Our Deputy Mayor, Councillor Marian Hannaford-Dobson, steps neatly into the Mayor’s place whilst he is on honeymoon. Cllr Hannaford-Dobson was available last Friday, 23rd August to lend her support to the opening of a new furniture shop, Hearts Desire, at Hughenden Yard. So good to see another new business starting in Marlborough. Best wishes for every success.
Following an Extraordinary Meeting of the Town Council on Wednesday, 26th June, we welcome Mervyn Hall (East Ward) and Alec Light (West Ward) to the team. Both bring lots of experience to the roles and are keen to work closely with the community. They were co-opted onto the Council from a strong field of 7 candidates and will serve until the next full elections in May 2017.
The Town Council was delighted that there was a such a keen interest in the vacancies and would like to thank our candidates, all of whom were of a very high calibre, for stepping forward for co-option.
Work on the re-surfacing of Marlborough’s famously wide High Street starts on 5th August. Not undertaken for 23 years, this is the largest project of its type in the county this year and represents a £400,000 investment in the town. It will take around 6 weeks to complete with work being undertaken Monday to Friday between 6pm – midnight (7pm – midnight on Friday). There will be no work at weekends. This is to help ensure that there is minimum disruption to the High Street so it's business as usual. Associated work around road markings, new bollards, signage and even underground ducting in preparation for future installation of electrical points will give the town a welcome face lift.
At the Full Council Meeting of 20th May, Town Councillors discussed a proposal to install cycle racks along the side of the High Street. Though this issue is really a matter for Highways, Wiltshire Council quite rightly consulted with the Town Council before taking it forward. Unfortunately, the proposal was not brought to the attention of the Council until late on and Councillors did not have an opportunity to properly give their early input as would normally be the case.
For the sake of clarification, the Town Council would like to make clear that it fully supports the idea of facilities for cyclists in the High Street but feels that it is first worth looking at some alternatives to the original proposal. Councillors discussed how improvements could be made to the inadequate and old racks already in place, whether racks might be installed in paid parking spaces in the central area rather than in the limited free parking slots at the side and changes to signage to help direct cyclists. Also, the possibility of undertaking consultation and surveys to evidence the use of existing racks to help make sure any new ones are installed in the right place. An outcome of a broader, more thorough approach might, in fact, mean more or better facilities for cyclists and everyone else who uses our High Street.
This month we say farewell to Sgt Vincent Logue who has headed up the police team in Marlborough for the last 2 years. After 2 years in the town, Sgt Logue is leaving to move on to concentrate on the Pewsey area.
Sgt Logue said “I have been fortunate to work with a great policing team who work very hard for the people of Marlborough. I have also enjoyed working with Councillors and staff at the Town Council, all of whom made me feel welcome and part of the team. I have been proud to have been associated with Marlborough which is a great town with great people.”
“Happy memories for me include helping to police the Olympic Torch Relay, an event where the people of Marlborough stepped up and showed the world what the town is all about, it was a great day. I shall miss taking part in the Remembrance Day parades and the kind invitations to the Marlborough College Carol Services as well as other special occasions.”
We shall miss Vincent and thank him for everything he has done to keep Marlborough the safe place it is. At the same time we welcome Sergeant Barry Reed who begins his role in the town over the next couple of weeks.
Transition Marlborough and the Bedwyn Trains Passenger Group have joined forces to help Marlborough commuters find a cheaper, easier and more environmentally sound way to work. There will now be £1 each way bus links with fast trains to and from Reading and London Paddington. The timetables are being distributed locally and can be downloaded here.
At his first Full Town Council meeting, our new Town Mayor, Councillor Guy Loosmore, presented his Mayoress and fiancée, Fiona Lawson, with her badge of office. While our Mayoress does not have an official or legal status, the national tradition and local custom is for the Town Mayor to have a consort to help navigate through his or her busy year ahead. Fiona will accompany our Mayor, Marlborough’s First Citizen, to official engagements helping to host various community events, promote Marlborough, attend award ceremonies, visit our schools as well as meeting British and foreign dignitaries to the town.
A priority for Fiona will be her work to help raise funds for the two charities chosen by the Mayor - locally based Marlborough and District Dyslexia Association and Hope for Tomorrow, which operates mobile chemotherapy units. This is entirely separate from the Town Council’s funds and money raised will be distributed to these charities at the end of the Mayoral year.
Fiona, a historian, is already heavily involved in voluntary work in the local community particularly around the Kennet Valley Arts Trust said: “It’ll be a busy year for Guy and I’m really looking forward to helping build up funds for these two worthwhile charities both bringing such important advice and help to local people.” Something else to fit in amongst official duties for 2013/14 will be the couple’s wedding in August.