Marlborough Area Weekly News sections – archive 1

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To see the current Marlborough & Surrounding Area Weekly News section, please click here.

Please note that this section is presented as an archive of past columns and is not updated. Some web links may no longer be active (usually indicated by a score-through), for instance when draft parish council minutes are replaced by adopted ones or when a consultation has closed.

Thursday 5 May 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 697 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 24 to 30 April, down 456 from the week before. This equates to 138 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 123 (200 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• Quick reminder that Marlborough Community Fridge, located in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is open 9am to 11am on Thursdays and Fridays and 9am to 12noon on Saturdays. This week they have oranges, pears, parsnips, cabbages, chard, bread, GF bread and bagels ready for their forever homes. The fridge is free to access, there are no criteria that have to be met and it is a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. Please see their facebook page for more details.

• Get your running shoes on, because this weekend is the Ramsbury five-mile run. It’ll start from the Ramsbury Recreation Centre at 11am, Sunday 8 May. See here for more details, entre online.

Sewing skills wanted! If you’re nimble with a needle, perhaps consider lending your talents towards preparations for the Jubilee celebrations. Marlborough Council wants to make 500 metres of bunting to decorate the streets. There will be workshops running at the Town Hall on Friday 6 and 20 May, from 10am to 2pm, with materials provided. Everyone is invited, sewing skills and machines are a bonus. For more information please contact charris@marlborough-tc.gov.uk.

For more details of the Jubilee plans please visit Marlborough Town Council’s website. The current schedule includes: a High Street Party, Festival of Flags and Flowers at St Peters Church, ceremonial tree planting at Priory Gardens, Beacon lighting on the Common, Family afternoon tea at the Recreation ground, a Family Festival at The Parade, The Great Marlborough Bake-Off and a Royal Picnic on the Common.

• It’s that time of year where beautiful bluebells are lining our woodland trails. Take to opportunity to get outside and appreciate our wonderful natural world, before the flowering season ends. You can read our article here to find out where your nearest bluebell walk is.

• In addition, Marlborough Town Council has exciting plans for Marlborough’s Festival of Flowers and Marlborough in Bloom, with an option Jubilee-theme, through June and July. Visit their website here to find out how you can get involved.

Ukrainian refugees are starting to arrive in our area. Anyone in the Marlborough area wanting to host or support Ukrainian refugees are invited to join this Facebook page: Ukrainians and their sponsors in Marlborough and surrounding areas.

• The Great Green Bedwyn project, funded by the National Lottery and supported by the Parish Council, is for everyone with an interest in taking action on climate change in Great Bedwyn. The aim is to bring people together to come up with a climate action plan for the village. To get involved please join their facebook group. They have an Electric Vehicle discovery event planned for 15 May.

• A reminder that Marlborough Town Council is appealing to dog owners to keep dogs on leads in Coopers Meadow to help protect the local wildlife. The nesting season runs between 1 Mar and 31 July and there are currently lots of swan families with young babies. Please help protect protect our local wildlife, by making sure your dog is leashed until nesting season is over.

Community notices

• Calling wildlife friendly gardeners in Aldbourne: if you would like to open your garden for Carbon Neutral Aldbourne’s Open Gardens on Sunday 26 June please email carbonneutralaldbourne@gmail.com. From minimal effort, hands-off gardens to high-maintenance showstoppers they want to show how beautiful, diverse and satisfying wildlife gardens can be.

Wilton Windmill is now open to the public on Sundays and Bank Holidays, until the end of the season in September. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own picnics, hot and cold drinks, ice creams and cakes will be available in the shepherd’s hut. See more on the Wilton Windmill website here.

The Stroke Association runs monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers. The next one will be held 9 May from 10.30am to 11.30am. See here about future dates. Contact Katie Fielding, from the Stroke Association on 07908 952740 or at katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Local runners might be tempted to sign up for the 20 mile Marlborough Downs Challenge through Avebury and beautiful landscape on Saturday 7 May. Sign up details are here.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Fri 6 May Jubilee Bunting Workshop Town Hall, 10am to 2pm.

• Sun 8 May Ramsbury 5 Mile Run Ramsbury Recreation Centre, 11am.

• Fri 13 May Rugby Club Fundraiser Quiz at the Rugby Club, 7.30pm.

• Fri 20 May Jubilee Bunting Workshop Town Hall, 10am-2pm.

• Tue 31 May Queen Victoria’s Fashion the Assembly Room, Marlborough Town Hall, from 1.45pm.

Thu 2 June Jubilee Street Party, High Street 2pm to 5pm.

• Sat 4 June Summer Ball hosted by Marlborough Rugby Club, on the Common, from 7pm.

• Regular events

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

The Menopause Matters Marlborougfacebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 11 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the police; tenancy problems at York Place; two length-of-service awards; a councillor vacancy; a statement from Forestry England (see also sections above); the Christchurch Methodist Church and Church Hall; the Salisbury Road Recreation Ground workshop; corporate identity; Swindon 105.5; the climate emergency working party; the jubilee; financial matters; and committee reports. (The meeting lasted three hours and six minutes: not a record, but quite impressive.) To see the dates and agendas for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 6 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: repairing the SIDs; street lights; verge cutting and re-wilding; South Street path repairs; ash trees; the Operation Nightingale dig; donations; the jubilee; parking; repairs and maintenance around the parish; Palmer’s Field; a report from District Councillor James Sheppard; congratulations to Aldbourne’s band; and signage. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 21 March and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 10 March and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. There was also an extraordinary meeting on 28 February, the minutes of which you can read here, to vote on the contractor to install the memorial bench at Spaines.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council took place on 10 January and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council took place on 8 November and you can read the minutes here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 28 April 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 1,152 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 17 to 23 April, down 658 from the week before. This equates to 229 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 200 (305 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• The zero waste Packaging Not Included shop in Hughenden Yard, where you can refill groceries in your own containers, is pleased to announce that they have acheived bronze/silver Carbon Neutral Now status. Their scope 1 & 2 emissions (direct emissions & indirect emissions from purchased energy) and scope 3 emissions (indirect emissions such as staff commuting & waste disposal) totalled 3 tonnes of carbon last year, which is 0.016kg CO2e/£ turnover.  This is very low for a business with the average carbon intensity in retail being 0.07kg CO2e/£ turnover. PNI owner Hayley Lambert has offset their 3 tonnes of CO2e with Gold Standard carbon credits investing in a biodigester project in Cambodia with positive community as well as climate impact. She is happy to answer questions for any other business looking to reduce their emissions. Please email her at hayley@packagingnotincluded.co.uk

• With the Jubilee now being just over a month away, preparations for the celebrations are currently underway. While the complete list of events and activities are still to be confirmed, Marlborough Town Council have released a list of all the exciting things planned so far. The current roster includes: a High Street Party, Festival of Flags and Flowers at St Peters Church, ceremonial tree planting at Priory Gardens, Beacon lighting on the Common, Family afternoon tea at the Recreation ground, a Family Festival at The Parade, The Great Marlborough Bake-Off and a Royal Picnic on the Common. All this as well as so much more to be announce. For more detail on these events and to keep an eye out for further updates, visit the Marlborough Town Council website.

Marlborough Rugby Club will be hosting a quiz fundraiser to go towards the fees of their junior festival. Tickets will cost £10 and include a meal. For more information see their Facebook post and or email  events@mrfc.co.uk to secure your place.

Ukrainian refugees are starting to arrive in our area. Anyone in the Marlborough area wanting to host or support Ukrainian refugees are invited to join this Facebook page: Ukrainians and their sponsors in Marlborough and surrounding areas.

• Marlborough Town Council has exciting plans for Marlborough’s Festival of Flowers and other Jubilee celebrations. Visit their website here to find out how you can get involved.

• The Carbon Neutral Aldbourne group is running an Open Gardens event in June to showcase wildlife friendly gardens. From minimal effort, hands-off gardens to high-maintenance showstoppers they want to show how beautiful, diverse and satisfying wildlife gardens can be.
If you would like to open your garden on Sunday 26 June please email carbonneutralaldbourne@gmail.com.

• The Great Green Bedwyn project, funded by the National Lottery and supported by the Parish Council, is for everyone with an interest in taking action on climate change in Great Bedwyn. The aim is to bring people together to come up with a climate action plan for the village. To get involved please join their facebook group. They have an Electric Vehicle discovery event planned for 15 May.

Crofton Beam Engines are in steam this Bank Holiday Weekend on Sunday 1 and Monday 2 May. See details here.

• The Ramsbury 5 mile run is coming up on Sunday 8 May. See here for more details.

•  Wilton Windmill has now re-opened to the public on Sundays and Bank Holidays. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own picnics, hot and cold drinks, ice creams and cakes will be available in the shepherd’s hut. See more on the Wilton Windmill website here.

• A reminder that Marlborough Town Council is appealing to dog owners to keep dogs on leads in Coopers Meadow to help protect the local wildlife. The nesting season runs between 1 Mar and 31 July and there are currently lots of swan families with young babies. Please help protect protect our local wildlife, by making sure your dog is leashed until nesting season is over.

• Aldbourne Community Garden welcomes volunteers are welcome every other Saturday afternoon; the next session will be Saturday 7 May. For more details and directions to the garden please see here.

Objection v refusal

My eye was caught by this article in Marlborough News about the planning application for the Poulton Mill Equine Clinic which appears to have had what the writer describes as “yo-yo” progress through this part of the planning system, having been looked at by Marlborough’s planning committee three times with different results. As it appears that on each occasion this was because new information came to light, it seems to me that this is exactly what should happen and proves that the system is working properly, or at least as well as it can. This can happen: an application in our village of East Garston was recently re-visited by the parish council when fresh material was produced, as a result of which it changed its stance.

One point that is worth stressing about the article, however, is that it several times refers to Marlborough Town Council having “refused” or “approved” the application. This the town council cannot do as it is not a planning authority: only, in that area, Wiltshire County Council (or, if matters get that far, the Planning Inspector or the Secretary of State) can do that. A town or parish council is merely one of the statutory consultees. They can object to an application, offer no objection or, if they’re really keen on it, support it. They can, if they choose also decline to comment. They can’t, however, decide anything about it, merely offer their view. The planning authority may come to a completely different conclusion.

It’s important for local residents to understand which organisation makes planning decisions. There’s no point in giving Marlborough TC a hard time when an application goes a different way from how you wished: they didn’t decide it. The town or parish may have offered reasons for or against an application with which some people may disagree. They will be looking at each case on its merits in objective planning, not subjective, terms and are obliged to point out aspects which may, for instance, offend a particular policy. They will also understand, and should express, how the proposal might be affected by, or might itself affect, hyper-local circumstances of which the planning authority might be unaware. All of these points will be considered by the officers or the committee making the call.

When the decision notice is issued, it’ll have Wiltshire CC’s logo and the top and thumbprint at the bottom, not Marlborough TC’s. Sometimes the Town Council might be as annoyed, or perhaps as baffled, by the decision as you are. All MTC could have done in the matter was to have expressed its views and those of its residents. That done, it’s out of their hands.

Community notices

The Stroke Association runs monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers. The next one will be held 9 May from 10.30am to 11.30am. See here about future dates. Contact Katie Fielding, from the Stroke Association on 07908 952740 or at katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Local runners might be tempted to sign up for the 20 mile Marlborough Downs Challenge through Avebury and beautiful landscape on Saturday 7 May. Sign up details are here.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Sun 1 May Car Boot Sale on Marlborough Common, proceeds to go to Wiltshire Air Ambulance. Starts from 8am.

• Fri 13 May Rugby Club Fundraiser Quiz at the Rugby Club, 7:30pm.

• Tue 31 May Queen Victoria’s Fashion the Assembly Room, Marlborough Town Hall, from 1:45pm.

• Sat 4 June Summer Ball hosted by Marlborough Rugby Club, on the Common, from 7pm.

• Regular events

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

The Menopause Matters Marlborougfacebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 11 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the police; tenancy problems at York Place; two length-of-service awards; a councillor vacancy; a statement from Forestry England (see also sections above); the Christchurch Methodist Church and Church Hall; the Salisbury Road Recreation Ground workshop; corporate identity; Swindon 105.5; the climate emergency working party; the jubilee; financial matters; and committee reports. (The meeting lasted three hours and six minutes: not a record, but quite impressive.) To see the dates and agendas for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 6 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: repairing the SIDs; street lights; verge cutting and re-wilding; South Street path repairs; ash trees; the Operation Nightingale dig; donations; the jubilee; parking; repairs and maintenance around the parish; Palmer’s Field; a report from District Councillor James Sheppard; congratulations to Aldbourne’s band; and signage. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 21 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a farewell to Councillor Simon Smith; straightening out a confusion about the reason for a speed survey; street lights; collections for Ukraine; clay pigeon shooting; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; play areas; the assurance, which echoes those in many previous minutes, that “all is well in Axford” – it must be a truly wonderful place to live; the parish website; community transport; the jubilee; village maintenance; the parish stewards; the school; and the observation that “Stickers are put up round the village ‘Free the beagles’.” I’m not clear if this is a PC initiative that it wishes to celebrate, something that it’s condemning or merely an observation. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 10 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the continuing need for a councillor; actions from the previous meeting; the complaints policy; risk assessments; a grant to the surgery; financial matters; response to an AONB survey; the Green Great Bedwyn project; a proposed apple tree; traffic and speeding; planning matters; and future action points. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. There was also an extraordinary meeting on 28 February, the minutes of which you can read here, to vote on the contractor to install the memorial bench at Spaines.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council took place on 10 January and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council took place on 8 November and you can read the minutes here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 21 April 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 1,805 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 10 to 16 April, down 910 from the week before. This equates to 358 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 358 (446 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• Last chance to have your say on Savernake Forest’ s Our Shared Forest land management plan, which describes how they propose to manage and protect Savernake Forest, as well as the needs of the public who enjoy the area. You can read the full Our Shared Forest plan here, as well as take the survey here. The deadline for survey responses is thi Friday 22 April.

