Regional Spatial Strategy and the next 20 years - Whence Wiltshire under the new government?
The new government isn't as keen on the "Regional Spatial Strategy" that so much effort went into putting together ... they may pass much responsibility back to the (Unitary) council. But then the Unitary council may not vary very much from the plans anyway.
Consultations on the Core strategy are now being written up into a draft report which will go our for further comment ... but now may be the time to add extra comments which relate to the new way forward for the new government, even though the Wiltshire team isn't yet into that second round. It may turn out that "draft report" is more like "report for final proofreading and small corrections".
The Core strategy IS to be an important document ... confirmation that many decisions are likely to be based on it, and that objections in 2017 to something it says will illicit the response "but it's been in there for 7 years - why are you objecting NOW?". When the plan talks of 2026, peoples eyes have misted over but - alas - it's about the period up to 2026 and that starts NOW!
Today, the Community Rail Partnership's Steering group met - and the above comments were something of an aside - the "minutes" of a very well informed discussion between our new MP, and a number of our members well versed in the core consultation from both "sides" if you can call them that. And I report it here - for the record, and so that I can alert some people I know to the usefulness of making further inputs. Certainly, further inputs to ensure that multimodal corridors - including private car, bus and train - are in place and linking TransWilts - would be advantageous. It is understood that extra housing proposals in the Chippenham area may have run into some issues, in terms of being unable to meet the RSS requirements on available land, and that as a result further employment in Chippenham, with housing to provide staff for it in Melksham, Trowbridge ... may be on the cards.
Walking around Melksham these last few days ... and you'll see work in progress and things moving forward again. I'm not sure if we're out of the recession here, having a respite, or if these things have always being going on at a lower level and I've not noticed.
Houses are being buit at East Melksham; available this summer, some are already reserved in the first batch with prices around a quarter of a million pounds each.
Melksham Community School is due to open in a few weeks time. The old school won't be demolished - at least for a couple of years - it will have an extended life as the offices for Wiltshire Council employees for the next 2 years.
Tired old offices on Spa Road have been refurbished, and a number of closed shops have been spruced up and reopened. Work has been proceeding on the new Countrywide, after which the old one will be demolished to make way for Asda.
Even where we fight for the smallest progress in spite of overwhelming support - on the trains - Melksham Station's information point is being replace by one which actually includes an INFORMATION screen. That's one of the top two "I would like" requests from passengers interviewed at the station (top answer, in classic "Family Fortunes" tones, is "More trains", which we're working on.)
Three extra road crossings have been constructed (like everything else pictured above - so new here that they're not in use) and new speed restrictions have been applied. Looking at a planning application notice today, I note that further speed limits have been applied for - it dropped from 60 to 40 outside our house a few weeks ago, and now there's an application in to drop it to 30.
We're now in 2010. And the Wilts and Berks Canal Trust are looking to build "The Melksham Link" with a tentative target of 2014. This one is earlier in the planning stage; the picture is of a meeting in the Assembly Hall last week which was shown the plans. To my (semi-tutored) eye, they look carefully drawn up and take the (natural) worries into account. The time targets are tight - but it would do wonders for the economy of Melksham to have this leg of canal up from Semington into the river, and it would do wonders for the economy of Wiltshire as a whole to extend the line, via the old Wilts and Berks for the most part, up via Swindon to Cricklade and Abingdon. (written 2010-05-22, updated 2010-05-26)
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articlesZ301 - Current Affairs 
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Alternative Vote (AV) - cutting the crap - (2011-04-25) 
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Redevelopment on the banks of the Avon in Melksham - (2011-02-25) 
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Melksham Area Board meeting of last week - (2010-08-04) 
Atworth Village Fete - on the Melksham Community Area Partnership stand - (2010-07-04) 
Random thoughts on Melksham Town Planning and development - (2010-03-08) 
East of Melksham - Building Work Starts - (2010-01-28) 
Summary of Wiltshire Core Strategy responses - (2010-01-13) 
The road show has been - where now? - (2009-11-27) 
Community Area Partnership - inaugural AGM - (2009-11-20) 
pre-Inaugural briefing - Melksham Community Area Partnership - (2009-07-15) 
Wiltshire - where everybody matters - (2009-04-13) 
Whatever next ... the joys of being an employer - (2009-04-01) 
One Cheer for Local Democracy - Asda in Melksham - (2009-01-11) 
Christmas Survivors - (2008-12-25) 
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A Strengthened City - (2005-07-14) 
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