Fovant Parish Council is working hard to make the village a more comfortable and safe place for everyone. Major projects often take several months to bring to fruition, and the Council will regularly report progress on these.
The next meeting will be on Wednesday 13th September at 7pm at The Waterside.
We are currently looking to co-opt one or two new Councillors to help keep the local voices of Fovant heard within the Wiltshire Council.
If you have a little spare time and interest in local issues please contact our Chairman Tony Phillips firstname.lastname@example.org
The Engagement section of the Village website has a new folder
‘Annual Parish Meetings’, where the reports submitted by local organisations and groups can be seen.
19th April 2023 Annual Parish Meeting
PC Projects in Progress
Website. The village website is increasingly used. Thanks to Mrs Derryn Hinks for her energy as the
‘webmaster’, it has more than fulfilled its promise for up to date communication about current local
activities and issues, including also spreading key news from County onto our other local platforms.
We must now consider with Derryn how to ensure the sustainability of the Website. When the 3-Towers magazine was about to cease, FPC approached the management of the Village Buzz
magazine. They agreed to include a Fovant news section, but in December 2022 the Buzz
became digital only - due to rising printing costs. We found it would be too expensive for FPC to pay for the Fovant section to be printed. However, Cllr Martin Wallis undertook to extract 2 pages of news from the Fovant website, each month, and arrange for 20-30 copies to be printed and left for collection in the Village Hall and the Waterside. The folder at the Waterside has since been moved to the Spring Orchard Surgery, with the permission of Dr Kinlin; in a position on the counter in Reception the flyers are proving very popular. We would welcome ideas from residents as to how to do more to help households who simply won’t be able to see these newssheets unless they can be delivered to them.
Derryn has agreed that she will no longer send Fovant news to the Buzz website as this would only be duplication of the effort she puts into the excellent Fovant website. (Further details in FPC report to the 2023 Annual Parish Meeting).
Health & Wellbeing. The public access AED (defibrillator) has been installed on the porch of the village hall. Advertising by FPC in the 3 Towers at the end 2021 failed to find enough people interested in a half day awareness raising session to justify the expense of hiring a trainer. However, Alice Smith recently arranged a first aid/defib training session by a trainer, and FPC has repeated its offer to fund further courses for Fovant residents. We will discuss with Alice how best to achieve this.
Renewed contact with a contact in the South Western Ambulance Service has revealed that
protocols for 999 operators have changed with regard to AEDs. The operator will now advise the
location of an AED if it is within 400 metres, not 200 as previously. For details of the revised 999
Protocols, see the ‘Health & Wellbeing’ section under Resources in the Village Website.
Highways improvements. Children Warning signs have been installed on Sutton Road near the
entrance to the playground. FPC obtained a grant from the Area Board for new 30mph Gateway signage and rumble strips, and to cut back the overgrown verge on the A30 approach from Shaftesbury. The Area Board agreed to a survey of traffic flows at the A30 / High Street junction, and at their cost will carry out an engineering assessment of a possible build out on the curve into High Street that would increase safety for pedestrians. The AB has also agreed to part fund Pedestrians in the Road signs at the four entrance roads to the 20 mph limits.
SIDs, metrocounts and the police. The three Speed Indicator Devices (SIDs) installed on verges kindly provided by householders on Tisbury Road, Dinton Road and High Street are working well to display speeds from greater distances than the previous device mounted in High St. Data from these three SIDs confirm the results from metrocount tubes two years ago - that more than 50% of vehicles exceed the speed value of 25 mph, the lowest speed at which the police can enforce. It is obvious from the illuminated speed numbers that that some vehicles do slow down but many simply do not. David Horne has extracted the SID speed data into a bar chart format easy for the police to interpret, and we have argued this with the Community Police Team in Warminster that serves our area. Our presentation to a recent Area Board meeting was well received by the police. As a result this police team does seem to be listening, and two officers came to the village recently to discuss our speeding problem. The
County is running a pilot study of SID data, and will shortly open that to receive data from
SIDs throughout the County. Our main worry is that Fovant data will get buried in the huge
mass of County wide information. Data from metrocount tubes on the A30 asked for by FPC also show average speeds in the 30mph
section that exceed the police enforcement threshold. Another survey was carried out round the corner towards Salisbury. Further discussions with Highways Engineers about the 40/30
arrangements are still envisaged.
We note increased enthusiasm by the police to allow SID data inputs to centralised police data
bases, probably in 2023. However, there is no doubt that the police will continue to rely heavily on notification of vehicle speeds detected by yellow jacketed teams of Community Speed Watch - a volunteer effort in which Fovant has fallen behind some other local villages. The lack of a CSW puts us at a disadvantage.
Road drains. Several years of FPC requests for thorough cleaning of Fovant road drains at several locations prone to blockages have paid off, with detailed results reported back to us for the first time. Further requests about recurring blockages and flooding triggered a comprehensive clean out by two teams; the Wiltshire Sewers crew that carries out the discretionary gully emptying service at council housing locations areas where there are no mains drains; and the local tanker and crew (1 of
3 across the county) that work empty gullies on high speed roads and those considered high risk, but can deal with ad hoc requests like ours when they have spare capacity.
We have learned that My Wilts complaints about flooding are not prioritised for non-A roads unless property is flooded, and those reports then tend to be dropped off the digital system. The Parish Council therefore remains a last resort for residents not satisfied through a My Wilts report.
