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Members of the Parish Council & Other Information

All members of Wiltshire's councils must register their pecuniary interests (financial interests) in Wiltshire Council’s Register of Interest and Gifts and Hospitality.

As a member of the public you can view details of Kington St Michael Parish Council members' registered interests here.

How to become a councillor - details on the NALC website.

Kington St Michael is entitled to nine parish councillors - find out more about your current councillors on the Parish Council's dedicated website..

Name  
Chairperson:
Gerry Gamble
Old Laundry Cottage,
84A
Kington St Michael 
750234
gerrygamble@hotmail.com
Vice-Chair:
Fiona Twisse
"Claverley", Kington St Michael,
SN14 6JF
07850 899991
Twisse@hotmail.co.uk
Alex Hall (Mr)Wheelwright Cottage,
48 Kington St Michael

750602
alex.hall@kington-st-michael.com
Vicky Ingham
 Hillside House, 94 Kington St Michael
victoria_ingham@hotmail.co.uk
Peter MacdonaldPound Cottage,
42 Kington St Michael
07496 694440
macdonaldksm@outlook.com
John Newton Keepers Lodge,
23
Kington St Michael
750437
Will Roe The Old Police House,
11
Kington St Michael
750622
pwcroe@aol.com
Marie-Clare Simpson

Stephen Woodhead
  

Parish Clerk:
Mr Vivian A Vines MBE 

3 Wardour Road,
Chippenham, Wiltshire,
SN14 0AP

(01249) 657695 or
07785 717665
 ksmparishclerk@gmail.com

County Councillor
(Kington ward):

Howard Greenman
(Conservative)

c/o Wiltshire Council
County Hall
Bythesea Road
TROWBRIDGE
BA14 8JQ
Cllr Howard Greenman

07970 047686

Click here to email
Cllr Greenman

MP:
James Gray MP
(Conservative)
House of Commons, LONDON,
SW1A 0AA
 James Gray MP

0207 2196237

Click here to email James Gray MP,
Click here to visit his website

If you have a matter you wish to raise with the Parish Council you are welcome to attend the meetings, where there is a public participation period to discuss items on the agenda.  If you are unable to attend then please write to the Parish Council c/o the Clerk.  Thank you.


NEWS
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.

Feasibility study
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 £4000.

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.

Village Mailing List
The Parish Council is introducing a village mailing list to communicate with parishioners, when using the noticeboards or newsletter would be too slow (e.g. we would have sent out an alert when the road through the village was shut after the telegraph pole caught fire). If you would be interested in signing up for these messages, please send your e-mail address to the Parish Clerk at ksmparishclerk@gmail.com. There will be no charge for this service, and you can opt out at any time!

Members' General Responsibilities and Representatives of Various Bodies/Committees:

• Community Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator – Cllr V Ingham
• Community Emergency Planning Coordinator – Cllr F Twisse
• Community Rights of Way Warden – Cllr V Ingham
• Community Highways & Flood Warden/Parish Steward – Cllr P Macdonald
• Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group – Cllr W Woodhead and Cllr W Roe
• Village Hall Committee Representative/s – Cllr S Woodhead
• QE2 Recreation Field Group Representative – Cllr G Gamble
• United Charities Representative – Cllr G Gamble
• Website Representative – Mr V A Vines
• Chippenham and Villages Community Area Board – Cllr A Hall
• Chippenham Local Highway and Footpath Group (LHFIG) – Cllr A Hall and
  Cllr F Twisse
• Wiltshire Council Operational Flood Group North – Cllr A Hall
• Chippenham Community Area Parish Forum – No formal appointment
• Tor Hill Footpath Project – Cllr G Gamble
• Chippenham Climate & Ecological Emergency Forum – Cllr F Twisse

The Parish Councillors as a whole are custodian trustees of the village hall.

For issues regarding rights of way please contact the Rights of Way Co-ordinator at County Hall. Tel. 01225 713038. The area Footpath Representative is Steve Leonard, tel. 01249 445554, e-mail stephen.leonard@wiltshire.gov.uk and the village's footpath representative is Frank Hughes, tel. 758863.

Tree warden: The village's tree warden is Mr Frank Hughes.


Planning Applications
On occasion there can be some confusion as to the parish council’s role concerning applications for planning permission. Firstly residents should be aware that all planning decisions are made by Wiltshire Council and not the parish council. Accordingly if you wish to comment on an application to those who decide it you must do so directly to Wiltshire Council within the specified time.

The parish council is a statutory consultee in the planning process and is sent all applications within the parish upon which it can comment. If you wish to bring your own views on a planning application to the attention of the parish council, prior to it considering the application at its meeting, these need to be sent to the Clerk to the council as soon as possible. The parish council has to keep to the same response times to Wiltshire Council as everyone else.

Residents should remember that they can also raise their comments on a particular application directly with their Wiltshire Councillor, Howard Greenman – again within those all important time limits. Time is very much the key to have your voice properly heard.

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 Panning 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: ksmparishclerk@gmail.com.


Parish Stewards (Lengthsmen)

The Parish Steward Scheme is operated by Wiltshire Council to carry out minor highways works. The steward will be making regular visits to the parish.

Among the works that can be undertaken are: rodding and cleaning small cuverts and manholes; hand cleaning road gullies; hedge trimming around road signs to maintain visibility; strimming of grass verges for visibility at road junctions; clearing overgrown vegetation, debris and leaves obstructing footways; and repairs to kerbs and small potholes.

Items for the steward’s attention can be raised through the clerk: ksmparishclerk@gmail.com.


Road Closures
To view all road works and related information, for Wiltshire, please visit
www.wiltshire.gov.uk/article/1260/Roadworks-and-related-information


Wiltshire Council Equipment Loan Scheme
Wiltshire Council lends parish councils litter picking equipment for parish events. This includes the following:

Litter pickers
Un-logoed high viz vests
Bag hoops
Pairs of rubber gloves
Pack of orange sacks (52 per pack)

The equipment can be collected from the local depot or be delivered to the event - this needs to be specified on request and the council needs to be notified in advance. If any village organisation wishes to make use of this in the future, please contact the parish council Clerk, Vivian Vines, e-mail: ksmparishclerk@gmail.com or telephone (01249) 657695.


Parish Council News
The council is often asked who is 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.  In June 2023 the parish council 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 75 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 - ksmparishclerk@gmail.com.


Wiltshire & Swindon Countryside Access Forum - Your Guide to Open Access
The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, the CRoW Act, created a new right to walk over areas of open countryside and registered common land. It came into effect in Wiltshire in December 2004.

Under the Countryside Rights of Way Act 2000, every local authority is required to set up a Local Access Forum in their area to improve access to the countryside for their residents and visitors. Wiltshire County Council and Swindon Borough Council have assembled a joint Forum. The Forum is a statutory body in their own right and their primary role is to advise on access provision to the countryside in its broadest sense. The Forum's website address is www.wiltshire.gov.uk/recreation-caf; this contains background information on the Forum, minutes from all meetings, details on access land parcels in Wiltshire, frequently asked questions and other topics; or telephone 01225 756178.