Election of the Chairman
To elect the Chairman of the Melksham Area
Board for the forthcoming year.
Councillor Phil Alford
nominated Councillor Jonathon Seed for the role of Chairman and was
seconded by Councillor Jack Oatley.
To elect Councillor
Jonathon Seed as Chairman for the year 2023/24.
Election of the Vice-Chairman
To elect the Vice-Chairman of Melksham Area
Board for the forthcoming year.
nominated Councillor Mike Sankey for the role of Vice-Chairman and
was seconded by Councillor Alford.
elect Councillor Mike Sankey as Vice-Chairman for the year
Chairman's Welcome and Introductions
The Chairman will welcome those present to the
The Chairman welcomed
those in attendance to the meeting and encouraged public
participation. The Area Board members introduced themselves to
Apologies for Absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence
were received by Councillor Jon Hubbard and Police and Crime
Commissioner Philip Wilkinson. Apologies for lateness were received
from Councillor Nick Holder, who joined the meeting at 7:27 pm
during Item 20, Chairman’s Announcements.
To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on
8 March 2023.
To approve and sign the
minutes of the previous meeting on 8 March 2023 as a true and
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of
disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards
There were no
declarations of interest.
To receive the following
announcements through the Chairman:
Wiltshire Libraries are supporting residents to stay online during
the cost-of-living crisis.
Cost of Living Update.
Independent Visitor Scheme promotion for volunteers.
Update on the Council's Response to the Climate Emergency.
To receive and update from the Melksham Scout Group regarding how
they have spent their money awarded by Melksham Area Board.
The Chairman noted and
summarised the written updates included in the agenda pack,
including updates on the cost-of-living crisis, the work being done
by Wiltshire Libraries to keep local residents online, and the
Independent Visitor Scheme.
provided an update on the Council’s response to the Climate
Emergency and representatives from the Bowerhill Scout Group
updated the meeting on how they have spent the funding recently
awarded by the Area Board. The Bowerhill Scout Group representative
spoke positively about the impact of the new mini bus, which has
enabled the group to travel further afield than before.
To receive updates from the following
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service
BSW Together (Integrated Care System)
Town and Parish Councils
The Chairman invited
the Area Board’s partner organisations to provide any updates
further to the written updates included in the agenda
Inspector Andy Lemon
informed the Area Board of the progress being made within Wiltshire
Police locally, noting the increased success rates relating to
prosecutions. He also highlighted the successful arrest relating to
a spate of local burglaries, three recent closure orders, the
increased execution of warrants, the intensification of county
lines policing, and the successful implementation of Operation
Septum, a blade amnesty programme that included a knife arch visit
to Trowbridge College. He noted that Wiltshire Police was
approaching its peak demand period but highlighted a 7.2% reduction
this year in violent crime and a reduction in complaints. Inspector
Lemon concluded by pointing out that King George V Field in
Melksham remained a problem area for policing.
The Chairman noted that
after raising the lack of police visibility at the last Area Board
meeting, he had noticed a significant improvement, resulting in a
big difference in police perception. He passed on his thanks for
their recent work in Steeple Ashton and for their renewed focus on
using social media.
Wiltshire Police Chief Constable and Police and Crime Commissioner
To receive an update from the Wiltshire Police
Chief Constable Catherine Roper and the Police and Crime
Commissioner Philip Wilkinson.
The Chairman welcomed
Chief Constable Catherine Roper to the Area Board and invited her
to provide an update.
CC Roper passed on
Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson’s apologies
for absence and updated the Area Board on the work currently being
undertaken by Wiltshire Police, including their response to being
placed in Special Measures, otherwise known as the Engage process,
following a recent assessment by His Majesty's Inspectorate of
Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS). She
explained that they had been identified as being inadequate in
terms of victim support, investigation, and structural framework.
As a result, CC Roper pointed to the Plan on a Page document
(included in the agenda supplement) and briefly outlined the three
main operational priorities to address those shortcomings: safer
public spaces, violence, and burglary. She also listed steps being
taken to improve communication and public trust and engagement,
including a recruitment drive covering the Criminal Investigation
Department, the control room and upper management
The Chief Constable
then fielded questions from the floor. Questions were asked of
police engagement in Melksham and potential poor service, to which
Inspector Lemon agreed to investigate. Other questions included
current numbers of police officers, the impact on the overall
policing budget of a new police station in Salisbury, and the
fairness of the policy that advised officers’ involvement in
the rural crime team be reviewed should they have ties with
trail-hunting. Queries were raised about highway policing, with
Councillor Holder drawing particular attention to an area of
Bowerhill prone to speeding, about which Inspector Lemon agreed to
liaise with Councillor Holder.
Finally, Bethani Blake from Victim Support encouraged the
police to continue to make use of their services, to which CC Roper
Area Board End of Year Report
Part I – Looking Back
To receive the Area Board End of Year Report as well as to report
on progress made in addressing the Area Board priorities selected
Supporting low-income individuals and families – Cllr Phil
Reducing Isolation and loneliness – Cllr Nick Holder
Youth Engagement – Cllr Jack Oatley
Reducing Anti-Social Behaviour – Cllr Mike Sankey
Addressing Environmental Issues – Cllr Jonathon Seed
To receive an update from Melksham Cricket Club following the
Community Asset Transfer, which was agreed at the Area Board
meeting on 8 March 2023.
