Analysis of waste composition in January 2022 has shown that over a third of items put in the rubbish skips at the Wiltshire household recycling centres were recyclable. Many of these items had been disposed of in unsorted black bags. These unsorted bags contained materials that could have been separated for recycling on site, or at home through the kerbside recycling collection service.
All waste placed in the general waste skips at the Household Recycling Centres is currently disposed of to landfill as it is mixed with bulky items and therefore unsuitable for energy recovery. As well as suppressing our recycling rate, disposing of waste to landfill costs the council £125.77 per tonne and is a cost that could be easily avoided.
Wiltshire Council want to encourage residents to sort their waste and separate recyclable items at home rather than bringing mixed black bags of waste to the recycling centres. This will ensure that site users have the best experience when visiting the site and will make their visit more efficient.
From Monday 25th September residents bringing bags or containers of mixed waste for the general waste skip will be asked if their bags contain recyclable waste. If they do contain recyclable waste, residents will be invited to visit a sorting area where they can remove the recyclable items from their bags. Site operatives will be on hand to help residents identify recyclable items so that they can be placed in the smaller recycling bins labelled by material type at the sorting area.
Tree Wardens plant, protect and promote their local trees. No training or experience in tree management is needed – just a love of trees and a few hours to spare.
Tree Wardens are organised into local groups. Each group is managed by a co-ordinator and is autonomous, meeting regularly to decide what they would like to focus on.
- Some of the projects Tree Warden groups have done include:
- Arranging local tree planting days
- Pruning, watering caring for local trees
- Working with local authorities to plant & care for street trees
- Rejuvenating local woodlands
- Raising funds and finding land for tree planting projects
- Going into schools to talk about the value of trees.
For further information, or to volunteer to be a tree warden, please go to: https://treecouncil.org.uk/tree-wardens/
Since 1998, the Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust (WBVT) has worked
in partnership with Wiltshire Police to provide a free home security service
for elderly and vulnerable people throughout Wiltshire. The charity funds the
operation of three Bobby Vans that provide mobile workshops for Bobby
Operators are skilled carpenter/lock fitters. The operators are also trained in crime reduction and Fire Risk Assessment and provide reassurance to clients.
Bobby Vans are directed to their tasks by coordinators working from an operations room, who receive referrals, decide on work priorities and despatch the vans using sophisticated communications equipment. On arrival the operators conduct a security audit with the permission of the client, fit the necessary security equipment to ensure the home is safe; in addition, they carry out a Fire Risk Assessment and fit smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when this is appropriate. Finally, all aspects of home, personal and fire safety are discussed, and practical measures provided. The service and equipment are provided free of charge. This vital work is funded by the WBVT.
The mission of the WBVT is to help elderly or vulnerable people who have been victims of, or are at risk of, house crime, hate crime, domestic abuse, or fire. The Trust was set up in 1998, the first of its kind to be established in England. It is overseen by a board of Trustees chaired by Robert Hiscox DL.
The charity works with Wiltshire Police and Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service, as well as several other agencies, to ensure that the most effective use is made of facilities and support available and those in need of help receive it promptly.
WBVT, working in partnership with Wiltshire Police, run a bespoke Online Safety Initiative – Stay Safe Online. The service is free to those people who are over 60 or 18+ with a registered disability. Trained Stay Safe Online Volunteers provide improved digital security awareness, scam prevention advice, support and reassurance; basic practical skills for checking and understanding digital privacy settings; and signpost people to future sources of advice and resources. The service offers one-to-one home visits and community group talks and is managed by a dedicated Stay Safe Online Coordinator.
Should there be a need for any of the following works to be undertaken in your area please report it to Guy Singleton or any other of the Savernake Parish Councillors for it to be added to the Parish Steward's rota.
Wiltshire's team of Parish Stewards are specially trained to complete small-scale discretionary local highways priority works to town and parishes.
There are 18 Parish Stewards, one for each community area, who work with representatives in their parishes to ensure all work requests are clear and are logged for review before they start the work. We also have a support gang that works with the Parish Stewards on larger-scale projects, based on demand.
Each parish has a planned visit each month, with the programme set in advance over a three-month period.
Each Parish Steward has a 4x4 vehicle suitable to undertake the task and duties, along with winter and weather-related activities. These vehicles provide additional resilience to enable the council to respond to extreme weather conditions.
Parish Stewards' tasks - planned works
Typical planned local highway work undertaken by Parish Stewards includes (but is not exclusive to):
- Hand clearing and cutting of growth from drainage grips and drain gully covers.
- Hand clearing of blocked gullies.
- Rodding of drainage systems.
- Clearing of small culverts, pipes, and pits.
- Clearing storm debris.
- Trimming encroaching hedges and vegetation from around road signs and railings.
- Cleaning and straightening small road signs.
- Hand cutting small visibility areas.
- Reactive emergency repairs, including pothole repairs (In accordance with Wiltshire Councils Highways Inspection Manual).
- Find, fix and record potholes.
- Responding to road closure requests from the emergency services.
- Removal of ragwort (hand pulling or strimming of defined areas).