• There are just a few more days to enjoy the last sprinkles of Easter-y magic at Avebury Manor Garden Easter Trail, running until 24 April. Meanwhile, over at the Old Farmyard Barn, there are Easter-themed craft activities for children. For more information check out the National Trust Website.

• Massive congratulations to the Phoenix Brass Band, whose fundraising concert for Ukraine on Sunday 10 April raised an incredible £2,000. Not only did the players delight the people of Marlborough with an afternoon of splendid music – with this being their first concert since the pandemic. For more about this poignant event please see here.

• Anyone in the Marlborough area wanting to host or support Ukrainian refugees are invited to join this facebook page: Ukrainians and their sponsors in Marlborough and surrounding areas.

• Marlborough Town Council have just exciting announced plans for Marlborough’s Festival of Flowers and other Jubilee celebrations. Visit their website here to find out how you can get involved.

Crofton Beam Engine‘s boiler passed its Steam Test with flying colours earlier this month, so the site is now open for weekend visits over the spring and summer season. There are also plans for upcoming steaming days next month, 1, 2,28 & 29 May. See details here

•  Wilton Windmill has now re-opened to the public on Sundays and Bank Holidays. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own picnics, hot and cold drinks, ice creams and cakes will be available in the shepherd’s hut. See more on the Wilton Windmill website here.

• A reminder that Marlborough Town Council is appealing to dog owners to keep dogs on leads in Coopers Meadow to help protect the local wildlife. The nesting season runs between 1 Mar and 31 July and there are currently lots of swan families with young babies. Sadly there was a recent incident involving an unleashed dog attacking and killing a cygnet in the area. Please help protect protect our local wildlife, by making sure your dog is leashed until nesting season is over.

• The lovely Aldbourne Cafe and Post Office has a vacancy for a Commis Chef who wants to learn from a top London chef and to acquire new skills and techniques and a waitstaff/barrista that could be a stepping stone for a move into a café management role.

• Aldbourne Community Garden is looking good and invites the community to visit this Saturday 23 April from 2 to 4pm to help with various gardening jobs. Volunteers are welcome every other Saturday afternoon so the next session will be Saturday 7 May. For more details and directions to the garden please see here.

Green Machine’s gong

Congratulations to Green Machine Computers which has, as reported here in Marlborough News, “won a national award for their ‘Commitment to the Community’. They were presented with the award from The Great British Business Awards (run by Great British Expos) on Thursday April 7 at a ceremony in Reading.” As well as specialising in recycling IT kit, the results being provided at low cost to charities and community groups, the company has also been much involved in a number of donations, including to local children during lockdown when it became clear that many families had insufficient devices for the sudden onset of online classes. I can also testify that they fixed a desktop Mac of mine a few years ago whre others had despaired and it gave me several more years of service.

As the article goes on to say, “If you have any unwanted IT equipment and want to put it towards a good cause, you can drop off donations Mon-Fri 9-5 to Green Machine’s offices in Ramsbury, or to one of their secure donation points across Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire.” See Green Machine’s website for more information.

Community notices

The Stroke Association runs monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers. The next one will be held 9 May from 10.30am to 11.30am. See here about future dates. Contact Katie Fielding, from the Stroke Association on 07908 952740 or at katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Local runners might be tempted to sign up for the 20 mile Marlborough Downs Challenge through Avebury and beautiful landscape on Saturday 7 May. Sign up details are here.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Sun 24 Apr Jazz at The Merchants House at St Peters Church, Marlborough High Street, from 2pm.

• Sun 1 May Car Boot Sale on Marlborough Common, proceeds to go to Wiltshire Air Ambulance. Starts from 8am.

• Tue 31 May Queen Victoria’s Fashion the Assembly Room, Marlborough Town Hall, from 1:45pm.

• Sat 4 June Summer Ball hosted by Marlborough Rugby Club, on the Common, from 7pm.

• Regular events

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

The Menopause Matters Marlborougfacebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• Marlborough Choral Society rehearses on Monday evenings, at Christchurch between 7.30pm and 9.15pm. For more information and where to sign up, please visit www.marlboroughchoralsociety.org.uk.

The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 11 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the police; tenancy problems at York Place; two length-of-service awards; a councillor vacancy; a statement from Forestry England (see also sections above); the Christchurch Methodist Church and Church Hall; the Salisbury Road Recreation Ground workshop; corporate identity; Swindon 105.5; the climate emergency working party; the jubilee; financial matters; and committee reports. (The meeting lasted three hours and six minutes: not a record, but quite impressive.) To see the dates and agendas for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 6 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: repairing the SIDs; street lights; verge cutting and re-wilding; South Street path repairs; ash trees; the Operation Nightingale dig; donations; the jubilee; parking; repairs and maintenance around the parish; Palmer’s Field; a report from District Councillor James Sheppard; congratulations to Aldbourne’s band; and signage. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 21 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a farewell to Councillor Simon Smith; straightening out a confusion about the reason for a speed survey; street lights; collections for Ukraine; clay pigeon shooting; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; play areas; the assurance, which echoes those in many previous minutes, that “all is well in Axford” – it must be a truly wonderful place to live; the parish website; community transport; the jubilee; village maintenance; the parish stewards; the school; and the observation that “Stickers are put up round the village ‘Free the beagles’.” I’m not clear if this is a PC initiative that it wishes to celebrate, something that it’s condemning or merely an observation. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 10 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the continuing need for a councillor; actions from the previous meeting; the complaints policy; risk assessments; a grant to the surgery; financial matters; response to an AONB survey; the Green Great Bedwyn project; a proposed apple tree; traffic and speeding; planning matters; and future action points. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. There was also an extraordinary meeting on 28 February, the minutes of which you can read here, to vote on the contractor to install the memorial bench at Spaines.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council took place on 10 January and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council took place on 8 November and you can read the minutes here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 14 April 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 2.706 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 3 to 9 April, down 1,721 from the week before. This equates to 537 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 446 (712 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• Thanks to ‘an extraordinary level of interest’, Savernake Forest has extended the deadline of their survey regarding the proposed Our Shared Forest land management plan. The plan describes how they propose to manage and protect Savernake Forest, as well as the needs of the public who enjoy the area. It focuses around the ‘six key pillars’ of: trees and woodlands, wildlife and wild spaces, geology and soils, water, cultural and built heritage, community and recreation. You can read the full Our Shared Forest plan here, as well as take the survey here. The new deadline for survey responses will be the 22 April. See also the separate section on this below.

• At the meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council on 6 April, District Councillor James Sheppard said that Wiltshire CC has recently calculated its five-year land supply and has established that there is currently only a 4.72-year supply. The significance of that is that if a developer can demonstrate that the planning authority cannot demonstrate it has an adequate supply, it is much more likely to win any refusal of planning permission on appeal, even if this is of a kind and in a location that the planning authority doesn’t like. He also told the meeting that “the housing supply will be recalculated again, and it is hoped this will take the Wiltshire supply to over five years. Wiltshire Council is lobbying central government to update the rules around the need for a five-year housing supply.” Other planning authorities will be watching the result of this with interest.

• Anyone in the Marlborough area wanting to host or support Ukrainian refugees are invited to join this facebook page: Ukrainians and their sponsors in Marlborough and surrounding areas.

Crofton Beam Engine‘s boiler passed its Steam Test with flying colours earlier this month so the site is all set to open this coming Easter weekend with steaming on Sunday 17 and Monday 18 April and static viewing on Saturday 16 April.
The plan going forward is to open every weekend during the season, with steaming dates at least once a month. See details here for the steaming days planned for 1, 2,28 & 29 May.

• From Easter, the Wilton Windmill will be re-opening to the public, until September on Sundays and Bank Holidays. This will be the first time the windmill has re-opened in two years. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own picnics, hot and cold drinks, ice creams and cakes will be available in the shepherd’s hut. See more on the Wilton Windmill website here.

 Marlborough Town Council is busy putting together a programme of all the local events which will be held in celebration of the jubilee, on the weekend of 2 to 5 June. If you are planning a public event which you would like to be included in the programme, then please contact Assistant Town Clerk, Clare Harris at charris@marlborough-tc.gov.uk by the deadline of 22 April.

Avebury Manor Garden has an Easter Trail filled with little tasks and challenges with a chocolatey-prize at the end, running until 24 April. Meanwhile, over at the Old Farmyard Barn, there are Easter-themed craft activities for children. For more information check out the National Trust Website.

Marlborough Town Council is appealing to dog owners to keep dogs on leads in Coopers Meadow to help protect the local wildlife. The nesting season runs between 1 Mar and 31 July and there are currently lots of swan families with young babies. Sadly there was a recent incident involving an unleashed dog attacking and killing a cygnet in the area. Please help protect protect our local wildlife, by making sure your dog is leashed until nesting season is over.

Marlborough Youth Football Club are looking for new under 18 players to join the team. Whether for fun, fitness or stress relief, open sessions will be coming up in the next few weeks, so why not come along and give it a try? If interested, please contact club chair, Stuart Slater at chair@myfc.me.uk.

• Last weekend, Phoenix Brass performed a concert for Ukraine in Marlborough Town Hall with all funds raised going to the DEC Ukraine appeal: a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon. XXXXX

• The lovely Aldbourne Cafe and Post Office has a vacancy for a Commis Chef who wants to learn from a top London chef and to acquire new skills and techniques and a waitstaff/barrista that could be a stepping stone for a move into a café management role.

• The Hungerford Nursery School has some spaces for September and welcomes young children from Marlborough. As it does not have a specific catchment area, the nursery school is looking to share its Ofsted Outstanding provision with the wider community. Click here for more information.

Forestry England and the Savernake

At the full meeting of Marlborough Town Council on 11 April, the Mayor read out a statement from Rob Cullen of Forestry England (FE) received in response to what FE believed to be misleading information that had been levelled against them. FE had also offered to come and make a presentation to the Council at an agreed time in the near future and, following that, to invite Councillors to a guided tour of the forest and discuss openly any areas of concern. The statement is reproduced verbatim below.

“Since 1939, Forestry England has managed Savernake Forest under a forestry purposes lease from the Savernake Estate, delivering world-class forestry certified by the Forest Stewardship Council via the UK Woodland Assurance Scheme. Now – nearly 100 years since that lease began – society is facing a climate emergency and biodiversity crisis that are putting Savernake Forest under pressure unlike anything it has faced in its long history. In response, Forestry England has published the Our Shared Forest Land Management Plan. This was developed in consultation with members of the public and expert stakeholders to set the framework for how we will manage, protect, and enhance this nationally important forest – and balance the needs of the people who love and enjoy it, with the needs of the natural environment. In due course, Our Shared Forest will guide and inform more detailed plans that will specify our management activity over the short- and medium-term. Our Shared Forest has been available for public comment since last month.

“Since Our Shared Forest was published, there have been many reports misrepresenting an internal discussion document called ‘A Way Forward’, which was prepared at the request of our landlord, the Savernake Estate. This paper makes no formal proposals for the Forest. It was drafted in response to concerns raised by the Estate regarding the impact of public access, particularly in light of growing visitor numbers since the start of the COVID pandemic. The document explores potential ways we might work to deliver some of our management commitments within Our Shared Forest. A number of our aspirations for a sustainable and resilient Savernake can only be achieved with Estate consent, so early discussion between tenant and landlord is essential. Public access within Savernake Forest has always been with the agreement of the Estate. Any changes to public access can only happen with the consent of the Estate trustees. This internal document has been extensively quoted out of context so we have published it in full on our website so that the community may read it themselves.

“We recognise and appreciate the great depth of affection felt for Savernake Forest. In response to the extraordinary level of interest in Our Shared Forest, we have extended our feedback survey until 22 April to ensure as many people as possible are able to review the information and have their say.”

See the minutes of the above-mentioned Marlborough TC meeting for a report on the discussion that followed. The conclusion of this was the approval of a motion that “the Town Council strongly objects to any existing or possible proposals the Forestry Commission may have or make to ban all vehicular access to the forest except for Postern Hill car park, and to extend this car park to accommodate 300 vehicles and to introduce a parking charge. Further to write to the Forestry Commission to express the Town Council’s objections for the reasons set out in Councillor Thomas’s proposal.”

