Marlborough Area Weekly News sections – archive 2

MARLBOROUGH LN header map FB

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 23 December 2021

A look back at 2021

We’ve covered a lot of stories in this area in 2021, several on more than one occasion as things have changed or new facts come to light. We’ve listed and summarised a handful of these below. More information can be found by searching for the respective phrases in this post (and any for coverage of this area for earlier periods, which will be linked to at the foot of the post). 

Stories covered this year include; a new Town Clerk (whom we’ve interviewed), a new fridge, a new rivers group, a new cinema, a proposed new training pitch, several fairs and festivals, Marlborough in bloom,  the perennial problems of parking and traffic in the town and what seemed to be (but in fact weren’t) an imaginary path and an escaped manhole cover in Aldbourne.

This week’s news

• As previously reported, Marlborough’s Yarn Bombers have created a festive new post-box decoration to celebrate the Christmas season. One anonymous knitter is trying to use the attention and social media engagement brought by their artwork to ask for donations towards their chosen charity of Prostate Cancer UK.

• Marlborough’s Christmas community celebration in St Mary’s Church, displaying a thousand golden stars, will be open every day from 1pm to 7pm (except Christmas and Boxing Day) until Thursday 6 January. As Marlborough.News reports “the stars have all been decorated by members of the community and local school children.”

• St Mary’s Church and St George’s Church (both in Marlborough) have had to cancel their Crib Services on 24 December, however St Mary’s will now host a Family Carols Service starting from 3pm on Christmas Eve instead.

Marlborough Town FC are looking for any prize donations towards their Charity Gift Raffle on Boxing Day, when they will be raising funds for Marlborough Community Youth Project during a charity football match. Links and details of the event can be found in our ‘Dates for the diary’ section below.

• Staying with sport, Marlborough Town Council approved plans for new training pitches on The Common opposite Marlborough Rugby Club at a full town council meeting on 13 December. As Marlborough.News reports “the site to be developed will be the ‘Frees Avenue’ option site, which is to be used by both the Rugby Club (Marlborough Rugby) and the Youth Football Club (MYFC). For both organisations this will be mainly for the use of younger players.”

• Unfortunately Christmas Day lunch, which was due to be held in Marlborough Town Hall, has changed to be a home-delivered lunch because of “ever increasing Covid numbers” reports Marlborough.News. Anyone looking to help volunteer, please contact Victoria Ellis at vellis@thomasmae.co.uk or call 01672 556316 for further details. All volunteers “should arrive at Sue Brady Catering, Unit 9, SN8 4AW at 12.15 on Christmas Day for the delivery which should take around half an hour.”

• 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 the “pruning and felling of trees due to ash dieback.”

• Marlborough Town Council offices will be closed from noon on 24 December until Tuesday 4 January.

• Also 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.

• 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.

• Marlborough Community Fridge opening times and dates can now be found online for anyone wishing to make donations or in need of food over Christmas.

• 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.

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

• See here for a list of planned roadworks in Marlborough until the end of 2021.

• Click here for the Amsbury and Axford December 2021 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 24 Dec Family Carol Service 3pm St Mary’s Church, Marlborough.

• Sun 26 Dec Charity Football Match & Disco 11.30am to 11.30pm Marlborough Town Football Club.

• Sun 26 Dec Family Service at All Saint’s Church.

Fri 31 Dec New Year’s Eve Disco 7pm to 1am Marlborough Town Football Club.

Wed 5 Jan Dogs Trust Speaker at Marlborough WI 7.30pm The Wesley Hall, Marlborough.

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. The next meeting is on 4 November. 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 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. 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 Ogbourne St George Parish Council took place on 25 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning applications; financial matters; the 2022-23 budget; reports from the working groups, including there Transport Working Group which had a number of recommendations “to make the village safer for all,” including a number of new signs; the newsletter; thefts and the Parish Stewards. 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 15 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a councillor’s resignation; public correspondence on matters ranging from road signs to a proposed memorial seat; planning matters; financial matters, including the 2022-23 budget; rights of way; speeding; play areas; “all running smoothly in Axford”; the jubilee; village maintenance issues; inspiration from Urchfont; the memorial garden; the Memorial Hall; the parish stewards; and the nature reserve. 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 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 16 December 2021

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 2,667 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 6 to 12 December, up 78 on the week before. This equates to 529 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 552 (513 the week before). See also this map from gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• The winners of the Love Books competition have been announced from Marlborough Litfest and in partnership with English Literature at Bath Spa University. You can see the full list of winners here on Marlborough Newspage.

• Marlborough’s Christmas community celebration in St Mary’s Church displaying 1000 golden stars is now officially opened. The display is open every day from 1pm to 7pm except Christmas and Boxing day. See here for more information.

• The popular drive-in carol service held in the Tesco car park has been a huge success bringing in a lot of Christmas cheer, with families decorating their cars with Christmas decorations and fake snow. You can see the photos and more here on Marlborough News.

• More festive cheer is about as Marlborough’s Yarn Bombers have created a festive new post-box decoration to celebrate the Christmas season. To see the incredible work from the still unknown knitter(s) you can click 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.

• Marlborough Community Fridge is open from 9am to noon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you have surplus veg, the Marlborough Community Larder will gladly take them to redistribute to anyone who is keen to reduce food waste.

• In last week’s release we mentioned that the new Marlborough Town Councillor has been elected. Mark Luson was voted in as successor to the late Bryan Castle following presentations and question-and-answer sessions by other Councillors. See 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”.

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

• See here for a list of planned roadworks in Marlborough until the end of 2021.

Click here for the Amsbury and Axford December 2021 diary.

Click here for the Marlborough Town & Country November 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

• Sat 18 Dec Wagon Yard Christmas Fair.

Mon 20 Dec Christmas Disco at Marlborough Town Hall.

Mon 20 Dec Charity Christmas Card Shop at St. Peter’s Church.

Tue 21 Dec Winter Solstice Ceremony at Avebury Stone Circle.

• Tue 21 Dec Reindeer Hobby Horse Making at Avebury.

Sun 26 Dec Family Service at All Saint’s Church.

• 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. The next meeting is on 4 November. 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 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. 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 Ogbourne St George Parish Council took place on 25 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning applications; financial matters; the 2022-23 budget; reports from the working groups, including there Transport Working Group which had a number of recommendations “to make the village safer for all,” including a number of new signs; the newsletter; thefts and the Parish Stewards. 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 15 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a councillor’s resignation; public correspondence on matters ranging from road signs to a proposed memorial seat; planning matters; financial matters, including the 2022-23 budget; rights of way; speeding; play areas; “all running smoothly in Axford”; the jubilee; village maintenance issues; inspiration from Urchfont; the memorial garden; the Memorial Hall; the parish stewards; and the nature reserve. 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 11 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 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 here. To 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 Council, Ogbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Thursday 9 December 2021

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 2,582 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 29 November to 5 December, down six on the week before. This equates to 512 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 513 (446 the week before). See also this map from gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership have released a statement about flu and Covid booster jabs – read more here in Marlborough News.

• A memorial service in honour of the fifteen airmen who died in Bishops Cannings and its vicinity in WW2 took place last Sunday. Marlborough News states that, through the harsh, bitter winds, many attended to pay their respects with a service held by Reverend Richard Curtis. Photos and further information can be found here.

• This is the last chance to give your thoughts as Wiltshire Council is seeking help from the public on how it could potentially improve the buses in and around Wiltshire. To take part in this consultation visit the relevant section on the Marlborough Town Council website, where the survey will be accessible until 10 December.

• 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.

• Marlborough Community Fridge is open from 9am to noon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you have surplus veg, the Marlborough Community Larder will gladly take them to redistribute to anyone who is keen to reduce food waste.

• The new Marlborough Town Councillor has been elected from the extraordinary meeting held on 29 November. Mark Luson was voted in as successor to the late Bryan Castle following presentations and question-and-answer sessions by other Councillors. See 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”.

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

• My eye was caught by a mention in the November minutes of Aldbourne Parish Council that a “virtual pavement” is being planned in the village. This sounded very exciting – perhaps it was something that needed to be viewed, and used, as part of a virtual-reality experience that the PC would be laying on for its residents. I dropped a line to a councillor there to find out more. Sorry to dash your hopes, but it turns out that “a virtual pavement is one painted onto the road. It creates a space where walkers have priority and there is a visible line outside which traffic should pass. However, if a large vehicle needs to use more of the road, there is no barrier preventing it from encroaching into the “pavement” – this is relevant for large agricultural vehicles in Aldbourne.” Oh well…

• Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal to create any important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough.

• See here for a list of planned roadworks in Marlborough for November to December period.

Click here for the Amsbury and Axford December 2021 diary.

Click here for the Marlborough Town & Country November 2021 Newsletter.

• Apparently there might be some snow in the area this weekend, according to the forecasters at the Gazette.

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 11 Dec Wagon Yard Christmas Fair.

Sun 12 Dec Car Park Carols at Tesco, Marlborough.

• Sat 18 Dec Wagon Yard Christmas Fair.

• 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. The next meeting is on 4 November. 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 meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 1 November and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• There have also been two recent extraordinary meetings of Marlborough Town Council. The first, on 22 November (you can read the minutes here), was mainly to consider “the current status of the new Workshop project.” The second, on 29 November (you can read the minutes here) was mainly to co-opt a new member.

• Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan. This includes the message that “Wiltshire Council is consulting on the draft plan (Regulation 16) until 8 November 2021.  If the MANP passes these tests, the local authority will organise a public referendum (vote), so that everyone who lives in the MANP area can decide whether they support it. We expect this now to be sometime in the Autumn due to the waiting list of neighbourhood plans that need processing.”

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council took place on 25 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning applications; financial matters; the 2022-23 budget; reports from the working groups, including there Transport Working Group which had a number of recommendations “to make the village safer for all,” including a number of new signs; the newsletter; thefts and the Parish Stewards. 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 15 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a councillor’s resignation; public correspondence on matters ranging from road signs to a proposed memorial seat; planning matters; financial matters, including the 2022-23 budget; rights of way; speeding; play areas; “all running smoothly in Axford”; the jubilee; village maintenance issues; inspiration from Urchfont; the memorial garden; the Memorial Hall; the parish stewards; and the nature reserve. 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 11 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: Bedwyn Dyke Field; a new team leader required for the Speedwatch group; the co-option of a new councillor; a review of actions from the last meeting; a brief Q&A with District Councillor Wheeler; the church’s bells; the Village Hall; planning applications; and financial matters. 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.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 3 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.

• 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 Council, Ogbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Thursday 2 December 2021

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 2,588 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 22 to 28 November, down 336 on the week before. This equates to 513 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 446 (450 the week before). See also this map from gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

Marlborough News reports that members of Transition Marlborough have recently planted “1,000 spring crocus bulbs in the Diamond Jubilee plantation of orchard trees on Frees Avenue.” As well as helping to celebrate the jubilee next year they will, perhaps more importantly, provide essential food for queen bumble bees in the spring.

• Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership have released a statement about flu and Covid booster jabs – read more here in Marlborough News.

• Wiltshire Council is seeking thoughts from the public on how they could potentially improve the buses in and around Wiltshire. To take part in this consultation visit the relevant section on the Marlborough Town Council website, where the survey will be accessible until 10 December.

• Some final news from LitFest 2021, Year 7 pupils of St. Johns academy attended two talks by Author Anthony McGowan. Read from Marlborough News‘ page here.
• Male volunteers are 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.

• Marlborough Community Fridge is open from 9am to noon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you have surplus veg, the Marlborough Community Larder will gladly take them to redistribute to anyone who is keen to reduce food waste.

• 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”.

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

• Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal to create any important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough.

• See here for a list of planned roadworks in Marlborough for November to December period.

Click here for the Amsbury and Axford December 2021 diary.

Click here for the Marlborough Town & Country November 2021 Newsletter.

• Apparently there might be some snow in the area this weekend, according to the forecasters at the Gazette.

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 4 Dec Wagon Yard Christmas Fair.

Sun 5 Dec Pewsey Community Christmas Fayre and Lights.

Sat 11 Dec Wagon Yard Christmas Fair.

Sun 12 Dec Car Park Carols at Tesco, Marlborough.

• Sat 18 Dec Wagon Yard Christmas Fair.

• 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. The next meeting is on 4 November. 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 meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 6 September and you can read the draft minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• There was also an extraordinary meeting of Marlborough Town Council on 22 November and you can read the minutes here. This was mainly to consider “the current status of the new Workshop project.”

• Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan. This includes the message that “Wiltshire Council is consulting on the draft plan (Regulation 16) until 8 November 2021.  If the MANP passes these tests, the local authority will organise a public referendum (vote), so that everyone who lives in the MANP area can decide whether they support it. We expect this now to be sometime in the Autumn due to the waiting list of neighbourhood plans that need processing.”

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 15 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a councillor’s resignation; public correspondence on matters ranging from road signs to a proposed memorial seat; planning matters; financial matters, including the 2022-23 budget; rights of way; speeding; play areas; “all running smoothly in Axford”; the jubilee; village maintenance issues; inspiration from Urchfont; the memorial garden; the Memorial Hall; the parish stewards; and the nature reserve. 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 11 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: Bedwyn Dyke Field; a new team leader required for the Speedwatch group; the co-option of a new councillor; a review of actions from the last meeting; a brief Q&A with District Councillor Wheeler; the church’s bells; the Village Hall; planning applications; and financial matters. 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.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 3 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: South Street’s footpath; the loose manhole cover again (the latest repair has been greeted with “cautious optimism”); the local plan’s housing allocation; a faulty SID; speeding; hedge and verge cutting; the neighbourhood development plan; the jubilee; possible virtual paths (not quite sure what they are); planning committee reports; various maintenance issues around the parish; and a recommendation to increase the precept (see above for more on this). To 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 Council, Ogbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Thursday 25 November 2021

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 2,908 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 15 to 21 November, up 319 on the week before. This equates to 577 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 450 (410 the week before). See also this map from gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• A Royal visit has been planned for Marlborough’s new Parade Cinema. The Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla is to visit the cinema on Thursday 2 December to celebrate the official opening. To see the whole report from Marlborough News, click here.

• Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership released the following statement about flu and Covid booster jabs – read more here in Marlborough News.

• Wiltshire Council is seeking thoughts from the public on how they could potentially improve the buses in and around Wiltshire. To take part in this consultation visit the relevant section on the Marlborough Town Council website, where the survey will be accessible until 10 December.

• In case you missed Marlborough’s enchanting Christmas light switch on event last weekend, you can see photos and more information on Marlborough News‘ site here.

• This week Action for the River Kennet charity took river activities to Ramsbury Primary School to help the children understand the importance of clean water for wildlife. The pupils used pipettes and magnifiers to identify a range of freshwater invertebrates and fish from their local chalk stream. They also met Geoffrey the stuffed ARK otter and Godzilla the American mink, to help their understanding of native and non-native wildlife. The class were amazed at the Kennet wildlife in their trays and now know that these species depend on plenty of unpolluted, flowing water to thrive; and that we can all help by being Water Smart. The workshop was part of ARK’s Water Matters project in partnership with Thames Water.

• Marlborough Town Council has announced that the new councillor is to be selected on Monday at an extraordinary meeting.

Marlborough News states that Marlborough Tennis Club has submitted a planning application for a new clubhouse at Port Hill. Its stated that this will be an attractive addition to the grounds and will offer a meeting place for the members.

Transition Marlborough‘s November news includes a talk about getting the most out of the rain falling on your garden, preventing flooding and storing water plus a community bulb planting day at Marlborough’s Community Orchard.

• Marlborough Community Fridge is open from 9am to noon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you have surplus veg, the Marlborough Community Larder will gladly take them to redistribute to anyone who is keen to reduce food waste.

• 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”.

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

• Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal to create any important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough.

• See here for a list of planned roadworks in Marlborough for November to December period.

Click here for Ramsbury Parish Council’s November 2021 diary.

Click here for the October 2021 release of the Marlborough Town and Country newsletter.

Crofton Beam Engines invites you to take a look behind the scenes to see its volunteers carrying out engineering winter maintenance on their Winter Works Open Day from 10.30am – 2.00pm this Saturday 27 November. Free entry but donations welcome and don’t forget to wrap up warm. To help keep Crofton steaming in 2022 and beyond please support the Crofton Boiler Appeal to raise £30,000 for essential boiler repairs. Once this is completed, no further major work on the boiler is expected to be required for the next ten years.

• Apparently there might be some snow in the area this weekend, according to the forecasters at the Gazette.

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 26 Nov Late night Christmas shopping at Ramsbury Brewery.

Fri 26 Nov Brewery & Distillery Tour at Ramsbury Brewery.

27 to 28 Nov Wagon Yard Christmas Fair.

Sat 4 Dec Wagon Yard Christmas Fair.

Sat 11 Dec Wagon Yard Christmas Fair.

Sun 12 Dec Car Park Carols at Tesco, Marlborough.

• Sat 18 Dec Wagon Yard Christmas Fair.

• 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. The next meeting is on 4 November. 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 meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 6 September and you can read the draft minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• There was also an extraordinary meeting of Marlborough Town Council on 22 November and you can read the minutes here. This was mainly to consider “the current status of the new Workshop project.”

• Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan. This includes the message that “Wiltshire Council is consulting on the draft plan (Regulation 16) until 8 November 2021.  If the MANP passes these tests, the local authority will organise a public referendum (vote), so that everyone who lives in the MANP area can decide whether they support it. We expect this now to be sometime in the Autumn due to the waiting list of neighbourhood plans that need processing.”

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 15 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a councillor’s resignation; public correspondence on matters ranging from road signs to a proposed memorial seat; planning matters; financial matters, including the 2022-23 budget; rights of way; speeding; play areas; “all running smoothly in Axford”; the jubilee; village maintenance issues; inspiration from Urchfont; the memorial garden; the Memorial Hall; the parish stewards; and the nature reserve. 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 11 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: Bedwyn Dyke Field; a new team leader required for the Speedwatch group; the co-option of a new councillor; a review of actions from the last meeting; a brief Q&A with District Councillor Wheeler; the church’s bells; the Village Hall; planning applications; and financial matters. 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.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 3 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: South Street’s footpath; the loose manhole cover again (the latest repair has been greeted with “cautious optimism”); the local plan’s housing allocation; a faulty SID; speeding; hedge and verge cutting; the neighbourhood development plan; the jubilee; possible virtual paths (not quite sure what they are); planning committee reports; various maintenance issues around the parish; and a recommendation to increase the precept (see above for more on this). To 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 Council, Ogbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Thursday 18 November 2021

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 2,555 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 8 to 14 November, up 491 on the week before. This equates to 507 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 410 (352 the week before). See also this map from gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• Plans are underway for Marlborough’s Christmas lunch. The initiative was started for those in the pandemic who spent Christmas day alone. Vicky Ellis and her family prepared over 70 home delivered Christmas lunches, afternoon tea treats, choice of drink, a quiz and a bag of presents last year. You can see more on this on Marlborough News’ Page.

• Staying on the topic of Christmas festivities, Marlborough’s Christmas lights switch-on is this Friday 19 November. The lights are set to be turned on by Mayor Mark Cooper at 6.30pm and a food market is to be held alongside it.

• Due to the Christmas lights switch-on, road closures are in place on Friday from 5pm to 8pm along the High Street.

• Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership released the following statement about flu and Covid booster jabs – read more here in Marlborough News.

• The White Horse Bookshop features a list of workshops that are available for the rest of this year. See below for more information.

• 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 parish and town councils. Some nearby councils are increasing theirs by 17% for 2022-23.” These shifts of responsibility (often known as community asset transfers, or CATs) have been more and more common in recent years with things tending to be passed down. This might include the upkeep or even the ownership of buildings, verge and hedge trimming, maintenance work and other non-statutory responsibilities.

The choice for the parish is generally either to take on the facility or service itself or do without it. The higher council generally won’t cover any ongoing costs but may make grants available for one-off capital expenditure (such as a mower). This works well in communities, often larger ones, which have a reasonably large precept, a functional parish council and a good pool of volunteers. Other places, particularly smaller ones, may fare less well. There’s no reason to suppose this downward drift is confined to Wiltshire. District and county councils are limited as to how much they can raise their precept without going to referendum (2.99% plus an extra 2% if this goes to social care). Parish councils, currently at least, are not.

