Venue: Leighton Recreation Centre, Wellhead Lane, Westbury BA13 3PT
Contact: Ben Fielding Democratic Services Officer
Election of the Chairman
To elect the Chairman of the Westbury Area Board for the forthcoming year.
Nominations were sought for a Chairman for the forthcoming year. On the nomination of Councillor Gordon King seconded by Councillor Suzanne Wickham, it was,
To elect Councillor Matthew Dean as Chairman of Westbury Area Board for the forthcoming year.
Election of the Vice-Chairman
To elect the Vice-Chairman of Westbury Area Board for the forthcoming year.
Nominations were sought for a Vice-Chairman for the forthcoming year. On the nomination of Councillor Suzanne Wickham, seconded by Councillor Carole King, it was,
To elect Councillor Gordon King as Vice-Chairman of Westbury Area Board for the forthcoming year.
Chairman's Welcome and Introductions
The Chairman will welcome those present to the meeting.
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting of the Westbury Area Board.
Apologies for Absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 30 March 2022.
To approve and sign as a true and correct record of the minutes of the meeting held on 30 March 2022.
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 Chair:
· Recruitment of Hackney carriage and private hire drivers.
· Solar Together Wiltshire.
· Change to Community Area Transport Groups (CATGs) into Local Highway and Footway Improvement Groups (LHFIGs).
· FUEL Camps.
· Recruitment of Hackney carriage and private drivers
The Chairman drew attention to a briefing note attached to the agenda which acknowledged the current shortage of taxi drivers in Wiltshire. It was outlined that Wiltshire Council has lots of contracts available which start at on average £30 a day for short routes, increasing to £250+ a day for longer route. Additionally that to become a taxi driver it takes around six weeks and costs around £400; and to be licensed people need to provide proof and undertake a series of simple checks. Further information could be found within the briefing note.
· Solar Together Wiltshire
The Chairman drew attention to a briefing note attached to the agenda which outlined a scheme that Wiltshire Council is driving forward locally called “Solar Together Wiltshire”. The note informed that Wiltshire Council is working with independent experts iChoosr and Swindon Borough Council to give homeowners the opportunity to invest in renewables through a group-buying scheme for solar panels and battery storage. The Chairman informed that this is a group-buying scheme which will offer solar panels with optional battery storage and EV charge points, as well as offering battery storage for residents who have already invested in solar panels and are looking to get more from the renewable energy they generate, as well as increase their independence from the grid.
It was noted that the scheme is free to register and there is no obligation for people to go ahead with an installation. All residents living in the Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council areas who own their own house (or have permission from the landlord to install a solar PV system) can register for the Solar Together group-buying scheme. Further information regarding the scheme and how to register could be found within the briefing note.
· Change to Community Area Transport Groups (CATGs) into Local Highway and Footway Improvement Groups (LHFIGs)
The Chairman noted that on 26 April 2022 Wiltshire Council Cabinet approved plans to change Community Area Transport Groups (CATGs) into Local Highway and Footway Improvement Groups (LHFIGs) – and increase funding for community highways projects.
It was explained that the key difference between the new LHFIGs and the former CATGs is that the new groups would be able to improve or repair existing infrastructure such as highways and footways, while still investing in new infrastructure, as the previous CATGs could. The funding arrangements of LHFIGs was also explained with further information regarding LHFIGs and the Cabinet report available to access through the briefing note.
· FUEL Camps
The Chairman provided information about FUEL camps, which are a programme of holiday activities and food provision. The camps are funded across England by the Department of Education (DofE) and aim to provide children who are eligible for benefits related free school meals with free access to enriching activities, nutritious meals and nutritional education during the Easter, Summer and Christmas holidays. Further information regarding FUEL camps as well as well as a report ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
Partner and Community Updates
To receive any updates from partners:
· Wiltshire Police
· Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service
· BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)
· Healthwatch Wiltshire
· Town and Parish Councils Nominated Representatives
· Wiltshire Police
The Area Board received a verbal update from Inspector Al Lumley. An overview was provided of the performance over the last 12 months to March 2022, which included the following points:
· It was stated that crime types and numbers within the Westbury area align with the rest of the force. There has however been a slight increase in crime across the force when compared to last year, which could be attributed to bounce back from the pandemic.
