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The Latest News & Snippets About The Village
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Here's the latest edition.
Road Works and Closures
There is now a dedicated page for all road works and closures which
affect the parish, in order to make it easier for you to find them.
Message From the Parish Council re: The Jolly Huntsman
"A PUBLIC MEETING will be held in the village hall on Thursday 21st March 2024 at 7pm, following the Parish Council meeting. This will be your first opportunity of hearing views and discussing the potential of purchasing The Jolly Huntsman public house and setting up a Community Pub, owned and managed by the local community. Now is the time to hear your views and whether you want to become involved"
Community Area Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (CAJSNA)
A new interactive platform that helps people find out what life is like in their community area has been launched by Wiltshire Council. The Community Area Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (CAJSNA) brings together more than 140 indicators from a wide range of public, private and voluntary partners. The indicators span across 10 different themes including children and young people, cost of living, health, housing, safety and the environment.
Wiltshire residents and partner organisations are being encouraged to take a look at the information and then complete a short survey, to share what they think the priorities should be for the future. The feedback from residents and data from the CAJSNA will help to inform future decision making for the council area and help shape future service planning. Additionally, our area boards use this information as a tool to set their local priorities and allocate resources.
You can find the link to the data here: CAJSNA Wiltshire Intelligence
You can find the link to the survey here: https://surveys.wiltshire.gov.uk/s/ad7x4r
Message From Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service
A 12-week consultation has been launched for Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority’s proposed new Community Safety Plan.
The plan sets out the priorities and challenges for Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service from now until 2028, covering areas such as prevention, protection, response, governance and people.
Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell said: “The plan details how we intend to continue working, but also what we intend to review and do differently to meet and reduce the risks we face as an organisation. Public sector finances are under extreme pressure, so it is vital that we look at all parts of the Service to ensure that we are working as efficiently and as effectively as possible.”
The consultation runs from 9am on Friday 9th February until 9am on Friday 3rd May. Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority will then consider the consultation responses and the final plan at its meeting in June.
Cllr Rebecca Knox, Chair of the Authority, said: “The Community Safety Plan is our ‘roadmap’ for the coming years, so the views of people from across our communities are essential. Whether you are a resident, a local business, a partner, a voluntary group or a charity, we would very much like to hear from you.”
A copy of the draft plan, a summary video and details on how to give your views – including an online form – can be found at www.dwfire.org.uk/draft-csp-2024-28-consultation
Be A Good Neighbour
A gentle reminder that now is the time for parishioners
to check and cut back any of their overgrown hedges, trees and shrubs, that are
either restricting the view of vehicles or impeding pedestrians. This will help our blind, disabled, and taller residents walking through the
This is also a good opportunity to ask you to be considerate
where you leave wheelie bins and black boxes out for collection, as these can also
cause a hazard for less able people.
Box Moth Damage
A parishioner has reported the prevalence of Box moths in some of the hedges in the village, so please keep an eye out if you have these hedges in your garden, as it will decimate and kill the hedging.
Village Shop Financial Update
Although the shop’s accounts for 2023 will be presented to the shareholders at the AGM later in the year, the committee thought it would be useful to give all villagers an update on the shop’s financial position.
Early in 2023, a new shop manager was employed, with the caveat that this position would need to be regularly reviewed to ensure that turnover and profit could sustain the post; takings had to be in excess of £4,000 per week. This was reported to shareholders at the AGM.
The year has seen an increase in overall takings: longer opening hours and a leafletting campaign to the village and surrounding residents has helped bring in new customers. The shop is stocking a wider range of products which is appealing to a broader range of consumers and so contributing to the turnover.
The financial year has just ended and the average takings per week were around £2,300 which, although up significantly on 2022, is well short of the break-even position and resulted in an operating loss of more than £12,500 (subject to independent review).
As things stand, if a full-time manager continues to be employed, the shop would probably run out of money towards the end of 2025, maybe very early 2026. Therefore, reluctantly, the shop committee has decided that the post will need to be part-time (probably 20 hours per week) from 1st July at the latest. This will hopefully enable the shop to remain open until at least 2027, and maybe much longer.
It's heartening that a number of people have put themselves forward to join the committee and help support in identifying longer term solutions for the shop’s prosperity. The current committee welcomes their interest and is looking forward to working with them when they join in February.
Hopefully a few more people will also feel encouraged to volunteer and offer just two hours per week to serve in the shop. The volunteers are the backbone of the shop and without them it’s hard to see how it could continue.
The shop is an integral part of the village and with help from parishioners it will be here for many more years to serve the community.
