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Blog

  • Article: Mar 15, 2022
    By Ellen Nicholson

    The very disappointing Environment Agency briefing on the Northacre Renewable Energy Ltd (NREL) this week stating that they may consider allowing NREL a permit to operate the Waste incinerator in Westbury crossed with our letter to the Secretary of State, Michael Gove MP

    The text from our letter is laid out below:

  • Stephen Cooper
    Article: Mar 1, 2022
    Local Wiltshire Liberal Democrats Town councillor in Trowbridge, Stephen Cooper, will tonight urge councillors to condemn in the strongest possible terms the "unjustified and unprovoked" invasion by Russia which has led to war in Ukraine.
    Cllr Stephen Cooper, the town's member for Trowbridge Park Ward, drafted an emergency motion over the weekend condemning" in the strongest possible terms" the unprovoked Russian invasion of its neighbouring sovereign state Ukraine.
  • Stand with Ukraine ()
    Article: Feb 24, 2022
    By Ellen Nicholson
    I woke up early this morning, and saw the first reports of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
    The misery of a war, separation of loved ones, uncertainty and heartbreak is heart rendering, not least because this is our soil, European soil and so close to us. Few of us now remember WWII in living memory, but many of us remember the conflicts of the Cold War, the IRA, the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan ... war and conflict seem never ending
  • Johnson ()
    Article: Feb 12, 2022
    By Ellen Nicholson

    Yet another week where the Prime Minister has floundered, and the Country has struggled.

    The week started with a Tory former chief whip urging Johnson to withdraw an insinuation about the Labour leader Starmer refusing to prosecute the serial sex offender Jimmy Savile and saw scenes where Starmer was accosted outside Parliament.

  • Article: Mar 12, 2021
    By Andrew Bryant
    In response to a recent article on the civic dinner in the Wiltshire Times today - Cllr Andrew Bryant penned this impassioned response in the comments section which has since been deleted from the page along with a number of other comments.
    What does it take for people to realise something maybe isn't quite how it's portrayed?
  • Article: Feb 7, 2021
    By Ellen Nicholson

    The Liberal Democrats are committed to the inter-connectedness and prosperity of all peoples across our United Kingdom. Which is why we were shocked and dismayed when a local businessperson contacted us to share their new experience of post-Brexit trading.

    Not one of the fishing companies that seem to have stolen all the recent headlines. Nor a company trying to send parcels to France or Italy. This is a company that only sells in the United Kingdom.

  • Local Planning explained ()
    Article: Nov 19, 2020
    By Stewart Palmen in Trowbridge Nub News
    Want to know how local planning works, here's a comprehensive article by the leader of Trowbridge Town
    Stewart Palmén
    unpicking all the facets.
    There's been lots of discussion about planning applications in Trowbridge recently and with this a lot of confusion regarding who actually decides what to gain planning permission.
  • Article: Oct 27, 2020
    By Stewart Palmen in Trowbridge Nub News

    Stewart Palmen Leader of Trowbridge Town Council


    IN the very near future, we, in Trowbridge, will hear if we are gaining any funding from our bid to the Government's Future High Street Fund. So I thought it would be useful to look at what this fund is exactly and what it could do for Trowbridge. Again in a simple question and answer format.


    What is The Future High Street Fund"

    The fund is £1 billion that the Government has allocated to help regenerate the high streets of towns across the UK. The local County Council have had to apply for the funding, so, in our case, it was Wiltshire Council who have applied and not the Town Council although we have supported the bid.


    How many places will it help?

    Well, one hundred towns/cities made it through the first stage of the bid and have all submitted final bids


    Will all the bids get the same amount of money?

    Wicker Hill and all of Fore Street to be pedestrianised

    The funding will be allocated depending on the strength of the bid so some will get more than others and some could get nothing.


    How much did we go for?

    The average, assuming all bids were equally valid, would be £10 million. But we believe the case for Trowbridge is very strong and to achieve all we want to achieve, we have asked for £23.85 million.


    Are there any other places in Wiltshire applying?

    Yes. Wiltshire Council initially put forward bids for Chippenham, Salisbury and Trowbridge. Chippenham did not make it past the first stage but Salisbury and Trowbridge are still in the running.

    Town Hall and The Old Market Building to be reworked


    What type of things will the money go towards?

    There are four "theme" areas we are trying to address with the funding. These are:
    1) Better movement and legibility at the town centre gateways
    2) A unique and culture-and-leisure-led offer
    3) A resilient and diverse high street
    4) Unlocking good growth


    Sorry, that sounds like waffle. What does it mean?

    Ok, let's unpack each one a little

    1) Better movement and legibility at the town centre gateways

    Potential Castle Place redevelopment

    This involves further pedestrianisation of Fore Street and Wicker Hill and improvement of the road system together with more sensible signposting for both pedestrians and vehicles (wayfinding). Improvement of the River Biss area giving us a lovely riverside walk from the train station to St Stephen's Place making it a real asset to the town.

    2) A unique and culture-and-leisure-led offer

    Town centres now, more than ever, need to provide more than just retail outlets and become more 'experiential'. So we are planning to invest in the refurbishment of Trowbridge Town Hall (opening up the Ballroom etc.) and encouraging it's links with The Civic. Also reactivating nearby vacant properties to create Artisan Market type space in the old Market Hall (formerly a Weatherspoons pub).

