Message from the Clerk, Deborah Urch
The Town Council wishes the Westbury community a very happy and healthy New Year. We started the New Year with a busy Town Council meeting. On Monday 6th January 2020, the full council met to deliberate over several important issues affecting the local community and those living much further afield.
- High on the agenda was agreeing the draft budget for the next financial year 2020-21. This year deciding the budget was a challenge for councillors as the precept requirement included an assumption for the services that may transfer from Wiltshire Council in the autumn 2020. The cost of assets and services would be significant, and the town council agreed it would be prudent to make some provision for this. The town council will commence discussions with Wiltshire in April about the facilities and assets that could transfer to the town council. Following a public consultation, the town council will decide between whether this is right for Westbury, postpone the transfer, pay for enhanced services (meaning Wiltshire provide the basic service and the town council pays for a top up) or do nothing.
- The town council agreed to declare a climate emergency, joining many councils across the nation and globally. For the town council this means considering the effect on the climate in everything we do from policy setting to local projects, with an aim to being carbon neutral in the medium term. The Operational Working Group has been tasked with considering the implications for the town council and its community.
- The town council has agreed to commission Atkins to undertake a traffic management study to consider what measures can be taken to improve traffic flow, air quality, cycle and walkways in the town. Atkins are contracted by Wiltshire Council to deliver design and management of highways major maintenance, major schemes and capital projects. They also provide traffic engineering, street lighting, traffic signals and technical information and advice on highways and transport matters.
- An air quality monitor will be purchased to provide continuous monitoring of air quality, measuring particulates and pollutant gases. This is run on solar power and will provide us with the data to raise our concerns with Wiltshire Council.
- Soap Box event! An exciting event where teams develop and construct a race ready self-propelled soapbox car. The town council agreed to fund an initial small sum for our Events Manager, Ryan Child, to look at developing a regional event hosted here in Westbury. It is hoped the event will bring social, educational and economic interest to the town. While offering a practical introduction to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for young people. The town council will be working with local companies, who also see opportunities for apprenticeships and skill development from this event.
- Campion Play Area will soon receive two new pieces of play equipment to replace those “Springys” that were broken.
- The council approved several revised policies and a new Training Policy for staff and councillors. This will help to further develop the qualifications and skills of the town council. All policies are available on our website.
All our committees are open to the public and we would very much welcome people coming along to tell us what they think of our plans and ideas. Or bringing ideas of their own to be discussed at a future meeting. Check out the website for dates and times of Committees and Town Council meetings.
We are always keen to hear your views on any of the council activities. Please contact me on email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01373 822232
Deborah Urch – Town Clerk