Mary Douglas

Mary Douglas

About Mary

Salisbury is such a wonderful place to live in and I want to help make it even better: to improve care for older people, raise the quality of education, and enhance our beautiful city.  Above all, I want to support and champion families, which are so precious to us all.

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Biography

I have lived in St Francis and Stratford for 18 years with my husband. Our twins, now grown-up, both attended the local grammar schools. I am a committed Christian and active member of a local church. 

I have a Joint Honours degree in Economics and Philosophy, and worked for IBM before taking a career break to raise my children and subsequently worked in a secondary school. I have served as a Governor of St Mark's Junior School and worked as a volunteer with Wiltshire Parenting to run parenting courses

I chair the Salisbury branch of the ‘Explore’ charity, which brings married couples into secondary schools for pupils to quiz them on their relationship. I take a close interest in national and international politics, have been on the parliamentary candidates list and was, until recently, the Parliamentary Officer for Pioneer Churches UK. I am a Trustee of the Conservative Christian Fellowship and on the management committee of Grassroots Conservatives.

Council work

  • As SACRE Chair, I have sought to improve R.E. teaching in schools across the county.
  • On the Children and Health Select Committees, I have scrutinised our provision for children and young people, health and social care.
  • As Chair of a Task Group I have advised on the new contract for Children's Centres.
  • Funding for a build-out outside South Wilts Grammar to make it safer for pupils to cross;
  • Village Gates to help slow traffic past the local school and through the village;
  • Funding for pavement bypass around trees by Warwick Close;
  • Air conditioning for Stratford Social Club;
  • New bench on Victoria Road spur.

Community work

I have listened to your concerns and responded promptly. As a result, we now have:

In addition, I have helped with your concerns about disabled bus passes, city centre toilets, waste collection, schools admissions, tree cutting, gully clearing, pavement repairs, bus stops, flooding, road markings, dog bins, extractor fans, parking regulations, street cleaning, housing, streetlights, footpaths, fly tipping, noisy neighbours, planning applications, hedge cutting and speeding traffic.

Help and advice

If you have a question or concern, please feel free to contact me by email at mary.douglas@wiltshire.gov.uk or by phone 01722 503 260.  Or come and talk to me at my ‘surgery’ in the library on the last Saturday of each month, from 11am to noon, no appointment needed. Do please come along and let me know what you think!   

Mary's Recent Projects

Monthly Surgery

Mary holds a ‘surgery’ in the library on the last Saturday of each month, from 11am to noon, no appointment needed. Do please come along and let her know what you think!  


Boundaries Review 

Wiltshire Council recently reviewed Salisbury City Council boundaries, which have not changed for some 60 years, even as the city has grown.  The aim was that council boundaries should reflect community identity and help good governance.  Wiltshire Council voted on 12th July not to merge Laverstock & Ford with Salisbury City Council. They also voted to move Bishopdown Farm into Laverstock & Ford Parish. 

Asset Transfer  

Various assets and functions were to be transferred from Wiltshire to Salisbury City Council, including Stratford Social Club and also all ground maintenance. However, Salisbury City Council is still debating this.

Helicopter Noise  

Many local people complained to Mary about the appalling noise and disturbance from helicopters over recent months from Old Sarum Airfield.  Mary raised this at the local Flying Forum, which she chairs. Helicopter noise is more intrusive than fixed-wing aircraft and residents have reported helicopters circling 8 times in an hour.  

Airfield manager, Angus Beal, said that the new helicopter training contract was important to the viability of the Airfield and would last 2 years.  Each trainee pilot needs 290 hours of flying experience to gain their licence.  The training contains several phases: new students use the shorter circuit for smaller aircraft, and then progress to fly further from the airfield. This process will be repeated for each new intake of students. As ever, the proximity to Boscombe Down restricts where they can fly.  

Neither Wiltshire Council nor Salisbury City Council have any power relating to aircraft noise or disturbance: the Civil Aviation Authority [CAA] is the authority in these matters.  The CAA has investigated recent complaints and confirmed that the Airfield is operating legally. Several people have asked whether Wiltshire Council’s planning system can help.   Mary has checked, and double-checked, with the planning officer concerned and has been told that there are currently no planning restrictions on the level or type of aircraft noise, nor any which prohibit pilot training.  Mary has asked planners for a Section 106 agreement restricting noise for the future.  

