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I have lived in Ludgershall with my wife Vi and our family since 1982. Our children were educated at the local schools and have now left home and have families of their own...
I served 25 years in the army, mostly at Middle Wallop, and when I left the forces joined the MoD where I was employed at Middle Wallop and Upavon before retiring in April 2009. I feel this means that I can appreciate some of the issues which can arise when the military and civilian communities live in such close proximity to each other. In addition to working in the MoD I was a member of the St James Church PCC and served as Church Warden for a considerable time. I was also a member, latterly Chairman, of Ludgershall Town Council and a councillor with Kennet District Council before being elected in May 2009 to Wiltshire Council as the member for Ludgershall and Perham Down.
As a member of Wiltshire Council I am very fortunate to be the Portfolio Holder for Area Boards and Campuses. I chair the Wiltshire Compact and I am a council representative and Trustee of the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society.
I am currently Chairman of Tidworth Area Board, which encompasses the towns of Tidworth and Ludgershall together with the rural parishes from the Chutes in the east to Netheravon and Enford in the west. I also Chair the Neighbourhood Police Team and act as coordinator for Neighbourhood Watch in our community area.
These positions allow me to meet with many voluntary groups and people working for our community and I also enjoy a good relationship with Ludgershall Town Council and am currently working with town councillors to re-open the Ludgershall Youth Centre and also convert an army building for use as a community centre on the Corunna Barracks site. As a member of the Castledown Business Park Strategy Board, I take an active part in encouraging new businesses to set up in Ludgershall and contribute to our local economy.
The communities of Ludgershall and Perham Down are very important to me and I am passionate about local issues. I feel extremely privileged to represent you on Wiltshire Council. I am a conscientious worker who endeavours to get the job done to the satisfaction of all concerned. If you have any queries or problems, please contact me by email or phone. My pledge to you is to listen and to respond to your issues and concerns as quickly as possible.
Chris' Latest Projects
Castledown Business Park
Wiltshire Council, in partnership with St Modwen, a property investment and development business and Alder King, property consultants, has made a substantial investment in Ludgershall with the Castledown Business Park. The business park which consists of Business Units and a modern purpose built Enterprise Centre is designed to help support people who want to start new business in our community and diversify the local economy of Ludgershall.
The first stage is Fitz Gilbert Court which was completed in 2008 and comprises of 21 units. These buildings have been sold in their entirety to Wiltshire Council who in turn lease the units to small business. I am very pleased to state this stage is enjoying over 90% occupancy. The second stage, Brydges Court, was completed last year and again is proving very successful with the first 8 units in use. These units will offer existing users room to remain on site and grow, whilst also offering flexible accommodation to new occupiers.
Various discussions continue to take place regarding the remaining 18 acres of the site which will support larger bespoke business operations.
As a member of the CBP Strategy Board I take pride in being part of a team which is adding to the economic benefit of Ludgershall and our community. This successful business Centre highlights the confidence that Wiltshire Council has in Ludgershall as a location in which businesses can thrive and grow.
Re-opening the Youth Club in Ludgershall
Wiltshire Council uses area boards as a way of working to bring local decision making back in to the heart of the community. I currently chair Tidworth Area Board and have been working closely with Ludgershall Town Council with regard to re-opening the Ludgershall Boys Club as a Youth Centre for the young people of Ludgershall and surrounding area.
I recently attended a Local Youth Network meeting at Wellington Academy. A strong message came from the students at that meeting that they wanted the youth club in Ludgershall to be open for their use.
The Youth Centre is currently boarded up in order to prevent any further vandalism taking place to the structure of the building, but members of Ludgershall Town Council are eager for it to be opened again and are forming a board of trustees for this to take place.
Wiltshire Council has delegated funding at a local level for youth work in each of the area board communities and Ludgershall Town Council will be applying to the area board for a grant to install a CCTV system and new fencing, making the centre a more secure and safe place for our youth to use.
New Footpath and Road Crossing for Wellington Academy
I’m sure you are all aware by now of the Army Basing programme that is coming to the Salisbury Plain Training Area and the effect this will have on Ludgershall and Perham Down in the next few years. By 2020, 246 houses will have been built to provide Service Families accommodation and also a new primary school, on the site of Corunna Barracks opposite the Castledown Business Park.
I have been involved in negotiating the benefits that this will bring to our community and as a result of a partnership between the Garrison, Defence Infrastructure Organisation, 26 Engineer Regiment, Wiltshire Council, Ludgershall Town Council and the Community Area Transport Group, the long awaited cycle/footpath from Perham Down to Wellington Academy is completed apart from the lighting (hopefully it will be in place as you read this).
This path will provide a safe route for students at the Academy. As part of the negotiations that took place I requested a pedestrian light controlled crossing at the junction of Somme Road and the Academy which will be provided.
As part of the agreement land has been put aside for community use, and I am involved in discussions with Ludgershall Town Council and Wiltshire Council to realise the potential in converting an army building as a community hub in Ludgershall.
Tidworth Area Board – helping with local issues
I am one of the three Wiltshire councillors and currently chairman of the Tidworth Area Board. This encompasses the towns of Ludgershall and Tidworth together with the rural parishes from the Chutes in the east to Netheravon and Enford in the west.
Wiltshire Council has remained resolute about investing in community area projects through the grant funding that is available to the area boards and I am determined that Ludgershall continues to directly benefit from this.
A fine of example of this is a grant of £4997 to the very successful 5th Wiltshire B-P Scout Group serving Ludgershall and the surrounding area. The Scout and Senior Scout sections are increasing in size and required advanced camping equipment to enable them to take on more adventurous and self-sufficient outdoor activities. Unfortunately, the Scout Group did not have sufficient funds to apply for match funding so I sponsored their application in total and it was subsequently granted.
Last financial year Tidworth Area Board had a budget of £47,344 for community projects and all of this was used on worthwhile community projects. This year we have a budget of just over £41,000 of capital funding of which £20,000 has been awarded so far. Any voluntary community group can apply, grants up to £1000 do not required match funding but applications from £1000 to £5000 would normally require match funding.