Working group among the Ward parishes. Ward Councillor Nabil Najjar had set up an informal
working group for the 14 Parish Councils of the Chalke Valley & Fovant ward to share concerns about speeding and speed limits and flooding. County Councillor Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste, Street Scene and Flooding attended, and assured us of County policy to reflect community wishes. No further action or direct results are apparent. Dr McClelland is no longer that portfolio holder.
Interaction with County for road safety and footpath grants. The scope of the Area Board’s
Community Area Transportation Committee CATG in April 2022 widened from road safety to include topics such as waiting restrictions, footway and footpath improvements, and some drainage works.
The new title is Local Highway and Footway improvement Group (LHFIG). We await engineer
drawings for a possible buildout footpath on the bend leading into the west side of High Street from the A30, to improve pedestrian safety. Pedestrian in the Road signs have been agreed for four entrance roads to the village. We obtained grants for a contractor (KDC) to build steps on two of our footpaths - FP5 and 16. Other footpath work was carried out by the youth charity Seeds for Success – on FP3 and 16. The most difficult project involved steps and a kissing gate on the very steep FP16 leading from East Farm leading up the Down.
Emergency equipment and planning. The Trustees of the Youth Club have installed a new store room in their Waterside building to house FPC’s collection of the PC’s emergency equipment, for an annual rent. The two emergency generators were loaned to several householders during the power cuts of February 2022 after Storm Eunice. An updated village emergency plan has been drawn up in
conjunction with County advisers, with Cllrs Wallis and Cousley as focus points.
Updating of footpaths and planters. Cllr Will Hobbs leads the interaction with the County over the identification of footpath improvement needs and progressing and signing off improvement work. We have now used the local contractor KDC for two projects where grants from LHFIG were
received. We no longer see S4S periodically since they stopped their weekly use of the Waterside
building, but we will continue to approach them for projects suitable for their youth groups. Even
though no LHFIG grant is appropriate for S4S work, their projects will still need prior approval by the Rights of Way and Countryside Group of Wiltshire Council, who assess the proposed site and deliver materials for S4S to use. On Planters - two households have generously agreed to maintain a planter near their property. We are always looking for volunteers to plant and maintain planters around the village, we will happily provide a planter.
to the Fovant Parish Council (FPC) website. A parish council has statutory duties and responsibility for certain local issues. We set an annual precept - a local addition to your Council Tax - to cover the Parish Council’s operating costs and the costs of projects it decides to undertake to the benefit of the parish. Annual accounts are available for public scrutiny. We employ a Clerk to take care of administrative functions and carry out certain decisions. We are one of sixteen parishes in the Fovant & Chalke Valley division of Wiltshire Council, for which the County Councillor is Nabil Najjar. Parish councillors and county councillors are elected every four years, and a parish council can also co-opt members at any time. FPC is allowed up to nine councillors, with a legal minimum of five. The Chair of a parish council is elected annually by the other councillors.
We have regular meetings, at present six times and year. We also have extraordinary meetings when necessary, for example to fulfil the statutory duty to consider each planning application submitted in the parish, when we can make recommendations to the Wiltshire Council Planning Officer. (See News Flash for all meeting dates).
Planning applications are flagged up on this web site as soon as we receive them, by an alert in the News Flash box and with more detail by clicking on the link to the Planning page. The agenda for each council meeting is displayed well in advance on the FPC noticeboard outside the village hall. Agendas and meeting minutes are published on the web site, with a shortened version in the 'Three Towers' magazine. The public and press are welcome at every FPC meeting, and time is set aside at the start for the public to speak. We invite Wiltshire Councillor Nabil Najjar to each regular meeting, and ask him to report relevant County activities.
Residents wishing to raise issues with the FPC are welcome to contact any councillor or to write to the Parish Clerk, or to raise an issue in person at the start of a FPC meeting. Residents are also encouraged to contact their Wiltshire Councillor.
We are one of 39 parishes grouped under the South West Wiltshire Area Board, one of 18 Boards set up under the Unitary county council to provide a discussion forum between County Councillors serving the area and members of the public. A broad range of issues can be addressed, such as youth opportunities, policing and crime, housing, broadband connectivity, public transport, wellbeing and road safety. The AB has funding to support non-profit organisations including community groups, charities and community interest companies. A parish council can support applications for funding by activities in the parish. An AB grant usually comes as ‘matched’ funding.
Each AB has a sub group called Local highway and footway improvement Group (LHFIG) which sets up dialogues between parishes and county Highways Engineers and considers emerging requests for specific changes to improve road safety. Road safety has been a major focus for FPC, both on the A30 and the village roads. To this end, FPC has been an energetic participant in the LHFIG of our AB, and has succeeded in arguing for several significant changes in our local roads. The 30 mph limit on the A30 and the more recent change from 30mph to 20 mph on other village roads are examples. FPC also works directly with Highways Officers on drainage, and we give guidance to the Parish Steward contractor who comes monthly to clear Council verges and gullies. We consider how footpaths in the parish can be kept in good order. We have funded a public access AED (defibrillator) which is fixed to the outer wall of the village hall, and we will maintain its registration with the South Western Ambulance Service.
Some of our parish councillors volunteer to take special responsibility for particular ongoing issues, and you can see this in the list of councillors.
The powers and responsibilities of a Parish Council are complex but further information can be found on