Agenda and minutes

Trowbridge Area Board - Thursday 19 January 2023 6.30 pm

Venue: Conference Suite - County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, BA14 8JN. View directions

No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Ernie Clark and Edward Kirk.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 6 October 2022.

Supporting documents:


The minutes of the meeting held on 6 October 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.



There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary or other interests.


Kieran Elliott, Democracy Manager (Democratic Services), explained that additional advice was being sought regarding declaration of interests in light of the updated Code of Conduct, in relation to Other Registerable Interests, and as a result had requested that the grant applications for Park Yoga and Urban Festival be deferred to the next meeting.


Chairman's Announcements

To include the following:


a)    Family Help Project - Wiltshire Families and Children’s Transformation (FACT) Partnership

b)    Community First Update

c)     Cost of Living Update

d)    King’s Coronation

e)    Future High Streets Fund

Supporting documents:


The announcements as set out in the agenda and agenda supplement were detailed and noted.


During the meeting it was proposed by the Chairman and agreed to move the agenda order of several items.


Partner Updates

To note the written reports and receive any updates from the



a)    Wiltshire Police

b)    Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service

c)     Town and Parish Councils

Trowbridge Town Council – Agenda for Policy and Resources Committee 10 January 2023

d)    Other Updates


Updates from partners were received as follows:


Wiltshire Police

Inspector Andy Lemon was in attendance and provided an update on local police operations and activities, including county or regional operations which impacted Trowbridge such as some recent raids and arrests relating to drug offences. He provided details of changes to the operating management model for officers based in Trowbridge, as well as presenting figures from local speedwatch data.


Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner

Philip Wilkinson, Police and Crime Commissioner, was in attendance. He acknowledged Wiltshire Police had faced some difficult reports on its effectiveness in some areas in recent years, and since his election in 2021 he had been putting in place reforms to improve the effectiveness of the headquarters, as well as making it more responsive to the needs of its officers and the public, though his role holding the Chief Constable to account. He highlighted the increasing of the rural crimes team, which had reduced crime rates by 50%, which he intended to improve further. He noted speeding enforcement was up, and thanked the many volunteers who made this possible.


The Commissioner explained a new Chief Constable would be in place from the end of February 2023.


The Area Board had the opportunity to ask questions of the Commissioner. Queries were raised about technological solutions for speedwatch monitoring, which it was stated were being looked into, though some options provided data which could not be used in court. The improved communications with speedwatch volunteers was welcomed. There were also questions on conviction rates for sexual offences, which had recently improved but remained low.


The Board thanked the Commissioner for attending.


Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service

Andrew Laskey was in attendance and provided details of incidents which had taken place within the last 3 months. The service was focused on prevention work, noting as a result of the cost of living a rise in use of candles and open fires. Details were also provided of some previous issue relating to fires at a derelict property in the Green Lane area.


Town and Parish Councils

The written update from Trowbridge Town Council was noted. There were no other updates.


Other Updates

Opportunity was provided for any other updates from groups or individual partners.


Area Board Priority Update: Cost of Living

To receive updates from local groups on cost of living.


The Area Board had chosen as a priority to focus upon the supporting low income families and individuals. It sought to engage with local groups and individuals working to identify and alleviate issues arising from cost of living pressures, and where possible support projects and other measures taking place.


The Board received presentations on behalf of a number of groups working in the community area.


Clive Jackson from the Trowbridge Debt Advice Service based in Stallard Street provided details of the work of the trained volunteers of his service. This provided free and confidential advice to people with debt, helping them to acquire relief orders or obtain debt management plans amongst other support. Almost 100 clients were currently being supported, with referrals from the council, housing associations or direct requests. Three had been a big rise in the number of people aged 25-40 requiring assistance, and housing association eviction attempts had also been rising during the current crisis.


Richard Culverhouse from Trowbridge Lions provided an update to the board on the work of Lions Clubs, which were volunteer service organisations which provide support and assistance to the community in a variety of ways, such as supporting elderly vulnerable people on outings, making donations, repairing broken machinery and others.


Rory Donaldson from Ruksak45218, which provides rucksacks of essential supplies to young people and families in need across Wiltshire. He highlighted the very large increase in the number of families helped in the last year, up nearly 1000 to around 1500. In just the first 19 days of 2023 83 families had been provided assistance, noting the current crisis meant many people previously not struggling could not afford essentials such as cleaning products or nappies. He gave details of donations that had been received such as for school uniforms, and encouraged anyone to refer young people in need to them.


