MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE ELECTORS
OF GREAT WISHFORD HELD AT ST. GILES CHURCH
On Friday 20th May 2016
The meeting commenced at 7.00pm.
There were fifteen persons present with Mr Tom Nash in the Chair.
The minutes of the last Annual Assembly on May 15th 2015 were agreed and signed.
The Parish Council met six times in the past year 2015/16.
The precept this year has been increased to £4500 in order to cover anticipated expenditure for the year 2016/17.
Following a long campaign, strongly supported by the village, Great Wishford has finally been given permission to have a 20mph limit. We are informed that this will come into effect by the end of the calendar year with the signage being replaced in December. We hope that this will make moving around the village much safer for both pedestrians and drivers alike, particularly in areas of the village where there are no pavements.
Parking continues to be an issue around the school as parents commute to the village with their children. Parking along West Street is particularly problematic as cars are left opposite the junction with South Street making manoeuvring very difficult and reducing visibility and larger vehicles struggle to pass the parked cars, affecting local businesses. The issues have been discussed with Mrs A Jenkins (Head Teacher) and PCSO A Glover. A map was provided at the beginning of the school year outlining areas where parents should avoid parking and we continue to monitor the situation.
We have been watching the situation regarding the grass on Town End Triangle, as it has been churned up on a few occasions in the last year by buses turning. We have noticed that the issue has improved in recent months.
Councillors were delighted to hear that the Grovely Ditch has finally been cleared. We hope this will improve drainage and avoid much of the flooding of the path to the village hall and children’s park.
Many of the Parish Council’s meetings over the last year have concerned the future of our village pub. The Royal Oak closed in August 2015 and it seemed likely that it would not reopen. When councillors became aware of plans to convert the pub into flats a village meeting was called, to inform the village of the plans and to see if there were an appetite to act collectively to save this much loved social hub. A committee was set up and after much research and effort a new tenant was found to take on the Royal Oak. The village has been very supportive of our community asset with financial support and many hours of labour given for free in order to renovate the building and surroundings. We look forward to the pub re opening its doors this month and wish it every success in the future.
S137 payments have remained the same with payments of £50 each being paid to:
Good Companions Club,
Wilton and District Day Centre,
Oak Apple Club,
Wilton and District Link scheme and
Wiltshire Air Ambulance.
I would like to express my thanks to all the Parish Councillors and the Parish Clerk for their efforts and support during the year and congratulate the village as a whole in coming together to save their village pub.
Wishford United Charities
Ms Staples delivered the annual Income and expenditure account for the year ending 31st December 2015. The total value, less property stands at £63,703.23. The small increase in value being due to a poor interest rate on investments. A vacancy in one of the houses will be advertised in the parish magazine, there have been two expressions of interest already. The houses are badly in need of expensive renovations, inefficient storage heaters have led to damp problems, so central heating is to be installed.
Parish Police Report
There were eleven crimes reported in the last year, but only one in the period from January to June 2016. The police will be particularly targeting thefts from beauty spots and rogue traders in the summer months.
The focus in Great Wishford is on traffic, the situation at the school has been monitored and will be reviewed in the Autumn term when the children will be taking part in a project based on the 20mph scheme. A drop off zone was discussed, but the school needs to be involved in any future talks.
County Councillor's Report
Cllr West reported that the Journal's bus petition had reached over 6000 and had been debated with a report to be presented to cabinet in June. A strong message was sent that it is a lifeline to rural villages and should be protected.
The Youth Service in Wiltshire is to be run by 'facilitators' in the future,
Great Wishford is the first village in the Amesbury Area Board to become wholly 20mph, it is seen as a test case and hopefully lead to other communities being able to follow suit.
Any Other Business
The ditch at the bottom of Grovely Cottages is still an issue, a resident was able to point out that this is not the original channel, and it was his opinion that it would not function properly until it was dug out. This will be again discussed with Wiltshire Council.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 7.40pm
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