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Melksham - two small townships, or one big one?

How big is Melksham?

• There at around 6,500 homes in Melksham Town
• Each has an average electortate of 1.8, so that's 11,700 people
• Add in around 3,300 childrne and you have a population of 15,000
• And let's take a guess at how many non-voters ... round it to around 16,000

But hang on a minute - walk out of the town on Spa Road and when you cross the inconspicuouse little bridge over the brook, you're out of "Melksham" but you're still in the town. And something similar applied is you head out towards Sandridge - a little way into the new housing, with no visible boundary, you leave Melksham Town. Let's call it "Greater Melksham" that you're in - a combination of the town parish, and "Melksham Without" Parish. For the most part, there are close links / very close links between the residents / residences of Melksham Without and Melksham town.

• There at around 10,000 homes in Melksham as a whole
• Each has an average electortate of 1.8, so that's 18,000 people
• Add in around 5,000 childrne and you have a population of 23,000
• And let's take a guess at how many non-voters ... round it to around 24,000

Does it matter how big Melksham is?

Yes - investment and services by unitary and central government is guided by the size of the town, and the Wilshire mantra on "Salisbury, Chippenham, Trowbridge" would be ""Salisbury, Chippenham, Trowbridge, Melkham ..." taking Melksham as a whole, not just Melksham Town. Of course, people tend to see investment in other towns rather than theirs as a slap in the face, and queirly ignore it in theirs, but look at things like hospitals (there are minor injury units in Chippenham and Trowbridge, but not Melksham), train services (2 an hour each way at Chippenham and Trowbridge, one every 2 hours each way at Melksham), Colleged beyond secondary school in Chippenham and Trowbridge but not in Melksham, and you see evidence of Melksham being underprovided in health, transport and education. We come behind smaller urban areas which are single parishes - I'm thinking of Warminster, Devizes, Amesbury ...

Melksham Town council, looking after the town centre, charges its council tax payers to look after the town. And that's a payment they make for facilities that are used by everyone including those who live in greater Melksham but now Melksham Town. If the town were to take over car parking an toilets, the situation would be all the more ironic as the facilities would be most used by those people further out - the inner once who pay for the faciities going to the loo at home or walking.

And it does strike me as rather silly that we have two councils in offices a short distance from each other, with so much n common discussing stuff and writing back and forth to one another.

Of course, were the councils to merge, it would not all be plain sailing. The subject's up for discussion at the moment, with a consultation held at the Assembly Hall last night. A turgid presentation from the head table, lead by a Wiltshire councillor from outside the area - professional enough, but very much going through the motions as I think he has been all across the county where proposals are up for discussion.

There are geunuine fears of some elements of a merger - the consuming of village or quasi- village life into the town, the lack of attention to rural or residential (as opposed to town centre) issues, the potential reduction in representation, and the loss of honorary offices for elected local councillors and work for a handful of employees. Personally, I suspect that natural wastage is all that's needed for much of this.