Community notices

The Stroke Association is hosting monthly drop-in sessions at The Jubilee Centre. Stroke survivors, their families and carers can pop in to find out abut available support. The next one will be held 9 May, between 10.30 am and 11.30 am. You can take a look at the Council’s website to find out about future dates. To find out more, you can also contact Katie Fielding, the the Stroke Association on 07908 952740 or at katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Local runners might be tempted to sign up for the 20 mile Marlborough Downs Challenge through Avebury and beautiful landscape on Saturday 7 May. Sign up details are here.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• St 16 – Mon 18 Apr Crofton Beam Engines

• Sun 17 Apr Burbage Tractor Run starting and ending Choppers Café on a circuit through several villages.

• Sun 24 Apr Jazz at The Merchants House at St Peters Church, Marlborough High Street, from 2pm.

• Sun 1 May Car Boot Sale on Marlborough Common, proceeds to go to Wiltshire Air Ambulance. Starts from 8am.

• Tue 31 May Queen Victoria’s Fashion the Assembly Room, Marlborough Town Hall, from 1:45pm.

• Sat 4 June Summer Ball hosted by Marlborough Rugby Club, on the Common, from 7pm.

• Regular events

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

The Menopause Matters Marlborougfacebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• Marlborough Choral Society rehearses on Monday evenings, at Christchurch between 7.30pm and 9.15pm. For more information and where to sign up, please visit www.marlboroughchoralsociety.org.uk.

The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 11 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the police; tenancy problems at York Place; two length-of-service awards; a councillor vacancy; a statement from Forestry England (see also sections above); the Christchurch Methodist Church and Church Hall; the Salisbury Road Recreation Ground workshop; corporate identity; Swindon 105.5; the climate emergency working party; the jubilee; financial matters; and committee reports. (The meeting lasted three hours and six minutes: not a record, but quite impressive.) To see the dates and agendas for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 6 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: repairing the SIDs; street lights; verge cutting and re-wilding; South Street path repairs; ash trees; the Operation Nightingale dig; donations; the jubilee; parking; repairs and maintenance around the parish; Palmer’s Field; a report from District Councillor James Sheppard; congratulations to Aldbourne’s band; and signage. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 21 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a farewell to Councillor Simon Smith; straightening out a confusion about the reason for a speed survey; street lights; collections for Ukraine; clay pigeon shooting; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; play areas; the assurance, which echoes those in many previous minutes, that “all is well in Axford” – it must be a truly wonderful place to live; the parish website; community transport; the jubilee; village maintenance; the parish stewards; the school; and the observation that “Stickers are put up round the village ‘Free the beagles’.” I’m not clear if this is a PC initiative that it wishes to celebrate, something that it’s condemning or merely an observation. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 10 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the continuing need for a councillor; actions from the previous meeting; the complaints policy; risk assessments; a grant to the surgery; financial matters; response to an AONB survey; the Green Great Bedwyn project; a proposed apple tree; traffic and speeding; planning matters; and future action points. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. There was also an extraordinary meeting on 28 February, the minutes of which you can read here, to vote on the contractor to install the memorial bench at Spaines.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council took place on 10 January and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council took place on 8 November and you can read the minutes here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford areaMarlborough areaNewbury areaThatcham areaCompton and DownlandsTheale areaWantage areaSwindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 7 April 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 4,425 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 27 March to 2 April, down 2,120 from the week before. This equates to 878 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 712 (909 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

Avebury National Trust will be hosting some fun family activities over the Easter holidays. Avebury Manor Garden will have an Easter Trail filled with little tasks and challenges with a chocolaty-prize at the end, running from 11-24 April 2022. Meanwhile, over at the Old Farmyard Barn, there will be Easter-themed craft activities for children. For more information check out the National Trust Website.

• This weekend, Phoenix Brass will be performing a concert for Ukraine in Marlborough Town Hall.  Entry is free, but there will be a retiring collection, raffle and refreshments with all funds raised going to the DEC Ukraine appeal: a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon. The concert is to take place on Sunday 10 April, at 2:30pm.

Marlborough Youth Football Club are looking for new under 18 players to join the team. Whether for fun, fitness or stress relief, open sessions will be coming up in the next few weeks, so why not come along and give it a try? If interested, please contact club chair, Stuart Slater at chair@myfc.me.uk.

The first Marlborough Climate Day last Sat 2 April was organised by the Climate Action Working Party, in response to the Town Council’s Climate Emergency Declaration. It was attended by several community groups, councillors, local activist groups, school pupils and teachers, as well as residents wanting to improve their sustainability habits.  For all the details you can read the Marlborough News’ report here.

 Marlborough Town Council is busy putting together a programme of all the local events which will be held in celebration of the jubilee, on the weekend of 2 to 5 June. If you are planning a public event which you would like to be included in the programme, then please contact Assistant Town Clerk, Clare Harris at charris@marlborough-tc.gov.uk by the deadline of 22 April.

 A community campaign to save a local pub has been saved through being granted a fund from the government. The Silks pub, in Ogbourne St Andrews, has been closed since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Thanks to the fundraising efforts of several local residents, the pub could now be reopened by this summer.  The campaign managed to raise an impressive £237,500, which has now been matched by the government through its Community Ownership Fund, which is designed to help save pubs in rural areas. With the original owners blessing, this has given the community enough money to buy the pub, and they have now already begun the redecorating process. More on this story here.

• The Hungerford Nursery School has some spaces for September and welcomes young children from Marlborough. As it does not have a specific catchment area, the nursery school is looking to share its Ofsted Outstanding provision with the wider community. Click here for more information.

• Due to structural issues at The Merchant’s House, the building is closed temporarily to all tours, visits and events. However, the shop remains open. For further information please contact 01672 511491 or info@themerchantshouse.co.uk.

• Wiltshire Council have just confirmed that parking charges are to be introduced on Sundays. Marlborough News believes that fee will be £1 for the day between 10am and 4pm. Please see here for more details.

• Several organisations including the Carers Café in Marlborough and Chilton Chicks Toddler Group in Chilton Foliate have been awarded grants by Marlborough Area Board. These grants enable the organisations to continue their work and continue to provide better services to those that rely on them. Please see more here on Marlborough News.

• There is currently a job vacancy at Marlborough Town Council for a Grounds Person to work in the parks and play areas as well as provide cover for the caretaking team. The deadline to apply for this position is the 11 April. For more information, click here.

• I started reading this article on Marlborough News about the town’s left-field, blue-sky plan for a new twin town, the location of which surprised me. Then I looked at the date of the post. A few people get fooled each year by our April fools so it’s good to know that the foot’s on the other horse, or whatever the cliché is. Good one.

• As we have previously mentioned, after a long-awaited two years, the Wilton Windmill will be open to the public from Easter until September on Sundays and Bank Holidays. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own picnics and hot and cold drinks, ice creams and cakes will be available in the shepherd’s hut. See more on the Wilton Windmill website here.

Marlborough LitFest has launched its Love Books competition, which invites participants to explain their choice of a favourite book, poem or play by either a written or video response. It is open to anyone across the country in three age groups: 13-16 years, 17-19 years and 20 years and above, with winners in each age category winning £300; runners-up will each win £100. The closing deadline for entries is 1 July. Visit marlboroughlitfest.org/2022-love-books-competition-now-open for more details.

• In case you missed it, Priory Gardens is now to be closed after 7pm. This was, once again due to disorderly conduct.

• The Aldbourne Cafe and Post Office request that people leave these donations for Ukraine with their next-door neighbour at 2, West Street and he will drive them to the collection point in Swindon.

Community notices

• Local runners might be tempted to sign up for the 20 mile Marlborough Downs Challenge through Avebury and beautiful landscape on Saturday 7 May. Sign up details are here.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Sun 10 Apr Phoenix Brass’ Concert for Ukraine at Marlborough Town Hall, 2:20pm.

• Sun 10 Apr Easter Activities and Egg Hunt at Avebury National Trust. Until the 24 April.

Wed 13 Apr Savernake Teenagers’ Easter Disco 2022 at Marlborough Town Hall, 7:30pm to 10:30pm.

• Sun 17 Apr Burbage Tractor Run starting and ending Choppers Café on a circuit through several villages.

• Sun 24 Apr Jazz at The Merchants House at St Peters Church, Marlborough High Street, from 2pm.

• Sun 1 May Car Boot Sale on Marlborough Common, proceeds to go to Wiltshire Air Ambulance. Starts from 8am.

• Tue 31 May Queen Victoria’s Fashion the Assembly Room, Marlborough Town Hall, from 1:45pm.

• Sat 4 June Summer Ball hosted by Marlborough Rugby Club, on the Common, from 7pm.

• Regular events

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

The Menopause Matters Marlborougfacebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• Marlborough Choral Society rehearses on Monday evenings, at Christchurch between 7.30pm and 9.15pm. For more information and where to sign up, please visit www.marlboroughchoralsociety.org.uk.

The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 28 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: anti-costal behaviour; funding for the Jubilee Centre and New Road Day Centre, now known as The Enablement Hub; the condition of the A346; EV charge points in George Lane; the Great West Way; an invite to the Palace; town signage; the Dark Skies Festival; the jubilee; the Herbert leaf Charity; the climate emergency; the allotments; and committee reports. To see the dates and agendas for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 21 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a farewell to Councillor Simon Smith; straightening out a confusion about the reason for a speed survey; street lights; collections for Ukraine; clay pigeon shooting; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; play areas; the assurance, which echoes those in many previous minutes, that “all is well in Axford” – it must be a truly wonderful place to live; the parish website; community transport; the jubilee; village maintenance; the parish stewards; the school; and the observation that “Stickers are put up round the village ‘Free the beagles’.” I’m not clear if this is a PC initiative that it wishes to celebrate, something that it’s condemning or merely an observation. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 2 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: faulty SIDs; street lighting; verge cutting; Palmer’s Field; South Street path; parking by the post office; the parish stewards (see also above); the jubilee; the NDP; the toilets; the re-wilding project; ash trees; a proposed archaeological dig; a report from ward member James Sheppard (who advised that he “continues to put pressure on Thames Water regarding sewer surcharging across the village. He urged everyone in the village to also put pressure on Thames Water about this issue.”); and village maintenance issues. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 28 February and you can read the minutes here.  To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. There was also an extraordinary meeting on 28 February, the minutes of which you can read here, to vote on the contractor to install the memorial bench at Spaines.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council took place on 10 January and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council took place on 8 November and you can read the minutes here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford areaMarlborough areaNewbury areaThatcham areaCompton and DownlandsTheale areaWantage areaSwindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 31 March 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 6,528 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 20 to 26 March, up one on the week before. This equates to 1,295 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 909 (868 last week) See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• Marlborough Climate Day this Saturday 2 April between 10am and 4pm is all about “What Can I Do?” There will be talks, demos, resources and ideas at the Town Hall. Transition Marlborough will be at Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George / Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) talking all things food waste, gardening, allotments and more.

• The Hungerford Nursery School has some spaces for September. As it does not have a specific catchment area, it would welcome to be able to share its Ofsted Outstanding provision with a wider community. Click here for more information.

• Last chance to have your say on the future of Savernake Forest. Give your feedback to Foresty England here by 5 April on the future management of this treasured place.

• Due to structural issues at The Merchant’s House, the building is closed temporarily to all tours, visits and events. However, the shop remains open. For further information please contact 01672 511491 or info@themerchantshouse.co.uk.

• Wiltshire Council have just confirmed that parking charges are to be introduced on Sundays. Marlborough News believes that fee will be £1 for the day between 10am and 4pm. Please see here for more details.

• Several organistions including the Carers Cafe in Marlborough and Chilton Chicks Toddler Group in Chilton Foliate have been awarded grants by Marlborough Area Board. These grants enable the organisations to continue their work and continue to provide better services to those that rely on them. Please see more here on Marlborough News.

• There is currently a job vacancy at Marlborough Town Council for a Grounds Person to work in the parks and play areas as well as provide cover for the caretaking team. For more information, click here.

• As we mentioned last week, after a long-awaited two years, the Wilton Windmill will be open to the public from Easter until September on Sundays and Bank Holidays. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own picnics and hot and cold drinks, ice creams and cakes will be available in the shepherd’s hut. See more on the Wilton Windmill website here.

Marlborough News reports that Marlborough LitFest has launched for 2022 with its Love Books competition which invites participants to explain their choice of a favourite book, poem or play by either a written or video response. For the third year, it is once again open to anyone across the country in three age groups: 13-16 years, 17-19 years and 20 years and above, with winners in each age category winning £300; runners-up will each win £100. The closing deadline for entries is 1 July. Visit marlboroughlitfest.org/2022-love-books-competition-now-open for more details.

• In case you missed it, Priory Gardens is now to be closed after 7pm. This was, once again due to misorderly conduct.

Phoenix Brass is performing a concert for Ukraine on Sunday 10 April in Marlborough Town Hall.  Entry is free, but there will be a retiring collection, raffle and refreshments with all funds raised going to the DEC Ukraine appeal: a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

• The Aldbourne Cafe and Post Office request that people leave these donations for Ukraine with their next-door neighbour at 2, West Street and he will drive them to the collection point in Swindon.

