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I have lived in the Box since 1976 and love this part of Wiltshire. We have a lot going on, some wonderful countryside and fabulous people to boot.
General background and experience
My background was in secretarial work at The Manor House Hotel in Castle Combe. When my daughters started secondary school, I gained qualifications in SAGE Accountancy and was Company Secretary for a Management Consultancy Company. My husband and I moved to Box 40 years ago and started our own business. I was the Company Secretary, taking care of the accounts and payroll.
I have been a member of the Parish Council for over 10 years, and was a Councillor for North Wiltshire District Council for two years before being elected as Councillor for Box and Colerne when Wiltshire became a Unitary Authority. I have served in this capacity for the past seven years and am keen to continue.
I am the Portfolio Holder for Adult Care, including Learning Disability and Mental Health. As the Mental Health Champion for Wiltshire, I work to reduce the stigma of mental health and to ensure that Wiltshire is a safe place for anyone with dementia or a mental health problem. Several towns now have shops with a sign showing they are a safe place so if anyone, young or old, feels vulnerable or lost whilst shopping, they will know they can go into this shop and get help. I am working with our health and well-being team to get a couple set up in Corsham. The plan is to have this scheme all over Wiltshire.
My division and its residents are very important to me and I am very honoured to represent you at Wiltshire Council. I have always taken an interest in village life from helping out at playgroup, school and brownies when my daughters were little, supporting Box revels and local businesses. I was elected onto Box Parish Council about 15 years ago; this work involves looking after the recreation ground, Box Common and the cemetery, plus reporting issues to Wiltshire Council.
Both Box and Colerne have a great village community and it is this that makes me want to give something back to them.
In my role as councillor I sit on several committees:
- Corsham Area Board
- Corsham Area Transport Group
- Wiltshire Pension Fund
- Safeguarding Children and Young People Panel
Being a councillor means I can, if possible, help people resolve problems they may have from housing issues to waste collection being missed, supporting people with planning applications, either in favour or objecting about them. I have worked with the highways department to get the A4 and many minor roads around Box and Colerne resurfaced and many potholes repaired.
When I was first elected as their county councillor, one of the issues both villages had was speeding traffic. I worked with the Parish Council and the highways department to have metro counts done and following the high level on the results, Box qualified to have a Speed Watch team. I was delighted when several residents said they were keen to join me in setting up a team, after training from the police on how to use the speed camera. You can often see them on the A4 and A365.
It has taken a little longer to solve this problem for Colerne residents, but I am working with Colerne Primary School and highways to see how we can resolve it.
I have always taken a great interest in village life, starting by helping out at the local playschool and primary school. I was even Tawny Owl for the Brownies for a short while. I enjoy helping organise events for the community, especially the larger events that the whole village can come to. I was part of the committee that organised the Millennium Party on the recreation ground which was attended by approximately 1,000 people. This committee carried on for a couple of years, running other big events. I also helped organise the concert of The Revels and the last big event, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Personal and family background
In my spare time, I try to have game of golf with my sister. This gets us out into the fresh air and gives us a chance to catch up with family matters. I believe families to be very important.
I am also a member of Boxlea WI.
Help and advice
If you wish to get in touch with me please either call or email me; I always try to respond to emails and calls on the same day, but sometimes it may take a little longer.
Sheila's Latest Projects
Box Zebra Crossing
The pelican beacon lights had been broken for several months. I worked with highways and SSE to get this problem resolved. Please check my Facebook page for updates.
Keeping our roads repaired
I have been working with highways to get as many of our roads, main and minor, repaired or resurfaced. This has been of great benefit to all road users.
There are always more to do, so if you come across a bad stretch of road, please email me and I will get right on to it.
Supporting the parish councils
I am happy to support your fundraising applications when they come to the Corsham Area Board: e.g. the Queen's birthday celebrations, sports groups, village hall improvements, etc. I work with both Box and Colerne parish councils supporting local issues at Corsham Area Transport Group. By working together I have been able to bring improvements to both villages.
- Tutton Hill
I have ensured that bollards have been installed by the house on Tutton Hill. This will reduce damage caused by lorries.
Signs at the entrance to Colerne have been erected to reduce the number of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) using the village as a thoroughfare, and getting stuck. I have also been successful in getting dropped kerbs installed at a number of locations.
White gates will be fitted as you enter the village on Devizes Road and we are looking at getting the traffic signs moved. This will help our speed watch teams who do a brilliant job in reducing speeding traffic.
Go to the new Springfield Campus on any day and it is great to see so many people using the library, pool and gym. The climbing wall has been a huge success with youngsters and the gym is full of people getting fit.
Local highway schemes decided locally
Our parish councils attend the Area Transport Group that prioritises work. As a result, Doncombe Hill and important parts of the A4 were resurfaced last year.
Brunel Bridge Works Update
I have been working with the Parish Council, Network Rail and Wiltshire Council’s Listed Buildings Officer on the materials to be used for the parapets on the bridge. It is so important that this work is carried out in strict adherence to its listed status. In addition, before any work commences, planning permission will have to be granted.
Network Rail has confirmed that the viewing platforms will not be affected by the work.
This has caused problems along the railway line due to bridgework. We’ve been working with Network Rail to minimise the disruption and Sheila had the pleasure of opening the new Shockerwick Bridge.
Support for voluntary projects
This has continued with a grant of £5,000 to Colerne Village Hall for the community cinema and £5,000 to the Selwyn Hall to revamp the stage area. In addition, grants have been made available for their lift. In total Colerne and Box have received £23,000 in grants over the last two years, split almost equally.