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 [email protected] 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 [email protected].

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 [email protected]

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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact [email protected] 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 [email protected].

• 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 [email protected]

• 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 [email protected].

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 [email protected]

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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact [email protected] 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 [email protected].

• 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 [email protected]

• 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.

Archive

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

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