Venue: Online - Microsoft Teams
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 invited the councillors and officers present introduce themselves.
Apologies for Absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence had been received from the following:
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 15 June 2021.
The minutes of the meeting on the 15 June 2021 were presented for consideration.
To confirm the minutes of the meeting on the 15 June 2021 as an accurate record.
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.
There were no declarations of interests.
To receive the following announcements through the Chairman:
Natural Environment Plan and Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy Consultation
The Council’s consultation about the Natural Environment Plan and Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy for Wiltshire comes to an end on 17 October.
To provide information about areas identified for possible subsidised bus service funding.
Background information: Option 24/7 - A positive public transport option for Wiltshire (option247.uk)
Taxi Tariff Changes
To note proposed changes to the schedule of fees from 4 January 2022.
To note the forthcoming transfer of Place Leisure managed leisure centres to Wiltshire Council.
Wiltshire Youth Survey
The Wiltshire Youth Survey is now live until Friday 22 October 2021. Wiltshire’s Community Engagement team are delivering a digital survey to young people to help shape our local positive youth activities. Please encourage participation and ensure that local young people are able to access and complete the survey. For further information please contact Andrew Jack, your Community Engagement Manager, on 01225 713109 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Chairman explained that the council’s Natural Environment Plan and Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy were out for consultation and encouraged the public to have their say.
She then referred the Area Board to details of the proposed additional bus services as listed on the agenda front sheet. She also mentioned that plans were underway to develop a new app to promote demand responsive transport for Pewsey Vale.
Details were provided about proposed changes to maximum taxi fares to be introduced from 4 January 2022, including cheaper fares for journeys starting after 2.30am intended to support the late-night economy.
It was reported that Wiltshire Council had taken over the running of an additional 10 leisure centres across the county, meaning that all of its leisure centres were run in-house. Although Marlborough Leisure Centre was already run by the council, the process of aligning services would change some prices for existing Wiltshire Council customers. However, the Chairman reassured customers that they would be communicated with directly regarding any specific changes to their memberships and stressed the benefit of access to the additional facilities.
The Chairman encouraged participation in a county-wide digital youth survey that was running until 22 October 2021, giving young people the chance to give their feedback about local services and priorities. She then stressed that the results of the survey could help to inform how devolved funding was allocated by the Area Board.
The Chairman then notified the Area Board that College Fields and Barton Park Residents' Association were holding their inaugural meeting at Marlborough Leisure Centre at 19.30 on Monday 18 October 2021.
Community Area Status Report and Area Board Priority Setting
Community Engagement Manager Andrew Jack to provide an update on the Community Status Report.
The Chairman noted that a copy of the Community Area Status Report, as well as relevant background information, was attached to the agenda of the previous meeting held on 15 June. Further information was also available from the Community Engagement Manager (CEM). She then emphasised that the public were welcome to provide their feedback on the report.
The CEM, Andrew Jack, explained that the document was effectively a replacement for the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment. The report outlined what had been going on in the community, not only focusing on the challenges within the area but also the positive work being done. The report set out how data compared with the rest of Wiltshire and highlighted how the area could build upon the good work already being caried out at both Area Board and county level. The evidence gathered was used to identify key priorities. Information about further themes relating to these priorities was available on page 11 of the agenda pack. The CEM used the example of green travel to illustrate one of the themes and noted that Cabinet had agreed an infrastructure plan for electric vehicle charging points earlier that day. In summing up he stressed that the priorities identified were not a finite list and reiterated the Chairman’s message that additional priorities could be added after feedback from partners and the wider community.
To note the attached Partner updates and receive any further information partners wish to share:
Written updates were available in the pack from:
• Healthwatch Wiltshire
• B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group
• Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue
Verbal updates were also received from the following partners:
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Swindon and Wiltshire
As he was new to the role, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Swindon and Wiltshire, Cllr Russell Holland, took the opportunity to provide some background information about himself and to set out his key priorities. He reiterated that PCC Philip Wilkinson and he welcomed public feedback. It was highlighted that speeding was a key priority identified, so tougher enforcement action was being taken with the introduction of additional mobile speed cameras and better engagement with Speed Watch Teams.
Sally Wolfenden from the Jubilee Centre provided an update about their activities during the pandemic. Although the day centre had had to close temporarily, the meals on wheels service had continued to run throughout. The time that the centre was empty had been used to refurbish the building and improve its facilities, including a new cooker. A risk assessment had also been carried out, following advice from Public Health Wiltshire, prior to the centre reopening on 5 October 2020. Over the past year the number of members returning had steadily increased and conversations were underway about how to provide extra support to those suffering from dementia. Sally took the opportunity to thank the Area Board for their support and the Chairman thanked the centre for the support that they offered to older and vulnerable people.
Preshute Parish Council
Cllr Peter Morgan explained that a consultation about the new Preshute Neighbourhood Plan had been underway in the parish and that it would go out for wider consultation around the end of the year. He reported that there had been positive community engagement and the process had given them the opportunity to learn more about the history of the area. It was felt that the document would provide lasting benefit to the community.
