Marlborough Area Weekly News – 2024 Archive

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

Please note that this section is presented as an archive of past columns and is not updated (except by the addition of the previous post every week). 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.

Click here for the 2022 archive

Click here for the 2023 archive

Thursday 2 May 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes sewage, fabric scraps, sports funding, tours of the mound and priorities – plus Marlborough’s market and ARK & the anglers write a letter.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include Aldbourne Community Market, Marlborough dachshunds walk and sports festival. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Marlborough’s market

We mentioned last week (see below) that one idea raised at the recent Town meeting was that Marlborough’s market be transferred from the control of Wiltshire Council to the Town Council. This was reported in an article in Marlborough News. The idea seemed to be an interesting one. However, I wasn’t sure if this was merely the view of a few people of something Marlborough TC was actively considering.

I spoke to the Town Clerk on 2 may who agreed that there had been some initial interest in this. He stressed, however, that no transfer of any service from one local authority to another at a different level is ever straightforward and there were a number of things that would have to be looked at to see whether it would be a better solutions and one that financially viable for MTC. I understand that an interim report will be drafted for the Council to consider and discuss perhaps as early as its June meeting. We shall know more after that.

• ARK and the Anglers

Staying with Marlborough News, a good article here describing an “urgent appeal” which The Angling Trust and Action for the River Kennet (ARK) have made “to the water services industry regulator OFWAT, the Environment Agency (EA), and Steve Barclay MP, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA over significant concerns regarding ongoing sewage pollution issues in the Kennet, Lambourn and Pang river catchments.” The article also has a link to the full text of the letter.

The article goes on to list several complaints and representations made by a number of groups in recent months. “Notable areas of concern,” the piece states, “include the River Lambourn and the River Pang, both of which have suffered extensively due to inadequate infrastructure and operational oversight.” The last five words sum up the situation pretty well. “Financial instability” could perhaps have been added.

Of course, we’ve heard these matters raised before. I don’t know how many times I’ve typed the word “sewage recently. It’s perhaps not quite as many as 16,990 (the number of sewage spills Thames Water was responsible for in 2023) but out almost feels like it. But, you’ve just got to keep banging away, haven’t you? organisations like ARK and The Angling Trust do so on a daily and probably hourly basis. The problem will recede as the groundwater levels do: however, that’s the worst time for us all to take our eyes off the problem as that’s the best time for TW to do the repairs, so we all need to make sure that this happens – if it hasn’t gone bust, of course…

• Other news

ARK – Action for the River Kennet is devastated to report that the Marlborough sewage treatment works is once again discharging untreated poo straight into the River Kennet. The current duration is 15 hours and still going. The Winterbourne Stream (which flows into the Lambourn, which in turn flows into the Kennet) is currently at a staggering 1,057 hours of receiving continuous untreated and still going.

• As reported above, our rivers are in trouble and ARK is asking for your help by joining the The Rivers Trust #BigRiverWatch this Bank Holiday weekend between Friday 3 and Monday 6 May. By reporting what you see in your local river, you’ll be contributing to the citizen science survey and help paint a big picture of the health of our rivers in the UK and Ireland. The more that we know about them, the better we can restore our vital waterways and demand action for rivers. Search for ‘Big River Watch’ in your app store or click here to download and get started.

Age UK Wiltshire’s new Marlborough shop is recruiting volunteers. If you can spare a regular morning or afternoon weekly, they would love to hear from you. You will be joining a brand new team of friendly volunteers. Please pop in to the shop to find out more or apply online here.

• Year 2 pupils at St Michael’s School Aldbourne are about to begin a sewing project and would love donations of fabric scraps, felt , buttons, sequins, old shoelaces,  as well as cord etc. that can be used to add decoration. If you have anything you could donate, please do pop into school.

• Don’t forget to register for the Marlborough Sports and Activity Festival on Mon 6 May.The Youth Centre will also be open from 10am to 2.30pm for the sale of drinks and cake to raise money for Marlborough Community Youth Project.

Marlborough Cricket Club is appealing to 5 to 8 yr olds to get involved with cricket. All Stars cricket sessions on Friday evenings are keen to invite youngsters to join in.  Places still available.  To book your place, click here.

• Marlborough College and the Mound Trust are hosting another one-day exhibition and tours of the Marlborough Mound on Monday 27 May. There are 4 tours throughout the day, limited to 25 people at each for safety and conservation reasons. The tour times are 9am, 11am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm.The event is free but only people who have pre-registered and secured a ticket can attend – there will be no entry without a pre-booked ticket. Click here to book your FREE ticket now.

• Marlborough Library is excited to be offering an online course Supporting Myself to Support My Child on Friday 7, 14 and 21 June from 10am to noon. To book email familyandcommunitylearning@wiltshire.gov.uk or call 01225 770478.

Marlborough Town Council is asking people to share their key concerns about Marlborough to help to inform Wiltshire Council’s planning for the coming years and also help to shape Marlborough Area Board’s priorities for the coming year, to channel resources into making changes where they’re wanted. The survey is open for the next two weeks and will close on Tuesday 7 May.

The Barleycorn Inn has announced a fabulous and free family event on Day 2 of the D-Day 80th Anniversary Event in the grounds of Collingbourne Kingston Village Hall on Friday 7 June. The Salisbury Big Band will play nostalgic WW2 music for two hours, from 6pm to 8 pm. Go along with your blanket, picnic basket, and picnic, then kick back and relax.

Wiltshire Council Area Boards are encouraging Wiltshire residents and partner organisations to look at the Community Area Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (CAJSNA) data & complete a short survey on what’s important to you. The survey ends on Sunday 5 May so check it out online here.

Wiltshire Regional Talent Centre is calling all aspiring female footballers to join their open sessions exclusively for girls, led by UEFA B coaches. If you’re looking to add an additional session to your training schedule and take your game to the next level, this is your chance.  Email griff@wiltssrtc.com for more information and session registration details.

• A quick reminder that Our Wiltshire Connect on-demand bus service which operates in the Pewsey Vale and Marlborough areas is offering fares for just £1 for all rides booked until Saturday 29 June. Find out more here.

• Please support Aldbourne Youth Council’s Community Market on the Village Green this Sunday 5 May to raise funds for their vital charity which provides a welcoming, safe, warm environment for many young people 10 to 18 years old. There will be lots of stalls including plants, food, drinks and crafts, Morris Dancers, BBQ, tea and cakes.

2nd Marlborough Scout Group is honoured and extremely grateful to be part of the Tesco blue token scheme, in the Marlborough store. This scheme will help them to subsidise group camp this year. If you put one token in their box every time you shop, they would be extremely grateful.

• Please think about signing up for The Wiltshire Three Peaks Challenge on Saturday 8 June. Run, jog or walk either a 10km or a Half Marathon trail route to raise funds for local young people.  To find out more, click here.

ARK – Action for the River Kennet are looking for keen volunteers, who can make a long-term commitment to about 2 hours a month every month (site conditions permitting) to be a riverfly monitor. Currently they are looking for volunteers for sites just to the east of Marlborough, in Hungerford and Shalbourne. Full training and kit provided. To find out more visit online here and contact anna@riverkennet.org to express your interest.

• Businesses have until 14 June to apply for Vibrant Wiltshire’s vacant unit grants programme, aimed at supporting businesses in the county to reinvigorate empty shops and commercial areas. See here for full details.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

Burbage Primary School hires out an eco-friendly party kit hire to reduce waste and help the planet. Click here to apply.

Bruce Boats fully accessible canal boats based in Great Bedwyn are looking for more volunteers and have a wide range of interesting roles available.

If you spot a fallen tree, an obstruction or any debris on the roads, please report it via Our Wiltshire and drive to the conditions at all times. Report now here.

All dogs are to be kept on leads at all times when at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough. This refers to the whole site for bird nesting season and the designated wildlife site also has a breeding population of water vole, as well as many other vulnerable species.

If you spot an Asian Hornet please report it here or email alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk.

1st Marlborough Rainbows is looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the Diary

• Sat 4 May Marlborough Downs Challenge  Marlborough Downs

• Sun 5 May Community Market Aldbourne Village Green

• Sun 5 May Dachsunds of Marlborough Walk  Marlborough Common

• Mon 6 May Sports Festival Marlborough Rec

• Mon 6 May Fun Dog Show  Coombe End Court

• Sat 12 May Marlborough Common Charity Car Boot Sale Marlborough Common.

• Sat 18 May Choral Concert for Macmillan Cancer Support  St. Mary’s Church.

• Tues 21 May Ecstatic Dance Unshackle Marlborough Town Hall

• Fri 24 May Bach Orchestral Suites by violinist Maggie Faultless, Great Bedwyn

• Thu 30 May Saltlines – Marlborough Folk Roots  Memorial Hall Memorial College

• Sat 1 Jun Rave Against the Regime  Marlborough Football Club

• Fri 7 Jun Salisbury Big Band at the D-Day Celebrations The Barleycorn Inn, Collingbourne Kingston

• Fri 14 Jun Open Texas Scramble Marlbrough Golf Club

• Regular events

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

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

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

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

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

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

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


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 25 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; play areas; the PC’s committees; a 30mph (possibly) in one of Axford’s ditches; the need for a new councillor; highways and footpaths; a possible 20mph zone; the allotments; the best-kept village competition; repairs and maintenance; D-Day; parking problems; and the Recreation Centre.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 8 April and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; a report from the ward member; speeding; highways and footpaths; debris on the pond; and GDPR.
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 for which minutes are available took place on 8 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: repairs and maintenance; flooding; a councillor vacancy; roads and footpaths; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings and agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 April and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: outstanding issues; flooding and sewage; play area inspections; repairs and maintenance; tree planting; a police consultation; a report from the County Councillor; and a litter pick on 13 April.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 25 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: lorries; allotments; a new clerk. the ward members’ report; planning matters; financial matters; Hoopers Field; social-media policy; repairs and maintenance; D-Day; and the annual parish meeting.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 11 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

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

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 25 April 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes a postponed spirit, pink cakes, a police consultation, local priorities and the next level – plus a look, in conjunction with Marlborough News, at which council is better placed to run Marlborough’s markets.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include movie and live music. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Marlborough’s market

Marlborough News reports that at the recent annual Town Meeting, it was suggested that Marlborough’s markets be taken back from Wiltshire Council and placed under the control of the Town Council. The article quotes opinions at the meeting as ranging from the fact that the market was “tired” to the more serious one that it was “dying”. The photograph at the head of the article did nothing to dispel either impression.

I tried to contact Marlborough Town Council to see if this proposal was one it was seriously considering but the person I needed to talk to wasn’t around. I’ll call back and let you know. I must say that I was surprised that this was the kind of thing that Wiltshire Council still operated.

So far as I’m aware, all the markets in West Berkshire are organised by the town or parish councils (or by the Town and Manor in Hungerford) although WBC may well help promote them from time to time. I would imagine that the hand of a county council on such matters can be both distant and heavy, neither of which are ideal. A local council should be able to be more responsible to local need and, of course, is more answerable organisation to shoppers and traders alike.

Markets are, as the MN article points out, vital parts of a town’s tradition and also provide an opportunity not only to escape from the homogeneity of the supermarket experience but also pick up things that just aren’t available anywhere else. Like the high streets that they operate in and are of a part of, they need constantly to adapt if they’re going to thrive and survive. Whether Marlborough TC can provide this I can’t say but there would seem to be good chance and it’s worth trying. What seems more likely, and which most at the meeting appeared to agree, is that Wiltshire Council can’t.

• Other news

• Due to a technical problem, Marlborough Players has made the difficult decision to postpone their production of Blithe Spirit until 6, 7 and 8 June. If you have already purchased your tickets, cash refunds are available from the White Horse Bookshops in exchange for your paper ticket. WeGotTickets have already issued online ticket refunds directly to the bank accounts from which they were purchased and will continue to do so.

• The Big Pink Cake Van will be outside Ramsbury Memorial Hall this Friday 26 April from 3pm to 5pm selling lovely cupcakes, tiffins, brownies and cookie pies with ‘free from’ options. 10% of proceeds will go to the locally based ATE Action Through Enterprise charity that supports rural communities in northern Ghana. See details here.

• Marlborough Library is excited to be offering an online course Supporting Myself to Support My Child on Friday 7, 14 and 21 June from 10am to noon. To book email familyandcommunitylearning@wiltshire.gov.uk or call 01225 770478.

• Enjoy An Evening with Rev Richard Coles – one half of 1980s band The Communards, turned Church of England vicar, broadcaster and best-selling author who will be appearing at The Memorial Hall, Marlborough College on Tuesday 9 July. Phone 01672 892388 or email admin@summerschool.co.uk for more details.

Aldbourne Parish Council is keen to inform residents that PCSO Camilleri will be in The Square in the police mobile station on Friday 26 April between 5pm and 6pm.  Drop in to raise any local concerns you have, such as speeding, antisocial behaviour, burglary or theft. Advice on home and vehicle security will also be available.

• Congratulations to Emma Doughty Jones who succeeded in completing the London Marathon in support of Marlborough Scouts & the Salvation Army. If you want to contribute to her fundraising her Justgiving link  can still be accessed here.

Marlborough Town Council is asking people to share their key concerns about Marlborough to help to inform Wiltshire Council’s planning for the coming years and also help to shape Marlborough Area Board’s priorities for the coming year, to channel resources into making changes where they’re wanted. The survey is open for the next two weeks and will close on Tuesday 7 May.

The Barleycorn Inn has announced a fabulous and free family event on Day 2 of the D-Day 80th Anniversary Event in the grounds of Collingbourne Kingston Village Hall on Friday 7 June. The Salisbury Big Band will play nostalgic WW2 music for two hours, from 6pm to 8 pm. Go along with your blanket, picnic basket, and picnic, then kick back and relax.

Wiltshire Council Area Boards are encouraging Wiltshire residents and partner organisations to look at the Community Area Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (CAJSNA) data & complete a short survey on what’s important to you. The survey ends on Sunday 5 May so check it out online here.

Wiltshire Regional Talent Centre is calling all aspiring female footballers to join their open sessions exclusively for girls, led by UEFA B coaches. If you’re looking to add an additional session to your training schedule and take your game to the next level, this is your chance.  Email griff@wiltssrtc.com for more information and session registration details.

• A quick reminder that Our Wiltshire Connect on-demand bus service which operates in the Pewsey Vale and Marlborough areas is offering fares for just £1 for all rides booked until Saturday 29 June. Find out more here.

• If you live in or around Poulton Hill, Kingsbury Street or Bath Road and are concerned about speeding and road safety in the area, perhaps you have a few hours to spare, on a regular basis, to help address these issues. Marlborough Town Council is supporting Wiltshire Police with the setting up of Community Speed Watch schemes for each of these areas but need willing volunteers who will be trained up by Wiltshire Police and will be given all the equipment needed to do the job. If you are interested please contact Clare Harris at Marlborough Town Council via email charris@marlborough-tc.gov.uk or give her a call on 01672 512487.

Aldbourne Youth Council is organising a Community Market on the Village Green on Sunday 5 May to raise funds for their vital charity which provides a welcoming, safe, warm environment for many young people 10 to 18 years old. Their doors at the Community Junction are open six days a week for young people to have fun, learn or simply be. Please support the market which will have lots of stalls including plants, food, drinks and crafts, Morris Dancers, BBQ, tea and cakes. If you would like a pitch contact Valerie on hoodvalerie@gmail.com.

2nd Marlborough Scout Group is honoured and extremely grateful to be part of the Tesco blue token scheme, in the Marlborough store. This scheme will help them to subsidise group camp this year. If you put one token in their box every time you shop, they would be extremely grateful.

• Please think about signing up for The Wiltshire Three Peaks Challenge on Saturday 8 June. Run, jog or walk either a 10km or a Half Marathon trail route to raise funds for local young people.  To find out more, click here.

ARK – Action for the River Kennet are looking for keen volunteers, who can make a long-term commitment to about 2 hours a month every month (site conditions permitting) to be a riverfly monitor. Currently they are looking for volunteers for sites just to the east of Marlborough, in Hungerford and Shalbourne. Full training and kit provided. To find out more visit online here and contact anna@riverkennet.org to express your interest.

• Businesses have until 14 June to apply for Vibrant Wiltshire’s vacant unit grants programme, aimed at supporting businesses in the county to reinvigorate empty shops and commercial areas. See here for full details.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

Burbage Primary School hires out an eco-friendly party kit hire to reduce waste and help the planet. Click here to apply.

Bruce Boats fully accessible canal boats based in Great Bedwyn are looking for more volunteers and have a wide range of interesting roles available.