Marlborough Town FC is still appealing for new players for both its first and development team. If you are interested please contact the club’s first-team manager Steve at steve.chadwick@gmx.com.

Transition Marlborough‘s November news includes a talk about getting the most out of the rain falling on your garden, preventing flooding and storing water plus a community bulb planting day at Marlborough’s Community Orchard.

• Marlborough Community Fridge is open from 9am to noon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you have surplus veg, the Marlborough Community Larder will gladly take them to redistribute to anyone who is keen to reduce food waste.

Great Bedwyn Parish Council announced last week the completion of the refurbishment of the bench at Fox Hill, along with a plaque to recognise the work that Eric Bailey has done for Great Bedwyn, and thanks Councillor Sylvia Wyatt for heading this project.

• The same PC has also announced that Whites of Appleton has been appointed to mend the broken bell at St Mary’s Church. It will be taken down on 22 and 23 Nov and taken away for restoration. The bell-ringing team will be helping them. They hope there will be minimum disruption along Church Street but will do their best to keep everyone informed. (Anyone involved with moving or changing a such things is advised to read The Bell by Iris Murdoch – one of her favourites amongst her many books, and certainly one of mine.)

• On that note, 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”.

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

• Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal to create any important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough.

• See here for a list of planned roadworks in Marlborough for November to December period.

Click here for Ramsbury Parish Council’s November 2021 diary.

Click here for the October 2021 release of the Marlborough Town and Country newsletter.

Morgan’s Hill Rivers Group (MHRG)

Devizes MP Danny Kruger has recently launched a working group to help support and protect three river systems in southern England, one of which is the Kennet. The group is named after Morgan’s Hill in Wiltshire “which marks the hydrological triple divide of southern England.” You can see more on his website here.

He says, correctly, that many people “are deeply concerned about the state of our rivers.” This has led to a good deal of recent publicity. All the necessary powers and authorities are in place and yet the problems the rivers face – “excessive abstraction, chemical pollution, and contamination from raw sewage” in his words – seem to get worse every year. The MHRG is demanding three major areas of improvement from the government and Ofwat:

Investment in infrastructure. Water companies should be required to make the appropriate investment in pipes and sewage treatment works, and if necessary enabled to finance this work through increases in prices. Low-income households should be protected from unaffordable water bills and price rises should not finance shareholder returns until the necessary investment in infrastructure has taken place.

Nature-based solutions. Ofwat should create a system for the management of water catchment areas, not just rivers themselves, with new market mechanisms to incentivise good agricultural practice, including afforestation and better drainage, and better and more sustainable housebuilding. This also therefore requires alignment with the new Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes and the expected reforms to the planning system.

Enforcement. The Strategic Policy Statement should stipulate the precise measures that are needed to track the necessary improvements in infrastructure and catchment management. In addition, the government should properly resource the Environment Agency to proactively monitor these measures and enforce the rules, particularly on sewage discharges. Fines should be used more frequently, and the money raised from all fines should be used to finance remediation and nature-based solutions in the affected catchment area.

These are very similar to the demands that the influential charity Action for the River Kennet has been making. There’s no doubt that the first of these objectives at least is very expensive. None the less, that’s what the water companies signed up for. If everyone hammers away at the same points there’s a chance something will happen. Certainly the condition of our waterways is fast becoming a national scandal.

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 19 Nov Christmas Lights switch-on.

• Fri 26 Nov Late night Christmas shopping at Ramsbury Brewery.

Fri 26 Nov Brewery & Distillery Tour at Ramsbury Brewery.

Sat 27 to 28 Nov Wagon Yard Christmas Fair.

Sat 4 Dec Wagon Yard Christmas Fair.

Sat 11 Dec Wagon Yard Christmas Fair.

Sun 12 Dec Car Park Carols at Tesco, Marlborough

• Sat 18 Dec Wagon Yard Christmas Fair..

• 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. The next meeting is on 4 November. 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 meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 6 September and you can read the draft minutes hereTo 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. This includes the message that “Wiltshire Council is consulting on the draft plan (Regulation 16) until 8 November 2021.  If the MANP passes these tests, the local authority will organise a public referendum (vote), so that everyone who lives in the MANP area can decide whether they support it. We expect this now to be sometime in the Autumn due to the waiting list of neighbourhood plans that need processing.”

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 3 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: South Street’s footpath; the loose manhole cover again (the latest repair has been greeted with “cautious optimism”); the local plan’s housing allocation; a faulty SID; speeding; hedge and verge cutting; the neighbourhood development plan; the jubilee; possible virtual paths (not quite sure what they are); planning committee reports; various maintenance issues around the parish; and a recommendation to increase the precept (see above for more on this). 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 18 October and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning applications and decisions; financial matters; rights of way’ play areas; “no problems in Axford”; the PC website; the jubilee; village maintenance day report; village maintenance work; inspiration from the NALC newsletter concerning initiatives from other PCs around the country; and the Parish Stewards’ rota. 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 9 September 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 Council, Ogbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Thursday 11 November 2021

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 2,066 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 1 to 7 November, down 649 on the week before. This equates to 410 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 352 (429 the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• I’m completely inept with a camera, usually managing to sneeze when pressing the button or finding I’ve got my finger over the lens. Others are more proficient, including local photographer Bob Holman who’s just published Marlborough in Monochrome. As you’ll have guessed from the title, the pictures are all in black and white which, as these examples in Marlborough News show, can produce some wonderfully evocative results.

• Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership released the following statement about flu and Covid booster jabs – read more here in Marlborough News.

• Last year it was not possible to hold a parade or any public commemorations. Marlborough Town Council will be holding a remembrance parade this year on Sunday 14 November, albeit that to ensure this is a covid-safe event the arrangements will be a little different to normal.

• A parade will form up in the High Street from 10am and, after an inspection by the Mayoral party led by 4MI Battalion, at 10.30am will march to the War Memorial via Oxford Street and Barn Street. Unlike previous years, the parade will then continue back along New Road and return to the starting point in the High Street by approximately 10.40am.

• Due to the parade, Wiltshire Council has granted permission for road closures between 10am and 11.30am for all roads in the vicinity of the High Street and War Memorial to ensure the safety of those taking part. 

• More closures are taking place at New Road and London Road on Wednesday 10 November until Tuesday 16 November running from 7pm to midnight each day. 

• As part of the Remembrance Parades, The Gazette and Herald reports that Sgt. Ian Conner-Lewis, formerly of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, will stand sentinel with his trusty dog pet Misty who will have remained on parade in the Market Place for 100 hours this week.

• The White Horse Bookshop features a list of workshops that are available for the rest of this year. See below for more information.

Marlborough Town FC is still appealing for new players for both its first and development team. If you are interested please contact the club’s first team manager Steve at steve.chadwick@gmx.com.

Transition Marlborough‘s November news includes a talk about getting the most out of the rain falling on your garden, preventing flooding and storing water plus a community bulb planting day at Marlborough’s Community Orchard.

• Marlborough Community Fridge is open from 9am to noon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you have surplus veg, the Marlborough Community Larder will gladly take them to redistribute to anyone who is keen to reduce food waste.

• Congratulations to Sian Haynes from Ramsbury School who, as the most recent PC minutes announced, has been awarded the accolade of being the best music teacher in Wiltshire.

Great Bedwyn Parish Council is pleased to announce the completion of the refurbishment of the bench at Fox Hill, along with a plaque to recognise the work that Eric Bailey has done for Great Bedwyn, and thanks Councillor Sylvia Wyatt for heading this project.

• The same PC has also announced that Whites of Appleton has been appointed to mend the broken bell at St Mary’s church. It will be taken down on 22 and 23 Nov and taken away for restoration. The bell ringing team will be helping them. They hope there will be minimum disruption along Church Street but will do their best to keep everyone informed. (Anyone involved with moving or changing a such things is advised to read The Bell by Iris Murdoch – one of her favourites amongst her many books, and certainly one of mine.)

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

• Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal to create any important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough.

• See here for a list of planned roadworks in Marlborough for November to December period.

Click here for Ramsbury Parish Council’s November 2021 diary.

Click here for the October 2021 release of the Marlborough Town and Country newsletter.

Local events and activities

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

For more information on Bonfire Night activities, see this separate post.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 13 Nov Stand Sure Orchestra and Choir performing Mozart’s Requiem in St John’s Church.

• Fri 19 Nov Christmas Lights switch-on.

• Fri 26 Nov Late night Christmas shopping at Ramsbury Brewery.

Fri 26 Nov Brewery & Distillery Tour at Ramsbury Brewery.

• 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. The next meeting is on 4 November. 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 meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 6 September and you can read the draft minutes hereTo 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. This includes the message that “Wiltshire Council is consulting on the draft plan (Regulation 16) until 8 November 2021.  If the MANP passes these tests, the local authority will organise a public referendum (vote), so that everyone who lives in the MANP area can decide whether they support it. We expect this now to be sometime in the Autumn due to the waiting list of neighbourhood plans that need processing.”

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 6 October 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 Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 18 October and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning applications and decisions; financial matters; rights of way’ play areas; “no problems in Axford”; the PC website; the jubilee; village maintenance day report; village maintenance work; inspiration from the NALC newsletter concerning initiatives from other PCs around the country; and the Parish Stewards’ rota. 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 9 September 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 Council, Ogbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Thursday 4 November 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 2,711 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 24 to 31 October, down 1,267 on the week before. This equates to 538 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 429 (498 the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

Marlborough News reported last week that The Enablement Hub has opened at Marlborough Town Football Club.

• The Gazette reports that Marlborough Town Council is “to re-examine traffic issues raised in a damning report on the ‘putrid’ level of life-threatening air pollution in the town centre.”

• As you may have seen in our recent newsletters, we’ve mentioned the Dark Skies Festival that has been running through October. Marlborough News has released a “starry success” statement that explains how the event was a huge hit with thousands attending of which you can read here.

• Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership released the following statement about flu and Covid booster jabs – read more here in Marlborough News.

Marlborough Town Council’s most recent meeting saw Mayor Mark Cooper formally thank three of the Councillors from the previous Council who stepped down in May of this year. Mayor Peggy Dow, Andy Wilson and Susie Price each received a small memento of thanks for their service. For the whole report you can refer to the Marlborough News site here.

• The White Horse Bookshop features a list of workshops that are available for the rest of this year. See below for more information.

• St Francis prep school recently held a Harvest Festival, where students were encouraged to bring donations to put towards the foodbank in Devizes. For the whole report you can visit the Marlborough News site here.

Marlborough Town FC is still appealing for new players for both their first and development team. If you are interested please contact the club’s first team manager Steve at steve.chadwick@gmx.com.

• Marlborough Community Fridge is open from 9am to noon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you have surplus veg, the Marlborough Community Larder will gladly take them to redistribute to anyone who is keen to reduce food waste.

Great Bedwyn Parish Council is pleased to announce the completion of the refurbishment of the bench at Fox Hill, along with a plaque to recognise the work that Eric Bailey has done for Great Bedwyn, and thanks Councillor Sylvia Wyatt for heading this project.

• Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal to create any important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough.

• See here for a list of planned roadworks in Marlborough for November to December period.

Click here for Ramsbury Parish Council’s November 2021 diary.

Click here for the October 2021 release of the Marlborough Town and Country newsletter.

Why bother?

Marlborough News has an article stating that “Marlborough Town Council is starting the process to appoint a successor Councillor to follow the sadly departed Councillor Bryan Castle.” The article gives details about you can apply and reasons why you might wish to.

There’s no point in pretending that being a town or parish councillor is free of drawbacks. At least one evening a month and probably more will be spent in municipal meeting rooms that often manager to be both draughty and overheated at the same time. You will discuss planning applications, often in considerable detail, then be reduced to impotent rage a month or so later when the parent authority announces it has come to the opposite decision. You will learn and have to use correctly a vast array of acronyms. You will attend a range of outdoor events from site visits to playground inspections, sometimes in driving rain. You will receive phone calls and emails at all times of the day or night from residents who want you to solve a wide range of problems, many of which will be quite beyond your council’s powers. If things go badly wrong, people will shout at you in the street. Oh, and by the way, you won’t get paid.

On the other hand, there has probably never been a time where town and parish councils are held in such high regard. The pandemic has shown that they have been supremely adept at helping to organise and co-ordinate the response at a local level. Every day, there’s a difference you can make. A town the size of Marlborough will have a good number of projects that need work, the results of which the community will benefit from. The town is working on a neighbourhood development plan which will help place its relationship with Wiltshire CC’s planners on a more predictable and functional footing. Although there’ll be many problems that are brought to you that you can’t solve, there’ll be plenty that you can, or where you can point the person in the right direction. It calls for a wide range of skills, ranging from the ability to deal with technical detail to having good speaking voice, so whatever your long suit is there’s a good chance you’ll be welcomed.

It won’t make you rich or famous but you’ll be contributing something, probably quite a lot of things, to the town or village in which you live. I’m in awe of people who can make this kind of commitment. There’s work to be done and someone has to help do it – so, why not you?

These remarks apply to any local council. If you’re interested in becoming a councillor in Marlborough then, as the Marlborough News article suggests, a good first step would be to have a chat with the Town Clerk, Richard Spencer-Williams. If you haven’t met him, no problem: we can effect an introduction as we interviewed him soon after he took up the reins earlier this year.

Local events and activities

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

For more information on Bonfire Night activities, see this separate post.

Friday 5 November Marlborough Town FC Firework Night, more information here.

Saturday 6 November Marlborough Craft and Gift Market. The market will run from 10am to 4pm and will be held in the Marlborough Town Hall. See here for more information.

• Friday 19 November Christmas Lights switch-on. More information can be found on the council site.

The Hungerford Hub 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. The next meeting is on 4 November. 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 meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 6 September and you can read the draft minutes hereTo 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. This includes the message that “Wiltshire Council is consulting on the draft plan (Regulation 16) until 8 November 2021.  If the MANP passes these tests, the local authority will organise a public referendum (vote), so that everyone who lives in the MANP area can decide whether they support it. We expect this now to be sometime in the Autumn due to the waiting list of neighbourhood plans that need processing.”

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 6 October and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the South Street path; road signs; tree maintenance; the Southward Lane catchpit (see last week’s column below for an explanation of this); the local plan’s housing allocation; a question that is probably asked pretty regularly here, as it is in parishes in the Lambourn Valley: “will Thames Water be taking a proactive stance this year in relation to sewer surcharging?”; re-wilding initiatives; the neighbourhood development plan; road safety; usage of the football field; the jubilee celebrations; village maintenance issues; the report from the planning committee; the pond maintenance work; and the recurring problem with the manhole cover in West Street. 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 20 September and you can read the draft 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 9 September 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 Council, Ogbourne 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 Valley; 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 28 October 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 4,256 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 17 to 23 October, up 264 on the week before. This equates to 844 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 498 (479 the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

Marlborough News reports that Marlborough’s Mayor, Mark Cooper, accompanied by the Town Crier, Mike Tupman, officially opened The Enablement Hub at Marlborough Town Football Club on 28 October.

• Friday 29 October is the last day to pop into St Peter’s to have a chat with new Development Manager Joanna Littlejohns about the future of  St Peter’s Church Trust. See here for details.

• Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership released the following statement about flu and Covid booster jabs – read more here in Marlborough News.

• In case you missed it last week, Marlborough News reported that the Friends of Savernake shop finally reopened in Savernake hospital.

• The High Street, Ramsbury will be closed and there will be no parking from the Square to the Memorial Hall. This is happening until Oct 30th from 8am to 4pm while pavement work is carried out.

• The White Horse Bookshop has a new exhibition available until 31 October 2021, click here for more details.

• On the same note, the White Horse Bookshop also features a list of workshops that are available for the rest of this year. See below for more information.

• In case you missed it the new farmer’s market shop in Marlborough High Street opened this week. Eversfield has a new website that can be viewed here.

• The Museum of the Moon in Marlborough College chapel has created a spectacular start to Marlborough Dark Skies Fest. The exhibition is open until 31 October and for images and more information you can see here on the Marlborough News’ page.

Marlborough Town FC is looking for new players for both their first and development team. If you are interested please contact the club’s first team manager Steve at steve.chadwick@gmx.com.

• Marlborough Community Fridge is open from 9am to noon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you have surplus veg, the Marlborough Community Larder will gladly take them to redistribute to anyone who is keen to reduce food waste.

• Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal to create any important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough.

Click here for Ramsbury Parish Council’s November 2021 diary.

Click here for the October 2021 release of the Marlborough Town and Country newsletter.

Sewage, heffalumps and a loose manhole cover

Last week, I mentioned a couple of items that seemed to me slightly surreal in the minutes of the most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council. I’ve since been contacted by Councillor Nick Josephy who has set my mind (and perhaps yours) at rest on these matters. He also mentioned something that is anything but surreal: the sewage problems in the area.

As a resident of the upper Lambourn Valley, this is a subject with which I’m all too familiar and you can read more on the issue in the Lambourn Valley Weekly News section. The matter has recently received overdue national press attention and many of the points equally apply to Aldbourne.

The specific concerns for the Aldbourne area are, he tells me, that Thames Water will be positioning an ATAC filtration unit in the centre of the village, so that if (more likely, when) the sewers start surcharging this winter, “we don’t have to endure day and night tankers operating ineffectively to remove the surplus. We understand that following filtration and partial treatment in the unit, the discharge into the Bourne does not lead to a significant deterioration in water quality, because the volume of groundwater flowing in the sewer is so high. But it’s still not satisfactory as a long term solution. Surely a wealthy country can afford a proper leak proof sewage system?” Many others are asking the same question.

Regarding the other two PC items, the “catchpit” is not, as I suggested below, some kind of heffalump trap but as Nick Josephy explains “a large hole covered with a grid about the size of a field gate, by the road up Southward Lane, where two byways meet it. The idea is that surface water flooding off the hill and the two byways is caught and drains away slowly, rather than pouring downhill onto the roads at the bottom of Southward Lane where it could cause flooding. I personally dug about 12 inches of gravel off the top of it at the beginning of the year to keep it working but it’s now pretty much full of stones and so needs Wiltshire Council to come and deal with it.”

As for the loose manhole cover, this seems to be a recurring problem. “Every time it is fixed, the job only lasts a short while before it becomes loose again and so creates a noise every-time traffic passes over it. If we can’t get this cover to stay put, we will have to find another one which will.” The syntax of the report suggested that the manhole cover was on the loose, rampaging around and causing trouble. I’m please to confirm that it isn’t: it does, however, seem to be causing quite enough trouble where it is.

Local events and activities

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

For more information on Halloween and Bonfire Night activities, see this separate post.

• Monday 25 to 31 October Marlborough Town Council and the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are hosting the first Marlborough Dark Skies Fest from 25 to 31 October. Click here for the packed programme of science and art activities celebrating the night sky.

Friday 5 November Marlborough Town FC Firework Night, more information here.

• Friday 19 November Christmas Lights switch-on. More information can be found on the council site.

The Hungerford Hub 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. The next meeting is on 4 November. 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 meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 6 September and you can read the draft minutes hereTo 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. This includes the message that “Wiltshire Council is consulting on the draft plan (Regulation 16) until 8 November 2021.  If the MANP passes these tests, the local authority will organise a public referendum (vote), so that everyone who lives in the MANP area can decide whether they support it. We expect this now to be sometime in the Autumn due to the waiting list of neighbourhood plans that need processing.”

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 6 October and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the South Street path; road signs; tree maintenance; the Southward Lane catchpit (which sounds like it might be a trap to catch heffalumps, but probably isn’t); the local plan’s housing allocation; a question that is probably asked pretty regularly here, as it is in parishes in the Lambourn Valley: “will Thames Water be taking a proactive stance this year in relation to sewer surcharging?”; re-wilding initiatives; the neighbourhood development plan; road safety; usage of the football field; the jubilee celebrations; village maintenance issues; the report from the planning committee; the pond maintenance work; and the alarming observation that “the manhole cover is once again loose on West Street.” I hope this means that the manhole cover on West Street is once again loose, rather than that it is once again going round causing trouble. If anyone from APC would like to confirm this point, and the one about the heffalump pit, I’ll add this information in for next time. 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 20 September and you can read the draft 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 9 September 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.

