Article for September Messenger

This is the article that has been written for the September issue of The Messenger

SERVICE DEVOLUTION AND ASSET TRANSFER (SDAT)

Back in April, in line with our transparency policy, we published a detailed budget for our current 2020/2021 year, so that you could see how your precept money is spent.

As a reminder our total expenditure budget is £167480 which includes £57000 for Admin. (Staffing, Office Equipment, Insurance, Legal, Web Site, Computers, Etc)

From the 1st April our new responsibility included the management of Asset Transfers, and the delivery of Service Devolution. In order to maintain our transparency policy, we agreed to publish details of the Service Devolution Asset Transfer (SDAT)

We have been monitoring our expenditure and services monthly .It hasn’t been easy ,in fact it’s been quite a steep learning curve but I am confident that taking the SDAT route was the right decision and the overall result will in due time be visible to all.

Prior to this we already had a contract with IdVerde so we decided to merge the extra work from Wiltshire Council into one contract for the next 3 years.

New Asset Transfers (FREEHOLD)

North Street (Bouverie Hall) and Hallgate Car Parks

This strengthens and confirms our short and long-term plans to keep FREE PARKING in Pewsey, not just for us but hopefully to attract visitors to Pewsey who will spend money with our businesses.  We have included in our budget £3000 for minor maintenance.

Grassed Areas (FREEHOLD)

Included in the Asset Transfer were a number of grassed areas. A full list and plan will be available in the Parish Office for anyone to look at by arrangement with The Clerk.

Total cost of Grass Cutting, Hedges Weeding Etc is in the region of £29000 (This includes areas that do not belong to the Parish Council but are our responsibility under the SDAT Agreement.

Trees

It’s important to point out that the only trees we are responsible for are on Freehold Land owned by The Parish Council. Ash Die Back is getting closer, now at Upavon. Our budget of £8500 may not be enough for this and future years.

Litter

Currently we have over 40 litter bins that are emptied twice a week. We also have litter picking twice a week covering the High Street, River Street, North Street and the Bouverie Hall and Hallgate Car Parks. This cost is £24000 per year.

We are extremely grateful to the voluntary litter pickers and ambassadors who have recently returned after lockdown. Thank you to all of you.

Children’s Play Areas (5 FREEHOLD +2(PEPPERCORN RENT)

We already owned the Freehold and equipment at Easterton Lane and Broomcroft, inc Colin`s Corner.. The land at Aston Close and Broadfields still belongs to Aster Housing but the equipment is ours.

We have in the past been very fortunate to have had Housing Developer Section 106 monies for any major Play Area Capital Investment.

Following the transfer we now also have the Freehold and equipment of Netherleaze, Silver Road and Cossor Road. Netherleaze has had new equipment with further work still to be done and Cossor Road is about to be refurbished.

We are now responsible for the insurance, maintenance, litter picking, grass cutting of all of these play areas (excluding Aston and Broadfields where we are responsible for the Insurance ,Maintenance and Litter but grass cutting is done by Aster Housing)

The running cost of each play area includes Insurance, Weekly Maintenance Inspections, Grass Cutting, Litter and Repairs in the region of £1500 per year per play area making a total of £10500.  

We must not forget that Little Island and Bailey Close had been closed by Wiltshire Council so we have removed the equipment and will be returning these areas to Amenity Use. In fact Bailey Close is already on its way,  thanks to all volunteers who helped us to get this far so quickly.

General Repairs

This covers the Cemetery, Scotchel, Rectory Grove, Seats, Bus Shelters etc      Budget £24280

Public Toilets

We have owned the Public Toilets for many years which remain free to everyone.  Daily cleaning, Water, Electric + Consumables at a budget cost of £11200 per year.

Other Freehold Areas

We own the Freehold of the Senior Football Club, the Tennis Club, and the Bowls Club at Easterton Lane Recreation Area. We own the Rugby Club and Youth Football Club grounds at Wilcot Road.

We own the Cemetery, Rectory Grove, Scotchel, Easterton Lane Allotments, Ways Way, Heritage Centre, Bus Shelters and Carnival Bookshop. (Formerly Toilets)

General Information

Footpaths and Bridleways fall under the responsibility of Wiltshire Council Rights of Way, as do village tarmacked paths .Any Highway Issues are also the responsibility of Wiltshire Council.

You can report any problems on the My Wiltshire App

Kerbside collection of waste and recycling are once a fortnight, Wiltshire Council asks us to make sure the bins are put outside for ease of collection by 7 am on the day of service. We would appreciate that when empty please bring your bins in.

Summary

Why did we take on this extra work? Easy answer because we wanted to protect our village services , play areas, sports grounds, free car parks, free toilets , for the benefit of all.

One of our many concerns is the village Market Place and our intention is to contact all Businesses to ask them to keep clean the areas in front of their premises. We are also looking into providing bigger litter bins…

Your Parish Council (all unpaid volunteers) are doing their best on your behalf but we recognise we have some way to go; our target is to make Pewsey a village to be proud of.

Together we can reach our goal but we need your help and support, particularly in the following ways.

We hope you enjoy your fast food but when finished please put your food containers in the nearest litter bin.

Please do not drop litter anywhere in the village, use the nearest litter bin or take your litter home.

Please do not put your household waste in the litter bins.

Please clear leaves or weeds from outside your house or business. Overhanging hedges that particularly border on smaller pavements make things very difficult for those with mobility scooters and parents with children’s buggies, please trim them.

Dog fouling remains an issue in places please pick it up and dispose of it safely in the nearest litter bin.

Please do not exercise your dogs on any sports fields.

Finally we know that the majority of you do all of these things; so to you we extend our sincere thanks. Please help us to educate others to follow the same principles.

If anyone has any suggestions to help us achieve our goal please let the clerk know

Curly Haskell

Chairman  Pewsey Parish Council