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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:-