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As a Yarnbrook resident, I know the area very well, having lived here for over fifty years. ...
Local through and through
As a Yarnbrook resident, I know the area very well, having lived here for over fifty years. I first joined your local council in 1996 and have represented the area at parish, district, town and unitary council level since then.
I was a teacher for 43 years and began at Trowbridge College, where I lectured in Engineering. The work was challenging but gave me a good insight into the problems of others and especially young people. One of the most rewarding things about teaching in the same area for so long is that I still see students I taught forty years ago and their children. In one case, even their grandchildren!
Finding local solutions to local issues
First 264 Bus Service
This service was withdrawn in February 2014 but thanks to Wiltshire Council a new service by Frome Minibuses began immediately the following day. This is a good service but only connects Southwick and North Bradley with Trowbridge town centre. After 2 years of negotiations with First Group, the service restarted in April and now offers hourly connections to Bath, Warminster and Salisbury. With the number 67 service, this gives a far more frequent connection for shoppers with Trowbridge and much farther afield.
Trowbridge Area Board
As your member, and Vice Chair of the Area Board, I have successfully applied for grants for all the villages I represent. Two good examples would be for refurbishing the Southwick’s Busy Bees Pre-school group’s new premises and for the modernisation and refurbishment of North Bradley’s Progressive Hall. These are both excellent recipients well worthy of support if these villages are to remain vibrant and attractive communities
I am bitterly opposed to any fracking applications that may come forward. Whilst no applications have yet been made for Wiltshire, it would not pay to relax our guard. Rest assured I will be watching very closely any developments.
Community Governance Review
This has now been going on for several months and I have been following developments very closely. Wiltshire Council has a policy of defending the rural buffer between the villages and Trowbridge and this I fully support. Trowbridge Town Council made a determined bid to ‘annexe’ the villages of West Ashton and North Bradley last autumn but thanks to a strong defence from myself and the parish councillors this was not agreed. It has however only been deferred to a later date, so we must not relax our guard. I intend to defend all the villages of my division from any attempt to incorporate them within Trowbridge boundaries with the huge increases in council tax this would incur.
Housing Land Allocation
This work has been going on for several months and is concerned with finding new sites for housing within our area. One site that is already under examination is for a large estate on the southern perimeter of Southwick. This must be resisted as it represents an intrusion into open countryside, a threat to the wildlife it supports and the landscape that the villagers currently enjoy. Every effort will be made by me to oppose this application.
Flooding at Ireland
Residents at Ireland and Scotland suffered flooding at times of high rainfall in the winter of 2013/14. The problem has been eased particularly with the work already carried out and I am working with the parish councils, farmers and Wiltshire Council engineers to ensure further maintenance work is completed by the landowners downstream. I am working to ensure that this is carried out during the summer months and finished before the return of the winter rains.
Community Area Transport Group
I have been very successful in applying for funds to ease traffic problems in your villages. Several applications have been made but two current ones are worthy of mention. For example, traffic calming at West Ashton. This should reduce the very high speed with which some drivers move through the village. Another current scheme is reviewing the access to schools where new legislation came into force in April concerned with safe access. It is my intention to ensure that all schools in each of the three villages are brought up to date and that safety is the prime concern when pupils at going to or from school.
As Southwick member I have been very active in defending your villages from excessive development. Whilst some growth is inevitable, it should not destroy the character of any settlements. To this end I have been active in calling in for a committee decision applications in all three parishes, especially sites in Southwick and West Ashton. Most of these have been successfully defended although some were overturned on appeal.
Traffic Relief for Southwick Division
Real progress has been made with providing traffic relief to West Ashton and Yarnbrook, with the proposed Northern Relief Road and A350 diversion, which has been approved and will do much to relieve the four times daily gridlock which occurs. However, this does nothing to aid the villages of North Bradley and Southwick, where diverted traffic from the A361 Trowbridge Road still clogs them, ruining the enjoyment by residents of their property. I will be pressing for further work to be done on extending a proper road scheme which ensures that traffic relief is also brought to these two villages.