• See here for the planned roadworks between 28 March and 2 April – A346 (part), Burbage and Savernake

Community notices

• As we mentioned before, the future of Savernake forest is being considered by Forestry England. You can have your say considered here by 5 April on the future management of this treasured place.

• Saturday 2 April is Marlborough Climate Day. The theme of the day “What can I do?” focuses on ways individuals can make a change to live more sustainably. There is a list of activities and helpful pieces of information to expect on the day here and those interested can visit the Town Hall or Community Fridge between 10am and 4pm.

• Local runners might be tempted to sign up for the 20 mile Marlborough Downs Challenge through Avebury and beautiful landscape on Saturday 7 May. Sign up details are here.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 2 Apr Marlborough Climate Day at Town Hall.

Sun 3 Apr Marlborough Spring Wedding Fair at Marlborough Town Hall.

Wed 13 Apr Savernake Teenagers’ Easter Disco 2022 at Marlborough Town Hall.

• Regular events

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

The Menopause Matters Marlborougfacebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• Marlborough Choral Society rehearses on Monday evenings, at Christchurch between 7.30pm and 9.15pm. For more information and where to sign up, please visit www.marlboroughchoralsociety.org.uk.

The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 28 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: anti-costal behaviour; funding for the Jubilee Centre and New Road Day Centre, now known as The Enablement Hub; the condition of the A346; EV charge points in George Lane; the Great West Way; an invite to the Palace; town signage; the Dark Skies Festival; the jubilee; the Herbert leaf Charity; the climate emergency; the allotments; and committee reports. To see the dates and agendas for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 21 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a farewell to Councillor Simon Smith; straightening out a confusion about the reason for a speed survey; street lights; collections for Ukraine; clay pigeon shooting; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; play areas; the assurance, which echoes those in many previous minutes, that “all is well in Axford” – it must be a truly wonderful place to live; the parish website; community transport; the jubilee; village maintenance; the parish stewards; the school; and the observation that “Stickers are put up round the village ‘Free the beagles’.” I’m not clear if this is a PC initiative that it wishes to celebrate, something that it’s condemning or merely an observation. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 2 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: faulty SIDs; street lighting; verge cutting; Palmer’s Field; South Street path; parking by the post office; the parish stewards (see also above); the jubilee; the NDP; the toilets; the re-wilding project; ash trees; a proposed archaeological dig; a report from ward member James Sheppard (who advised that he “continues to put pressure on Thames Water regarding sewer surcharging across the village. He urged everyone in the village to also put pressure on Thames Water about this issue.”); and village maintenance issues. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 13 January and you can read the minutes here.  To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. There was also an extraordinary meeting on 28 February, the minutes of which you can read here, to vote on the contractor to install the memorial bench at Spaines.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council took place on 10 January and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council took place on 8 November and you can read the minutes here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford areaMarlborough areaNewbury areaThatcham areaCompton and DownlandsTheale areaWantage areaSwindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 24 March 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 6,525 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 13 to 19 March, up 2,133 on the week before. This equates to 1,294 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 868 (661 last week) See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• Due to structural issues at The Merchant’s House, the building is closed temporarily to all tours, visits and events. However the shop remains open. For further information please contact 01672 511491 or info@themerchantshouse.co.uk

• An update regarding the recycling collections that we mentioned last week wouldn’t restart until 4 April. As Marlborough residents may know already, collections have restarted as of 21 March however, due to recent disruptions, some volumes of recyclable materials might need to wait or take longer to process due to the amount that has backed up in the last couple of weeks.

• After a long-awaited two years, the Wilton Windmill has reopened and will be open to the public after Easter. From Easter until September the Windmill will be open to visitors on Sundays and Bank Holidays. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own picnics and hot and cold drinks, ice creams and cakes will be available in the shepherd’s hut. See more on the Wilton Windmill website here.

• Congratulations to Packaging Not Included zero waste shop in Marlborough for raising over £1,800 in their Green Businesses for Ukraine raffle.

Marlborough News reports that Marlborough LitFest has launched for 2022 with its Love Books competition. For the third year, it is once again open to anyone across the country in three age groups: 13-16 years, 17-19 years and 20 years and above, with winners in each age category winning £300; runners-up will each win £100. The closing deadline for entries is 1 July. See more on the Marlborough News site here or click here to be redirected to the Marlborough LitFest website.

• In case you missed it, we mentioned Priory Gardens was subject to antisocial behaviour in the evenings, and after some consideration, the decision has been taken that the Gardens will be closed after 7pm from 28 March. Between 21 and 27 March the gates will remain closed after 4pm however the permanent evening closure will be put in place right after.

Phoenix Brass is performing a concert for Ukraine on Sunday 10 April in Marlborough Town Hall.  Entry is free, but there will be a retiring collection, raffle and refreshments with all funds raised going to the DEC Ukraine appeal: a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

• As we mentioned last week, the future of Savernake forest is being considered by Forestry England. You can have your say considered here by 5 April on the future management of this treasured place.

• The minutes for 21 February meeting of Ramsbury and Axford PC report that”everything is fine in Axford“. This is often the summary on this subject and it’s very gratifying to know that there’s at least one place on earth about which this can be said. The section goes on, however, to say that “. Instead I’m  speculating on what it might mean. Vivid orange identity plaques? Viper-obstructing irrigation pumps? Virtual Omicron imaging potential? If anyone in Axford wants to set me straight and convince me that VOIP is not as sinister or surreal as it sounds I’d be happy to pass the information on.

• The Aldbourne Cafe and Post Office request that people leave these donations for Ukraine with their next-door neighbour at 2, West Street and he will drive them to the collection point in Swindon.

• See here for the planned roadworks between 28 March and 2 April – A346 (part), Burbage and Savernake

Parish stewards

We don’t have this scheme in West Berkshire so I’ve no first-hand experience of it. Wiltshire, however, does, and their visits are frequently mentioned in PC reports. Aldbourne’s recent meeting re-visited a proposal that the money instead be paid to the PC which would organise the necessary works itself. Such a demand is a sure sign that things aren’t going well.

The minutes of the Aldbourne PC meeting of 2 March had this to say on the subject: “District Councillor James Sheppard advised that Wiltshire Council will not pay the Parish Council the costs of the steward as that operative would still need to be employed, which means that they would be paying twice. He further advised that there does seem to be a breakdown in communication between what the highways engineer agrees can be carried out and what Wiltshire Council’s contractor state can be carried out. Copies of the job lists will be sent to Councillor Sheppard in order that this issue can be investigated further.”

So, the moral seems to be that if there’s an issue with parish stewards, telling Wiltshire Council you’re going to declare UDI in this respect won’t fly. Get your ward member to sort it out. I can see that there could be differences between what the Steward has been told to deal with and what the PC thinks he ought to. Whether that applies in Albourne’s case I couldn’t say. If anyone wants to tell me more I’d be happy to spread the word.

Community notices

• Saturday 2 April is Marlborough Climate Day. The theme of the day “What can I do?” focuses on ways individuals can make a change to live more sustainably. There is a list of activities and helpful pieces of information to expect on the day here and those interested can visit the Town Hall or Community Fridge between 10am and 4pm.

• Local runners might be tempted to sign up for the 20 mile Marlborough Downs Challenge through Avebury and beautiful landscape on Saturday 7 May. Sign up details are here.

• This is the last call for whether or not you can help Marlborough Museum reopen next week. There will be an Open Day on 26 March for those that wish to help out. Or please contact the Trust office on 01672 511491 or email info@themerchantshouse.co.uk.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 2 Apr Marlborough Climate Day at Town Hall.

Sun 3 Apr Marlborough Spring Wedding Fair at Marlborough Town Hall.

Wed 13 Apr Savernake Teenagers’ Easter Disco 2022 at Marlborough Town Hall.

• Regular events

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

The Menopause Matters Marlborougfacebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• Marlborough Choral Society rehearses on Monday evenings, at Christchurch between 7.30pm and 9.15pm. For more information and where to sign up, please visit www.marlboroughchoralsociety.org.uk.

The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 28 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: anti-costal behaviour; funding for the Jubilee Centre and New Road Day Centre, now known as The Enablement Hub; the condition of the A346; EV charge points in George Lane; the Great West Way; an invite to the Palace; town signage; the Dark Skies Festival; the jubilee; the Herbert leaf Charity; the climate emergency; the allotments; and committee reports. To see the dates and agendas for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 2 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: faulty SIDs; street lighting; verge cutting; Palmer’s Field; South Street path; parking by the post office; the parish stewards (see also above); the jubilee; the NDP; the toilets; the re-wilding project; ash trees; a proposed archaeological dig; a report from ward member James Sheppard (who advised that he “continues to put pressure on Thames Water regarding sewer surcharging across the village. He urged everyone in the village to also put pressure on Thames Water about this issue.”); and village maintenance issues. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 21 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: speeding; parking; the jubilee; gullies and ditches; street lights; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; village maintenance and repairs; Axford’s VOIP (see also the news section above); the website; allotments; the jubilee; village maintenance; the Memorial garden; the nature reserve; and financial matters. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 13 January and you can read the minutes here.  To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. There was also an extraordinary meeting on 28 February, the minutes of which you can read here, to vote on the contractor to install the memorial bench at Spaines.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council took place on 10 January and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council took place on 8 November and you can read the minutes here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford areaMarlborough areaNewbury areaThatcham areaCompton and DownlandsTheale areaWantage areaSwindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 17 March 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 4,383 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 6 to 12 March, up 2,159 on the week before. This equates to 870 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 661 (423 last week) See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• Due to an additional strike by the GMB Union, recycling collections are frustratingly suspended until 4 April. This includes blue-lidded bins and black boxes not being emptied. Please continue to put out your household and garden waste bins out on your normal collection days, and if for any reason they aren’t emptied as scheduled then they will be the following day where possible. When recycling services do resume from 4 April, waste crews will accept additional materials that don’t fit in blue lidded bins or black boxes, so people are asked to leave them in bags, bin bags and crates and they will be picked up if they are left next to their containers. However, if people are unable to store additional materials at home they can take them to their nearest household recycling centre (HRC). All Wiltshire HRCs are operating as normal. For more information visit Wiltshire Council’s website.

• Saturday 2 April is Marlborough Climate Day. With the theme of the day being “What can I do?” it focuses on ways individuals can make a change to live more sustainably. There is a list of activities and helpful pieces of information to expect on the day here and those interested can visit the Town Hall or Community Fridge between 10am and 4pm.

• Last week we mentioned Priory Gardens was subject to antisocial behaviour in the evenings, Now, after some consideration, the decision has been taken that the Gardens will be closed after 7pm from 28 March. Between 21 and 27 March the gates will remain closed after 4pm  however the permanent evening closure will be put in place right after.

• Marlborough Town Council has revealed that the recipients of the Awards Grants for 2022 are Friends of Marlborough St Mary’s, The Merchant’s House, Greatwood and Love Marlborough Kids Meals. For more details on what projects the grants will fund please see here on Marlborough News.

• Can you help Marlborough Museum reopen in March? There will be an Open Day on 26 March for those that wish to help out. Or please contact the Trust office on 01672 511491 or email info@themerchantshouse.co.uk.

• Marlborough Town Council has released the latest information on how and where to help regarding the Ukraine appeal explaining that it is more beneficial to donate directly to an established charity than donating goods. There is a good list of charities here provided by the Council.

Phoenix Brass is performing a concert for Ukraine on Sunday 10 April in Marlborough Town Hall.  Entry is free, but there will be a retiring collection, raffle and refreshments with all funds raised going to the DEC Ukraine appeal: wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

• As we mentioned last week, the future of Savernake forest is being considered by Forestry England. You can have your say considered here by 5 April on the future management of this treasured place.

• The Aldbourne Cafe and Post Office request that people leave these donations for Ukraine with their next door neighbour at 2, West Street and he will drive them to the collection point in Swindon.

• See here for the planned roadworks between 28 March and 2 April – A346 (part), Burbage and Savernake

Community notices

• Local runners might be tempted to sign up for the 20 mile Marlborough Downs Challenge through Avebury and beautiful landscape on Saturday 7 May. Sign up details are here.

• Can you help Marlborough Museum reopen in March?  There will be an Open Day on 26 March for those that wish to help out. Or please contact the Trust office on 01672 511491 or email info@themerchantshouse.co.uk.

• Hayley from Packaging Not Included in Marlborough has launched a Green Businesses for Ukraine raffle. Make a donation here of at least £10 for the chance to win a great raffle prize. The draw will take place on 21 March and prizes can be posted so do enter from wherever you are.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Thu 17 Mar St John’s Marlborough: Spring Concert 2022 at Granham Hill, Marlborough.

Sat 2 Apr Marlborough Climate Day at Town Hall.

Sun 3 Apr Marlborough Spring Wedding Fair at Marlborough Town Hall.

Wed 13 Apr Savernake Teenagers’ Easter Disco 2022 at Marlborough Town Hall.