Thursday 21 October 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 4,359 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 11 to 17 October, up 2,399 on the week before. This equates to 865 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 479 (397 the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• My eye was caught by an article in Marlborough News and, in particular, the picture: after all, it’s not often you see a photo of a bishop drinking Champagne in a public toilet. The occasion was the opening of a rustic-looking wooden public toilet near Minal church by the Bishop of Ramsbury “for the convenience of church goers and others.” You can read the story – and see the picture – right here.

• And still with local ecclesiastical matters, the Chair of St Peter’s Church Trust, David Du Croz, has unveiled an exciting new structure for this Marlborough-based charity and invites the public to have their say about the future of the organisation. See here for details.

• And, back with Marlborough News, it seems that Fyfield Down has, in a slightly Orwellian phrase, been “de-declared” as a nature reserve. This has come as news to the local parish councils in the area and the author had (so far) been unable to established what the implications of this might be. Development would seem to be one options. As the article points out, “the manner of this public notice’ being ‘slid’ out quietly with no announcement does give some cause for concern.”

• Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership released the following statement about flu and Covid booster jabs – read more here in Marlborough News.

• Good news for Savernake Hospital, staff, patients and visitors as Marlborough News reports that the Friends of Savernake shop finally reopened.

• The White Horse Bookshop has a new exhibition available until 31 October 2021, click here for more details.

• On the same note, the White Horse Bookshop also features a list of workshops that are available for the rest of this year. See below for more information.

• The new farmer’s market shop in the high street opened this week. Eversfield has a new website that can be viewed here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge is open from 9am to noon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you have surplus veg, the Marlborough Community Larder will gladly take them to redistribute to anyone who is keen to reduce food waste.

• Marlborough has been awarded Gold and the Small Towns Cup in the RHS South-West in Bloom(SWIB) Competition. Not only did the town achieve Gold in the main SWIB competition but the 16 groups who entered ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ also achieved outstanding results. More information can be found on this page here.

• Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal to create any important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough.

Click here for the September 2021 release of the Marlborough Town and Country newsletter.

Local events and activities

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

For more information on Halloween and Bonfire Night activities, see this separate post.

• Monday 25 October Marlborough Town Council and the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are hosting the first Marlborough Dark Skies Fest from 25 to 31 October. Click here for the packed programme of science and art activities celebrating the night sky.

• Friday 19 November Christmas Lights switch-on. More information can be found on the council site.

• 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 meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 6 September and you can read the draft minutes hereTo 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. This includes the message that “Wiltshire Council is consulting on the draft plan (Regulation 16) until 8 November 2021.  If the MANP passes these tests, the local authority will organise a public referendum (vote), so that everyone who lives in the MANP area can decide whether they support it. We expect this now to be sometime in the Autumn due to the waiting list of neighbourhood plans that need processing.”

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 20 September and you can read the draft 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 9 September 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 Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 6 October and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the South Street path; road signs; tree maintenance; the Southward Lane catchpit (which sounds like it might be a trap to catch heffalumps, but probably isn’t); the local plan’s housing allocation; a question that is probably asked pretty regularly here, as it is in parishes in the Lambourn Valley: “will Thames Water be taking a proactive stance this year in relation to sewer surcharging?”; re-wilding initiatives; the neighbourhood development plan; road safety; usage of the football field; the jubilee celebrations; village maintenance issues; the report from the planning committee; the pond maintenance work; and the alarming observation that “the manhole cover is once again loose on West Street.” I hope this means that the manhole cover on West Street is once again loose, rather than that it is once again going round causing trouble. If anyone from APC would like to confirm this point, and the one about the heffalump pit, I’ll add this information in for next time. To 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.

Thursday 14 October 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 1,955 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 4 to 10 October, up 115 on the week before. This equates to 388 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 397 (335 the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• Last chance to have your say on Wiltshire Council’s Climate Strategy, which will look at how the county can tackle climate change. This engagement will be available until midnight on Sunday 17 October 2021. For more information on how you can voice your views and opinions, follow this link.

• The Gazette reports that plans to build a block of flats in George Lane have been turned down by Wiltshire Council.

• Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership released the following statement about flu and Covid booster jabs – read more here in Marlborough News.

• The Chair of St Peter’s Church Trust, David Du Croz, has unveiled an exciting new structure for this Marlborough-based charity and invites the public to have their say about the future of the organisation. See here for details.

• Aspiga, an ethical women’s fashion store, opened a few weeks ago at 119A High Street, ⁠opposite Waitrose. See here for what the store supports and the difference that it makes.

• More than 100 soldiers from 4 Military Intelligence Battalion marched through Marlborough to mark a decade since they were given the freedom of the town and 20 years since their formation. More information and photos can be found on the Swindon Advertiser page here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge is open from 9am to noon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you have surplus veg, the Marlborough Community Larder will gladly take them to redistribute to anyone who is keen to reduce food waste.

• Another round of applause for Ramsbury which, as the Gazette reports here,  has been awarded the accolade of Best Large Village at the recent Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England awards.

• Marlborough has been awarded Gold and the Small Towns Cup in the RHS South-West in Bloom(SWIB) Competition. Not only did the town achieve Gold in the main SWIB competition but the 16 groups who entered ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ also achieved outstanding results. More information can be found on this page here.

• Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal to create any important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough.

Marlborough in bloom

• Congratulations to all those who took part supporting the town’s bid for the South West in Bloom competition. As this article in Marlborough News reports, all these efforts were successful, with the town scooping the top prizes in the awards ceremony in Weston-super-Mare last week. “It was at a time when communities needed lifting,” Marlborough Town Clerk Richard Spender-Williams  commented. “What a great way to lift the spirits with splashing life and colour around the town.”

Local events and activities

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

• Saturday 16 October Marlborough Mop Funfairs returned on Saturday 9 and is next being held on 16 October after a two-year break. These fairs have their origin in labour exchanges but today they are exclusively funfairs and there is some debate over whether they should be held on the High Street or on the Common. This article is from 2017 but still seems relevant.

• Monday 18 October Damian Haasjes of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust will speak at Transition Marlborough’s AGM at Marlborough Town Hall.  If anyone would like to stand or nominate someone for the committee or an office, please email secretary@transitionmarlborough.org. Doors open at 7.15pm for refreshments and the meeting starts 7.30pm.

• Monday 25 October Marlborough Town Council and the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are hosting the first Marlborough Dark Skies Fest from 25 to 31 October. Click here for the packed programme of science and art activities celebrating the night sky.

Friday 19 November Christmas Lights switch-on. More information can be found on the council site.

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 meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 6 September and you can read the draft minutes here. 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. This includes the message that “Wiltshire Council is consulting on the draft plan (Regulation 16) between 20 September and 8 November 2021.  If the MANP passes these tests, the local authority will organise a public referendum (vote), so that everyone who lives in the MANP area can decide whether they support it. We expect this now to be sometime in the Autumn due to the waiting list of neighbourhood plans that need processing.”

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 20 September and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: a collapsed signpost’; a laconic entry under “actions” which reads “bonfires and dogs”; street lighting; planning applications and decisions; financial matters; rights of way; maintenance issues around the parish; play areas and seats; the PC’s website; broadband; community transport; jubilee preparations; sunflowers; bulbs; pavement repairs; overgrown paths; 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 9 September 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 Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 8 September and you can read the minutes here. To 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.

Thursday 7 October 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 1,835 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 27 September to 3 October, up 41 on the week before. This equates to 364 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 335 (335 the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• There is still time to have your say on Wiltshire Council’s Climate Strategy, which will look at how the county can tackle climate change. This engagement will be available until midnight on Sunday 17 October 2021. For more information on how you can voice your views and opinions, follow this link.

The Gazette reports that plans to build a block of flats in George Lane have been turned down by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough Town Council has applied for a road closure to ensure public safety at the Christmas Lights switch-on on Friday 19 November 2021. The closure is set to last from 5pm to 8pm. If you have any comments, please email trafficorders@wiltshire.gov.uk. Otherwise, more information can be found on the council site.

• Avebury Manor is hosting a sculpture exhibition which will be open until 13 October 2021. Click here to be directed to the website otherwise, contact abby.george@nationaltrust.org.uk/avebury or call 07917 515439 for more information.

• Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership has released the following statement about flu and Covid booster jabs – read more here in Marlborough News.

• The Chair of St Peter’s Church Trust, David Du Croz, has unveiled an exciting new structure for this Marlborough-based charity and invites the public to have their say about the future of the organisation. See here for details.

• Marlborough Community Fridge is open from 9am to noon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you have surplus veg, the Marlborough Community Larder will gladly take them to redistribute to anyone who is keen to reduce food waste.

• Congratulations to Ramsbury which, as the Gazette reports here,  has been awarded the accolade of Best Large Village at the recent Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England awards.

• Congratulations again to Katie Thorp and her team of volunteers for their Aldbourne village pond maintenance work last month. As weed clearing and hedge trimming couldn’t be done last year due to lockdown, it was a big job. Katie explains the process to Penny here.

• Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal to create any important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough.

A peppercorn rent

The Merchant’s House in Marlborough is a wonderful 17th century building which has been painstakingly restored and preserved since it was purchased by a trust in 1990. Marlborough Town Council retains a rental interest in it, to the tune of one bag of pepper (as in a peppercorn, or nominal, rent).

As Marlborough News reports, this was duly handed over in a ceremony in which, as the photo shows, some of the participants were in 21st-century attire. Pepper would not always have been as cheap and easy to buy as it is now: the Portuguese empire was largely founded on this one commodity and it was at a time one of the most highly prized, and expensive, spices one could buy.

Local events and activities

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

Saturday 9 October: Marlborough Mop Funfairs are returning on Saturday 9 and 16 October after a two-year break. These fairs have their origin in labour exchanges but today they are exclusively funfairs and there is some debate over whether they should be held on the High Street or on the Common. This article is from 2017 but still seems relevant.

Monday 11 October: St Mary’s Primary School in Marlborough is hosting an open day from 9.15am to 10.45am. This is followed by an open evening on 13 October 2021 running from 6pm to 7.30pm. For more information click here.

Saturday 16 October: Marlborough Mop Funfairs (see above).

Monday 25 October: Marlborough Town Council and the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are hosting the first Marlborough Dark Skies Fest from 25 to 31 October. Click here for the packed programme of science and art activities celebrating the night sky.

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 meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 6 September and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: an address by the leader of Wiltshire Council; a question about questions; questions about crime and disorder; questions to Wiltshire Councillors; the Library; Marlborough in Bloom; a possible clothing bank at the Community and Youth Centre; road-safety at Manton and elsewhere; the Stonebridge Management Committee; the Allotments Association; speeding; and a possible microphone for Council meetings. Many matters are delegated to the TC’s committees, about which you can learn more here. The next meeting will take place on Monday 6 September: details hereTo 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. This includes the message that “Wiltshire Council is consulting on the draft plan (Regulation 16) between 20 September and 8 November 2021.  If the MANP passes these tests, the local authority will organise a public referendum (vote), so that everyone who lives in the MANP area can decide whether they support it. We expect this now to be sometime in the Autumn due to the waiting list of neighbourhood plans that need processing.”

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 20 September and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: a collapsed signpost’; a laconic entry under “actions” which reads “bonfires and dogs”; street lighting; planning applications and decisions; financial matters; rights of way; maintenance issues around the parish; play areas and seats; the PC’s website; broadband; community transport; jubilee preparations; sunflowers; bulbs; pavement repairs; overgrown paths; 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 9 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: speeding; the Bedwyn Dyke; gazing repairs at the phone box; a proposed skate park (doubtful); a new Clerk and RFO; IT equipment; speeding; flowers for the surgery garden; benches; the noticeboard; Christmas lights; open spaces; planning applications; and financial matters. 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 8 September and you can read the minutes here. items covered included: faulty speed indicator devices; the recurring saga of the loose manhole cover on West Street; repairs at Market Cross; tree inspections; a retirement cake for firefighter Chris Martin; roadside verges; the neighbourhood development plan (see also below); wildflowers; Goddards play area; tree works; an encroachment in Whiteley Field; broadband; the report from the planning committee; drugs; dogs; decisions; a filming protocol; the Parish Steward; and the co-option of a new councillor. To 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.

Thursday 30 September 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 1,790 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 20 to 26 September, up 417 on the week before. This equates to 255 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 335 (271 the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• Marlborough Literature Festival is now underway and runs til 3 October 2021. To find out about the events during the festival click here.

Marlborough News reports that the LitFest’s schools’ competition attracted 578 entries. Pupils from “Great Bedwyn, St Francis, Easton Royal, Burbage, Ogbourne St George, Shalbourne, Marlborough St Mary’s and Woodborough schools” submitted entries: “Some were hilarious, some beautifully illustrated and some touching,” a LitFest spokesperson said.

• There is still time to have your say on Wiltshire Council’s Climate Strategy, which will look at how the county can tackle climate change. This engagement will be available until midnight on Sunday 17 October 2021. For more information on how you can voice your views and opinions, follow this link.

• Congratulations to Katie Thorp and her team of volunteers for their Aldbourne village pond maintenance work last Saturday. As weed clearing and hedge trimming couldn’t be done last year due to lockdown, it was a big job. Katie explains the process to Penny here.

• Marlborough Town Council has applied for a road closure to ensure public safety at the Christmas Lights switch-on on Friday 19 November 2021. The closure is set to last from 5pm to 8pm. If you have any comments, please email trafficorders@wiltshire.gov.uk. Otherwise, more information can be found on the council site.

• Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership has released a following statement about flu and Covid booster jabs – read more here in Marlborough News.

• The Gazette reports that Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has thanked the community of Woodborough for its support following the devastating fire which destroyed part of the village primary school on Friday evening.

• Marlborough Community Fridge is open to 9am to noon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you have surplus veg, the Marlborough Community Larder will gladly take them to redistribute to anyone who is keen to reduce food waste.

• Marlborough Town Council and the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are hosting the first Marlborough Dark Skies Fest from 25 to 31 October. Click here for the packed programme of science and art activities celebrating the night sky.

• Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal to create any important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough.

News from the councils

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 6 September and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: an address by the leader of Wiltshire Council; a question about questions; questions about crime and disorder; questions to Wiltshire Councillors; the Library; Marlborough in Bloom; a possible clothing bank at the Community and Youth Centre; road-safety at Manton and elsewhere; the Stonebridge Management Committee; the Allotments Association; speeding; and a possible microphone for Council meetings. Many matters are delegated to the TC’s committees, about which you can learn more here. The next meeting will take place on Monday 6 September: details hereTo 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. This includes the message that “Wiltshire Council is consulting on the draft plan (Regulation 16) between 20 September and 8 November 2021.  If the MANP passes these tests, the local authority will organise a public referendum (vote), so that everyone who lives in the MANP area can decide whether they support it. We expect this now to be sometime in the Autumn due to the waiting list of neighbourhood plans that need processing.”

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 20 September and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: a collapsed signpost’; a laconic entry under “actions” which reads “bonfires and dogs”; street lighting; planning applications and decisions; financial matters; rights of way; maintenance issues around the parish; play areas and seats; the PC’s website; broadband; community transport; jubilee preparations; sunflowers; bulbs; pavement repairs; overgrown paths; 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 9 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: speeding; the Bedwyn Dyke; gazing repairs at the phone box; a proposed skate park (doubtful); a new Clerk and RFO; IT equipment; speeding; flowers for the surgery garden; benches; the noticeboard; Christmas lights; open spaces; planning applications; and financial matters. 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 8 September and you can read the minutes here. items covered included: faulty speed indicator devices; the recurring saga of the loose manhole cover on West Street; repairs at Market Cross; tree inspections; a retirement cake for firefighter Chris Martin; roadside verges; the neighbourhood development plan (see also below); wildflowers; Goddards play area; tree works; an encroachment in Whiteley Field; broadband; the report from the planning committee; drugs; dogs; decisions; a filming protocol; the Parish Steward; and the co-option of a new councillor. To 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.

Thursday 23 September 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 1,372 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 13 to 19 September, up 221 on the week before. This equates to 272 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 271 (267 the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• A certain amount of anger and frustration percolates its way through this article in Marlborough News which reveals that the National Express coach service from Frome to London will no longer stop in Marlborough as it is “not viable.” On questioning from MN, this statement was revised to “marginally profitable” (which could be translated as “profitable.”) As the author points out, all the other stops on the route have rail stations in the town or nearby (or, in the case of Devizes, soon will have): Marlborough does not and has now lost this coach service as well. It seems that various discussions, involving Marlborough TC and MP Danny Kruger, are taking place. Ironically, the town was awarded “coach-friendly” status in June 2021, one of only 24 towns in the country to receive this award.

• If you see groups of people, some in military gear, out and about in the area around Marlborough on Tuesday 28 September peering at maps, that’ll be the teams competing for the Gorkana Cup. As the Town Council explained, this is “similar to orienteering with teams reaching as many check points as possible in the wider landscape around Marlborough.  They score points for each one they reach within the allotted time of the event.” For more information, click here.

• Marlborough Sports Festival was held on 18 September 2021 and, as Marlborough News (MN) reports, it provided young sports stars with an opportunity to try an abundance of sports. This article from MN captures the range of activities on offer and proves what a fantastic event Marlborough Sports Forum organised.

• Marlborough News reports that Wiltshire Council is supporting Kit out the Nation to help provide sports equipment to children who need them in order to get more active. More information and how you can donate can be found here.

• Marlborough Literature Festival is being held from 30 September to 3 October 2021. To find out about the events during the festival click here.

A reminder here about the flag-flying schedule for St Peter’s Church which has recently been released by Tower Constable – if you see something unrecognisable atop the spire and need to know what it is, that link will clear matters up.

Crofton Beam Engine’s last steaming of the year will be this weekend of 25 and 26 September.

• On Saturday 25 September, ARK (Action for River Kennet) is holding a charity BBQ to help raise vital funding. It will be held at Ramsbury Brewery and more information can be found on its Facebook page.

• A car boot sale is taking place on Marlborough Common in aid of the Marlborough Common Charity on Sunday 26 September at 8am. Attendees are asked not to turn up before this time. More information can be found on their Facebook page.

• You can have your say on Wiltshire Council’s Climate Strategy, as the council started an engagement exercise on 1 September 2021 which will look at how the county can tackle climate change. This engagement will be available until midnight on Sunday 17 October 2021. For more information on how you can voice your views and opinions, follow this link.

• The Gazette reports that Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has thanked the community of Woodborough for its support following the devastating fire which destroyed part of the village primary school on Friday evening.

• Marlborough is infamous for its roadworks and residents are appealing to drivers to still keep junctions clear when they are waiting for traffic lights to change otherwise it causes more congestion and blocks access for emergency vehicles. For more details join the Marlborough Traffic Problems facebook group.

Marlborough Community Fridge has extended its opening times to 9am to noon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you have surplus veg, the Marlborough Community Larder will gladly take them to redistribute to anyone who is keen to reduce food waste.

Marlborough News reports that Marlborough Town Council and the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are hosting the first Marlborough Dark Skies Fest in October this year. Opening on October 25 and culminating on the weekend of October 30/31 there will be a packed programme of science and art activities celebrating the night sky.

• Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal to create any important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough.

