Agenda and minutes

Trowbridge Area Board - Thursday 17 March 2022 6.30 pm

Venue: County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 8JN

Contact: Leo Penry  Email:

No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence.


There were no apologies.



To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 20 January 2022.

Supporting documents:


The minutes of the meeting held on 20 January 2022 were presented for consideration, and it was,



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


Declarations of Interest

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



Councillors David Vigar, Antonio Piazza, Edward Kirk, Mel Jacob, Stewart Palmen and Jo Trigg declared a non-pecuniary interest in the application of the Rugby Club for the new playground by virtue of being members of Trowbridge Town Council. Trowbridge Town Council is the applicant in planning permission for Doric Park which is adjacent to the Rugby Club. All would participate and vote on the grant application.


Councillor Piazza declared a non-pecuniary interest in the application of the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust as the Town Council has also awarded the application a grant.


Councillor Jacob declared a non-pecuniary interest in the application from the Big Community Grow by virtue of being Chair of the organisation. For information she also noted that she was Chair of the working group for the Doric Park development.


Councillor Trigg declared a non-pecuniary interest in the application from Families Out Loud by virtue of being a Champion for Families Out Loud.


Later in the meeting Councillor Horace Prickett stated he would not vote on this application as he is a Friend of Southwick Country Park.


Chairman's Announcements

To include the following:


a)    Changes to residual waste collection

b)    Great British Spring Clean

Supporting documents:


Announcements were received as detailed in the agenda pack, relating to changes to residual waste collection and the Great British Spring Clean.


Partner Updates

To note the written reports and receive any updates from the



a)    Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner

b)    Wiltshire Police

c)    Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service

d)    Town and Parish Councils

e)    Local Youth Network


Other updates.

Supporting documents:


Updates from partners were received as follows:


a)    Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Russell Holland delivered an update on the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office. He stated that they had been very busy, recently passing the Police and Crime Plan for 2022-2025 and setting the budget. The Deputy Commissioner urged people to report all crimes and highlighted successful work that had been done to encourage this but noted concerns of underreporting due to people thinking no action would be taken. Work undertaken included a successful county lines operation resulting in a number of arrests, an operation tackling local drug dealers and investment in equipment to tackle rural crime.


In discussion it was raised that it would be useful to see trend data for context when reports are received in future. It was also noted that training exercises mainly take place in Devizes and it was requested whether some future training exercises take place in Trowbridge, as the County Town. The Deputy Commissioner noted both those points.


The Board thanked the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for attending.


b)    Wiltshire Police

A written report was received.


c)    Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service

David Geddes, Trowbridge Station Manager, updated the Board on the Community Safety Plan and reminded them of the ongoing safe and well visits. He also highlighted that they were still recruiting for on-call firefighters.  There had been a couple of large fires outside of Warminster however smoke detectors raised the alarm and enabled people to leave the premises safe and well. There were 60 fire calls in the Trowbridge area since the last update, with 25 false alarms. It was clarified that 60 is about average and the number of false alarms was fairly stable.


Clarification was sought of the procedure when there are repeated false alarms from the same property. It was explained that every time there is an alarm activation the service have to go to the site unless they receive information from the premises that it is a false alarm. Repeated false alarms they would look at the alarms to check for faults and a high number of false alarms from the same place they may reassess the scale of the response they send.


There were also queries on the impact of the new cycle lane and traffic lights outside the fire station. The Station Manager stated that they had good communication with the Highways Team and have had to adapt to the traffic lights. He explained that they could always mobilise additional fire engines from Bradford-on Avon if required. He clarified the road changes could have an effect, but this was manageable.


d)    Town and Parish Councils

Trowbridge Town Council reported that the service transfer from Wiltshire Council was progressing well.

Hilperton Parish Council reported that it’s working group on the development of 2500 houses was going well, liaising with Chief Executive of Wiltshire Council.


Trowbridge Town Hall

Alan Wright, the new Director of Trowbridge Town Hall, will speak on the next phase of Town Hall development.


