Chairman’s Summer Blog
After a miserable start to the year, suddenly May arrived with beautiful spring sunshine, bringing our gardens and allotments back to life. As we move into June (the weather forecaster’s official start of summer) I am also reminded that we are already nearly half way through 2018.
So, a few reminders of what has happened over the last few months;
- Our Community Morning on March 17th was very well attended, so thank you to all those who joined us. The new format worked well, so we intend to do the same again next year.
- On 22nd March, together with other Councillors, I attended the Heritage Centre A.G.M and wish to congratulate all Trustees and helpers for their achievements over the last year.
- On 26th March, another A.G.M. This time it was for the Bouverie Hall. After many years of service on the Committee, Cheryl Underhill stood down as Chairman and Keith Bew as Treasurer. The Bouverie Hall is an important and greatly valued part of the Pewsey community, so we thank Cheryl and Keith for all their hard work, and welcome the new Chairman Jean Rickhard and Treasurer Michelle Bond.
- During April, the Parish Council entered into a partnership with Wiltshire Council (WC) to take on the daily/weekly responsibility of cleaning and maintaining the play areas at Netherleaze, Cossors and Bailey Close. On Saturday May 6th a working party organised by Cllr Phil Stevens and Cllr John Ford cleaned Netherleaze and Bailey Close play areas, and members of Pewsey Fire Brigade cleaned the Cossors Site. Whilst the turnout for the working parties was smaller than we had hoped, we thank the Fire crew, and several residents of Bailey Close for their support. (WC will continue to manage the Silver Road site but Little Island has been closed).
- At the Parish Council AGM on 8th May, internal elections were held for Chairman and Vice Chairman of all committees. All incumbents were re-elected for another year.
- On Thursday 10th May, Cllr Marilyn Hunt and I were invited to look round the Vale Campus site and were very impressed with the progress so far. Despite the very wet winter, the main construction is expected to be finished on schedule at the end of August. Hopefully it will be ready to open for business in early October after all internal fittings are completed.
- On Friday 11th May, Cllr David Smith, Cllr Terry Eyles and I attended Pewsey Primary School Youth Council meeting. Some of the young councillors had previously attended our Community Meeting in March so this was a return visit to them. We discovered that they had been so impressed by Millie Carmichael-Owen’s talk on “The Bee Road” (at our meeting) that their current project is to produce a leaflet about it for parents and friends. It was very interesting to hear their plans and we look forward to receiving a copy of their finished leaflet.
- On the evening of Friday 11th May I attended a meeting of local residents hoping to set up a “Pewsey Train Users Group”. I am pleased to report that this is going to happen under the banner of Pewsey Community Area Partnership (PCAP). Cllr Bill Morris has kindly volunteered to be our representative on this group.
- On 22nd May I had the pleasure of attending Pewsey Scouts A.G.M, and presenting the Lynette Lavis Trophies for Outstanding Effort and Achievement to the best Beaver, Cub and Scout.
Following the success of our NDP in 2015, the Parish Council set out plans to address the stated wishes and desires of the community.
After several surveys to clarify and prioritise our aims, we restructured our committees in order to respond more efficiently to the tasks ahead of us.
During our discussions it became increasingly clear that services which are not Statutory would inevitably be reduced, if not completely cut by Wiltshire Council, (in response to Central Government Legislation). Effectively this would mean that the desired changes and improvements to our local community and environment would have to be driven by the Parish Council. To this end, we decided to engage a Village Ranger, to provide some additional hours of support for Parish enhancement and development work.
I am pleased to report that we have engaged Simon Ellis of Tree and Land Care as a contractor, from 1st June. Simon is local, and no doubt already known to many of you, you may start to notice him around the village.
Whilst Simon will, amongst many other things, be involved in helping to keep Pewsey clean and tidy, that does not mean that any of us should get complacent and forget our own responsibility. Each and every one of us has a role in making life in Pewsey as good as it can be. Please remember that bagged dog poo can now be placed in any litter bin, so there is no excuse for not picking up after your dog.
With best wishes for a wonderful summer
28th May 2018