News from the councils

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 6 September and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: an address by the leader of Wiltshire Council; a question about questions; questions about crime and disorder; questions to Wiltshire Councillors; the Library; Marlborough in Bloom; a possible clothing bank at the Community and Youth Centre; road-safety at Manton and elsewhere; the Stonebridge Management Committee; the Allotments Association; speeding; and a possible microphone for Council meetings. Many matters are delegated to the TC’s committees, about which you can learn more here. The next meeting will take place on Monday 6 September: details here. 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 Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 9 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: speeding; the Bedwyn Dyke; gazing repairs at the phone box; a proposed skate park (doubtful); a new Clerk and RFO; IT equipment; speeding; flowers for the surgery garden; benches; the noticeboard; Christmas lights; open spaces; planning applications; and financial matters. 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 8 September and you can read the minutes here. items covered included: faulty speed indicator devices; the recurring saga of the loose manhole cover on West Street; repairs at Market Cross; tree inspections; a retirement cake for firefighter Chris Martin; roadside verges; the neighbourhood development plan (see also below); wildflowers; Goddards play area; tree works; an encroachment in Whiteley Field; broadband; the report from the planning committee; drugs; dogs; decisions; a filming protocol; the Parish Steward; and the co-option of a new councillor. To 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.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 16 August and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: several planning applications; pavement repairs; a grant of £22,000 to the Ramsbury Flyer; rights of way; play areas; parish communications; the allotments; village maintenance; 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.

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

Thursday 16 September 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 1,153 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 6 to 12 September, down 742 on the week before. This equates to 229 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 267 (332 the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

This article in the Gazette paints a grim picture of Wiltshire Council’s finances, with a projected “Black hole” of £40m for the forthcoming financial year.

Marlborough News reports that Wiltshire Council is supporting Kit out the Nation to help provide sports equipment to children who need them in order to get more active. More information and how you can donate can be found here.

The same source confirms that the flag-flying schedule for St Peter’s Church has just been released by Tower Constable, Jeremy York “who makes sure that every day, the correct (and frequently different) flag is flying from the Church Tower.” Events commemorated include the battle of Ethandune, death of King Alfred, Merchant Navy Day, the death of Cardinal Wolsey and the Queen’s wedding anniversary.

• And still with MN, Crofton Beam Engine’s last steaming of the year will be on the weekend of 25 and 26 of September

• On 25 September, ARK (Action for River Kennet) is holding a charity BBQ to help raise vital funding. It will be held at Ramsbury Brewery and more information can be found on their Facebook page.

• A car boot sale is taking place on Marlborough Common in aid of the Marlborough Common Charity on 26 September at 8am. Attendees are asked not to turn up before this time. More information can be found on their Facebook page.

• Marlborough Literature Festival is being held from 30 September to 3 October 2021 and tickets went on sale on 2 September 2021. To find out about the events during the festival click here.

• Marlborough Town Council has announced that Rawlingswell Lane, Marlborough will be closed from 9 to 10 September 2021 between 9:30am to 3:50pm for road repair works. For more information, please click here.

• A reminder that any young sports enthusiasts can attend the Marlborough Sports Festival being held on Saturday 18 September 2021. There are a variety of sports being played on the day including climbing, dodgeball, archery and many more. Anyone between the ages of 10 and 19 are welcome. The event will provide a free experience for our young stars to learn new skills and gain interests in sports they might have seen recently at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. For more information about the festival and how to register, please click here.

• Another reminder, that Channel 4 restoration TV show Find it, Fix it, Flog it is looking for “unique and unusual items in people’s sheds to restore and add value to their unused/unwanted items” throughout Marlborough and the surrounding areas. Please click here to find out more and how you can get involved.

Marlborough News confirms the Parade Cinema’s opening date as Saturday 18 September.

• You can have your say on Wiltshire Council’s Climate Strategy, as the council started an engagement exercise on 1 September 2021 which will look at how the county can tackle climate change. This engagement will be available until midnight on Sunday 17 October 2021. For more information on how you can voice your views and opinions, follow this link.

• Marlborough is infamous for its roadworks and residents are appealing to drivers to still keep junctions clear when they are waiting for traffic lights to change otherwise it causes more congestion and blocks access for emergency vehicles. For more details join the Marlborough Traffic Problems facebook group.

Marlborough Community Fridge has extended its opening times to 9am to noon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you have surplus veg, the Marlborough Community Larder will gladly take them to redistribute to anyone who is keen to reduce food waste.

Marlborough News reports that Marlborough Town Council and the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are hosting the first Marlborough Dark Skies Fest in October this year. Opening on October 25 and culminating on the weekend of October 30/31 there will be a packed programme of science and art activities celebrating the night sky.

• Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal to create any important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough.

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 6 September and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: an address by the leader of Wiltshire Council; a question about questions; questions about crime and disorder; questions to Wiltshire Councillors; the Library; Marlborough in Bloom; a possible clothing bank at the Community and Youth Centre; road-safety at Manton and elsewhere; the Stonebridge Management Committee; the Allotments Association; speeding; and a possible microphone for Council meetings. Many matters are delegated to the TC’s committees, about which you can learn more here. The next meeting will take place on Monday 6 September: details here. 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 16 August and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: several planning applications; pavement repairs; a grant of £22,000 to the Ramsbury Flyer; rights of way; play areas; parish communications; the allotments; village maintenance; 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 8 July and you can read the draft minutes here. 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 7 July 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 a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

Thursday 9 September 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 1,883 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 30 August to 5 September, up 302 on the week before. This equates to 374 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 332 (292 the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

Marlborough News reports that Marlborough has found a place in The Times‘ recent list of the top 23 places to live in the UK. 23 seems like a strange number to choose but I can’t tell you why this is, nor what the other 22 are, because I don’t have a subscription to get through Murdoch’s paywall. Marlborough News clearly does so I’ll let them take up the running from here

• Marlborough Literature Festival is being held from 30 September to 3 October 2021 and tickets went on sale on 2 September 2021. To find out about the events during the festival click here.

• Marlborough Town Council has announced that Rawlingswell Lane, Marlborough will be closed from 9 to 10 September 2021 between 9:30am to 3:50pm for road repair works. For more information, please click here.

• Channel 4 restoration TV show Find it, Fix it, Flog it is looking for “unique and unusual items in people’s sheds to restore and add value to their unused/unwanted items” throughout Marlborough and the surrounding areas. Please click here to find out more and how you can get involved.

• Any young sport enthusiasts can attend the Marlborough Sports Festival being held on Saturday 18 September 2021. There are a variety of sports being played on the day including climbing, dodgeball, archery and many more. Anyone between the ages of 10 and 19 are welcome. The event will provide a free experience for our young stars to learn new skills and gain interests in sports they might have seen recently at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. For more information about the festival and how to register, please click here.

• As reported by Marlborough News, the Marlborough Youth Choir are hosting rehearsals starting on Friday 10 September 2021 from 3:30 to 4:30pm at St Mary’s Church, Marlborough. If you wish to learn more about the rehearsals, then click here.

• On Sunday 12 September 2021 The Merchant House, Marlborough open garden event is back. The event was cancelled last year and is an opportunity for the public to view “a variety of private and community gardens” and aim to be “showing off their (the gardens) late summer glory”. To book tickets and find out more information on the event, please click here.

• If you’re looking for your football fix, then you can look no further than the local A4 derby between Hungerford Town Swifts vs Marlborough Town Development on Saturday 11 September 2021. The game kicks off at 3pm and entry to the game at The Town Ground, Bulpit Lane, Hungerford is free. For updates from Marlborough Town Twitter page click here, and to see the promotional poster for the game please click here.

Marlborough News confirms the Parade Cinema’s opening date as Saturday 18 September. I can almost hear the pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-paah-pa-pa of the Pearl and Dean music as I write this. Younger readers won’t have a clue what I’m talking about. I don’t know if the Parade will be offering Pearl and Dean adverts but it seems they’ve got some very good movies lined up.

• Transition Marlborough has taken over the care of Marlborough Community Orchard with the support of other partners such as the Town Council. They are marking this event on Sun 12 Sept with a walk around eight of the smaller community orchard sites which will finish at the Diamond Jubilee Plantation to plant wild flowers and have a picnic. Everyone is welcome (please bring your own picnic). The walk will start at the Roebuck Inn car park at 11am and will finish at the Diamond Jubilee Plantation on the Common (off Free’s Avenue) around midday. Non-walkers are welcome to join there. If it rains heavily, the event will be postponed until the following Sunday.

• You can have your say on Wiltshire Council’s Climate Strategy, as the council started an engagement exercise on 1 September 2021 which will look at how the county can tackle climate change. This engagement will be available until midnight on Sunday 17 October 2021. For more information on how you can voice your views and opinions, follow this link.

• Would you like to get out cycling in a social group and to get to know about routes in your area? If so, join the British Cycling Guided Rides for Marlborough with qualified ride leaders.

• Marlborough is still over-run by roadworks and residents are appealing to drivers to still keep junctions clear when they are waiting for traffic lights to change otherwise it causes more congestion and blocks access for emergency vehicles. For more details join the Marlborough Traffic Problems facebook group.

Marlborough Community Fridge has extended its opening times to 9am to noon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you have surplus veg, the Marlborough Community Larder will gladly take them to redistribute to anyone who is keen to reduce food waste.

Marlborough News reports that Marlborough Town Council and the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are hosting the first Marlborough Dark Skies Fest in October this year. Opening on October 25 and culminating on the weekend of October 30/31 there will be a packed programme of science and art activities celebrating the night sky.

• Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal to create any important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough.

• The Marlborough branch of Barclays Bank is to close in September leaving only Lloyds and Nationwide Building Society. See more on Marlborough News.

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 19 July and you can read the minutes here. Many matters are delegated to the TC’s committees, about which you can learn more here. The next meeting will take place on Monday 6 September: details here. 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 16 August and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: several planning applications; pavement repairs; a grant of £22,000 to the Ramsbury Flyer; rights of way; play areas; parish communications; the allotments; village maintenance; 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 8 July and you can read the draft minutes here. 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 7 July 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 a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

Thursday 2 September 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 1,569 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 23 to 29 August, down 495 on the week before. This equates to 311 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 292 (316 the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

Marlborough News confirms the Parade Cinema’s opening date as Saturday 18 September.

• The same source announces that “the box office is now open” for LitFest 2021.

• And still with MN, a story here about how Wiltshire Air Ambulance was called out to a record number of incidents (about 24 a week on average) but that it is facing a financial shortfall of about £500,000.

St Peter’s Church has had its face and hands re-installed after restoration work. I think we’d all agree that a clock’s pretty useless without these.

• I mentioned before at my amazement at learning a few months back that the village of Ramsbury has a bishop. It seems from this article in Marlborough News that he’s been a busy bishop, involved as he is in spearheading a project “that will create a free digital map of every grave and feature in every churchyard in the country.” Genealogists and local historians will love that.

• Transition Marlborough has taken over the care of Marlborough Community Orchard with the support of other partners such as the Town Council. They are marking this event on Sun 12 Sept with a walk around eight of the smaller community orchard sites which will finish at the Diamond Jubilee Plantation to plant wild flowers and have a picnic. Everyone is welcome (please bring your own picnic). The walk will start at the Roebuck Inn car park at 11am and will finish at the Diamond Jubilee Plantation on the Common (off Free’s Avenue) around midday. Non-walkers are welcome to join there. If it rains heavily, the event will be postponed until the following Sunday.

• You can have your say on Wiltshire Council’s Climate Strategy, as the council started an engagement exercise on 1 September 2021 which will look at how the county can tackle climate change. This engagement will be available until midnight on Sunday 17 October 2021. For more information on how you can voice your views and opinions, follow this link.

• Graffiti has been spotted in Marlborough, sprayed onto a grit salt bin. A Facebook post highlighting the graffiti has been splitting opinions on the Marlborough Notice Board page: some believe it adds creative flair to what is a fairly boring looking plastic yellow bin while others have argued that, whether it’s an attractive design or not, it’s still vandalism. Trouble is, everyone with a spray can thinks they’re Banksy these days. To view the post, click here.

ARK volunteers recently worked on The River Shalbourne, foraged for native marginal plants and planted them in a newly created channel to support fish passage and a wealth of other chalk stream creatures.

• Would you like to get out cycling in a social group and to get to know about routes in your area? If so, join the British Cycling Guided Rides for Marlborough with qualified Ride Leaders who will ensure that no one gets left behind.

• The Gazette reports that Vodafone has been denied planning permission to install new antennae on St Peter’s Church in Marlborough.

• Packaging Not Included zero-waste shop in Hughenden Yard has extended its opening times until 6.30pm on Thursdays until the end of September to test the popularity of this later shopping slot.

• Marlborough is still over-run by roadworks and residents are appealing to drivers to still keep junctions clear when they are waiting for traffic lights to change otherwise it causes more congestion and blocks access for emergency vehicles. For more details join the Marlborough Traffic Problems facebook group.

Marlborough Community Fridge has extended its opening times to 9am to noon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Milldenhall Cricket Club is looking to start playing again in the summer of 2022, if there are any cricketers who are looking for a team to play with on a Sunday, please get in touch with Ashley Miles on amiles9192@yahoo.com.

Marlborough Youth FC is recruiting players for its mixed Under 14s (going into Year 9 this Sept). Please contact Richard on richard.bartlett10@btinternet.com.

• When walking along Marlborough High Street, keep an eye out for the post box in front of the post office. It wears various hats to keep you smiling.

Marlborough News reports that Marlborough Town Council and the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are hosting the first Marlborough Dark Skies Fest in October this year. Opening on October 25 and culminating on the weekend of October 30/31 there will be a packed programme of science and art activities celebrating the night sky.

• Wiltshire Council will also be consulting about its draft climate strategy from early September.

• Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal to create a strategically important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough.

• The Marlborough branch of Barclays Bank is to close in September leaving only Lloyds and Nationwide Building Society. See more on Marlborough News.

• If you have surplus veg, the Marlborough Community Larder will gladly take them to redistribute to anyone who is keen to reduce food waste.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Summer Raffle has been launched to raise funds for vital local charity.

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 19 July and you can read the minutes here. Many matters are delegated to the TC’s committees, about which you can learn more here. The next meeting will take place on Monday 6 September: details here. 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 19 July and you can read the draft 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 8 July and you can read the draft minutes here. 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 7 July 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 a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

Thursday 26 August 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 2,063 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 6 to 22 August, up 616 on the week before. This equates to 409 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 316 (292 the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• For the first time in 18 months, the Mayor of Marlborough was able to don his magnificent red robes and gleaming chains and preside over an in-person civic reception. Click here for a report and photos.

• On 25 August someone set fire to a stack of straw just outside Marlborough. Saul Kidston is offering £1,000 reward for any information leading to the conviction of the person/people responsible for setting fire to the straw. Please call 07557 3089 57 or inform the local police station. Any information will be treated in the strictest confidence.

• Three and a half months after everyone else (due to confusions at the last election), Wiltshire and Swindon has a new Police and Crime Commissioner. Marlborough News has the results here. One of the items in his in-tray will be to look at a compensation claim for false imprisonment made by Marlborough resident Peter Murphy.

• The same source confirms the Parade Cinema’s opening date as Saturday 18 September.

• Many hands make light work – ARK volunteers recently worked on The River Shalbourne, foraged for native marginal plants and planted them in a newly created channel to support fish passage and a wealth of other chalk stream creatures.

• Would you like to get out cycling in a social group and to get to know about routes in your area? If so, join the British Cycling Guided Rides for Marlborough with qualified Ride Leaders who will ensure that no one gets left behind.

• The Gazette reports that Vodafone has been denied planning permission to install new antennae on St Peter’s Church in Marlborough.

• Packaging Not Included zero-waste shop in Hughenden Yard has extended its opening times until 6.30pm on Thursdays until the end of September to test the popularity of this later shopping slot.

• Marlborough is still over-run by roadworks and residents are appealing to drivers to still keep junctions clear when they are waiting for traffic lights to change otherwise it causes more congestion and blocks access for emergency vehicles. For more details join the Marlborough Traffic Problems facebook group.

Marlborough Community Fridge has extended its opening times to 9am to noon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Why not pop on down, say hello to the lovely volunteers and check out what’s in the fridge for the taking?

• There is a lovely field of sunflowers on the A4 between West Overton and Fyfield on the left hand side travelling towards Marlborough. There’s no safe area to pull over but you can admire Suzette Davis’s photo on facebook.

Milldenhall Cricket Club is looking to start playing again in the summer of 2022, if there are any cricketers who are looking for a team to play with on a Sunday, please get in touch with Ashley Miles on amiles9192@yahoo.com.

• Wiltshire CC Councillor Wheeler told the meeting of Shalbourne PC on 22 July that Wiltshire Council was committed to re-wilding verges across the county. It will take three years for full repopulation of the verges with indigenous plants. He also felt that uncut verges helped to slow traffic in narrow country lanes.

Marlborough News reports that Marlborough TC’s Planning Committee recently opposed the application by the developers of the Equine Clinic at Poulton Mill for a change of use.

• The same website reports on the discussion at the same committee about “how to alleviate the dangers to users on the stretch of the A4” in the Manton area to the west of Marlborough.

• Following the sad death of Councillor Bryan Castle in June, Marlborough Town Council now has a vacancy in the West Ward. If you are interested in joining the council please download the application pack from the website.

• For the latest news on the Hawthorn Meadow development near Rabley Wood View please see this update from the developers Green Square Accord.

Aldbourne will be beating the bounds on Monday 30 August. Click here for more information. It’s not necessary to do the whole walk but every a few miles will be helping to do your bit to ensure that the parish is still intact.

Marlborough Youth FC is recruiting players for its mixed Under 14s (going into Year 9 this Sept). Please contact Richard on richard.bartlett10@btinternet.com.

• When walking along Marlborough High Street, keep an eye out for the post box in front of the post office. It wears various hatsto keep you smiling (“yarn bombing” is the phrase, I believe).

Marlborough News reports that Marlborough Town Council and the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are hosting the first Marlborough Dark Skies Fest in October this year. Opening on October 25 and culminating on the weekend of October 30/31 there will be a packed programme of science and art activities celebrating the night sky.

• Wiltshire Council will also be consulting about its draft climate strategy from early September.

• Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal to create a strategically important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough.

• The Marlborough branch of Barclays Bank is to close in September leaving only Lloyds and Nationwide Building Society. See more on Marlborough News.

• If you have surplus veg, the Marlborough Community Larder will gladly take them to redistribute to anyone who is keen to reduce food waste.

• Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has been awarded a £495,000 grant from the second round of government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Summer Raffle has been launched to raise funds for vital local charity.

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 19 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: questions from the public regarding the NDP, the climate emergency and the medical centre) a report from the Police; local sheltered accommodation; the Mayor’s statement; the recent funfair on the Common; the creation of a Twinning Working Party “to propose, and examine existing, twinning links”; the neighbourhood development plan; and the promise of a procedural clarification. Many matters are delegated to the TC’s committees, about which you can learn more here.

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

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 19 July and you can read the draft minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 8 July and you can read the draft minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 7 July and you can read the minutes here. I

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

Thursday 19 August 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 1,448 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 9 to 15 August, up 115 on the week before. This equates to 287 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 292 (284 the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• If you are interested in finding out about U3A, pop along to the The Coffee Exchange at The Wesley Hall from 10.30am to noon (or 10.45am on zoom) on Thursday 26 August for a great opportunity to meet other U3A members and enjoy a talk on local events in Marlborough. If you want to attend please contact U3A here. 

• David Williams, General Manager of the new Parade Cinema which will be opening soon, says they will cater to as wide an audience as possible, showing a range of blockbusters, foreign-language, live performances from the National Theatre, arthouse films and documentaries. There will also be a regular Kid’s Club slot on the weekends, screenings for parents and babies, and cinema goers with autism. They invite feedback on the films that are being chosen. More details here.

Milldenhall Cricket Club is looking to start playing again in the summer of 2022, if there are any cricketers who are looking for a team to play with on a Sunday, please get in touch with Ashley Miles on amiles9192@yahoo.com.

• The unused telephone box on the corner of Chopping Knife Lane and London Road has been given a horticultural make-over by the Marlborough Town Council grounds team.

• Many hands make light work – ARK volunteers recently worked on The River Shalbourne, foraged for native marginal plants and planted them in a newly created channel to support fish passage and a wealth of other chalk stream creatures.

• Reports of a car break-in at the Savernake Forest car park is a reminder to not leave valuables in your car if you park in remote areas (or anywhere). It’s worth leaving the glove compartment open and the parcel shelf removed from boot so it’s clear there is nothing worth breaking in for.