- Treatment/removal of weeds.
- Graffiti and fly-posting removal.
- Clearance of debris and materials from scenes of road traffic collisions including clinical waste.
- Siding out of footways and carriageways.
- Clearance of small fallen trees or minor overhanging branches/limbs.
Parish Stewards’ tasks – emergency works
Examples of types of emergency reactive local highway work undertaken by Parish Stewards includes (but is not exclusive to):
- Resolving flooding issues – clearing drainage grips and drain gully covers, clearing of small culverts, pipes, and pits etc.
- Placing emergency signage and traffic management.
- Clearing structures and fixings and making them safe.
- Reactive pothole repair.
- Responding to road closure requests from the emergency services.
- Small masonry type works, such as repairs to slabs and damaged kerbs.
- Clearance of debris and materials from scenes of road traffic collisions, including clinical waste.
- Clearance of storm-damaged trees from the highway, including the use of a chainsaw (where this work is extensive, further support may be required).
Parish Stewards’ multiple person tasks – planned works
These jobs are a minimum two-person operation. They can be completed on an ad-hoc day, which is typically a Friday, but this is flexible:
- Minor carriageway repairs, including vehicle overruns.
- Works requiring traffic management.
- Siding out of detritus from footways where there are larger volumes of material to clear or there is a significant length over 150m.
Further work tasks (non-Parish Steward tasks)
These jobs will be completed by other operational gangs, with a specific task order required to detail the scop and nature of the works:
- Small masonry-type works, such as repairs or replacement of slabs and damaged kerbs.
- Erection of small signs, including posts in the footways, carriageways, and verges.
- Fence and pedestrian barrier replacement.
- Sanding and painting of barriers.
- Large areas of sweeping and more than five gully dig outs or cleans.
Are you an individual or group interested in Wiltshire’s history?
The Wiltshire Local History Network aims to provide a welcoming connection, to meet and engage with others who have a shared interest in the history of our county, to share knowledge and provide a valuable point of contact. You’ll also hear all about what’s going on in the county’s heritage organisations such as the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Wiltshire Victoria County History, Wiltshire Museum and more.
We meet four times a year online via Zoom on a Wednesday evening at 7.30pm
Why not join us? Membership is free and also includes a free place at our upcoming conference on Saturday 23 September at Rowdefield Farm Training Centre ‘Bread or Blood: Social Protest and Unrest in Wiltshire’.
Contact the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre via firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. 01249 70550 to join the Network or to find out more.
Wiltshire now has a new and updated online portal for anyone interested in the county’s history
You will discover historical information for the 261 communities covering the Wiltshire Council administered area on the Wiltshire Community History website. There is a general history of each parish with further information on schools and churches. Maps, details about local authors, literary and creative associations in the county can also be found, alongside a large number of photographs, to help you discover just what makes each community unique.
To help, each community also contains administrative information such as the most useful newspapers for research, population statistics and a list of sources in the Local Studies Library at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre.
You can access the site via the link Community History (wiltshire.gov.uk)
The Wiltshire Victoria County History Trust continues to progress work on its multi-volume comprehensive history of the county. With 18 out of an eventual 25 volumes already published, Volumes 19 (covering the area around Mere) and 20 (covering Chippenham and its surroundings) are both close to completion, and Volume 21, covering Alderbury and the far south east of the county, is under way. Read all about the work on their website - https://www.wiltshirehistory.org/ - which also gives details of this year's programme of online talks. The website also offers access to current and past volumes online.
We hope to be able to provide more information on the Volunteer Group on Savernake Forest in due course but, in the meantime, if you are interested in joining them there is a little more information at https://www.forestryengland.uk/volunteering and you can email them at email@example.com.
The provisional dates for the 2024 Savernake Parish meetings are as follows:
Parish Council Meeting - 10th January 2024
Parish Council Meeting - 8th May 2024
Annual Parish Meeting - 22nd May 2024
Parish Council Meeting - 10th July 2024
Parish Council Meeting - 9th October 2024
Please see attached my Quarterly Performance Report Newsletter which highlights some of the projects, initiatives and policing achievements that were delivered from March to May 2023.
All of these highlights have been delivered in line with the priorities within my Police and Crime Plan and which you helped to shape with your valuable input and engagement during my Use Your Voice consultation.
P R Wilkinson OBE
Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon
Wiltshire Police Headquarters, London Road, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 2DN
Telephone: 01225 256 926
Please find attached a copy of Briefing Note 23-17 which provides information about a scheme called Solar Together Wiltshire, which gives homeowners the opportunity to invest in renewables through a group-buying scheme for solar panels and battery storage, following the success of a similar scheme in 2022
Note: this Briefing Note has been circulated to Parish and Town Clerks at the request of the author.
Democratic and Member Services
For further information on Forestry England's current Land Management Plan for Savernake Forest please follow the link below. You can also download two documents they have produced from here, the "Our Shared Forest Land Management Plan", and also a report named "Our Shared Forest - Savernake Forest - You Said We Listened" responding to the discussion document released without their knowledge last year which created a lot of high feeling.