• Regular events

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

The Menopause Matters Marlborougfacebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• Marlborough Choral Society rehearses on Monday evenings, at Christchurch between 7.30pm and 9.15pm. For more information and where to sign up, please visit www.marlboroughchoralsociety.org.uk.

The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 28 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: anti-costal behaviour; funding for the Jubilee Centre and New Road Day Centre, now known as The Enablement Hub; the condition of the A346; EV charge points in George Lane; the Great West Way; an invite to the Palace; town signage; the Dark Skies Festival; the jubilee; the Herbert leaf Charity; the climate emergency; the allotments; and committee reports. To see the dates and agendas for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 2 February and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 17 January and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 13 January and you can read the minutes here.  To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. There was also an extraordinary meeting on 28 February, the minutes of which you can read here, to vote on the contractor to install the memorial bench at Spaines.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council took place on 10 January and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council took place on 8 November and you can read the minutes here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Thursday 10 March 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 2,388 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 28 February to b6 March, up 558 on the week before. This equates to 474 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 423 (305 last week) See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• Can you help Marlborough Museum reopen in March? There will be an Open Day on 26 March for those that wish to help out. Or please contact the Trust office on 01672 511491 or email info@themerchantshouse.co.uk.

• Latest news from Transition Marlborough includes pruning the community orchard this Saturday and plans for a Marlborough Climate Action Day on 4 April.

• Marlborough Town Council has released the latest information on how and where to help regarding the Ukraine appeal explaining that it is more beneficial to donate directly to an established charity than donating goods. There is a good list of charities here provided by the Council.

• The future of Savernake forest is being considered by Forestry England. Please can have your say  here by 5 April on the future management of this treasured place.

• The latest example of “why we can’t have nice things” is that due to recent antisocial behaviour claims, Priory Gardens is to be closed overnight between March 21 and March 27. With both gates being locked at 4.30pm, the change is not yet permanent but it will be reviewed by the Council.

• Plans are coming together for the Platinum Jubilee weekend but more volunteers are requested to make it all happen. Please see here how you can get involved and publicise your own street party on the day.

• The lovely Aldbourne Cafe and Post Office has some vacancies for kitchen and barista and post office staff. The hours are family-friendly, the pay is good and the vibe is fun. Previous experience is useful but full training will be provided.

• Local runners might be tempted to sign up for the 20 mile Marlborough Downs Challenge through Avebury and beautiful landscape on Saturday 7 May. Sign up details are here.

• See here for the planned roadworks between 28 March and 2 April – A346 (part), Burbage and Savernake

Community notices

• Can you help Marlborough Museum reopen in March?  There will be an Open Day on 26 March for those that wish to help out. Or please contact the Trust office on 01672 511491 or email info@themerchantshouse.co.uk

• The next 2022 charity car boot sale on Marlborough Common is on 13 March. See here for the list of dates.

 Click here for the Ramsbury February 2022 diary.

• Hayley from Packaging Not Included in Marlborough has launched a Green Businesses for Ukraine raffle. Make a donation here of at least £10 for the chance to win a great raffle prize. The draw will take place on 21 March and prizes can be posted so do enter from wherever you are.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 12 Mar The Mysterines at Marlborough Town Hall.

Sat 12 Mar Create your very own Japanese style chopping board at The Old Farm Workshop.

Thu 17 Mar St John’s Marlborough: Spring Concert 2022 at Granham Hill, Marlborough.

Sun 3 Apr Marlborough Spring Wedding Fair at Marlborough Town Hall.

Wed 13 Apr Savernake Teenagers’ Easter Disco 2022 at Marlborough Town Hall.

• Regular events

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

• The Menopause Matters Marlborougfacebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• Marlborough Choral Society rehearses on Monday evenings, at Christchurch between 7.30pm and 9.15pm. For more information and where to sign up, please visit www.marlboroughchoralsociety.org.uk.

• The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 28 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: anti-costal behaviour; funding for the Jubilee Centre and New Road Day Centre, now known as The Enablement Hub; the condition of the A346; EV charge points in George Lane; the Great West Way; an invite to the Palace; town signage; the Dark Skies Festival; the jubilee; the Herbert leaf Charity; the climate emergency; the allotments; and committee reports. To see the dates and agendas for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 2 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the verge project; faulty SIDs; a broken street light; the proposed plans for Palmer’s Field; the South Street path; the Parish Steward; the draft neighbourhood development plan; a refurb to the toilets; parking near the Post Office; the jubilee; play areas; and the fibre-to-the-property project (there were fears that this “had been forgotten about as it was no longer on the agenda”). To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 17 January and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 13 January and you can read the minutes here.  To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. There was also an extraordinary meeting on 28 February, the minutes of which you can read here, to vote on the contractor to install the memorial bench at Spaines.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council took place on 10 January and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council took place on 8 November and you can read the minutes here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Thursday 3 March 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 1,830 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 21 to 27 February, down 1,123 on the week before. This equates to 363 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 305 (421 last week) See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• MP Danny Kruger is holding a series of public events throughout the constituency, and the first takes place in Marlborough this Friday 4 March at 6.30pm in Marlborough Town Hall. See here for more information.

• Can you help Marlborough Museum reopen in March?  There will be an Open Day on 26 March for those that wish to help out. Or please contact the Trust office on 01672 511491 or email info@themerchantshouse.co.uk

Marlborough News reports here that “an ambitious new Festival for Marlborough is planned for next year, aiming to replace the renown International Jazz festival that entertained locals and attracted many visitors to the area for year after year between 1986 and 2016.”

• I swim a lot and have observed hours and hours of lifeguards just sitting, watching and waiting. They have to be quietly alert all the time. Congratulations to Kirsty Brown and Tom Peart for using a defibrillator in time to save the life of Dr Reg Eyre who lost consciousness in Marlborough swimming pool before Christmas and has recently returned to thank the staff. See the full story here.

• Plans are coming together for the Platinum Jubilee weekend but more volunteers are requested to make it all happen. Please see here how you can get involved and publicise your own street party on the day.

• There has been a considerable outpouring of support for Ukraine. Here is our summary of local and national appeals to support.

The Jubilee Centre is a vital facility for Marlborough’s older community and also welcomes younger residents who benefit from volunteering. As explained by Marlborough News, their funding support is changing as Wiltshire Council will be replacing the grant system with an ‘Open Framework’, where lunch clubs and friendship groups are made ‘more accountable’ for what they receive.

• The lovely Aldbourne Cafe and Post Office has some vacancies for kitchen and barista and post office staff. The hours are family friendly, the pay is good and the vibe is fun. Previous experience is useful but full training will be provided.

• Local runners might be tempted to sign up for the 20 mile Marlborough Downs Challenge through Avebury and beautiful landscape on Saturday 7 May. Sign up details are here.

• See here for the planned roadworks between 28 March and 2 April – A346 (part), Burbage and Savernake

The strain on the train

As well as now being a good deal more expensive to go up to town on the train, from May it will also be a good deal more inconvenient.

Despite the stations between Bedwyn and Hungerford being on the main line, it will soon be impossible to get a direct service from Bedwyn to London after 8.03am or a direct one back before 6.08pm (a few extra trains will serve Hungerford during the day). This is because the DfT has told GWR to cut costs: to do this, as the local pressure organisation the Bedwyn Train Passengers Group has recently announced, “GWR has decided to retire older diesel trains in the West Country and replace them with the three IET trains that serve Bedwyn, Hungerford and Kintbury.” This is despite the fact that these trains (which were designed for bi-mode operation) will be used on non-electrified lines – that’s £200m of rolling stock designed for electric traction but unable to make use of it. By comparison with this, the £1m spent on extending the siding at Bedwyn to accommodate them (which now won’t be needed) seems like small change.

You can read the full statement from the BTPG here. “This will leave us on the worst timetable since June 1992 (when the pre-Turbo fleet was retired),” the report gloomily concedes. BTPG stresses that it will continue to work to have this service restored and lists some ways you can help.

So – welcome to the new post-Covid normal world of higher fares and a worse service. Climate emergency or not, this will do little to encourage people to ditch their cars. Those that do take the train may now be tempted to drive to Newbury: if, of course you can find somewhere to park. Or just go back to using Zoom. That’s free and you don’t need to climb out of the train at Newbury and go over a footbridge for a connecting service that may or may not be waiting for you.

Community notices

• Can you help Marlborough Museum reopen in March?  There will be an Open Day on 26 March for those that wish to help out. Or please contact the Trust office on 01672 511491 or email info@themerchantshouse.co.uk

• The next 2022 charity car boot sale on Marlborough Common is on 13 March. See here for the list of dates.

 Click here for the Ramsbury February 2022 diary.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 26 Feb The Barge Inn Presents Monkey Bizzle at The Barge Inn, Pewsey.

Sun 27 Feb 10th Series of Brilliant Young International Musicians: Ida Pelliccioli at St Peter’s.

• Sat 5 Mar Marlborough Craft and Gift Market in the Town Hall.

Sun 3 Apr Marlborough Spring Wedding Fair at Marlborough Town Hall.

• Regular events

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

• The Menopause Matters Marlborougfacebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• Marlborough Choral Society rehearses on Monday evenings, at Christchurch between 7.30pm and 9.15pm. For more information and where to sign up, please visit www.marlboroughchoralsociety.org.uk.

• The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 28 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: anti-costal behaviour; funding for the Jubilee Centre and New Road Day Centre, now known as The Enablement Hub; the condition of the A346; EV charge points in George Lane; the Great West Way; an invite to the Palace; town signage; the Dark Skies Festival; the jubilee; the Herbert leaf Charity; the climate emergency; the allotments; and committee reports. To see the dates and agendas for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 2 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the verge project; faulty SIDs; a broken street light; the proposed plans for Palmer’s Field; the South Street path; the Parish Steward; the draft neighbourhood development plan; a refurb to the toilets; parking near the Post Office; the jubilee; play areas; and the fibre-to-the-property project (there were fears that this “had been forgotten about as it was no longer on the agenda”). To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 17 January and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 13 January and you can read the minutes here.  To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council took place on 10 January and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council took place on 8 November and you can read the minutes here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Marlborough area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Theale area; Wantage area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 24 February 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 2,950 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 14 to 20 February, down 659 on the week before. This equates to 585 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 421 (538 last week) See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

Marlborough News reports here that “an ambitious new Festival for Marlborough is planned for next year, aiming to replace the renown International Jazz festival that entertained locals and attracted many visitors to the area for year after year between 1986 and 2016.”

• There will be a temporary road closure on the A4361 of Winterbourne Bassett and Broad Hintern on 2 March 2022. The closure will last for two days and Marlborough TC has offered an alternative route here.

• Marlborough Town Council has an opening for grant applications towards community organisations or charity benefit’s small projects. You can apply for a small grant by Friday 4 March which will be considered in the Finance and Policy Committee meeting on 14 March. More information can be found here.

• Sticking with the Town Council, it has been announced here that the play area in Coopers Meadow is now reopened for the rest of the half term. The closure was due to the dramatic Storm Eunice which saw trees fall into the play site. After rigorous testing (we can only imagine the amount of fun they had) the site is officially safe for children.

• MP Danny Kruger is holding a series of public events throughout the constituency, and the first takes place in Marlborough on Friday 4 March at 6.30pm. It will be held in Marlborough Town Hall. See here for more information.

Marlborough News features pupils of Great Bedwyn CE school who enjoyed a creative final week before half term as they performed plays inspired around topics they had been learning in history classes this term. The pupils also sang as part of an iSingPop concert at St Mary’s Church.

• See here for the latest update from ARK River Kennet which concerns the response to Defra strategic policy statement for OFWAT.

Green-washing not included

This week marks three years since Marlborough’s zero waste shop, Packaging Not Included, was opened by Hayley Lambert in Hughenden Yard. Hayley was a local music teacher with a calling to do her bit for the climate crisis. The shop has been really popular, offering an increasingly wide range of dried food, dairy products, wine, frozen food, produce and cleaning products from local, ethical and sustainable producers that you can buy in any quantity you want, re-filling your own containers. You can even make your own nut butters. Even though a lot of PNI’s range is organic, their prices compare favourably with local supermarkets.

Despite, or perhaps due to the pandemic and lockdowns during which they could stay open, PNI has developed a strong core of loyal customers. The last two years have offered up numerous challenges though and Hayley doesn’t expect 2022 to be any different. Rising costs in the supply chain, increased transport costs and rising energy bills will drive up prices and some of this cost will have to be absorbed by her small business. She doesn’t think it can or should all be passed onto the customers and wants to offer the best value possible. Hayley has also set herself the challenge to make PNI Net Zero. This process will take years, but has already started with help and support from the Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub.

“There is so much green-washing now which is incredibly frustrating when you are genuinely passionate about your business being as truly green as possible,” Hayley explains. “This year we will review our emissions with the aim of reducing our CO2(e) to Net Zero as soon as possible. This is better than being Carbon Neutral as being Net Zero is about reducing emissions to an absolute minimum and only being allowed to off-set a small amount of unavoidable CO2(e). Carbon Neutrality (or even Carbon Negativity) allows any amount of off-setting which means that a company doesn’t actually need to reduce their emissions at all. Our CO2(e) audit will be a long and complicated process as it will require a review of our supply chain, not just the shop. Current official pledges ask businesses to halve CO2(e) by 2023 and reach Net Zero by 2050. As you may guess, I feel that we need to act with more urgency.”

