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Monday, 19 September 2011

Wootton Bassett campus proposals to be discussed at special area board meeting

An extraordinary meeting of the Wootton Bassett and Cricklade Area Board is taking place on Monday (19 September 2011) at the Memorial Hall, Wootton Bassett starting at 7pm. Refreshments will be available from 6.30 pm.

The area board will receive a report on proposals for a Wootton Bassett community campus. This follows completion of a second round of public consultations conducted by the Shadow Community Operations Board comprising representatives of the wider community appointed by the area board.

Residents and community groups were asked, in this latest round of consultations, to give their views about having a split site campus with library and other community services continuing to be provided in the town centre, with other leisure, swimming pool, sports halls, and community rooms provided on a separate campus site.

Wootton Bassett and Cricklade Area Board chairman, Peter Doyle, said: “At our special meeting we will be receiving proposals from the Shadow Community Operations Board for future campus provision in Wootton Bassett. The Area Board will be asked to consider approving the preparation of a detailed business case for the campus by council officers for implementation by Wiltshire Council cabinet”.

Wiltshire Council is looking to develop a number of community based campuses that could either be new buildings or greatly-improved and developed buildings based around existing facilities. Wootton Bassett is included in the initial tranche of campus facilities being considered by Wiltshire Council. In other cases consideration is being given to expanding community-run leisure facilities to accommodate additional services or facilities and separate proposals for Cricklade will subsequently be considered in this category.

“The aim in providing campus type facilities is to place customers and their needs at the heart of future plans, delivering locally, as many council provided services as possible from the minimum number of modern facilities with long term sustainability issues such as future maintenance and energy costs in mind. Where possible Wiltshire Council will also be working alongside other public sector partners to deliver services jointly from the same campus premises so that the council, its partners and most importantly, the local taxpayer, obtain maximum benefit and services, delivered locally, for the least cost, now and in the years ahead.”

“These are very important proposals, not only for existing residents of Wootton Bassett and the surrounding local community but also for the next generation of local residents across all age ranges and needs. I hope as many people as possible come along to our special meeting to hear about the campus proposals and what happens next.”

Proposals for the Cricklade campus will be presented to the area board on October 12.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

South and East Voluntary Sector Forum 14th September 2011 - Book Now!

‘Help To Live at Home’; ‘Wiltshire Options Network’ and ‘The Patient’s Association’ – will all be the Core Agenda Items for this Forum. This is a valuable opportunity to hear about the above first hand. There will also be extensive networking opportunities at the Forum Meeting.
14th September 2011, Salisbury Methodist Church, St.Edmund’s Church Street, Salisbury, SP1 1EF 9.45am - 12.30pm
Key Speakers:
Sandie Lewis - Head of Community Strategy and Voluntary Sector Support, Wiltshire Council.
Tina Thompson - South West Regional Manager, The Patients Association

Friday, 1 July 2011

Area Board 6th July St Barts Wootton Bassett 6.30

Come along to your next Area Board and have your say about:-

-       How to influence the Olympic legacy in Wiltshire,
-       Find out more about the changes to waste and recycling,
-       Hear a progress report on the Community Campus’ in Wootton Bassett and Cricklade,
-       Find out more about the new neighbourhood plan initiative that your community are piloting

Come along to:

St Bartholomews C of E Primary School
The Rosary
Wootton Bassett

6.30 for 7pm on Wednesday 6th July

– you will be very welcome!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

confused about all our plans in Wootton Bassett and Cricklade?

In Wootton Bassett and Cricklade, Lyneham and Purton we have many new and exciting initiatives - Our community led plans, campus project and neighbourhood planning projects and the links between them can seem confusing and its worth finding out a bit more, these Q and A's may help unravel some of the confusion, if you have any further questions, do add yours and we will try to find a solution together.

  1. a.       What is the difference between a town/parish plan and a community plan, if there are differences between the two elements, how are they resolved ?
  2. b.      What are the timescales associated with each element of the overall plan ?

In the case of Cricklade, the Town Plan Group was not Town Council led but community led. The Group was expected to complete its Town Plan by September 2013. This would then inform the Town Council’s Business Plan and the Town Council’s current Development Plan would then cease to exist.

  1. c.       What is a neighbourhood plan, is it a plan for the community area of Wootton Bassett and Cricklade and how does it feed into the core strategy in terms of timescales ?

The essential difference between a neighbourhood plan (NP) and a community plan (CP) was that the CP could be address any number of issues of interest to a local community and could be used to help influence the delivery of services by the council and other agencies.  A CP did not have any legal force and could not address spatial planning (land use) issues. A NP was intended to solely address local spatial planning issues, would have legal force and could be informed by a community plan.