More seriously, the Wiltshire Councillor who spoke said that the council couldn't predict what the rates precept would be for the fuitre and wouldn't offer any thoughts as to the representation areas / numbers of councillors for each if it went ahead. This last is especially worrying - it means that we're being asked to make inputs and choices based on the current setup, or an alternatve which Witshire Council have specifically decide to leave very fuzzy at this stage. The final decision is made by a full council meeting on 24th November, where the future of Melksham is decided upon by the votes of the 98 Wiltshire Councillors, representing places such as Salisbury, Malmesbury, Cricklade, Trowbridge, Urchfont, Mere ... based on the advise of the meeting's head table group and a very shallow local knoweldge. Of the six Wiltshire Councillors who actually represent the areas about which the discussions were being held, only one actually turned up to listen to what people had to say.
(written 2015-10-22)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Z300 - Politics and Religion
  [4737] Why you should vote for Lisa in Melksham Central - (2017-05-01)
  [4735] Revisiting - should I stand for Melksham Without Parish Council in May? - (2017-02-24)
  [4734] Thoughts on the new Blackmore Ward of Melksham Without Parish - (2017-02-22)
  [4729] The oldest part of Los Angeles - (2016-11-23)
  [4725] Writing Python 2 such that Python 3 is easy - (2016-11-06)
  [4720] Celebrating our diversity rather than discriminating for it - (2016-11-02)
  [4625] Where does Wiltshire bus subsidy money come from? - (2016-01-19)
  [4614] PC Plod - alive and scaremongering in Wiltshire? - (2016-01-04)
  [4597] Not standing as your local councillor - (2015-12-18)
  [4489] Election results - what if we had a party list system? - (2015-05-08)
  [4485] Misusing statistics? - the seedy side of election campaigning - (2015-05-04)
  [4476] Upcoming election - Chippenham Constituency - the major candidates compared - (2015-04-29)
  [4354] Wiltshire Police - assuming someone is guilty just on the say-so of a member of the public? - (2014-12-16)
  [4343] Politics and the railway the connects Wiltshire - (2014-12-06)
  [4286] Reaction in Radstock to new First bus prices - (2014-07-12)
  [4275] Eurpoean Elections, and other elections ahead. Some thoughts on campaigns and policies - (2014-05-08)
  [4223] Democracy - alive and well with the beauty pagent starting up again - (2013-12-16)
  [4079] Melksham Area - Unitary Council results, May 2013 - (2013-05-04)
  [3921] On rememberance, on war, and on preventing the war cycle - (2012-11-11)
  [3905] How should we choose our Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner? - (2012-10-27)
  [3845] Good cause giving - getting the charity beggars off the street - (2012-08-21)
  [3806] 2011 Census results - initial figures for Wiltshire. - (2012-07-17)
  [3676] Rising prices, changing habits and society - (2012-03-31)
  [3592] Are we one man, one vote? No, and we never have been. - (2012-01-26)
  [3438] Melksham to become a part of Trowbridge? - (2011-09-13)
  [3325] The Olympic Torch, and Melksham House - (2011-06-14)
  [3323] Is Melksham town centre dying? - (2011-06-11)
  [3313] What does our MP do on a Bank Holiday? - (2011-05-30)
  [3264] Alternative Vote (AV) - explaining and an example - (2011-04-25)
  [3051] Positively reforming the system - could it be done? - (2010-11-14)
  [2971] Should the public sector compete with businesses? and other deep questions - (2010-09-26)
  [2948] Melksham shamefully makes the national headlines - (2010-09-07)
  [2870] Old prices - what would the equivalent price have been in 1966? - (2010-07-14)
  [2864] Changing with weather and seasons - (2010-07-10)
  [2856] Two sides of the coin - (2010-07-06)
  [2824] A pint of Black Rat, and a lazy barman - (2010-06-25)
  [2792] Should Government compete with private industry? - (2010-06-03)
  [2757] Bodicea, Lincoln, and our new MP - (2010-05-09)
  [2752] Voting day - UK General Election - (2010-05-06)
  [2740] Melksham Hustings at George Ward School - (2010-04-26)
  [2712] A more informed decision than ever before - (2010-04-08)
  [2689] Can my dog eat potatoes? Doggie Dietary Research, and political sleaze! - (2010-03-23)
  [2640] How is your tax pound spent? - (2010-02-18)
  [2353] All change - Wiltshire Parliamentary - (2009-08-13)
  [2288] Wiltshire Community Area Partnerships - (2009-07-15)
  [2279] Understanding the new local government structure in Wiltshire - (2009-07-11)
  [2270] Wiltshire - a chance to improve life for everybody - (2009-07-05)
  [2257] Ramblings on church and state linkage in Melksham - (2009-06-25)
  [2206] Spot the odd one out - (2009-05-29)
  [2178] Melksham Candidates for Wiltshire Unitary Election - (2009-05-12)
  [2075] Supporting Parkinsons and Trains - (2009-03-11)
  [2028] Things people say on the phone - (2009-02-06)
  [2012] The Wiltshire Police - (2009-01-29)
  [1987] One Cheer for Local Democracy - Asda in Melksham - (2009-01-11)
  [1882] Wiltshire Council says - part 2 - (2008-11-14)
  [1881] Wiltshire Council says - part 1 - (2008-11-13)
  [1872] Barack Obama wins US Predidency - (2008-11-05)
  [1769] July child ponders on August children - (2008-08-23)
  [1729] Back from the future - (2008-07-30)
  [1579] Rome, and the faith of Rome - (2008-03-17)
  [1573] Budget tax increases hit vehicle market - (2008-03-14)
  [1526] Carers at work - court case changes - (2008-02-01)
  [1428] Travel Across Wiltshire - the game - (2007-11-11)
  [1386] New software product for warmblooded programmers - (2007-10-10)
  [1350] FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) Western Region - (2007-09-13)
  [1260] An inspirational business talk from one of our prospective MPs - (2007-07-06)
  [1247] An afternoon at a public enquiry - (2007-06-27)
  [1175] Local elections - choosing who to vote for - (2007-05-03)
  [1135] Government pressure on me to shut up after I make the papers - (2007-04-05)
  [1109] False imprisonment - a contrast from the news - (2007-03-15)
  [1060] What a relief from the tax office. - (2007-02-01)
  [1003] Room at the Inn, Guy at the station - (2006-12-21)
  [967] Realistic on line shoot'em up - (2006-12-05)
  [875] Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones - (2006-09-22)
  [780] Separation and Integration - (2006-06-27)
  [750] Almost everyone loses - (2006-06-07)
  [696] Is than an uphill or downhill task? - (2006-04-23)
  [682] Iran has enriched uranium ... - (2006-04-12)
  [674] Wiltshire to get an extra MP - (2006-04-07)
  [671] Both ends of the animal - (2006-04-05)
  [607] On being British - (2006-02-14)
  [602] MP face to face - (2006-02-12)
  [539] rich and famous - (2005-12-23)
  [505] Would you steal ... petrol? ... a training course? - (2005-11-26)
  [469] Yesterday was Kiss and Ride - (2005-10-19)
  [415] Campaign Drift and efficiency. - (2005-08-15)
  [384] Managing conflict and disappointment - (2005-07-20)
  [377] A Strengthened City - (2005-07-14)
  [335] Sad priorities - (2005-06-03)
  [326] UK Tax payment totals and where the money is spent - (2005-05-27)
  [313] Making bona fide international marriages more difficult - (2005-05-16)
  [301] General Election day, UK - (2005-05-05)
  [289] MP for Devizes, Wiltshire - (2005-04-23)
  [280] Spotted - the local MP - (2005-04-15)
  [257] Politics gets nasty. Must be an election coming up. - (2005-03-25)
  [216] Cheap purchase - votes paid for with selfish promises - (2005-02-15)