If you spot a fallen tree, an obstruction or any debris on the roads, please report it via Our Wiltshire and drive to the conditions at all times. Report now here.

All dogs are to be kept on leads at all times when at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough. This refers to the whole site for bird nesting season and the designated wildlife site also has a breeding population of water vole, as well as many other vulnerable species.

If you spot an Asian Hornet please report it here or email alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk.

1st Marlborough Rainbows is looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the Diary

• Fri 26 Apr to Thu 9 May Back to Black  The Parade Cinema.

• Sun 28 Apr Karaoke The Bear Hotel

• Sat 4 May Marlborough Downs Challenge  Marlborough Downs

• Mon 6 May Sports Festival Marlborough Rec

• Sat 12 May Marlborough Common Charity Car Boot Sale Marlborough Common.

• Tues 21 May Ecstatic Dance Unshackle Marlborough Town Hall

• Fri 24 May Bach Orchestral Suites by violinist Maggie Faultless, Great Bedwyn

• Thu 30 May Saltlines – Marlborough Folk Roots  Memorial Hall Memorial College

• Fri 7 Jun Salisbury Big Band at the D-Day Celebrations The Barleycorn Inn, Collingbourne Kingston

• Fri 14 Jun Open Texas Scramble Marlbrough Golf Club

• Regular events

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

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

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

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

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

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

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


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 25 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; play areas; the PC’s committees; a 30mph (possibly) in one of Axford’s ditches; the need for a new councillor; highways and footpaths; a possible 20mph zone; the allotments; the best-kept village competition; repairs and maintenance; D-Day; parking problems; and the Recreation Centre.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 8 April and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; a report from the ward member; speeding; highways and footpaths; debris on the pond; and GDPR.
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 for which minutes are available took place on 8 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: repairs and maintenance; flooding; a councillor vacancy; roads and footpaths; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings and agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 April and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: outstanding issues; flooding and sewage; play area inspections; repairs and maintenance; tree planting; a police consultation; a report from the County Councillor; and a litter pick on 13 April.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 25 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: lorries; allotments; a new clerk. the ward members’ report; planning matters; financial matters; Hoopers Field; social-media policy; repairs and maintenance; D-Day; and the annual parish meeting.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 11 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

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

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 18 April 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes a survey, footballers, reduced fares, a festival and three peaks – plus perhaps the shortest-ever agenda for Marlborough’s forthcoming annual town meeting.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include spring concert and car boot sale. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Marlborough’s meeting

Marlborough News has reminded residents that Marlborough Town Council will be holding its annual meeting at 6pm in the Town Hall. All parish and town councils are required by law to hold such a meeting every year between 1 March and 1 June, starting some time after 6pm.

This will provide an opportunity for the councillors to explain what the Council has been up to these last twelve months and what plans it has for the future. It is also, as the article points out, an opportunity for “residents of the town to ask questions to Councillors – the Mayor and all Committee Chairs will be present – about anything that needs an answer.”

It also quotes the agenda for the meeting, which is masterpiece of minimalism:

  1. Welcome and overview of MTC’s work in 2023/24.
  2. Public questions.

…which says it all, really. All residents are invited at attend to hear point 1 and supply point 2 for themselves.

• Other news

Wiltshire Council Area Boards are encouraging Wiltshire residents and partner organisations to look at the Community Area Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (CAJSNA) data & complete a short survey on what’s important to you. The survey ends on Sunday 5 May so check it out online here.

Wiltshire Regional Talent Centre is calling all aspiring female footballers to join their open sessions exclusively for girls, led by UEFA B coaches. If you’re looking to add an additional session to your training schedule and take your game to the next level, this is your chance.  Email griff@wiltssrtc.com for more information and session registration details.

• A quick reminder that Our Wiltshire Connect on-demand bus service which operates in the Pewsey Vale and Marlborough areas is offering fares for just £1 for all rides booked until Saturday 29 June. Find out more here.

• If you live in or around Poulton Hill, Kingsbury Street or Bath Road and are concerned about speeding and road safety in the area, perhaps you have a few hours to spare, on a regular basis, to help address these issues. Marlborough Town Council is supporting Wiltshire Police with the setting up of Community Speed Watch schemes for each of these areas but need willing volunteers who will be trained up by Wiltshire Police and will be given all the equipment needed to do the job. If you are interested please contact Clare Harris at Marlborough Town Council via email charris@marlborough-tc.gov.uk or give her a call on 01672 512487.

• Expect to see a lot of classic cars on the road this Sunday 21 April as it’s the annual Drive It Day to raise awareness of motoring history. To see some beautiful vehicles close up, as well as steam engine history, pop along to the Drive It Day at Crofton Beam Engines where the main car park will be dedicated to cars who are taking part in Drive-It-Day. There will be Drive-It Day plaques for sale on the day, if you haven’t already got yours. Some Crofton volunteers will display their classic cars including a fabulous Stanley Steam Car. There will be offering light refreshments available.  Since 2021 Drive It Day has raised over £100,000 for the NSPCC’s Childline to help support vulnerable children and young people.

• On Thursday 25 April from 2pm to 3.30pm The Prospect Hospice is hosting a Bereavement Help Point at the Castle and Ball Hotel. The Bereavement Help Point is a safe and comfortable space to meet and talk with people currently experiencing similar feelings, supported by staff and trained volunteers.It is open to anybody who is experiencing grief or loss. You do not need to have experienced Prospect Hospice’s services and your loss does not have to be recent. For more information, please visit online here.

Aldbourne Parish Council is keen to inform residents that PCSO Camilleri will be in The Square in the police mobile station on Friday 26 April between 5pm and 6pm.  Drop in to raise any local concerns you have, such as speeding, antisocial behaviour, burglary or theft. Advice on home and vehicle security will also be available.

Marlborough Town Council is giving advanced warning of evening closures for carriageway repair works on A346 Herd St. between Port Hill and The Green from Tuesday 23 to Thursday 25 April from 7pm to 11pm.

Aldbourne Youth Council is organising a Community Market on the Village Green on Sunday 5 May to raise funds for their vital charity which provides a welcoming, safe, warm environment for many young people 10 to 18 years old. Their doors at the Community Junction are open six days a week for young people to have fun, learn or simply be. Please support the market which will have lots of stalls including plants, food, drinks and crafts, Morris Dancers, BBQ, tea and cakes. If you would like a pitch contact Valerie on hoodvalerie@gmail.com.

2nd Marlborough Scout Group is honoured and extremely grateful to be part of the Tesco blue token scheme, in the Marlborough store. This scheme will help them to subsidise group camp this year. If you put one token in their box every time you shop, they would be extremely grateful.

• Please think about signing up for The Wiltshire Three Peaks Challenge on Saturday 8 June. Run, jog or walk either a 10km or a Half Marathon trail route to raise funds for local young people.  To find out more, click here.

ARK – Action for the River Kennet are looking for keen volunteers, who can make a long-term commitment to about 2 hours a month every month (site conditions permitting) to be a riverfly monitor. Currently they are looking for volunteers for sites just to the east of Marlborough, in Hungerford and Shalbourne. Full training and kit provided. To find out more visit online here and contact anna@riverkennet.org to express your interest.

• Businesses have until 14 June to apply for Vibrant Wiltshire’s vacant unit grants programme, aimed at supporting businesses in the county to reinvigorate empty shops and commercial areas. See here for full details.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

Burbage Primary School hires out an eco-friendly party kit hire to reduce waste and help the planet. Click here to apply.

Bruce Boats fully accessible canal boats based in Great Bedwyn are looking for more volunteers and have a wide range of interesting roles available.

If you spot a fallen tree, an obstruction or any debris on the roads, please report it via Our Wiltshire and drive to the conditions at all times. Report now here.

All dogs are to be kept on leads at all times when at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough. This refers to the whole site for bird nesting season and the designated wildlife site also has a breeding population of water vole, as well as many other vulnerable species.

If you spot an Asian Hornet please report it here or email alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk.

1st Marlborough Rainbows is looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the Diary

• Sat 20 Apr Marlborough Choral Society Spring Concert St Mary’s Church

• Sun 21 Apr Car Boot Sale Marlborough Common

• Mon 6 May Sports Festival The Wreck

• Tues 21 May Ecstatic Dance Unshackle Marlborough Town Hall

Fri 24 May Bach Orchestral Suites by violinist Maggie Faultless, Great Bedwyn

• Thurs 30 May Saltlines – Marlborough Folk Roots  Memorial Hall Memorial College

• Fri 14 Jun Open Texas Scramble Marlbrough Golf Club

• Regular events

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

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

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

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

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

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

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


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 25 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 8 April and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; a report from the ward member; speeding; highways and footpaths; debris on the pond; and GDPR.
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 for which minutes are available took place on 8 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: repairs and maintenance; flooding; a councillor vacancy; roads and footpaths; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings and agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 April and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: outstanding issues; flooding and sewage; play area inspections; repairs and maintenance; tree planting; a police consultation; a report from the County Councillor; and a litter pick on 13 April.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 25 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: lorries; allotments; a new clerk. the ward members’ report; planning matters; financial matters; Hoopers Field; social-media policy; repairs and maintenance; D-Day; and the annual parish meeting.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: questions from residents; a councillor co-option; actions from the previous meeting; parish communications; financial matters; dog bins; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 11 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; play areas; reports from the committees. speeding; repairs and maintenance; the allotments; the Memorial Garden; D-day; the Parish Steward; and the Memorial Hall.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

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

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 11 April 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes a sports festival, a grant, valuable wood, three peaks and a free door – plus a look at a couple of local housing associations.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include dachshund walk and folk music. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Getting too big?

In my This Week with Brian column on 28 March (scroll down to “Moving up”), I had a look at West Berkshire Council’s changing relationship with Sovereign Housing, the housing association that owns and manages the majority of social-rent homes in the district. Sovereign was founded in 1989 and was then entirely a West Berkshire creature. Since then, its property portfolio has expanded twelvefold and the acquisitions and mergers continue. It may once have seen West Berkshire Council (or Newbury District Council as it was then) as its major municipal partner but that is clearly no longer the case.

“To what extent this breakneck expansion has benefitted its tenants and the interests of the housing departments in the areas in which it owns property is debatable” I suggested last week. “Every organisation will all have detractors and there’s little to be gained from picking out individual cases and holding them up to be typical. I do not know how customer satisfaction is measured nor whether this might have fallen in recent years. None the less, scaling up causes problems as well as solving them. Many housing associations now uncomfortably more closely resemble large property firms than they do organisations designed to address local needs.”

This recent article in Marlborough News paints a very similar picture with regard to Aster Homes. With 36,000 properties it’s less than half of Sovereign’s size but perhaps has ambitions to overtake it. I shall leave the author to explain the issues but the two sites that have recently sparked controversy are in Marlborough and in Burbage. Both were, the article explains, “former elderly resident accommodations, now to become mainly ‘affordable’ housing units for those who ‘can afford’.” This calls to mind Sovereign’s less than deft handling of the clearance of Windmill Court in Mortimer a couple of years ago.

The article also quotes local MP Danny Kruger, speaking at the Burbage meeting, as saying that “when the current wave of housing associations emerged, they weren’t like “big public bureaucracies, but were locally accountable small charities, responsive to the needs of the community”. He noted that in a marketplace that doesn’t work, Aster had merged with other associations and was now acting “like a big plc that operates like a commercial company.” These are similar sentiments to ones I expressed on 28 March.

As the MN article points out, housing associations can be dated back to the 13th century. Their real growth period, however, was kick-started due to legislative changes in the mid 1970s and 1980s. From origins which in many cases were closely associated with the council areas from which many of them (like Sovereign) obtained their first properties, those that have survived have grown much further afield. The local connection has thus been lost, as has anything much in the way of influence that the local authority has over their activities. If an association sells a property, it’s obliged to plough the money back into other social housing: however, unless there’s a specific covenant to the contrary, there’s nothing to say that it has to do so in the same district. The council has thus lost control over the affordable and social stock in its area – with the compensating benefit, admittedly, of not having to pay for its repairs and maintenance.

In short, the interests of the two organisations are no longer as aligned as they once more (or as many think, or wish, they still are). This is inevitable when you have two organisations that are driven by different priorities. The solution for councils is to start building their own homes again, though this would prove a mammoth task as few have anything approaching the level of in-house skill that most enjoyed in the council-home-building heyday of the 1970s. Mind you, everything moves in cycles. If the flared trousers and glam rock from that age can swing back into fashion at a later date, then so perhaps can municipal housing. The need for it certainly seems to be there and does not appear to being completely met by the current arrangements.

• Other news

• Enjoy a free sport and physical activity festival for young people aged 10-19yrs on Monday 6 May from 9.30 am to 3.30pm at Marlborough Recreation Ground.  Check online here, for full details.

• If you live in or around Poulton Hill, Kingsbury Street or Bath Road and are concerned about speeding and road safety in the area, perhaps you have a few hours to spare, on a regular basis, to help address these issues. Marlborough Town Council is supporting Wiltshire Police with the setting up of Community Speed Watch schemes for each of these areas but need willing volunteers who will be trained up by Wiltshire Police and will be given all the equipment needed to do the job. If you are interested please contact Clare Harris at Marlborough Town Council via email charris@marlborough-tc.gov.uk or give her a call on 01672 512487.

• It was reported on the BBC this week that Marlborough’s historic Free Door has been returned to the High Street. The Free’s Door is one of Marlborough’s lesser-known original features and was created by a craftsman of the Free family in 1925. It has been restored by craftsman Andrew Brennan, supported by the Marlborough History Society and you can see the footage online here.

• On Thursday 25 April from 2pm to 3.30pm The Prospect Hospice is hosting a Bereavement Help Point at the Castle and Ball Hotel. The Bereavement Help Point is a safe and comfortable space to meet and talk with people currently experiencing similar feelings, supported by staff and trained volunteers.It is open to anybody who is experiencing grief or loss. You do not need to have experienced Prospect Hospice’s services and your loss does not have to be recent. For more information, please visit online here.

Marlborough Town Council is giving advanced warning of evening closures for carriageway repair works on A346 Herd St. between Port Hill and The Green from Tuesday 23 to Thursday 25 April from 7pm to 11pm.

Aldbourne Youth Council is organising a Community Market on the Village Green on Sunday 5 May to raise funds for their vital charity which provides a welcoming, safe, warm environment for many young people 10 to 18 years old. Their doors at the Community Junction are open six days a week for young people to have fun, learn or simply be. Please support the market which will have lots of stalls including plants, food, drinks and crafts, Morris Dancers, BBQ, tea and cakes. If you would like a pitch contact Valerie on hoodvalerie@gmail.com.

• Local resident Ian Wyld reminds anyone who is having a Laburnum tree cut down, that the wood is highly valued by wood turners and carvers. He has found homes for the wood from his own fairly large Laburnum and suggests if anyone else is having a Laburnum tree taken out then put a note the Marlborough Facebook page as there are people who will be very happy to take the wood.

2nd Marlborough Scout Group is honoured and extremely grateful to be part of the Tesco blue token scheme, in the Marlborough store. This scheme will help them to subsidise group camp this year. If you put one token in their box every time you shop, they would be extremely grateful.

• Please think about signing up for The Wiltshire Three Peaks Challenge on Saturday 8 June. Run, jog or walk either a 10km or a Half Marathon trail route to raise funds for local young people.  To find out more, click here.

ARK – Action for the River Kennet are looking for keen volunteers, who can make a long-term commitment to about 2 hours a month every month (site conditions permitting) to be a riverfly monitor. Currently they are looking for volunteers for sites just to the east of Marlborough,in Hungerford and Shalbourne. Full training and kit provided. To find out more visit online here and contact anna@riverkennet.org to express your interest.

The Merchant’s House is very grateful for a grant of £15,000 towards its roof appeal, which helps them secure the future of The Merchant’s House for the next 30 years. If you would like to support their roof appeal, click here

• Earlybird tickets (offering some great savings) are now on sale for the Newbury Show on 21 and 22 September and there are also sponsorship opportunities still available. See more here.

• Businesses have until 14 June to apply for Vibrant Wiltshire’s vacant unit grants programme, aimed at supporting businesses in the county to reinvigorate empty shops and commercial areas. See here for full details.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

Burbage Primary School hires out an eco-friendly party kit hire to reduce waste and help the planet. Click here to apply.

Bruce Boats fully accessible canal boats based in Great Bedwyn are looking for more volunteers and have a wide range of interesting roles available.

If you spot a fallen tree, an obstruction or any debris on the roads, please report it via Our Wiltshire and drive to the conditions at all times. Report now here.