Marlborough Town Council
Mayor Mark Cooper reported that the Marlborough Neighbourhood Plan was out for consultation and that conducting a traffic survey was a high priority. He noted that, in light of the climate emergency, an audit was being undertaken of the council’s emissions and a climate friendly badge scheme was being set up. Conversations were also underway with Wiltshire Council about the possibility of devolving services. He was also delighted to announce that Marlborough in Bloom had won a gold award in the South West in Bloom competition. The Mayor had been honoured to attend the Freedom Parade for the Fourth Military Intelligence Battalion earlier in October. After the Mayor had completed his update, Cllr Thomas provided information about the origins of the Marlborough Mop and how the name had derived from an emblem for house maids.
5 Year Highways Plans
Dave Thomas, Head of Highways, Asset Management and Commissioning, referred the Area Board to the draft of the maintenance plan and noted that the final version would be published around March/April 2022. He confirmed that Marlborough was broadly in the middle in terms of condition when compared to other Area Boards and that the projected total spend for Marlborough over the course of the plan was expected to be slightly above the Wiltshire Area Board average. However, the officer did stress that the exact funding from the Department for Transport would be confirmed annually. The overall aim was to get all of Wiltshire’s roads to similar condition, with roughly 20 to 25 percent of the A, B and C roads requiring maintenance.
He explained that in order to catch roads before they deteriorate quickly, early intervention would be necessary. In some cases, it may appear that roads in reasonable condition were being prioritised, but by replacing the surface course, rather than digging up the whole road, less carbon would be emitted. The officer noted that further information was available on the council’s website.
During the conversation the following points were made:
• Members thanked the officer for the update and best wishes were sent to Diane Ware, Principal Technical Officer for Highways Assets and Commissioning, who was due to leave the Highways Team.
• Dave Thomas identified some of the key projects due to be undertaken including the, Elcot Lane, Radley Wood Lane, Whittonditch Road and A4 at West Kennett to Fyfield.
• Members noted that The Community Area Transport Group (CATG) would look at the plan in further detail.
• It was observed that completing work at night would minimise disruption.
• It was noted that planned works on A4 New Road might coincide with the Armistice parade, so the officer offered to draw that to the attention of the Network Management Team.
• Some queries were raised about specific roads that attendees felt were of concern including Barn Street and Herd Street. The officer took note of the comments and welcomed feedback about the post 2022-23 priority list.
Community Area Transport Group
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, provided an update about their meeting held on 16 September, explaining that speeding and safety had been key themes. He referred the Area Board to the seven high priority schemes as below and went into further detail about the proposals.
1. Speed limits and safety on the A4361.
2. Safety and speed review, Frees Avenue.
3. New double yellow lining and layby works on The Avenue, Avebury.
4. New 20mph assessment, Ogbourne Maizey.
5. Road safety, A4 at Savernake Hospital.
6. Speed limit review, Western End, Chilton Foliat.
7. Speed related issues, East of Mildenhall.
During the conversation, the Area board considered the key recommendations of the CATG and made the following decision:
1. Marlborough Area Board to note the discussions from the CATG meeting of 16 September
2. To confirm the seven high priority schemes agreed by CATG
3. To confirm the following allocations of CATG funding:
– £1,850 towards speed limit review at Ogbourne Maizey
Climate Strategy and Natural Environment Plan
To receive an update on the Climate Strategy and Natural Environment Plan consultation, which would support the county to become carbon neutral by 2030 and to be resilient to current and future climate issues. The consultation is being held between 1 September and 17 October 2021.
The CEM informed the meeting that consultations were underway on the Draft Climate Strategy and the Green and Blue Infrastructure Plan for Wiltshire.
The officer gave some background as to why these strategies had been developed, explaining that, in 2019, Wiltshire Council had acknowledged a climate emergency and committed to seek to make the county carbon neutral by 2030. He stressed that local authorities could influence a third of emissions in their area, so public engagement and buy-in from organisations and businesses was critical. He also noted that further details about how the strategies would be implemented would be included in the resulting action plans.
He then went on to outline the seven key themes identified in the climate strategy:
• Homes and the Built Environment
• Natural Environment, Food and Farming
• Green Economy
• Carbon Neutral Council
The Blue and Green Infrastructure Strategy themes were highlighted as follows:
• Flooding and Water Management
• Sustainable Farming and Land Management
• Nature Recovery and Landscape Management
• Woodland and Trees
• Healthy Living
• Economic Recovery and Valuing Natural Capital
The public were encouraged to find out more and to have their say before the consultation came to an end on 17 October.
To receive a presentation and video about the issue of Ash Dieback, as well as the steps being taken by Wiltshire Council and local landowners to address the impacts of the disease. Watch the video here:
The CEM explained that ash dieback was a significant issue for landowners over the next five to 15 years. An information video due to be shown could not be played at the meeting due to a technical fault, but a link to it can be found here.