• Wiltshire CC Councillor Wheeler told the meeting of Shalbourne PC on 22 July that Wiltshire Council was committed to re-wilding verges across the county. It will take three years for full repopulation of the verges with indigenous plants. He also felt that uncut verges helped to slow traffic in narrow country lanes.

Marlborough News reports that Marlborough TC’s Planning Committee recently opposed the application by the developers of the Equine Clinic at Poulton Mill for a change of use.

• The same website reports on the discussion at the same committee about “how to alleviate the dangers to users on the stretch of the A4” in the Manton area to the west of Marlborough.

• Following the sad death of Councillor Bryan Castle in June, Marlborough Town Council now has a vacancy in the West Ward. If you are interested in joining the council please download the application pack from the website.

• For the latest news on the Hawthorn Meadow development near Rabley Wood View please see this update from the developers Green Square Accord.

• Congratulations to Ramsbury which, as Marlborough News reports here, has beaten 38 other large villages in Wiltshire to will the title of Best Kept Large Village in Wiltshire 2021.

Aldbourne will be beating the bounds on Monday 30 August. Click here for more information. It’s not necessary to do the whole walk but every a few miles will be helping to do your bit to ensure that the parish is still intact.

• If you like acting, there is still time (just) to audition for Marlborough Playersproduction of A Dangerous Cornerby J.B. Priestley 22 to 27 November. Contact Pat Turvey on pturvey@aol.com or Barry Mercer on (01672) 514144.

Marlborough Youth FC is recruiting players for its mixed Under 14s (going into Year 9 this Sept). Please contact Richard on richard.bartlett10@btinternet.com.

• When walking along Marlborough High Street, keep an eye out for the post box in front of the post office. It wears various hatsto keep you smiling (“yarn bombing” is the phrase, I believe).

There are roadworks on London Road between the Esso garage and the Town Hall will cause delays until the end of August. For more about traffic issues in the Marlborough area, join the Marlborough Traffic Problems facebook group.

• Please respond to the Wiltshire Bus Services Survey before 23 August.

• See last week’s entry (below) for the the story of the escaped bees in Coopers Meadow.

Marlborough News reports that Marlborough Town Council and the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are hosting the first Marlborough Dark Skies Fest in October this year. Opening on October 25 and culminating on the weekend of October 30/31 there will be a packed programme of science and art activities celebrating the night sky.

• Marlborough Athletics has opened its Thursday evening sessions to over 18s from beginners to athletes. If you are interested please contact enquiries@marlboroughathletics.co.uk or visit marlboroughathletics.co.uk.

• Wiltshire Council will also be consulting about its draft climate strategy from early September.

• Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal to create a strategically important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough.

• The Marlborough branch of Barclays Bank is to close in September leaving only Lloyds and Nationwide Building Society. See more on Marlborough News.

• If you have surplus veg, the Marlborough Community Larder will gladly take them to redistribute to anyone who is keen to reduce food waste.

• Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has been awarded a £495,000 grant from the second round of government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Summer Raffle has been launched to raise funds for vital local charity.

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 19 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: questions from the public regarding the NDP, the climate emergency and the medical centre) a report from the Police; local sheltered accommodation; the Mayor’s statement; the recent funfair on the Common; the creation of a Twinning Working Party “to propose, and examine existing, twinning links”; the neighbourhood development plan; and the promise of a procedural clarification. Many matters are delegated to the TC’s committees, about which you can learn more here.

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

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 19 July and you can read the draft minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 8 July and you can read the draft minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 7 July and you can read the minutes here. I

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

Thursday 12 August 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 1,327 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 2 to 8 August, up 46 on the week before. This equates to 263 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 284 (255 the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

Marlborough Community Fridge is chuffed with its top food hygiene rating of five thanks to the hard work of its volunteers. Drop in to see them on Thursday or Saturday between 10 and 2pm and see if you can give a home to some fabulous food and flowers.

• For the latest news on the Hawthorn Meadow development near Rabley Wood View please see this update from the developers Green Square Accord.

• Congratulations to Ramsbury which, as Marlborough News reports here, has beaten 38 other large villages in Wiltshire to will the title of Best Kept Large Village in Wiltshire 2021. I wonder how large a small village has to be before it becomes a large village; and how large a large village has to be before it becomes a town. Is the dictinction between a town and a village solely one of population? I don’t know – if you do, let me know. I suppose Ramsbury is also Wiltshire’s eastern-most large village, but there isn’t a prize for that. Not much point, really, as it would win it every year.

Aldbourne will be beating the bounds on Monday 30 August, a matter of patrolling the 18-mile boundary presumably to ensure that neighbouring parishes haven’t tried to steal any of it. Click here for more information. It’s not necessary to do the whole walk but every a few miles will be helping to do your bit to ensure that the parish is still intact.

• The re-run election for the Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner takes place on Thursday 19 August. Marlborough News looks here at the five candidates. The Electoral Commission website reveals that in 2019 the average turnout for the PCC elections in 2021 was 33.2%.

• If you like acting, there is still time (just) to audition for Marlborough Playersproduction of A Dangerous Cornerby J.B. Priestley 22 to 27 November. Contact Pat Turvey on pturvey@aol.com or Barry Mercer on (01672) 514144.

Marlborough Youth FC is recruiting players for its mixed Under 14s (going into year 9 this Sept). Please contact Richard on richard.bartlett10@btinternet.com.

• Residents and businesses in the vicinity of the High Street, New Road and Kingsbury Street have been notified of the road closures planned for the Mop Fairs in October. Any comments should be submitted by 19 August 2021 to the Traffic Orders team at Wiltshire Council: trafficorders@wiltshire.gov.uk or  01225 713486.

• When walking along Marlborough High Street, keep an eye out for the post box in front of the post office. It wears various hatsto keep you smiling (“yarn bombing” is the phrase, I believe).

There are roadworks on London Road between the Esso garage and the Town Hall will cause delays until the end of August. For more about traffic issues in the Marlborough area, join the Marlborough Traffic Problems facebook group.

• Please respond to the Wiltshire Bus Services Survey before 23 August.

• See last week’s entry (below) for the the story of the escaped bees in Coopers Meadow.

Marlborough News reports that Marlborough Town Council and the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are hosting the first Marlborough Dark Skies Fest in October this year. Opening on October 25 and culminating on the weekend of October 30/31 there will be a packed programme of science and art activities celebrating the night sky.

• Marlborough Athletics has opened its Thursday evening sessions to over 18s from beginners to athletes who want some power (speed, jump) sessions or runners who have visual or hearing impairments who would prefer the safety of the track. If you are interested please contact enquiries@marlboroughathletics.co.uk or visit marlboroughathletics.co.uk.

• Wiltshire Council will also be consulting about its draft climate strategy from early September.

• Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal to create a strategically important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough.

• The Marlborough branch of Barclays Bank is to close in September leaving only Lloyds and Nationwide Building Society. See more on Marlborough News.

• If you have surplus veg, the Marlborough Community Larderwill gladly take them to redistribute to anyone who is keen to reduce food waste.

• See last week’s entry (below) for the latest on The Silks on the Downs’ fundraising drive.

• Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has been awarded a £495,000 grant from the second round of government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Summer Raffle has been launched to raise funds for vital local charity.

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 19 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: questions from the public regarding the NDP, the climate emergency and the medical centre) a report from the Police; local sheltered accommodation; the Mayor’s statement; the recent funfair on the Common; the creation of a Twinning Working Party “to propose, and examine existing, twinning links”; the neighbourhood development plan; and the promise of a procedural clarification. Many matters are delegated to the TC’s committees, about which you can learn more here.

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

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 19 July and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: correspondence for residents; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; play areas; the emergency committee; Axford (“all is well in Axford” the minutes encouragingly report); communications; pavements; community transport; allotments; Wiltshire CC meeting regarding climate change; village maintenance; the memorial garden; the nature reserve; the Recreation Centre; and the toilets.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 8 July and you can read the draft minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 7 July and you can read the minutes here. I

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

Thursday 5 August 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 1,278 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 26 July to 1 August, down 173 on the week before. This equates to 254 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 255 (332 the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• Last week saw the arrival of the new partly-prefabricated classrooms for Preshute Primary School. If you want to see some photos of part of a building on the end of a crane (go on – indulge yourself), then this page on Marlborough News is the place to go.

• When walking along Marlborough High Street, keep an eye out for the post box in front of the post office. It wears various hats to keep you smiling (“yarn bombing” is the phrase, I believe.)

• Roadworks on London Road between the Esso garage and the Town Hall will cause delays until the end of August. For more about traffic issues in the Marlborough area, join the Marlborough Traffic Problems facebook group.

• More public transport can only help the traffic problems. Please respond to the Wiltshire Bus Services Survey before 23 August.

• The Marlborough in Bloom group thanks all the shops, businesses, hostelries, organisations and homes on the judging route who made a valiant effort for the the Britain in Bloom Judge last Thursday. They now await the results of the town and the assessments for the community groups (in progress now), to come out in October. Meanwhile, keep on making Marlborough look blooming lovely!
• Marlborough Town Council has provided an update about the escaped bees in Coopers Meadow after a concerned member of the public contacted someone to remove them from where they had been settled on a post: this handling of the bees frightened and dispersed them. Council staff were quickly on site to prevent the bees being taken away. They soon settled down on the same post as before and, as nature was taking a while to take its course, the beekeeper who owns the hives has now coaxed them gently back home. The Council advises that, unless there is a genuine emergency, people should contact the Council with any concerns concerning or taking place in open spaces and certainly before taking matters into their own hands. The Council’s office hours number is 01672 512487: out of hours please call 07593 584095 or 07715 639827.

• A couple of weeks ago Collingbourne Ducis suffered a tragedy when 7-year old Eloise Jackson, riding her bike near her home in the village was killed in an accident with a lorry. Danny Kruger MP is “urging a major rethink of the designation of the A338/A346 as a major trunk road. The good news is that a review of the north-south links in the South West is already underway, and I hope that this is an opportunity for change. The big lorries should be on the A34, to the east, and the A350, to the west. This will also require better regulation of satnav use by HGV drivers. It is simply inappropriate for the big lorries to use this road in the volumes they do.”

Marlborough News reports that Marlborough Town Council and the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are hosting the first Marlborough Dark Skies Fest in October this year. Opening on October 25 and culminating on the weekend of October 30/31 there will be a packed programme of science and art activities celebrating the night sky.

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest. The organisation has also announced its visiting authors and a new lead sponsor.

• Marlborough Athletics has opened its Thursday evening sessions to over 18s from beginners to athletes who want some power (speed, jump) sessions or runners who have visual or hearing impairments who would prefer the safety of the track. If you are interested please contact enquiries@marlboroughathletics.co.uk or visit marlboroughathletics.co.uk.

• Dogs Trust Marlborough charity shop (near Waitrose) is happy to accept donations Monday to Friday, no appointment required.

• The booking system for Wiltshire Council’s Household Recycling Centres has ended and you can now visit a site without booking in advance. More information can be found here.

Marlborough News explains here why one of the 2012 Olympic torches was in Great Bedwyn a couple of weeks ago.

• Wiltshire Council will also be consulting about its draft climate strategy from early September.

• Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal to create a strategically important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough.

• The Marlborough branch of Barclays Bank is to close in September leaving only Lloyds and Nationwide Building Society. See more on Marlborough News.

• If you have surplus veg, the Marlborough Community Larderwill gladly take them to redistribute to anyone who is keen to reduce food waste.

• Rotarian David Shepherd is running a charity shop in August in Marlborough to raise money for Camp Mohawk, JAC, Alexander Devine children’s hospice and Royal Berkshire Hospital. If anyone has any mannequins, free-standing shelving or free-standing clothes rails they could use to display everything on, or any donations for them to sell, please contact David’s daughter Krista on kristacowen@outlook.com.

• The Silks on the Downs pub in Ogbourne St Andrew has been a place for families and friends to come together and enjoy great food, drink and company for over 100 years. In 2020, the landlord approached the Parish Council to see if there was any interest to buy the freehold and manage The Silks as a community run pub. As a result, a group of passionate local volunteers formed the Ogbourne Community Pub Society (OCtyPuS) to establish a financially and commercially sound community pub. With a total aim to raise £200,000, they are short just £7,600 as of 3 August and have extended the share offer. For more information please contact info@savethesilks.org.

• Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has been awarded a £495,000 grant from the second round of government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Summer Raffle has been launched to raise funds for vital local charity.

• The Merchant’s House Trust has launched an appeal “to ensure that this landmark building on Marlborough’s High Street is conserved for future generations.”

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 19 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: questions from the public regarding the NDP, the climate emergency and the medical centre) a report from the Police; local sheltered accommodation; the Mayor’s statement; the recent funfair on the Common; the creation of a Twinning Working Party “to propose, and examine existing, twinning links”; the neighbourhood development plan; and the promise of a procedural clarification. Many matters are delegated to the TC’s committees, about which you can learn more here.

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

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 19 July and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: correspondence for residents; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; play areas; the emergency committee; Axford (“all is well in Axford” the minutes encouragingly report); communications; pavements; community transport; allotments; Wiltshire CC meeting regarding climate change; village maintenance; the memorial garden; the nature reserve; the Recreation Centre; and the toilets.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 8 July and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: GBPC’s response to Wiltshire Council’s Local Plan; the co-option of a new member; councillor responsibilities; the need for a Clerk and RFO; the internal audit; the housing development on Bedwyn dyke field (see also last week’s section below); other planning matters; the replacement of two “decrepit” noticeboards in the Village Square; a possible new village bench; and financial matters.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 7 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the Carnival Committee’s events on The Green on 28 and 29 July; a vacant council seat which will be filled by co-option; 15 separate village maintenance issues, most involving roads, drains and vegetation; FTTP (fibre to the premises) broadband services; the consultation on the neighbourhood development plan (from 20 September to 15 November 2021); the public toilets; verge cutting and wildflower areas; surveying the ash trees; a proposed pedestrian and road safety audit; management of the Winterbourne and the pond; and planning issues.

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

Thursday 29 July 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 1,451 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 19-25 July, down 700 on the week before. This equates to 290 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 332 (495 the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• 29 July is, as MN reports, judgement day in Marlborough with the arrival of the judges from the RHS to see if the town can retain its South West in Bloom crown (it won the award in 2019 and 2020’s was cancelled due to Covid). Marlborough Town Council has made its own statement here, which includes thanks to several of the people involved.

• The same day also saw the arrival of the new partly-prefabricated classrooms for Preshute Primary School. If you want to see some photos of part of a building on the end of a crane, then this page on Marlborough News is the place to go.

• The same source has information on a “summit” to be held by MP Danny Kruger on 2 August to try to improve the area’s broadband service.

Marlborough News reports that Marlborough Town Council and the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are hosting the first Marlborough Dark Skies Fest in October this year. Opening on October 25 and culminating on the weekend of October 30/31 there will be a packed programme of science and art activities celebrating the night sky.

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest. The organisation has also announced its visiting authors and a new lead sponsor.

• The Gazette reports on “months of roadworks” in Marlborough. One example of this will be roadworks in George Lane until the end of July for work on a new zebra crossing.

• Marlborough Athletics is opening its Thursday evening sessions to over 18s from beginners to athletes who want some power (speed, jump) sessions or runners who have visual or hearing impairments who would prefer the safety of the track. If you are interested please contact enquiries@marlboroughathletics.co.uk or visit marlboroughathletics.co.uk.

• Dogs Trust Marlborough charity shop (near Waitrose) is happy to accept donations Monday to Friday, no appointment required.

• The booking system for Wiltshire Council’s Household Recycling Centres has ended and you can now visit a site without booking in advance. More information can be found here.

Marlborough News explains here why one of the 2012 Olympic torches was in Great Bedwyn a couple of weeks ago.

• Wiltshire Council will also be consulting about its draft climate strategy from early September.

• Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal to create a strategically important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough.

• The Marlborough branch of Barclays Bank is to close in September leaving only Lloyds and Nationwide Building Society. See more on Marlborough News.

• The organisers of the Car Boot Saleon Marlborough Common this Sun 1 Aug request that people don’t arrive before 8am as the road gets blocked.

• If you have surplus veg, the Marlborough Community Larderwill gladly take them to redistribute to anyone who is keen to reduce food waste.

• Rotarian David Shepherd is running a charity shopfor the month of August in Marlborough to raise money for Camp Mohawk, JAC, Alexander Devine children’s hospice and Royal Berkshire Hospital. If anyone has any mannequins, free-standing shelving or free-standing clothes rails they could use to display everything on, or any donations for them to sell, please contact David’s daughter Krista on kristacowen@outlook.com.

• The Silks on the Downs pub in Ogbourne St Andrew has been a place for families and friends to come together and enjoy great food, drink and company for over 100 years. In 2020, the landlord approached the Parish Council to see if there was any interest to buy the freehold and manage The Silks as a community run pub. As a result, a group of passionate local volunteers formed the Ogbourne Community Pub Society (OCtyPuS) to establish a financially and commercially sound community pub. With a total aim to raise £200,000, they are short just £16,900 and have extended the share offer. For more information please contact info@savethesilks.org.

• Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has been awarded a £495,000 grant from the second round of government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Summer Raffle has been launched to raise funds for vital local charity.

• The Merchant’s House Trust has launched an appeal “to ensure that this landmark building on Marlborough’s High Street is conserved for future generations.”

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 28 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: police report; questions to Wiltshire Councillors; the transfer of land atMarlborough Business Park and the status of Wiltshire Council’s plans around joining up the Old Railway Path; school safety; a possible community asset transfer of the Youth Centre at Salisbury Road Recreation Ground; the Mayor’s report; the 2021 Mop Fairs; thanks to the staff at the Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership; the climate emergency; the local government boundary review; committee reports; the Rugby Club’s training pitch; and the open spaces working party. Many matters are delegated to the TC’s committees, about which you can learn more here.

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

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 19 July and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: correspondence for residents; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; play areas; the emergency committee; Axford (“all is well in Axford” the minutes encouragingly report); communications; pavements; community transport; allotments; Wiltshire CC meeting regarding climate change; village maintenance; the memorial garden; the nature reserve; the Recreation Centre; and the toilets.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 8 July and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: GBPC’s response to Wiltshire Council’s Local Plan; the co-option of a new member; councillor responsibilities; the need for a Clerk and RFO; the internal audit; the housing development on Bedwyn dyke field (see also last week’s section below); other planning matters; the replacement of two “decrepit” noticeboards in the Village Square; a possible new village bench; and financial matters.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 7 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the Carnival Committee’s events on The Green on 28 and 29 July; a vacant council seat which will be filled by co-option; 15 separate village maintenance issues, most involving roads, drains and vegetation; FTTP (fibre to the premises) broadband services; the consultation on the neighbourhood development plan (from 20 September to 15 November 2021); the public toilets; verge cutting and wildflower areas; surveying the ash trees; a proposed pedestrian and road safety audit; management of the Winterbourne and the pond; and planning issues.

• And still in Ramsbury, MN here pays its own tribute to Chris Martin who has been a firefighter for 40 years and the Watch Manager at Ramsbury since 1990 and who retires at the end of July.

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

Thursday 22 July 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 2,146 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 12-18 July, up 1,072 on the week before. This equates to 429 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 495 (304 the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• I mentioned last week my surprise that Ramsbury had a bishop (not that I know much about such matters). Seemed a bit small, that’s all. Anyway, here’s a brief biog of the man himself.

Marlborough News reports that Marlborough Town Council and the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are hosting the first Marlborough Dark Skies Fest in October this year. Opening on October 25 and culminating on the weekend of October 30/31 there will be a packed programme of science and art activities celebrating the night sky.

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest. The organisation has also announced its visiting authors and a new lead sponsor.

• The Gazette reports on “months of roadworks” in Marlborough. One example of this will be roadworks in George Lane until the end of July for work on a new zebra crossing.

• Marlborough Athletics is opening its Thursday evening sessions to over 18s from beginners to athletes who want some power (speed, jump) sessions or runners who have visual or hearing impairments who would prefer the safety of the track. If you are interested please contact enquiries@marlboroughathletics.co.uk or visit marlboroughathletics.co.uk.