All dogs are to be kept on leads at all times when at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough. This refers to the whole site for bird nesting season and the designated wildlife site also has a breeding population of water vole, as well as many other vulnerable species.

If you spot an Asian Hornet please report it here or email alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk.

1st Marlborough Rainbows is looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the Diary

• Fri 12 Apr Dementia UK Coffee Morning Methodist Hall Aldbourne

• Sat 13 Apr Craft & Gift Market Marlborough Town Hall

• Sat 14 Apr Temptation Tea Dance Marlborough Town Hall

• Tues 16 Apr Aldbourne Curry Club The Burj Inn, Wanborough

• Sat 20 Apr Marlborough Choral Society Spring Concert St Mary’s Church

• Sun 21 Apr Car Boot Sale Marlborough Common

• Fri 14 Jun Open Texas Scramble Marlbrough Golf Club

• Regular events

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

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

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

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

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

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

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


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 25 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 8 April and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; a report from the ward member; speeding; highways and footpaths; debris on the pond; and GDPR.
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 for which minutes are available took place on 8 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: repairs and maintenance; flooding; a councillor vacancy; roads and footpaths; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings and agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 April and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: outstanding issues; flooding and sewage; play area inspections; repairs and maintenance; tree planting; a police consultation; a report from the County Councillor; and a litter pick on 13 April.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 25 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: lorries; allotments; a new clerk. the ward members’ report; planning matters; financial matters; Hoopers Field; social-media policy; repairs and maintenance; D-Day; and the annual parish meeting.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: questions from residents; a councillor co-option; actions from the previous meeting; parish communications; financial matters; dog bins; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 11 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 19 February and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

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

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

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

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

Thursday 4 April 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes a park run, a van, three peaks, scouts and a community garden – plus a shock announcement from Marlborough News about a by-pass through the Savernake.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include dachshund walk and folk music. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• No by-pass yet

I enjoyed Marlborough News’ April Fool this year about the plans for a north-south by-pass around the town and through the Savernake. The trick with these things is to take a genuine concern or problem and then develop it in a way that becomes progressively more absurd until, even if they haven’t clocked the date, people eventually realise what’s going on. It doesn’t do to hold back in this regard. A few years ago I did a 1 April fool article about some alarming new Facebook features and was told by some knowledgable friends that all of these were easily possible and may yet come to pass.

In fact, the concept of a by-pass around Marlborough was for a time at least not merely a piece of fantasy. This 2020 letter in the Gazette and Herald refers to discussions about the idea in the late 1990s which was, the writer claims, killed off by a combination of cost, technical problems, environmental concerns and nimbyism. I doubt any of these would be less serious obstacles now.

Then, while searching for more on this, I came across an article headlined “New rail bypass on track to replace 107-year-old tunnel in Marlborough.” Wow, I thought: that’s one April fool I missed. It didn’t take long for me to realise that this was Marlborough in New Zealand…

• Other news

Marlborough Common parkrun will celebrate their 200th park run this weekend on Sat 6 April at 9am on Marlborough Common, and are hoping that at least 200 participants will turn up to celebrate this milestone. There were 172 runners and 26 volunteers at the very first parkrun so they hope to emulate that.

Aldbourne Youth Council are organising a Community Market on the Village Green on Sunday 5 May to raise funds for their vital charity which provides a welcoming, safe, warm environment for many young people 10 to 18 years old. Their doors at the Community Junction are open six days a week for young people to have fun, learn or simply be. Please support the market which will have lots of stalls including plants, food, drinks and crafts, Morris Dancers, BBQ, tea and cakes. If you would like a pitch contact Valerie on hoodvalerie@gmail.com.

• Local resident Ian Wyld reminds anyone who is having a Laburnum tree cut down, that the wood is highly valued by wood turners and carvers. He has found homes for the wood from his own fairly large Laburnum and suggests if anyone else is having a Laburnum tree taken out then put a note the Marlborough Facebook page as there are people who will be very happy to take the wood.

• Last September a 15-seat minibus was stolen from the lovely Sunflowers at Grafton nursery, pre school in East Grafton, and was found burnt out the following day. At 7.30am 0n Tuesday 2 April , a 12-seat minibus was stolen again and found by Wiltshire Police burnt out near East Kennet. Sunflowers are understandably devastated. If you have any information please call 01672 810478 or email admin@sunflowers-grafton.org.uk

2nd Marlborough Scout Group is honoured and extremely grateful to be part of the Tesco blue token scheme, in the Marlborough store. This scheme will help them to subsidise group camp this year. If you put one token in their box every time you shop, they would be extremely grateful.

• Please think about signing up for The Wiltshire Three Peaks Challenge on Saturday 8 June. Run, jog or walk either a 10km or a Half Marathon trail route to raise funds for local young people.  To find out more, click here.

Aldbourne Community Garden kicks off the 2024 growing season with a Spring Planting Session on Wednesday 10 April between 10.30am and 12.30pm.  Activities will include: potato planting, seed sowing, preparing the raised beds, harvesting rhubarb and creating new signs for the raised beds. All welcome at the Community Garden on Whitley Road, Aldbourne, SN8 2BU.

ARK – Action for the River Kennet are looking for keen volunteers, who can make a long-term commitment to about 2 hours a month every month (site conditions permitting) to be a riverfly monitor. Currently they are looking for volunteers for sites just to the east of Marlborough,in Hungerford and Shalbourne. Full training and kit provided. To find out more visit online here and contact anna@riverkennet.org to express your interest.

The Merchant’s House is very grateful for a grant of £15,000 towards its roof appeal, which helps them secure the future of The Merchant’s House for the next 30 years. If you would like to support their roof appeal, click here

• The Merchan’s House also invite you to an Easter Egg Hunt on Friday 5 April and from Tuesday 9 April until Friday 12 April each day from 10am until last entry at 3pm. Spot the eggs hidden by the mischievous rabbits throughout the House and Museum. Each egg will have a secret letter – collect all eight, spell an Easter word and win a chocolate medal.

Marlborough Choral Society will be performing their Spring Concert on Saturday 20 April at 7.30pm at St Mary’s Church in Marlborough. The concert includes the wonderful Faure Requiem along with Zadok the Priest, Ave Verum Corpus and The Lord is My Shepherd.  The two soloists are soprano Emma Pooley and bass James Ballance. Tickets are on sale now at Sound Knowledge in Hughenden Yard and can also be purchased from choir members or at the door. To find out more or reserve tickets click here.

• Earlybird tickets (offering some great savings) are now on sale for the Newbury Show on 21 and 22 September and there are also sponsorship opportunities still available. See more here.

• Businesses have until 14 June to apply for Vibrant Wiltshire’s vacant unit grants programme, aimed at supporting businesses in the county to reinvigorate empty shops and commercial areas. See here for full details.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

Burbage Primary School hires out an eco-friendly party kit hire to reduce waste and help the planet. Click here to apply.

Bruce Boats fully accessible canal boats based in Great Bedwyn are looking for more volunteers and have a wide range of interesting roles available.

If you spot a fallen tree, an obstruction or any debris on the roads, please report it via Our Wiltshire and drive to the conditions at all times. Report now here.

All dogs are to be kept on leads at all times when at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough. This refers to the whole site for bird nesting season and the designated wildlife site also has a breeding population of water vole, as well as many other vulnerable species.

If you spot an Asian Hornet please report it here or email alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk.

1st Marlborough Rainbows is looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the Diary

• Sun 6 Apr Marlborough Dachshund Walk Marlborough Common

Fri 12 Apr Show of Hands folk duo, Marlborough College

• Regular events

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

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

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

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

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

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

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


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 25 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: questions from residents; a councillor co-option; actions from the previous meeting; parish communications; financial matters; dog bins; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 11 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: outstanding issues; sewers and flooding; the Clerk’s report; repairs and maintenance; a proposed 20mph speed limit; the Scout and Guide Hut; and tree works.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 4 March and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; a report from the ward member; a councillor co-option; financial matters; footpaths and highways; the Village Hall; and speeding.
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 for which minutes are available took place on 19 February and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 February and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 8 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings and agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

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

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

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

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

Thursday 28 March 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes a flash mob, steam, thanks, eggs and kit hire – plus a look at Marlborough Town Council’s options with regard to tourism promotion.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include boozy bingo and dachshund walk. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Marlborough’s tourists

In this column on 22 February, I covered the issue of Marlborough Town Council’s withdrawal from the Great West Way project. The issue is also looked at in this article in Marlborough News from 27 March.

Last month, I suggested that this decision – and Wiltshire Council’s decision to withdraw funding from Visit Wiltshire which runs the GWW project – was part of a process of churn that takes place in all commercial relationships. Each needs periodically to be tested and checked and, if it’s found wanting, modified or discarded. This isn’t necessarily anything against any of the bodies concerned. It may just be that the fit between them is not as good as it once was or as it was hoped it would be. It may also be – which seems to be the case here – that the client body feels that it can perhaps do the job better itself rather than working through an umbrella organisation. In these digitally connected times, these are perhaps of less importance than they used to be in any case.

These are my thoughts and don’t necessarily reflect the views of Marlborough TC or anyone else. What I do know, however, having spoken to a spokesperson from Marlborough TC on 28 March, that the Council is certainly not oblivious to the importance of tourism to the town. The debate that’s being had currently, and which will continue, is how best this can be accomplished given the limited resources and power at any town council’s disposal. The GWW may be back on the table again soon. Nothing is for ever. It’s also worth pointing that the GWW withdrawal was referring to a decision that was taken about a year ago and which comes into force about now. What decisions are taken in the future are for the council to decide and everyone is free to express their views.

However, two things are not going to change. The first is that Marlborough TC will not ignore the importance of attracting visitors, overnight or otherwise. The second is that Marlborough itself will remain an attractive town on, as an earlier Marlborough news article pointed out, the original great west way about two thirds of the way along the route from London to Bristol. This locational advantage will remain, whatever organisations the town is or is not a part of. What might change are the ways in which it exports and promotes itself to all the people who might be minded to visit it.

• Other news

• Congratulations to Marlborough Musical Theatre Choir for their flash mob last Saturday 24 March in Waitrose raising awareness of the food bank who have a current need for UHT milk, long life juice, long life puddings and instant mash. There are 70 members in Marlborough Musical Theatre Choir but they have space for 100. If you’d like to join they meet every Wednesday in term time in St Mary’s Church from 7.30 to 9pm and next term commences on Wednesday 24 April.

The Merchant’s House is very grateful for a grant of £15,000 towards its roof appeal, which helps them secure the future of The Merchant’s House for the next 30 years. If you would like to support their roof appeal, click here  

• It would also like to invite you to an Easter Egg Hunt from Tuesday 2 April until Friday 5 April and from Tuesday 9 April until Friday 12 April each day from 10am until last entry at 3pm Spot the eggs hidden by the mischievous rabbits throughout the House and Museum. Each egg will have a secret letter – collect all eight, spell an Easter word and win a chocolate medal.

• Looking forward to Easter? Make your own delicious praline-filled Easter Egg at a workshop at Amy Levin’s chocolate cookery school in Marlbrorough from 10am to noon on Easter Saturday 30 March.

• Good news that Crofton Beam Engines have passed their annual boiler steaming test and look forward to welcoming visitors for their Easter Steaming Weekend. Wilton Windmill is also open over the Easter weekend.

Easter news from Packaging Not Included zero waste shop in Hughenden Yard includes an ultra chocolate cupcake recipe, organic bread and veg orders and Easter opening times.

Burbage Primary School has come up with a great idea to save the planet with an eco-friendly party kit hire to reduce waste and help the planet. Click here to apply.

• Capital funding has been earmarked by Wiltshire Council to make improvements to some of the county’s fitness facilities in its leisure centres. It is anticipated this investment will help increase leisure memberships, which will have long-term benefits for the health and wellbeing of residents and support the council’s finances. Marlborough will benefit with Marlborough Leisure Centre benefitting with plans to include, not only improvements but an extension to the fitness suite, and improvements to the wet change area. Read the full details here.

Marlborough Choral Society will be performing their Spring Concert on Saturday 20 April at 7.30pm at St Mary’s Church in Marlborough. The concert includes the wonderful Faure Requiem along with Zadok the Priest, Ave Verum Corpus and The Lord is My Shepherd.  The two soloists are soprano Emma Pooley and bass James Ballance. Tickets are on sale now at Sound Knowledge in Hughenden Yard and can also be purchased from choir members or at the door. To find out more or reserve tickets click here.

Greatwood are keen to remind anyone who has ever thought of working with horses and are aged between 16 and 24 years that they still have places available on their highly successful FREE accredited Get Going programme during the Easter holidays. No previous experience with horses needed. For more information or to book your place please phone 01672 514535 or email education@greatwoodcharity.org.

Aldbourne Community Garden kicks off the 2024 growing season with a Spring Planting Session on Wednesday 10 April between 10.30am and 12.30pm.  Activities will include: potato planting, seed sowing, preparing the raised beds, harvesting rhubarb and creating new signs for the raised beds. All welcome at the Community Garden on Whitley Road, Aldbourne, SN8 2BU.

• Earlybird tickets (offering some great savings) are now on sale for the Newbury Show on 21 and 22 September and there are also sponsorship opportunities still available. See more here.

• Businesses have until 14 June to apply for Vibrant Wiltshire’s vacant unit grants programme, aimed at supporting businesses in the county to reinvigorate empty shops and commercial areas. See here for full details.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

Bruce Boats fully accessible canal boats based in Great Bedwyn are looking for more volunteers and have a wide range of interesting roles available.

If you spot a fallen tree, an obstruction or any debris on the roads, please report it via Our Wiltshire and drive to the conditions at all times. Report now here.

All dogs are to be kept on leads at all times when at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough. This refers to the whole site for bird nesting season and the designated wildlife site also has a breeding population of water vole, as well as many other vulnerable species.

If you spot an Asian Hornet please report it here or email alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk.

1st Marlborough Rainbows is looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the Diary

• Fri 29 March Boozy Bingo Marlborough Town Football Club .

• Fri 29 Mar David Brewster ‘Live’ The Bear Hotel, Marlborough

• Sun 6 Apr Marlborough Dachshund Walk Marlborough Common

• Sat 30 Mar Tempus Fugit with Nick Harper   St Peter’s Marlborough.

• Regular events

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

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

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

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

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

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

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


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report by Forestry England regarding management plans for the Savarnake Forest: questions to and from Wiltshire Councillors; housing issues (see separate section above); Maypr’s announcements; the Community and Youth Centre; and reports from outside bodies.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: questions from residents; a councillor co-option; actions from the previous meeting; parish communications; financial matters; dog bins; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: outstanding issues; sewers and flooding; the Clerk’s report; repairs and maintenance; a proposed 20mph speed limit; the Scout and Guide Hut; and tree works.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 4 March and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; a report from the ward member; a councillor co-option; financial matters; footpaths and highways; the Village Hall; and speeding.
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 for which minutes are available took place on 19 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: new correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; flooding; repairs and maintenance; a possible 20mph zone; a vacancy for a councillor; the Parish Steward; and there Surgery.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 12 February and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 8 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings and agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

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

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

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

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

Thursday 21 March 2024

Gremlin update: our website migration to a dedicated server in the UK is scheduled for 11am on Monday 25 March so the website and emails might be down for a couple of hours. Hopefully after that all the problems we’ve recently had will be solved. It will double our hosting costs but should be money well spent if the website doesn’t crash any more. Huge thanks to those who’ve donated recently to help us keep the show on the road. If you are considering making a donation, please see here for the options.

Our usual round-up of  local news includes chocolate, loving books, Marlborough at war, zero waste and a spring clean – plus a thanks from the Town Council for the good response to the appeal for flood wardens.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include folk music and boozy bingo. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Marlborough’s wardens

Many communities are currently looking for volunteer flood wardens (Hungerford, for instance, has the word out at present). Marlborough is, as it were, in the same boat and earlier this week held a recruitment event. The aim was “to develop an active network of volunteers across the whole town.  Ideally, flood wardens should not live in a property that is vulnerable to flooding as it is harder to fulfil their role if they are trying to prevent their own property from flooding, However, involvement and input from those residents at other times would really valuable.”

All very necessary work. Fortunately, the Town Council was able to report that there was high level of local interest.

“We were really happy with the response we received to our Flood Warden initiative and the attendance on the night was great,” Deputy Town Clerk Calire Harris told Penny Post on 21 March. “We have twelve volunteers signed up and we will be offering them all some formal training going forward. Each and every one of them has something different to offer and they all have excellent local knowledge which is especially valuable in this role.”

