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Thank you for electing me to be your Wiltshire Councillor for Melksham Without North! I look forward to representing you over the course of the next four years...
I am a local parent and teacher, I have lived in the area my entire life and have family links in Whitley and Atworth going back well over 60 years. I have been a councillor at a district level in the past and served on the planning committee but am now standing for election and campaigning for the Melksham Without North area. I have been teaching for over ten years and spent some of that time working at The Corsham school. As a teacher and parent of young children I have a special interest in improving education services.
Having attended The George Ward School until 1993, I attended college in Chippenham and Trowbridge before studying Biomedical Sciences at UWIC in Cardiff. I attained a 2:1 and after a short spell in Pharmaceuticals I retrained as Teacher at Bath Spa University. I have been teaching since then in Sutton, Corhsam, Swindon and Trowbridge.
In 2005 I was elected to West Wiltshire District Council where I sat on the Audit committee and Planning committee. I was also chair of the Melksham Area Seminar. As a member I campaigned for local residence on many issues. I particularly enjoyed the case work aspect and helping people with their various problems.
Currently I campaign on issues within the Melksham Without North area.
I have 4 children under 10 with my wife of 11 years, work full time, attend an upholstery course and try and get into the gym 3 times a week.
I have parents and friends living in Whitley and I am determined to see that the local services support them and others in the area. I have other family members living in Atworth as well as friends scattered around the village. I live; near other family members in the furthermost part of the division on Woodrow road.
Whilst these areas do seem spread out and have varying needs I am determined to ensure that they all receive proper consideration at the county level. I am particularly keen to see that council tax remains low to support the families living in them, transport and infrastructure access to these communities keep us properly connected and that we and our children are kept safe from traffic. I am a keen advocate of supporting the vulnerable, maintaining value for money and efficiency and making sure that everyone gets the support they need when dealing with the council.
If anyone needs help campaigning on a local issue and needs help getting their voice heard on a topic of the local community I am happy to hear your ideas and offer my support if I can do anything to help. The best way to contact me is via email and I will respond within the following day or so to discuss a way forward.
Phil's Latest Projects
My Election Address, March 2017
Melksham Without North is a diverse and attractive part of Wiltshire.
Each village, hamlet and estate has its own character but only has one Councillor. For the past 4 years we have lacked a Councillor doing much - other than sitting at home writing absurd letters to the press.
The holes in our roads are unfilled, development is unchecked and speeding traffic blights our streets, endangering our children.
I am a local teacher and parent. I have met hundreds of people to discuss their concerns and I have a track record of being able to effect change.
I formed Melksham Pothole Watch to improve to our roads. I have lead the challenge to housing developments like Woodrow Road.
I have concerns about Sandridge and was surprised that our Councillor supports the largest solar farm in the county when local Conservatives opposed it.
I have concerns with the proposed anaerobic digester on this site.
I am local, active and I am listening as well as acting on your views and opinions. I really want a better service for our area and, if elected, I will work hard to get us that better deal.
Yours sincerely ,
A strong local voice for Melksham and the villages
I am standing for election both as a Melksham Town and unitary Councillor because I want to help to make our town a better place to live.
I have been involved in the town for a long time and I am a local magistrate as well as having been a school governor.
Every town wants better and new facilities, but they all come at a cost. My commitment is to seek the very best for Melksham. I see everyday problems that seem to be never ending like litter, dog fouling, potholes, traffic congestion.
I am part of Melksham Pothole watch and have being reporting potholes and getting them fixed. We all need to do our bit to deal with local issues.
As Melksham grows in the next few years it is important that residents have a committed councillor representing the views of all of our people who can get things done.
Melksham has grown and it has changed. I want to ensure that any new growth comes with new facilities. With your help we can make the most of these future opportunities.
I am asking you for a new start with a new Conservative Councillor for Melksham Central on 4 May.
Stop the Westlands Lane Rat-Run!
Due to congestion along the A350 and road works outside the George Ward School development, many drivers have taken to exploiting a short cut through Westlands Lane and along Top Lane to cut between the A350 and the A365. This has resulted in a massive increase in the volume and speed of traffic along these lanes. Due to the nature of the rural roads most of the limits are 30mph, the lanes are narrow and there are no pavements. The traffic is without doubt a significant problem for local residents. As such I have been working to find a solution. I have been talking to the highways department about achieving the following:
A Melksham East bypass.
Lights along the ASDA section of the A350 are synchronised to speed up traffic flow.
A right turn from the A350 onto Bath Road by the Subway to speed up traffic flow.
Signs along the Westlands Lane at the narrowest parts to prioritise oncoming traffic.
Reduce traffic speed sufficiently to have the speed limit dropped to 20mph at the A350 end of Westlands Lane.
Possible 20mph limits at Top Lane and Purlpit.
More traffic-calming measures put in place.
At present there is no one campaigning to get these things done. These issues need to be addressed at council and we need a Councillor who can work with the Council, other Councillors and residents to get them done.
Protecting our communities from over development
Much debate has been had recently regarding the seemingly insatiable need for housing, the constant development and the ever growing cost of housing in and around Melksham. On one hand we need prices that are affordable for local residents and the improvements to local services that it brings and on the other we do not want to see endless housing in our own backyards.
This is why I have been campaigning to ensure that the developments that are in the application stage are appropriate. We need to make better use of Brownfield sites and ensure that any other developments take account of local roads, services, existing residents and local needs. It is vital that we protect our communities and at Woodrow Road this is no different.
A recent proposal is in the pipeline and it shows no regard for the local people, the existing infrastructure or housing need. Working as part of a team with motivated and committed local residents I will be fighting this development to protect our countryside.
Standing up for local primary schools
Due to the hard work and commitment of the Conservative Wiltshire and Town Councillors, Melksham has seen two new schools being built. As good as these schools are though new buildings in the town are not enough to protect and enhance the quality of schooling and the outcomes for our children.
I do not want rural primary schools being forced into academy status. These schools do not have the income to support this model and without local authority support they will not be viable.
As a parent of four children - three are in primary school - I recognise the issues and am committed to village schooling and the wider benefit it bestows in our communities. I am also looking to develop much better provision in vocational education as well as looking for ways to streamline the way in which local authorities provide Special Education Needs funding to our schools.
Compassionate Adult Care services
As a councillor I will be fighting to ensure that the transition from Child to Adult Care is seamless and supportive for all involved.
I will campaign to bring in all the community groups, charities and council services to ensure they are working closer and in a way that works for everyone. I want to see contacts in place that can keep these groups coordinated and integrated. I want to see more case workers in place to support those in need so that no one is left alone.
My kind of conservatism is compassionate and it is vital that we target our support for those that most need it and in a way that is efficient and considerate to those that make us the custodians of their council tax.
No to Solar Farms around Melksham
In our little patch of Britain we now have Britain’s fifth largest solar farm. To some this is a great achievement, to others a hideous nightmare dominating the beautiful Sandridge Vale and to many a project at the other end of town that doesn’t really affect them.
When this site was first proposed it was roundly rejected by Wiltshire Council but later approved by central government. We also have another local solar farm in an inappropriate location and now with the addition of two vast back up generators that will burn diesel on cloudy days in order to meet their electricity contracts. These two generators are very noisy, certainly are not climate friendly and have become a regular burden for the people who have to live near it. This is something everyone should care about and this is the kind of development we must be very careful of.
Jumping on the eco bandwagon for votes but with no regard for the consequences can devastate peoples lives. I will be fighting to make sure that these glass lakes are not put up on the fields of Whitley, Atworth, Beanacre or anywhere else without full and complete regard for the lives of those that they affect.