Agenda and minutes

Online Meeting, Trowbridge Area Board - Thursday 25 February 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Online meeting

Contact: Kieran Elliott  Email:


Note No. Item




To receive any apologies for absence.


There were no apologies.


Minutes of Previous Meetings

To approve the minutes of the meetings held on 7 January 2021 and 11 February 2021.

Supporting documents:


The minutes of the meetings held on 7 January 2021 and 11 February 2021 were presented for consideration. Subject to amending a reference from ‘he’ to ‘she’ in Minute 11, it was,



To approve and sign the minutes as a true and correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.



There were no declarations



Chairman's Announcements

To include the following:


a)    Foster Caring

b)    Homes of Our Own Event

Supporting documents:


The Chairman drew attention to the update on foster carer recruitment detailed in the agenda.


It was also noted that the 2021 census would be beginning in March 2021.


Partner Updates

To note the written reports and receive any updates from the



a)    Wiltshire Police

b)    Town and Parish Councils

c)     Local Youth Network

d)    Any other groups eg Trowbridge Future, Trowbridge Wellbeing Centre Development Group, Child Wellbeing Partnership.

Supporting documents:


Updates from partners were received as follows:


A written update was received from Wiltshire Police as detailed in the agenda. It was stated that data on recent trends had not been able to be included, but that this should be available in the next update. Details were also provided on recruitment and training completion of additional Police Community Support Officers, as well as five new police officers for the area from April 2021.


An update was received from North Bradley Parish Council on the upcoming referendum on the Neighbourhood Plan, the Local Plan Review and looking to start up Speedwatch once volunteers had received Covid-19 vaccinations.


There was a brief update from Trowbridge Town Council and discussion of Community Infrastructure Levy overpayments.


Hilperton Parish Council provided details of their recent meetings and recent housing matters.


A written update from the Child Wellbeing Partnership was provided as detailed in the agenda. It was also noted that Trowbridge Future had received lottery funding.




Water Rescue in the Trowbridge Area

To receive an update from the Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.

A partner update from the service is attached.

Supporting documents:


A partner update from the Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service was included within the agenda.


Jim Mahoney, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, David Geddes, Station Manager for Trowbridge, and Councillor Rebecca Knox (Dorset), Chairman of the Fire and Rescue Authority, were also in attendance to talk about water rescue in the Trowbridge Area, and more broadly on the Technical Rescue Review which had been undertaken by the authority and of which water rescue was one element.


Technical rescue, including water rescue, enhanced response capability for large animal rescue, trapped persons and other matters, were not a statutory responsibility for the service. A review had been undertaken of all elements of technical rescue, which had been operated from five stations across Wiltshire. It was stated that no two stations had offered the same capability, equipment or training, and the level of resources did not match the level of risk for those areas, in terms of likelihood of incidents from historical data.


In respect of water rescue it was explained this was delivered through level 1,2 and 3 teams, with level 3 involving the entering of fast flowing water to enact rescues. The review from the authority had identified that risk and demand at Trowbridge and Chippenham required level 2 resourcing, which involved water first responders and wading teams. The recommendation to the authority, which was approved by the authority on 11 February 2021, was for three technical rescue teams with the same capabilities at Swindon, Poole and Weymouth.


The Board heard from members of the public, including a retired Trowbridge firefighter, criticising the decision of the authority as dangerous and that the level of risk in the Trowbridge area had not been properly assessed. Others sought details of the risk assessments completed by the authority including flood risk. In response it was stated flood risks had been considered, including historically bad years, and that level 2 water rescue resourcing was considered suitable and sufficient, with a target of 60 minutes for level 3 teams to attend any area in Wiltshire and Dorset.


In response to queries from the Board it was stated that the decision had not been made as a result of financial pressures, although some savings would be utilised from the decision. Other comments raised questioned if the area would be as safe as it had previously been. The issue of public participation and involvement with the fire authority meetings was also raised.


The Chairman of the Fire Authority responded to the questions and debate, noting consultation which had taken place, the decision being taken across Dorset and Wiltshire as a whole, and the need to ensure equitable service across the entire area and that safety had not been compromised.


It was also noted that the Wiltshire Members on the Fire Authority would receive regular updates.


The Board thanked the Chairman and officers of the Fire and Rescue Service for attending.



Future High Streets Fund

To receive an update from Rory Bowen, Interim Head of Economic Development on the in-principle offer of £16m made by government.  


An update was received from Rory Bowen, interim Head of Economic Regeneration.

Following the provisional award of £16.3m from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) out of the £25m requested, the Cabinet had discussed the next steps at a meeting on 2 February 2021. The technical appraisal of the bid was being refined in order to secure the provisional award by assuring the MHCLG that outputs from the original bid could be delivered with the reduced amount.


It was detailed that the submission would be sent to the MHCLG on 26 February 2021 but that there would not likely be confirmation until the end of March onwards. In response to queries, it was stated that the council was confident in its submission to secure the full provisional award.


The Board discussed the update, raising issues around ongoing updated and collaboration where possible with the town council, the focus on the town hall as central to the regeneration of Trowbridge of which the Future High Streets Fund was hoped to merely be the start, and how the project could be prioritised and delivered in the coming years if the funding was awarded.

The Board also requested that its working party headed by Colin Kay be updated and involved at the earliest opportunity throughout the process.


The Board thanked the officer for his update.




At its meeting on 11 February 2021 the Area Board considered a grant from Collaborative Schools Ltd for £30,000.00 for the Community Digital Divide project, with details as attached. The Board made an initial award of £20,000.00.


As a total of £9,973.66 remains within the combined community and youth grant budgets (£1322.91 and £8650.75 respectively). A proposal has been made that this amount also be awarded to Collaborative Schools Ltd, making a total contribution of £29,973.66 for the Community Digital Divide project.

Supporting documents:


The Board considered the updated Grant papers report as detailed in the agenda supplement. £9,973.66 of funding remained available, with two grants which had not been awarded the full amount requested at the meeting on 11 February 2021.

Collaborative Schools Ltd had received £20,000 out of a total request of £30,000 for the Community Digital Divide project to provide digital devices to families in need, and Hilperton CofE School PFA had been awarded £3000.00 out of a total request of £5000.00 toward completion of an all-weather pitch.


The Board considered whether they wished to allocate the remaining funds to either or both of the applications.


The Board discussed the proposals, including whether the parish council would be making a contribution to the Hilperton proposal, and on the motion of Councillor David Halik, seconded by Councillor Stewart Palmen, it was,



That Collaborative Schools Ltd be awarded a further £9,973.66 toward the Community Digital Divide project, making a total of £29,973.66.


Reason: The application met the Grant Criteria.



Urgent items

Any other items of business which the Chairman agrees to consider as a matter of urgency.


There were no urgent items.