    3) A resilient and diverse high street

    We need to achieve a more compact and vibrant high street by relocating existing retail units in Castle Place to vacant shops along the high street. We will never again need the level of retail we used to have because so much of our shopping is done online or via large supermarkets. We will also encourage conversion of units to facilitate a wider range of shops moving into the area and convert empty upper floors to residential through a programme of grants. We will also create some guidance for uses that are needed or wanted in the high street to steer how the town needs to develop to ensure sustainability.

    Three Town councillors promoting the Future High Street Fund Bid back in January this year

    4) Unlocking good growth

    A comprehensive redevelopment of Castle Place to include a large leisure facility, residential, co-working spaces and a small retail element. Potential location for the Chamber of Commerce also being considered. We have to face it as it is. Castle Place is unlikely ever to be full of retail outlets again. It is better to relocate some of those businesses to the vacant units in the Fore Street, etc, and use that space by the Park used as outlined above. I also think this helps unlock for Wiltshire Council funding for a Trowbridge Leisure Centre which we have been promised for so long.

    So that is a very brief overview.

    This article was published in Trowbridge Nub News https://trowbridge.nub.news/n/trowbridge-town-council-leaders-articles-what-is-the-future-high-street-fund-and-how-can-it-help-trowbridge34

  • Article: Oct 16, 2020
    By Chris Hoar
    A little post about Boris Johnsons threat today to quit trade talks with the EU and crash the UK out with a no-deal (Australia) come January:
    1 - The chances are this is bluff to appear tough to the extremist Brexiters before he caves in to EU demands and then goes on to claim a "great victory".

  • Article: Oct 5, 2020
    By Stewart Palmen in Trowbridge Nub News


    FOLLOWING last week's article, here I aim to explain how the Town Council is structured into different service areas with committees to provide oversight and guidance. I will do this in the form of questions and answers again.


    What are Council Officers?

    Council officers is just a name given to all the people who are employed by the Town Council to carry out the work of the council in providing the services it does. The jobs they have are not voluntary jobs (unlike councillors) and they are paid the going rate for the type of work they do.


    How many officers does Trowbridge Town Council have?

    Currently we have fifty and click this link to see who they are and which service they support


    How is the Council structured?

    The Road Sweeper is part of Neighbourhood Services

    The council is split up into different service areas and task groups. Each of these groups is headed up by a Head of Service and there is a committee made up of ten councillors for each group. They guide and determine what the service delivers.


    So what are these committees and what do they cover?

    There are five committees

    1) Neighbourhood Services

    This Head of Service for this group is Clare Lyall and the committee is chaired by Cllr Dennis Drewett with Vice Chair Thomas Bazan. This group covers the management and maintenance of all the green spaces controlled by the Town Council including the Town Park and practically all the play areas.

    One of the Active Trowbridge Activities covered by The Leisure and Information Services Committee

    They also spend a lot of time cleaning different parts of Trowbridge and deploying our Road Sweeper and Weed Ripper (though technically it is still Wiltshire Council's responsibility).


    2) Leisure and Information Services

    The Head of Service for this group is Hayley Bell and The committee is chaired by Cllr Denise Bates with Vice Chair Cllr Chris Hoar. This group covers the work of Active Trowbridge, The Trowbridge Information Centre in the Civic Centre as well as Facilities Management (running the various Town Council owned buildings).


    3) Museum

    The Head of Service for this group is Clare Lyall and the committee is chaired by Cllr Glyn Bridges with Vice Chair Cllr Nick Blakemore. This committee covers the workings of the Museum and their current focus is on reopening the new expanded museum in the New Year!

    The Museum Project


    4) Town Development

    The Head of Service is our Town Clerk Lance Allan and the committee is chaired by Cllr Geoff Whiffen with Vice Chair Cllr Andrew Bryant. This committee primarily reviews planning applications in Town and provides inputs to any development work in the Town. But it has very little actual power, as the Planning Authority is Wiltshire Council. There are no council Officers employed for this group.


    5) Policy and Resources (P&R)

    This is not really a service as such but more a senior management team for the Town Council. Lance Allan as CEO of the Town Council is the Senior Officer.

    I chair the meetings with Vice Chair Cllr Bob Brice. Here we review our Policies, Grants and the overall running of the council. We also take inputs from two other groups. 1) The Risk and Audit Panel and 2) The Civic Centre Management board that deals with the running of the Civic Centre. The Head of Service for Finance, Personnel and Venue Services is Juliet Weimar.

    Town Development Idea for The Future High Street Fund Bid

    Major decisions such as the council budget are made at Full council meetings where all councillors get to vote.


    Which councillors are on which committees?

    Full details of committee place are available here.


    Can I attend the committee meetings?

    Yes they are open to the Public and the Agendas are published in advance of the meetings. The schedule for meetings are on the Town Council's website by going to the Home page, scrolling down to Meetings and schedules for the last year or so are there.

    Policy and Resources

    I will leave it at that for the moment as that is already a lot of information. I will, in future, produce an article on each service with a lot more detail on what they actually do.

    If you have any questions you want answering about Trowbridge Town Council, please do not hesitate to contact me via email on stewart.palmen@wiltshire.gov.uk or via phone on 01225 753479