Parish Council Chair’s Review


Chair’s Review May 2019 to April 2021


Before starting my review, I would like to express my thanks to:

All those, particularly those who live in the village, who have worked in the NHS or in the many care agencies, for their service on behalf of us all.  In this unique period of the pandemic, I doubt any of us can fully appreciate the sacrifice they have made in putting their future at risk for us.

Sally Rowe, Parish Clerk extraordinaire.  As I leave the Parish Council it would be difficult to exaggerate my thanks to, and admiration for, all she has done for the Council and in her support to me, as Chair. She does all this in a quiet, proactive and efficient way.  It has been a delight to work with her.

Trevor Carbin, our Wiltshire Councillor, who is not standing in this Ward in the forthcoming election.  We all understand why we will lose him but I would like to thank Trevor for his efforts on behalf of Monkton Farleigh over many years. Trevor has carried out his responsibilities in a quiet, unassuming but very effective manner.  Always happy to take up issues on our behalf and to intercede with Wiltshire Council, however tricky those issues might be.  Thank you for all your help, not least with our annual village clean ups.  Your successor will have a great deal to live up to.

I have written to our Parish Steward, Iain Bryers, to thank him for his hard work and dedication and for all he has done to support our village.

COVID 19. No review of the last two years could fail to put Covid 19 anywhere but first in our list of priorities.  I hope and believe that the village responded well to the challenges posed by coronavirus.  In the early weeks we put together a volunteer structure which provided support to those who needed it and reassurance that help was available.  Crucially the strong sense of community within the village ensured that support was available throughout the various lockdowns.  Many individuals contributed to that effort but I would like to thank Joy Spiers for all she did as the Emergency Plan co-ordinator.

Village Clean Ups.  These have become a settled feature in the Monkton Farleigh calendar, generally taking place in early spring.  We usually have about 30 villagers on the clean-up, another example of the strong sense of community in Monkton Farleigh.

The last two years has seen worthwhile progress in improving facilities in the village.  Most notably and with support of the Area Board we achieved very worthwhile upgrade to the playground at Broadstones.  I would like to thanks Ele Warrington, Joy Spiers, Andy Tucker and Rachael McDonald, all of whom contributed to the successful completion of the project.  In the same period, we have bought new Grit Bins, produced a new website and a new noticeboard outside the church.  I am grateful to Steven Calpin who made the notice board for us.

Neighbourhood Watch continues to be a useful vehicle of information and advice on a range of issues and Brian Marlow has been assiduous in managing our relationship with that organisation.

On going issues.                                                                                                                                                                 Liz Watts has spearheaded a campaign to lower speed limits in the village and to make our roads and pathways safer and more enjoyable for all those who use them. The Parish Council has supported her in her endeavours and at the time of writing we are awaiting a response from Wiltshire Council to the issues we have raised.                                                                                                                             The onset of Covid 19 and in particular of Lockdowns resulted in a significant increase in the number of people visiting the village to walk in our beautiful surroundings.  In many ways this is to be applauded but it does result in some unwelcome knock-on effects. Some pathways have suffered damage through overuse by walkers and cyclists, far too many people fail to clean up the mess of their dogs and parts of the village have suffered a considerable increase in visitors’ parking.  This latter problem affects Farleigh Rise in particular.  We have bought ‘No Parking Signs’ to put in the front gardens of some houses but it is too early to gauge their impact.  Other measures, such as yellow lines, are difficult to introduce as they have an adverse impact on residents.                              Some time ago the Parish Council bought the phone box near the Kings Arms.  At some stage out intention is to transform its use, perhaps to a book swop facility.                                                               The onset of Coronavirus put a stop to the use of the pub as a Post Office for two mornings a week.  Sadly, the use of this service was so limited, it is unlikely to be reopened.

The two years have been busy for the Parish Council.  No doubt the next few will be the same.

Finally, I would like to thank all Parish Councillors, past and present for their support to me.  I wish the new Parish Council the very best in their endeavours.

Matthew Midlane

Chair Monkton Farleigh Parish Council

28 April 2021