Lib Dem Achievements – Bradford on Avon
In the local elections of May 2017, Liberal Democrat councillors were elected for the two Wiltshire Council seats in town (Jim Lynch and Sarah Gibson), and two of the 12 town council seats (Jim Lynch and Jennie Parker). In a by-election in June 2019, Sarah Gibson was also elected to the town council.
Since May 2017, the record of our three councillors includes:
Campaigning, with others, for the overwhelming ‘Yes’ vote in the Neighbourhood Plan referendum of Sept 2017. The Plan, initiated by, and drawn up under, the previous Lib Dem-led town council, protects the town from unwanted development up to 2026.
Initiating and launching the Men’s Shed project. From promoting the idea through our Focus newsletter, to organising a launch event, and applying for funding, Cllr Jennie Parker instigated and continued to support this, now flourishing, member-run project.
Achieving the installation of a new bus stop on Winsley Road to serve the Grove Leaze area.
Obtaining a bus shelter for users of the bus stop at the bottom of St Margaret’s Hill.
Supporting the boating community. Working with boaters, and others, Cllr Jim Lynch supported the launch of the ‘Floaty Boat’ Fund and through Wiltshire Council’s Travellers and Boaters Reference group enabled funding for Julian House to employ 2 part time workers for boaters and the travelling community across Wiltshire.
Promoting dementia awareness in the town through:
• Ensuring all town councillors completed dementia friendly training,
• As Chair of the local Dementia Action Alliance (DAA), Cllr Jennie Parker has also organised many dementia awareness sessions for residents, businesses and other organisations in the town and surrounding villages,
• Working with others in the local DAA, Cllr Jennie Parker supported the organisation of Dementia Awareness Week activities, liaising with staff at residential homes such as Wiltshire Heights.
As a result of the work of the DAA over the last few years, led by Cllr Jennie Parker, Bradford on Avon is now officially recognised by the Alzheimer’s Society for its work towards being dementia friendly and listed by them as a dementia friendly community.
Through their leadership of the Bradford on Avon Area board:
• Co-funded a new and improved programme of youth services in partnership with the town council.
• Organised Clean Air Day activities.
• Contributed to improved engagement across the area with other parishes especially through the work of the Community Area Transport Group (CATG)
• Developed the scope of Area Board meetings to champion and promote public discussion of matters of community interest. As Chair in 2017, Cllr Jim Lynch promoted cross party working including the rotation of the chair on a non-political basis, with enhanced status for stakeholder groups including the town council. He also initiated matched project-based funding with the town council and Colonel Llewellyn Palmer Trust.
Improving pedestrian safety through the work of the Community Area Transport Group (chaired by Cllr Sarah Gibson), and liaising with Wiltshire Council, including:
• Improving disabled access between Poulton and Southway Park,
• Securing the agreement of Wiltshire Council to design and fund a scheme to improve the junction at the entrance to the station car park to improve pedestrian safety. Implementation delayed due to Covid 19.
• Repairs to the pavement along Belcombe Road.
• New signs to stop HGVs driving on Newtown
• Installation of ‘Metro count’ speed monitors on Belcombe Road and Woolley St
• Supporting the implementation of pedestrian crossings campaigned for by local schools and pedestrian safety groups.
• Requesting Wiltshire Council resurface the footpath, known as 'The Snicket' between Rickfield and Belcombe Road, and to price the cost of installing a handrail possibly for provision by the town council.
Exploring the potential to enhance the station car park/health centre site.
As Wiltshire councillors, Sarah Gibson and Jim Lynch initiated and facilitated negotiations on community asset transfers and arising from this Wiltshire Council agreed to seek funding to explore the development of the site as an area of opportunity as stated in the Neighbourhood Plan. In 2018 Sarah Gibson’s Bath Uni MSc students’ design ideas were exhibited in St Margaret’s Hall. In 2020 Wiltshire Council secured £85,000 government funding to investigate how the site can be developed to improve community facilities there and provide community led housing in the town while retaining parking.
As part of the Lib Dem group on Wiltshire Council (the main opposition on the Conservative-run council), Cllr Sarah Gibson successfully proposed a motion in March 2019, to ensure the council would welcome a target of ten at risk refugee children a year and work to develop the network of foster parents need.
Supported the Lib Dem motion, passed by Wiltshire Council, to declare a Climate Emergency in February 2019. Sarah Gibson is an active member of the Wiltshire Council Climate task group, the work of which has contributed to the climate change and biodiversity paper in the emerging Local Plan.
Backed the town council’s declaration of a climate and an ecological emergency in March 2019 and supported initiatives for our town to play its part in combating these global crises.
Being accessible to residents with work on many items of casework for individuals ranging from concerns with planning applications, noise, neighbourhood disputes, paving issues, repairs needed at playgrounds, parking and more, as well as being a ‘friendly face’ addressing issues of personal welfare. The benefit of being Wiltshire as well as town councillors has meant being able to put local people in contact with right departments and officers at Wiltshire Council.
Supporting businesses and older and vulnerable residents during the pandemic.
Working with others to implement the social distancing measures for pedestrian safety during the pandemic.
Consulting with residents in the Southville Road area concerning the problems with parking that affect pedestrians, disability vehicles and drivers in the locality. An application has been submitted to Wiltshire Council to look at the splays at the ends of some of the roads on the estate where parking is making it dangerous for drivers exiting the road.
Liaising with the Green Spaces officer on improving pathways through The Strips to improve access for older people walking to the town centre. To be addressed when Wiltshire Council hands the woods over to the town.
Maintaining regular contact with residents throughout the four-year term through our Focus leaflet delivered door to door 3-4 times yearly and our Facebook pages.
For details of the work of Cllr Trevor Carbin (Holt and Staverton), please click here.