A neighbourhood plan (NP) could also be a NP for a single parish or town or a wider area - such as the whole community area (CA) or potentially just a part of this – such as the rural buffer. The CA could thus have just one or multiple NPs. There would need to be further discussion and sufficient agreement to decide how to progress this.

Wiltshire Council’s submission to DCLG to pilot NP in Wiltshire was based upon preparing one NP for the Wootton Bassett and Cricklade CA (and one for Warminister). This would have officer support from Wiltshire Council. Any decision to prepare more than one NP for the CA would have resource implications.

The envisaged replacement working group for the RBZ was expected to play a role in helping to formulate a core policy to submit, during the consultation process, for possible inclusion into the WCS - for the protection of the open countryside/rural buffer area – as part of its work in developing a Neighbourhood Plan for the CA. Spatial planning officers had expressed support for this way forward at Wiltshire Cabinet on 24 May.

 It was envisaged (subject to the final form of the Localism Act) that any NP would require approval in a local referendum before it could be adopted by Wiltshire Council.

  1. d.      Clarity that the Shadow COB’s only focus relates to services provided by Wiltshire Council, but there are elements that cross over town parish responsibilities, can they be segregated ?
  Campuses could include service provision by both Wiltshire Council and other service providers such as, for example, the NHS.
        Within ‘Cricklade for example, should there be an overall steering committee or alternatively a programme manager to ensure each element of the various plans are delivering to time and within their overall scope ?
Programme management, it was considered, fell largely within the sphere of influence of the community-led Town Plan Group.  Some overlap of membership with the COB would help facilitate co-ordination.
g.       How do the groups link together – need to avoid consultation overload.
  1. h.      Is it possible to combine/share consultations between groups

Each of the groups had a well defined task and, that while there were links between the groups and their activities, each would need to maintain a clear focus on its specific task otherwise group members would likely become confused and feel overloaded.

It would be up to each group, where possible, to share and make use of, where practicable and sensible, information gathered by others.

There is a need for a replacement of the Community Area Plan (CAP) in 2015 and it was recognised that suggestions for inclusion in the CAP would likely emerge from the work of the various groups.  For the present, the groups should be encouraged to concentrate on their own individual tasks, so as to maintain clarity of purpose and focus, and to prevent any sense of ‘overloading’ that might otherwise occur.

  1. i.        What about timescales and timing issues in relation to consultations on the draft Core Strategy and the work of the Shadow COBs.

Regarding the timescales for the Wiltshire Core Strategy (WCS) and Neighbourhood Plans (NP) there was absolutely no time conflict.

It was considered important that each parish/town should make its own representations on the draft WCS independently of progress or work that might be undertaken by the proposed NP working group.

All that was required, in respect of any NP was that this must be in conformity with the Wiltshire Core Strategy but it could proceed quite independently and on its own timescale.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Why not open the swimming pool in Wootton Bassett yet?

The possibility of re-opening the swimming pool on a temporary basis has been considered by the Council. However, the fire damage to the plant room and changing room areas is so extensive as to make this impossible without imprudent financial expenditure of public funds against the relatively immediate prospect of more extensive redevelopment of the leisure centre associated with the proposed campus facility.

The installation and use of temporary changing facilities has also separately been considered and rejected as impractical by the Council’s contractor DC Leisure Services, who have professional expertise in operating such facilities, given the particular conditions on the Lime Kiln site (and which will also then change following commencement of any demolition and construction activity) together with consideration of child safeguarding measures that would be required for such facilities.

There is thus no possibility, for the above reasons, that the swimming pool will be reopened on a temporary basis.
The re-instatement of the swimming pool and the associated facilities is linked to the wider discussions which will assess opportunities to create a campus in the Wootton Bassett community area, as the present situation allows scope to link any remedial works to a long term vision for the town.
The Wootton Bassett and Cricklade Area Board has formed a Shadow Community Operations Board in relation to the campus proposal for Wootton Bassett.  The Shadow Community Operations Board consists of area board and town/parish council representatives and members of the public to ensure it can act on behalf of and to represent the local community, and has a key role in leading the consultation on the campus proposal for Wootton Bassett and its surrounding area.
Members of the Shadow Community Operations Board visited the Lime Kiln Leisure Centre as part of their initial meeting on the 24th of May in order to understand the existing facilities on the site and the fire damage to the pool, plant area and health suite.  The Shadow Community Operations Board highlighted that the users of the pool, as well as the school are essential stakeholders in the Wootton Bassett campus proposal, and it is vital that the interests of these groups are key to any campus proposal.  The Shadow Community Operations Board therefore has indicated that developing a proposal that incorporates the facilities at Lime Kiln Leisure Centre was an option that should be progressed, whilst also considering other options. 