For consumers, making sustainable choices is not always easy as there are so many businesses jumping on the eco bandwagon without actually delivering the goods. But Hayley makes it easy by stocking the right products for you to choose from. All you have to do is save your containers to fill up at her shop.

To receive latest news from Hayley including customer special offers, sign up to PNI’s Loyalty Club newsletter here.

Community notices

• Can you help Marlborough Museum reopen in March?  There will be an Open Day on 26 March for those that wish to help out. Or please contact the Trust office on 01672 511491 or email info@themerchantshouse.co.uk

Youth Action Wiltshire has shared a list of places offering either free or £1 eats for children this half term. See here for the list.

• Please send photos and locations of your favourite snowdrop spots to penny@pennypost.org.uk to add to our local snowdrop guide here.

• The next 2022 charity car boot sale on Marlborough Common is on 13 March. See here for the list of dates.

• See here for the planned roadworks for the start of 2022 released by Marlborough Town Council.

 Click here for the Ramsbury February 2022 diary.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 26 Feb The Barge Inn Presents Monkey Bizzle at The Barge Inn, Pewsey.

Sun 27 Feb 10th Series of Brilliant Young International Musicians: Ida Pelliccioli at St Peter’s.

• Sat 5 Mar Marlborough Craft and Gift Market in the Town Hall.

Sun 3 Apr Marlborough Spring Wedding Fair at Marlborough Town Hall.

• Regular events

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

• The Menopause Matters Marlborougfacebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• Marlborough Choral Society rehearses on Monday evenings, at Christchurch between 7.30pm and 9.15pm. For more information and where to sign up, please visit www.marlboroughchoralsociety.org.uk.

• The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 17 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included; crime and disorder; road signage; the Marlborough Community & Youth Centre (see also “Marlborough’s cat” above); the action log; the Priory Gardens gate; the jubilee; tree planting; MTC’s Development and Action Plan; the merchant’s House lease; MTC’s electronic communications policy; and nominations for the role of Mayor and Deputy Mayor for 2022-23. You can read the minutes here. (See also section below.) To see the dates and agendas for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 2 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the verge project; faulty SIDs; a broken street light; the proposed plans for Palmer’s Field; the South Street path; the Parish Steward; the draft neighbourhood development plan; a refurb to the toilets; parking near the Post Office; the jubilee; play areas; and the fibre-to-the-property project (there were fears that this “had been forgotten about as it was no longer on the agenda”). To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 17 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: public correspondence on matters ranging from planning to Parish Stewards; planning matters; financial matters,; rights of way; speeding; play areas; the emergency committee; local transport; village maintenance; the village website; the allotments; the jubilee; the toilets; the school; and the Memorial Garden. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 13 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: Berwyn Dye Field; the need for a new Speedwatch Team Leader; dog mess; the co-option of a new councillor; the bench; new noticeboards; actions from there previous meeting; green issues; funding for the church bells; the 2022-23 budget; planning matters; financial matters; and the proposed parish logo. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council took place on 10 January and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council took place on 8 November and you can read the minutes here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Thursday 17 February 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 3,608 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 7 to 13 February, down 1,172 on the week before. This equates to 716 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 538 (805 last week) See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• Marlborough News reports here that bin collection days will be changing for most Wiltshire residents at the end of the month.

• A recent (3.20pm on 17 February) announcement from GWR says that the red warning concerning storm Eunice will lead to “significant changes to rail services” from 4am on Friday. This is expected to last throughout the day and will result in some cancelled services. Passengers are advised to consult Journey Check before setting out. GWR is also accepting rail tickets booked for Friday 18 February for travel over the weekend or on Monday and will issue full refunds to anyone choosing not to travel at all. GWR will also need to check for any damage before re-opening so there could therefore be further delays and changes to services over the weekend.

• Marlborough Town Council has an opening for grant applications towards community organisations or charity benefit’s small projects. You can apply for a small grant by Friday 4 March which will be considered in the Finance and Policy Committee meeting on 14 March. More information can be found here.

MP Danny Kruger is holding a series of public events throughout the constituency, and the first takes place in Marlborough on Friday 4 March at 6.30pm. It will be held in Marlborough Town Hall. See here for more information.

• Among the Valentines celebrations was Oare Primary School’s celebration bake-off, a guess how many sweets are in the jar competition as well as “wear what you love” day. An impressive £155 was raised for the school. Well done to everyone involved.

• See here for photos for the latest from the Marlborough Mystery Knitters who seem to have been inspired by Wind in the Willows…

• Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is challenging all Wiltshire residents to the fifth year of the Waste-Free Feb challenge. Last year saw 250 residents save four tonnes of rubbish from going to their bins. The challenge is to try to produce as little rubbish as possible and instead reduce, reuse, recycle and compost where possible.

• This will be the last notice about the fact that Nova Fine Art on Marlborough High Street will be hosting artist Leila Barton on Saturday 19 February from 12pm to 3pm for her inaugural exhibition in Wiltshire. See more here.

• See here for the latest update from ARK River Kennet which concerns the response to Defra strategic policy statement for OFWAT.

Why the leak?

Sewage spills in the Kennet catchment are often blamed on high groundwater but this winter has been very dry (in January the UK had half the normal amount of rainfall and this follows several months of below average rain). What, then was the cause of the sewage leak spotted this week by Eastridge River Keeper Jack Uridge from the sewage pumping station between Chilton Foliat and Ramsbury?

We put this question to Charlotte Hitchmough from Action for the River Kennet. “Ground water and river levels are significantly lower than average so the leak must be due to some sort of blockage or equipment failure,” she explained. “Sewage pollution is high in nutrients and can reduce the available oxygen in the river, which could damage the fragile trout eggs that are incubating at the moment. Unscreened sewage like this often also contains plastic from sanitary products.” One of the problems with these localised, relatively small incidents is that because they don’t immediately kill thousands of fish they can go unnoticed and unreported, but our rivers are suffering, as she put it, “a death by a thousand cuts. Every incident is contributing to steady degradation of river health we see the worst impact from sewage pollution and nutrient laden farm runoff in the spring, when combined with sunlight they trigger algal growth that smothers healthy green oxygenating plants starting a cycle of decline.”

She suggested that there are four ways everyone can help:

  1. If you spot river pollution please report it to Thames Water on 0800 3169800 and the Environment Agency on 0800 80706.
  2. Both Laura Farris MP and Danny Kruger MP have expressed their concern for the health of our chalkstreams and the poor performance of water companies. Keep writing to them to make sure they don’t forget that we need proper investment to make our sewer networks better, and that the Environment Agency needs to be funded to investigate every pollution incident – not just the big ones that kill lots of fish.
  3. Don’t flush stuff down the loo – all wetwipes (even ones labelled flushable) and cooking oil block pipes that already struggle to cope with the sewage that’s in them; sanitary towels, plastic tampon applicators and condoms end up in our rivers and ultimately the sea if a sewage spill occurs. Put them in the bin instead. Cooking oil can be collected in bottles and taken to the dump.
  4. Please be careful with water use.  To fill the aquifer (the underground chalk sponge which supplies the spring water that fills our streams) the rain needs to be able to get down to it. But first of all the rainwater fills all the gaps in the soil and before percolating down to the aquifer. After about mid-March so many plants are growing and absorbing water that the rain rarely gets past the soil layer, and doesn’t have a chance to recharge the aquifer.

Community notices

Can you help Marlborough Museum reopen in March?  There will be an Open Day on 26 March for those that wish to help out. Or please contact the Trust office on 01672 511491 or email info@themerchantshouse.co.uk

• Please send photos and locations of your favourite snowdrop spots to penny@pennypost.org.uk to add to our local snowdrop guide here.

• The next 2022 charity car boot sale on Marlborough Common is on 13 March. See here for the list of dates.

• See here for the planned roadworks for the start of 2022 released by Marlborough Town Council.

 Click here for the Ramsbury February 2022 diary.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Fri 18 Feb Avebury Film Society show at the Henge Shop Gallery.

• Sat 19 Feb Leila Barton exhibition at Nova Fine Art.

• Sat 19 Feb Wedding Show at Marlborough College.

• Tue 22 Feb Half Term activities at Roves Farm.

Sat 5 Mar Marlborough Craft and Gift Market in the Town Hall.

• Regular events

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom to provide some coordination and steering. You can email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org for any general enquiries or chair@transitionmarlborough.orgto contact the current TM Chair.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. This friendly group belongs to the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS) and welcomes new members. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

• The Menopause Matters Marlborougfacebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• Marlborough Choral Society rehearses on Monday evenings, at Christchurch between 7.30pm and 9.15pm. For more information and where to sign up, please visit www.marlboroughchoralsociety.org.uk.

• The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 17 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included; crime and disorder; road signage; the Marlborough Community & Youth Centre (see also “Marlborough’s cat” above); the action log; the Priory Gardens gate; the jubilee; tree planting; MTC’s Development and Action Plan; the merchant’s House lease; MTC’s electronic communications policy; and nominations for the role of Mayor and Deputy Mayor for 2022-23. You can read the minutes here. (See also section below.) To see the dates and agendas for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 17 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: public correspondence on matters ranging from planning to Parish Stewards; planning matters; financial matters,; rights of way; speeding; play areas; the emergency committee; local transport; village maintenance; the village website; the allotments; the jubilee; the toilets; the school; and the Memorial Garden. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 13 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: Berwyn Dye Field; the need for a new Speedwatch Team Leader; dog mess; the co-option of a new councillor; the bench; new noticeboards; actions from there previous meeting; green issues; funding for the church bells; the 2022-23 budget; planning matters; financial matters; and the proposed parish logo. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 12 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the 2022-23 budget, the precept being set at £40,788, an increase of 13.28%, about £6pa for a band D property (the minutes add that “compared to other large villages in Wiltshire and nearby Berkshire, Aldbourne’s precept rates are considerably lower”); faulty SIDs; county lines drug dealing; speeding; street lights; Palmer’s Field; housing needs; the draft neighbourhood development plan; vandalism at the toilets; an update on the virtual paths; verge cutting; planning matters; ash trees; the South Street path; the green canopy; and the jubilee. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council took place on 10 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; financial matters including the 2022-23 budget, the precept remaining unchanged at £13,418; community transport;  and “a small disruption” caused by a member of the public insisting that two councillors leave the meeting during the discussion of one item. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council took place on 8 November and you can read the minutes here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Thursday 10 February 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 4,779 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 31 January to 6 February, down 1,149 on the week before. This equates to 948 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 805 (1,062 last week) See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

Marlborough News reports here that bin collection days will be changing for most Wiltshire residents at the end of the month.

• The pupils at Kennet Valley C of E VA Primary School spent an afternoon trying out New Age Kurling. Students in year 4, 5 and 6 competed against each other in a fun friendly tournament. See more here on Marlborough News for photos and more on the story.

• Congratulations to four student from St John’s in Marlborough who have, as Marlborough News reports, “triumphed in a national competition organised by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) after completing a challenging digital game and pitching their ideas for local affordable eco-homes in a video presentation.”

Moths aren’t for everyone but there is good news from Marlborough News that a rare species, the Light Crimson Underwing Moth, has been re-discovered in Savernake Forest after over a century of absence. The last time this moth was spotted was in the 1900s and it has a distinct red and black underwing that looks like a flash of petticoat. See it for yourself here.

• Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is challenging all Wiltshire residents to the fifth year of the Waste-Free Feb challenge. Last year saw 250 residents save four tonnes of rubbish from going to their bins. The challenge is to try to produce as little rubbish as possible and instead reduce, reuse, recycle and compost where possible.

• Students at St John’s won a civil engineering award after their affordable homes pitch beat nearly 100 other teams in a competition run by the Institution of Civil Engineers. Year 12 students Oliver Markham, Timon Piercy, Jack Ross and Rex Vickerman were behind the fantastic pitch and from all of us at Penny Post, congratulations. See here for the full story on Marlborough News.

• As we mentioned last week, Wiltshire Council has proposed unfortunate funding cuts to day centres and luncheon clubs. These cuts are to take place over the next two years and the full roadmap is available here.

• Nova Fine Art on Marlborough High Street will be hosting artist Leila Barton on Saturday 19 February from 12pm to 3pm for her inaugural exhibition in Wiltshire. See more here.

• See here for the latest update from ARK River Kennet which concerns the response to Defra strategic policy statement for OFWAT.

Community notices

• Please send photos and locations of your favourite snowdrop spots to penny@pennypost.org.uk to add to our local snowdrop guide here.

• Dates for the 2022 charity car boot sales have been released, the next one being 13 March and is to be held on the Marlborough Common. See here for the list of dates.

• See here also for the planned roadworks for the start of 2022 released by Marlborough Town Council.

Click here for the Ramsbury February 2022 diary.

