Venue: Online Meeting
Contact: Matt Hitch Democratic Services Officer
Chairman's Welcome and Introductions
To welcome those present to the meeting.
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained the procedure for remote meetings.
Apologies for Absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
There were no apologies for absence.
To approve and sign as a correct record the minutes of the meetings held on 16 March 2021 and 18 May 2021.
The minutes of the meetings on the 16 March 2021 and 18 May 2021 were presented for consideration and it was,
To confirm the minutes of the meetings on the 16 March 2021 and the 18 May 2021 as accurate records.
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.
There were no declarations of interest.
To receive the following announcements through the Chairman:
· Area Board Operational Model 2021 onwards.
A new model with 4 business meetings a year and informal engagement events or activities when required.
The Chairman drew attention to the written announcements available in the agenda pack, including one outlining the new working model with four business meetings per year. She also noted that, due to the legal requirements surrounding online meetings, the decisions taken at the meeting would need to be ratified by the leader of Wiltshire Council.
Ramsbury Primary School Recycling Project
An update on Ramsbury Primary School’s scheme to reduce plastic waste.
Children from the school delivered a short presentation outlining their concerns about plastic waste and to reiterate the need to, ‘plant trees, not plastic’. They warned that in just over 20 years there would be more plastic in the sea than living creatures and that there was a Pacific island, made entirely out of plastic, bigger than Texas.
They took the opportunity to talk about the measures that they had taken to reduce plastic waste, such as a clear up of plastic tree guards and a virtual conference discussing compostable alternatives. It was reported that all of the old tree guards had been removed from Ramsbury Recreation Ground, some local woodland and a significant area of land around Ramsbury. The children spoke about their plans for another clean-up of tree guards in the autumn, as well as proposals to trail compostable alternatives. Based on their research, they made a number of suggestions including that:
• It should be a requirement to get a licence for new tree guards and a system of fines should be imposed where they had not been removed with a five-year period.
• Wiltshire Council should use compostable alternatives to tree guards in future tree planting projects and help to lobby the government to ban their use.
Members praised the children for their environmental work and noted their request to the council. The Chairman explained that she would write to the cabinet member for waste about the issues raised. During the course of the discussion, it was noted that products, such as sheep wool, could be used as more environmentally friendly alternatives. Questions were also raised about contact the school had had with local landowners and the school stated that they had obtained a commitment from of landowners, including the local recreation ground, to use compostable tree guards.
To note the attached Partner updates and receive any further information partners wish to share:
o Marlborough Town Council
Written updates were available in the pack from:
Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue
BANES, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group
Verbal updates were also received from the following partners:
Inspector Allen Lumley and A/Sgt Emily Grigor were in attendance and were pleased to report that there had been no major incidents and that Marlborough Youth Club was now back open. They noted that the force had been conducting operations to tackle anti-social behaviour.
Questions were received in relation to the communication that the police had been having with local organisations, such as schools. The police officers explained that they had been working alongside social services, Motivate (an outside agency) and the council’s youth workers, to help local schools.
Queries were also raised about the issue of County Lines, where illegal drugs are moved by dealers from one area to another, often across police and local authority boundaries. It was reported that, due to its proximity to the M4, Marlborough would always be a target, but it was far less prevalent than in larger urban areas. Figures were expected to rise slightly as lockdown measures were eased.
During the discussion it was noted that reports of illegal drug use were a significant concern of residents. Inspector Lumley noted that this was primarily an issue related to local drug dealers and that dedicated teams were allocated to Marlborough, with a particular focus on prevention. They explained that the focus on anti-social behaviour would also have an impact on drug use, as this was often linked to drug related issues.
Marlborough Town Council (MTC)
Mayor Mark Cooper gave an update to the meeting explaining that the election of the three unitary councillors on the Area Board presented an opportunity to work closely with Wiltshire Council. The Mayor reported that, with the help of local volunteers, a new community fridge had been opened on 5 June and that this was to be managed by Marlborough Town Council. A planning application for a new workshop on land adjacent to the common was out for consultation. Agreement had also been reached with Greensquare Accord Housing Group to acquire land at Rabley Wood.
Furthermore, he noted that the Marlborough Neighbourhood Plan was undergoing final amendments in readiness for submission to Wiltshire Council. He explained that the work to the town hall was making good progress and that works to the Kingsbury Street side of the hall would mean that a one-way traffic system would be in place until the end of July. Referring to the earlier update by Wiltshire Police, His Worship expressed his enthusiasm about working with different partners in order to respond to the needs of young people in the town.
Community Area Status Report and Area Board Priority Setting
Update from Andrew Jack on the Community Status Report.
Andrew Jack, Community Engagement Manager, gave an update on the Community Area Status Report. The officer explained that the document, which was distributed as part of the agenda pack, was effectively a replacement for the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment. The report, which had been brought to previous Area Boards, set out the positive work being done as well as identifying challenges. The report also focused on the impact of the pandemic and the ways that the local area could bounce back. Some of the emerging themes highlighted so far were:
1. Marlborough Area Board was a large and very rural area with an older than
2. A key issue was therefore around isolation – access to services, transport,
3. Support and positive activities for young people was difficult due to rural
area, distance into town and secondary schooling.