· An overview of Hate Crime was provided, with there being concerning stats in relation to race related offences. It was stated that though it is concerning on face value, the Police are aware of the issue and working to combat it. Additionally, specific offences can be attributed to a small number of individuals and repeat victims rather than a whole community.
An overview of the local priorities for Westbury was provided, which included the following areas:
· Drop-in surgeries – The Police continue to hold drop-in surgeries to allow people to speak to their local team, ask for advice and support. Times, Dates and Locations have been posted on Facebook as well as Community Messaging. New suggestions for locations were welcomed.
· Thefts of Motorbikes – It was reported that there have been a number of motorbike thefts recently, with three people arrested to offences in Wiltshire (Marlborough). Some of the stolen bikes had been advertised as “for sale” on social media platforms; it was therefore advised that sellers take precaution following viewings or if the advertisement itself discloses the bike’s location.
· Youth Conflict – Over the last quarter there has been a number of violent incidents involving feuding young men within the Westbury Area. The Police have been actively investigating these incidents as well as conducting patrols to deter. It was stressed that the general public are not at risk as the attacks are targeted towards those involved in the feud.
Following the presentation there was time for the following questions and points
to be raised:
Community Engagement Manager (CEM) Presentation
To receive a presentation from Graeme Morrison (CEM) on the Area Board Review.
The Area Board received a presentation from Graeme Morrison, Community Engagement Manager. The presentation (published as an Agenda Supplement) covered the following points:
· It was explained that the reasoning behind the review was to build on the practice and evident success of the Area Boards and to address areas where there was inconsistency in practice and approach.
· An overview of the review process was provided, which acknowledged that an Overview and Scrutiny process took place between January – March 2022, which resulted in 24 recommendations.
· The setting of and working to local priorities was detailed, with it noted that up to five priorities could be agreed by an Area Board following the first business meeting after Full Council; with at least one Councillor requested to lead each priority.
· An overview of the updated Area Board Grant Funding Criteria was provided, with details of changes and the Grant Assessment Panel that would review grant applications under “exception requests” and “councillor requests for review”.
· It was stated that Community Engagement Managers still have delegated powers to award authority, with conditions listed to permit such use.
· Attention was drawn to the new Area Board Handbook, which has been published and is available on the Council website.
Following the presentation there was time for the following questions and points to be raised:
· Cllr Dean stated that with the new grant criteria, the Area Board would have to start work at least 6 weeks before the end of the financial year and final Area Board meeting, in order to ensure money can be spent.
Annual Review of Local Priorities
I. To report on progress made in addressing the Area Board priorities selected for 2021/22
II. To consider any new evidence or information that will help inform the Area Board in selecting its priorities for 2022/23
III. To highlight potential priorities for the Area Board to consider for 2022/23
IV. To inform the Area Board of the broad mechanism for delivering these priorities including (where appropriate): leads, working groups and allocating funding.
The Area Board received a report from Graeme Morrison, Community Engagement Manager. Graeme Morrison provided an overview of the report which included a progress update from the 2021/22 local priorities work. The following priorities from 2021/2022 were reviewed with examples of completedoutputs provided:
Cllr Dean stated that it would be positive for the priorities to be measurable with figures able to be drawn from them. It was agreed that once the priorities were set, each lead Councillor would work with the Graeme Morrison (CEM) to find measurements for the priorities. It was also acknowledged that the Area Board felt broadly content with how the previous priorities had gone in regard to activities and funding, with value for money having been provided.
After which, it was;
1. That Westbury Area Board acknowledged the progress update from the 2021/22 local priorities work.
2. That Westbury Area Board having considered the report along with its appendices decided upon the following priorities it wished to focus on in the coming year:
a. Combatting Social Isolation and Loneliness (encompassing the previous priority from 2021/22 of Digital Inclusion)
b. Wellbeing for Young People and Positive Activities
c. Local Environmental Action
d. Child Poverty
3. That Westbury Area Board appointed the following lead Councillor for each of selected priorities:
a. Combatting Social Isolation and Loneliness (encompassing the previous priority from 2021/22 of Digital Inclusion) – Cllr Gordon King
b. Wellbeing for Young People and Positive Activities – Cllr Carole King
c. Local Environmental Action – Cllr Suzanne Wickham
d. Child Poverty Cllr Matt Dean
That Westbury Area Board agreed to appoint any required working groups in relation to each priority. It was agreed that under each identified priority and lead Councillor that there would be a specific working group. It was further agreed that each Councillor would meet with Graeme Morrison (CEM) to discuss working groupsbefore the next Area Board meeting.
