Chairman’s Spring Blog

By the time you read this, Christmas and New Year will be long forgotten and we are fast approaching the end of the first quarter of 2018. When I started to write this, in the last few days of February, crocuses were out, and daffodil bulbs were coming up, meaning Spring was on the way. Little did I know that on the meteorological first day of Spring, the “Beast from the East” would bring winter back to us with a vengeance. A big thank you goes to all those who rallied round, including everyone who checked on their neighbours, and the many local farmers who cleared side roads. What a great community we have in Pewsey.

Before we finally say goodbye to 2017 there are a few highlights from December to mention:

  • On December 15th I had the privilege of opening the Pewsey Vale Youth Football Club building, assisted by Cllr Peter Deck and supported by a number of other Councillors. Congratulations to the outgoing chairman, Dan Flach, for his achievements over the last 3 years, and welcome to Lee Jeffrey, who has now taken over the role.
  • On 19th December Pewsey Vale School held their Carol Service in St John’s Church, and it was a pleasure to be invited. I and a number of fellow councillors attended the service which included many contributions from students.
  • At the Parish Carol Service on 21st December at St John’s Church I had the honour of reading one of the lessons. Representatives from many local groups and organisations took an active part in the service and it was a lovely community occasion.
  • The Parish Council were pleased to support two local Christmas initiatives; we donated mince pies to the Memory Cafe Christmas tea, and Raffle prizes to the Christmas Day lunch organised by Nigel Lihou and his team.

After a break for Christmas and New Year, it was business as usual once the holidays were over.

  • The PVADS pantomime has become a much loved January tradition and this year’s production of Mother Goose was wonderful fun, enjoyed by enthusiastic audiences. Congratulations to all involved.
  • On 24th January, I and a number of Councillors had the pleasure of attending the signing of a new lease at Pewsey Vale Rugby Club. We wish them continued success.
  • On 25th January Councillors Peter Deck, Caroline Dalrymple and myself were invited to attend a Beaver Scout meeting at which we were presented with a cheque for £420, to go towards the cost of insurance for the BMX track. They had raised this money from bag packing at the Co-op, and from holding a Duck Race. We thank them all for this wonderful effort. Whilst at the meeting I also had the honour of presenting badges to individual Beavers. Congratulations, and keep up the good work!
  • After the Beaver presentation, Cllr Peter Deck and I attended a Pewsey Community Area Partnership meeting at Hilcot, where the majority of time was spent preparing our case to match any ideas that WC may have to possibly close Everleigh HRC.
  • Pewsey Heritage Centre continues to add to its collection and archives, but is one of the many community resources dependent on volunteers, a number of whom are also past or present Parish Councillors. On 18th February a lunch was held for helpers and supporters, and it was a pleasure to be invited, along with my wife, to enjoy the food and conversation.
  • The Pewsey Vale Tourism Partnership meeting on 22nd February was another opportunity to hear about work being done locally to attract more tourists to the area, and encourage them to stay longer.  There was a presentation by two guys who work in television and who are prepared to produce a 2.5 minute film to promote the Vale.
  • Congratulations to Pewsey Vale School Deputy Head teacher Chantal Dean on getting national recognition for an educational programme developed jointly with ex SAS officer Floyd Woodrow, (who was the guest speaker at the school presentations in November). Students at PVS are already benefitting from the programme, and we wish them much success. An article published in the Daily Express recently is available to view in the Parish Office if anyone would like to see it.
  • I am pleased to announce that the Parish Council have accepted a quote to refurbish the Public Toilets in Goddard Road, and work will begin shortly.
  • The struggle to retain Everleigh recycling centre (and prevent the scourge of Fly-tipping) continues, and at the recent Pewsey Vale Area Board meeting I, plus many other Pewsey Cllrs along with representatives of other interested parties, (Council for Protection of Rural England, Pewsey Community Area Partnership) heard very little that would make us feel confident about the possible fate of Everleigh. We remain steadfast in our determination to challenge any plans to close it. For the benefit of all the Community in the Vale please use Everleigh!!

Finally, two dates for your diaries:

  • CAR BOOT season begins again on Sunday 11th March and will run every second Sunday of the month until October.  Come along to the small car park opposite Bouverie Hall and pick up a bargain.
  • On Saturday March 17th we are holding a Community Open Morning in the Bouverie Hall from 10am-12noon. This will be an informal opportunity to meet and chat with Councillors over free coffee and cake, so we look forward to meeting you there!

Curly Haskell