Froxfield Annual Electors’ Meeting, 23 May 2022

Minutes of the Froxfield Annual Electors’ Meeting held at 7.00pm on Monday 23 May 2022 at the Froxfield War Memorial Hall, The Green, Froxfield

Cllr V Body (Chairman), Cllr S Heppenstall (Vice-Chairman), Cllr R Smith, Cllr E Morton, Cllr A Miles, Miss E Cope (Clerk) and eight members of the public.

For more information on Froxfield Parish Council, please click here.

Introduction and welcome by the Chairman Vanya Body

The Chairman welcomed those in attendance to the Annual Electors meeting.

Presentation by local community groups

The Chairman noted several events with a Jubilee theme and invited Mrs Pat Adams, Froxfield Social Committee to share plans for the Queens’ Jubilee weekend.

The jubilee

Pat reported the planned flower festival being held at All Saints Church, noting entries being accepted from 1 June, with a prize for the best display.

Preparations for the other Queens’ Jubilee themed events start on Thursday 2 June, all offers of help however small are appreciated.

Friday 3 June sees the Big Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea being held on the village green (Memorial Hall if wet), with posters and flyers circulated throughout the parish. Starting at 2pm there will be homemade Scones, Jam and Cream, a bar, children’s games including a treasure hunt and balloons. A lively, fun and family friendly afternoon is expected.

Saturday 4 June will see the Jubilee Froxfield Beer and Music Festival, again held on the green. The Phoenix brass will open festivities, followed by a selection of local bands and musicians. The Pelican Morris will also entertain with their traditional dances. The festival is supported this year by Hop Kettle with their Hairy Biker Ale, Ramsbury Brewery with Platinum Pale Ale, and Froxfield Parish Council. The planned unveiling of the Jubilee tree will take place later in the afternoon. Along with a selection of beers and soft drinks, there will be a BBQ and Hog Roast at £2.50 a serving. (Plans for further events, a barn dance (17 September) and a wine tasting evening (TBC November), are progressing well. Both ticketed events, more information in due course.)

On Sunday 5 June, All Saints church is having a special service to say ‘Thank you’ for the Queen’s 70 years of dedicated service. After the service there will be a chance to share a glass of English Pimms with friends.

Cllr Body thanked Pat and welcomed Mr Richard Fradgley to speak on behalf of the Phoenix Brass Band and the Memorial Hall Committee.

The Brass Band

Richard reported the band returning to full pace after Covid-19 lockdown. Over 30 players, ranging from 7-80 years plus, covering an area including Berkshire, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Gloucestershire. During April the band played in Marlborough helping to raise over £2,000 for the Ukraine appeal. It has a full season of bookings including Jubilee events.

Band practice takes place in the Froxfield Memorial Hall, Tuesdays and Thursdays 7.30-9.30pm, with rehearsals Saturday mornings. New members are always welcomed.

Froxfield Memorial Hall

Richard continued, this time with news of the Froxfield Memorial Hall. He noted grants received of over £31,000, which has enabled the Committee to continue refurbishment of the hall. Replacement electric heating and painting the front facade amongst many of the jobs completed. The Committee recently held its  first meeting since lockdown. He requested a Froxfield Parish Councillor to sit on the Committee as a representative. Cllr Morton offered and was accepted.

The hall is available for hire at £15 per hour. An ideal venue for family gatherings, community groups and the like. Facilities include a large bright hall space, kitchen, toilets, level access for disabled users and ample off-road parking.

Cllr Body thanked Richard and welcomed Chris Carlon to report on the Hungerford U3A and the Pelican Morris.

U3A

Chris explained how the U3A was formed, with the aim to provide those in retirement, or winding down from full-time employment a chance to explore new interests. There are over 20 classes from Art to Word games, with the largest group, Geology meeting in Froxfield Memorial Hall, every second Thursday of the month. Currently there are twenty two members. Topics to date have included Earth Structure, Climate and Landscape along with field trips to the Forest of Dean and Big Pit coal mine. New members are welcome to join.

Pelican Morris

Chris continued by providing a report on the Pelican Morris, a mixed side which started in 2016. The original nine members remain, with new members always welcomed. The group practices most Fridays through spring and summer and fortnightly through autumn and winter. With costume colours based on the Duchess of Somerset heraldic shield, the Pelican Morris will perform at this year’s Beer and Music Festival, along with fetes including East Grafton, Chilton Foliat, Aldbourne and an invite to perform for the Women’s Institute (WI) Ramsbury branch.

The current melodeon player Derek Shaw is moving away, so the side is currently looking for a replacement. A call to any players of violin, tin whistle or hand drums who could provide musical accompaniment are welcomed.

Cllr Body thanked Chris and welcomed Mrs Sarah Whatley to report on the Froxfield Speedwatch scheme.

Froxfield Speedwatch

Sarah explained that the Speedwatch team was formed with the aim of educating drivers by acting as a visible deterrent. Noting that the equipment has historically been shared with Great Bedwyn. Support is provided by Wiltshire police. Currently the team record speeds of 47mph and above, recording the vehicle registration, colour, make and time. All information being uploaded to Wiltshire police, who contact the offending driver. In the event of repeat offending within the County, the police can take further action.

More volunteers are required to help continue the good work, with full training provided. Volunteers currently complete one 1⁄2 hour session per week, with 2 1⁄2 hour sessions during peak times wherever possible.

Cllr Body thanked everyone for reporting on the village groups.

Annual Report presented by Vanya Body, Chairman of Froxfield Parish Council

Cllr Body reported a year of change for the Parish Council, noting that Froxfield is now part of Pewsey Vale East. Over the past year the Council has benefitted from the support from Cllr Stuart Wheeler, Chairman of Wiltshire Council.

Changes to the CatG group have created issues but the Committee are hard working and efficient, so hopefully Froxfield will continue to receive support.

After nearly 12 months, Wiltshire Council has finally agreed to schedule regularly cutting the verge from the centre of the village to the Pelican.

Cllr Body noted continuing work to the water meadow, with a five-year plan in progress. She thanked volunteers and the Community Payback team for their continued support and hard work but noted, however, that more volunteers are required, Cllr Body encouraged residents to step forward and help create a place for nature.

Thanks were also extended to Froxfield resident Harry Yorke and his team, who helped recently to plant over 40 saplings on the water meadow.

Finally, plans to officially unveil the Jubilee tree at the Beer and Music Festival are being finalised, with a plaque to commemorate the tree planting.

Open Forum

There being no questions, the meeting finished at 8.09pm.

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