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

The following is taken from the minutes of the Froxfield Annual Parish Meeting on 13 May 2024 which you can read in full here.

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

The Chairman reported on its key activities and work carried out by the Council during 2023/24.

This year the Froxfield Parish Council has achieved one of its key aims as laid out in its report of 2016 — Reconnecting Froxfield — a copy of which can be found on the Froxfield Parish Council website. This report then led to a series of priorities which were delivered to Wiltshire Council and have framed our work with the Local Highways and Footpaths Improvement Group (LHFIG). A copy of this is also available on this village website link.

The top priority was to install village gates and reposition the ‘Welcome to Froxfield’ signage in order to clearly designate the village envelopes, and this was achieved in the summer of 2020. We then turned our attention to the issue of speeding through the village, particularly at the Pelican end of the village.

Last year, the WCC agreed to carry out a formal Speed Limit Review which led to its consultants agreeing to remove of the 50mph at the eastern end of the village and extending the 40mph limit between the two sets of village gates.

We were pleased to note that a more straightforward Traffic Survey carried out earlier in the year revealed that the average speed through Froxfield had in fact dropped by more than 6mph — which could be attributed to the enhanced sense of entering a community derived from the village gates.

We have now bought a Speed Indicator Device which will be installed at the same time as the work is carried out to change the speed limit signage.

We were dismayed when the swings on the village green were condemned as unsafe at the end of 2022 and launched a project to get them replaced. With the very generous donation from Grain Handling Engineers in Froxfield, combined with funding from The Lottery Community Fund, we are able to install excellent new swings from Wickstead, which are constructed of high-quality sturdy metal, and it is hoped will be enjoyed by the village’s children for decades to come.

In June, the village came together (in the rain) to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III with a picnic on the green and the Parish Council arranged for and presented commemorative mugs to the village’s children. We also raised £500 which went into the village Community Fund to help pay for the swings.

This year we hosted a very successful and well-attended meeting with the Community Policing team in the village hall. These will be regular events going forward and a change for villagers to discuss policing and security concerns with a Police Community Support Officer. The next of these public meetings will be held on Tuesday May 21st at 7pm at the chapel of The College.

We continue to maintain the wild Water Meadow Nature Reserve in line with the five-year management plant which was agreed in 2022. This year we held a community bulb-planting morning and a community hedge maintenance day. We continue to rely on the excellent support of the Community Payback Teams supervised by Roy Benfield, under the auspices of the HM Prison & Probation Service. Froxfield PC was nominated by the local CP co- ordinators for the regional ‘Golden Spade Award’, in the Swindon area, as a re-flection of ‘the diverse range of tasks that you have asked engaged with the CP teams to complete, the impact and relationship we have with you linked with the communities we serve.’

The Community Payback Teams continued to maintain the Church grounds to a very high standard and this year took over maintenance of the Memorial Hall grounds on a regular basis, all supported financially by this council.

More generally on Highways, a successful ‘pothole ’survey was carried out at. The request of Wiltshire Council and subsequent repairs were carried out on road within the village. The Parish Council also requested that Wiltshire CC carry out work to repair the degraded surface of the footpath down the side of the A4 to the Pelican and were delighted to see the whole length was relayed and the verge cut back.

Meanwhile, we provided support to a Froxfield resident in putting forward a request for Wiltshire Council Highways Department to review and consider high-way calming measures on the narrow but busy road at Oakhill. Although the resident did not achieve the outcomes initially desired, an alternative solution was put forward and subsequently agreed.

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