Part II – Looking Forward
To highlight potential priorities for the Area Board to consider
To appoint Members as Lead representatives to Outside Bodies and
any new Non-Priority Working Groups as set out at Appendix A;
To appoint a Lead representative to the LHFIG (listed on Appendix
A) and to note the Terms of Reference as set out in Appendix B.
The Chairman handed
over to the Strategic Engagement and Partnerships Manager (SEPM)
Richard Rogers to present the Area Board End of Year Report. The
report summarised the work that the Area Board had done over the
last year. The SEPM thanked the Area Board and the community for
Gary Burns, Chairman of
the Melksham Cricket Club, updated the Area Board about the
expansion being undertaken at the club. He noted that they now had
three adult teams on the books with an expanded youth section and a
new ladies’ section. He also highlighted the continued
improvement to facilities, including a new artificial pitch system.
He concluded by expressing his thanks to the Area Board.
Councillor Holder then
spoke to the work he and the Area Board had been doing on his
priority area of reducing isolation and loneliness. Councillor
Holder paid tribute to David Walker and the work he had done in
supporting the priority area and expressed this thanks to
Councillor Hubbard and Theresa Strange for setting up Community
Support 2.0, a project being taken forward by Age UK to support
isolated and lonely people, particularly older people, describing
it as ground-breaking work.
enquired about Melksham Tennis Club, describing difficulties with
Wiltshire Council support. The Chairman explained that the Tennis
Club needed to apply for grants through the regular Area Board
channels, and that he recently engaged in a conversation with the
relevant Cabinet Member in which it was suggested there was an
issue with the booking system for the general public, which was
causing difficulties for providing support from the
the following priorities with the following Councillors appointed
as Lead Representatives:
and young people – Cllr Jon Hubbard
Community safety and
transport – Cllr Mike Sankey
environment, and deprivation – Cllr Phil
people; health and wellbeing – Cllr Jack
– Cllr Jonathon Seed
appoint following Members as Lead Representatives to the following
Outside Bodies, Working Groups and Local Highway and Footway
Improvement Group (LHFIG):
- Melksham Health and
Wellbeing Group – Cllr Jack Oatley
- Melksham Joint
Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group – Cllr Mike
- CCTV and Community
Safety Working Group – Cllr Mike Sankey
- Environment and Climate
Working Group – Cllr Phil Alford
- LHFIG Councillor
Representative – Cllr Mike Sankey
To note the Terms of
Reference for the LHFIG as set out in Appendix B.
Melksham Local Highways and Footpath Improvement Group
Recommendations from meeting on 9 May 2023.
Melksham Health & Wellbeing Group
To receive an
update from the Melksham Health & Wellbeing Group.
Highway and Footway Improvement Group (LHFIG)
Area Board then considered the funding recommendations from the
LHFIG meeting on 9 May 2023.
Councillor Sankey proposed that the Area Board approve the
funding recommendations from the LHFIG and was seconded by
To approve the funding recommendations from the
Health and Wellbeing Group (HWG)
Councillor Holder spoke to the
HWG meeting the week prior, explaining that the bulk of the meeting
was for the Group to be introduced to the new project officer from
Age UK Wiltshire who was to lead on a jointly funded project.
Councillor Holder also passed on his thanks to Richard Rogers for
co-ordinating the recent event in Melksham’s marketplace on 9
June 2023. Councillor Holder also expressed a desire to understand
more about the NHS’s current property strategy, explaining
that their Estates Team have recently completed a review of the
strategy and that the HWG would soon be asked to attend a meeting
with them on that subject.
Area Board Funding Applications
To consider the following applications for
Bowerhill Village Hall Trust -
£1,000 towards Bowerhill Village
Hall new flooring.
Melksham Music and Drama - £1,000 towards Radio Mics.
Village Hall Trust - £1,000 towards Bowerhill Village Hall
Holder moved to grant Bowerhill Village Hall Trust £1,000
towards new flooring for Bowerhill Village Hall and was seconded by
Bowerhill Village Hall Trust £1,000 towards new flooring for
Bowerhill Village Hall.
Music and Drama - £1,000 towards radio
Councillor Sankey moved
to grant Melksham Music and Drama £1,000 towards radio
microphones and was seconded by Councillor Oatley.
To grant Melksham Music
and Drama £1,000 towards radio microphones.
Any other items of business which the Chairman
agrees to consider as a matter of urgency.
Councillor Graham Ellis
from Melksham Town Council raised the issue of the Blue Pool site
and requested that local volunteers be granted access to Blue Pool
to facilitate the project. The Chairman suggested that the Area
Board could not themselves make that decision but would work with
Wiltshire Council to facilitate it.
Melksham Town Mayor, addressed the recent Melksham House press
release. The Chairman suggested that if those concerns were
submitted to the Area Board, they would act as a conduit for them.
Councillor Alford advised the quality of answer would be better if
pursued through other departments rather than the Area
Evaluation and Close
The next meeting of the Melksham Area Board
will be held on 12 September 2023.
The Chairman thanked
those present for attending and confirmed that the next Area Board
meeting would be held at 7:00 pm on Tuesday 12 September