Article for April Messenger

As I write this, the sun is shining, birds are singing, and Spring has definitely arrived. With the clocks going forward, and Easter fast approaching, it is wonderful to feel that the dark days are behind us, and it is time to celebrate new beginnings.

Of course, our joy at the arrival of Spring, and the feelings of hope it generates, has been tempered by the daily horror stories from the war in Ukraine. It is a desperate situation which is devastating millions of lives, but it has been heartening to see the outpouring of support and help being offered to refugees by so many ordinary people.

Whist we all might have hoped that Covid would be over by now, it seems that this is not the case, with numbers increasing nationally, and especially across the south west. Locally, I am sure we can all name several family/friends who have had it recently. Although most cases appear mild, this cannot be said for everyone, and, if like me, you are eligible for the Spring booster, please take up the offer. Just because it is no longer the lead news story does not mean it has gone away.

Last month you will have received your Council Tax Bill from Wiltshire Council, and may have noticed increases to most elements of the tax, but no increase to the precept for your Parish Council. (As previously reported, we have also frozen the rents for all of our Sports Clubs and Allotment Holders). Current economic forecasts may be bleak but we stand by that decision even though our costs may well increase unexpectedly. From April we will be in the final year of our 3 year contract with Id Verde so our Environment Team will be looking very closely at our contract, and amending it where necessary.

Finding somewhere for the youth to meet is still a top priority and whilst I cannot confirm details at this stage, some real progress is being made.

As always, your Parish Council aims to be totally transparent and members of the community are very welcome to come to any Full Council Meeting. We currently have two vacancies on the council and would particularly welcome anyone interested in joining the council to attend. Alternatively, please contact the Parish Clerk, Alison Kent, on 562014 for more information.

Sadly, this month we will be saying farewell to our Team Rector Rev Deb Larkey who is moving away. We wish her and her family well in their new pastures! Rev Mark Windsor will take on the role as Team Rector until the Diocese appoints a replacement, and I am sure we will all support him.

 Looking ahead, the Queens Platinum Jubilee, June 3rd – 5th is getting closer. Arrangements for the family fun day on June 3rd at Coopers Field are well underway. Mickey High and Carol Parsons are your contacts if you wish to join in or help on the day. Plans are also in place for the Sunday Tea being organised by Carol Parsons and the Carnival Team.

On a personal note, this is the last Parish Newsletter from me; my last meeting as Chairman of Pewsey Parish Council will be on April 12th. It has been a privilege to serve my community in this role for the past seven years, and as a councillor for several more years before that. I would like to thank all of my fellow Councillors who have supported me during this time.  I would also like to thank our clerk for making sure that everything we do is in line with all the necessary rules and regulations! Whoever takes on the Chair, I wish him or her every success in the role.

Support from our Unitary Councillors led by Cllr Jerry Kunkler, and from Dawn Wilson of PCAP has been much appreciated as has the support of all of our Sports Clubs and our Schools. I am extremely pleased that we have been able to help them all.  I would also like to pay tribute to Derek Bull, editor of The Messenger for all his help to me. He is standing down as editor in June and I wish him a very happy retirement.

 There are too many members of the community to mention them all individually, but my thanks to you all.  I hope you will still stop for a chat in the village, at the Tuesday market, down on the allotment, or anywhere else we might bump into each other!

Curly Haskell, Chairman Pewsey Parish Council.

The public can attend any Full Council meetings to raise any issues of importance. They are held on every 2nd Tuesday from 7.00pm.  Agendas, minutes, and dates of meetings can be found on our website.

We would like to remind you that you can report any Highways, street scene, or rights of way issues on the MyWiltshireApp.

http.//www.wiltshire.gov.uk/mywiltshire-online-reporting                                               

All enquiries to the Parish Clerk,  Tel: 01672 562014.  Email: the.clerk@pewsey-pc.gov.uk.