A verbal update was provided on behalf of Trowbridge Future, who conducted many supportive activities in the area including community fridges. They noted that in the current situation even those not on very low incomes were struggling, and also highlighted the stress faced by volunteers and workers for charitable and supportive organisations, who were facing such high levels of demand.


The Board thanked all those in attendance for presenting to the Board, and for the excellent work they were providing to vulnerable people in the community area. All Members were asked to help signpost people to relevant groups, who often worked together to coordinate efforts, and to consider additional ways support could be provided to local groups providing support.





To consider applications for grant funding, as follows:


       i.          ABG926 – HELP Counselling Services – New Furniture - £1965

      ii.          ABG929 – Collaborative Schools – Fencing - £1965

    iii.          ABG930 – Trowbridge Town Council – Park Yoga - £1050

    iv.          ABG909 – Trowbridge Town Council – Urban Festival – £1344.62

     v.          ABG914 – Wiltshire and Swindon Sport – Beat the Street Trowbridge - £5000

    vi.          ABG922 – Wiltshire YFC – Pop up café enhancement - £497.99


To consider recommendations or note actions of the Local Highway and Footway Improvement Group, as follows:


 i.                16-20-09 – Reduction of Speed Limit, Cockhill, Trowbridge - £4125 subject to Town Council £1375.

ii.                 16-21-25 – Leap Gate, Trowbridge - £3750 subject to Town Council £1250.

iii.                16-22-1 – Greenhill Gardens, Hilperton - £3450 subject to Parish Council £1150.

iv.                Bratton Road, West Ashton – 20mph speed limit request - £1875 subject to Parish Council £625

Supporting documents:


The grants for Park Yoga and an Urban Festival were deferred.


Community Grants

HELP Counselling Services had requested £1965 to contribute toward new office furniture. It was explained the service had moved to new, larger premises and was supporting an increasing number of people suffering with their mental health.


On the motion of Councillor Jo Trigg, seconded by Councillor Stewart Palmen, it was then,



To award £1965.00 to HELP Counselling Services.



The application met the grants criteria.


HELP also invited a Member of the Area Board to be a trustee of their organisation. Councillor Stewart Palmen volunteered.


Collaborative Schools had requested £1965 to contribute to fencing around their hub site on the grounds of The John of Gaunt School. This would ensure there was an enclosed outdoor area to allow safe access for children. Details were provided of programmes for young children and provision of family learning activities at the hub. On the motion of Councillor Mel Jacob, seconded by Councillor Antonio Piazza, it was,



To award £1965.00 to Collaborative Schools.



The application met the grants criteria.


Youth Grants

The following two grants were considered by the local Child Friendly Partnership. Colin Kay on behalf of the partnership noted its support for both applications, with both applicants having good track records for delivery of projects.


Wiltshire and Swindon Sport requested £5000 for the Beat the Street, Trowbridge event. The Board discussed previous such events, which they considered had been a success, and sought details of when the next event would take place, probably late September. David Redfern, Assistant Director Leisure, Culture and Libraries, made a comment on joint working with the council to deal with legacy from Beat The Street.


On the motion of Councillor Daniel Cave, seconded by Councillor David Vigar, it was then,



To award £5000.00 to Wiltshire and Swindon Sport.



The application met the grants criteria.


Wiltshire Youth for Christ had requested £497.99 for enhancement of a pop up café. This related to their Stallards park pop up café for young people, which required upgrading to ensure they were better equipped for hot weather, and widen the range of activities, which included physical and quieter sedentary options. a Publicity Campaign. On the motion of Councillor Antonio Piazza, seconded by Councillor Stewart Palmen, it was then,



To award £497.99 to Wiltshire Youth for Christ.



The application met the grants criteria.


Local Highways and Footway Improvement Group (LHFIG)


The Board received the recommendations of the LHFIG. On the motion of Councillor Daniel Cave, seconded by Councillor Antonio Piazza, it was,



To award the following:

16-20-09 – Reduction of Speed Limit, Cockhill, Trowbridge - £4125 subject to Town Council £1375.

16-21-25 – Leap Gate, Trowbridge - £3750 subject to Town Council £1250.

16-22-1 – Greenhill Gardens, Hilperton - £3450 subject to Parish Council £1150.

Bratton Road, West Ashton – 20mph speed limit request - £1875 subject to Parish Council £625




Shared Lives Update

To receive a presentation on the Shared Lives Service.


Shared Lives is a national scheme that promotes supportive shared living with local and national governments.


