Thursday 22 July 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marlborough area council news

Parishes: click here for Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish Council, Ogbourne St George Parish Council and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn Valley; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Theale area; Wantage area; Swindon area.

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

Thursday 15 July 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

South West in Bloom judging date is Thursday 29 July.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 8 July 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

South West in Bloom judging date is Thursday 29 July.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 1 July 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

South West in Bloom judging date is Thursday 29 July.

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

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

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

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

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

Click here for details of the 2021 Marlborough Open Studios.

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

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

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

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

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

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 24 June 2021

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

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

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

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

South West in Bloom judging date is Thursday 29 July.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here for details of the 2021 Marlborough Open Studios.

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

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

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

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

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

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 17 June 2021

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

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

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

South West in Bloom judging date is Thursday 29 July.

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

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

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

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

Click here for details of the 2021 Marlborough Open Studios.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 10 June 2021

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

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

South West in Bloom judging date is Thursday 29 July.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 3 June 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 27 May 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 20 May 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 13 May 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 6 May 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 29 April 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Details here of Marlborough’s 2021 LitFest.

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

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

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

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

• Marlborough News offers an update on the imminent local elections.

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

• Click here for two excellent lists of suppliers in and around Marlborough which are offering takeaways and also those offering deliveries or click-and-collect for a wide range of products.

• The Gazette reports here that the Save the Silks campaign, which is looking to raise the best part of a quarter of a million pounds to enable a community group to purchase the pub in Ogbourne St George, has recently received a conditional funding boost from the Plunket Foundation’s More Than A Pub Programme supported by Power To Change.

• The most recent (extraordinary) meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 16 February and you can read the draft minutes here.

Marlborough news reports that Earth Day 2021, on Thursday April 22, was celebrated by pupils at Great Bedwyn School with a week of climate-action activities.

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

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

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

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

Thursday 22 April 2021

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

• The BBC reports that there were 78 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 12-18 April, no change on the week before. This equates to 16 cases per 100,000. The average area in England has 18 (20 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

Marlborough News professes perplexed by the motives behind a campaign to oppose the installation of a pedestrian crossing near St Mary’s School in George Lane, perhaps on thew grounds that it would result in the loss of a lay by which, the campaign claims, is an example of “stealth planning.” You can read more here.

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

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

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

The same source reports that Marlborough TC has “overwhelmingly agreed to move forward – in principle – with the proposal to create an additional training area [on The Common] primarily for the use of Marlborough Rugby Club juniors and members of the Marlborough Youth Football Club.” (For more on this meeting, see above.)

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

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

• Marlborough News offers an update on the forthcoming local elections.

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

• Click here for two excellent lists of suppliers in and around Marlborough which are offering takeaways and also those offering deliveries or click-and-collect for a wide range of products.

• The Gazette reports here that the Save the Silks campaign, which is looking to raise the best part of a quarter of a million pounds to enable a community group to purchase the pub in Ogbourne St George, has recently received a conditional funding boost from the Plunket Foundation’s More Than A Pub Programme supported by Power To Change.

• The most recent (extraordinary) meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 16 February and you can read the draft minutes here.

Marlborough News has a report here on Great Bedwyn School’s Easter bonnet parade.

• The Gazette reports that “fears of overflowing sewage have prompted dozens of objections against plans to build 32 houses in Aldbourne.”

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

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 March and you can read the minutes here.

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

Thursday 15 April 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 74 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 5-11 April, down 12 on the week before. This equates to 15 cases per 100,000. The average area in England has 20 (24 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a 63 more local level to be obtained.

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

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

The same source reports that Marlborough TC has “overwhelmingly agreed to move forward – in principle – with the proposal to create an additional training area [on The Common] primarily for the use of Marlborough Rugby Club juniors and members of the Marlborough Youth Football Club.” (For more on this meeting, see above.)

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

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

• Work is under way on repairs to Marlborough Town Hall and are expected to last until late April.