If you have any questions, comments, or ideas to improve the shop’s viability please email the shop’s treasurer: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parish Council News
At January's meeting Marie-Clare Simpson and
Stephen Woodhead were co-opted on to the council.
Village Shop Christmas Raffle Winner
Thank you to all those who bought tickets for the meat raffle, which was drawn at the Christmas Fayre on 2nd December. The lucky winner is villager Sarah Aston.
Crafting The Winter Away
Carving groups in The Minchin, Stubbs Lane, KSM are starting again in January on Saturday mornings, 10am to 12pm at £8 per hour; all tools supplied. If you are interested, please ring Cilla on (01249) 750222.
A message from the Acorns Pre-school Committee:
“Earlier in the summer, the committee sadly announced that Acorns Pre-school wouldn’t be opening its doors in September. Acorns was a huge asset to the village and whilst the Acorns Pre-school charity will shortly be dissolved, we are pleased to announce that the Early Years Alliance has approved that remaining Acorns assets will be transferred to Kington St Michael Primary School. This will ensure that the legacy of Acorns will continue to benefit our village, enabling the school to enhance and hopefully expand their early years provision in the future. We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support.”
QE2 Field News
Bonfire night was
almost a sell-out and the weather stayed kind. The event raised an
amazing £1,500 (£500 more than last year) that will go towards enhancing
the QE2 Field.
The QE2 committee sends special thanks to all those
who helped - KSM Shop for selling advance tickets, the fireworks team
for a spectacular display, Chippenham Pallet Company, MJ Church, and
those who came along and supported this event! This annual community
event could not be held without you.
Book Recycling Scheme
76th and 77th donations of £50 from this scheme go to Kington St Michael Village Shop, towards the cost of the hew hot drinks machine, and to the Village Hall, to go towards repairs to the leak in the roof. The scheme is run from
foyer and books are only 50p each. Village organisations that would
like to be considered for a donation should contact Linda Durno via email@example.com.
Tor Hill Pedestrian Walkway Project
Kington St Michael Parish Council October 2023
This briefing paper has been produced to give Kington St Michael parishioners information about the historical context of the Tor Hill Pedestrian Walkway project at the south entrance to the village from the A350 Plough Crossroads:
Introduction to the project
Any resident traversing Tor Hill in or out of Kington St Michael village will be aware that the road on the hill is steep, very narrow in places and has blind bends. So much so that pedestrians crossing the road at the foot of the hill, are not visible to drivers approaching the top of the hill from the south.
Background to the project
The safety of residents and visitors to the village via Tor Hill has been of great concern to the Parish Council (PC) for many years. In 1963 PC records show that both the speed of traffic and the narrowness of the road presented significant risk to pedestrians who had no alternative route to take.
These issues were raised again in 1964,1967 and 1969. North Wiltshire District Council (NWDC) Accident and Prevention Committee concurred with the PC regarding the dangers of the road. At this time the County Surveyor was asked to investigate. A spate of accidents then occurred in 1970 and from 1971 to 1976 the PC repeatedly informed the appropriate authorities of the dangers presented by Tor Hill to road users and particularly to pedestrians. Survey work on Tor Hill was finally carried out in 1986 and plans were developed to both widen and straighten the road and to build a pedestrian and cycling pathway separate to the road.
Compulsory Purchase Order
A compulsory purchase order commenced in 1987 to acquire a 9-metre strip of land alongside the C154 From the crossroads south of the village, down Tor Hill to the boundary of Magpie Cottage. The purchase was completed on 22nd of April 1988 for the sum of £900. At the same time the council was pursuing the purchase of Magpie Cottage No.1 Kington St Michael. The cottage. which stands at the foot of Tor Hill, was acquired in March 1989 for the sum of £108,000. The rest of Magpie Cottage and grounds were sold to a private owner in July 1990. The Council retained a 2-metre-wide strip of land across the front of the cottage which remains the property of Wiltshire Council to this day.
All was now in place for the long awaited “Road improvement and Footpath scheme”. A significant amount of time, energy and public money had been spent to improve the safety of road users on Tor Hill. Then, quite simply no further action was taken by North Wiltshire Council to implement the scheme. The Parish Council continued to raise concerns about dangers accessing the village to no avail.
On the 1st of April 2009 North Wiltshire District Council was abolished and superseded by the single Unitary Authority of Wiltshire Council.
With the advent of the new Wiltshire Council the PC once again raised the issue of safety on Tor Hill. The PC now however was focussing on building a walkway to provide safe passage for pedestrians in and out of the village.
