Dear Parishioner

I am writing with regard to a proposal from Marlborough Town Council that affects all Parishioners and the future of the Parish, and would accordingly ask that all Parishioners within each household read this letter and respond. Generally we only get a very limited response to our communications but we would ask everyone to make a special effort to respond to this letter.

We firstly regret to inform you that Neil Twentyman died on 24th September 2019 after a short illness, he was the Parish Council Chairman from 2013 -2016 and has been the treasurer from 2017. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time. I would like to record my thanks for all the work he has done for the Parish and his support whilst I have been the Chairman.

The proposal that Marlborough Town Council has forwarded to Wiltshire Council suggests that Savernake and Preshute Parishes should be incorporated within the Marlborough Town Boundary. Their stated reasoning for this is that, as they have access to greater funding, they say they could provide a better service than the current Parish Councils.

The view of all the Savernake Parish Councillors is that this proposal by Marlborough Town Council should be rejected, the main reason for this is being the significant increase in council tax that would result. To give you an idea of what the change would mean to you, their precept for a Band D Council Tax Property is £195.13, whereas the current Savernake Parish Council equivalent is £9.40. As a comparison, other neighbouring Parishes’ equivalents are Wootton Rivers £24.06 and Preshute £47.48.

As previously notified, we do still need to find a new Parish Clerk to provide the council with the necessary legal support required in today’s environment. However, even with employing a Clerk, at this stage we anticipate that the Savernake Parish Council Band D precept would still only rise to approximately £20-25 per annum and would therefore continue to be significantly below that charged by Marlborough Town Council.

We also believe that Marlborough Town Council would spend far less time considering matters within Savernake, than the current Savernake Parish Council, and our representation on the Council would be minimal - there are 221 voters within Savernake, compared to 6,207 in Marlborough Town so it would be very unlikely that Savernake voters would have an effective voice on the council.

Additionally, all your current Savernake Parish Councillors live in the Parish, have been resident there for many years, and have a good understanding of the issues and concerns arising there.

Given this proposal, in order to decide what approach Savernake Parish Council should take, we would like to establish what the views of our Parishioners are so, at the end of this letter there is a simple question which we would be grateful if you could please answer, to let us know your view by Friday 20th December, there is also a copy on the website. Please can each Parishioner in a household respond (for reasons of economy one letter per household has been sent but the higher number of responses we receive, the more significance the results will have).

Please can you forward your responses to me at the above address or to the Parish Council email address savernakepc@hotmail.co.uk. We will put the results of the survey on the Savernake Parish Council website, https://www.savernake-pc.org.

If you would like further information or to discuss this please contact me via the above email or on 01672 514241.

With best wishes,

Guy Singleton

Chairman of Savernake Parish Council

Notice Date: 22/11/2019