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Pewsey Area Board – Highlights from the meeting held on 13 January 2014

It may have been a wet and windy Monday evening in mid-January, but the Area Boards team were still out and about at the Woodborough Social Club!

The board and the public were updated on the events and activities following the success of 2012 and how the county is going to deliver a legacy as a result from that extraordinary year. Laurie Bell, Associate Director for Communities and Communications at Wiltshire Council explained that throughout 2014 there will be a series of major events which will impact on communities across the county. These include ‘The Big Pledge’, ‘Cycle Wiltshire’, ‘Wiltshire EXPO’ and plans for the commemorations of World War One.

In relation to the commemorative centenary year of the beginning of World War One, the above video highlights the area of East Grafton and Community Reporter, Susie Brew talks to Major General Michael Walsh and Robin Dudney about a project undertaken by themselves and local parish members; with the restoration, renovation and general clean up of the War Memorial, honouring the fallen soldiers that came from Grafton and surrounding villages. The project was aided by the Pewsey Area Board, which match funded the project.

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson was also in attendance and is continuing to consult on the Police and Crime element of council tax for 2014-15.

The Commissioner is considering an increase in the police and crime element of council tax of £3.15 a year for the average home (band D property). This to help reduce the impact of significant central government grant reductions on policing and crime services in Wiltshire and Swindon.

An average increase of £3.15 per household would provide the Commissioner with an additional £740,000 of local income for 2014-15. It would still be the lowest council tax rate for police and crime services in the South West.

Mr Macpherson and members of his team are attending various other Wiltshire Council Area Boards and Swindon Borough Council localities to talk with people about this. People can also read more and give their views on the Commissioner’s website – www.wiltshire-pcc.gov.uk . The consultation is running until Monday the 3rd of February 2014.

Paul Egan attended on behalf of the Wiltshire and Swindon Fire Authority to respond to concerns raised at previous meetings about recruitment of retained fire fighters and to clarify that the authority were obliged to take people on with a minimum standard of C grade in English and Maths. He is working on a recruitment plan and would appreciate help to engage with the community in terms of what the needs are. Paul is open to ideas on how he can increase retained fire fighters in the area, including working with local businesses and groups in the area. He is looking at options for those who don’t have the right qualifications and what can be done to help get them to apply at a later date. It was suggested that the situation be reviewed in six months time with Mr Egan coming back to update on progress.

Speaking to the board and the public was Ian White, Head of Service for Passenger Transport at Wiltshire Council, who gave a presentation on the current position with regards to the review of local bus services in the local Pewsey area. Rose Seagrief was also in attendance and gave a presentation on the work of the Community Land Trust.

Community grants were on offer as well, and all of them were accepted! These were:

Stanton Village Fund gaining £1,213 towards the resurfacing of the village hall car park, Wilton Windmill Society received £2,212 towards the purchase and installation of a new storage facility, Stonehenge and Pewsey Canoe Club were awarded £3,300 towards the purchase of a changing room and storage facility, Upavon Parish Council were given £500 towards the purchase of an AED Defibrillator system and finally Alton Barnes Coronation Hall were given £900 towards the replacement of sixteen tables.

The next meeting of the Pewsey Area Board is scheduled for the 10th of March 2014 at Burbage Village Hall, Eastcourt Road, Burbage SN8 3AJ, with networking commencing at 6.30pm for a 7.00pm start.

Finally, if you would like more information on the items covered at the meeting or would be interested in applying for a community grant, then please contact the Community Area Manager, Caroline Brailey on (01225) 718609 or via email – caroline.brailey@wiltshire.gov.uk


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