Alan Wright, the new Director of Trowbridge Town Hall, spoke on the next phase of Town Hall development. The initial plans had been received on how the building would need to be reconfigured to provide the facility outlined in the application. The plans were initially over budget but were brought down to a reasonable amount that aligned with the business plan. He highlighted the aim to create an economically sustainable entity that offers as much as possible to as many people in the community. This would centre on three key points: culture, community and commerce.


He outlined a drive to use the activities of the Town Hall to expand outside of the building to create more commercial activity for the Town. Part of development would be to make Trowbridge culturally attractive to Arts Council England and apply to become a National Portfolio Organisation which guarantees funding for five years. One of the steps to achieve this would be recording studios at the Town Hall.


The Director also outlined other steps that would be taken. This included a café with retail offer, addition of sprung floors for dance classes, re-opening the grand hall, a more sophisticated bar set up and collaboration with Bath Spa University to offer performance poetry.


A question raised whether there had been discussions with Wiltshire Council and Trowbridge Town Council about parking. Questions were raised around free parking capacity.


Questions were raised on how the Town Hall would strike balance between operating commercial activity and not affecting commercial businesses in the town. It was clarified that the main activity would be on a Saturday and that the bar wouldn’t be open when there aren’t events on. It was emphasised that they want to facilitate use of the hall, not to undercut local businesses and that profits made would subsidise other aspects of the Town Hall.



David Redfern, AD - Leisure, Culture & Communities, will provide an update on leisure provision in Trowbridge.

Supporting documents:


The Cabinet Member for Leisure, Public Health and Public Protection, Leisure, Libraries, Facilities Management and Operational Assets, Councillor Ian Blair-Pilling, delivered an update on leisure provision in the community area, supported by David Redfern, Associate Director of Leisure, Culture and Communities. He explained that the leisure insourcing, bringing the centres under direct management of the council, meant that they were much more able to adapt and improve the leisure offering in Wiltshire. Also covered was the difficulty of making comparisons between the new insourced leisure organisation and the previous format due to the exceptional situation of the pandemic.


It was reported that three years had been factored in to balance the budget, which included improving facilities. The goal was to make all leisure centres fit for purpose and financially sustainable. This includes closer ties between the leisure centres and public health. In terms of Trowbridge specifically the Cabinet Member emphasised that there was no location yet for the proposed new leisure centre which was included within the budget and that consultations would be taking place.


There were questions on whether the new leisure centre would be within the town. The Cabinet Member clarified that no location had been decided and that all options were being considered. Some Members noted that previous intentions around delivery of leisure provision in the town had not been delivered and sought reassurance. It was reiterated that the money was allocated in the budget. Questions were also raised on balancing facilities with financial sustainability. It was explained that while financial sustainability was key, other factors such as public health, community and environmental impact would also feed into the decision. In response to queries it was confirmed decarbonising options for centres was being considered. There were also comments appreciating the focus on public health, particularly for areas of deprivation


The Board thanked the Cabinet Member for attending.


Future High Street Fund

To receive an update on the Future High Street Fund.


Rory Bowen, Acting Head of Service, Economic Regeneration, delivered an update on the Future High Street Fund. He reported that results had been received from a survey to engage with residents and stakeholders. He stressed that the engagement process would be ongoing and that there would be engagement targeting harder to reach groups as things progressed


The survey had 426 responses. On the topic of transport and access it was reported that over half of respondents had issues accessing Trowbridge town centre, citing problems such as traffic, parking, difficult crossings and lack of cycle paths. Solutions proposed were footways and cycle facility improvements. There was higher satisfaction around high level of adequate parking provision. Other points for improvement respondents fed back were for a wider range of shops, more food and drinks offering, a cleaner environment and more green space, safer night-time environment and more events. Lack of leisure provision was often highlighted.


In discussion it was questioned how success would be measured. It was also stated that the Future High Street Fund wouldn’t address all issues raised but was targeting key areas to maximise impact. It was also intended to monitor progress with measurements such as footfall counters. Other members expressed optimism about the investment into Trowbridge from Wiltshire Council, Trowbridge Town Council and private investors.