• Other news

• Looking forward to Easter? Make your own delicious praline-filled Easter Egg at a workshop at Amy Levin’s chocolate cookery school in Marlbrorough from 10am to noon this Sunday 24 or Saturday 30 March.

• Good news that Crofton Beam Engines have passed their annual boiler steaming test and look forward to welcoming visitors for their Easter Steaming Weekend. Wilton Windmill is also open over the Easter weekend.

Marlborough Literary Festival is launching its fifth Love Books Competition. Explain your choice of a favourite book, poem or play in up to 750 words, with prizes of £300 and £100 in each age category.  The annual competition is open to anyone across the country in three age groups: 13-15 years, 16-19 years and 20 years and above. The closing deadline for entries is Friday 28 June. More details here.  

• Quick reminder about new ‘Marlborough at War’ exhibition at The Merchant’s House, that reflects on the town’s involvement in the Civil War and the First and Second World Wars.

Love Marlborough Kids Meals requests tax-free charitable donations from local businesses to help children & families in the local area with much needed hot meals.  Contributions that your company can make include one-off donations or regular sponsorship or seconding employees as volunteers). Contact hello@lovemarlboroughkidsmeals.org if your company would like to help.

Easter news from Packaging Not Included zero waste shop in Hughenden Yard includes an ultra chocolate cupcake recipe, organic bread and veg orders and Easter opening times.

Marlborough Town Council next litter picking event as part of Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean is on Thursday 28 March from 2pm to 3.30pm. Equipment will be supplied as well as useful guidance for you to follow.  Please contact Clare Harris on charris@marlborough-tc.gov.uk or 07395 793018.

Hunt for Easter eggs on Easter Saturday 30 March from 11am. The Easter Bunny has hidden lots of egg-tokens around Coopers Meadow and along to Priory Gardens. Book your space here.

• The Bereavement Help Point is a community based drop-in service where all people who are bereaved are welcome and they will be convening at The Castle & Ball on Thursday 28 March at 10am. It’s a space to meet and talk with others who may be experiencing similar thoughts and feelings, in an informal and supportive setting. All sessions are free of charge and there’s no need to book, just come along. This group is a partnership between Prospect Hospice and Carer Support Wiltshire.

Marlborough resident Emma Doughty Jones is taking part in this year’s marathon on Saturday 21 April and is looking for your support. She has chosen to fundraise for 2nd Marlborough Scouts (to fund building repairs and help send disadvantaged children to summer camp), and The Salvation Army. Times are tough, but if you can spare a pound or two to support her, please go to her Just Giving page here.

Click here for information about how the Town Council vacancy for the Marlborough West ward will be filled.

• Businesses have until 14 June to apply for Vibrant Wiltshire’s vacant unit grants programme, aimed at supporting businesses in the county to reinvigorate empty shops and commercial areas. See here for full details.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

Bruce Boats fully accessible canal boats based in Great Bedwyn are looking for more volunteers and have a wide range of interesting roles available.

If you spot a fallen tree, an obstruction or any debris on the roads, please report it via Our Wiltshire and drive to the conditions at all times. Report now here.

All dogs are to be kept on leads at all times when at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough. This refers to the whole site for bird nesting season and the designated wildlife site also has a breeding population of water vole, as well as many other vulnerable species.

If you spot an Asian Hornet please report it here or email alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk.

1st Marlborough Rainbows is looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the Diary

• Sat 23 Mar Marlborough Concert Orchestra Mary’s Church Marlborough.

• Thurs 28 Mar Great British Spring Clean Marlborough Town Hall.

• Fri 29 March Boozy Bingo Marlborough Town Football Club .

• Sat 30 Mar Tempus Fugit with Nick Harper   St Peter’s Marlborough.

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

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

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

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

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

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

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


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report by Forestry England regarding management plans for the Savarnake Forest: questions to and from Wiltshire Councillors; housing issues (see separate section above); Maypr’s announcements; the Community and Youth Centre; and reports from outside bodies.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: questions from residents; a councillor co-option; actions from the previous meeting; parish communications; financial matters; dog bins; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: outstanding issues; sewers and flooding; the Clerk’s report; repairs and maintenance; a proposed 20mph speed limit; the Scout and Guide Hut; and tree works.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 4 March and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; a report from the ward member; a councillor co-option; financial matters; footpaths and highways; the Village Hall; and speeding.
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 for which minutes are available took place on 19 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: new correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; flooding; repairs and maintenance; a possible 20mph zone; a vacancy for a councillor; the Parish Steward; and there Surgery.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 12 February and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 8 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings and agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

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

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

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

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

Thursday 14 March 2024

Gremlin update: we have started the process of migrating our whole website, emails and hosting to a new UK-based company – so, fingers crossed this goes smoothly next week but please bear with us if there any hiccups. Thanks again to those who have already helped cover our extra costs, including Joan from Newbury who says “I’ve learned so much from following your weekly bulletins over the years and I have at last arranged for a small monthly donation. Thank you so much for all you do.” This kind of feedback means the world to us. If you are considering making us a donation, please see here for the options.

Our usual round-up of  local news includes legal tips, zero waste, silver for the brass band, a re-opening and chocolate – plus a reminder about a forthcoming flood-warden recruitment event in Marlborough and a look, thanks to Marlborough News, at the closure of the town’s last bank later this year.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include folk music and boozy bingo. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Marlborough’s wardens

Marlborough Town Council, working in partnership with Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire & Swindon Prepared, is running a recruitment drive for Flood Wardens at the Town Hall on Wednesday 20 March from 6pm to 7pm.  This will be an informal session focussing on the role of a flood warden and what it entails.

The role of a flood warden will be key in helping the community prepare for, respond to and recover from flooding and will work closely with the Town Council and other partner agencies.

They want to develop an active network of volunteers across the whole town.  Ideally, flood wardens should not live in a property that is vulnerable to flooding as it is harder to fulfil their role if they are trying to prevent their own property from flooding, However, involvement and input from those residents at other times would really valuable.

Also, it doesn’t matter if residents don’t live near a watercourse –there are many other sources of flooding too including surface water, groundwater, drainage and sewers. So, a good cross-section of volunteers across the whole town would be great. They need people to help communicate about flooding events and flood resilience and help people at risk to understand how to be better prepared.

The Town Council is urging anyone with an interest to come along, find out more about the role and what it involves and hopefully sign up to the role.  Full training will be given.

For more information, please contact Marlborough Town Council on 01672 512487 or email charris@marlborough-tc.gov.uk.

• The last bank

Marlborough News reports that Lloyds, the last high-street bank in Marlborough, will close on 25 November. The article looks at some local reaction to this and also provides a link for those wanting further information about how financial life goes on thereafter.

“Is this a shock?” the article ask. “Yes, but a surprise, no. Lloyds was inevitably going to follow Barclays, HSBC and Nat West.” Hungerford which also used to have three banks now has none. They have been turned into a clothes shop, a coffee shop and a private house: which probably tells its own story as to where our priorities now lie. What’s perhaps remarkable is how adaptable people are. We groan and grumble about such a change for a while but soon find other ways to get stuff done. Before long we forget that things were ever any other way.

This is why the closure of places like Post Offices, pharmacies, banks, shops and pubs tends to be irreversible. Once they’re gone, it only takes a few months for our habits to change and the case for a replacement therefore less strong. People may be able to adapt to the new ways of doing things. The bigger question is whether our high streets can.

• Other news

• In their latest podcast, Karen, Peyton and Alex from Marlborough Law cover hot topics that affect both your work and home life including the merits of LPAs (Lasting Power of Attorneys) and Shareholder Agreements.

Easter news from Packaging Not Included zero waste shop in Hughenden Yard includes an ultra chocolate cupcake recipe, organic bread and veg orders and Easter opening times.

• After 14 incredible years as the landlord of The Crown in Aldbourne, Alan is bidding farewell to this chapter of his life and a fitting party will be thrown with live music and food to thank him and wish him well in his future.

• The Aldbourne Carnival Stores on Farm Lane are currently being redecorated and restored to give them a face lift for spring. Residents are asked that the area in front of them are free and unobstructed by parked vehicles to allow the works to be carried out.

Aldbourne Band were delighted with its second place at the WEBBA Area Championships qualifying them for the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain at the Royal Albert Hall.

The Merchant’s House will be re-opening on Tuesday 19 March. If you would like to join them or help in any way, please email trustmanager@themerchantshouse.co.uk.

• The Bereavement Help Point is a community based drop-in service where all people who are bereaved are welcome and they will be convening at The Castle & Ball on Thursday 28 March at 10am. It’s a space to meet and talk with others who may be experiencing similar thoughts and feelings, in an informal and supportive setting. All sessions are free of charge and there’s no need to book, just come along. This group is a partnership between Prospect Hospice and Carer Support Wiltshire.

Marlborough Town Council are joining Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean, which runs from Fri 15 March to Sunday 31 March, to clear litter from streets, parks and play areas in Marlborough. There are two litter picking events on Tuesday 19 March from 10.30am to 12 noon and Thursday 28 March from 2pm to 3.30pm. Equipment will be supplied as well as useful guidance for you to follow.  Please contact Clare Harris on charris@marlborough-tc.gov.uk or 07395 793018.

• Looking forward to Easter? Make your own praline-filled Easter Egg at a workshop at Amy Levin’s chocolate cookery school in Marlborough 6 to 8pm Wed 13 March or 10am to noon Sunday 24 and Saturday 30 March.

• Would you like to play a key role in helping your community prepare for, respond to and recover from flooding? Marlborough Town Council, with Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire & Swindon Prepared, is holding a flood warden recruitment event at the Town Hall on Wednesday 20 March from 6pm to 7pm. See more details here.

Hunt for Easter eggs on Easter Saturday 30 March from 11am. The Easter Bunny has hidden lots of egg-tokens around Coopers Meadow and along to Priory Gardens. Book your space here.

Marlborough resident Emma Doughty Jones is taking part in this year’s marathon on Saturday 21 April and is looking for your support. She has chosen to fundraise for 2nd Marlborough Scouts (to fund building repairs and help send disadvantaged children to summer camp), and The Salvation Army. Times are tough, but if you can spare a pound or two to support her, please go to her Just Giving page here.

Click here for information about how the Town Council vacancy for the Marlborough West ward will be filled.

ARK (Action for the River Kennet) is looking for your help. Can you support its River School project by voting when in Marlborough Tesco by putting tokens, when you pay for your purchase in store, in their slot. Help them get more local children discovering their local chalk stream in 2024.

•  Enjoy exploring the local history and cultural heritage of Marlborough on the ‘Explore Wiltshire’ heritage app.  The free app has been created by Wiltshire Council in collaboration with town and parish councils. Explore Wiltshire can be downloaded to Apple and Android devices.

Our Wiltshire is encouraging residents to head to your local household recycling centre and browse the free water-based paint that is on offer. Look out for the separate yellow cabinet or ask a member of staff to help you.Further info here.

• Businesses have until 14 June to apply for Vibrant Wiltshire’s vacant unit grants programme, aimed at supporting businesses in the county to reinvigorate empty shops and commercial areas. See here for full details.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

Bruce Boats fully accessible canal boats based in Great Bedwyn are looking for more volunteers and have a wide range of interesting roles available.

If you spot a fallen tree, an obstruction or any debris on the roads, please report it via Our Wiltshire and drive to the conditions at all times. Report now here.

All dogs are to be kept on leads at all times when at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough. This refers to the whole site for bird nesting season and the designated wildlife site also has a breeding population of water vole, as well as many other vulnerable species.

If you spot an Asian Hornet please report it here or email alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk.

1st Marlborough Rainbows is looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the Diary

• Sat 16 Mar Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman St Mary’s Church Hall.

• Wed 20 Mar Flood Warden Recruitment  Marlborough Town Hall.

• Sat 23 Mar Marlborough Concert Orchestra Mary’s Church Marlborough.

• Fri 29 March Boozy Bingo Marlborough Town Football Club .

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

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

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

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

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

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

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


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report by Forestry England regarding management plans for the Savarnake Forest: questions to and from Wiltshire Councillors; housing issues (see separate section above); Maypr’s announcements; the Community and Youth Centre; and reports from outside bodies.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 19 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: new correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; flooding; repairs and maintenance; a possible 20mph zone; a vacancy for a councillor; the Parish Steward; and there Surgery.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 12 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a councillor co-option; police report; ward members’ reports; a possible change to the ward boundary; financial matters; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: outstanding issues; questions for councillors; the Clerk’s report; flooding and sewage issues (see separate sections above); repairs and maintenance; verge and hedge cutting; an archaeological dig; and a report from the Wiltshire Councillor.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 5 February and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; planning matters; a report from the ward member; the 20mph consultation; Lengthman’s contract; Swindon Council; highways; and GDPR
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

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

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 8 January and you can read the minutes here. I
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings and agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

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

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

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

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

Thursday 7 March 2024

Gremlin alert: some people have recently had problems loading our web pages. We believe we’re close to solving this but you may find, if you return to this page later, that it’s unavailable. Please accept our apologies and try again in a bit. The solution involves upgrading our website server which we have put off as it costs more money. But the time has come when we have no choice. So, as we’ve said before, any small monthly donation you can make towards this cost would be very much appreciated. See here for ways to donate. And thanks again to those who have already done so.

Our usual round-up of  local news includes dogs, chocolate, a spring-clean, scouts and eggs – plus a quick look at Shalbourne’s winery and Aldbourne Parish Council’s recent response to flooding and sewage issues.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include folk music and boozy bingo. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Shalbourne’s winery

I’ve been contacted by two people who have concerns about application PL/2023/10755 at Carvers Hill Farm, Carvers Hill, Shalbourne, SN8 3PS for “Demolition of existing agricultural buildings. Construction of new buildings for the production of wine with ancillary wine tasting and events facilities and storage, with associated access, landscaping and drainage.”

You can see the relevant documents by clicking here and then entering the reference number PL/2023/10755 in the keyword search box.

I know something of this application and the general direction of travel at the winery, partly because we’ve often visited and picked vegetables in the wonderful Shalbourne Community Growers market garden nearby. Due to some unexpected and welcome web-hosting problems this week, I’ve not, however, been able to find out enough about the details of this application to express an opinion on it or to suggest any particular problems. All I can suggest is that you have a look at the application on the Wiltshire Council planning portal (see details above) and perhaps see what neighbours, the parish council or your county councillor thinks about it.

Although the official consultation deadline has passed the matter has yet to be decided (10 April is the projected date) so any comments, in favour or against, should still be able to be considered. If more than ten people object (or if the County Councillor has decided to call it in) the matter will go to a planning committee. if not, the officers will decide. Any decision can be the subject of an appeal.

• Aldbourne’s water

The following is taken verbatim from the 7 February meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council:

181/24 Consider further letters to Thames Water and Wiltshire Council in relation to flooding and the existing sewer system in Aldbourne

It was RESOLVED unanimously that the Clerk will send the letters drafted by Cllr Josephy to Thames Water and Wiltshire Council to re-iterate the concerns about the impact of flooding on the current sewer system and how any development at Lottage Farm will exacerbate this issue. The letters will be copied to the area MP.

It was RESOLVED unanimously that a meeting with the Environment Agency, Thames Water and Wiltshire Council will be arranged to discuss the ongoing issues of flooding across the village. An invite to the area MP will also be extended.

182/24 Review of recent flooding and response from outside agencies

There were several areas and properties that suffered flooding which have never had any issues previously. Sadly, the overall the response from Wiltshire Council was disappointing. Whilst understanding they were under pressure across the county, there was little to no communication forthcoming, and the appearance of a lack of action on issues raised.

However, this week the parish steward has done a sterling job of clearing four of the drains along Lottage Road around Kandahar. Within about 20 minutes of him carrying out this work the bulk of the water had cleared. Wiltshire Council have confirmed the gulley jetting machine is booked to come out the end of February. The road sweeper is also booked, with a date to be advised to allow the Parish Council to attempt to get Lottage Road clear of vehicles prior to the visit.

Several banks along Lottage Road have been severely eroded by the water. This has been raised with Wiltshire Council. The winterbourne around the Goddards Lane section will need to be dug out before next winter by Wiltshire Council.

• Other news

• A reminder, from Marlborough Town Council that as from Friday 1 March, that all dogs are to be kept on leads at all times when at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough. This refers to the whole site for bird nesting season and the designated wildlife site also has a breeding population of water vole, as well as many other vulnerable species.

