I am still reeling from the penalty shoot-out that saw England fall at the final hurdle in the Euros. After 55 years, I really believed this time, maybe, just maybe, we could get our hands on a trophy. Fair play to Gareth and the lads, they did the Country proud and it was a great ride to the final. Congratulations to Italy who came to fortress Wembley and achieved a heroic victory against a resurgent and confident England side – roll on the World Cup. Like everyone here on the Council, I was so saddened to see the sickening racial abuse of England’s young lions that followed the game. Totally unforgiveable.
We have been busy here in the run up to our summer recess. Our meeting on 5th July had a packed agenda that focused on a lot of the things that are raising eyebrows in the village. We had a very useful chat with our local Police Community Support Officer, John Taylor and it was good to hear that he is on the case with recent anti-social behaviour in the village that I mentioned in the last copy of the Fountain – good progress there. Currently, he is on the trail of a very noisy motorbike that is causing so much grief for villagers. He did remind us all that anyone affected by anti-social behaviour should report the matter using the 101 service – either by phone or online. The more reports the Police receive the better they can target offenders. But, of course, if you are a victim of a more serious crime – thankfully very rare in the village – get onto the 999 service pronto.
The Three Crowns
Like most villagers, we would love to see this lovely old Inn – so long a village landmark – back open and serving customers. Such a shame that the doors remain closed. The Council has received a call from villagers for the pub to be listed as an asset of community value. That would mean that if ever it was proposed to convert it from a public house to a residential property, or anything else for that matter, the community would have a chance to buy the pub and run it as a community facility. Wiltshire Council’s rules for village pubs are pretty clear, they should only be converted for other uses if they become economically unviable. To test that, WC insists pubs are put on the open market as a going concern before a change-of-use planning application is even considered.
Everyone will have seen the state of the footpaths along the Salisbury end of Southampton Road. The banks and hedges have grown out so far that the pavement is almost impassable in places – it really is getting dangerous. The Parish Council has raised the matter with Wiltshire Council Highways team and although our wonderful Parish Steward, Steve, does his best, he just does not have the time available to keep up with the rampant undergrowth. It is Wiltshire Council’s job to keep the pavements safe, but we all know how their budget is stretched to breaking point, so, the Parish Council has decided to get on with the job. We will be issuing a works order to our excellent grounds maintenance contractor, Hurdcott Landscapes this week.
We have joined forces with Whiteparish Council to lobby for more buses at weekends, bank holidays and late evenings. This request followed publication of advice from Wiltshire Council about how bus services can play an important part in the post COVID-19 economic recovery. A national funding scheme has been launched and our bid has been lodged. We believe more buses could really give a boost to
the economic and cultural recovery of Salisbury while at the same time providing more sustainable transport options for villagers, improving access for those struggling on low incomes, slashing carbon emissions and helping to remove nose-to-tail traffic from the chaotic A36.
The Council is backing a call from local residents to introduce parking restrictions on the narrow section of Eyres Drive. A recent incident with a rubbish lorry that took a limb off one of the venerable old oaks, has demonstrated how difficult it is to get emergency and service vehicles in and out of the road. We have called for Wiltshire Council to introduce double yellows along the tighter bits of the road.
Alderbury Wildlife Project
The Council was over the moon to receive the report of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Wild Landscapes Team, following their survey of the village in May. We are raring to get the ball rolling and we will be contacting our brand-new band of 24 wildlife volunteers to kick start the project. So, if you have not yet signed up to be part of this amazing project, hop on over to the Council website and put your name down. One thing we have been very clear about is that each and every project must involve villagers – we don’t want to parachute in our plans without proper consultation. We will be consulting residents of Waleran Close about an idea to create a little community orchard and wildflower meadow on part of the green space and residents in Spiders Island about the right place for a mini-forest. The project plan is jam packed with many more wonderful ideas, so grab a cuppa and check it out on our website.
Picnic in the Park
Councillor Sloan gave the Council an update on the plans for the big village party on 7th August and we all got very excited. With Covid-19 restrictions lifting on 19th July, it is something fun to look forward to at last – definitely one to ink into your family diary. The Council has put its shoulder to the wheel and donated up to £200 to help with costs. It’s going to be a great day.
We also had a report on discussions with Karen Linaker, Wiltshire Community Engagement Manager, about a possible programme of youth activities over the summer. It was a no-brainer for the Council and we have given the idea 100% backing. It would be great to see activities for our youngsters return after 18 months with the lights turned off.
We all cheered heartily in the Council meeting when we were told that the planning application at the Old Lime Yard in Grimstead Road has been refused. Just shows that Wiltshire Council really does listen to the views of parish councils and local residents. Well done to the Southern Area Planning Committee – definitely the right call. The Council raised no objection to an extension of Pels House in Junction Road.
Here is one for you super sleuths: does anyone remember Roy? Apparently, he had assembled a large archive of historical stuff about the village and we would love to get our hands on it before it is lost for ever. So, if you know what has happened to Roy’s treasure trove, please ping me a message.
We are now back to face-to-face meetings, so why not come along and enjoy the wonderful company of your elected councillors at our forthcoming meetings:
- Wednesday 8th September
- Thursday 7th October
- Monday 1st November
- Tuesday 7th December
- Wednesday 5th January 2022
- Thursday 3rd February 2022
- Monday 7th March 2022
OK, that’s it from me this month, I’m off to take down my England flags.