Parish News May

Published: 09 June 2023

Caring for Alderbury and Whaddon

As I write this the wet but glorious coronation day is over, but Alderbury still has Picnic in the Park to look forward to – so the celebrations go on!

Please join me in thanking Councillors Elaine Hartford and John Fuller for reprising their roles as Chair and Vice-chair of the parish council for the year 2023-34.

All your councillors volunteer their time and most sign up for a 4 year term. In addition to Elaine and John, at the annual meeting of the council in May, the following councillors also renewed their commitment to serving Alderbury and Whaddon within the Code of Conduct: Michael Considine, Mel Lawrence, Adam Hughes, Mike Huntley, Kim Diprose, Frances West, John Ridd and Barry Sloan. Thanks to them.

The Chairman accepted the resignation of Darren Mernagh, a long-serving councillor, and thanked him warmly for his time. The vacancy this creates will be officially notified shortly and if you are interested in applying for the role, please let me know (contact details below) and I can advise you on how to proceed.

Hearing from others

PC Murphy submitted a written report detailing a number of incidents in the village to which the police had responded.

WC councillor Richard Britton reported that his case workload is higher than usual, especially from people who need help with their council tax bills.


Certainly, Alderbury has had a mixed record in preserving trees over the past few years but the Council passed a tree policy in 2021 which puts tree preservation at the heart of any relevant decision. Not every tree can be protected, though, and sometimes even a protected tree becomes a danger. This has proved to be the case at the second of the large oak trees on the amenity ground near Oakwood Grove. Only about a year or so ago, the first of these magnificent trees needed considerable pruning to make it safe, and now the second will also need substantial work due to a fungus which is destroying it. The work has been approved by the Wilts County tree officer (Shane Verrion), so we have taken good advice before proceeding.

Over the course of the April & May meetings, the council has decided to try to have further Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) issued. When talking about these ideas with Shane, he reminded me that at the end of the day TPOs are subservient to the planning process. TPOs can help and will influence decisions but are not an absolute protection.

If you are interested in the wildlife groups working to protect and enhance the local environment, please do get in touch.


Councillors were sympathetic to the problems experienced by residents at the corner of Lights Lane/Folly Lane and have taken advice from Wiltshire Highways on options to make this junction safer. Highways have recommended changes to signage and to road markings and these will be followed up.

Please do let us know if there are areas which you think are unsafe. Whilst the council itself has no powers over Highways, we do know who to talk to and can offer initial advice on what may be possible. We regularly report potholes, blocked drains, missing road signs etc. You can do this too on MyWilts and where we agree with you, we are happy to also submit a report.


Wiltshire planning decisions:

· PL/2023/01879 - Works to a Protected Tree, Goose Green View, High Street

Proposal: 1 x Sycamore - the removal of dead branches (10 % reduction). 1 x Sycamore - remove 2 large branches and 2 smaller branches, some overhanging a garage (20 % reduction). 1 x Ash – the removal of dead branches (10 % reduction). Tree has suspected ash dieback. 1x Ash - the removal of 1 large branch and 2 smaller branches (15% reduction). Tree has suspected ash dieback

Decision: Approve with Conditions

· PL/2023/01315 - Alderbury Farm Cottage, Witherington Road

Proposal: Variation of conditions 2 (approved plans) and 3 (materials) of PL/2022/07321

to allow alterations to approved fenestration, repositioning of chimneys, proposed materials (introduction of brick & flint and a slate roof to the extension), reduction in depth of fascia board and reduction in the roof form of the extension

Decision: Approve with Conditions

Litter picking

Thanks to everyone who turned out for The Big Help Out Day litter picking in the Recreation Ground. Councillor John Fuller was delighted to have some volunteers to ‘look after’ an area of the village themselves. If you can help with occasional litter picking please do let us know so we can set you up with equipment.

What else are we working on

· Improvements to the war memorial site

· Installing a new speed indicator device

· New environmental enhancement projects

· The footpath from Junction Road to Firs Road

· School holiday activities for children


Liz Holland
Parish Clerk, Alderbury Parish Council