Summary of Concerns Up-date
Summary of Parishioner's Concerns from July 2010 Parish Meeting with link to 2005 Parish Plan Concerns and Subsequent Action by the Parish Council.
1. Concern at speeding through the village: 2005 Parish Plan raised concerns regarding the speed of traffic through the village. Subsequent actions were: - At the request of the PC, Swindon and Wiltshire Safety Camera Partnership initiated Camera Speed Checks in Lydiard Green and in Common Platt and Washpool. Metrocounts in Stone Lane and between Badger's Brook and Holborn failed to meet speed criteria for speed checks. Safety Camera Partnership ceased operation in October 2010 and PC has requested Wiltshire Constabulary to continue speed checks in Lydiard Green, Stone Lane (30mph area)and Washpool.
- PC voted funds for Vehicle Activated Signs for Lydiard Green, Stone Lane and Washpool but permission to erect such signs repeatedly refused by Wiltshire Council. However, WC operated Speed Indicator Signs (SIDs) periodically deployed in the parish.
- WC approved request by PC to extend 30mph speed limit in Common Platt, Washpool and Holborn, previously 30mph limit extended to include all of Lydiard Green and Greatfield to link with 30mph limit in Hook.
- In July 2010 PC requested WC to consider traffic calming measures, including some footpaths, for top of Stone Lane, Lydiard Green, Washpool and The Street near the brick speed hump. No response from WC to date but red road markings with rumble strips installed by WC before 30mph limit on Stone Lane. Rumble strips removed because of noise complaint.
2. Concern that too many buses pass through the village. 2005 Parish Plan raised this problem. Subsequent actions were: - In 2004 a total of 23 buses were recorded transiting the village to both Bradon Forest School and Wootton Bassett School.
- A meeting was held with SBC, Thamesdown Transport, Wilts Police, WC Transport staff, Mollie Groom as Wiltshire County Council member and John Bennett for the PC. Result was that SBC routed empty buses via Coped Hall and Hook, divided the route so some buses use Stone Lane and increased the capacity of buses to reduce their number. - There have been two serious accidents involving school buses in or just on the edge of the parish.
- In 2009 the PC raised the matter as an Issue at the Wootton Bassett and Cricklade Area Board requesting that the Access Only 7 ½ ton weight limit be further restricted to allow buses to pick up and set down passengers and proposed that all other school buses travel from West and North Swindon via The Forester's and The Pry. WC and Wilts Police failed to give a definitive answer and recommended that the PC meet with parties concerned to try and resolve the matter. A meeting is planned by PC representatives with the Headmaster of Bradon Forest School, Purton PC, Lydiard Tregoz PC and WC Councillors before the end of this year. In the interim Bradon Forest School have organised buses to replace those previously funded by SBC who have ceased to offer Bradon Forest as a choice for students from Swindon.
3. We definitely need more village parking - for the sports field and for the village centre. The 2005 Parish Plan raised the matter of school parking but parking at or near the Recreation Field was not raised. Subsequent actions regarding School parking:
- Following an offer of funds from Lydiard Tregoz PC and the free offer of land between The Beeches and Manor Farm it was proposed that a joint cemetery for the two parishes be created and incorporate parking for about 12/15 cars, the parking area to be available for school parents and for overflow parking when needed for the church and Parish Hall. The proposal was vehemently opposed by a small number of residents from The Beeches and as a result the PC agreed to see if alternative suitable land was available.
- No alternative land has been identified and the proposal for the combined cemetery and parking area was raised at a meeting of the PC Road Safety Sub-Committee and publicised in the Lydiards Magazine earlier this year resulting in a renewed outcry and protest from some residents of The Beeches. The PC advised that the matter would only be taken forward if the Parish Plan Update recorded strong support for the project.
