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Agenda item

Parish Session

Following our theme of inter-parish collaboration, we have asked to hear from parishes about some of their projects which may be of interest or relevant to other parishes. Starting the process, we shall hear from Downton PC and Coombe Bissett PC about some of their key projects.


The Chairman invited two parishes to share their experiences and stories of success.


Downton PC

Our biggest project undertaken was the development to the extension of our Memorial hall. This project was six years in the making. We now have a rear extension with two rooms, one used by the Preschool. During that development we learnt a huge amount, as the process had been extremely complex. We would be happy to share our experiences with others that may wish to embark on a similar project. We would like to thank the Area Board for the support we have received and circulate some brochures to show the outcome.


Another project would be to build a bridge across the Avon. It would reduce car use and encourage walking to schools. We are now waiting for a signed agreement from the Section 106 Officer, to get a design specification.


We would also be looking at improving the cycleway from Downton to Salisbury as the design of a cycle way has been felt to be unsafe so we would like to work with Highways ad Sustrans to move this forward.


The Memorial Hall development cost £1.2million, with half of that amount coming from the developers. For the remainder, we opted for a loan to be repaid over 25 years.


Coombe Bissett PC

In our parish we have a group of volunteers called CHAVs, this is an acronym of, Coombe & Homington Active Volunteers. As a result, we get so many jobs done for the community through this group. A couple of months ago, the Board provided a grant towards a new seat around the tree in Hommington. Our volunteers provided the work. That saves the parish council money. We constantly carry out little odd jobs. During some windy weather which caused the trees to become a problem, SSE came to cut back some branches but did not clear the branches away, so I put a call out and 19 people turned up. It is the community that is getting involved, to help the whole of the community. We do a lot for many of the clubs and the village hall.


Another thing we are currently working on is the process of producing a Neighbourhood Plan (NP). We are at the stage where a questionnaire needed to be circulated, so we asked the CHAV volunteers and they distributed them.


A main issues that the parish had been confronted with was the possibility that Coombe Bissett would be transferred to a different Area Board after the Boundary Review, and that was not something that we would wish. We have established good working arrangements with the AB, in particular since Cllr Clewer has been our elected member.


One of our parish councillors looks after our Highways issues. We have a speeding issue and have concerns regarding the state of the roads, and pot holes. I wonder if any of the £8million divulged down from central government would find its way to the roads in Coombe Bissett.


We also have concerns with those who alter their properties and those who did not stick to the terms of their planning applications. Also Wiltshire Council owned a woodland which was sold, and now we may be getting a planning application for that site.


We would like to congratulate WC on fly tipping, as I recently reported an incident on the My Wiltshire app, and the same day an Officer visited. The waste was cleared up within 2 weeks.


We do have flooding issues during heavy rain. The drains are not cleared out enough using the gully suckers. The river flow is monitored by EA – and hopefully the AONB are bidding for some funds for work to reinstate the water meadows.


The Chairman thanked the parishes for sharing their experiences, adding that he was hopeful that the shared information was of use to other parishes who may be taking on similar projects.




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