• Click here for the Amsbury and Axford January 2022 diary.

• Click here for the Marlborough Town & Country December 2021 Newsletter.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Sun 13 Feb Fun for kids, train play area at Trainmaster, Wiltshire.

• Sun 13 Feb Barbury Races at the Barbury Castle Estate Racecourse.

Sat 19 Feb Leila Barton exhibition at Nova Fine Art.

• Sat 19 Feb Wedding Show at Marlborough College.

• Tue 22 Feb Half Term activities at Roves Farm.

• Fri 25 Feb Avebury Film Society show at the Henge Shop Gallery.

• Regular events

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom to provide some coordination and steering. You can email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org for any general enquiries or chair@transitionmarlborough.orgto contact the current TM Chair.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. This friendly group belongs to the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS) and welcomes new members. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

• The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• Marlborough Choral Society rehearses on Monday evenings, at Christchurch between 7.30pm and 9.15pm. For more information and where to sign up, please visit www.marlboroughchoralsociety.org.uk.

• The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 17 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included; crime and disorder; road signage; the Marlborough Community & Youth Centre (see also “Marlborough’s cat” above); the action log; the Priory Gardens gate; the jubilee; tree planting; MTC’s Development and Action Plan; the merchant’s House lease; MTC’s electronic communications policy; and nominations for the role of Mayor and Deputy Mayor for 2022-23. You can read the minutes here. (See also section below.) To see the dates and agendas for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 17 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: public correspondence on matters ranging from planning to Parish Stewards; planning matters; financial matters,; rights of way; speeding; play areas; the emergency committee; local transport; village maintenance; the village website; the allotments; the jubilee; the toilets; the school; and the Memorial Garden. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 13 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: Berwyn Dye Field; the need for a new Speedwatch Team Leader; dog mess; the co-option of a new councillor; the bench; new noticeboards; actions from there previous meeting; green issues; funding for the church bells; the 2022-23 budget; planning matters; financial matters; and the proposed parish logo. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 12 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the 2022-23 budget, the precept being set at £40,788, an increase of 13.28%, about £6pa for a band D property (the minutes add that “compared to other large villages in Wiltshire and nearby Berkshire, Aldbourne’s precept rates are considerably lower”); faulty SIDs; county lines drug dealing; speeding; street lights; Palmer’s Field; housing needs; the draft neighbourhood development plan; vandalism at the toilets; an update on the virtual paths; verge cutting; planning matters; ash trees; the South Street path; the green canopy; and the jubilee. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council took place on 25 November and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council took place on 8 November and you can read the minutes here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Thursday 3 February 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 5,937 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 24 to 30 January, up 649 on the week before. This equates to 1.178 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 1,062 (1,002 last week) See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

Marlborough News reports here that bin collection days will be changing for most Wiltshire residents at the end of the month.

• The A345 Graham Hill road is closed immediately from its junction with George Lane to allow for diseased trees to be removed. The work, running between 9.30am and 2.30pm, will last until Friday 4 February.

• M4 Junctions 15 to 14 eastbound will be closed overnight Friday 4 February from 9pm to 6am for work required to reconnect communication sensors under the carriageway at Liddington. The diversion will be via A346, A4 and A338. For more information please contact us on 0300 123 5000 or email info@highwaysengland.co.uk.

• Dates for the 2022 charity car boot sales have been released, the next one being 13 March and is to be held on the Marlborough Common. See here for the list of dates.

• The mystery knitters are back at it again as the White Horse Bookshop has had a lovely renovation of it’s letter box just outside of the building. See here.

• Wiltshire Council has proposed funding cuts to day centres and luncheon clubs. These cuts are to take place over the next two years and the full roadmap is available here.

• Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is challenging all Wiltshire residents to the fifth year of the Waste-Free Feb challenge. Last year saw 250 residents save four tonnes of rubbish from going to their bins. The challenge at hand here is to try to produce as little rubbish as possible and instead reduce, reuse, recycle and compost where possible.

• Nova Fine Art on Marlborough High Street will be hosting artist Leila Barton on Saturday 19 February from 12pm to 3pm for her inaugural exhibition in Wiltshire. See more here.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

• See here also for the planned roadworks for the start of 2022 released by Marlborough Town Council.

• Click here for the Amsbury and Axford January 2022 diary.

• Click here for the Marlborough Town & Country December 2021 Newsletter.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Sun 13 Feb Fun for kids, train play area at Trainmaster, Wiltshire.

Sat 19 Feb Leila Barton exhibition at Nova Fine Art.

• Regular events

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom to provide some coordination and steering. You can email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org for any general enquiries or chair@transitionmarlborough.orgto contact the current TM Chair.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. This friendly group belongs to the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS) and welcomes new members. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

• The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• Marlborough Choral Society rehearses on Monday evenings, at Christchurch between 7.30pm and 9.15pm. For more information and where to sign up, please visit www.marlboroughchoralsociety.org.uk.

• The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 17 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included; crime and disorder; road signage; the Marlborough Community & Youth Centre (see also “Marlborough’s cat” above); the action log; the Priory Gardens gate; the jubilee; tree planting; MTC’s Development and Action Plan; the merchant’s House lease; MTC’s electronic communications policy; and nominations for the role of Mayor and Deputy Mayor for 2022-23. You can read the minutes here. (See also section below.) To see the dates and agendas for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 17 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: public correspondence on matters ranging from planning to Parish Stewards; planning matters; financial matters,; rights of way; speeding; play areas; the emergency committee; local transport; village maintenance; the village website; the allotments; the jubilee; the toilets; the school; and the Memorial Garden. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 13 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: Berwyn Dye Field; the need for a new Speedwatch Team Leader; dog mess; the co-option of a new councillor; the bench; new noticeboards; actions from there previous meeting; green issues; funding for the church bells; the 2022-23 budget; planning matters; financial matters; and the proposed parish logo. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 12 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the 2022-23 budget, the precept being set at £40,788, an increase of 13.28%, about £6pa for a band D property (the minutes add that “compared to other large villages in Wiltshire and nearby Berkshire, Aldbourne’s precept rates are considerably lower”); faulty SIDs; county lines drug dealing; speeding; street lights; Palmer’s Field; housing needs; the draft neighbourhood development plan; vandalism at the toilets; an update on the virtual paths; verge cutting; planning matters; ash trees; the South Street path; the green canopy; and the jubilee. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council took place on 25 November and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council took place on 8 November and you can read the minutes here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Thursday 27 January 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 4,840 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 17 to 23 January, up 1,008 on the week before. This equates to 960 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 1,002 (926 last week) See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• The A345 Graham Hill road will be closed immediately from its junction with George Lane from Monday 31 January to allow for diseased trees to be removed. The work, running between 9.30am and 2.30pm, will last until Friday 4 February.

• M4 Junctions 15 to 14 eastbound will be closed overnight Friday 4 February from 9pm to 6am for work required to reconnect communication sensors under the carriageway at Liddington. The diversion will be via A346, A4 and A338. For more information please contact us on 0300 123 5000 or email info@highwaysengland.co.uk.

Stallholders providing high-quality goods are invited to participate in Makers Market Marlborough on 2 July and Mistletoe in Marlborough on 4 December. If you are interested in taking part in either event, please email tyler@enosisevents.com

The Silks On The Downs pub in Ogbourne St Andrew is currently closed and the owner has invited the community to purchase the freehold of the building and to run the business as a community pub. To find out latest news about the re-opening of the pub please register for Save the Silks next zoom ‘Town Hall’ update on Thursday 3 February at 7pm.

Wildlife photographer Matt Minnis has just launched a new business offering wildlife tours and booking of The Red List hide on the Marlborough Downs which attracts Red Listed Birds such as the Tree Sparrow and Yellow Hammers.
• Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is challenging all Wiltshire residents to the fifth year of the Waste-Free Feb challenge. Last year saw 250 residents save 4 tonnes of rubbish from going to their bins. The challenge at hand here is to try to produce as little rubbish as possible and instead reduce, reuse, recycle and compost where possible.

• Nova Fine Art on Marlborough High Street will be hosting artist Leila Barton on Saturday 19 February from 12pm to 3pm for her inaugural exhibition in Wiltshire. See more here.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Tourist accommodation is to be extended on The Old Stable in West Stowell. Even after winning planning permission, the town council rejected the plans after concerns that it would make the building bigger than its original footprint.

• Male volunteers are still being sought by Wiltshire Council as part of an Independent Volunteer Scheme. This scheme is a part of how having an adult to talk to and trust can have a positive impact on a young person in care. You can view stories on how young people have benefited from this and more here.

• See here also for the planned roadworks for the start of 2022 released by Marlborough Town Council.

• Click here for the Amsbury and Axford January 2022 diary.

• Click here for the Marlborough Town & Country December 2021 Newsletter.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Fri 28 Jan January Curry and Quiz Night at Ogbourne Downs Golf Club.

Sat 29 Jan Black tie acoustic music concert in aid of Eloises’s Army at Collingbourne Ducis Village Hall.

• Sun 30 Jan Rustic Stool Making Course at The Old Farm Workshop, Brimslade Farm.

Sun 30 Jan Happy Hunting of Wild Edible Plants in Pewsey.

Sun 13 Feb Fun for kids, train play area at Trainmaster, Wiltshire.

• Regular events

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom to provide some coordination and steering. You can email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org for any general enquiries or chair@transitionmarlborough.orgto contact the current TM Chair.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. This friendly group belongs to the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS) and welcomes new members. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

• The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• Marlborough Choral Society rehearses on Monday evenings, at Christchurch between 7.30pm and 9.15pm. For more information and where to sign up, please visit www.marlboroughchoralsociety.org.uk.

• The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

Marlborough’s cat

This isn’t some escaped panther but a community asset transfer whereby one council passes on responsibility for an asset or service to another. The movement of the cat is generally downwards, the parish or town being asked t0 choose between managing the asset or providing the service itself or doing without. Funding for ongoing costs are generally not provided although one-off grants might be. The transfer of an asset also provides an opportunity to get the building into a good condition at the parent council’s expense before it’s transferred. Some parish and town councils are increasing their precepts to cover for just such eventualities.

The current cat in Marlborough is the Community and Youth Centre (MC&YC) and the matter was discussed at the 17 January meeting of Marlborough TC, the minutes of which you can read here. The key points, as noted by the Clerk, were that the Mayor had emphasised the Town Council’s very strong desire to secure the MC&YC for the community; that the Chief Executive had shown he was keen to engage with local councils; that the Mayor had been given the impression that while the timeline might be an issue, it was likely that the request to transfer the asset to the Town Council would be granted; and that more information would be available from Wiltshire CC by March 2022. 

District Councillor James Shepherd added that Wiltshire Councillors were also pushing for the transfer. He believed the delay was due to process and the impact of Covid on their workload rather than any reluctance to proceed. 

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 17 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included; crime and disorder; road signage; the Marlborough Community & Youth Centre (see also “Marlborough’s cat” above); the action log; the Priory Gardens gate; the jubilee; tree planting; MTC’s Development and Action Plan; the merchant’s House lease; MTC’s electronic communications policy; and nominations for the role of Mayor and Deputy Mayor for 2022-23. You can read the minutes here. (See also section below.) To see the dates and agendas for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 17 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: public correspondence on matters ranging from planning to Parish Stewards; planning matters; financial matters,; rights of way; speeding; play areas; the emergency committee; local transport; village maintenance; the village website; the allotments; the jubilee; the toilets; the school; and the Memorial Garden. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 13 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: Berwyn Dye Field; the need for a new Speedwatch Team Leader; dog mess; the co-option of a new councillor; the bench; new noticeboards; actions from there previous meeting; green issues; funding for the church bells; the 2022-23 budget; planning matters; financial matters; and the proposed parish logo. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 12 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the 2022-23 budget, the precept being set at £40,788, an increase of 13.28%, about £6pa for a band D property (the minutes add that “compared to other large villages in Wiltshire and nearby Berkshire, Aldbourne’s precept rates are considerably lower”); faulty SIDs; county lines drug dealing; speeding; street lights; Palmer’s Field; housing needs; the draft neighbourhood development plan; vandalism at the toilets; an update on the virtual paths; verge cutting; planning matters; ash trees; the South Street path; the green canopy; and the jubilee. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council took place on 25 November and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council took place on 8 November and you can read the minutes here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Thursday 20 January 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 3,826 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 10 to 16 January, down 1,967 on the week before. This equates to 759 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 926 (1,447 last week) See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• Marlborough Town Council was pleased with the turn-out to this week’s planning meeting for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June. Please see more details and how you can get involved on marlborough news here.

• Following the resignation of Vanessa Hillier, a vacancy for a Town Councillor has arisen in the East Ward of Marlborough Town Council. An election will take place if, by 3 February, TEN electors from the East Ward request it, otherwise the vacancy will be filled by co-option.  See the 4 November column below (under the heading “Why bother?” for more on this point.)

• Marlborough Town Council invites the public to this year’s annual review of the Stonebridge Management Plan on Tuesday 25 January via Zoom. If you would like to attend please send an email to enquiries@marlborough-tc.gov.uk no later than 4pm on Friday 21 January.