• Marlborough News offers an update on the forthcoming local elections.

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

• Click here for two excellent lists of suppliers in and around Marlborough which are offering takeaways and also those offering deliveries or click-and-collect for a wide range of products.

• The Gazette reports here that the Save the Silks campaign, which is looking to raise the best part of a quarter of a million pounds to enable a community group to purchase the pub in Ogbourne St George, has recently received a conditional funding boost from the Plunket Foundation’s More Than A Pub Programme supported by Power To Change.

• The most recent (extraordinary) meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 16 February and you can read the draft minutes here.

Marlborough News has a report here on Great Bedwyn School’s Easter bonnet parade.

• The Gazette reports that “fears of overflowing sewage have prompted dozens of objections against plans to build 32 houses in Aldbourne.”

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

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 March and you can read the minutes here.

Marlborough News reports that St Michael’s School in Aldbourne is busy raising £5,000 to create a purpose-built forest school shelter and equipment to allow the children to spend more time in nature.

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

Thursday 8 April 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 88 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 29 March to 4 April, down 48 on the week before. This equates to 18 cases per 100,000. The average area in England has 24 (39 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a 63 more local level to be obtained.

Marlborough News reports here that the Constable of St Peter’s Church has chosen to follow HMG’s directive about flags being flown from government buildings (though this isn’t one). The union flag will be in evidence every day except “when no other specific flag is being flown from the tower.” The downloadable list of these includes a number of commemorated events, some of which I’d heard of, some of which were quite surprising. These include the Ordination of Thomas Wolsey (10 March), the Battle of Ethandune (7 May), the adoption of HMS Marlborough (30 May), St Crispin’s Day (25 October) and the death of Alfred the Great (26 October): all of which should keep all the local vexillologists local historians happy.

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

Marlborough News has this article on the town’s imminent and partial re-opening.

• The Rotary Club of Marlborough & District is supporting the Gavi/Covax initiative to provide Covid 19 vaccines to countries where cost is an issue. They are asking you to consider donating the cost of your vaccine to Gavi/Covax. Click here for more.

• We mentioned recently about he tribes paid to retiring Town Clerk Shelley Parker. MN has been able to catch up with her successor, Richard Spencer-Williams – click here to meet him.

• The most recent ordinary meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 1 March and you can read the minutes here.

• The next meeting of Marlborough Town Council will take place on Monday 12 April – click here for details.

• Work has started on repairs to Marlborough Town Hall and are expected to last until late April.

• Marlborough News offers an update on the forthcoming local elections.

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

• Click here for two excellent lists of suppliers in and around Marlborough which are offering takeaways and also those offering deliveries or click-and-collect for a wide range of products.

• The most recent (extraordinary) meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 16 February and you can read the draft minutes here.

Marlborough News has a report here on Great Bedwyn School’s Easter bonnet parade.

• The Gazette reports that “fears of overflowing sewage have prompted dozens of objections against plans to build 32 houses in Aldbourne.”

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 15 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included:various items of correspondence; various planning applications; financial matters; footpath signs; a possible litter-picking day later in the year; congratulations to Chris Martin from the Ramsbury Fire Station for his recent award; a possible wildflower meadow; village maintenance tasks; progress on the best-kept village competition; and an anniversary presentation at the Post Office.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 3 March and you can read the minutes here.

Marlborough News reports that St Michael’s School in Aldbourne is busy raising £5,000 to create a purpose-built forest school shelter and equipment to allow the children to spend more time in nature and has less than a month left in which to try to achieve its target.

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

Thursday 1 April 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 135 CV-19 cases in Wiltshire in the week 22-28 March, down four on the week before. This equates to 27 cases per 100,000. The average area in England has 39 (49 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a 63 more local level to be obtained.

