Mark Connolly

Mark Connolly

About Mark

I have lived in Tidworth for 26 years and have been the County Councillor and Wiltshire Councillor for the town for 24 years...

My background

I am married with one son and two step-daughters.  In addition to being a Councillor I also work full-time as a civil servant. I am sure old school and college colleagues would not believe that the punk rocker of the late seventies is now a civil servant and Councillor!

In my spare time (if I get any!), I am very keen on sport, having played football for village teams and athletics for Andover (everything from 100m to the marathon!). Although not as active as I once was, I still enjoy sport and am a season ticket holder at Bristol Rovers.

Helping the community

I first got into local politics soon after arriving in Tidworth as I was shocked at the lack of facilities and how run down the town had become. I am proud to have been involved in the transformation of the town from a place in which only a few civilian or military families wanted to live, to the up-and-coming place it is now. There is still a long way to go but with the Leisure Centre, Lidl, Tesco, Wellington Academy and Castledown Business Park, we have the building blocks for a successful and sustainable community.

I have been very active in negotiating community benefits from developers and the Ministry of Defence such as highway improvements on the A338 and Ludgershall Road, the new Toucan crossing outside the Post Office, the transfer of sports pitches off Humber Lane and a play area in the Persimmon development to the Town Council. More land will transfer to the Council in the coming months along with large sums of money for maintenance of the sites. Through the Community Area Transport Group I chair, I have helped fund the new foot/cycle path from Perham to Wellington Academy and argued successfully for the MoD to provide a crossing outside the Academy as part of Army Basing plans.

Here if you need me

Over the years I have helped many individuals with housing, education, highways and all manner of issues. If you need help, please contact me by phone, email or by Facebook and I will do all I can to help. 

Video blog






Above: April 2017


 

Above: March 2017


Above: February 2017


Above: January 2017


My latest news & projects


I attended the open evening at the Ludgershall Fire Station last night and got togged up in the firefighting kit. Also did one of the physical tests in the gear. Good fun but it was hard! Good news is that a few potential retained fire fighter recruits were signed up!

THE FIRE SERVICE NEEDS YOU!

Ludgershall Fire Station is having an open evening for families as part of a safety drive.  However, it is also looking for people who are interested in becoming a retained (part-time) fire persons. Ludgershall station is presently undermanned and needs more volunteers to become retained fire-fighters for which you will be paid and do your bit for the community. 

If you are over 18, are in reasonable fitness, have no criminal convictions, have a driving licence and have GCSE Grade C in English and Maths, then you might just fit the bill! 

If you are interested in seeing what a retained fire fighter is all about and what benefits are available, then come along and see for yourself!

Open Evening 31 May from 6.30 PM at the Ludgershall Fire Station.


Litter-picking, 4/3/17 


Thanks to Brian Pratt for organising this morning's community litter pick and to Wiltshire Council for providing the kit and for taking the rubbish collected. The biggest thanks is for those who turned out and did the pick, especially the young Beavers. Well done all! About 15 bags full of rubbish in an hour and a half. Hopefully next month there will be more joining us!

Sewer blockages


Wessex Water are encountering a problem with sewage blockages in Tidworth and have attended a number of incidents in the town in recent times, including one today (3/3/17).

The blockages are caused by people flushing wet wipes, sanitary towels, dishcloths, etc., that should not be flushed down the toilet. These blockages cause inconvenience for householders as well as a lot of time and effort for the company itself having to clear the mess - not a nice job. Advice on what you should and should not flush can be found here

Registered to vote?


On 4 May 2017 there are both Wiltshire Council and Parish/Town Council elections taking place in Wiltshire.  If you want the chance to vote, then you need to be registered.  If you aren't then you can register using the link below.  The deadline to register is 13 April.  If you want a postal or proxy vote, then the deadlines are 5 pm on 18 and 25 April respectively. 

Click here to register.

Help needed!

Have you used the Tidworth to Perham footpath for twenty years or more? Or do you have evidence that the path has been used as a path for twenty years or more?

The Town Council is gathering evidence of use by the community of the path in order to claim the path as a public right of way. Much of the path is owned and maintained by MOD but it sold the the stretch from the junction of Kennet Road going up the hill towards Perham Down some years ago.

This means to protect the path, it must be registered as a public right of way. If you want to help us with this, please EMAIL me at connolly.mark11@sky.com with your email address or address, or contact the Town Clerk, Carly Powell at the Council offices, Wylye Road. Tel: 847390.

Coldness in the home can kill!

Did you know that around 70 deaths a year take place in Wiltshire per year due to houses being too cold? There are grants of up to £4,000 available for householders to improve their central heating or insulation. Even if you don't qualify, there is a free service to assess your home through Warm & Safe Wiltshire Partnership. Click here for more details.

Loan sharks are in Tidworth - don't be bitten!

Watch out there is a loan shark operating in the Tidworth area. Loan sharks are unlicensed individuals who prey on the vulnerable and charge very high interest rates for the privilege. Don't be a victim. Call 0300 555 2222 in the strictest confidence or report a loan shark at reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk

If you need a loan and cannot get help from banks, don't use a loan shark, use the Wiltshire Credit Union. Click here for more information.

Money Awarded to Local Groups and Local Schemes


I, and the other Tidworth Area Board Councillors, have awarded grants of over £27K in the last year in Tidworth. These include:

  • War Memorial Committee: £5,000 
  • Tidworth Mums: £900 
  • Tidworth Town Football Club: £3,500 
  • Memory Cafe: £800 
  • Tidworth Scouts: £3,000 
  • Over-60s Club: £485 
  • Windmill Childminders Group: £1,000 
  • Castledown FM: £5,000 

The Community Area Transport Group that I chair has also provided £100K of funding in Tidworth as follows:

  • Somme Road foot/cycle path: £90,000 
  • Kennet Road crossing scheme:  £3,000 
  • Bulford Road crossing scheme:  £6,000 
  • Perham Down warning signs:  £1,800   

Civic Centre Getting Nearer 

For over two decades Tidworth Town Council has held the ambition to replace its small community centre, which is coming to the end of its life, with a purpose built Civic centre for our expanding community.  

The new civic centre will be larger and allow many more groups and individuals to access meeting rooms, hold functions, marriages and there will be a cafe and crèche. We also hope that more services will use the facility to make it the true hub or ‘meeting place’ of the town.

However, it is important that this brilliant new community facility does not burden our tax payers with any large increase in their Council tax, so I have as your Deputy Mayor, managed the resources of the Council prudently over the last five years to ensure that there will not be any large increase in the Council Tax to fund the new civic centre. 

The Council is now in a position to seek funding for the civic centre and hopes to see work commence by the summer of 2017.