4. Unemployment rates, those claiming universal benefit and debt had
increased during COVID.
5. There were a high number of independent businesses. Support was needed
to keep town centre vibrant.
6. Average house prices were significantly higher than average so excluded
younger and local buyers – demand for affordable housing was high but
building completions were low.
7. The internet opened some doors but also could exclude other people.
8. There was a lot of support for protecting the environment and to promote
9. More needed to be done to facilitate sustainable modes of travel.
10.Communities would need support to get back up and running when it was
safer to do so.
The officer reported that, in a similar way to the Community Area Transport Group (CATG), the Area Board would review the issues to which it felt that it could make the most difference, so it could create a rolling list of five top priorities. The Area Board could then make decisions, spend money and support projects that were relevant to the needs of people living in the Marlborough Community Area.
The officer noted that discussions were already under way and had included some innovative ideas relating to employment opportunities for young people. It was stated that the plan would be in place in time for the next Area Board on 12 October.
Community Engagement Manager (CEM) Delegated Decision
To agree a revised CEM Delegated Authority to award funding in between meetings.
The Chairman referred the Area Board to the document starting on page 47 of the agenda pack outlining proposals to agree a revision to the CEM’s delegated authority. Under the proposals the CEM would be able to award urgent funding applications between meetings. She commented that she felt that this would make the grant process more effective and efficient.
During the discussion a member of the public did express concern that the proposal may allow members to award grants without proper consultation. However, members stated that they felt that it was a practical measure given that there were now only to be four formal meetings annually and that proper consideration would be given to any proposals.
In order to expedite the work of the Area Board and to deal with urgent matters that may arise between meetings, the Community Engagement Manager, following consultation with the Chairman (or in their absence, the Vice Chairman) of the Area Board, may authorise expenditure to support community projects (including youth, health and wellbeing and community area transport) from the delegated budget of up to £5,000 per application between meetings of the Area Board. The Community Engagement Manager should seek the views of all Area Board members to obtain a majority in support, prior to the expenditure being agreed.
Decisions taken between meetings will be reported in the funding report to the next meeting of the Area Board and they will explain why the matter is considered urgent or necessary to expedite the work of the Board. Where a significant number of urgent matters arise between meetings, a special meeting may be called, following consultation with the Chairman to determine such matters.
Appointments of Lead Members to Outside Bodies and Working Groups
To agree the appointments of Lead Councillors for 2021/22 to:
• Outside Bodies
• Working groups and
• Any focus areas
The Chairman announced the intention of the Area Board to appoint lead members to outside bodies, working groups and focus areas in line with the proposals set out on page 51 of the agenda pack.
After the discussion it was:
a) That the Area Board Appoint Members as Lead representatives to the Outside Bodies listed in Appendix A, as follows:
Avebury Solstice Operational Planning Meeting - Cllr Jane Davies
Avebury World Heritage Site Steering Committee - Cllr Jane Davies
b) That the Area Board reconstitute and appoint Lead representatives to Area Board Themed Areas and the Working Group(s) listed in Appendix B of the Agenda Pack as follows:
Highways and Transport, including CATG - Cllr James Sheppard
Children and Young People, including Local Youth Network - Cllr Caroline Thomas
Health and Wellbeing – Cllr Jane Davies
Economy and Employment – Cllr Caroline Thomas
Environment - Cllr James Sheppard
Older People – Cllr Jane Davies
Arts, Culture and Leisure – Cllr Jane Davies
Community Safety – Cllr James Sheppard
Housing and Development – Cllr Caroline Thomas
c) That the Area Board Note the Terms of Reference for the Working Group(s), as set out in Appendix C
Local Youth Network Update and Applications for Youth Funding
To receive any updates on the Local Youth Network (LYN).
There were no applications for Youth Grant funding.
There were no applications for Youth Grant Funding. The Community Engagement Manager reported that conversations were ongoing with the Secretary of Marlborough Town Council regarding the establishment of a Local Youth Network for the area extending beyond the town to the more rural areas of the Area Board.
Health and Wellbeing Group
To receive an update on the Marlborough Health and Wellbeing Group.
There were no applications for Health and Wellbeing Funding.
There were no applications for Health and Wellbeing Funding. However, Jill Turner, Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Group, noted that an update on the emerging needs in the local area had been considered at their meeting held the previous week. Based on the report the group were looking at potential bids, including the possibility of organising venues for support groups.
Slides from the Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership were presented to the Area Board providing an update on the progress of the Covid-19 vaccination programme. It was noted that the NHS was launching a new data collection and sharing scheme designed to provide better oversight over services, but it was also explained that there would be an option to opt-out for people with privacy concerns. Further information on the NHS national data opt-out could be found here: https://digital.nhs.uk/services/national-data-opt-out.
