ADDRESSING the fear, lonliness and isolation many feel during the pandemic with a new emergency plan, is just one thing a busy Dilton Marsh Parish Council will be working on in 2021.
In her round-up report to Westbury Area Board in December, parish council chair, Kathy Hutt, said keeping things going had not been easy.
“During lockdown, we had a lot of active volunteers, but not really in a planned and organised way,” Kathy told members. “We liaised as much as possible with other groups, especially Westbury Town Council. The issue now is to try and address the fear, loneliness and isolation that many still feel, via an emergency plan.”
The parish council was busy, she explained, dealing with planning applications, submitting objections to Wiltshire Council regarding the NREL incinerator proposal and land west of Dartmoor Road. They were working on the neighbourhood plan and had formed a steering group for that, and were dealing with highways and traffic issues.
“Following the Wiltshire Council report on 20mph restriction assessment (October 2019) and other suggestions from residents, the parish council is preparing a report with recommendations for consultation with the wider community,” Kathy added.
It was formulating responses to government consultations on Planning for Change and Planning for the Future – which Kathy explained required very complex and in-depth planning knowledge to make an informed response.
The council had also formulated a response to be submitted for the government’s consultation on pavement parking which, she said, was an issue of concern around the parish.
Current projects were; noticeboards being replaced or refurbished, reviving the Dilton News parish council newsletter, considering the use of a former British Telecom phone box purchased by the council, and working with Wiltshire Council to replace waste bins around the village.
The parish council was also working on the provision of additional grit bins, the replacement of the bench by Dilton Halt following vandalism, and the installation of an additional barrier at Alan Powell Lane for prevention of misuse, especially fly tipping and drug dealing.
The council was considering the installation of CCTV on the playing field to reduce antisocial behaviour and working on improvements to the signs and football pitch, and also discussing the use of Speed Indicator Devices (SIDs) in the village.
Issues being tackled over the past few months had been Covid -19 support for residents – planning for future needs, fly tipping, antisocial behaviour – believed by young people from Westbury, suspected drug dealing – working with police, and the closure of the Prince of Wales pub, which was then advertised for sale by auction.
“The parish council did not support a community bid on the sale,” Kathy said. “It attracted bids at auction, but was not sold. The parish council applied for a grant to support families with IT equipment, but weren’t successful. Dilton Marsh School was able to secure funding from another source.
“We were unable to hold the annual Family Fun Day, but with support from Westbury Churches Together and Spurgeons, distributed activity packs for children to around 80 families.”
And she concluded, “A recent joint meeting with other parish councils and our MP, relating to NREL in this case, was useful and opened up more collaborative working.”