Outside Bodies and Working Groups
The Area Board is requested to:
a. Appoint Members as Lead representatives to Outside Bodies as set out at Appendix A;
b. Agree to reconstitute and appoint to AB Non-Priority Working Group(s) as set out in Appendix B; and
c. To note the Terms of Reference for the LHFIG as set out in Appendix C.
The Chairman introduced a report attached to the agenda, which provided information regarding the appointment of Area Board Lead Councillors.
After which, it was;
1. That the following appointments to outside bodies and working groups for the forthcoming year were made:
a. Westbury Local Highways and Footways Improvement Group (LHFIG) – Cllr Matthew Dean with all members of the Area Board to attend the LHFIG as full voting members.
b. Westbury Local Youth Network (LYN) – Cllr Carole King
c. Westbury Health and Wellbeing Forum (HWB) – Cllr Gordon King
d. Westbury Ham Community Project (Eden Vale Youth Centre Project) – Cllr Gordon King
e. Warminster and Westbury CCTV – Cllr Matthew Dean
It was agreed that Cllr Suzanne Wickham would be first substitute for absence in regard to any of the above roles.
2. That the Area Board Non-Priority Working Groups as set out in Appendix B were reconstituted to include the respective Lead Members from Appendix A.
3. That the Terms of Reference for the LHFIG as set out in Appendix C were noted.
Local Highways and Footway Improvement Group (LHFIG)
The Area Board will be asked to consider the recommendations from the 29 April 2022 Westbury Local Highways and Footway Improvement Group (LHFIG) meeting outlined in the report.
The minutes of the Local Highways and Footway Improvement Group meeting held on 29 April 2022 were agreed as a correct record as well as the recommendations within.
Area Board Funding
To ratify the following applications for funding due to being awarded via Community Engagement Manager powers between meetings:
Community Area Grants:
· Westbury Lions - £500 towards Westbury Lions and Leos Tree planting for Platinum Jubilee Celebrations.
· Edington Parish Council - £980 towards the replacement of kissing and bridal gates.
· Bratton Jubilee Players - £1,000 towards a new microphone set.
Health and Wellbeing Grants:
· The Digital Inclusion Project - £3,600 towards the Digital Inclusion Project running for another year; to pay for venues and to purchase devices and data packages.
The Area Board noted that the following applications for funding had been awarded under Community Engagement Manager powers between meetings:
Community Area Grants:
1. Westbury Lions - £500 towards Westbury Lions and Leos Tree planting for Platinum Jubilee Celebrations.
2. Edington Parish Council - £980 towards the replacement of kissing and bridal gates.
3. Bratton Jubilee Players - £1,000 towards a new microphone set.
4. Westbury Town Council - £5,000 towards public realm improvement.
5. Villages surrounding Westbury - £759 towards public realm improvement.
Health and Wellbeing Grants:
1. The Digital Inclusion Project - £3,600 towards the Digital Inclusion Project running for another year; to pay for venues and to purchase devices and data packages.
After which, it was;
That the Area Board ratified the respective grants awarded under Community Engagement Manager powers between meetings.
Any other items of business which the Chairman agrees to consider as a matter of urgency.
Cllr Carole King updated that previously the Area Board had given grant funding to Westbury Youth Club for a Graffiti Project, but this did not go ahead as planned due to weather. It is however, set to go ahead within the next two weeks.
It was suggested that it be considered in the future that some Area Board meetings take place in village venues. It was agreed that the current list of booked venues be circulated to Members via Democratic Services for discussion.
Evaluation and Close
The next meeting of the Westbury Area Board will be held on 27 September 2022, 7.00 pm.
The next meeting of the Westbury Area Board will be held on 27 September 2022.