Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Melksham Town Hall

Contact: Linda Roberts,Town Clerk 

No. Item




Apologies were received from Councillor Sankey


Declarations of Interest

To receive any Declarations of Interest in respect of items on this agenda as required by the Code of Conduct adopted by the Council.


Members are reminded that, in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interest or other registrable interests which have not already been declared in the Council’s Register of Interests. Members may however, also decide, in the interests of clarity and transparency, to declare at this point in the meeting, any such disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared on the Register, as well as any other registrable or other interests.


No declarations of interest were made.



To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 4 November 2019.


The minutes of the meeting held on 4 November 2019, having previously been circulated,  were signed as a correct record by the Chair, Councillor Aves


Town Team/ Community Hub

To discuss the future of the proposal to secure premises for a community hub and to provide direction for the newly formed working group.


To receive a verbal report from the Economic Development Manager.


Members are reminded that they have budgeted £5,000 in the 2020/2021 budget for town team/community hub.


The Economic Development Manager presented a verbal report highlighting the need for a clear understanding of purpose and a properly costed business case for such a development.  Also the need for tenants or users to generate sufficient income for a hub to be sustainable.  Ideally this would include an anchor tenant or tenants who would pay commercial rents.


In the view of the Economic Development Manager, the budget available (£5000), was insufficient to establish a Community Hub.  In addition, an annual provision would need to be made in order to meet ongoing costs.


The report was received and the ensuing discussion concluded that the need, or otherwise, for such a facility should be established.  It should also be ensured that there was no negative impact on the businesses of existing community groups in the town who currently provide accommodation, or conflict with the provisions of the forthcoming Community Campus.  It was considered that the development of the Community Campus may still be some way off.


Councillor Westbrook advocated for advice organisations to be brought together under one roof.  The Town Mayor, Councillor Hubbard suggested that, when redeveloped, the Assembly Hall could become the Civic Centre and the Town Hall a meeting space and community resource.


It was proposed by the Deputy Town Mayor, Councillor Illman, seconded by Councillor Iles and


RESOLVED: that a working group should be established to investigate the need for and feasibility of developing a Community Hub, with the Economic Development Manager as lead officer.  Membership to be as follows:


Councillor Pat Aves

Councillor Hayley Illman

Councillor Geoff Mitcham

Councillor Martin Pain

Councillor Adrienne Westbrook



Community Expo Event 2020 and Motion re Volunteer Fair pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To discuss the 2020 event which will be held on 18 September 2020 and to consider whether the full motion appended to the agenda, and summarized below, should be held as a separate event or incorporated into the Community Expo.


‘To consider holding a Volunteer Fair to assist voluntary groups, charities, community interest groups and other community based non-profit organisations to recruit volunteers in their efforts to deliver their services and programmes.’



The rationale behind the event was discussed as well as outcomes from the 2019 Community Expo.


Voluntary organisations are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit volunteers.  There was broad agreement that this needs to be a key consideration for the 2020 event and the work to achieve community engagement with the town and its activities.  Also that the Community Engagement Manager, Wiltshire Council, and the media should be approached to promote the event and advocate for it.


Various ways to engage with the community were discussed.  A printed Welcome Pack would be relatively expensive to produce and would have the drawback that it would likely be out of date as soon  as it was printed.  A combination of a piece of print which signposts to an online directory was mooted, as was an online facility with an ability to ask questions of enquirers regarding leisure interests and then automatically producing a personalized flyer of activities and contacts.  It was agreed that the Town Council website needs to take a more active role in promoting events and community groups. 


Whichever solution to promote events, organisations and volunteering opportunities is employed, it was agreed not to include the advertising of trades, services and professions.  To do so would encroach on the work of the Melksham Independent News.


It was AGREED that the Community Expo and Volunteer Fair should operate as one event in 2020 and every opportunity should be taken to assist organisations to engage with audiences, promote events and recruit volunteers.


Event Management Plan pdf icon PDF 167 KB

To consider the draft generic event management plans and decide on the testing of one or other before bringing back to committee for final approval to implement.

Additional documents:


Two different models of an event management plan were discussed.  It was proposed by Councillor Pat Aves, seconded by Councillor Illman, and 


RESOLVED: that the second model (portrait version), which had been presented, should be adopted. 


Town benches survey and 800th Charter commemorative benches pdf icon PDF 777 KB

To consider the survey of the town’s benches prepared by a member of the grounds’ team and to decide on locations for the 800th Charter commemorative benches.


The survey report of the Town’s benches was considered.  Councillor Westbrook asked that the member of the grounds’ team who brought the report together, be thanked.


Various options for the locations for the locations of the 800th Charter commemorative benches were discussed.  The majority agreement was for all eight Charter Commemorative benches to be kept together and any displaced benches redeployed elsewhere in the town, as necessary.  It was suggested that a strategic plan for the repair, renewal and redeployment of benches in the town was needed.  The Town Clerk calculated from the report that only two benches in the town required renewal, currently.


The Town Mayor, Councillor Hubbard proposed that all eight Charter commemorative benches should be deployed on the pathway circuit in the King George V Park.  Each bench should have a small information board alongside it succinctly outlining a item of interest about the town, one interesting fact from each of the eight centuries of the 800th Charter.


It was proposed by Councillor Westbrook, seconded by Councillor Illman and 


RESOLVED: thatall eight Charter commemorative benches should be deployed on the pathway circuit in the King George V Park.  Each bench should have a small information board alongside it succinctly outlining an item of interest about the town, one interesting fact from each of the eight centuries of the 800th Charter.


Open Space and Green Infrastructure Survey

To make members aware of the forthcoming survey for completion and return by 13 March, which will underpin Wiltshire Council’s new Green Infrastructure Strategy and Open Space Strategy; the aim of which is to develop a more cohesive, integrated green infrastructure network.


Members were made aware of the forthcoming survey for completion and return by 13 March.


It was suggested that the draft Neighbourhood Plan will provide much useful, relevant information.  The relevant document from Place Studies should be obtained – a piece of work by Councillor Westbrook and Councillor Wiltshire.


Suggestions on buying equipment for shared use with community groups, were considered, and there was much demand for a chipper on a shared use basis.