Marlborough Town Council are joining Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean, which runs from  Fri 15 March to Sunday 31 March, to clear litter from streets, parks and play areas in Marlborough. There are two litter picking events  on  on Tuesday 19 March from 10.30am to 12 noon and Thursday 28 March from 2pm to 3.30pm. Equipment will be supplied as well as useful guidance for you to follow. Go it alone or team up with friends, family, work colleagues and neighbours. If you would like to get involved either as part of one of the organised events or going it alone, please contact Clare Harris by email charris@marlborough-tc.gov.uk or give her a call on 07395 793018.

• Looking forward to Easter? Make your own praline-filled Easter Egg at a workshop at Amy Levin’s chocolate cookery school in Marlborough 6 to 8pm Wed 13 March or 10am to noon Sunday 24 and Saturday 30 March.

• Would you like to play a key role in helping your community prepare for, respond to and recover from flooding? Marlborough Town Council, with Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire & Swindon Prepared, is holding a flood warden recruitment event at the Town Hall on Wednesday 20 March from 6pm to 7pm. They want to develop an active network of volunteers across the whole town. Ideally flood wardens should not live in a property that is vulnerable to flooding, as it is harder to fulfil their role if they are trying to prevent their own property from flooding, but involvement and input from those residents at other times would be really valuable. See more details here.

Hunt for Easter eggs on Easter Saturday 30 March from 11am. The Easter Bunny has hidden lots of egg-tokens around Coopers Meadow and along to Priory Gardens. Go to The Parade Cinema Marlborough and pick up the details and start hunting – you may even find the Easter Bunny himself along the route! Easter Treats are offered to everyone taking part, subject to finding the tokens. Book your space here.

Marlborough resident Emma Doughty Jones is taking part in this year’s marathon on Saturday 21 April and is looking for your support. She has chosen to fundraise for 2nd Marlborough Scouts (to fund building repairs and help send disadvantaged children to summer camp), and The Salvation Army. Times are tough, but if you can spare a pound or two to support her, please go toher Just Giving page here.

• This is a reminder from Transition Marlborough (TM) and Marlborough Community Orchard (MCO) about the pruning event this Saturday 9 March. It will begin at 9.30 am at Wye House Garden in Marlborough, before moving on to St Mary’s churchyard, then to the espalier trees in Waitrose car park as well as those in Priory Gardens, ending at St Peter’s churchyard. The main jobs will be to take care of any necessary pruning as well as weeding, mulching, tidying, tie and stake adjustments, giving the trees some much needed tlc. The event will end at approx. 12.30pm.  If you are unable to attend at the start, call Philippa Davenport on 07963 313822 or Gerald Payne on 07771 937183 to find out where they are.

Marlborough College Summer School is offering the opportunity to explore the natural art of beekeeping with ‘Log Hives and Alternatives’. Led by experts Helen Leaf and Matt Somerville, this course dives into sustainable beekeeping through log hives, mimicking honeybees’ natural habitats. Engage in hands-on hive-making, gain insights into bee lives, and participate in field trips. Perfect for all abilities. Support bee populations and learn new skills in this fantastic course here.

Click here for information about how the Town Council vacancy for the Marlborough West ward will be filled.

• A quick reminder  that The Marlborough Players require two male actors to complete the cast for their production of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, to be performed on 25 to 27 April. If you are interested about either role, please ring director, Alison on 01672 539641, or email aogreaves@gmail.com.

ARK (Action for the River Kennet) is looking for your help. Can yousupport its River School project by voting when in Marlborough Tesco by putting tokens, when you pay for your purchase in store, in their slot. Help them get more local children discovering their local chalk stream in 2024.

•  Enjoy exploring the local history and cultural heritage of Marlborough on the ‘Explore Wiltshire’ heritage app.  The free app has been created by Wiltshire Council in collaboration with town and parish councils. Explore Wiltshire can be downloaded to Apple and Android devices.

Our Wiltshire is encouraging residents to head to your local household recycling centre and browse the free water-based paint that is on offer. Look out for the separate yellow cabinet or ask a member of staff to help you.Further info here.

Wiltshire Council‘s new Vibrant Wiltshire vacant unit grants programme, aimed at supporting businesses in the county to reinvigorate empty shops and commercial areas, is now open for applications. See here for full details.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

Bruce Boats fully accessible canal boats based in Great Bedwyn are looking for more volunteers and have a wide range of interesting roles available.

If you spot a fallen tree, an obstruction or any debris on the roads, please report it via Our Wiltshire and drive to the conditions at all times. Report now here.

If you spot an Asian Hornet please report it here or email alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk

1st Marlborough Rainbows is looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the Diary

• Mon 11 Mar Moment of Mindfulness The Methodist Hall Aldbourne.

• Sat 16 Mar Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman St Mary’s Church Hall.

• Wed 20 Mar Flood Warden Recruitment  Marlborough Town Hall.

• Sat 23 Mar Marlborough Concert Orchestra Mary’s Church Marlborough.

• Fri 29 March Boozy Bingo Marlborough Town Football Club .

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

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

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

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

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

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

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


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report by Forestry England regarding management plans for the Savarnake Forest: questions to and from Wiltshire Councillors; housing issues (see separate section above); Maypr’s announcements; the Community and Youth Centre; and reports from outside bodies.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 19 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: new correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; flooding; repairs and maintenance; a possible 20mph zone; a vacancy for a councillor; the Parish Steward; and there Surgery.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 12 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a councillor co-option; police report; ward members’ reports; a possible change to the ward boundary; financial matters; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: outstanding issues; questions for councillors; the Clerk’s report; flooding and sewage issues (see separate sections above); repairs and maintenance; verge and hedge cutting; an archaeological dig; and a report from the Wiltshire Councillor.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 5 February and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; planning matters; a report from the ward member; the 20mph consultation; Lengthman’s contract; Swindon Council; highways; and GDPR
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

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

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 8 January and you can read the minutes here. I
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings and agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

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

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

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

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

Thursday 29 February 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes dachshunds, pruning, bee-keeping, chocolate and paint.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include music and a market. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• This week’s news

• Calling all Dachshunds of Marlborough and surrounding areas. The monthly walk is on Sunday 3 March at 10am on the Common below the Football Pitch.

The Parade Cinema Marlborough is offering another Open Mic Night in its covered, heated courtyard on Friday 8 March. Enjoy a drink with dinner, and listen to a spot of local talent. If you fancy playing, come along early on the night and sign up for a slot. Sign-up will be first come first served. If you have any questions, please contact us hello@theparadecinema.com ,

Marlborough resident Emma Doughty Jones is taking part in this year’s marathon on Saturday 21 April and is looking for your support.  She has chosen to fundraise for 2nd Marlborough Scouts (to fund building repairs and help send disadvantaged children to summer camp), and The Salvation Army. Times are tough, but if you can spare a pound or two to support her, please go to  her Just Giving page here.

• This is a reminder from Transition Marlborough (TM) and Marlborough Community Orchard (MCO)  for the upcoming pruning event that will take place on Saturday 9 March. It will begin starting at 9.30 am at Wye House Garden in Marlborough, before moving on to St Mary’s churchyard, then to the espalier trees in Waitrose car park as well as those in Priory Gardens, ending at St Peter’s churchyard. The main jobs will be to take care of any necessary pruning as well as carrying out weeding, mulching, tidying, tie and stake adjustments, giving the trees some much needed tlc. The event will end at approx. 12.30pm.  If you are unable to attend at the start you are most welcome to call Philippa Davenport on 07963313822 or Gerald Payne on 07771 937183 to find out where they are, if you wish to join us later.

• Marlborough Town Council has closed Coopers Meadow because of flooded-footpaths.  Priory Gardens may also be closed  if levels rise further. This will be concerning for those who were so recently affected by flood water, however, at this stage property flooding is not expected.

Marlborough College Summer School is offering the opportunity to  explore the natural art of beekeeping with ‘Log Hives and Alternatives’. Led by experts Helen Leaf and Matt Somerville, this course dives into sustainable beekeeping through log hives, mimicking honeybees’ natural habitats. Engage in hands-on hive-making, gain insights into bee lives, and participate in field trips. Perfect for all abilities. Support bee populations and learn new skills in this fantastic course here.

• Are you a film-maker?  ‘Sofa screenings’ `are looking for a female film-maker to speak on international women’s day. . Please send Louise Norbury a DM if you are interested in learning more.

Click here for information about how the Town Council vacancy for the Marlborough West ward will be filled.

• A quick reminder  that The Marlborough Players  require two male actors to complete the cast for their production of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, to be performed on 25 to 27 April. If you are interested about either role, please ring director, Alison on 01672 539641, or email aogreaves@gmail.com.

ARK (Action for the River Kennet) is looking for your help. Can you  support its River School project by voting when in Marlborough Tesco by putting tokens, when you pay for your purchase in store, in their slot. Help them get more local children discovering their local chalk stream in 2024.

•  Enjoy exploring the local history and cultural heritage of Marlborough on the ‘Explore Wiltshire’ heritage app.  The free app has been created by Wiltshire Council in collaboration with town and parish councils. Explore Wiltshire can be downloaded to Apple and Android devices.

Our Wiltshire is encouraging residents to head to your local household recycling centre and browse the free water-based paint that is on offer. Look out for the separate yellow cabinet or ask a member of staff to help you.  Further info here.

• Are you struggling to keep warm this winter? If you or a friend, relative or neighbour in Wiltshire is having difficulty staying warm and safe, ask at Marlborough Library about the help available including free warmpacks (containing a scarf, thermal hat and gloves, fleece blanket, a hot water bottle and information about energy saving, insulation and support with the cost of living). For more details please see the news item on the library’s warm welcome here.

Wiltshire Council‘s new Vibrant Wiltshire vacant unit grants programme, aimed at supporting businesses in the county to reinvigorate empty shops and commercial areas, is now open for applications. See here for full details.

Make your own praline-filled Easter Egg at a workshop at Amy Levin’s chocolate cookery school in Marlborough 6 to 8pm Wed 13 March or 10am to noon Sunday 24 and Saturday 30 March.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

Bruce Boats fully accessible canal boats based in Great Bedwyn are looking for more volunteers and have a wide range of interesting roles available.

If you spot a fallen tree, an obstruction or any debris on the roads, please report it via Our Wiltshire and drive to the conditions at all times. Report now here.

If you spot an Asian Hornet please report it here or email alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk

1st Marlborough Rainbows is looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the Diary

• Sat 2 Mar Little Pickles Markets Somerset And Wiltshire St. John’s School.

• Sat 2 Mar  Chuckle at The Church St.Peter’s Marlborough.

• Sat 23 Mar Marlborough Concert Orchestra Mary’s Church Marlborough.

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

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

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

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

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

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

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


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report by Forestry England regarding management plans for the Savarnake Forest: questions to and from Wiltshire Councillors; housing issues (see separate section above); Maypr’s announcements; the Community and Youth Centre; and reports from outside bodies.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 19 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: new correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; flooding; repairs and maintenance; a possible 20mph zone; a vacancy for a councillor; the Parish Steward; and there Surgery.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 12 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a councillor co-option; police report; ward members’ reports; a possible change to the ward boundary; financial matters; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 5 February and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; planning matters; a report from the ward member; the 20mph consultation; Lengthman’s contract; Swindon Council; highways; and GDPR
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

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

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 10 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 8 January and you can read the minutes here. I
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings and agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 December and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

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

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

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

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

Thursday 22 February 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes a crier, a meadows closure, a female film-maker, male actors and creativity – plus a look at Marlborough Town Council’s decision to pull out of the Great West Way project.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include a fair and an open-mic night. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Pulling out

A recent article in Marlborough News refers to the decisions by Wiltshire Council to stop funding Visit Wiltshire (VW) and by Marlborough Town Council to do the same for VW’s Great West Way initiative. Marlborough’s decision was taken last year as part of its budget discussions in 2022-23 and will become effective from 1 April: hence why the matter is in the news again now.

As the article points out, the town is still on the original great west way, now known as the A4, although “promotion to the national/international travel industry as part of this initiative will stop.” It goes on to point out that Wiltshire’s decision regarding VW means “that the county won’t be promoted by ‘Visit Britain’ or ‘Visit England’ so when tour organisers add Stonehenge to an itinerary, there won’t be the extra push to go ‘via Marlborough’ or include Avebury, Salisbury or one of the many other beautiful Wiltshire places that tourists would be drawn to if there were encouragement.”

The question that both Wiltshire Council and Marlborough TC have doubtless asked themselves is whether all this matters. I have no particular view for or against the Great West Way scheme (which Hungerford is also part of) but I do know that it’s very hard to measure the success of such projects. These are therefore vulnerable at times of financial constraints. To have a Great West Way which doesn’t feature Marlborough or a promotion of England’s tourist attractions that doesn’t mention Wiltshire is clearly absurd. Non-participation in such quasi-commercial projects doesn’t air-brush them away. Stonehenge isn’t going anywhere. An atlas of Britain shows all the settlements at the relevant scale, not just the ones that have paid to be included.

The decisions perhaps cast doubt on the whole future of such umbrella bodies. Years ago, when I was involved in running a travel publishing company, local and national tourist offices were bodies of considerable importance and the main source of information and promotion about the areas they represented. I doubt that’s the case now. Back then, if you wanted to visit somewhere you’d need to rely largely on information provided by the tourist office. If HQ wanted to big up a certain area, we all got to hear about it to the exclusion of the others. The more money a tourist office spent, the more visitors it tended to get.

Since then, the internet has come along. There are now a hundred ways you can, in a few seconds, find out about any destination from North Dakota to North Korea that catches your fancy. There are no longer any “well kept secrets”, a phrase beloved of tourist offices back in the day when they wanted to promote a hitherto under-visited part of their country. Information on the whole world is now available 24/7.

The article goes on to argue that these funding decisions will inevitably lead to a decline in numbers. For the reasons suggested above, I’m not so sure. I don’t think that there’s any suggestion that either Wiltshire or Marlborough is anti-tourist. Each, however, seems to feel it can better spend promotional money itself rather than through larger organisations whose priorities may not always be completely aligned with their own. In so far as these results can be measured, time will tell if they are right.

• Other news

Marlborough Town Council is inviting applications for the position of  Town Crier. If you have an outgoing personality, excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to project your voice, email civic@marlborough-tc.gov.uk or call on 01672 512487.

• Marlborough Town Council has closed Coopers Meadow because of flooded-footpaths.  Priory Gardens may also be closed  if levels rise further. This will be concerning for those who were so recently affected by flood water, however, at this stage property flooding is not expected.

Marlborough College Summer School is offering the opportunity to  explore the natural art of beekeeping with ‘Log Hives and Alternatives’. Led by experts Helen Leaf and Matt Somerville, this course dives into sustainable beekeeping through log hives, mimicking honeybees’ natural habitats. Engage in hands-on hive-making, gain insights into bee lives, and participate in field trips. Perfect for all abilities. Support bee populations and learn new skills in this fantastic course here.

Louise Norbury  is reaching out to any filmmakers. Are you a film-maker? Do you work in film? ‘Sofa screenings’ are looking for creatives to speak at their sofa screening events at Create Studios on Friday evenings. They are particularly looking for a female film-maker to speak on international women’s day. Please send Louise a DM if you are interested in learning more.

• The popular ‘Make and Create’ with Wiltshire Scrapstore & Resource Centre  is coming to Marlborough Library on Thursday 29 February. Call 0800 970 4669 to book your FREE space or request a call back here.

• On Saturday 24 February, there will be a photography exhibition to mark the second anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine at St. Peter’s Church, Marlborough from 10am to 4pm. There will also be a guest speaker at 11am, Simon Ellis, who is a British volunteer.

On Sunday 25, February, Aldbourne Memorial Hall is hosting a Mother’s Day and Easter Fair, from 11am to 2pm with a chance to meet the Easter Bunny himself from 12pm to 2pm, there will be a range of gifts for Mother’s Day and Easter from local businesses and crafters and a tombola.

• Officers from the Neighbourhood Policing Team from the Marlborough Police will be conducting   community drop-in sessions on Thursday 22 February at the  Premier Inn, Marlborough, from 9am to 10am. Another session is  also due to be held at the Marlborough Town Hall from 2pm and 6pm in conjunction with the Marlborough Town Council, Wiltshire Council and the Environment Agency to discuss the impact of Storm Henk. The session is to allow local residents to share information and discuss the incident to help support future planning.  Officers will be present for part of this event to allow residents to discuss this incident and any other local issues.

Click here for information about how the Town Council vacancy for the Marlborough West ward will be filled.