Please find attached an update on the last year by Cllr Caroline Thomas, Wiltshire Councillor for Marlborough East
A Waste Update
The council’s current household waste management strategy follows the waste hierarchy, aiming to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible, while dealing with residual waste in the most sustainable way. The council has two landfill diversion contracts in place to help manage its residual waste and very little Wiltshire household residual waste is sent to landfill, with any food waste present used to contribute to the generation of energy or processing into a fuel.
You may have seen in other local authorities, and indeed overseas, weekly or twice weekly doorstep food waste collections. Wiltshire Council’s current waste strategy is to not provide a separate collection of food waste as it would be prohibitively expensive to implement and operate across the large rural county. The current plan is to prioritise working with residents to reduce the amount of food wasted in the first instance, helping families to not waste money, and by continuing to offer subsidised home food waste digesters.
Wiltshire Council has teamed up with Great Green Systems to offer Wiltshire residents discounted food waste composters, called a Green Johanna. These “hot composters” are available for only £60 (discounted from £129.99). More information is online at Reducing your waste and composting - Wiltshire Council
However, the Government has consulted widely on a proposed policy which would mandate consistency in household and business recycling collections in England. This is expected to include the mandatory introduction of weekly food waste collections by 2025.
All the council’s kerbside collected recyclables are managed by Hills at a materials recycling facility at Sands Farm, Calne and the council benefits from a 79% share of the income generated from the sale of materials collected through the kerbside service. During the six months April to September 2022, this realised £2.24m in income, as recycling commodity prices were particularly strong during the first part of the year. However, increasing levels of contamination can result in downgraded prices paid, or material being rejected. Residents can help improve recycling rates, and ultimately reduce the cost of managing waste to the council taxpayer by ensuring that:
· Only recyclables are put into blue bins – sadly, all too often bags of general waste and nappies find their way into the blue bins;
· Flexible or soft plastics, such as bread bags, packaging film and carrier bags cannot be recycled through the blue-bin scheme – people should place these in their residual waste bins where the waste is used to generate energy, or alternatively take to a local supermarket if they have facilities to collect them for recycling;
· Packing materials in cardboard boxes (such as polystyrene) can’t be recycled so we recommend that non-card packing materials are put into the residual waste
- Only paper wrapping paper can be recycled. To check if wrapping paper is made of paper, people can use the “scrunch test”. Scrunch the paper and if it stays in a ball, it can be recycled in your blue-lidded bin;
- For Scrap metals – large biscuit tins can be recycled, but large car parts cannot!
Wiltshire Council has recently introduced a kerbside battery collection service. People can now leave most small household batteries for recycling (as long as they are not leaking) including D, C, AA, AAA, 9V and button-type batteries and these should be placed on top of blue-lidded bins in a sealed, transparent plastic bag ready for collection.
Every year hundreds of fires at waste facilities across the country are linked to batteries thrown out in the bin. People can help to prevent fires and keep staff safe by only disposing of batteries using the new kerbside collection service or at battery collection points at locations such as supermarkets.
Finally, I would like to thank residents across Marlborough East, Savernake and Mildenhall for everything you do to reduce the impact on the environment and the cost of managing waste to Council Taxpayers. More detailed information is online at Rubbish and recycling - Wiltshire Council
Wiltshire Councillor for Marlborough East.
Local Highway and Footway Improvement Groups (LHFIGS) have replaced Community Area Transport Groups (CATGs) and are sub-groups of the area boards. They aim to find solutions for local transport issues such as road repairs, traffic problems, road layouts and parking. More details on the type of measures which can and cannot be considered for funding can be found in the LHFIG Terms of Reference April 2022 Each group has about 10 members including area board members, town and parish council members and community representatives.
The meetings are also attended by relevant officers from Wiltshire council including a senior transport planner, a senior traffic engineer and a local highway maintenance engineer as necessary. Their key purpose is to offer advice and support to the group but they do not vote on the issues raised. The LHFIG may also invite representatives from local organisations to its meetings to give technical advice or to share local knowledge. Further information on the LHFIG decision making process can be found in the LHFIG Guidance Notes April 2022.
The amount allocated is dependent on the geographical size and population for each community area. The funding allocation is for capital expenditure and can only be used to provide new and improved highway infrastructure. The funding is suitable for small scale schemes which improve safety, increase accessibility and sustainability by promoting walking, cycling and public transport and improving traffic management. It cannot be used to fund revenue functions such as maintenance schemes or the provision of passenger transport services.Raising an issue
Individuals may Report a highways improvement issue which should then be submitted to their town or parish council. Only those issues which are supported by the town or parish council may be considered by the LHFIG.
Further information about how the groups operate, including membership, meeting schedule and the decision-making process, can be found on the Local highway and footway improvement groups.Reporting an Issue to Savernake Parish Council
Individuals who wish to raise a matter should download the form below and complete it, then submit it to Savernake Parish Council by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, so the Parish Council can discuss the matter and if necessary raise it at the Marlborough Local Highway and Footway Improvement Group.