• Dogs Trust Marlborough charity shop (near Waitrose) is happy to accept donations Monday to Friday, no appointment required.

• St Mary’s Under Fives Pre School is selling jumble this Sunday 25 July 10am to 3pm as part of the Marlborough Jumble Trail to raise funds for new resources for the children. They are also asking for any donations of good quality clothing, toys, household items and any unwanted gifts.
• Wiltshire & Swindon Conservatives have announced that Philip Wilkinson, former Army Officer and Senior Research Fellow at King’s College in London, will be their candidate for the Police and Crime Commissioner election on Thursday 19 August 2021.

MN reports that it’s “full steam ahead” for Crofton Beam Engine over the summer.

• The booking system for Wiltshire Council’s Household Recycling Centres has ended and you can now visit a site without booking in advance. More information can be found here.

• Can you help Marlborough in Bloom get ready for judgement day? The town’s Bloomers are appealing for help to help get Marlborough ready for the South West in Bloom judges on 29 July. “You don’t necessarily need green fingers,” a Marlborough Town Council statement says. “Help is needed to weed, sweep, paint or wash down signs, picking litter, or doing anything else you spot that could do with a spruce and shine. Meet at 2pm on Tuesday 27 July in The Parade, opposite the Fire Station. All equipment will be provided – just make sure you wear suitable clothing.” For more information on the event, click here.

Marlborough News explains here why one of the 2012 Olympic torches was in Great Bedwyn last week.

• The Gazette reports here on the concerns raised by several towns (including Marlborough – see foot of article) about Wiltshire Council’s local plan review.

• Wiltshire Council will also be consulting about its draft climate strategy from early September.

Click here for Marlborough News’ take on how the proposed electoral changes will affect local constituency boundarie

• Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal to create astrategically important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough

• The Marlborough branch of Barclays Bank is to close in September leaving only Lloyds and Nationwide Building Society. See more on Marlborough News.

• A reminder that Penny Post recently interviewed Marlborough’s Town Clerk Richard Spencer-Williams which you can read here.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Summer Raffle has been launched to raise funds for vital local charity.

• The Merchant’s House Trust has launched an appeal “to ensure that this landmark building on Marlborough’s High Street is conserved for future generations.”

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 28 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: police report; questions to Wiltshire Councillors; the transfer of land atMarlborough Business Park and the status of Wiltshire Council’s plans around joining up the Old Railway Path; school safety; a possible community asset transfer of the Youth Centre at Salisbury Road Recreation Ground; the Mayor’s report; the 2021 Mop Fairs; thanks to the staff at the Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership; the climate emergency; the local government boundary review; committee reports; the Rugby Club’s training pitch; and the open spaces working party. Many matters are delegated to the TC’s committees, about which you can learn more here.

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

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 8 July and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: GBPC’s response to Wiltshire Council’s Local Plan; the co-option of a new member; councillor responsibilities; the need for a Clerk and RFO; the internal audit; the housing development on Bedwyn dyke field (see also below); other planning matters; the replacement of two “decrepit” noticeboards in the Village Square; a possible new village bench; and financial matters.

• The discussion about the proposed Bedwyn dyke field development (see para above) was, as the minutes noted, “debated at length.” The discussion was as much about the wisdom or not of following Wiltshire CC’s plan that only an average of 1.5 homes be built in the parish over the next 15 years as the specifics of this application. There were arguments for an against this which are well summarised in the minutes. One of the main arguments in favour of increasing the amount of houses built is that small developments are very unlikely to lead to an increase in social-rent or affordable homes, which this parish (and many others) badly need. However, the reality, as many have discovered, is that bigger developments offer no guarantee either: even when the this is large enough (normally about 10 dwellings) to trigger the demand under the prevailing local plan that such homes be included, developers have many ways of wriggling out of these obligations. The reality is that such homes are not profitable and developers, like all other businesses, are responsible to their shareholders. This makes them, at best, a very imperfect instrument for executing the government’s housing policies. If social-rent or affordable homes are needed (which they are) the government or planning authorities will have to build them themselves.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 7 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the Carnival Committee’s events on The Green on 28 and 29 July; a vacant council seat which will be filled by co-option; 15 separate village maintenance issues, most involving roads, drains and vegetation; FTTP (fibre to the premises) broadband services; the consultation on the neighbourhood development plan (from 20 September to 15 November 2021); the public toilets; verge cutting and wildflower areas; surveying the ash trees; a proposed pedestrian and road safety audit; management of the Winterbourne and the pond; and planning issues.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 21 June and you can read the draft minutes here.

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

Thursday 15 July 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 1,075 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 5-11 July, up 229 on the week before. This equates to 215 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 304 (122212the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest. The organisation has also announced its visiting authors and a new lead sponsor.

• The Gazette reports on “months of roadworks” in Marlborough. One example of this will be roadworks in George Lane from 23 July for work on a new zebra crossing.

MN reports that Wiltshire & Swindon Conservatives have announced that Philip Wilkinson, former Army Officer and Senior Research Fellow at King’s College in London, will be their candidate for the Police and Crime Commissioner election on Thursday 19 August 2021. if you want to stand as the PCC yourself, you have until 23 July to get you application in.

• I don’t keep much of an eye on ecclesiastical matters but none the less I was surprised by a reference to the Bishop of Ramsbury in Marlborough News. Ramsbury, with a population of less than 2,000, has a bishop? Perhaps there are more bishops than I had ever suspected, some perhaps living in reduced circumstances in tiny hamlets that, centuries before, had been earmarked as a growing spiritual centre but which never took off. Anyway, it seems that the current incumbent has a new role, as “lead bishop for church and cathedral buildings.” This is quite an exacting job as it seems there are over 40,000 such buildings in the country, many of which are probably in a parlous state of repair.

• The same source reveals that a lion has been discovered by Action for the River Kennet volunteers in the River Kennet. A stone lion, I should make clear, which the Director of Wiltshire Museum suggests came for the White Friar’s Priory Church. The technical name for this is a corbel, a word which I’m unlikely to find an opportunity to use for and so will probably soon forget.

MN also reports that it’s “full steam ahead” for Crofton Beam Engine over the summer.

• The booking system for Wiltshire Council’s Household Recycling Centres will end on 19 July. Wiltshire Council has confirmed that from this date people will be able to visit a site without booking in advance. More information can be found here.

• Can you help Marlborough in Bloom get ready for judgement day? The town’s Bloomers are appealing for help over a couple of Tuesday afternoons to help get Marlborough ready for the South West in Bloom judges on 29 July. “You don’t necessarily need green fingers,” a Marlborough Town Council statement says. “Help is needed to weed, sweep, paint or wash down signs, picking litter, or doing anything else you spot that could do with a spruce and shine. Meet at 2pm on Tuesday 20 and/or Tuesday 27 July in The Parade, opposite the Fire Station. All equipment will be provided – just make sure you wear suitable clothing.” For more information on the event, click here.

• The Gazette reports here on the concerns raised by several towns (including Marlborough – see foot of article) about Wiltshire Council’s local plan review.

• Wiltshire Council will also be consulting about its draft climate strategy from early September.

Click here for Marlborough News’ take on how the proposed electoral changes will affect local constituency boundaries.

South West in Bloom judging date is Thursday 29 July.

• Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal to create astrategically important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough

• The Marlborough branch of Barclays Bank is to close in September leaving only Lloyds and Nationwide Building Society. See more on Marlborough News.

• A reminder that Penny Post recently interviewed Marlborough’s Town Clerk Richard Spencer-Williams which you can read here.

• Work is well under way on the new Parade Cinema which is being converted from the old United Reformed Chapel and adjoining Manse in The Parade. To sponsor a ‘double seats’ with shared comfortable velvet seats a table for your drinks and snacks please click here.

Click here for details of the 2021 Marlborough Open Studios which runs until 25 July.

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 28 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: police report; questions to Wiltshire Councillors; the transfer of land atMarlborough Business Park and the status of Wiltshire Council’s plans around joining up the Old Railway Path; school safety; a possible community asset transfer of the Youth Centre at Salisbury Road Recreation Ground; the Mayor’s report; the 2021 Mop Fairs; thanks to the staff at the Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership; the climate emergency; the local government boundary review; committee reports; the Rugby Club’s training pitch; and the open spaces working party. Many matters are delegated to the TC’s committees, about which you can learn more here.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Summer Raffle has been launched to raise funds for vital local charity.

• The Merchant’s House Trust has launched an appeal “to ensure that this landmark building on Marlborough’s High Street is conserved for future generations.”

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

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 21 June and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: committee reports; planning applications and decisions; financial matters; a malfunctioning defibrillator; a possible change to a local right of way; the playground; road-surface problems; councillor training; parish communications; the allotments; the Best Kept Village competition; the Memorial Gardens; the Memorial Hall; and repairs to the toilets.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 2 June and you can read the minutes here.

• The most recent (extraordinary) meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 19 May and you can read the draft minutes here.

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

Thursday 8 July 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 842 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 28 June to 4 July, up 309 on the week before. This equates to 168 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 212 (122 the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest. The organisation has also announced its visiting authors and a new lead sponsor.

• I’d never heard of the phrase “yarn bombing” but, not for the first time, Marlborough News is one step ahead of me. It describes the current craze of decorating street furniture with knitted objects: most recently, Marlborough’s post boxes. Click here for more. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if our strange legal system did not have an un-repealed act of 1843 or whenever prohibiting this kind of thing on pain of the direst penalties. The yarn bombers don’t seem bothered by this, though I notice they’ve taken care to remain anonymous.

Savernake Hospital has opened as Marlborough’s Community Vaccination Centre. MN has more here.

• The Gazette reports on “months of roadworks” in Marlborough.

MN reports that Wiltshire & Swindon Conservatives have announced that Philip Wilkinson, former Army Officer and Senior Research Fellow at King’s College in London, will be their candidate for the Police and Crime Commissioner election on Thursday 19 August 2021.

• The Gazette reports here on the concerns raised by several towns (including Marlborough – see foot of article) about Wiltshire Council’s local plan review.

• Wiltshire Council will also be consulting about its draft climate strategy from early September.

Click here for Marlborough News’ take on how the proposed electoral changes will affect local constituency boundaries.

South West in Bloom judging date is Thursday 29 July.

• Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal to create astrategically important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough

• The Marlborough branch of Barclays Bank is to close in September leaving only Lloyds and Nationwide Building Society. See more on Marlborough News.

• A reminder that Penny Post recently interviewed Marlborough’s Town Clerk Richard Spencer-Williams which you can read here.

• Work is well under way on the new Parade Cinema which is being converted from the old United Reformed Chapel and adjoining Manse in The Parade. To sponsor a ‘double seats’ with shared comfortable velvet seats a table for your drinks and snacks please click here.

Click here for details of the 2021 Marlborough Open Studios which runs until 25 July.

Click here for information from the Bedwyn Train Passengers Group about changes to rail services between Bedwyn and Newbury as a result of cracks having been discovered in the IET trains.

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 28 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: police report; questions to Wiltshire Councillors; the transfer of land atMarlborough Business Park and the status of Wiltshire Council’s plans around joining up the Old Railway Path; school safety; a possible community asset transfer of the Youth Centre at Salisbury Road Recreation Ground; the Mayor’s report; the 2021 Mop Fairs; thanks to the staff at the Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership; the climate emergency; the local government boundary review; committee reports; the Rugby Club’s training pitch; and the open spaces working party. Many matters are delegated to the TC’s committees, about which you can learn more here.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Summer Raffle has been launched to raise funds for vital local charity.

• The Merchant’s House Trust has launched an appeal “to ensure that this landmark building on Marlborough’s High Street is conserved for future generations.”

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

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 21 June and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: committee reports; planning applications and decisions; financial matters; a malfunctioning defibrillator; a possible change to a local right of way; the playground; road-surface problems; councillor training; parish communications; the allotments; the Best Kept Village competition; the Memorial Gardens; the Memorial Hall; and repairs to the toilets.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 2 June and you can read the minutes here.

• The most recent (extraordinary) meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 19 May and you can read the draft minutes here.

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

Thursday 1 July 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 536 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 21-28 June, up 263 on the week before. This equates to 107 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 122 (67 the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

Marlborough News reports here on the removal of the clock face at St Peter’s for restoration. There are also a large number of drone photos of the intrepid people removing it, many of which made me feel rather light-headed. Mind you, I almost get vertigo when stepping off a kerb.

Savernake Hospital has opened as Marlborough’s Community Vaccination Centre. MN has more here.

MN reports that Wiltshire & Swindon Conservatives have announced that Philip Wilkinson, former Army Officer and Senior Research Fellow at King’s College in London, will be their candidate for the Police and Crime Commissioner election on Thursday 19 August 2021.

Marlborough Community Orchard invites volunteers to join its summer pruning sessions and help look after the trees which include many old Wiltshire apple varieties. The next session will take place on Saturday 3 July, 9.30am to 12.30pm: meet at Wye House gardens. Please bring secateurs, loppers and gloves and let us know if you would like to attend by emailing secretary@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Town Council has announced that last month Marlborough became “the first town to receive coach-friendly status since the pandemic began.”

• The Gazette reports here on the concerns raised by several towns (including Marlborough – see foot of article) about Wiltshire Council’s local plan review.

• Wiltshire Council will also be consulting about its draft climate strategy from early September.

Click here for Marlborough News’ take on how the proposed electoral changes will affect local constituency boundaries.

South West in Bloom judging date is Thursday 29 July.

• A strategically important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough needs your help. With 1.3km of the River Og chalk stream and 12 hectares of adjacent water meadows, Bay Meadows is home to otters, kingfishers and wild brown trout. It is also one of the last refuges of water voles, which have decreased by over 94% nationally. Although these are priority habitats, the site is at risk from development, potentially for light industrial use or warehousing. Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal.

• The Marlborough branch of Barclays Bank is to close in September leaving only Lloyds and Nationwide Building Society. See more on Marlborough News.

• A reminder that Penny Post recently interviewed Marlborough’s Town Clerk Richard Spencer-Williams which you can read1.

• Work is well under way on the new Parade Cinema which is being converted from the old United Reformed Chapel and adjoining Manse in The Parade. To sponsor a ‘double seats’ with shared comfortable velvet seats a table for your drinks and snacks please click here.

Marlborough News reports here on the attempts by Marlborough Town Council’s Planning Committee to establish the true nature of the St Peter’s development.

Click here for details of the 2021 Marlborough Open Studios.

Click here for information from the Bedwyn Train Passengers Group about changes to rail services between Bedwyn and Newbury as a result of cracks having been discovered in the IET trains.

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 28 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: police report; questions to Wiltshire Councillors; the transfer of land atMarlborough Business Park and the status of Wiltshire Council’s plans around joining up the Old Railway Path; school safety; a possible community asset transfer of the Youth Centre at Salisbury Road Recreation Ground; the Mayor’s report; the 2021 Mop Fairs; thanks to the staff at the Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership; the climate emergency; the local government boundary review; committee reports; the Rugby Club’s training pitch; and the open spaces working party. Many matters are delegated to the TC’s committees, about which you can learn more here.

• Wiltshire Council is inviting comments about a proposed signal-controlled (puffin) crossing to be installed in George Lane. The consultation runs until 5 July (so not long now).

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Summer Raffle has been launched to raise funds for vital local charity.

• The Merchant’s House Trust has launched an appeal “to ensure that this landmark building on Marlborough’s High Street is conserved for future generations.”

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest.

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

The same website says that volunteers are needed for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 2 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the West Street manhole cover; the road and pedestrian safety review; the virtual path (not quite sure what that is – does it really exist?) along Marlborough Road; assets of community value; the district councillor’s report; surveying the ash trees; the neighbourhood development plan; weed clearance; Wiltshire Council’s draft local plan; wi-fi in the Memorial Hall; and the co-option of four new councillors.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 17 May and you can read the draft minutes here.

• The most recent (extraordinary) meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 19 May and you can read the draft minutes here.

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

Thursday 24 June 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 271 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 14-20 June, up 81 on the week before. This equates to 54 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 67 (44 the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

Click here for a message from the family of Councillor and former Mayor Bryan Castle who died recently.

• Marlborough Town Council has announced that on Monday, 21 June Marlborough became “the first town to receive coach-friendly status since the pandemic began.”

Click here for Marlborough News’ take on how the proposed electoral changes will affect local constituency boundaries.

South West in Bloom judging date is Thursday 29 July.

• A strategically important wildlife corridor between Ogbourne Maisey and Marlborough needs support. With 1.3km of the River Og chalk stream and 12 hectares of adjacent water meadows, Bay Meadows is home to otters, kingfishers and wild brown trout. It is also one of the last refuges of water voles, which have decreased by over 94% nationally and are now extinct in nearby counties. Although these are priority habitats, the site is at risk from development, potentially for light industrial use or warehousing. Or the fields could be cleared, drained and reseeded, as has already happened to other land in the flood plain. In nearby Rabley Wood, 37 new houses are being built. Despite local objections and planning permission being refused three times, they were given the go ahead on appeal. Please click here to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Bay Meadows Appeal.

• The Marlborough branch of Barclays Bank is to close in September leaving only Lloyds and Nationwide Building Society. See more on Marlborough News. There are only building societies left in Hungerford now. Are banks a thing of the past? Only Metrobank seems to be bucking the trend.

• What do Town Clerks do? What personal qualities does the job involve? What would one Clerk pick as his luxury item if he were on Desert Island Discs? These and many other questions are answered in this interview with Marlborough’s Town Clerk Richard Spencer-Williams who took over the municipal hot seat in March 2021.

• The sheep in Cooper’s Meadow will be sheared at 7pm on Mon 28 June. Cooper’s Meadow is between the High Street and George Lane and is home to a wide range of plants, insects and animals and provides food for many birds.  Conservation grazing by the sheep helps to preserve this diversity. The meadow can be reached from George Lane car park, Kennet Place via Town Mill, and the footpatch from George Lane opposite the Police Station. The site is owned and managed by Marlborough Town Council.

• Marlborough Bowls Club is offering free bowling sessions this Sat 26 June from noon 4pm. All you need are flat shoes and a have-a-go attitude. Click herefor how to book your session.

• Work is well under way on the new Parade Cinema which is being converted from the old United Reformed Chapel and adjoining Manse in The Parade. If you would like to sponsor a ‘double seats’ with shared comfortable velvet seats a table for your drinks & snacks please click here.

• On Saturday 26 June, Savernake Hospital will open as Marlborough’s Community Vaccination Centre. MN has more here.

MN reports that Wiltshire & Swindon Conservatives have announced that Philip Wilkinson, former Army Officer and Senior Research Fellow at King’s College in London, will be their candidate for the Police and Crime Commissioner election on Thursday 19 August 2021.

Marlborough Community Orchard invites volunteers to join its summer pruning sessions and help look after the trees which include many old Wiltshire apple varieties. The sessions will take place on Saturday 26 June and 3 July, 9.30am to 12.30pm. The June session meets at the Diamond on the Common and the July session at Wye House gardens. Please bring secateurs, loppers and gloves and let us know if you would like to attend by emailing secretary@transitionmarlborough.org.

Marlborough News reports that the Kennet & Avon Medical Partnership has stopped offering first jabs and will cease offering second ones after 30 June: after that people will need to contact the NHS online site. This is because the “fatigued” staff want to return to “business as usual” as soon as possible. The article says that many other similar towns with GP-led vaccine services” are adopting a similar policy.

Marlborough News reports here on the attempts by Marlborough Town Council’s Planning Committee to establish the true nature of the St Peter’s development.

Click here for details of the 2021 Marlborough Open Studios.

Click here for information from the Bedwyn Train Passengers Group about changes to rail services between Bedwyn and Newbury as a result of cracks having been discovered in the IET trains.

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 24 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the local police team; the “secret” sale by Wiltshire Council of part of the land that had been used for the old railway line which was causing access problems for residents (see also paragraph below); the toucan crossing near the Redrow development; local housing associations; six sheep moving to Cooper’s Meadow; councillor’s responsibilities and membership of committees and working groups; various year-end matters; and reports from the committees. Many matters are delegated to the TC’s committees, about which you can learn more here.