The Marlborough Players  require two male actors to complete the cast for their production of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, to be performed on 25 to 27 April. Actors are required to play, Charles Condomine, a bright, sophisticated, articulate, and debonair novelist and Dr George Bradman. If you are interested about either role, please ring director, Alison on 01672 539641, or email aogreaves@gmail.com.

ARK (Action for the River Kennet) is looking for your help. Can you  support its River School project by voting when in Marlborough Tesco by putting tokens, when you pay for your purchase in store, in their slot. Help them get more local children discovering their local chalk stream in 2024.

•  Enjoy exploring the local history and cultural heritage of Marlborough on the ‘Explore Wiltshire’ heritage app.  The free app has been created by Wiltshire Council in collaboration with town and parish councils. Explore Wiltshire can be downloaded to Apple and Android devices.

• Remember that Help Ukraine Group Support (HUGS) will hold their first Ukraine Donation Day of 2024 at Marlborough Town Football Club on Tuesday 27 February. Please see HUGS website helptoukraine.co.uk for more details and a detailed list of current needs.

• A Lasso the Moon dance party is back in Bedwyn village hall 7.30pm to midnight Saturday 24 February for Part II with three talented, local DJs. Book your £10 tickets here. You can also follow the organisers, Little Red Poncho Events on facebook.

Our Wiltshire is encouraging residents to head to your local household recycling centre and browse the free water-based paint that is on offer. Look out for the separate yellow cabinet or ask a member of staff to help you.  Further info here.

• Are you struggling to keep warm this winter? If you or a friend, relative or neighbour in Wiltshire is having difficulty staying warm and safe, ask at Marlborough Library about the help available including free warmpacks (containing a scarf, thermal hat and gloves, fleece blanket, a hot water bottle and information about energy saving, insulation and support with the cost of living). For more details please see the news item on the library’s warm welcome here.

Wiltshire Council‘s new Vibrant Wiltshire vacant unit grants programme, aimed at supporting businesses in the county to reinvigorate empty shops and commercial areas, is now open for applications. See here for full details.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

Bruce Boats fully accessible canal boats based in Great Bedwyn are looking for more volunteers and have a wide range of interesting roles available.

If you spot a fallen tree, an obstruction or any debris on the roads, please report it via Our Wiltshire and drive to the conditions at all times. Report now here.

If you spot an Asian Hornet please report it here or email alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk

1st Marlborough Rainbows is looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the Diary

• Sun 25 Feb Mother’s Day & Easter Fair Aldbourne Memorial Hall.

• Thu 29 Feb Open Mic Night The Crown, Aldbourne

• Sat 2 Mar Little Pickles Markets Somerset And Wiltshire St. John’s School.

• Sat 2 Mar  Chuckle at The Church St.Peter’s Marlborough.

• Sat 23 Mar Marlborough Concert Orchestra Mary’s Church Marlborough.

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

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

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

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

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

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

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


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report by Forestry England regarding management plans for the Savarnake Forest: questions to and from Wiltshire Councillors; housing issues (see separate section above); Maypr’s announcements; the Community and Youth Centre; and reports from outside bodies.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 5 February and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; planning matters; a report from the ward member; the 20mph consultation; Lengthman’s contract; Swindon Council; highways; and GDPR
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 for which minutes are available took place on 15 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; play areas; rights of way; flooding; the Marlborough Area Board; highways; the allotments; repairs and maintenance; the Memorial Garden; the Community Charity Shop; vegetation cutting; the police surgery; the school; and 99 no-shows at the Surgery.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

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

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 10 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 8 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 8 January and you can read the minutes here. I
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings and agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 December and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

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

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

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

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

Thursday 15 February 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes an election, two actors, a river school, nearly new, a heritage app and a drop-in flooding event.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include a market and a read dance. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• A flooding drop-in

If you were affected by the recent flooding, Marlborough Town Council has arranged a drop-in session at Marlborough Town Hall on Tuesday, 20 February.

Please call in at any time between 2pm and 6pm to share your experience with officers from Wiltshire Council’s drainage and community resilience teams to help build a detailed picture of the impact of Storm Henk.Information will be shared with the Environment Agency and other partners to help with future planning.

Information that would be useful includes:

  • Photos, videos or other recordings.
  • Date and time when flooding occurred.
  • Marked plans of flow paths.
  • Route of any flooding.
  • Depth of water.
  • Location of flooded properties.
  • Location of flooded businesses.
  • Your questions and any other information that may be helpful.

• Other news

• After being hit hard by the floods last month, Krumbz Café have come out the other side and are  back where they belong. Roy, Sylvia and the rest of the  team are  grateful beyond measure, for the kind words, kind faces and kind donations that have helped them get back to trading so quickly.

Marlborough News reports that Wiltshire Council is holding a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) Consultation regarding a proposal to change the parking and waiting restrictions in Kennet Place, Marlborough. You have until 19 February to make your views known.

Click here for information about how the Town Council vacancy for the Marlborough West ward will be filled.

The Marlborough Players  require two male actors to complete the cast for their production of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, to be performed on 25 to 27 April. Actors are required to play, Charles Condomine, a bright, sophisticated, articulate, and debonair novelist and Dr George Bradman. If you are interested about either role, please ring director, Alison on 01672 539641, or email aogreaves@gmail.com.

ARK (Action for the River Kennet) is looking for your help. Can you  support its River School project by voting when in Marlborough Tesco by putting tokens, when you pay for your purchase in store, in their slot. Help them get more local children discovering their local chalk stream in 2024.

•  Enjoy exploring the local history and cultural heritage of Marlborough on the ‘Explore Wiltshire’ heritage app.  The free app has been created by Wiltshire Council in collaboration with town and parish councils. Explore Wiltshire can be downloaded to Apple and Android devices.

• Remember that Help Ukraine Group Support (HUGS) will hold their first Ukraine Donation Day of 2024 at Marlborough Town Football Club on Tuesday 27 February. Please see HUGS website helptoukraine.co.uk for more details and a detailed list of current needs.

• Aldbourne Methodist Chapel on Lottage Road, SN8 2DL will be selling new, nearly new and designer ladies’ and children’s clothing and accessories at bargain prices on Saturday 17 February from 10.30am to 3pm. All proceeds will go to the Ukraine Appeal and Aldbourne Methodist Chapel.

• A Lasso the Moon dance party is back in Bedwyn village hall 7.30pm to midnight Saturday 24 February for Part II with three talented, local DJs. Book your £10 tickets here. You can also follow the organisers, Little Red Poncho Events on facebook.

Our Wiltshire is encouraging residents to head to your local household recycling centre and browse the free water-based paint that is on offer. Look out for the separate yellow cabinet or ask a member of staff to help you.  Further info here.

• Are you struggling to keep warm this winter? If you or a friend, relative or neighbour in Wiltshire is having difficulty staying warm and safe, ask at Marlborough Library about the help available including free warmpacks (containing a scarf, thermal hat and gloves, fleece blanket, a hot water bottle and information about energy saving, insulation and support with the cost of living). For more details please see the news item on the library’s warm welcome here.

Wiltshire Council‘s new Vibrant Wiltshire vacant unit grants programme, aimed at supporting businesses in the county to reinvigorate empty shops and commercial areas, is now open for applications. See here for full details.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

Bruce Boats fully accessible canal boats based in Great Bedwyn are looking for more volunteers and have a wide range of interesting roles available.

If you spot a fallen tree, an obstruction or any debris on the roads, please report it via Our Wiltshire and drive to the conditions at all times. Report now here.

If you spot an Asian Hornet please report it here or email alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk

1st Marlborough Rainbows is looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the Diary

• Tues 13 Feb Brush Party Grosvenor’s Marlborough.

• Fri 16 Feb Valentine’s Dinner, The Parade Cinema.

• Fri 16 Feb Ladies & Children’s Clothing Sale, 10.30am Aldbourne Methodist Chapel.

• Sat 17 Feb Ladies & Children’s Clothing Sale, 10.30am Aldbourne Methodist Chapel.

• Sun 18 Feb Jive Temptation Tea Dance Marlborough Town Hall.

Tue 20 Feb Drop-in event regarding flooding, Marlborough Town Hall.

• Sun 25 Feb Mother’s Day & Easter Fair Aldbourne Memorial Hall.

• Sat 2 Mar Little Pickles Markets Somerset And Wiltshire St. John’s School.

• Sat 2 Mar  Chuckle at The Church St.Peter’s Marlborough.

• Sat 23 Mar Marlborough Concert Orchestra Mary’s Church Marlborough.

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

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

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

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

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

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

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


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report by Forestry England regarding management plans for the Savarnake Forest: questions to and from Wiltshire Councillors; housing issues (see separate section above); Maypr’s announcements; the Community and Youth Centre; and reports from outside bodies.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 5 February and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; planning matters; a report from the ward member; the 20mph consultation; Lengthman’s contract; Swindon Council; highways; and GDPR
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 for which minutes are available took place on 15 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; play areas; rights of way; flooding; the Marlborough Area Board; highways; the allotments; repairs and maintenance; the Memorial Garden; the Community Charity Shop; vegetation cutting; the police surgery; the school; and 99 no-shows at the Surgery.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; planning matters; financial matters; the precept (£14.082) and budget; reports and updates from working groups and outside bodies; and repairs and maintenance.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a lost bus; actions from the last meeting; the flood plan; financial matters; parish communications; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 10 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: outstanding items; repairs and maintenance; the budget and the precept (£54,000); the Clerk’s report; flooding; and the scout hut lease.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 8 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: actions from the previous meeting; a report from the ward councillors; devolvement of services from Swindon Borough Council; financial matters; the precept (£160,000) and budget; planning matters; and repairs and maintenance.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 8 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the 2024-25 budget (increased by 10%) and the precept (increased by 4%); other financial matters; roads and footpaths; planning matters; and flooding in the village (a matter that was discussed at length).
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings and agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 December and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

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

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

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

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

Thursday 8 February 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: blithe spirit,  lassoing the moon, paint, warmth and heritage – plus a look at the latest objections to the redevelopment of the old St Peter’s school and a precept rise for the Police.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include: Valentine’s dinner and clothing sale. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Objections at St Peter’s

Marlborough News reports that on 5 February Marlborough Town Council’s Planning Committee voted to oppose the latest application for the re-development of St Peter’s School. The application, which you can see here, is for “conversion of three former school buildings into residential use to provide two houses, four maisonettes and seven flats along with the construction of seven new houses on land to the rear, giving a total of twenty new dwellings. In addition, the construction of a new combined refuse, re cycling and bike storage building. All with associated external works including a new electrical sub-station and parking for a total of forty four cars.”

The development is in two parts. Seven new homes have already been built (though not occupied). This application is to convert the old school buildings. The original plan was that this would be turned into a hotel and restaurant but the developers seem to have decided that homes would be a more viable alternative.

In general, this will have been welcomed by Marlborough TC which last year declared a housing crisis. What will not is the fact that the development currently provides for no affordable or social-rent homes. Wilshire’s own local plan, now bolstered by Marlborough’s NDP, is for 40%, ie eight homes on this site. (Even this would only reduce the town’s waiting list for housing by 10%.)

Developers are adept at getting out of their responsibilities to build such dwellings. If they don’t provide these then they can enter into Section 106 agreement with the planning authority to make a payment by way of mitigation. They’re quite adept at getting out of those as well. Each is a separate legal agreement that, depending on how its drafted, may be time-limited (the money needs to be spent by a certain time) or limited to specific projects (which may be abandoned). In either ofd these cases, the money may then need to be returned.

On 8 February, I asked one member of MTC’s Planning Committee if they felt that Wiltshire would insist on the affordable homes being built or, failing that, that it would agree a suitable S106 that would directly help Marlborough’s housing problems. I was told that confidence was not high on these points.

There are also concerns about flooding (Marlborough News reported last month that the site had very nearly been breached during Storm Henk) and also the slightly less usual question of what has happened to the school bell, forged in Aldbourne over 200 years ago, which seems to have disappeared.

Planning authorities have policies on a vast number of matters including housing and flooding – though perhaps not bells – but the question is always how much they’re prepared to enforce them. Enforcement costs money, something developers tend to have more of than do councils.

The one positive aspect here is that, as I understand matters, the seven new homes cannot be occupied until the old school has been converted. This might encourage the developers to agree an acceptable solution sooner rather than later. A condition could be imposed by Wiltshire that the new dwellings can’t be occupied until the specified number of affordable homes are created in the change of use. Even if this is agreed, of course, it still needs to be enforced…

• The police precept

A recent statement from the Wiltshire and Swindon Police and Crime Commissioner’s office says that “Wiltshire Police will see further investment in key policing services to continue making improvements after a majority decision of eight to two to back Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson’s budget,” a decision that was backed by a cross-party group of councillors from the two authorities.

The statement adds that this will “raise the policing precept in Wiltshire by 5.2% – an extra £1.09 a month or £13 a year for the average Band D property.” It notes that this, alongside a grant from the government, accounts for the core budget for policing in the county.

There are no specific plans mentioned that will affect policing in and around Marlborough (though perhaps these exist). It does, however, confirm, that the policing budget includes the redevelopment of the Devizes HQ which will, it’s hoped, help realise “the vision of a more accessible and visible policing service for residents.” The budget also “builds on achievements delivered in the past year including a fourfold improvement in positive outcomes for rape and serious sexual offences and Wiltshire Police becoming one of the top performing forces nationally in disrupting county lines.”

The force was placed in special measures in 2022, the BBC reporting that the Inspectorate of Constabulary criticised “a wide range of Wiltshire Police functions” including “crime prevention, investigation and support for victims.” PCC Philip Wilkinson said in August 2023 that he was “confident that we will be out of special measures by March 2024.” The most immediate test of his tenure is thus to see if that happens.

• Other news

• If you missed the The Marlborough Players audition on Thursday 8 February, fear not as they have another audition for their production of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit this Sunday 11 February at 2.30pm at The Quaker Meeting House.

• Visitors and local residents can now enjoy exploring the local history and cultural heritage of Marlborough on the ‘Explore Wiltshire’ heritage app. The free, easy to use location-aware app will now also include information about historical landmarks, cultural sites and significant historical events in Marlborough. The app has been created by Wiltshire Council in collaboration with town and parish councils. Explore Wiltshire can be downloaded to Apple and Android devices by searching ‘Explore Wiltshire’ on your chosen platform.

• There will be a temporary road closure on Bayardo Lane, from its junction with Lockeridge Lane on Wednesday 14 February from 9.30 am to 3.30pm. For full details click here.

• Help Ukraine Group Support (HUGS) will hold their first Ukraine Donation Day of 2024 at Marlborough Town Football Club on Tuesday 27 February. Please see HUGS website helptoukraine.co.uk for more details and a detailed list of current needs. If you have any questions or are unable to get there on the day and wish to make alternative arrangements, please contact Tony (07999 693399) or Mandy (07762 935804).

• Aldbourne Methodist Chapel on Lottage Road, SN8 2DL has two dates for your diary, Friday 16 February from 10.30am to 4pm and Saturday 17 February from 10.30am to 3pm, when they will be selling new, nearly new and designer ladies’ and children’s clothing and accessories at bargain prices. All proceeds will go to the Ukraine Appeal and Aldbourne Methodist Chapel.

• After a fantastic night of dancing last October, Lasso the Moon dance party is back in Bedwyn village hall 7.30pm to midnight Saturday 24 February for Part II with three talented, local DJs – DJ Soundy getting the party started with funky, electronic tunes, DJ Jay with breakbeats to get you strutting your stuff on the dance floor and DJ Silver returning with euphoric dance tunes old and new to lift your spirits and make you smile.  Lasso is an inclusive event for those who want to dance all night without a long drive home…Book your £10 tickets here. You can also follow the organisers, Little Red Poncho Events on facebook.

Our Wiltshire is encouraging residents to head to your local household recycling centre and browse the free water-based paint that is on offer. Look out for the separate yellow cabinet or ask a member of staff to help you.  Further info here.

Greatwood Charity in Clench Common runs Animal Assisted Intervention educational programmes and is focusing on Children’s Mental Health Week which runs from 5 to 11 February. It is recorded that 10% of children and young people (aged 5 to 16 years) have a clinically diagnosable mental problem, yet only 30% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age. Contact Greatwood to see how they can help on info@greatwoodcharity.org or 01672 514535.

• Are you struggling to keep warm this winter? If you or a friend, relative or neighbour in Wiltshire is having difficulty staying warm and safe, ask at Marlborough Library about the help available including free warmpacks (containing a scarf, thermal hat and gloves, fleece blanket, a hot water bottle and information about energy saving, insulation and support with the cost of living). For more details please see the news item on the library’s warm welcome here.

