Rt Hon Claire Perry

We have had a lovely letter to congratulate us on being awarded £5000 towards our refurbishment of the Water Meadow from The Right Honorable Claire Perry.

Our chairlady, Pat Adams, completed the long application form for the ‘Pocket Parks’ grant scheme in January  but didn’t hold out much hope of being successful.  However she was delighted to be informed that we had been awarded the money last month. The National scheme helps Parish Councils create or refurbish community areas within their towns and villages so will be a big contribution towards the costs of refurbishing the water meadow.

ACTION REQUIRED BY FROXFIELD RESIDENTS 

Wiltshire Council is currently engaged in a consultation with the Local Government Boundary Commission, and proposed changes will affect Froxfield. 

Put simply, Wiltshire County is further broken into ‘divisions’ and we are currently included in Ramsbury and Aldbourne and represented at the council by James Sheppard. Our village interests are also represented by Parish Councillors at the Marlborough Area Board and the Marlborough Community Area Transport Group.  

However, the Boundary Commission is proposing that Froxfield Parish should now be aligned with those of Bedwyn and Burbage and included in the newly-named Pewsey Vale East division. 

This would have a significant impact on the way Froxfield is represented both at the local level and at Wiltshire County. We would have a new Councillor and be incorporated into the Pewsey Area Board and Pewsey CATG.  

This link:  https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/14518 leads to an interactive map showing the existing boundary — where Froxfield has links to the villages north of the A4 — and overlays proposed new boundary, which would see Froxfield linked with The Bedwyns to become part of the Pewsey Vale East district.

Councillor James Sheppard attended the meeting of the Froxfield Parish Council on Monday night (last night) and reported that he was unhappy with this situation and did not want to ‘lose’ Froxfield from his remit.  He explained that the new division boundaries are intended to ‘even out’ the numbers of people represented by each councillor.  However, they take no account of the historic connections of the areas concerned. 

Most significantly, the new boundary division would mean that Froxfield would no longer have its Parochial and Local Authority boundaries in sync.  We are in the  Diocese of Salisbury, as part of the Whitton Benefice which also includes Ramsbury, Axford, Chilton Foliat, Baydon and Aldbourne, and with this proposed move, we would lose our historical county administrative links to these and the other northern villages.

Furthermore, Froxfield Parish Council has been working for a number of years with the  Marlborough CATG to achieve a better design of the A4 through the village to reduce speeding.  Currently, we are on the CATG priority list for action and surveys of the road at the village entrances as well as the area in the centre at the junction of Brewhouse Hill have been completed.  All this progress might well be jeopardised by a move to a new area, governed by new priorities and with different budget restraints. 

James Sheppard revealed that Wiltshire Council has a special meeting on March 25th where councillors will dedicate the entire meeting to discussing and debating the proposed division changes.  

Froxfield Parish Council will object to the change of boundaries in the strongest terms.  However, individual submissions can also be made and will have an impact on the decision-making process.  

We would encourage all Froxfield residents to follow the link:  https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/14518 to view the interactive map and then follow the link to make their objections to the boundary changes.  

  

Alternatively, email directly to reviews@lgbce.org.uk

Correspondence relating to the review – and consultation responses can be addressed to: 

Review Officer (Wiltshire)
Local Government Boundary Commission for England 1st Floor, Windsor House,
50 Victoria Street,
London,
SW1H 0TL 

Email: reviews@lgbce.org.uk

Although we have until April 15th to submit our thoughts on the changes — doing so in advance of March 25th will definitely help our case when this is debated at the Wiltshire County Council.

Vanya Body

Froxfield Vice Chair 

The Marlborough Area Board currently covers the parishes of Aldbourne, Avebury, Baydon, Berwick Bassett, Broad Hinton, Chilton Foliat, East Kennett, Froxfield, Fyfield, Marlborough, Mildenhall, Ogbourne St. Andrew, Ogbourne St. George, Preshute, Ramsbury, Savernake, West Overton, Winterbourne Bassett and Winterbourne Monkton.

The Pewsey Area Board currently covers the parishes of Alton, Beechingstoke, Burbage, Buttermere, Charlton and Wilsford, Chirton and Connock, Easton, Grafton, Great Bedwyn, Ham, Little Bedwyn, Manningford, Marden, Milton Lilbourne, North Newnton, Patney, Pewsey, Rushall, Shalbourne, Stanton St Bernard, Upavon, Wilcot, Huish and Oare, Woodborough and Wootton Rivers.

Froxfield is entering the Best Kept Village Competition

We’re taking the plunge and entering this free competition for the first time and we hope as many of you as possible will help to ‘do your bit’ be it picking up any stray litter, adopting one of the new planters or helping to do a bit of weeding or tidying.

The competition is being run by Wiltshire County Council and there are a few small cash prizes, but at the end of the day, it’s all about us taking some pride in our little corner of Wiltshire!

Community speedwatch & road improvements

Froxfield has signed up to the community speedwatch programme and volunteers are being sought.  Could you spare an hour or two a month to help keep our village safe?

Training will be provided and you will be working in pairs or groups at designated sites throughout the village to log motorists doing in excess of 46mph.

A recent article in the national press about a CSW group in Staplehurst saw them log 133,000 motorists speeding through their village in JUST ONE WEEK, some of whom were doing 70mph in a 30mph zone!!

We are currently working hard with Wiltshire Council to get some road improvments for the A4 to try to cut down the speed of drivers.  Unfortunately we do not fit the criteria for a further reduction to 30mph but they have agreed to move and improve the 40mph signs and zones through the village and create road markings which will give the illusion of a narrower road which are are told encourages drivers to slow down.  Coupled with some Community Speedwatch sessions, we are hoping to see improvements in the coming months.

If you are interested in joing the scheme, then please contact Sarah Owens the Parish clerk at Froxfieldclerk@yahoo.com