Community Area Transport Group (CATG)
To consider the update and any recommendations arising from the Community Area Transport Group (CATG).The Area Board will be asked to ratify the funding recommendations from the CATG.
Cllr James Sheppard, as Chairman of the CATG, gave an update based on their meeting on 27 May. Cllr Sheppard stated that the meeting was well attended and benefitted from local input. He also took satisfaction from the completion of the Froxfield Traffic Plan before Froxfield’s move to Pewsey Area Board. He then went on to provide a brief a brief overview of the remaining high priority schemes as noted below:
– Speed limits & safety on A4361 – The speed limit change has been agreed between BB&WM and Avebury PCs. TRO has been sent for advert. Any objections raised will be passed to Cabinet member for decision to be made.
– Safety & speed review, Frees Ave – Funding allocated from area board Capital budget. Review not yet carried out due to pandemic.
– New double yellow lining + layby on The Avenue – delays with NT & stakeholders. Double yellow lines used to enforce no parking. TRO being advertised. Another site visit with stakeholders needed.
– OgbourneMaizey, new 20mph assessment – now programmed with consultant and assessment carried out soon.
– Safety at A4/PRES12 right of way – barrier not suitable; byway has to accommodate all traffic. New “Give way” signage will be installed and surface improved.
– Widening of footpath at Van Diemens Close – chosen as priority but will not be worked on by CATG.
During the conversation the Area Board considered the recommendations of the CATG and it was:
1) That the Area Board approves the recommendations of the CATG.
2) To confirm the seven high priority schemes agreed by CATG.
3) To confirm the following allocations of CATG funding:
Ø £2,250 towards TRO advertisement of speed change on A4361.
Ø £1,850 towards TRO advertisement of double yellows on B4003.
Ø £350 towards speed limit review on A4 at Savernake Hospital junction.
Ø £1,850 towards speed limit review at Chilton Foliat.
Community Area Grant Scheme
The Wiltshire Councillors will consider applications to the Community Area Grants Scheme, as follows:
· Ramsbury Cricket Club, £5,000 towards new practice nets.
· Ramsbury Recreation Centre, £5,000 towards two new tennis courts.
· Marlborough St May’s School, £3,850 towards the enhancement of outdoor educational provision.
· Mildenhall Village Hall, £1,600 towards new loft insulation.
· Ramsbury Parish Council, £5,000 towards a new wheelchair accessible roundabout.
To note the following grant applications, already awarded via the delegated authority of the Community Engagement Manager:
· Marlborough Sports Club, £3,950.00 towards repairs to fencing around sports ground.
· Devizes and District Foodbank, £1,050.00 towards a new delivery van.
Members considered applications for the Community Area Grants Scheme as detailed in the agenda pack. Applicants from the organisations applying for grants also spoke in favour of their applications.
During the discussion, concerns were raised that there was only a total of £26,000 of funding remaining for the year and that by approving all of the proposals, almost half of the funding would be concentrated on a single parish. Questions were also raised about the effectiveness of awarding applicants a percentage of their funding requests, as this would often be insufficient to complete projects. Members noted that although that they felt that all of the applications had merit, other potential sources of funding may have been available, and they were inclined to support the schemes best able to support Area Board Priorities, such as helping vulnerable groups with additional needs. However, given the uncertainty about future applications, consideration was given to whether any applications not approved could be deferred to a future meeting.
Following the discussion, it was:
1) To defer consideration of:
The application from Ramsbury Cricket Club for £5,000 towards new nets.
The application of Ramsbury Recreation Centre for £5,000 towards two new tennis courts.
The application from Mildenhall Village Hall for £1,600 towards new loft insulation.
This was so that they could be reconsidered in relation to potential future grants and remaining budgetary resources.
2) To grant Ramsbury Parish Council £5,000 towards provision of a new wheelchair accessible roundabout.
3) To grant £3,850 to Marlborough St May’s School in order to enhance outdoor educational provision.
4) To note the awarding of grants via the delegated authority of the Community Engagement Manager for:
• £3,950.00 to Marlborough Sports Club towards repairs to fencing around sports ground.
• £1,050.00 to Devizes and District Foodbank towards a new delivery van.
Update from Community Engagement Manager
To receive an update from Andrew Jack, Community Engagement Manager (CEM).
The CEM had already provided an update under earlier agenda items.
Residents are invited to ask questions of the Area Board.
No questions were submitted to the Area Board from the public.
Any other items of business which the Chairman agrees to consider as a matter of urgency.
There were no urgent items.
The next meeting of the Marlborough Area Board will be held on Tuesday 12th October, 7.00pm at Marlborough Town Hall.
The Chairman thanked everyone for attending and announced that the next meeting of the Marlborough Area Board will be held on Tuesday 12 October 2021 at 7pm. It was yet to be confirmed whether this meeting would be held in person, but if it were then it will be at Marlborough Town Hall.