Wiltshire Council‘s new Vibrant Wiltshire vacant unit grants programme, aimed at supporting businesses in the county to reinvigorate empty shops and commercial areas, is now open for applications. See here for full details.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

Bruce Boats fully accessible canal boats based in Great Bedwyn are looking for more volunteers and have a wide range of interesting roles available.

If you spot a fallen tree, an obstruction or any debris on the roads, please report it via Our Wiltshire and drive to the conditions at all times. Report now here.

If you spot an Asian Hornet please report it here or email alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk

1st Marlborough Rainbows is looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the Diary

• Tues 13 Feb Brush Party Grosvenor’s Marlborough.

• Fri 16 Feb Valentine’s Dinner, The Parade Cinema.

• Fri 16 Feb Ladies & Children’s Clothing Sale, 10.30am Aldbourne Methodist Chapel.

• Sat 17 Feb Ladies & Children’s Clothing Sale, 10.30am Aldbourne Methodist Chapel.

• Sun 18 Feb Jive Temptation Tea Dance Marlborough Town Hall.

• Sun 25 Feb Mother’s Day & Easter FairAldbourne Memorial Hall.

• Sat 2 Mar Little Pickles Markets Somerset And Wiltshire St. John’s School.

• Sat 2 Mar  Chuckle at The Church St.Peter’s Marlborough.

• Sat 23 Mar Marlborough Concert Orchestra Mary’s Church Marlborough.

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

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

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

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

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

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

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


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report by Forestry England regarding management plans for the Savarnake Forest: questions to and from Wiltshire Councillors; housing issues (see separate section above); Maypr’s announcements; the Community and Youth Centre; and reports from outside bodies.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; play areas; rights of way; flooding; the Marlborough Area Board; highways; the allotments; repairs and maintenance; the Memorial Garden; the Community Charity Shop; vegetation cutting; the police surgery; the school; and 99 no-shows at the Surgery.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 15 January and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; planning matters; a report from the ward member; the 20mph consultation; broadband; repairs and maintenance; and footpaths and highways.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; planning matters; financial matters; the precept (£14.082) and budget; reports and updates from working groups and outside bodies; and repairs and maintenance.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a lost bus; actions from the last meeting; the flood plan; financial matters; parish communications; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 10 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: outstanding items; repairs and maintenance; the budget and the precept (£54,000); the Clerk’s report; flooding; and the scout hut lease.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 8 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: actions from the previous meeting; a report from the ward councillors; devolvement of services from Swindon Borough Council; financial matters; the precept (£160,000) and budget; planning matters; and repairs and maintenance.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 8 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the 2024-25 budget (increased by 10%) and the precept (increased by 4%); other financial matters; roads and footpaths; planning matters; and flooding in the village (a matter that was discussed at length).
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings and agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 December and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

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

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

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

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

Thursday 1 February 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: witnesses wanted, warm spaces, heels, fallen trees and the Devil’s Den – plus decision day looms for the former St Peter’s School and Marlborough Town Council looks at local property sell-offs. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include: Valentine’s dinner and clothing sale. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• No boutique

An article in Marlborough News looks at what the future might hold for the former St Peter’s School, a rather elegant building that closed its doors to pupils in 2017. The piece looks at previously proposed uses, including a boutique hotel, a fast-food outlet, offices and what the author feels was a facetious proposal for a “multi-level garden centre”. Now, he continues; “application PL/2024/0019 has landed” and provides a future use that’s a lot less eye-catching than any of these but certainly a good deal more practical: “two houses, four maisonettes and seven flats.” With “seven houses already in the first stage of the development”, this will give the town twenty news dwellings

The matter will be discussed at Marlborough TC’s Planning Committee next week although, as in all such matters, Wiltshire Council’s planners and (if it comes to that) planning committee will have the final say. One thing both councils may well consider is the flood risk – Marlborough News points out out that that the building seemed to have escaped the recent floods, but “only just.”

• Marlborough’s sell-off

The following is taken from the minutes of the 22 January meeting of Marlborough Town Council:

“Councillor Farrell asked Wiltshire Councillors whether they knew if Aster had any plans to sell flats at The Priory. Estate agents and surveyors had been seen and tenants had raised concerns with her. Councillor Davies was aware that properties were often surveyed to check the status of services such as heating. She knew of no other plans for The Priory and agreed to write to Aster Homes to enquire.

“Councillor Cleasby referred to housing associations having the right to sell properties where extensive works would be required to meet government standards such as Energy Performance Ratings. She was concerned that Aster set a low cut-off of £1,500 for these works and that any homes requiring more than that were sold, and asked whether there was any way to find out whether this was true and challenge it.Councillor Davies referred to the recent declaration of a housing emergency for Marlborough, and recent flooding meant that unsuitable cottages in London Road owned by a housing association would now also be sold. She would be happy to cosign a letter from the Town Council to ask the question.

“She had already raised the issue of the selling of social housing stock with Homes4Wiltshire. It was a shame that the plans to build 10 new Wiltshire Council homes in Cherry Orchard had not yet come to fruition. Different housing associations had different policies, for example about the weighting applied for potential tenants with local links. Policies about multiple occupation, for example not to take account of three friends with similar needs but who were not in romantic relationships or with family connections were also a concern.

  • Action: Town Clerk to set up a meeting with White Horse Housing Association to understand more about its approach and policies
  • Action: Town Clerk to set up a meeting with other housing associations to discuss issues raised by residents and Councillors

“All interested Town Councillors would be notified and invited to the meetings, and it was suggested that a meeting with other parish councils who worked with the same housing associations would also be useful.”

• Other news

Marlborough Police are appealing for witnesses after an ATM was attacked and money stolen within Nationwide Building Society, Marlborough. Offenders have broken into the branch and have stolen an unknown quantity of money after attacking the machine. If you were driving through Marlborough between 1am and 1.30 am on January 29, can you please check any dash camera with a view to seeing if there are any registration numbers you are able to pass to the police. Equally if anyone was present in the high street or saw any suspects out of windows etc please contact the police and quote case no. 54240010695.

• Are you struggling to keep warm this winter? If you or a friend, relative or neighbour in Wiltshire is having difficulty staying warm and safe, ask at Marlborough Library about the help available including free warmpacks (containing a scarf, thermal hat and gloves, fleece blanket, a hot water bottle and information about energy saving, insulation and support with the cost of living). For more details please see the news item on the library’s warm welcome here.

• Great news about Ramsbury’s Community Charity Shop re-opening in new premises next to the Memorial Hall.  The shop is run by volunteers and profits of £125,000 have been donated to local organisations since 2009. See more details here including opening times and donations welcomed.

• Congratulation to Great Bedwyn’s Three Tuns team for raising funds for Bruce Boats fully accessible canal holidays. There is still time to donate here to this good cause that provides breaks for vulnerable people. They are also looking for more volunteers and have a wide range of interesting roles available.

Broken Shadows, a new psychological suspense novel by Sorrel Pitts, set around Marlborough’s iconic Devil’s Den is about to hit the bookshops. It follows the abduction of 11-year-old Callum from Wiltshire in 1994, whose body is found six months later by older brother Tom near a Neolithic henge called the Shadowing Stones.

• With the rain, and wind that we have been experiencing, if you spot a fallen tree, an obstruction or any debris on the roads, please report it via Our Wiltshire and drive to the conditions at all times. Report now here.

Marlborough Town Council are advising that if you spot an Asian Hornet please report it hereor email alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk

• On Friday 2 February from 9.30am to 3.30pm Bayardo Lane will be closed from its junction with A4 to its junction with Lockeridge Lane. For full details click here.

Merlin Court Care Home in Marlborough is requesting Ascot-style hats for their ‘ladies who lunch’ group. If you can help please drop hats to the Care Home or contact Priscilla, Care Coordinator on 01672 512454 to arrange collection.

Wiltshire Council‘s new Vibrant Wiltshire vacant unit grants programme, aimed at supporting businesses in the county to reinvigorate empty shops and commercial areas, is now open for applications. See here for full details.

• The charity Wiltshire Mind is inviting you to rejuvenate a sensory garden space at Greatwood Charity whilst meeting new people and enjoying the outdoors. They meet fortnightly for two hours, facilitated by an experienced Wiltshire Mind wellbeing team. If you’d like to find out more, please email supportgroups@wiltshiremind.co.uk.

• Quick reminder about the new women’s physiotherapy service in Marlborough run by Kat Suchet from Hatch Athletics. An HCPC and POGP registered Women’s Health Physiotherapist with a special interest in supporting pre and postnatal clients, Kat offers postpartum MOT, pregnancy training and postpartum return to sport, and help with abdominal separation, pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence and more.

Marlborough Rugby Club has applied to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for consent under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006 to carry out restricted works on Marlborough Common. The Planning Inspectorate will decide the application on behalf of the Secretary of State. Click here for for the official notice.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.

• Aldbourne Methodist Chapel on Lottage Road, SN8 2DL has two dates for your diary, Friday 16 February from 10.30am to 4pm and Saturday 17 February from 10.30am to 3pm, when they will be selling new, nearly new and designer ladies’ and children’s clothing and accessories at bargain prices. All proceeds will go to the Ukraine Appeal and Aldbourne Methodist Chapel.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

1st Marlborough Rainbows is looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the Diary

• Sun 4 Feb Dachshunds of Marlborough Walk  Marlborough Common.

• Tues 13 Feb Brush Party Grosvenor’s Marlborough.

• Fri 16 Feb Valentine’s Dinner, The Parade Cinema.

• Fri 16 Feb Ladies & Children’s Clothing Sale, 10.30am Aldbourne Methodist Chapel.

• Sat 17 Feb Ladies & Children’s Clothing Sale, 10.30am Aldbourne Methodist Chapel.

• Sun 18 FebJive Temptation Tea Dance Marlborough Town Hall.

• Sun 25 Feb Mother’s Day & Easter FairAldbourne Memorial Hall.

• Sat 2 Mar  Chuckle at The Church St.Peter’s Marlborough.

• Sat 23 Mar Marlborough Concert Orchestra Mary’s Church Marlborough.

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

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

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

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

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

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

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


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report by Forestry England regarding management plans for the Savarnake Forest: questions to and from Wiltshire Councillors; housing issues (see separate section above); Maypr’s announcements; the Community and Youth Centre; and reports from outside bodies.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; play areas; rights of way; flooding; the Marlborough Area Board; highways; the allotments; repairs and maintenance; the Memorial Garden; the Community Charity Shop; vegetation cutting; the police surgery; the school; and 99 no-shows at the Surgery.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 15 January and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; planning matters; a report from the ward member; the 20mph consultation; broadband; repairs and maintenance; and footpaths and highways.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; planning matters; financial matters; the precept (£14.082) and budget; reports and updates from working groups and outside bodies; and repairs and maintenance.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a lost bus; actions from the last meeting; the flood plan; financial matters; parish communications; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 10 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: outstanding items; repairs and maintenance; the budget and the precept (£54,000); the Clerk’s report; flooding; and the scout hut lease.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 8 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the 2024-25 budget (increased by 10%) and the precept (increased by 4%); other financial matters; roads and footpaths; planning matters; and flooding in the village (a matter that was discussed at length).
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings and agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 December and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 11 December and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

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

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

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

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

Thursday 25 January 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: keeping warm, Ramsbury’s re-opening, hornets, logs and hats – plus a look at a planning application in Marlborough about which some (including the Town Council) have reservations.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include: Valentine’s dinner and clothing sale. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Opposing the plans

The Gazette and Herald reports that plans to demolish Elm Tree Motors on Pelhams Court in Marlborough and replace the site with houses have faced “multiple objections”. You can see the application – for “Demolition of all buildings on the site and erection of 13 dwellings, a new office building and associated works” – by clicking here. Comments should be made by 1 March 2024 though may be accepted after this date if the matter has not been determined.

A spokesperson for the planning consultants involved told the newspaper that “the site is under-utilised by the car sales business and given its central location within Marlborough, a more efficient use could be found. The intention is therefore to redevelop the site for a mixed-use development and relocate the car sales business elsewhere within Marlborough.” Where this might be has yet to be confirmed.

A number of local residents have objected to various aspects of the design and access, while Marlborough Town Council is particularly concerned by the lack of affordable housing. The article refers to Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan (which, having been “made” is now part of Wiltshire’s local plan) which states that “developments of 10 dwellings or more need to be made up of 40 per cent affordable homes.”

I haven’t had time to check but this may be 30% for brown-field sites (which this is). This development is, however, for only nine homes. If Wiltshire’s policy is anything like West Berkshire’s than developments of five to none homes should have a 20% provision – so at least one affordable home plus some S106 funds to make up the difference (or an S1§06 agreement in exchange for discharging all of this obligation).

Another point the article makes is that the site is “designated employment land, and if the current proposal for the site goes ahead, it will become an almost entirely residential area, bar one office building.” This can be got round if the planning authority wishes to do so, perhaps by “flipping” it with some land designated for residential use elsewhere which can be turned into employment land to compensate. The needs that land needs to be put to change, as they have here. Town-centre sites might once have been desirable for car showrooms but many would now prefer more flexible space on the outskirts, funded by the development of the original site. Time will tell what Wiltshire Council’s planners think of the idea.

• Other news

Are you struggling to keep warm this winter? If you or a friend, relative or neighbour in Wiltshire is having difficulty staying warm and safe, ask at Marlborough Library about the help available including free warmpacks (containing a scarf, thermal hat and gloves, fleece blanket, a hot water bottle and information about energy saving, insulation and support with the cost of living). For more details please see the news item on the library’s warm welcome here.

• The much loved business, ‘Krumbz Cafe’ was hit incredibly hard during the recent floods, as you’ve probably have seen. In response to kind offers of help to get back on their feet, owners Roy and Sylwia have set up a Just Giving page for people to be able to donate here.

• See the 18 January column below (“After the floods“) for an account of the discussions at the recent extraordinary meeting of Marlborough Town Council to consider what future actions should be taken to protect the town and lobby the responsible organisations.

• Great news about Ramsbury’s Community Charity Shop re-opening in new premises next to the Memorial Hall.  The shop is run by volunteers and profits of £125,000 have been donated to local organisations since 2009. See more details here including opening times and donations welcomed.

• Congratulation to Great Bedwyn’s Three Tuns team for raising funds for Bruce Boats fully accessible canal holidays. There is still time to donate here to this good cause that provides breaks for vulnerable people. They are also looking for more volunteers and have a wide range of interesting roles available.

Broken Shadows, a new psychological suspense novel by Sorrel Pitts, set around Marlborough’s iconic Devil’s Den is about to hit the bookshops. It follows the abduction of 11-year-old Callum from Wiltshire in 1994, whose body is found six months later by older brother Tom near a Neolithic henge called the Shadowing Stones.

• With the rain, and wind that we have been experiencing, if you spot a fallen tree, an obstruction or any debris on the roads, please report it via Our Wiltshire and drive to the conditions at all times. Report now here.

Marlborough Town Council are keen for anyone who can make use of some large, unseasoned logs, located at The Common, Frees Avenue, opposite the entrance to the Victorian Cemetery to help themselves for no cost.

Marlborough Town Council are advising that if you spot an Asian Hornet please report it here  or email alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk

• On Friday 2 February from 9.30am to 3.30pm Bayardo Lane will be closed from its junction with A4 to its junction with Lockeridge Lane. For full details click here.

Merlin Court Care Home in Marlborough is requesting Ascot-style hats for their ‘ladies who lunch’ group. If you can help please drop hats to the Care Home or contact Priscilla, Care Coordinator on 01672 512454 to arrange collection.

Wiltshire Council‘s new Vibrant Wiltshire vacant unit grants programme, aimed at supporting businesses in the county to reinvigorate empty shops and commercial areas, is now open for applications. Part of the Wiltshire Towns Programme, the grants are worth up to £10,000 and will help small-scale, micro and start-up businesses to occupy previously vacant commercial spaces in town centres across the county.  Applications could come from businesses that offer services or engage in creative, cultural, and community-oriented activities and also town and parish councils. Application closing date is 15 February. See here for full details.

• The charity Wiltshire Mind is inviting you to rejuvenate a sensory garden space at Greatwood Charity whilst meeting new people and enjoying the outdoors. They meet fortnightly for two hours, facilitated by an experienced Wiltshire Mind wellbeing team. If you’d like to find out more, please email supportgroups@wiltshiremind.co.uk.