Marlborough Health and Wellbeing Group
To receive an update on the Marlborough Health and Wellbeing Group. To consider the following aplication for Health and Wellbeing funding:
Wiltshire Wildlife Trust - £4,279 towards a Wellbeing Through Nature programme for Marlborough residents with mental health issues.
Jill Turner, Chair of Marlborough Health and Wellbeing Group, provided an update highlighting that they had worked with partners to raise awareness of the needs of stroke survivors in the area.
She also explained that they had recently supported a bid from Wiltshire Wildlife Trust to run a 12-week nature-based practical course offering mental and physical support to adults. Debbie Bentley from Wiltshire Wildlife Trust was in attendance to answer questions and speak in support of their application.
During the discussion questions were raised about the wider community benefits of the scheme and whether funding would be used solely for the on-costs of delivering the project. The representative from Wiltshire Wildlife Trust explained that, although the scheme would assist a relatively small group of people, each individual helped by the scheme was part of a social network, so there would be wider community benefits. She also clarified that they were only seeking funding for the project costs. The representative confirmed that a number of similar courses had already been run and had helped hundreds of people throughout Swindon and Wiltshire.
To award Wiltshire Wildlife Trust £4,279 towards a Wellbeing Through Nature programme for Marlborough Area Board residents with mental health issues.
The application met the funding criteria for 2021/22
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.
The Chairman of Marlborough Sports Forum, may be present to provide an update on how grant funding has been used.
There were no applications for youth funding.
Cllr Thomas reported that preliminary conversations were underway about the possibility of supporting a youth worker in the Area Board.
Community Area Grant Scheme
The Wiltshire Councillors will consider applications to the Community Area Grants Scheme, as follows:
· Kennet Valley Hall, £5,000 towards a new ventilation system.
· Ramsbury Cricket Club, £5,000 towards new practice nets.
· Ramsbury Recreation Centre, £5,000 towards two new tennis courts.
· Marlborough Festival 2022, £5,000 towards a detailed event plan.
Members considered applications for the Community Area Grants Scheme as
detailed in the agenda pack. It was noted that there was only slightly over £17,000 of funding remaining for the financial year, so it would not be possible to support all of the grants in full.
Kennet Valley Hall - £5,000 towards a new ventilation system
The Treasurer of Kennett Valley Hall spoke in favour of their application noting that the new system would monitor CO2 and regulate the amount of air in the building, which would have health benefits, especially during Covid-19. He explained that they had been awarded £10,000 match funding by the National Lottery.
Ramsbury Cricket Club - £5,000 towards new practice nets (deferred from the previous meeting)
A representative from the cricket club explained that they currently had a single practice net which restricted their ability to grow their membership and deliver youth programmes. The club had decided to proceed but was heavily reliant on loans and had limited financial reserves.
Ramsbury Recreation Centre - £5,000 towards two new tennis courts (deferred from the previous meeting)
A representative from the tennis club explained that progress towards funding the project had been made since the previous meeting, but that a requirement for deeper than anticipated footings for the new courts had led to a cost increase of £30,000.
Marlborough Festival - £5,000 towards a detailed event plan
Representatives from the community interest company outlined their plans for the festival including a range of music stages as well as food and drink pavilion. They explained that the money requested would go towards an event plan which would be a reference document and community asset.
During the discussion points included:
• Members welcomed the applications.
• Questions were asked about the current ventilation available at the village hall and it was noted that it had been well supported by the Area Board.
• It was asked whether the additional infrastructure would increase revenue of the sports clubs.
• Given the limited finances available several applicants were asked whether half of the money would allow them to proceed and what funding had been sought from alternative sources.
• Members welcomed the idea of a festival but felt that Marlborough Town
Council would be best placed to support the project at this stage.
• Members noted that they would have liked to have stronger evidence of consultation between the music festival organisers and the wider community. It was noted that the support of Marlborough Town Council and High Street retailers would be required in order for the necessary road closures to take place.
• Given the limited Area Board finances available, concerns over road closures and the development of the plans at the time of the meeting, members were not in favour of supporting the application from Marlborough Festival at this stage.
1. To award £2,500 of a requested £5,000 to Kennet Valley Hall towards a new ventilation system.
2. To award Ramsbury Cricket Club £2,500 of a requested £5,000 ... view the full minutes text for item 35.
Residents are invited to ask questions of the Area Board.
There were no questions submitted by the public.
Any other items of business which the Chairman agrees to consider as a matter of urgency.
Members raised concerns about the issue drug misuse in the Marlborough and Aldbourne areas and the Deputy PCC explained that he appreciated the local expertise of councillors and offered to hold further discussions.
The next ordinary meeting of the Marlborough Area Board will be held on Tuesday 11 January, 7.00pm.
The Chairman thanked everyone for attending. It was noted that the next ordinary meeting of the Marlborough Area Board would be on Tuesday 11 January 2022, at 7.00pm.