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. They are a friendly group that belongs to the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS) and welcomes new members. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

• It is estimated that a million women are about to leave the workforce in the UK because of heavy menopause symptoms and no support in the work place. The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.
• Recent damage to the basket swing in the play area at Coopers Meadow means it unsafe to use. Marlborough Town Council is hoping to have the swing fixed as soon as possible but the repair cost is £330. If you have any information about how this damage occurred please contact the council via 01672512487 or enquiries@marlborough-tc.gov.uk

• Marlborough Choral Society has released an appeal for members. The Society rehearses on Monday evenings, at Christchurch between 7.30pm and 9.15pm. For more information and where to sign up, please visit www.marlboroughchoralsociety.org.uk.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Tourist accommodation is to be extended on The Old Stable in West Stowell. Even after winning planning permission, the town council rejected the plans after concerns that it would make the building bigger than its original footprint.

• Male volunteers are still being sought by Wiltshire Council as part of an Independent Volunteer Scheme. This scheme is a part of how having an adult to talk to and trust can have a positive impact on a young person in care. You can view stories on how young people have benefited from this and more here.

• See here also for the planned roadworks for the start of 2022 released by Marlborough Town Council.

• Click here for the Amsbury and Axford January 2022 diary.

• Click here for the Marlborough Town & Country December 2021 Newsletter.

A tech amnesty

Ramsbury-based Green Machine Computers is running a tech amnesty campaign. This was first launched in February 2021 to help get computers, laptops and tablets to school children across Wiltshire, Berkshire and the South West.

To date, GMC has donated over 500 IT devices to children in need. However, it has re-launched the campaign this year to include charities and non-profit organisations across a larger area. It is working with the Newbury Community Resource Centre to provide drop-off points where members of the public can donate their unwanted electronic devices into  secure locked boxes. GMC then collects these, deletes all the data and then refurbishes, repairs and upgrades the devices so that they are capable of performing to a high standard.

GMC currently has a long list of charities who are desperate for this technology. A spokesperson said that “the devices we donate make a huge difference to the people who receive them. Our goal is to support even more people who need help in 2022.”

If you would like to support the promotion of this project, please email natalie.king-barnard@greenmachinecomputers.com. Green Machine is also looking for businesses which would like to support the cause by hosting one of the locked-boxes at their premises.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 22 Jan Wedding Open Day – Appointment ONLY at Amesbury.

• Fri 28 Jan January Curry and Quiz Night at Ogbourne Downs Golf Club.

• Sun 30 Jan Rustic Stool Making Course at The Old Farm Workshop, Brimslade Farm.

Sun 13 Feb Fun for kids, train play area at Trainmaster, Wiltshire.

• Regular events

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom to provide some coordination and steering. You can email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org for any general enquiries or chair@transitionmarlborough.orgto contact the current TM Chair.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• Treat yourself to an enjoyable afternoon out where the Marlborough Floral Club meets at 2pm at Mildenhall Village Hall on the first Thursday of each month. You can see more information on the Council website.

• The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 13 December and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included; crime and disorder; questions to and from Wiltshire Councillors; announcements from the Mayor; a proposed training area for Marlborough TC and RFC; a possible flagpole at the Salisbury Road Recreation Ground; a report from Transition Marlborough; Stonebridge Meadow; and the approval of reports from the TC’s committees. The most recent meeting was an extraordinary one on 4 January which was mainly to discuss the 2022-23 budget. You can read the minutes here. (See also section below.) To see the dates and agendas for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 13 December and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: public correspondence on matters ranging from traffic surveys to footpaths; planning matters; financial matters, including the 2022-23 budget; rights of way; speeding; play areas; the emergency committee; Axford’s street lights; local transport; village maintenance; flooding; fly tipping; Ramsbury School; vandalism; and the election of a new councillor. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council took place on 25 November and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 11 November and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council took place on 8 November and you can read the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 3 November and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (NDP) has reached another milestone in the long journey that these things need to take through the system. This is a public consultation (known as Regulation 14) which will run until 15 November 2021. Click here to read more and to have your say.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Thursday 13 January 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 5,773 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 3 to 9 January, down 665 on the week before. This equates to 1,145 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 1,447 (1,729 last week) See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• The brownfield site of the former Marlborough Resource Centre at The Cherry Orchard, might be set for a facelift as a planning application has been submitted for the development of 24 new properties. The decision was part of a council meeting held on 10 January and the planning idea was submitted by Stone Circle Development, the commercial property company of Wiltshire Council.

Marlborough News reports that there’s a vacancy on Marlborough Town Council and offers some reasons why you might like to put yourself forward. In this column on 4 November (see below), I offer some slightly different reasons – the heading “Why bother?” is not intended to be negative…

• The National Cycle Route 482 cycle path between Barnfield and the River Kennet will be closed between 8am to 5pm until 14 January to allow for pruning and felling of trees due to ash dieback.

• Marlborough News has also stated the following information regarding roadworks due to ash dieback: “Wiltshire Council have given notice that the A345 Oare Hill, Wilcot from its junction with Pound Lane to outside of property known as Latenbury will be closed to all traffic in the interests of public safety to enable Wiltshire Council to carry our Urgent Ash Dieback removal tree works and associated works.” These works are expected to continue for a further three weeks after commencing on 4 January.

• Marlborough Choral Society has released an appeal for members. The Society rehearses on Monday evenings with the first rehearsal scheduled for Sunday 17 January, at Christchurch between 7.30pm and 9.15pm. For more information and where to sign up, please visit www.marlboroughchoralsociety.org.uk.

• For the latest information  changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

• Some great news for the community here from Marlborough News as a library box has been installed at the school gates of Kennet Valley C of E VA Primary School. This library box will allow pupils and residents to lend and share books with one another. So, parents of book worms, keep an eye out for the exciting new installation. You can also view photos on Facebook here.

• Male volunteers are still being sought by Wiltshire Council as part of an Independent Volunteer Scheme. This scheme is a part of how having an adult to talk to and trust can have a positive impact on a young person in care. You can view stories on how young people have benefited from this and more here.

• See here also for the planned roadworks for the start of 2022 released by Marlborough Town Council.

• Click here for the Amsbury and Axford January 2022 diary.

• Click here for the Marlborough Town & Country December 2021 Newsletter.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sun 16 Jan Café Church at Ogbourne St Andrew’s.

Sun 16 Jan Rugbytots in Marlborough.

Fri 28 Jan January Curry and Quiz Night at Ogbourne Downs Golf Club.

Sun 30 Jan Rustic Stool Making Course at The Old Farm Workshop, Brimslade Farm.

• Regular events

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom to provide some coordination and steering. You can email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org for any general enquiries or chair@transitionmarlborough.orgto contact the current TM Chair.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• Treat yourself to an enjoyable afternoon out where the Marlborough Floral Club meets at 2pm at Mildenhall Village Hall on the first Thursday of each month. You can see more information on the Council website.

• The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 13 December and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included; crime and disorder; questions to and from Wiltshire Councillors; announcements from the Mayor; a proposed training area for Marlborough TC and RFC; a possible flagpole at the Salisbury Road Recreation Ground; a report from Transition Marlborough; Stonebridge Meadow; and the approval of reports from the TC’s committees. The most recent meeting was an extraordinary one on 4 January which was mainly to discuss the 2022-23 budget. You can read the minutes here. (See also section below.) To see the dates and agendas for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 13 December and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: public correspondence on matters ranging from traffic surveys to footpaths; planning matters; financial matters, including the 2022-23 budget; rights of way; speeding; play areas; the emergency committee; Axford’s street lights; local transport; village maintenance; flooding; fly tipping; Ramsbury School; vandalism; and the election of a new councillor. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council took place on 25 November and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 11 November and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council took place on 8 November and you can read the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 3 November and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (NDP) has reached another milestone in the long journey that these things need to take through the system. This is a public consultation (known as Regulation 14) which will run until 15 November 2021. Click here to read more and to have your say.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Thursday 6 January 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 6,351 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 27 December to 2 January, up 1,602 on the week before. This equates to 1,260 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 1,729. See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• The National Cycle Route 482 cycle path between Barnfield and the River Kennet will be closed between 8am to 5pm from 10 to 14 January to allow for pruning and felling of trees due to ash dieback.

• Marlborough News has also stated the following information regarding roadworks due to ash dieback: “Wiltshire council have given notice that the A345 Oare Hill, Wilcot from its junction with Pound Lane to outside of property known as Latenbury will be closed to all traffic in the interests of public safety to enable Wiltshire Council to carry our Urgent Ash Dieback removal tree works and associated works.” These works are expected to continue for a further three weeks after commencing on 4 January.

• Wiltshire Council offices opening times, as well as the various council operated services, have been published online. Garden waste won’t be collected between 25 December to 9 January.

The Gazette and Herald has released a notice about delays in train services in and around Wiltshire on 10 January due to staff shortages. See here for the full list of services affected.

• On the same subject, information here from the invaluable Bedwyn Train Passenger Group about changes to rail services between Bedwyn and Newbury, mainly as a result of Covid-related staff shortages.

• Male volunteers are still being sought by Wiltshire Council as part of an Independent Volunteer Scheme. This scheme is a part of how having an adult to talk to and trust can have a positive impact on a young person in care. You can view stories on how young people have benefited from this and more here.

• You can find the latest news report from ARK (Action for the River Kennet) by clicking here. This release is titled “Hope for more protection from sewage pollution,” something which recent statements from Ofwat and the Environment Agency may possibly lead to.

• See here also for the planned roadworks for the start of 2022 released by Marlborough Town Council.

• See here for a recap and review of December’s “dull and dry” weather, courtesy of Marlborough News.

• The Enablement Hub has opened at Marlborough Town Football Club.

• Click here for the Amsbury and Axford January 2022 diary.

• Click here for the Marlborough Town & Country December 2021 Newsletter.

Marlborough’s precept

Marlborough News reports that Marlborough Town Council has voted to increase its precept by 4.9% in 2022-23, with a total budget of £790,937. This will mean an extra charge of about £10.50pa for a band D council-tax payer. You can read the full article here and you can read the Town Council’s minutes of the meeting here.

The main reason suggested for the rise was “general inflationary pressure” particularly with regard to fuel costs. With inflation running currently at 5.1%, this barely keeps pace with rising costs and so it’s to be expected that some belt-tightening will have to take place. The costs of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in the summer is an example of a one-off cost that will have to come from the municipal coffers as well.

Many might argue that the increase might have been even higher. At the meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council on 3 November, District Councillor James Sheppard “advised the Council to consider increasing its precept by a substantial amount this year, and future years, as it is likely more and more functions will be passed down to parish and town councils. Some nearby councils are increasing theirs by 17% for 2022-23.” Marlborough hasn’t taken this route and is either confident that no such calls will be made on it or that it has sufficient reserves to cover them. District Councils are limited as to by how much they can raise their precept without going to a referendum (2,99%, or 4.99% if the extra is spent on social care). Parish councils are not restricted. With inflationary pressures rising – which is in turn likely to result in some services being passed downwards by cash-strapped districts and counties – many parishes may indeed be planning larger than usual rises this year. If so, that might lead to the government putting a cap on their increases as well. If so, many might regret not having raised a bit more while they had the chance.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 8 Jan Friends of St Mary’s Coffee Morning at St Mary’s Andover.

Sun 9 Jan ‘Phone-in’ Service on Zoom with St. Michael’s Church.

Sun 9 Jan New Year 2022 10-mile Walk through Oare, Martinsell Fort & Huish Hills.

Wed 12 Jan Voluntary Hedge Maintenance 1pm to 4.30pm Meet by the wetland, Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough.

• Regular events

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom to provide some coordination and steering. You can email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org for any general enquiries or chair@transitionmarlborough.orgto contact the current TM Chair.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed 5k walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• Treat yourself to an enjoyable afternoon out where the Marlborough Floral Club meets at 2pm at Mildenhall Village Hall on the first Thursday of each month. You can see more information on the Council website.

• The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 13 December and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included; crime and disorder; questions to and from Wiltshire Councillors; announcements from the Mayor; a proposed training area for Marlborough TC and RFC; a possible flagpole at the Salisbury Road Recreation Ground; a report from Transition Marlborough; Stonebridge Meadow; and the approval of reports from the TC’s committees. The most recent meeting was an extraordinary one on 4 January which was mainly to discuss the 2022-23 budget. You can read the minutes here. (See also section below.) To see the dates and agendas for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 13 December and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: public correspondence on matters ranging from traffic surveys to footpaths; planning matters; financial matters, including the 2022-23 budget; rights of way; speeding; play areas; the emergency committee; Axford’s street lights; local transport; village maintenance; flooding; fly tipping; Ramsbury School; vandalism; and the election of a new councillor. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council took place on 25 November and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 11 November and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council took place on 8 November and you can read the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 3 November and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (NDP) has reached another milestone in the long journey that these things need to take through the system. This is a public consultation (known as Regulation 14) which will run until 15 November 2021. Click here to read more and to have your say.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

To see earlier Marlborough & Surrounding Area Weekly News columns, please click here.

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