• Quick reminder about the new women’s physiotherapy service in Marlborough run by Kat Suchet from Hatch Athletics. An HCPC and POGP registered Women’s Health Physiotherapist with a special interest in supporting pre and postnatal clients, Kat offers postpartum MOT, pregnancy training and postpartum return to sport, and help with abdominal separation, pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence and more.

Marlborough Rugby Club has applied to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for consent under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006 to carry out restricted works on Marlborough Common. The Planning Inspectorate will decide the application on behalf of the Secretary of State. Click here for for the official notice.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.

• Aldbourne Methodist Chapel on Lottage Road, SN8 2DL has two dates for your diary, Friday 16 February from 10.30am to 4pm and Saturday 17 February from 10.30am to 3pm, when they will be selling new, nearly new and designer ladies’ and children’s clothing and accessories at bargain prices. All proceeds will go to the Ukraine Appeal and Aldbourne Methodist Chapel.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

1st Marlborough Rainbows is looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the Diary

• Fri 16 Feb Valentine’s Dinner, The Parade Cinema

• Fri 16 Feb Ladies & Children’s Clothing Sale, 10.30am Aldbourne Methodist Chapel

• Sat 17 Feb Ladies & Children’s Clothing Sale, 10.30am Aldbourne Methodist Chapel

• Sat 2 March Chuckle at The Church St.Peter’s Marlborough

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

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

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

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

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

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

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


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the Police; the Mayor’s announcements; Marlborough’s housing emergency; a possible re-enactment event; the Salisbury Road Recreation Ground; the cemetery extension; and a reaction to Wiltshire Council’s Council Tax changes.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; play areas; rights of way; flooding; the Marlborough Area Board; highways; the allotments; repairs and maintenance; the Memorial Garden; the Community Charity Shop; vegetation cutting; the police surgery; the school; and 99 no-shows at the Surgery.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 15 January and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; planning matters; a report from the ward member; the 20mph consultation; broadband; repairs and maintenance; and footpaths and highways.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a lost bus; actions from the last meeting; the flood plan; financial matters; parish communications; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 10 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: outstanding items; repairs and maintenance; the budget and the precept (£54,000); the Clerk’s report; flooding; and the scout hut lease.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 8 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the 2024-25 budget (increased by 10%) and the precept (increased by 4%); other financial matters; roads and footpaths; planning matters; and flooding in the village (a matter that was discussed at length).
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings and agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 11 December and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 27 November and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 November and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

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

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

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

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

Thursday 18 January 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: a closure, a sensory garden, a deli, vacant units and Mike Tubman– plus a look, in the company of Marlborough News, at recent flood-related discussions and some advice for Marlborough Town Council. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include: wrestling and a clothing sale. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Marlborough Town Council has updated flood debris clearance information for businesses on their website here, explaining that Wiltshire Council unfortunately cannot assist with the clearance of commercial waste.

• On Friday 2 February from 9.30am to 3.30pm Bayardo Lane will be closed from its junction with A4 to its junction with Lockeridge Lane. For full details click here.

• Our condolences to the family of Mike Tubman MBE who served as Marlborough’s Town Crier since 2016 and was also a well known and much loved special constable in the town. His funeral will take place at All Saints Church in Burbage on Monday 5 February at 11am, followed by a cremation at North Wilts Crematorium, Royal Wootton Bassett and a wake at Marlborough Golf Club.  All welcome.

• Packaging Not Included zero waste shop in Hughenden Yard in Marlborough now stocks sunflower mince as a great plant-based option.

Merlin Court Care Home in Marlborough is requesting Ascot-style hats for their ‘ladies who lunch’ group. If you can help please drop hats to the Care Home or contact Priscilla, Care Coordinator on 01672 512454 to arrange collection.

• Wiltshire Council has issued advice on travel and flooding and up to date information on a live map showing road closures. Wiltshire Council is the Highways Authority and only they or the police can close a road. Town and Parish Councils do not have these powers so if you spot a road not listed that is affected by flooding or fallen trees please report it to Wiltshire Council directly here.

Wiltshire Council‘s new Vibrant Wiltshire vacant unit grants programme, aimed at supporting businesses in the county to reinvigorate empty shops and commercial areas, is now open for applications. Part of the Wiltshire Towns Programme, the grants are worth up to £10,000 and will help small-scale, micro and start-up businesses to occupy previously vacant commercial spaces in town centres across the county.  Applications could come from businesses that offer services or engage in creative, cultural, and community-oriented activities and also town and parish councils. Application closing date is 15 February. See here for full details.

• The charity Wiltshire Mind is inviting you to rejuvenate a sensory garden space at Greatwood Charity whilst meeting new people and enjoying the outdoors. They meet fortnightly for two hours, facilitated by an experienced Wiltshire Mind wellbeing team. If you’d like to find out more, please email supportgroups@wiltshiremind.co.uk.

• Quick reminder about the new women’s physiotherapy service in Marlborough run by Kat Suchet from Hatch Athletics. An HCPC and POGP registered Women’s Health Physiotherapist with a special interest in supporting pre and postnatal clients, Kat offers postpartum MOT, pregnancy training and postpartum return to sport, and help with abdominal separation, pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence and more.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.

• Aldbourne Methodist Chapel on Lottage Road, SN8 2DL has two dates for your diary, Friday 16 February from 10.30am to 4pm and Saturday 17 February from 10.30am to 3pm, when they will be selling new, nearly new and designer ladies’ and children’s clothing and accessories at bargain prices. All proceeds will go to the Ukraine Appeal and Aldbourne Methodist Chapel.

• After the floods

Marlborough suffered badly from the recent deluges, as the excellent but rather harrowing picture at the head of this article in Marlborough News makes clear. The piece covers a recent extraordinary meeting of Marlborough Town Council attended by many members of the public which “listened, discussed, and agreed a way forward that will – hopefully – mitigate against a recurrence of events of that Friday and Saturday.”

One of the upshots was that a Working Party be convened – “not just restricted to Councillors, but to include members of the community, particularly those who were affected by flooding, or who nearly were.”

Not surprisingly, the focus was also on the the role played by Thames Water and its “actions/lack of them.” There were some “harrowing and graphic accounts” of the floods from a number of residents in which the word “sewage” featured prominently. It was suggested and agreed by Councillors that Thames Water representatives be invited to attend a Full Town Council meeting “to present what is happening in Marlborough regarding what they are responsible for and what plans they have.”

This happened in our village of East Garston just before Christmas and Marlborough residents might be interested to read this report of the event as some of the issues mentioned (and answers provided) might be relevant to Marlborough. This meeting was itself inspired by a larger-scale event at West Berkshire Council Scrutiny Commission in October 2023. My advice to Marlborough Town Council is to ensure that there are also senior representatives from the Environment Agency and Wiltshire Council (the lead flood authority) present. These three organisations are responsible for different aspects of aquatic issues and having all of them present will reduce the risk of any buck-passing and increase the chances of some concerted action.

• More pain on the trains

The indefatigable Bedwyn Train Passenger Group sent out its latest newsletter this week and you can read the main points of this in this separate post.

Two of the issues that are covered are all too familiar: the next wave of strikes; and the indifferent service levels on the Bedwyn to Newbury stretch of line. In fairness to GWR, there’s some good news as well. There’s also some encouraging news about the appointment of a travel co-ordinator at Newbury to help at times of disruption and replacement buses and news of a new return service from west of Bedwyn. The BTPG also passes on a request for passengers to treat GWR staff with respect, something that didn’t happen in one incident at Newbury shortly before Christmas.

The Bedwyn Train Passenger Group has been campaigning for improved rail services from Bedwyn, Hungerford, Kintbury and Newbury since 2006. If you use these stations, we recommend subscribing to the BTPG newsletters by emailing info@bedwyntrains.org.uk.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

1st Marlborough Rainbows is looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the Diary

Sat 20 Jan LDN Wrestling Marlborough Town Hall

• Fri 16 Feb Ladies & Children’s Clothing Sale, Aldbourne Methodist Chapel

• Sat 17 Feb Ladies & Children’s Clothing Sale, Aldbourne Methodist Chapel

• Sat 2 March Chuckle at The Church St.Peter’s Marlborough

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

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

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

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

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

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

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


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the Police; the Mayor’s announcements; Marlborough’s housing emergency; a possible re-enactment event; the Salisbury Road Recreation Ground; the cemetery extension; and a reaction to Wiltshire Council’s Council Tax changes.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 8 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the 2024-25 budget (increased by 10%) and the precept (increased by 4%); other financial matters; roads and footpaths; planning matters; and flooding in the village (a matter that was discussed at length).
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings and agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 11 December and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: rights of way; repairs and maintenance; ward members’ reports; the neighbourhood development plan; financial matters; planning matters; and risk assessments.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 December and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a possible bike jump; correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; play areas and seats; the emergency committee; speeding; the Marlborough Area Board; the allotments; the toilets; repairs and maintenance; the Recreation Centre; and the Surgery.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 6 December and you can download 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 Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 27 November and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 November and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 November and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 November and you can read the minutes here. (There was also a very short meeting on 13 December which was only concerned with the Clerk’s salary.)
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

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 CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

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

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

Thursday 11 January 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: floods, vacant units, a sensory garden, clothes and open spaces – plus an item-disposal initiative from Wiltshire Council. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include: wrestling, table tennis and bell-ringing. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Front and centre of news to report this week is of course the fallout of Storm Henk. The Town Council  opened the Town Hall for residents who felt that they are unable to remain in their properties and Waitrose donated refreshments. A Go Fund Me page has been set up here to help flooded residents and businesses who can’t get flood insurance. See also this article from Marlborough News on the subject. See below for help with disposing of large items damaged by floodwater.

• Wiltshire Council has issued advice on travel and flooding and up to date information on a live map showing road closures. Wiltshire Council is the Highways Authority and only they or the police can close a road. Town and Parish Councils do not have these powers so if you spot a road not listed that is affected by flooding or fallen trees please report it to Wiltshire Council directly here.

Wiltshire Council‘s new Vibrant Wiltshire vacant unit grants programme, aimed at supporting businesses in the county to reinvigorate empty shops and commercial areas, is now open for applications. Part of the Wiltshire Towns Programme, the grants are worth up to £10,000 and will help small-scale, micro and start-up businesses to occupy previously vacant commercial spaces in town centres across the county.  Applications could come from businesses that offer services or engage in creative, cultural, and community-oriented activities and also town and parish councils. Application closing date is 15 February. See here for full details.

• There’s an Amenities & Open Spaces Committee Meeting in the Town Hall on Monday 15 January starting at 7pm with public question time. For full details click here.

• All local businesses are welcome at the Marlborough Business Networking at The Parade Cinema 5.30pm Thursday 18 January. See here for more details.

• The charity Wiltshire Mind is inviting you to rejuvenate a sensory garden space at Greatwood Charity whilst meeting new people and enjoying the outdoors. They meet fortnightly for two hours, facilitated by an experienced Wiltshire Mind wellbeing team. If you’d like to find out more, please email supportgroups@wiltshiremind.co.uk.

• Quick reminder about the new women’s physiotherapy service in Marlborough run by Kat Suchet from Hatch Athlethics. An HCPC and POGP registered Women’s Health Physiotherapist with a special interest in supporting pre and postnatal clients, Kat offers postpartum MOT, pregnancy training and postpartum return to sport, and help with abdominal separation, pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence and more.

• Marlborough Community Fridge is grateful to have received generous donations recently. Check their facebook page for details and opening times.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.

• Aldbourne Methodist Chapel on Lottage Road, SN8 2DL has two dates for your diary, Friday 16 February from 10.30am to 4pm and Saturday 17 February from 10.30am to 3pm, when they will be selling new, nearly new and designer ladies’ and children’s clothing and accessories at bargain prices. All proceeds will go to the Ukraine Appeal and Aldbourne Methodist Chapel.

• Clearing up after the flood

Wiltshire Council’s waste team has arranged for its contractors to visit affected areas and remove large items (such carpets, furniture, appliances) that have been damaged or contaminated by floodwater . Once you have checked with your insurers that the items can be disposed of, please place large items outside the property clearly visible but without obstructing traffic or pedestrians and grouped as close together as you can manage. Please focus on bulky items that would be difficult for you to dispose of yourself and take smaller items to the Household Recycling Centre.

Collections are starting from known flooded streets including London Road, Wagon Yard, Harley Court, The Parade, Kennet Place, Kennet Mews and Culvermead Close.

If you need help with your property on a different street please contact Marlborough Town Council on 01672 512487 or email enquiries@marlborough-tc.gov.uk.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

1st Marlborough Rainbows is looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the Diary

Sat 20 Jan LDN Wrestling Marlborough Town Hall

• Fri 16 Feb Ladies & Children’s Clothing Sale, Aldbourne Methodist Chapel

• Sat 17 Feb Ladies & Children’s Clothing Sale, Aldbourne Methodist Chapel

• Sat 2 March Chuckle at The Church St.Peter’s Marlborough

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

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

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

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

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

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

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


News from your local councils

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

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the Police; the Mayor’s announcements; Marlborough’s housing emergency; a possible re-enactment event; the Salisbury Road Recreation Ground; the cemetery extension; and a reaction to Wiltshire Council’s Council Tax changes.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 11 December and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: rights of way; repairs and maintenance; ward members’ reports; the neighbourhood development plan; financial matters; planning matters; and risk assessments.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 December and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a possible bike jump; correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; play areas and seats; the emergency committee; speeding; the Marlborough Area Board; the allotments; the toilets; repairs and maintenance; the Recreation Centre; and the Surgery.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 6 December and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; planning matters; the proposed 20mph zone; broadband; the pond; financial matters; footpaths and highways; and an improved postal service.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 27 November and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 November and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 November and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings and agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 November and you can read the minutes here. (There was also a very short meeting on 13 December which was only concerned with the Clerk’s salary.)
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

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 CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

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

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

Thursday 4 January 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: a closure, a new physio, a look back at a lunch, donations and a happy café. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include: wrestling, table tennis and bell-ringing. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

Marlborough Town Council is keen to inform residents that with river levels set to continue to rise for a little while yet, the permissive path through Coopers Meadow as well as the path on the Town Mill side of the river are under water and so the Coopers Meadow footpath is temporarily closed. Please find an alternative route and for your own safety do not attempt to walk through flood water. To learn about permissive paths, click here. For flood alerts and warnings, click here.

• Our condolences go to the businesses and residents whose properties have been flooded. The Parade Cinema had to close at lunchtime on Friday 5 January and apologies for any inconvenience.

Marlborough News looks back at the 2023 Christmas Day lunch which welcomed 40 people to the Town Hall and delivered meals to 25 others who could not leave their homes. Congratulations to all involved.

• There is a new women’s physiotherapy service in Marlborough run by Kat Suchet from Hatch Athlethics. An HCPC and POGP registered Women’s Health Physiotherapist with a special interest in supporting pre and postnatal clients, Kat offers postpartum MOT, pregnancy training and postpartum return to sport, and help with abdominal separation, pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence and more.

• Marlborough Community Fridge is grateful to have received generous donations recently. Check their facebook page for details and opening times.

• Our local hospitals are under extra pressure during the Junior Doctor strike until Tuesday 9 January. For latest updates and advice please follow Great Western Hospital’s facebook page.

• From Thursday 11 January Marlborough will be part of the Happy Cafe Network courtesy of The Mustard Seed Book & Coffeeshop. The aim is to offer a safe space for those interested in wellbeing to chat and give mutual support. The Mustard Seed will offer this opportunity every Thursday from 10.30am to 12.30pm. For enquiries contact Emma on 07436 036843.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

1st Marlborough Rainbows is looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the Diary

Sat 20 Jan LDN Wrestling Marlborough Town Hall

• Sat 2 March Chuckle at The Church St.Peter’s Marlborough

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

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

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

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

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

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

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


News from your local councils

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

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the Police; the Mayor’s announcements; Marlborough’s housing emergency; a possible re-enactment event; the Salisbury Road Recreation Ground; the cemetery extension; and a reaction to Wiltshire Council’s Council Tax changes.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 December and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a possible bike jump; correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; play areas and seats; the emergency committee; speeding; the Marlborough Area Board; the allotments; the toilets; repairs and maintenance; the Recreation Centre; and the Surgery.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 6 December and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; planning matters; the proposed 20mph zone; broadband; the pond; financial matters; footpaths and highways; and an improved postal service.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 27 November and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

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

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 November and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 November and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings and agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 November and you can read the minutes here. (There was also a very short meeting on 13 December which was only concerned with the Clerk’s salary.)
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

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 CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

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

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

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