Between 2010 and 2012 progress was made with officers of the new authority to confirm ownership of the land previously purchased. The new County Council still owned the land and the need for safer access to the village was still present. The Landowner who had sold the land, under a compulsory purchase order, was also a parish councillor and confirmed that he had no claim on the land.
The minutes of the PC meeting 15th November 2012 refers to a site meeting between Wiltshire County Council Officers, Parish Councillors, the landowner and a Wiltshire Council Surveyor. The site meeting agreed that some of the compulsorily purchased land would be retained by the PC for the creation of a footpath.
Tor Hill: Phase 1 and 2
In April 2013 work started on phase 1 of the footpath alongside Tor Hill. By September 2013 having completed the ground works for the footpath the PC applied for a match funded Path Improvement Grant Scheme (PIGS) which was successful. This meant that the cost of the whole scheme would be shared 50/50 between KSM PC and the PIGS grant. Phase 2 of the pathway was carried out during the following months and the current Tor Hill path was completed in the spring of 2014.
Upon completion the path has provided a safer route to and from the village for pedestrians. This in turn has improved the safe passage of motorised vehicles on the hill, which no longer had to avoid pedestrians on the hill.
Although the second phase of the footpath had now been completed the path still stopped short of being linked to the existing footpath system in the village. Owning the land across the front of Magpie Cottage was essential to the project but was not in itself sufficient to enable the PC to proceed with the project. The new footpath had been built adjacent to the C154 not on it or crossing it. Although a relatively small project in respect of its length the last section of the footpath would be both technically and financially much more challenging to achieve. There were no sources of funding to help the PC commission the necessary surveys to develop a fully costed scheme to enable the path to be built.
The PC took the decision to fund a feasibility study to be carried out by professional highways consultants. The study would produce a detailed proposal, to be compliant with all necessary guidance and regulations. This in turn will allow the Parish Council to request formal, competitive tenders from qualified construction companies. This formal process will enable the Parish Council to apply for alternative sources of funding/grants to be applied for. To facilitate this the PC added a new budget heading: Tor Hill Project to the 2014/2015 financial year, with an initial budget of £4,000.
The PC continued to monitor the safety issues on Tor Hill which remains a hazard for road users.
By 2017/18 the PC had sufficient ear marked funds in the Tor Hill Project Budget to seek out a suitably qualified local architect to carry out the feasibility study. With the help of the Royal Institute of Architects free service “Find an Architect “the PC was able to appoint a local architect to begin work on the final phase of the footpath.
By June 2018 initial visits and scoping works had taken place and a fee proposal agreed. It soon became clear that the complications of the relatively small (in Highways Project terms), project would require all the skills and expertise needed for a major highways project. This led to some acceptable delays. The Parish Council were then able to transfer the project to Mayer Brown.
The PC subsequently made a submission for a grant toward the survey and scheme development costs to Community Area Board Transport Group (CATG). Unfortunately, this request was rejected in the summer of 2019.
Parish Council Budgetary Commitment
The Parish Council discussed different options available at meetings in October and November 2019. The Parish Council voted to proceed with an initial financial commitment of £20,000 for consultancy fees, survey fees and project development (to take the project to the start of a formal tendering process) to ascertain the likely cost of capital works. However, this would now also include essential remedial works to some of the existing footpath. To reduce the steepness of the path for it to be fit for purpose and within Health and Safety guidelines.
This work with Mayer Brown has proceeded well but like everything else was considerably affected by the arrival of the Covid 19 Pandemic and all its restrictions. This was particularly so during the period March 2020 to December 2021, when various levels of lockdown were being enforced. Much of 2022 was also impacted by the ‘catch up’ effect of Covid but gradually surveys were taking place and have now been concluded with options now proposed.
The Parish Council is now ready to consult residents on proposals provided by Mayer Brown.
Accessibility Along Pavements
A repeat of a previous request, to help our disabled and visally impaired residents (and those with children in buggies):
~ Please do not block lowered pavements with parked cars.
~ Please do not park on pavements, partially or otherwise.
~ Please don't block the pavement with wheelie bins or black boxes.
your property is next to the pavement or footpath, please trim back any
overhanging branches, shrubs, etc. Of a dark evening, and with the new
lower lighting, it's no fun walking into prickly or wet overgrowth!
back lower shrubs too, as these affect children. Thank you.
Parish Council News
A parishioner asked the council who was responsible for the driveway surface between the gated entrance to Kington Manor and the Village Hall/Shop car park. The driveway also continues onwards to Manor Farm providing access to several properties, and when the Parish Council met on the 15th June 2023, it received a brief report on the factual position. In providing the answer the council felt that it was worthwhile updating everyone as the matter has often been raised over recent years.