Creating a campus offers a real opportunity for communities to directly influence the services in their community area, and to plan for the future.   The Shadow Community Operations Board will be contacting members of the Wootton Bassett local community over the coming weeks to gather their views on the campus proposal.  In the interim, the building will be protected from weather damage, until the outcome of the community campus consultation is known, and a long term vision for facilities in the town is clearer.

A reopened and potentially improved pool facility, will we are certain, feature in the campus proposals and we would encourage you to engage in the consultation process. You can do this by either emailing   or by attending the Community Area board meeting, further details of which can be obtained 

Community Campus in Wootton Bassett and Cricklade

 Community Campus
At our Area Board, local people decided that they wanted to pilot a brand new initiative and develop a Community campus, one in Wootton Bassett and another in Cricklade.
The benefit of developing a Campus in the area is that local people can decide what services they need and want - in an easy to access location.
The campus could be a new building or greatly improved existing buildings and each campus will be as individual as the community it serves.The results of the pilot would be used to assist the council in deciding whether to develop a form of not-for-profit community led organisation that would help deliver a variety of community services within each campus.
This model would create an opportunity where local people can directly influence the delivery and improvement of services they choose for their community, in line with policy from central government - through the Localism Bill.
In Wootton Bassett, the leisure centre was due for  refurbishment in about 4 years time, this initiative could deliver an improved service in a much shorter time and link the service with other services that the community wish to see on one Campus.
Leading the initiative are a group of people (called the Shadow Community Operational Board) who identified an interest in the development of such a campus.
The Area Board representative on the Shadow Community Operational Board for Wootton Bassett is :-
Councillor Bill Roberts. Phone   0772 084349 e mail:-
The Area Board representative on the Shadow Community Operational Board for Cricklade is Councillor Peter Colmer Phone 01793 750245  e mail
There are also people to represent the wider community on each group, with Cllr Mike Leighfield representing the Town and Parish Councils for Wootton Bassett and Cllr Ruth Sybiak for Cricklade.
User groups and Community Groups are also represented on the Shadow COBs and further details can be obtained by checking out the web site:-

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Focus on Health Public Meeting

Wootton Bassett and Cricklade Area Board are meeting at Cricklade Town Hall this evening -  25th May 2011, 6.30 for refreshments.
We are having a focus on Health - with Jenny Barker from the Great Western Hospital talking about provision of services and more joined up care. Dr Manchip will be talking about spotting early signs of Dementia and Alison Bell is going to talk to us about caring and provision into old age.
The Part we most enjoy is when we have an opportunity to ask questions and a panel will be drawn together to answer your questions, so come along and find out more.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Localism in Wootton Bassett and Cricklade

Monday evening saw 70 local people attending a workshop on Localism and Neighbourhood Planning at Purton Village Hall.
The Localism Bill is a very exciting one that could offer communities the right to buy local pubs, village shops, swimming pools, or whatever is important to you in your community.
There is an opportunity to transfer assets to the community, such as school, land or buildings
- and local organisations such as Parish Councils, social enterprise groups or mutual organisations could take over the running of a local service .
In Wootton Bassett and Cricklade Community Area :-
- Local people have worked with the police to tackle speeding in Broad Town.
- Young people have worked together to decide how budgets should be spent.
-Local halls in Lyneham and Purton have been improved using Community Area Grants
-Local Parishes are working together to develop a local area plan
-The Area Board are supporting the retention of green space between Swindon and our surrounding villages
- Local people have worked to prioritise local highway schemes
- Since our last meeting on 23rd March, local people have decided to develop a campus project in both Wootton Bassett and Cricklade.

Want to find out more ? contact:  alison sullivan

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Community Led Campus Pilot Launched for Wootton Bassett and Cricklade

We had a Super meeting last night at Lyneham Primary School -  really well attended and lots of interesting questions about the possible Community Campus.
Lucy gave an excellent presentation and answered many questions - watch this space for more detail.
She explained that the core criteria for a campus building/s included shared reception, community space, accessible IT provision, personal care facilities and catering facilities.
There may be 3 tiers of service - community, leisure and library or community hall and partner's such as Health and Police. 
Local community involvement is criticial to the success of this innovative new pilot project and a Shadow Board needs to be set up representing the whole community.
The project is not driven by cost and the need to make savings, but the wish from Members to continuously drive forward improvements.
She reassured the people present that there was no question of no pool being included in the campus project - a great relief to all present.   
The Area Board agreed to establish 2 Shadow Boards - one for Wootton Bassett and one for Cricklade.
Expressions of interest were requested from any interested parties, but particularly representatives from Education, town and Parish Councils and Local community Groups. 