Amy Smith, Registered Manager, Respite and Day Services, delivered a presentation on the Shared Lives Service. This was a national scheme that promotes supportive shared living.


It was stated that Shared Lives was a bit like fostering, but for vulnerable people over 16 who wanted to live as independently as possible. It enabled people to live as part of a family, within a carers home, to receive practical and emotional support. Carers might support someone living in their home long-term, for a shorter period, or provide respite. Shared Days carers supported someone for a few hours during a day.


Those supported by the service included adults with learning difficulties, mental or physical health needs, or who are elderly and in need of support to live as independently as possible. Some would need assistance with most day to day needs, whilst others needed mostly guidance and limited support.


Details were provided on what support might be provided within a home, and how carers would decide if they were willing to learn how to provide personal care, and be fully trained to do so. The process for becoming a carer was set out, and the fee they received, which could be up to £593 per week based on the needs and level of care provided.


The Board welcomed the presentation and sought details on how people were referred to the scheme, and the extent of the team in Wiltshire compared to other authorities, which was stated to be about average. In response to queries it was confirmed that the service would save the council and others money by providing support before more complex assistance was required, and Members hoped that the service could be expanded, both for the effective personalised support for vulnerable people, and in a cost effective way, noting details in the draft Wiltshire Council budget. Recent media coverage was noted, as part of improvements in the marketing of the service in the last year.


The Board thanked Amy Smith for her attendance and the work of the Shared Lives Team.


Leisure Update

To receive an update from the Assistant Director – Leisure, Culture & Communities.


David Redfern, Assistant Director, Leisure, Culture, and Communities, was in attendance to provide an update in respect of Trowbridge Leisure provision. £25m had been allocated in the 2022/23 budget, with work being undertaken on leisure needs assessment and development of detailed requirements for the area.

It was explained that the council was not yet in a position to determine the location or locations of the new provision, though it hoped to be able to announce this in time for the July 2023 meeting of the Area Board. A summary was provided of the appraisal methodology that would used to assess potential sites, including consideration of its walk/drive catchment area. At the meeting the presentation stated this would be 10 minutes, but post meeting this has been updated to be 20 minutes. It was stated that over 500 young people had responded to a survey on leisure needs, following comments from the Board that further engagement with young people was necessary.


Whilst the Board appreciated the attendance of the Assistant Director and the public consultation taking place, they expressed frustration at the current lack of participation of elected Members in the project. Some suggestions were raised whether it would be possible for them to, on a confidential basis, be provided with details for example of the options assessment at the point when a location or locations were being chosen. It was felt that this may enable them to engage with the public on a more informed basis and respond in an understanding way to whatever was decided, as without such information there were concerns their views in context would not be as effective as they could be.


David Redfern responded to the comments at the meeting, and would update the council Board which would make decisions regarding the progression of the project, and stated he would continue to engage with them as much as would be possible, though not all information was able to be shared. He emphasised that any decision on a site or facilities would be based on analysis of the evidence gathered.


The Board also discussed the rise in costs from inflation and how far the £25m allocation might now go in terms of options, and sought details on trends from the initial consultations on leisure needs. Clarity was sought on reference in the Wiltshire Council 2023/24 Budget report to deleting references to upgrades to the Trowbridge Sports Centre on the Infrastructure List and replacing this with a new entry for New Trowbridge Leisure Facility Project. It was stated that what form the new facility would take depends on the outcome of the options appraisal and could relate to a different site. Inclusion on the List means that the Council may use Community Infrastructure Levy funding for this project in whole or part. Currently alternative funding is made available in the capital programme for this. Additional comments were provided by Lucy Townsend, Corporate Director, People.


The Board thanked David Redfern for his attendance and update.


Area Board Priority Update: Local Economy

To receive an update from the Chamber of Commerce.


The Chairman, Councillor Daniel Cave, provided a short update in his role as appointed Board lead on the priority of the Local Economy.


It was explained that a larger update was planned for the next meeting, and the Chairman was seeking to arrange a meeting between local business stakeholders around local investment, as had taken place in Chippenham.


It was confirmed this would not be a business Area Board meeting, but a stakeholder event.


The Board thanked the Chairman for the update.


National Power Outage Presentation

To receive a presentation from Wiltshire and Swindon Local Resilience Forum


Due to the length of the meeting it was agreed to defer this item until the next meeting.


Date of Next Meeting

To confirm the date of the next meeting as 16 March 2023.


The date of the next meeting was confirmed as 16 March 2023.


Urgent items

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


There were no urgent items.