• Wiltshire Council is inviting comments about a proposed signal-controlled (puffin) crossing to be installed in George Lane. The consultation runs until 5 July.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Summer Raffle has been launched to raise funds for vital local charity.

• The Merchant’s House Trust has launched an appeal “to ensure that this landmark building on Marlborough’s High Street is conserved for future generations.”

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest.

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

The same website says that volunteers are needed for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

• The most recent meeting (also the annual meeting) of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 19 May and you can read the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 17 May and you can read the draft minutes here.

• The most recent (extraordinary) meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 19 May and you can read the draft minutes here.

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

Thursday 17 June 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 191 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 7-13 June, up 109 on the week before. This equates to 38 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 44 (30 the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• Marlborough Town Council has offered its condolences to the friends and family of Councillor and former Mayor Bryan Castle who died recently.

Click here for Marlborough News’ take on how the proposed electoral changes will affect local constituency boundaries.

South West in Bloom judging date is Thursday 29 July.

• And while on the subject of things that bloom, Swindon Link reports that the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has launched an appeal to save Bay Meadows near Marlborough as a haven for wildlife and people.

Marlborough Community Orchard invites volunteers to join its summer pruning sessions and help look after the trees which include many old Wiltshire apple varieties. The sessions will take place on Saturday 26 June and 3 July, 9.30am to 12.30pm. The June session meets at the Diamond on the Common and the July session at Wye House gardens. Please bring secateurs, loppers and gloves and let us know if you would like to attend by emailing secretary@transitionmarlborough.org.

Marlborough News reports that the Kennet & Avon Medical Partnership has stopped offering first jabs and will cease offering second ones after 30 June: after that people will need to contact the NHS online site. This is because the “fatigued” staff want to return to “business as usual” as soon as possible. The article says that many other similar towns with GP-led vaccine services” are adopting a similar policy.

Marlborough News reports here on the attempts by Marlborough Town Council’s Planning Committee to establish the true nature of the St Peter’s development.

Click here for details of the 2021 Marlborough Open Studios.

Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton has been chosen as the Big Town Read in this year’s Marlborough LitFest.

Click here for information from the Bedwyn Train Passengers Group about changes to rail services between Bedwyn and Newbury as a result of cracks having been discovered in the IET trains.

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 24 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the local police team; the “secret” sale by Wiltshire Council of part of the land that had been used for the old railway line which was causing access problems for residents (see also paragraph below); the toucan crossing near the Redrow development; local housing associations; six sheep moving to Cooper’s Meadow; councillor’s responsibilities and membership of committees and working groups; various year-end matters; and reports from the committees. Many matters are delegated to the TC’s committees, about which you can learn more here.

• A reminder that the Parade Cinema in Marlborough is on track for a September opening and is currently recruiting for staff.

• Wiltshire Council is inviting comments about a proposed signal-controlled (puffin) crossing to be installed in George Lane. The consultation runs until 5 July.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Summer Raffle has been launched to raise funds for vital local charity.

• Marlborough’s very own community fridge has been opened by the Mayor, Mark Cooper.

• The Gazette writes that St John’s Marlborough is moving ahead with plans to construct a major new sports development, having been given the green light by Wiltshire Council.

• The Merchant’s House Trust has launched an appeal “to ensure that this landmark building on Marlborough’s High Street is conserved for future generations.”

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest.

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

Marlborough News reports that the team behind the Save The Silks campaign are “in awe” of the support shown for ‘The Silks’ survival as an independent pub in Ogbourne St Andrew.

The same website says that volunteers are needed for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

• The most recent meeting (also the annual meeting) of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 19 May and you can read the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 17 May and you can read the draft minutes here.

• The most recent (extraordinary) meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 11 March and you can read the draft minutes here.

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

Thursday 10 June 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 82 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 31 May to 6 June, up 35 on the week before. This equates to 16 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 30 (17 the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

Click here for Marlborough News’ take on how the proposed electoral changes will affect local constituency boundaries.

South West in Bloom judging date is Thursday 29 July.

Marlborough Community Orchard invites volunteers to join its summer pruning sessions and help look after the trees which include many old Wiltshire apple varieties. The sessions will take place on Saturday 26 June and 3 July, 9.30am to 12.30pm. The June session meets at the Diamond on the Common and the July session at Wye House gardens. Please bring secateurs, loppers and gloves and let us know if you would like to attend by emailing secretary@transitionmarlborough.org.

Marlborough News reports that the Kennet & Avon Medical Partnership has stopped offering first jab and will cease offering second ones after 30 June: after that people will need to contact the NHS online site. This is because the “fatigued” staff want to return to “business as usual” as soon as possible. The article says that æmany other similar towns with GP-led vaccine services” are adopting a similar policy.

Marlborough News reports here on the uncertainty surrounding the true nature of the St Peter’s development.

• The Great British Spring Clean takes place between 28 May and 13 June and many events will be organised by local councils. Click on the relevant link below to see how you can get involved with what’s happening in your town or village.

Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton has been chosen as the Big Town Read in this year’s Marlborough LitFest.

Click here for information the Bedwyn Train Passengers Group about changes to rail services between Bedwyn and Newbury as a result of cracks having been discovered in the IET trains.

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 24 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the local police team; the “secret” sale by Wiltshire Council of part of the land that had been used for the old railway line which was causing access problems for residents (see also paragraph below); the toucan crossing near the Redrow development; local housing associations; six sheep moving to Cooper’s meadow; councillor’s responsibilities and membership of committees and working groups; various year-end matters; and reports from the committees. Many matters are delegated to the TC’s committees, about which you can learn more here.

• More on the above-mentioned “secret salehere from MN.

Click here for a photo and an article from the Gazette about some of the oversized traffic which is being diverted through Marlborough as a result of M4 closures.

• The Parade Cinema in Marlborough is on track for a September opening and is currently recruiting for staff.

The same paper reports that a West Overton teenager’s love for animals has inspired her to set up a business.

Click here for information about how you can get involved in Great British Spring Clean in Marlborough until 13 June 2021.

• I think the trans-border cows (see last week’s section below) have now been returned to the Marsh in Hungerford after their unplanned holiday in Wiltshire.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Summer Raffle has been launched to raise funds for vital local charity.

• Marlborough’s very own community fridge has been opened by the Mayor, Mark Cooper.

• The Gazette writes that St John’s Marlborough is moving ahead with plans to construct a major new sports development, having been given the green light by Wiltshire Council.

• The Merchant’s House Trust has launched an appeal “to ensure that this landmark building on Marlborough’s High Street is conserved for future generations.”

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest.

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

Marlborough News reports that the team behind the Save The Silks campaign are “in awe” of the support shown for ‘The Silks’ survival as an independent pub in Ogbourne St Andrew.

The same website says that volunteers are needed for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

• The most recent meeting (also the annual meeting) of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 19 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the election of the Chairman and the Vice Chairman; a review of the year-end finance meeting; various year-end matters; online mapping; vacancies on the council; the manhole cover on West Street; the Dr Who event planned for 19 June may now move to 1 August (well, he is a time traveler, after all); clearing the catch pit at Southward Lane; funding for the Youth Council; the possible purchase of the allotment land off Hillwood Road (not to be preceded with due to the price); and various repair and maintenance jobs around the parish. You can also click here to see the minutes of the annual parish assembly held on 28 April.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 17 May and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: the election of the Chair and Vice Chair; various financial and year-end matters; dog bins; road signs; planning applications; rights of way; the play areas; the allotments; repairs and maintenance works around the parish; the primary school’s initiative on plastic; the nature reserve; and the PC’s risk assessment.

• The Rotary Club of Marlborough & District is supporting the Gavi/Covax initiative to provide Covid 19 vaccines to countries where cost is an issue. Click here for more.

• Click here for details of forthcoming Zoom talks organised by The Merchant House in Marlborough.

• The most recent (extraordinary) meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 11 March and you can read the draft minutes here.

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

Thursday 3 June 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 45 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 23-29 May, up 17 on the week before. This equates to 9 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 17 (13 the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

Marlborough News reports that the Kennet & Avon Medical Partnership has stopped offering first jab and will cease offering second ones after 30 June: after that people will need to contact the NHS online site. This is because the “fatigued” staff want to return to “business as usual” as soon as possible. The article says that æmany other similar towns with GP-led vaccine services” are adopting a similar policy.

• The Great British Spring Clean takes place between 28 May and 13 June and many events will be organised by local councils. Click on the relevant link below to see how you can get involved with what’s happening in your town or village.

• MN reports that Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton has been chosen as the Big Town Read in this year’s Marlborough LitFest.

Click here for information the Bedwyn Train Passengers Group about changes to rail services between Bedwyn and Newbury as a result of cracks having been discovered in the IET trains.

• Marlborough Mayor Mark Cooper was recently sworn in as Marlborough’s 711th Mayor last week in a virtual ceremony the like of which only his predecessor during the Black Death in the 1340s might have experienced.

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 24 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the local police team; the “secret” sale by Wiltshire Council of part of the land that had been used for the old railway line which was causing access problems for residents (see also paragraph below); the toucan crossing near the Redrow development; local housing associations; six sheep moving to Cooper’s meadow; councillor’s responsibilities and membership of committees and working groups; various year-end matters; and reports from the committees. Many matters are delegated to the TC’s committees, about which you can learn more here.

• More on the above-mentioned “secret salehere from MN.

Click here for information about how you can get involved in Great British Spring Clean in Marlborough between 28 May to 13 June 2021.

• The Gazette reports here on a story that we also covered in the Hungerford Area Weekly News about 18 cows which slipped past the guards at the Marsh in Hungerford and defected to Wiltshire. Froxfield Parish Council has asked Penny Post to stress that they should not be looked for or disturbed: staff from the Ramsbury Easte are well aware of where they are and they need to be given time to calm down before they can be moved back to Hungerford.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Summer Raffle has been launched to raise funds for vital local charity.

• The Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership has announced future Covid vaccination clinics (by appointment only) to be held at Marlborough Leisure Centre.

• Marlborough’s very own community fridge is coming soon and the town council needs your views.

• The Gazette writes that St John’s Marlborough is moving ahead with plans to construct a major new sports development, having been given the green light by Wiltshire Council.

• The Merchant’s House Trust has launched an appeal “to ensure that this landmark building on Marlborough’s High Street is conserved for future generations.”

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest.

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

Marlborough News reports that the team behind the Save The Silks campaign are “in awe” of the support shown for ‘The Silks’ survival as an independent pub in Ogbourne St Andrew.

The same website says that volunteers are needed for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

• The most recent meeting (also the annual meeting) of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 19 May and you can read the minutes here. items covered included: the election of the Chairman and the Vice Chairman; a review of the year-end finance meeting; various year-end matters; online mapping; vacancies on the council; the manhole cover on West Street; the Dr Who event planned for 19 June may now move to 1 August (well, he is a time traveler, after all); clearing the catch pit at Southward Lane; funding for the Youth Council; the possible purchase of the allotment land off Hillwood Road (not to be preceded with due to the price); and various repair and maintenance jobs around the parish. You can also click here to see the minutes of the annual parish assembly held on 28 April.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 17 May and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: the election of the Chair and Vice Chair; various financial and year-end matters; dog bins; road signs; planning applications; rights of way; the play areas; the allotments; repairs and maintenance works around the parish; the primary school’s initiative on plastic; the nature reserve; and the PC’s risk assessment.

Marlborough News reports here that a competition has been launched for all local aspiring and expert artists to submit designs or artwork for a new community bench which will be situated in George Lane car park.

• The Rotary Club of Marlborough & District is supporting the Gavi/Covax initiative to provide Covid 19 vaccines to countries where cost is an issue. Click here for more.

• Click here for details of forthcoming Zoom talks organised by The Merchant House in Marlborough.

• The most recent (extraordinary) meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 11 March and you can read the draft minutes here.

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

Thursday 27 May 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 31 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 17-23 May, down 18 on the week before. This equates to 6 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 13 (13 the week before). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• The Great British Spring Clean takes place between 28 May and 13 June and many events will be organised by local councils. Click on the relevant link below to see how you can get involved with what’s happening in your town or village.

Marlborough News explains that, after the victorious candidate in the recent Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner election was disqualified and a new election required, the Lib Dem candidate (who came second) has decided not to stand. For some reason this can’t take place until 19 August and the former candidate Liz Webster explained that “the prospect of another three months of campaigning simply does not work for me.”

• MN also reports that Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton has been chosen as the Big Town Read in this year’s Marlborough LitFest.

Click here for information the Bedwyn Train Passengers Group about changes to rail services between Bedwyn and Newbury as a result of cracks having been discovered in the IET trains.

• Marlborough Mayor Mark Cooper was recently sworn in as Marlborough’s 711th Mayor last week in a virtual ceremony the like of which only his predecessor during the Black Death in the 1340s might have experienced.

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 24 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the local police team; the “secret” sale by Wiltshire Council of part of the land that had been used for the old railway line which was causing access problems for residents; the toucan crossing near the Redrow development; local housing associations; six sheep moving to Cooper’s meadow; councillor’s responsibilities and membership of committees and working groups; various year-end matters; and reports from the committees.

• MN reports that Dr Nick Maurice, former Marlborough GP and one of the founders of Marlborough’s link with Gunjur in The Gambia, has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his tireless and hands-on work over forty years in promoting development and international partnerships between communities.

• Marlborough Town Council has announced that two more temporary changes to facilitate social distancing will be implemented on 21 May.

Click here for information about how you can get involved in Great British Spring Clean in Marlborough between 28 May to 13 June 2021.

• The Swindon Advertiser reports that Wiltshire had the lowest crime rate in the country last year as the amount of reported offences dropped by 16.5%. However, data from the Office for National Statistics reveals a sharp increase in hate crime, domestic abuse, stalking and public-order offences.

• The Gazette reports here on a story that we also covered in the Hungerford Area Weekly News about 18 cows which slipped past the guards at the Marsh in Hungerford and defected to Wiltshire. Froxfield Parish Council has asked Penny Post to stress that they should not be looked for or disturbed: staff from the Ramsbury Easte are well aware of where they are and they need to be given time to calm down before they can be moved back to Hungerford.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Summer Raffle has been launched to raise funds for vital local charity.

• The Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership has announced future Covid vaccination clinics (by appointment only) to be held at Marlborough Leisure Centre.

• Marlborough’s very own community fridge is coming soon and the town council needs your views.

• The Gazette writes that St John’s Marlborough is moving ahead with plans to construct a major new sports development, having been given the green light by Wiltshire Council.

• The Merchant’s House Trust has launched an appeal “to ensure that this landmark building on Marlborough’s High Street is conserved for future generations.”

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest.

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

• The most recent meeting (also the annual meeting) of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 19 May and you can read the minutes here. items covered included: the election of the Chairman and the Vice Chairman; a review of the year-end finance meeting; various year-end matters; online mapping; vacancies on the council; the manhole cover on West Street; the Dr Who event planned for 19 June may now move to 1 August (well, he is a time traveler, after all); clearing the catch pit at Southward Lane; funding for the Youth Council; the possible purchase of the allotment land off Hillwood Road (not to be preceded with due to the price); and various repair and maintenance jobs around the parish. You can also click here to see the minutes of the annual parish assembly held on 28 April.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 19 April and you can read the minutes here.

Marlborough News reports here that a competition has been launched for all local aspiring and expert artists to submit designs or artwork for a new community bench which will be situated in George Lane car park.

• The Rotary Club of Marlborough & District is supporting the Gavi/Covax initiative to provide Covid 19 vaccines to countries where cost is an issue. Click here for more.

• Click here for details of forthcoming Zoom talks organised by The Merchant House in Marlborough.

• The most recent (extraordinary) meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 11 March and you can read the draft minutes here.

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

Thursday 20 May 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 48 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 10-16 May, down 18 on the week before. This equates to 10 cases per 100,000. The average area in England has 13 (17 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

Click here for information the Bedwyn Train Passengers Group about changes to rail services between Bedwyn and Newbury as a result of cracks having been discovered in the IET trains.

Marlborough News reports that Mark Cooper was sworn in as Marlborough’s 711th Mayor last week in a virtual ceremony the like of which only his predecessor during the Black Death in the 1340s might have experienced. As he was also the Mayor last year, was he then the 710th Mayor? Whether the 711 is the number of terms of office or the number of different people, it’s an impressive number of Mayors. What is the collective name for Mayors? A chain? A worship?

• A reminder of a slightly farcical political story from last week’s Marlborough News which described the recent Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s election as a “debacle”. The Conservative candidate, Jonathon Seed withdrew from the contest once it was clear he would be debarred from holding the place although he won the election anyway. A re-run will now be held on 19 August and an independent investigation will be launched by Thames Valley Police.

• MN also reports that Dr Nick Maurice, former Marlborough GP and one of the founders of Marlborough’s link with Gunjur in The Gambia, has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his tireless and hands on work over forty years in promoting development and international partnerships between communities.

• Marlborough Town Council has announced that two more temporary changes to facilitate social distancing will be implemented on 21 May.

Click here for information about how you can get involved in Great British Spring Clean in Marlborough between 28 May to 13 June 2021.

• The Swindon Advertiser reports that Wiltshire had the lowest crime rate in the country last year as the amount of reported offences dropped by 16.5%. However, data from the Office for National Statistics reveals a sharp increase in hate crime, domestic abuse, stalking and public-order offences.

• The Gazette reports here on a story that we also covered in the Hungerford Area Weekly News about 18 cows which slipped past the guards at the Marsh in Hungerford and defected to Wiltshire.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Summer Raffle has been launched to raise funds for vital local charity. That’s another thing I don’t understand: why are air ambulance services charities? Shouldn’t they be properly funded?

• The Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership has announced future Covid vaccination clinics (by appointment only) to be held at Marlborough Leisure Centre.

• Marlborough’s very own community fridge is coming soon and the town council needs your views.

• The Gazette writes that St John’s Marlborough is moving ahead with plans to construct a major new sports development, having been given the green light by Wiltshire Council.

• Enter Marlborough LitFest & Bath Spa Uni’s Love Books Competition to win £300.

• The Merchant’s House Trust has launched an appeal “to ensure that this landmark building on Marlborough’s High Street is conserved for future generations.”

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest.

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 12 April and you can read the minutes here.

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

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 19 April and you can read the minutes here.

Marlborough News reports here that a competition has been launched for all local aspiring and expert artists to submit designs or artwork for a new community bench which will be situated in George Lane car park.

• The Rotary Club of Marlborough & District is supporting the Gavi/Covax initiative to provide Covid 19 vaccines to countries where cost is an issue. Click here for more.

• Click here for details of forthcoming Zoom talks organised by The Merchant House in Marlborough.

• The most recent (extraordinary) meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 11 March and you can read the draft minutes here.

• 30 children at Ramsbury Primary School have launched a campaign to keep the village plastic-free, as the Gazette explains.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 7 April and you can read the minutes here. You can also click here to see the minutes of the annual parish assembly held on 28 April.

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

Thursday 13 May 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 79 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 3-9 May, up four on the week before. This equates to 16 cases per 100,000. The average area in England has 17 (16 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

Marlborough News has described the recent Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s election as a “debacle”. The Conservative candidate, Jonathon Seed withdrew from the contest once it was clear he would be debarred from holding the place (not because he spells his first name in an odd way, but because of a driving conviction) although he won the election anyway. A re-run will now be held on 19 August and an independent investigation will be launched by Thames Valley Police. This article from the same website looks at the further implications of this…”debacle” still seems a pretty good word to me. I’m not entirely sure what PCCs do, and even less sure why they need to be political. It sounds like an apolitical job if ever I saw one.

• The Swindon Advertiser reports that Wiltshire had the lowest crime rate in the country last year as the amount of reported offences dropped by 16.5%. However, data from the Office for National Statistics reveals a sharp increase in hate crime, domestic abuse, stalking and public-order offences. That’s something for the new PCC to get stick into, I guess.

• And still with MN, the Wiltshire Air Ambulance Summer Raffle has been launched to raise funds for vital local charity. That’s another thing I don’t understand: why are air ambulance services charities? Shouldn’t they be properly funded?