4. We need to make it safer for cyclists and walkers to enjoy the village and its environs. Footpaths and Bridleways were a major topic in the 2005 Parish Plan; the top three proposals were for a footpath around Holborn Corner, a footpath from Stone Lane to Toomer's Garden Centre and Perrin's Fruit and Veg shop and finally in Lydiard Green. Subsequent actions were:
- The PC is taking forward the project for a path from Park Lane/Badger's Brook, past the cottages at Holborn and on to the existing footpath to West Swindon at the junction of Tewkesbury Way with the Washpool Road. Because of the lack of funds from WC and the difficulty in obtaining funds from other bodies, the project has been split into two parts. The path from the Holborn cottages to the Washpool road is being funded by the PC and will include a crushed stone path inside the field after the bend and then emerge via a pedestrian gate which will lead onto a much widened verge which will be routinely mowed by the parish groundsman to make it suitable for pedestrians. Progress with this project is satisfactory with the aim of completion by Spring 2011. Progress for the remaining portion of the path requires the formation of a Project Team, independent of the PC, which could bid for funds for what would be classified as a "recreational country path". - The path along Stone Lane has not been taken forward following the closure of the Post Office in Toomer's. However, professional drawings for a path have been drawn up.
- It is hoped that any proposal for a footpath around Lydiard Green to link up with the existing footpaths in the village might stem from the request by the PC for traffic calming measures in that area. Unfortunately, the initial reaction from WC is that provision of a footpath with possible traffic calming measures would be very expensive and require some property owners to lose frontage.
Only one issue of substance: there is a perceived need for a retail outlet. Another major topic in the 2005 Plan which recommended that anew location be found for a Post Office and support existing commercial activities. Subsequent actions:
- The Post Office was re-opened in Toomer's Garden Centre after much hard work by Tom; unfortunately the cull of Post Offices by Royal Mail resulted in the closure of the Post Office in Toomer's. The Post Office in Toomer's was not well supported with many parishioners' opting to use the Post Office in Shaw Village Centre plus the adjoining Tesco convenience store. No further action has been taken by the PC or other Parish enterprises except for The Sun Inn which has offered to supply some groceries and telephone cards if required.
One issue of substance: old people's transport needs are not being met - in particular getting to Bassett or the surgery at Purton. This topic came up in the 2005 Plan and the response was that transport for runs to the Purton surgery or the shops was available via Lydiard Link or Dial-a-Ride. It is believed that Dial-a-Ride no longer operates in the parish but the Lydiard Link scheme is operating as before. It is not known if the Cross Country Bus to Wootton Bassett is still running but Wednesday is also Lunch Club day which would reduce uptake. It was proposed that regular information on public and voluntary transport be publicised on the village website or in the Lydiards Magazine.
Social and Community
There are three substantial issues all of which featured in the 2005 Plan, subsequent actions were:
1. There is a shortage of appropriate housing for young people and for old people: Affordable starter homes and sheltered accommodation came in at 14th and 18th respectively of the 24 Issues raised in the 2005 Plan. Five locations for possible development were identified and three of them were supported by parishioners. However, as all the locations are privately owned and all outside the village Settlement Boundary no development has taken place.
2. We need to encourage our young people to engage in village life. The provision of a Youth Club and more entertainment were included in the 2005 Plan. A pilot project for youth activity was tried and failed and nothing has been done by the PC specifically to promote entertainment in the village.
3. There is a clear sense that we need to remain a community distinct from Swindon. This was covered by the top two topics in the 2005 Plan: Maintaining the existing Rural Buffer Zone and maintaining the existing boundary with Swindon. The Rural Buffer Zone was halved by the now defunct NWDC and the present narrower zone runs to 2016 I believe. Following the scrapping of the Regional Strategic Assessment our Wiltshire Councillor is trying to get the replacement Wiltshire Council Planning Framework to incorporate a "Green Belt/Rural Buffer" between us and Swindon. An update from Mollie Groom would be useful.
Less general areas (more personal to the villager concerned) including:
The Parish Council needs "fresh blood". See comment in a recent Lydiards Magazine.
There is a need for allotments to be available. This has been raised several times at PC meetings. The understanding is that if 6 parishioners petition the Parish Council for the provision of allotments then the PC has to consider the request. No one has offered land for this purpose and allotments are available in Purton. We need to encourage more volunteering. The view is that the parish enjoys a high level of voluntary activity.