An immediate vacancy for the position of Holt Parish Council Clerk.
We are looking to appoint a self-motivated and highly organised individual with good IT skills and a flexible approach to work who will be able to bring experience to the position. It is part-time, averaging 8 hours per week. Integrity and impartiality are essential to the role in facilitating the operations
of the Council, including as the Responsible Financial Officer (RFO), managing finances and accountancy.
To express an interest and receive a full job description please email the Chair, Phil Game, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holt Parish Council – Chair’s Report to the Annual Parish Meeting – 19 May 2022
Since the last annual Chair’s report, we have seen the continued impact of the pandemic and more recently a gradual recovery across society, which has been most welcome in the village as it has elsewhere. This has allowed the dynamism to return to village life; we are now meeting in person again and our many wonderful groups are now re-connecting people, improving wellbeing and raising money for good causes to support activity in the village and beyond.
Of course, society is now grappling with the impact of the war in Ukraine which has been catastrophic for their population and, in our small way, we are showing our support to them through the Ukrainian flag flying proudly on our village green. Here in the UK we are facing a cost-of-living crisis and the Parish Council has responded through a freeze on our element of the Council Tax precept and also a donation of £500 to ‘Help for Holt” in time for Christmas. We will continue to monitor this situation with other local groups. Finally, on Christmas, I’d like to thank the local businesses* and individuals for their generosity and Cllr Hendon for coordinating a Christmas tree and lights on the village green, which was a welcome respite from the darkness of CV19 restrictions at the time.
The global supply chain and economic situation has also had an impact on the development of the Old Tannery site, but we have seen the number of properties completed and occupied grow over this time and we welcome our new fellow villagers. We have also seen the completion of the Midlands junction work by the shop and the shelter, all at no cost to parishioners. Separately, we have been working with Stonewater and Wiltshire Council to understand the demand for affordable housing and the potential for a solution at the end of Station Road to meet this need, in accordance with the Neighborhood Plan. We remain statutory consultees for planning applications and have worked hard to respond appropriately to benefit the overall amenity of the village. I’d like to thank Cllr Siddall and the Planning Committee for their ongoing efforts across all these areas.
The Council remains committed to improving the Highways and Street Scene of the village and has developed a number of schemes to improve safety and reduce the intimidation of traffic in accordance with the Neighbourhood Plan. We have been successful in our bid for matched funding with Wiltshire Council for the next phase, which will see an improvement to the junction with the B3017 and the east junction to the Midlands, which is scheduled for October 2022 and we will consult villagers as the design is matured by Wiltshire Council. Our pavements remain in a generally poor, and in places unsafe, state and we will continue to progress this alongside our other schemes, working closely with Wiltshire Council. We have continued to promote access across our public footpaths around the village, conduct our annual survey and have supported some improvements, including the recent additions of kissing gates towards Holt Manor thanks to efforts of Cllr Nicholson and the generosity of the landowner.
Our facilities are of huge benefit to the village I’d like to thank Cllr Mizen for his sterling Chairmanship of the Facilities Advisory Group for many years, often going “above and beyond the call of duty”. He has now passed the baton to Cllr Fletcher who has already rolled out a number of significant enhancements, including the new fencing around the play area, additional tree planting around the village and more. We have also continued our monthly village inspections and implemented improvements through the Parish Steward, village caretaker, contractors and self-help to keep our parts of Holt in good order. I’d like to thank Cllr Fletcher and everyone involved in keeping our village looking at its best.
The Parish Council finances remain in a healthy position thanks to the stewardship and forward planning by Cllr Goodman, the Finance Committee and the Clerk as the Responsible Officer. We continue to add to the Village Development Fund through the solar panel income and part of the precept to provide for matched-funding with Wiltshire Council for Highways improvements and other future capital projects.
I am proud to be part of such a great village and serve on the Council. I’m pleased to see a few new joiners over the past year and very much look forward to working with them. I’d like to thank all my fellow councilors who give up their time voluntarily for the benefit of all villagers and thank our outgoing Clerk, Neil Baker, for facilitating our operations over the past 4 years and wish him well for the future.
* Manor Farm, Stonewood Builders, Holt Superstore, The Old Ham Tree, The Tollgate, Formosa Kitchens, Box Steam Brewery
Just to let you know that we are aware of high barbed wire fence blocking this footpath. The matter has been referred to the Rights of Way and Footpaths Officers at Wiltshire Council who are in contact with the landowners and will ensure that this illegal diversion is rectified. We will keep you updated. If you wish to report it yourself you can do so on the Wiltshire App.
Taking into account the financial hardship felt by many Holt families during the pandemic, the Parish Council has voted to request zero increase in the precept (the share of council tax paid to a parish) for next year. In the face of mounting living costs we hope this goes some small way to helping. We still have a program of community projects and improvements for the village, and the decision not to increase the precept this year is not expected to adversely impact these plans.
We recently issued a statement about parking problems in the Elms. Upon further investigation Wiltshire Council have confirmed that the road is in fact, part of the public highway. However, it would be considerate to avoid parking in the Elms to allow space for residents and carers. Thank you.
With effect from Monday 19th July parking restrictions came into force in the lay-byes on both sides of the road outside the Holt Superstore. Parking is now limited to 30 minutes with no return within 2 hours Monday-Saturday 8am – 6pm. This was done to help ensure parking availability for shop customers.
Huge congratulations to the community of Holt for coming together to support this amazing cause, and a special thank you to The Scarecrow Ladies for organising this fabulous event and raising over £3000 for Holt Pre-school. https://www.facebook.com/1588044637880649/posts/4662424350442647/?sfnsn=scwspmo
You may have noticed between Holt and Melksham, there are now 2 new 50 limit zones. Here’s hoping it helps make this busy stretch of road safer for us all.
Wiltshire Council wanted to update you on the Government’s national bus strategy and the work they’re doing to improve local bus services in Wiltshire.To recap, earlier this year the government published its Bus Back Better vision, the strategy will deliver better bus services for passengers across England, through ambitious and far-reaching reform of how services are planned and delivered. It will make buses:
easier to understand and use
£3bn has been set aside in this parliament to be spent on increasing bus usage nationally through the national bus strategy. In addition, in March 2020, Government granted Wiltshire £671,000 as revenue support to help to improve the provision of local services. Wiltshire Council are holding an informal consultation with the public and businesses to help shape their work as they look to produce a Bus Service Improvement Plan.Alongside all the existing information we have on services and usage, this non-statutory survey,that will run until 23 August 2021, will give us an even better understanding of how bus services are used and how usage has been affected by the pandemic. The survey shouldn’t take longer than five minutes to complete and we are keen to hear from non-bus users, as well as those who currently use them, as this will provide a much more wide-ranging picture of the current situation and people’s circumstances. The survey can be found at https://surveys.wiltshire.gov.uk/snapwebhost/s.asp…, hard copies available from Wiltshire Council.
The next meeting will be held on Thursday the 23rd of September at 7.30pm, in the village hall. Please do come along, your input and ideas are welcome and the Council would love to hear from you.