• The Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership has announced future Covid vaccination clinics (by appointment only) to be held at Marlborough Leisure Centre.

Click here (yet again from MN) for the local election results (a blue wall).

• The Gazette reports on the latest news from the town’s cinema (which should open in the autumn), including the appointment of the film-picker-in-chief.

• Marlborough’s very own community fridge is coming soon and the town council needs your views.

• The Gazette writes that St John’s Marlborough is moving ahead with plans to construct a major new sports development, having been given the green light by Wiltshire Council.

• Book lovers – enter Marlborough LitFest & Bath Spa Uni’s Love Books Competition to win £300.

• The Merchant’s House Trust has launched an appeal “to ensure that this landmark building on Marlborough’s High Street is conserved for future generations.”

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest.

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 12 April and you can read the minutes here.

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

• Due to Covid restrictions (I’m starting to get a bit bored with typing that phrase), Marlborough’s Mayor will be made virtually this year, on 17 May. Click here for details.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 19 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: dogs on the Wittonditch Road Play Area; fly tipping; footpaths; parish council vacancies; planning matters; the internal audit; inspections at the play areas; the bus shelter at oxford; the allotments; litter; the wildflower meadows; the bollards in the High Street (which seem not to being doing the job that bollards should); various repairs around the parish; and financial matters.

Marlborough News reports here that a competition has been launched for all local aspiring and expert artists to submit designs or artwork for a new community bench which will be situated in George Lane car park.

• The Rotary Club of Marlborough & District is supporting the Gavi/Covax initiative to provide Covid 19 vaccines to countries where cost is an issue. Click here for more.

• Click here for details of forthcoming Zoom talks organised by The Merchant House in Marlborough.

• The most recent (extraordinary) meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 11 March and you can read the draft minutes here.

• 30 children at Ramsbury Primary School have launched a campaign to keep the village plastic-free, as the Gazette explains.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 7 April and you can read the minutes here. You can also click here to see the minutes of the annual parish assembly held on 28 April.

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

Thursday 6 May 2021

• Official news from councils in this area is currently thin as we are in a period of pre-election purdah (see here for more) until after the polling stations close on 6 May when there restrictions on what can be announced.

• The BBC reports that there were 75 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 26 April to 2 May, down two on the week before. This equates to 15 cases per 100,000. The average area in England has 16 (18 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• Marlborough News reports that the Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership has announced future Covid vaccination clinics (by appointment only) to be held at Marlborough Leisure Centre.

• The same source tells us what pupils at Kennet Valley School in Lockeridge have have been up to at a recent ARK (Action for the River Kennet) workshop.

Packaging Not Included zero waste shop in Hughenden Yard is now back to being open five days a week: see the website for details.

• Marlborough’s very own community fridge is coming soon and the town council needs your views.

• The Gazette writes that St John’s Marlborough is moving ahead with plans to construct a major new sports development, having been given the green light by Wiltshire Council.

• Book lovers – enter Marlborough LitFest & Bath Spa Uni’s Love Books Competition to win £300.

Marlborough News observes that Marlborough’s White Horse is really no longer white and is slowly fading into the grass.

• And still with MN, the Merchant’s House Trust has launched an appeal “to ensure that this landmark building on Marlborough’s High Street is conserved for future generations.”

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest.

• The Gazette reports that what appears to be a 4,500-year-old megalithic tomb has been unearthed on a farm in East Kennett.

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 12 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: elections in Marlborough West ward; sewage in the River Kennet; rugby on the common (see also below); the ownership transfer of the disused railway line; sales of housing-association flats; the Mayor’s summary of the last year on what he saw as a “progressive, friendly, and non-political” council; the training pitch on The Common (see also below); a new Deputy Major (Councillor Lisa Farrell); and reports from the committees.

Marlborough News reports here that a competition has been launched for all local aspiring and expert artists to submit designs or artwork for a new community bench which will be situated in George Lane car park.

• The Rotary Club of Marlborough & District is supporting the Gavi/Covax initiative to provide Covid 19 vaccines to countries where cost is an issue. Click here for more.

• Click here for details of forthcoming Zoom talks organised by The Merchant House in Marlborough.

• The most recent (extraordinary) meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 11 March and you can read the draft minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 15 March and you can read the minutes here.

• 30 children at Ramsbury Primary School have launched a campaign to keep the village plastic-free, as the Gazette explains.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 7 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the forthcoming elections; repairs to road surfaces in the parish; the continuing saga of the loose manhole cover on West Street; adoption of PC policies; assets of community value; flooding update; road safety; repainting the pump and the bollards; verge re-wilding; the non-approval of a grant from the Vodafone fund for the community garden; Aldbourne Band’s pond concert on 4 July 2021; keeping the pressure on Thames Water; vanishing fish from the pond; banning dogs from the Goddards play area;

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

Thursday 29 April 2021

• Official news from councils in this area is currently thin as we are in a period of pre-election purdah (see here for more) until after the polling stations close on 6 May when there restrictions on what can be announced.

• The BBC reports that there were 77 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 12-18 April, down one on the week before. This equates to 15 cases per 100,000. The average area in England has 18 (18 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• If you saw a masked man digging a hole in the grounds off the Savernake Care Home  on 27 April, nothing to worry about: it was just Marlborough’s Mayor Mark Cooper planting a tree with help from some of the residents.

Click here to read the latest blog from the very same Marlborough’s Mayor Mark Cooper, covering the period from December to March.

Packaging Not Included zero waste shop in Hughenden Yard is now back to being open five days a week: see there website for details.

• Marlborough’s very own community fridge is coming soon and the town council needs your views.

• Book lovers – enter Marlborough LitFest & Bath Spa Uni’s Love Books Competition to win £300.

Marlborough News observes that Marlborough’s White Horse is really no longer white and is slowly fading into the grass: as it points out, “green horse” would be a more accurate name. The articles considers proposals as to how this could be remedied.

• And still with MN, the Merchant’s House Trust has launched an appeal “to ensure that this landmark building on Marlborough’s High Street is conserved for future generations.”

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest.

• The Gazette reports that what appears to be a 4,500-year-old megalithic tomb has been unearthed on a farm in East Kennett.

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 12 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: elections in Marlborough West ward; sewage in the River Kennet; rugby on the common (see also below); the ownership transfer of the disused railway line; sales of housing-association flats; the Mayor’s summary of the last year on what he saw as a “progressive, friendly, and non-political” council; the training pitch on The Common (see also below); a new Deputy Major (Councillor Lisa Farrell); and reports from the committees.

Marlborough News reports here that a competition has been launched for all local aspiring and expert artists to submit designs or artwork for a new community bench which will be situated in George Lane car park.

• The Rotary Club of Marlborough & District is supporting the Gavi/Covax initiative to provide Covid 19 vaccines to countries where cost is an issue. Click here for more.

• Marlborough News offers an update on the imminent local elections.

• Click here for details of forthcoming Zoom talks organised by The Merchant House in Marlborough.

• Click here for two excellent lists of suppliers in and around Marlborough which are offering takeaways and also those offering deliveries or click-and-collect for a wide range of products.

• The Gazette reports here that the Save the Silks campaign, which is looking to raise the best part of a quarter of a million pounds to enable a community group to purchase the pub in Ogbourne St George, has recently received a conditional funding boost from the Plunket Foundation’s More Than A Pub Programme supported by Power To Change.

• The most recent (extraordinary) meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 16 February and you can read the draft minutes here.

Marlborough news reports that Earth Day 2021, on Thursday April 22, was celebrated by pupils at Great Bedwyn School with a week of climate-action activities.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 15 March and you can read the minutes here.

• 30 children at Ramsbury Primary School have launched a campaign to keep the village plastic-free, as the Gazette explains.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 7 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the forthcoming elections; repairs to road surfaces in the parish; the continuing saga of the loose manhole cover on West Street; adoption of PC policies; assets of community value; flooding update; road safety; repainting the pump and the bollards; verge re-wilding; the non-approval of a grant from the Vodafone fund for the community garden; Aldbourne Band’s pond concert on 4 July 2021; keeping the pressure on Thames Water; vanishing fish from the pond; banning dogs from the Goddards play area;

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

Thursday 22 April 2021

• Official news from councils in this area is currently thin as we are in a period of pre-election purdah (see here for more) until after the polling stations close on 6 May when there restrictions on what can be announced.

• The BBC reports that there were 78 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 12-18 April, no change on the week before. This equates to 16 cases per 100,000. The average area in England has 18 (20 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

Marlborough News professes perplexed by the motives behind a campaign to oppose the installation of a pedestrian crossing near St Mary’s School in George Lane, perhaps on thew grounds that it would result in the loss of a lay by which, the campaign claims, is an example of “stealth planning.” You can read more here.

• The Gazette reports that what appears to be a 4,500-year-old megalithic tomb has been unearthed on a farm in East Kennett.

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 12 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: elections in Marlborough West ward; sewage in the River Kennet; rugby on the common (see also below); the ownership transfer of the disused railway line; sales of housing-association flats; the Mayor’s summary of the last year on what he saw as a “progressive, friendly, and non-political” council; the training pitch on The Common (see also below); a new Deputy Major (Councillor Lisa Farrell); and reports from the committees.

Marlborough News reports here that a competition has been launched for all local aspiring and expert artists to submit designs or artwork for a new community bench which will be situated in George Lane car park.

The same source reports that Marlborough TC has “overwhelmingly agreed to move forward – in principle – with the proposal to create an additional training area [on The Common] primarily for the use of Marlborough Rugby Club juniors and members of the Marlborough Youth Football Club.” (For more on this meeting, see above.)

Click here to read the latest blog from Marlborough’s Mayor Mark Cooper, covering the period from December to March.

• The Rotary Club of Marlborough & District is supporting the Gavi/Covax initiative to provide Covid 19 vaccines to countries where cost is an issue. Click here for more.

• Marlborough News offers an update on the forthcoming local elections.

• Click here for details of forthcoming Zoom talks organised by The Merchant House in Marlborough.

• Click here for two excellent lists of suppliers in and around Marlborough which are offering takeaways and also those offering deliveries or click-and-collect for a wide range of products.

• The Gazette reports here that the Save the Silks campaign, which is looking to raise the best part of a quarter of a million pounds to enable a community group to purchase the pub in Ogbourne St George, has recently received a conditional funding boost from the Plunket Foundation’s More Than A Pub Programme supported by Power To Change.

• The most recent (extraordinary) meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 16 February and you can read the draft minutes here.

Marlborough News has a report here on Great Bedwyn School’s Easter bonnet parade.

• The Gazette reports that “fears of overflowing sewage have prompted dozens of objections against plans to build 32 houses in Aldbourne.”

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 15 March and you can read the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 March and you can read the minutes here.

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

Thursday 15 April 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 74 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 5-11 April, down 12 on the week before. This equates to 15 cases per 100,000. The average area in England has 20 (24 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a 63 more local level to be obtained.

• The most recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 12 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: elections in Marlborough West ward; sewage in the River Kennet; rugby on the common (see also below); the ownership transfer of the disused railway line; sales of housing-association flats; the Mayor’s summary of the last year on what he saw as a “progressive, friendly, and non-political” council; the training pitch on The Common (see also below); a new Deputy Major (Councillor Lisa Farrell); and reports from the committees.

Marlborough News reports here that a competition has been launched for all local aspiring and expert artists to submit designs or artwork for a new community bench which will be situated in George Lane car park.

The same source reports that Marlborough TC has “overwhelmingly agreed to move forward – in principle – with the proposal to create an additional training area [on The Common] primarily for the use of Marlborough Rugby Club juniors and members of the Marlborough Youth Football Club.” (For more on this meeting, see above.)

Click here to read the latest blog from Marlborough’s Mayor Mark Cooper, covering the period from December to March.

• The Rotary Club of Marlborough & District is supporting the Gavi/Covax initiative to provide Covid 19 vaccines to countries where cost is an issue. Click here for more.

• Work is under way on repairs to Marlborough Town Hall and are expected to last until late April.

• Marlborough News offers an update on the forthcoming local elections.

• Click here for details of forthcoming Zoom talks organised by The Merchant House in Marlborough.

• Click here for two excellent lists of suppliers in and around Marlborough which are offering takeaways and also those offering deliveries or click-and-collect for a wide range of products.

• The Gazette reports here that the Save the Silks campaign, which is looking to raise the best part of a quarter of a million pounds to enable a community group to purchase the pub in Ogbourne St George, has recently received a conditional funding boost from the Plunket Foundation’s More Than A Pub Programme supported by Power To Change.

• The most recent (extraordinary) meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 16 February and you can read the draft minutes here.

Marlborough News has a report here on Great Bedwyn School’s Easter bonnet parade.

• The Gazette reports that “fears of overflowing sewage have prompted dozens of objections against plans to build 32 houses in Aldbourne.”

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 15 March and you can read the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 March and you can read the minutes here.

Marlborough News reports that St Michael’s School in Aldbourne is busy raising £5,000 to create a purpose-built forest school shelter and equipment to allow the children to spend more time in nature.

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

Thursday 8 April 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 88 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 29 March to 4 April, down 48 on the week before. This equates to 18 cases per 100,000. The average area in England has 24 (39 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a 63 more local level to be obtained.

Marlborough News reports here that the Constable of St Peter’s Church has chosen to follow HMG’s directive about flags being flown from government buildings (though this isn’t one). The union flag will be in evidence every day except “when no other specific flag is being flown from the tower.” The downloadable list of these includes a number of commemorated events, some of which I’d heard of, some of which were quite surprising. These include the Ordination of Thomas Wolsey (10 March), the Battle of Ethandune (7 May), the adoption of HMS Marlborough (30 May), St Crispin’s Day (25 October) and the death of Alfred the Great (26 October): all of which should keep all the local vexillologists local historians happy.

Click here to read the latest blog from Marlborough’s Mayor Mark Cooper, covering the period from December to March.

Marlborough News has this article on the town’s imminent and partial re-opening.

• The Rotary Club of Marlborough & District is supporting the Gavi/Covax initiative to provide Covid 19 vaccines to countries where cost is an issue. They are asking you to consider donating the cost of your vaccine to Gavi/Covax. Click here for more.

• We mentioned recently about he tribes paid to retiring Town Clerk Shelley Parker. MN has been able to catch up with her successor, Richard Spencer-Williams – click here to meet him.

• The most recent ordinary meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 1 March and you can read the minutes here.

• The next meeting of Marlborough Town Council will take place on Monday 12 April – click here for details.

• Work has started on repairs to Marlborough Town Hall and are expected to last until late April.

• Marlborough News offers an update on the forthcoming local elections.

• Click here for details of forthcoming Zoom talks organised by The Merchant House in Marlborough.

• Click here for two excellent lists of suppliers in and around Marlborough which are offering takeaways and also those offering deliveries or click-and-collect for a wide range of products.

• The most recent (extraordinary) meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 16 February and you can read the draft minutes here.

Marlborough News has a report here on Great Bedwyn School’s Easter bonnet parade.

• The Gazette reports that “fears of overflowing sewage have prompted dozens of objections against plans to build 32 houses in Aldbourne.”

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 15 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included:various items of correspondence; various planning applications; financial matters; footpath signs; a possible litter-picking day later in the year; congratulations to Chris Martin from the Ramsbury Fire Station for his recent award; a possible wildflower meadow; village maintenance tasks; progress on the best-kept village competition; and an anniversary presentation at the Post Office.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 3 March and you can read the minutes here.

Marlborough News reports that St Michael’s School in Aldbourne is busy raising £5,000 to create a purpose-built forest school shelter and equipment to allow the children to spend more time in nature and has less than a month left in which to try to achieve its target.

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

Thursday 1 April 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 135 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 22-28 March, down four on the week before. This equates to 27 cases per 100,000. The average area in England has 39 (49 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a 63 more local level to be obtained.

Marlborough News reports here that Action for the River Kennet is calling for an end to sewage pollution in the River Kennet after the duration of time and frequency that untreated sewage was pumped into the river at Marlborough more than trebled last year. In this article in the Gazette, Thames Water disputes this as the number of hours of discharge (to which these figures relate) is measured, but not the volume. So, it could be less then three times as much as last year or more than three times as much. It would therefore appear that Thames Water doesn’t know how much foul water it discharges which would seem to make any estimate of the damage or assessment of the resulting pollution statistics totally meaningless. This seems odd: we have a water meter and they seem to have no trouble measuring how much water we take.

• The Rotary Club of Marlborough & District is supporting the Gavi/Covax initiative to provide Covid 19 vaccines to countries where cost is an issue. They are asking you to consider donating the cost of your vaccine to Gavi/Covax. Click here for more.

• We mentioned last week about he tribes paid to retiring Town Clerk Shelley Parker. MN has been able to catch up with her successor, Richard Spencer-Williams – click here to meet him.

• The most recent ordinary meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 1 March and you can read the minutes here.

• Work has started on repairs to Marlborough Town Hall and are expected to last until late April.

• Marlborough News offers an update on the forthcoming local elections, including on how you can stand.

• Click here for details of forthcoming Zoom talks organised by The Merchant House in Marlborough.

• Click here for two excellent lists of suppliers in and around Marlborough which are offering takeaways and also those offering deliveries or click-and-collect for a wide range of products.

Preshute Parish Council declared UDI from the Marlborough area neighbourhood plan last year as, according to the Gazette, “it was unable to reconcile “rural parish objectives and with the housing ambitions of the urban focused Marlborough Town Council.” It now appears that the PC is engaged on work which seems to look like an NDP of its own.

• The most recent (extraordinary) meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 16 February and you can read the draft minutes here.

Marlborough News has a report here on Great Bedwyn School’s Easter bonnet parade.

• The Gazette reports that “fears of overflowing sewage have prompted dozens of objections against plans to build 32 houses in Aldbourne.” The article suggests that Thames Water has no objections to the plan whereas any resident of the town will tell you that groundwater infiltration is a regular seasonal problem. Some remedial work, here and in the Lambourn Valley has recently been done. I believe that water companies base their views in planning matters on the assumption that the network is working to optimum capacity.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 15 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included:various items of correspondence; various planning applications; financial matters; footpath signs; a possible litter-picking day later in the year; congratulations to Chris Martin from the Ramsbury Fire Station for his recent award; a possible wildflower meadow; village maintenance tasks; progress on the best-kept village competition; and an anniversary presentation at the Post Office.

• The above-mentioned minutes also contained a reference to neighbourhood development plans that confused me. One councillor “had circulated a section from a newsletter from Danny Kruger [the local MP] which mentioned Neighbourhood Plans: they must be updated every two years and update will only be accepted if there is an increase in housing provision. Since a Neighbourhood Plan takes 18 months to develop this leads to a Forth Bridge situation of continuous review which is unacceptable when Neighbourhood Plans are prepared by volunteers.” This is news to me. The Gov.uk website has a lot to say about NDPs, including this: “There is no requirement to review or update a neighbourhood plan. However, policies in a neighbourhood plan may become out of date, for example if they conflict with policies in a local plan covering the neighbourhood area that is adopted after the making of the neighbourhood plan.” I wasn’t able to get in touch with anyone involved in that meeting but spoke to another councillor elsewhere who runs an NDP steering group. He agreed with R&APC’s assessment of this, adding that such a proposal would be “bonkers” and effectively prevent any NDPs getting off the ground at all. They’re enough work as it is. (I don’t know whether Mr Kruger was perhaps referring to a time after the adoption of the government’s white paper, which many hope will not pass into law in anything like its current form. There was no mention of NDPs in that at all, however.)  I’ll try to find out more on this.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 3 March and you can read the minutes here.

Marlborough Newsreports that St Michael’s School in Aldbourne is busy raising £5,000 to create a purpose-built forest school shelter and equipment to allow the children to spend more time in nature and has only a month left in which to try to achieve its target.

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

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on email
Email
Share on print
Print

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Sign up to the free weekly

Penny Post
e-newsletter 

 

For: local positive news, events, jobs, recipes, special offers, recommendations & more.

Covering: Newbury, Thatcham, Hungerford, Marlborough, Wantage, Lambourn, Compton, Swindon & Theale