MAY 2017

The business of the Parish Council carried on with a number of promising projects in the pipeline. These were to be either funded from our own reserves and precept or courtesy of the £40,000 Community Benefit Fund that was paid by Solafields following the commissioning of the Castle Combe solar farm.

Bybrook Valley School & Yatton Keynell Recreation Association

The project to improve the access and visual amenity between the Bybrook Valley School and the Village Hall has been completed.

Yatton Keynell Under 5s/ Bybrook Pre-school

The canopies to allow more regular use of outdoor space by the village Pre School were erected but due to inadequate anchorage remedial work had to be undertaken to improve the stability of the upright. The cost of the remedial work was substantially recovered from the suppliers

In addition the Parish Council paid for improved fencing for the patio area which both enhanced the overall look of the area and improved the safety particularly as this area id much used by the youngsters attending By Brook pre School

Yatton Keynell Recreation Association

A grant of £12,500 has been made to YKRA subject to certain terms and conditions. Although work has not started on the improvements, as many will be aware there has been a more pressing need to address serious damage to the electrical circuits caused by squirrels.

St. Margaret’s Church
The £5,000 was granted to support the installation of improved audio visual equipment for the Church has still to be taken up. The saga of this project and the machinations of the Church of England are worthy of a Trollope novel. The position is that we stand by the offer provided the new incumbent approves of proposed installation. For the avoidance of doubt the approval required is of the new incumbent when appointed not the Vacancy Support Team.

From its reserves, the Parish Council paid for the creation contemplation garden that links the churchyard with the Parish Council, burial ground and this was officially dedicated after the Harvest Festival

Speed Awareness

We did allocate £7,500 for the installation of Vehicles Activated Signs in the village. However, Wiltshire Council did not approve the installation of such signs as they fall back on a national report that deems such signs to be ineffective as an educational aid to drivers.

We are therefore using the money to pay Chippenham Town Council to erect Speed Indicator Devices which they, amongst others, have taken over from Wiltshire Council. These will appear in the village regularly throughout the year in different locations. Ironically although they are the old SIDs they now operate as VAS.


Through the excellent work of the Cotswold Wardens and Danny Towl in particular there has been a tremendous improvement in the state of a number of local footpaths and in particular the one that runs behind the Manor. As always the main hurdle to overcome was funding but having secured the funding Danny and his team completed the work in very short order. Congratulations and our thanks to them all.

We have embarked on a project to improve the footpath between The Street and the Biddestone Lane. A number of overgrown trees have been removed and the ground improved and seeded with grass. A little rain would be appreciated

Castle Combe Circuit

There are ongoing issues with the circuit most notably about the volumes of traffic and the activities of attendees for actions days. A number of issues have been raised with the circuit management and we know that Wiltshire Council and the Police have recently held a meeting with the Circuit management. We have pressed them to reschedule the liaison meeting but have had no reply. As usual the circuit are proving to be uncooperative and somewhat intransigent

Let me conclude by thanking everybody who sits on the Council for their commitment to the task and to Ian our splendid clerk who is by far the most efficient and effective clerk we have had in my time on the Parish Council.

My particular thanks to James Skinner who during the year of necessity had to stand in for me. For understandable reasons James has decided to stand down and we thank him for his outstanding contribution to the Parish Council and wish him well in his career.

Finally my thanks to Jane who necessarily is now increasingly committed to her duties in the House of Lords but who is still readily available for consultation and advice. Congratulations on being re-elected on the 4th of May
Alistair Parker

8 May 2017