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I live in Lockeridge, in the southern part of West Selkley. My three sons went to the village school, and I have been both the Chair and a Foundation Governor there. I have also served on our parish council. I am known as a community campaigner, organising village meetings and fund raising events...
I also run a successful small business. Communities are stronger when people have a say in decisions that affect them, being a local person I can relate to parish issues. Local politics are very important and robust representation genuinely significant.
Community and council work
I have been a governor at my local village school since 2007 and have found it really rewarding and occasionally challenging! School governors are volunteers who want to make a positive contribution to children's education. I believe passionately in village schools and the very special start they can give to our children’s learning.
The role of the governing board is absolutely key to the effectiveness of a school. I chaired the governing body during amalgamation of two sites and modernisation of our facilities including three new classrooms and a hall. We are a Church of England Voluntary Aided school and I am currently a Foundation governor.
Fyfield and West Overton Parish Council have been working since 2007 on traffic calming measures for Lockeridge, as a survey of villagers had made it clear increasing speeds and number of cars was the biggest issue for them. Lockeridge is a busy village with both a thriving school and pub. Our playground, the Dene and local beauty spots are popular with locals and visitors. We have many pedestrians, cyclists, horse-riders, dog-walkers, children and parents with pushchairs, residents in wheelchairs and others with limited mobility. Unfortunately much of the village has no pavements, the roads are narrow, with blind bends and high verges, so there are few places to step off the road.
The PC invited Ben Hamilton Baillie, an expert in traffic management and the author of "Traffic in Villages - A Toolkit for Communities” to come and talk to us at our village hall. From him we learned of the importance of making our village look alive and lived in – the shared space idea of modern traffic management. Using his advice we applied for and got gateways at the entrance to the village, we sold 20mph stickers, worked with the school and asked them to increase awareness of children in the village through art displays on their railings and free high-vis vests for every child. We also started the annual Christmas drinks on the Dene and held successful scarecrow competitions. If you travel through Lockeridge this summer you may notice some lovely and unusual flower filled containers. These are part of our village shared spaces initiative. Sustainable transport is a theme, old bicycles, wellies etc have turned into blooming containers. The more creative the ideas the better! We held a planting morning at the Who d’a Thought it pub in May and we have encouraged all of our community to take part. These village events are great fun and give everyone something to talk about!
In common with other PC’s we worked on a detailed Village Traffic Plan which identified concerns and targets. This information has been used to prioritise applications to the Marlborough Community Area Traffic Group. Through the CATG system, we have asked for and received painted walkways across the street at the school and the pub, with associated dropped kerbs, and planters to draw attention to the informal crossings. More recently we have had our application for a 20mph limit in the village agreed.
Using both formal routes and informal fun the whole village has been brought together to achieve traffic safety improvements.