The access driveway is in fact part of Public Footpath KSTM12 and, following two years extensive research and case-building, supported by seventy-five User Evidence Statements from residents and visitors, in February 2020, the Parish Council submitted an application to Wiltshire Council to upgrade the Footpath to a Byway Open to All Traffic. It was hoped that if this was successful then it could be argued that the entire driveway surface should be maintained by Wiltshire Council as Highway Authority.
The Parish Council is indebted to former Councillor Sandra Eaton for the tremendous efforts to reach this stage, and following her move from the parish, she volunteered to continue with the project, particularly as Wiltshire Council failed to determine the application within the required timescale and the matter was taken to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate in March 2021. The Planning Inspectorate determined that Wiltshire Council should deal with the matter by August 2022.
Despite the case and evidence submitted, Wiltshire Council finally decided in January 2023 that “on the balance of probabilities” the application should be refused. In February 2023, following further consideration, the Parish Council determined that there was no longer a case to pursue, and after all the efforts the only success arising was that Wiltshire Council has agreed that the tarmac surface directly outside the Village Hall/Shop car park should become part of the surface that should be maintained at public expense. The remainder being privately owned, although used by vehicles to gain access, is not public highway other than having Public Footpath KSTM 12 status. Should anyone be interested in reading the Outcome Report and details considered by the Parish Council in February 2023, then please email the Clerk of the Council who can provide the details - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Emergency Contacts Wiltshire & Swindon Prepared (Local Resilience Forum - LRF) has initiated a new scheme called Community Emergency Contacts. This initiative will give the LRF a direct link into the community in an emergency situation. They have asked for at least 3 people to be named as an emergency community contact for Kington St Michael. In the event of an emergency, contacts may be called and asked to give information about how an emergency (e.g. flooding, storm damage) is affecting the local area and any problems arising where help may be needed. If you would like further information, or to put your name forward for this initiative, please send an email to email@example.com. There is no obligation to be available 24/7 and the scheme will operate on a call down basis (whereby the LCF will work their way down the call list until they’re able to speak to someone ‘on the ground’) and there are no other expectations as part of this voluntary role.
Friends of KSM School News
The Friends of KSM School would like to say a massive thank you to those of you who supported the school fête, which raised over £3,700 - the second highest figure on record, beaten only by the fête of 2017
A Challenge in the Name of Charity
On 11th June a group from the village took on the Three Peaks Challenge on one of the hottest weekend of the year! Led by Stewart Harrison, who coaches the Monday and Wednesday KSM fitness groups, the team were supported by Dai Howells and driven by Matt Hocking. They started the adventure by climbing Ben Nevis, the highest peak in Scotland (1,345m), at 9.30am and finished in a phenomenal 5.5 hours (average time is usually 7-8 hours). Then it was straight back on the road for a long drive to the Lake District to climb Scafell Pike. They began at dusk and reached the peak just as darkness fell. Head torches were donned for the descent and then team was back on the road at 1am for an overnight drive to the third and final mountain in Wales. Reaching the Snowdon summit at 7.50am on Monday morning. the team knew that to complete the challenge within 24 hours speed was of the essence so the last 5k was a run rather than a hike!
By taking on the challenge team has raised almost £4,500 for The Brain Tumour Charity, a cause close to their hearts. The Just Giving page remains open for donations at www.justgiving.com/page/ksmfitness. We have been overwhelmed by the support and generosity of so many people and would like to extend a huge thankyou to everyone who has sponsored us.
For more information about the fitness sessions, please contact Stewart on 07968 624870.
Liz Danbury is the Community Connector that covers Yatton Keynell and surrounding villages. She works alongside Jubilee Surgery to help support people to live their good lives and has set up a well-being walk in Yatton Keynell and would like to promote it to the surrounding villages also. It is a very casual gentle stroll, stopping at Greenbean Café for a cuppa and natter. It’s held on Fridays at 10.30am, meeting at Yatton Keynell village hall's car park.
Kilvert's Trail - A Walk Around Kington St Michael,
Kington Langley, Langley Burrell & Allington
The Rev Francis Kilvert 1840 – 1879 wrote diaries portraying everyday Victorian life. These were kept in many notebooks during his relatively short life, sadly, most of which were destroyed. Thankfully 22 notebooks remain and these have been published in three volumes. His work has been acknowledged to be as important as that of Samuel Pepys.
Kilvert was a keen walker. Indeed he walked to Bath and back in one day. He took delight in the countryside around him, never failing to note the beauty surrounding him.