If you have a complaint about aircraft activity, please make it directly to www.oldsarumairfield.co.uk on the ‘Contacts' tab.


Out and About 

Mary arranged for the unsightly advert in the car park by the Castle Road One-Stop Shop to be removed. She has also requested a drainage gully in the Victoria Park gateway opposite S. Wilts Grammar to address recent flooding. In response to local residents’ concerns about proposed double yellow lines outside Orchard House, Mary has instead requested white lines a pavement width apart with a pedestrian symbol on the road between them. This will deter parking and indicate to drivers that pedestrians are likely to be in the road. Mary was also delighted to visit Turning Point’s REFOCUS in Stratford Rd to see the wonderful way they care for vulnerable people.

Children and Families in Salisbury

Mary also chairs the new ‘Child Wellbeing Forum’ set up recently by Salisbury Area Board. Their first goal is to improve communication and coordination of local services which already exist to help children and parents. It is widely recognised that the first years of childhood are the most formative, so the focus is on children aged 0-5.

Report it!

If you see a pothole or uneven pavement, please report it via the www.wiltshire.gov.uk ‘Report’ tab. For other concerns, please raise an Area Board issue on the same website, giving your email address to be kept up-to-date with progress. If you do not use the internet then please ring 0300 456 0100.

R.E. in Wiltshire 

Mary chairs the Wiltshire Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) which supports schools with RE and Collective Worship. The new local Syllabus aims to help teachers to communicate core concepts at the heart of a religion, enabling pupils to understand each religion in its own terms, as a coherent worldview.

Victoria Park Renovation 

Paths, benches, tennis court fencing, shrubs, flower beds and trees, a wheelchair-friendly path, and new multi-use games area for older children: Victoria Park has been renovated! Any comments to Derek, Charles or Atiqul.


Big Issues:


Families

Before I was a councillor, I worked in a school and I saw many children with family situations so distressing and disturbing that learning was the last thing on their minds. I strongly believe that, before we do anything else, we need to address the issue of family breakdown.

All the evidence shows that, in general, marriage is the best environment for raising children. If we want to help children in the long- term, we need to acknowledge this and stand up for marriage.

I believe that parents want the best for their children but sometimes don’t know what to do for the best. I want to encourage and support parents to take responsibility for their own children; to offer parenting advice as part of antenatal care; and to teach young people basic skills to enable them to become good parents themselves. The Children’s Centres in Salisbury are a key part of this.

Young people

Young people get a bad press these days. Some of it is justified, but certainly not all. I want to celebrate the achievements of our young people, to encourage them to contribute their energy and ‘out of the box’ thinking. I am also very keen to mix the generations – to enable young and old to meet each other - to their mutual benefit. Home-sharing is a bold initiative along these lines, which has been very successful.

Older people

The increasing percentage of our population who are ‘elderly’ is a challenge for providers of social and healthcare. It is also a great opportunity for us all. I am keen to encourage elderly people to share their wisdom and experience with other parts of the community. I also want to ensure that vulnerable elderly people are cared for, as much as possible, within the communities they know and love. I strongly believe that this is not solely the job of ‘the council’. It is a responsibility we all share.

Culture

The arts, libraries, museums, theatre, music and sport – these activities can make a real difference to individuals and to communities, building confidence and social skills and bringing together people from different backgrounds in a way that nothing else can. In the last few years, Salisbury has seen the arrival of new directors at our Arts Centre, Playhouse, Museum and International Arts Festival: innovative people with bold and exciting ideas. I want to support and help them to engage people, young and old, in the vibrant culture of Salisbury.

Vision for Salisbury

I have been on the Steering Group almost since its inception and am very keen to see the plans actually implemented; to see Salisbury take its place in the 21st century and so retain its unique character.

Society

Many people are very concerned at the direction in which our society is heading. Government, national and local, can help but cannot, and should not, do it all. I want to encourage community groups, and the church in particular, to take their place in bringing about long-term change.