Marlborough News reports here that Action for the River Kennet is calling for an end to sewage pollution in the River Kennet after the duration of time and frequency that untreated sewage was pumped into the river at Marlborough more than trebled last year. In this article in the Gazette, Thames Water disputes this as the number of hours of discharge (to which these figures relate) is measured, but not the volume. So, it could be less then three times as much as last year or more than three times as much. It would therefore appear that Thames Water doesn’t know how much foul water it discharges which would seem to make any estimate of the damage or assessment of the resulting pollution statistics totally meaningless. This seems odd: we have a water meter and they seem to have no trouble measuring how much water we take.

• The Rotary Club of Marlborough & District is supporting the Gavi/Covax initiative to provide Covid 19 vaccines to countries where cost is an issue. They are asking you to consider donating the cost of your vaccine to Gavi/Covax. Click here for more.

• We mentioned last week about he tribes paid to retiring Town Clerk Shelley Parker. MN has been able to catch up with her successor, Richard Spencer-Williams – click here to meet him.

• The most recent ordinary meeting of Marlborough Town Council took place on 1 March and you can read the minutes here.

• Work has started on repairs to Marlborough Town Hall and are expected to last until late April.

• Marlborough News offers an update on the forthcoming local elections, including on how you can stand.

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

• Click here for two excellent lists of suppliers in and around Marlborough which are offering takeaways and also those offering deliveries or click-and-collect for a wide range of products.

Preshute Parish Council declared UDI from the Marlborough area neighbourhood plan last year as, according to the Gazette, “it was unable to reconcile “rural parish objectives and with the housing ambitions of the urban focused Marlborough Town Council.” It now appears that the PC is engaged on work which seems to look like an NDP of its own.

• The most recent (extraordinary) meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council took place on 16 February and you can read the draft minutes here.

Marlborough News has a report here on Great Bedwyn School’s Easter bonnet parade.

• The Gazette reports that “fears of overflowing sewage have prompted dozens of objections against plans to build 32 houses in Aldbourne.” The article suggests that Thames Water has no objections to the plan whereas any resident of the town will tell you that groundwater infiltration is a regular seasonal problem. Some remedial work, here and in the Lambourn Valley has recently been done. I believe that water companies base their views in planning matters on the assumption that the network is working to optimum capacity.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council took place on 15 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included:various items of correspondence; various planning applications; financial matters; footpath signs; a possible litter-picking day later in the year; congratulations to Chris Martin from the Ramsbury Fire Station for his recent award; a possible wildflower meadow; village maintenance tasks; progress on the best-kept village competition; and an anniversary presentation at the Post Office.

• The above-mentioned minutes also contained a reference to neighbourhood development plans that confused me. One councillor “had circulated a section from a newsletter from Danny Kruger [the local MP] which mentioned Neighbourhood Plans: they must be updated every two years and update will only be accepted if there is an increase in housing provision. Since a Neighbourhood Plan takes 18 months to develop this leads to a Forth Bridge situation of continuous review which is unacceptable when Neighbourhood Plans are prepared by volunteers.” This is news to me. The Gov.uk website has a lot to say about NDPs, including this: “There is no requirement to review or update a neighbourhood plan. However, policies in a neighbourhood plan may become out of date, for example if they conflict with policies in a local plan covering the neighbourhood area that is adopted after the making of the neighbourhood plan.” I wasn’t able to get in touch with anyone involved in that meeting but spoke to another councillor elsewhere who runs an NDP steering group. He agreed with R&APC’s assessment of this, adding that such a proposal would be “bonkers” and effectively prevent any NDPs getting off the ground at all. They’re enough work as it is. (I don’t know whether Mr Kruger was perhaps referring to a time after the adoption of the government’s white paper, which many hope will not pass into law in anything like its current form. There was no mention of NDPs in that at all, however.)  I’ll try to find out more on this.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council took place on 3 March and you can read the minutes here.

Marlborough Newsreports that St Michael’s School in Aldbourne is busy raising £5,000 to create a purpose-built forest school shelter and equipment to allow the children to spend more time in nature and has only a month left in which to try to achieve its target.

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

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