Community Grants

·       West Wiltshire University of the Third Age - West Wilts U3A Video Streaming Project - £922.80 requested

·       Trowbridge Wanderers Football Club - Trowbridge Wanderers Equipment - £1733.30 requested

·       Trowbridge Rugby Football Club - Trowbridge Rugby Club Play Park - £5000.00 requested

·       Hilperton Village Hall - Hilperton Village Hall New Children’s Play Equipment - £5000.00 requested

·       The Big Community Grow - Jubilee meadow and Nature Trail - £1965.00 requested

·       Collaborative Schools Ltd - Child Friendly Trowbridge Park Signs - £899.50 requested

·       Wiltshire Rural Music - Visible Voices - £1842.00 requested

·       Wiltshire Wildlife Trust - Rejuvenating Trowbridge Town Pond - £5000.00 requested

·       Friends of Southwick Country Park - Purchase of a chainsaw for Friends of

·       Southwick Country Park Local Nature Reserve - £576.00 requested

·       Equinox Explorer Scout Unit - Explorer Scout Paddle Boarding - £4562.50 requested

·       Wiltshire Rural Music - Wiltshire Rural Music IT Resources - £975.00 requested

·       Biss Meadows Country Park - Biss Meadows South Pond enhancement - £1130.00 requested


Health and Wellbeing Grants

·       Families Out Loud - Families Out Loud client support and IT project - £5577.00 requested


Supporting documents:


Community Grants

West Wiltshire University of the Third Age - West Wilts U3A Video Streaming Project

£922.80 was requested to pay for equipment to facilitate hybrid meetings to encourage membership back to pre-pandemic figures. On the motion of Councillor Palmen seconded by Councillor Kirk it was then,



To award £922.80 to West Wiltshire University of the Third Age



The application met the grants criteria.


Trowbridge Wanderers Football Club - Trowbridge Wanderers Equipment

£1733.30 was requested to pay for bibs, balls, cones, barriers, goals, and relevant courses for volunteers to attend. The club explained that the pandemic had significantly impacted their income stream which is why they were seeking a grant from the Area Board. On the motion of Councillor Piazza seconded by Councillor Trigg, it was then,



To award £1733.30 to Trowbridge Wanderers Football Club



The application met the grants criteria.


Trowbridge Rugby Football Club - Trowbridge Rugby Club Play Park

£5000.00 was requested to refurbish the Rugby Club play park at Doric Park. The applicant clarified this was separate from Trowbridge Town Council’s development at Doric Park and that the park was available for use by the public. There were queries regarding other funding which had been requested, level of and use of club reserves, and involvement of the town council officers supporting clubs to apply to various different funding streams.


Assurance was sought and provided that notwithstanding any previous comments, the funding sought would be utilised for refurbishment and replacement of existing equipment only, for the current site. It was explained this was necessary regardless of any future intentions for the site, as the equipment could not wait to be refurbished. Some members were concerned insufficient information had been provided.


On the motion of Councillor Palmen seconded by Councillor Vigar it was then,



To award £5000.00 to Trowbridge Rugby Football Club subject to the condition that the grant is spent on equipment only and is spent on the current play park site.


A recorded vote having been requested by the requisite number of members, the votes were as follows.

For: Councillors Jo Trigg, Stewart Palmen, Mel Jacob, David Vigar, Horace Prickett

Against: Councillors Antonio Piazza, Edward Kirk

Abstain: Councillor Ernie Clark



The application met the grants criteria.


Hilperton Village Hall - Hilperton Village Hall New Children’s Play Equipment 

£5000.00 was requested for ‘Orchard Mammoth’ play equipment (large equipment with two slides like tusks). The play equipment was described as suitable for 7-14 year olds with a 25 year life span and made from sustainable timber. The applicant outlined that they had applied for a grant from Hilperton Parish Council who agreed contribute. They aimed to have it installed and opened ahead of the Queen’s jubilee celebration. After questions from the Board, it was clarified that their application had a typo, and the play area was definitely for ages 7-14. They also explained that if the application was rejected they did not have any current plans to fill that funding gap. On the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.


Urgent items

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


There were no urgent items.