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Christmas message from Richard Wood, Chair, Melksham Without Parish Council

It’s always a good idea to look back at this time of year, and as usual quite a lot seems to have happened in the past year.

The Parish Council has completed the refurbishment of the play areas at Kestrel Court and Berryfield. We are now all set to take ownership of the Hornchurch Road play area early in the new year, and as soon as ground conditions permit, we will be able to complete the refurbishment of this play area as well.

2017 was an election year and the Parish grew smaller as newly-developed land east of Melksham and at Shurnhold was transferred to the Town. As a result of the elections we welcomed five new members, councillors Nick Holder, Kaylum House and Joanne Pattison (Bowerhill), Mary Pile (Beanacre, Shaw and Whitley) and Paul Taylor (Blackmore). I would also like to thank those councillors who stood down, for their service to the Parish, namely Rolf Brindle, Jan Chivers, Pat Nicol, Mike Sankey and Ian Tait

The Parish Council has continued to play a very active role in the Joint Neighbourhood Plan which we hope to complete in 2018. This will give us a significant voice to decision-making on local planning applications. The consultation on the 15 sites put forward by landowners continues on-line until the end of December at: www. surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MelkshamHousingSitesConsult

The Parish Council is also working closely with the Town Council on maintaining the public toilets by the Art House café, and on the provision of a SIDS (Speed Indication Device) at various sites in the Town, Parish and Atworth. We are also in the early stages of a joint project to develop the former George Ward playing fields for community use.

In 2018 we can all look forward to the opening of the new Wiltshire Air Ambulance HQ at Outmarsh. This has been an exciting, well-designed project which has been supported by all.

I would like to wish everyone in the whole Melksham area a very Merry Christmas and a happy and interesting New Year

Richard Wood

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