Z403 - Organisations
  [4039] Seed Swap at Well House Manor - (2013-03-10)
  [4020] Melksham Community - Annual Report / MCAP - (2013-02-26)
  [3774] Melksham - a new dawn - (2012-06-23)
  [3712] Some unpublished and historic pictures - Museum of Melksham - (2012-04-28)
  [3704] The Bowerhill Villager - a newsletter for Bowerhill, Melksham - (2012-04-22)
  [3677] Some advise for guest speakers at meetings - (2012-03-31)
  [3604] Melksham Campus - a blog you can read, and a place you can comment - (2012-02-08)
  [3511] Melksham has a heart - have your picture taken and support the defibrillator appeal - (2011-11-06)
  [3484] A Melksham Timeline - Domesday to present day - (2011-10-17)
  [3317] Self Portrait (in words) - (2011-06-04)
  [2902] Community consultation - a true open input - (2010-08-04)
  [2869] Contact Information for Melksham Oak Community School - (2010-07-13)
  [2807] Canal through Melksham - the options and issues - (2010-06-13)
  [2585] Consultation in Melksham, on Melkshams future - (2010-01-17)
  [2574] Summary of Wiltshire Core Strategy responses - (2010-01-13)
  [2271] Dogs Trust, Dog Show, Newbury - (2009-07-06)
  [2236] Alumni - revisiting and supporting the old University - (2009-06-13)
  [2128] Wiltshire - where everybody matters - (2009-04-13)
  [2026] Melksham Climate Friendly Group - (2009-02-05)
  [2015] Service Excellence Awards - (2009-01-30)
  [1280] West Wilts - no longer Wet Wilts - show - (2007-07-28)
  [1278] West Wilts Show - (2007-07-26)
  [1258] A day looking ahead for Well House Consultants - (2007-07-05)
  [981] Finalist reception - Wiltshire Business of the Year - (2006-12-13)
  [472] Are you free on 29th October - Charity ball - (2005-10-21)
  [307] Farming yesterday - (2005-05-10)
  [58] Call Centres, selling, and a pause for thought - (2004-09-22)


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Scenario outlines - tables of values to test - in Gherkin / Cucumber
Testing your new class - first steps with cucumber
Build up classes into applications sharing data types in Ruby
Clarrissa-Marybelle - too long to really fit?
Melksham - two small townships, or one big one?
RUH Hopper - experience and thoughts forward
Is the RUH hopper a limited, duplicate service running unnecessarily and at high cost?
Method, Class, Module, Package - how to they relate in Python?
RSpec - Ruby testing (stand alone example / no cucumber)
Saturday morning at Well House Manor
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