Interested in finding out more or getting involved ? get in touch;- Alison Sullivan

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

What does it mean to be "Royal" Wootton Bassett?

 Here are some questions and Answers from colleagues in Wootton Bassett Town Council:-

What exactly does ‘conferring the title of ‘Royal’ on the town’ mean?
Once The Queen has conferred the title, the town will for ever afterwards be entitled to be called ‘Royal Wootton Bassett’. 

How will it be used?
In effect, ‘Royal Wootton Bassett’ will replace ‘Wootton Bassett’ as the town’s full name.  Residents and others may choose to refer to the town as ‘Royal Wootton Bassett’ if they wish to do so, and the Town Council may wish to incorporate the new name into its letterhead and so on.  It will of course continue to be perfectly acceptable, in most circumstances – probably all except the most formal communications and events - to refer to the town by its ancient name of ‘Wootton Bassett’.   There will be no withdrawal of maps etc that use the current name!  

When will Wootton Bassett officially become ‘Royal Wootton Bassett’? And how does it happen, what is the process?
The new name will legally come into effect on the date the legal instrument – in this case, Letters Patent – is signed and sealed by The Queen.  Officials will be contacting the Town Council to agree with them what form the Letters Patent should take. 

What are Letters Patent?
Letters Patent are an official document from the Crown which grant exclusive rights such as becoming a life peer or making and selling an invention. The earliest known Letters Patent were granted by Henry VI in 1449 to John of Utynam which gave him a 20-year monopoly for a method of making stained glass, required for the windows of Eton College.

Her Majesty issues Letters Patent under her Royal Prerogative. This is a set of special duties and powers belonging to the Sovereign, such as the right to appoint ministers or to end a session of Parliament.

Will the Queen or other members of the Royal Family go there for a presentation to mark the occasion?
Arrangements will need to be made for the Letters Patent to be conveyed to the Town Council later this year.  Whether it will be possible for the Queen or another member of the Royal Family to present the Letters Patent will be a question for Buckingham Palace and it is too early to say. 

How many other places have been honoured like this? What were the reasons and when did they receive their titles?
There are a number of Royal Boroughs in England and Greenwich is of course to become a Royal Borough in 2012 in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, but the only other Royal towns in England are Royal Leamington Spa and Royal Tunbridge Wells.  Both of these spa towns petitioned for the honour in recognition of their antiquity and Royal patronage of their facilities.  Leamington Spa was granted the title in 1838 by Queen Victoria, and Tunbridge Wells in 1909 by King Edward VII. 
Caernarvon in Wales is a royal town of a different kind – ‘the Royal town of Caernarvon’ – because it was made a Royal Borough by the Queen in 1963 and was allowed to retain the honour when it ceased to be a borough in 1974.   

Does everything that is currently Wootton Bassett e.g. Wootton Bassett school become Royal Wootton Bassett? What if they don’t want to use the title?
No, they do not.  The title ‘Royal’ is being granted to the town, collectively, only, and should not be used by establishments or institutions which simply take their name from the town.  An application would need to be made (to the Cabinet Office), and approval would by no means be automatic. 

How much will it cost? Who will pay for any costs involved?
The cost of the Letters Patent will be met from public funds, as is only right given the nation’s gratitude and admiration for the way in which Wootton Bassett has paid its respects during all the repatriations since 2007.     

Friday, 18 March 2011

Monday, 14 March 2011

New Community Campus for Wootton Bassett and Cricklade

On 23rd March we will be meeting to look at the proposed approach to the county-wide delivery of community campus buildings and their future management.A campus will be a building, or collection of buildings, in a community area that provides all the services communities need in easy to access locations. This includes services delivered by the council, and potentially its partners, other public service providers and services provided by the voluntary and community sector.

Wootton Bassett Museum
 The cabinet report proposes a preliminary management project is set up in Wootton Bassett to see how community management could work.It is hoped these will be in place from April 2011 and will initially run for two years. The results of the pilot would be used to assist the council in deciding whether to develop a form of not-for-profit community led organisation that would help deliver a variety of community services within each campus.

This model would create an opportunity where local people can directly influence the delivery and improvement of services they choose for their community, in line with policy from central government through the Localism Bill. The design and services on offer of each building will directly reflect the needs of the area it serves, so they will take different forms and will be driven by different factors - Are You interested in getting involved?

Come along to your Area Board at Lyneham Primary School on 23rd March 6.30 for refreshments - you will be most welcome.
Contact Alison Sullivan on 07917 721371 for more information

Thursday, 10 February 2011

new community web site

Wootton Bassett and Cricklade have developed a super new web site, specifically for local news and views, go along and take a look and get involved. We are a small group of interested local people and need you to get involved to make this a success

Thursday, 3 February 2011