To that end, some residents of Langley Burrell have compiled several local walks, taking in familiar landmarks that Kilvert would have known (Kilvert's Trail), and one of these comes through Kington St Michael - the Allington Walk (obviously you could join this walk at any point along it in Kington St Michael and complete the loop back to your starting point).
Neighbourhood Watch can help build safer, stronger and more active communities and
connect people with their neighbours. The Parish Council is hoping to get a local scheme up and
running in Kington St Michael and would love to hear from you.
If you are interested in joining, or just want more information,
then please contact
Cllr Vicky Ingham at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pick Up After Your Pooch!
you are in the village - street, public footpath, QE2 Field, Nymph Hay
Wood or the surrounding fields - it still applies! Do it for your dog!
If anyone sees an owner letting their dog
foul in a public place please report it to Wiltshire Council, either by
'phoning 01249 706111 and asking for the Dog Warden, or email email@example.com
or via an on-line form. Photographic evidence is always a help. Your
personal details will be treated in strict confidence and you will be
informed of the outcome of the complaint. Please note that complaints
regarding aggressive dogs should be made to the police.
A Bit of Village History
Many thanks to Tim Sage for sharing these photographs of the baptism
and confirmation certificates of his ancester, Maurice Arthur Sage.
The baptism took place in St Michael & All Angels Church in 1913 and the
confirmation at St John the Baptist Church in Charlton near Malmesbury, in 1931.
Warm Spaces and Food Providers
Wiltshire Council has created an online interactive community directory to help you find out what warm spaces and community food providers there are in the county to support you through the cost-of-living challenges.
The directory has been created using information collected by the council, in order to establish what support is available in Wiltshire.
To find out the support that's available on your doorstep, and across the county, please visit the directory and select your postcode area - this will then automatically generate a list of what's available, as well as a host of other useful features:
For anyone wishing to make donations to the community food providers, there are contact and website details included for each with more information to find out how best to do this.
The council has worked hard to ensure that the directory contains a comprehensive list of the support available, but will continue to keep it updated regularly.
The website has been designed as a “one stop shop” for parishioners and the wider community, and is intended to provide up to date and historical information on all Parish Council related matters, including meetings and decisions.
This website has been created to comply with the latest regulations and will run alongside and complement this community website.
Church Coffee Corner
Every Monday from 11.30am - 1.30pm - meet others and enjoy refreshments:
Would you like to receive news and updates on local
matters from the Parish Council and Wiltshire Council, etc, via email? The Parish Council has set up an email
database - if you would like to be included,
please email the Clerk, Viv Vines - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get in the Know!
Wiltshire Police has suggested reading "The Little Book of Big Scams", which is an excellent fraud prevention resource created to help raise awareness of the dangers of fraud ,and offer preventative measures to help keep everyone safe from the insidious creep being seen in financial crimes in recent years.
Worried About Scams?
Village Help Facebook Page
If you are on Facebook, please search for the KSM Community Help page, where you will find lots of useful information and support (look for the colourful hands, as above).
You can now report phishing emails by forwarding them to email@example.com and the National Cyber Security Centre (part of GCHQ) analyses them and remove the culprit sites.
The RSPCA is urging pet owners to make an emergency pet care plan, in case they have to be hospitalised - visit RSPCA for further details.
Making A Planning Application
If you are considering or are about to make an on-line planning application via
Wiltshire Council's website, you will be redirected to the Planning Portal.
Unfortunately, if you choose to use autofill for your address, and if you happen to live along the main street (i.e. no.** KSM) then you will find that it submits your address as being in Honeyknob Hill or C154 Road.
This causes confusion to those wishing to or needing to look at planning applications, and, in fact, there are only 8 properties which have the Honeyknob Hill address (unsurprisingly 1 - 8 Honeyknob Hill).
The Parish Counil is asking affected residents who make a planning application to please check that "Honeyknob Hill" or C154 road" isn't included in the address (unless you are one of the eight!) and to enter the address manually.
If you spot this issue elsewhere, please let the Clerk to the Council know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Village Hall Car Park
The Village Hall Management Committee would like to remind villagers that the village hall car park is only for village hall users and shop customers. Recently, a number of paying village hall users have not been able to park. Thank you!
Just a reminder of where our defibrillators are kept in the village: map of defibrillators
and the instructions of what to do when someone collapses.
Please visit the Community Defibrillator page for further information
Do you have a small business? Are you local?! Why not advertise on this website for only £24 per year? (That's just £2 per month!) Take a look at other advertisers by clicking on "Local Businesses Adverts" above. If you are interested please contact us email@example.com.