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Berwick St James Village Meeting

Next Village meeting - 14th Jan 2016 at 7pm

Reading Room - All Welcome

















































































































































Minutes of Berwick St. James

Village Meeting

Thursday, 1st October, 2015.


In attendance: Neil MacDougall (Chairman)

                           Olivia Marchant (Deputy Chair)

                           Bill Hiscocks (Treasurer)

                           Helen Riding (Parish Clerk)

Guests:  PC Ivor Noyce

Total in attendance:  386

Introduction – Chairman

The Chairman opened the meeting and welcomed everyone.  There are a number of new residents – Tom Mulvee and Jo Rackham, Stuart and Sarah Larter, and Brigadier (Retd) Greville and Gillian Bibby[O1]  who should be moving in next week.  All were welcomed into the Berwick St James community.  A special welcome was extended to PC Ivor Noyce.

Apologies For Absence

Apologies were received from Chris Lange, Ian Gibb, James Hardy, Stephen & Ailsa Bush, Veronica Sumner and Gabrielle Smith.  Cllr Ian West is at an Amesbury Board meeting and unable to attend our meeting.

Minutes of Last Meeting and Matters Arising

a.     Bill Hiscocks and Sarah Humphreys are looking into the possibility of cheaper insurance for the Reading Room. It may be possible that by combining with the village insurance (but paying the difference), the Reading Room will be able to secure significantly better rates than it currently pays.  Other options are being investigated as well.

b.     The informal session held on the defibrillator was well attended and successful.

c.      The mobile library service has been withdrawn. 

d.     Giant Hogweed is a rare plant not found in our area so is not a problem for the village.

The minutes were agreed as a true reflection of the last meeting.

Proposed: Diana Gifford-Meade.  Seconded: Gill Brasher.  All in favour.


Broadband update - Chairman

Many residents have experienced problems with broadband – extremely slow, no service etc.  Neil had a meeting with an Openreach Senior Project Manager to discuss the situation.  The issue of who owns the land adjacent to the DSLAM box was solved and permission has been gained from Michael Mertens to install the power source to the box.  It is now hoped that the work should be completed this year.  Superfast Broadband should be available through the various service providers, not only BT, and could possibly cost between £10 and £30 per month.

Open Gardens 2015 - Chairman

Neil thanked everyone for a really successful weekend.  There was a lot of hard work involved, particularly by the committee, and the village did well.

Bill presented the Finance figures:

Ticket sales                                   £2 730.00

Reading room art exhibition             91.79

Barbeque                                            317.38

Bar tent                                               246.98

Bottle stall                                          206.60

Cake stall                                            366.15

Tea tent                                              921.83

Duck race                                           145.00

Plant stall                                           765.00

Raffle                                                  400.00

Open Gardens Quiz                         181.00

           TOTAL                                £6 049.19

The distribution of the first £3 000, as agreed in March, was made to the Reading Room (£1 250.00), the Church (£1 250.00) and the Community Fund (£500.00). The Open Gardens committee proposes to donate another £500 to Wiltshire Air Ambulance.  No objections, all in favour.  The balance of £2,550 will be carried forward to next year.

Neil then listed the advantages of an Open Gardens event.  It made an excellent profit, mostly financed from outside sources.  It involved a high percentage of residents, was enjoyed by residents and visitors alike and Berwick looked at its best.  Aspects to consider for the future are that it took a lot of time and effort to set up; its success is highly dependent on the weather; it is best run over 2 days rather than 1; the ticket price; whether to include children's activities and finally whether to involve an outside charity from the start.

The question was then asked if those present would want an Open Gardens weekend next year and the answer was NO, but it was agreed that it could be held in the future.  25 of those present agreed that it should be held in 2017 and 1 agreed to 2018.  It was also requested that the date should not be on a Solstice weekend.

The theme and nature of any fundraising event for the village in 2016 will need to be decided at the next meeting in January 2016.  One idea raised was of a community event to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday, which would be self-financing and might raise additional useful funds.  However this would not primarily be a fundraising event, as the OG weekend had raised sufficient moneys to cover the basic contribution that will be needed next year by the Church and the Reading Room.

Neil also thanked Robin Richards for the use of his field as a car park during the Open Gardens weekend.

Village Playground - Chairman

The playground, in its current location, is rarely used.  Richard Brasher strims the grass regularly but not many children go there.  A suggestion has been made to create a more central playground in the grounds of The Boot Inn, an idea similar to one that Lou Whiting, a resident in the village a few years ago, had investigated without success.. Neil proposed that he would work with Giles and Cathy Dickinson, the present tenants of the Boot Inn, and Wadworth Brewery to have part of the waste ground attached to the pub converted into a playground that would be available for use by both children of clients using the pub and those living in the village.  Discussions were still very much at a preliminary stage, and costs of conversion of the land, provision and installation of equipment and insurance aspects had yet to be covered.  Ian Fisher explained that the present playground was originally made for children to have a place to play while parents played cricket.  It also had a grant from the Council so might not be good to move the equipment, which could be left in situ. 

Neil will continue to investigate all aspects of the idea.

Village Diary – Nicky Street

Friday 16th Oct          Harvest Supper - replies to Jane Rowe.

Thurs 22nd Oct          Film Night: Kingsmen- the Secret Service  (Reading Room)

Friday 30th Oct          Wine and Sausage night at the Boot Inn

Thurs 19th Nov          Film Night: Gigi (Reading Room)

Sat 5th Dec                 Christmas Coffee morning (Reading Room)

Local Highways – Chairman

The contract between the Council and Balfour Beatty to maintain Wiltshire roads has been cancelled.  It is now down to the Council to maintain them, but we have to phone and ask for anything we want done.  We all need to be observant and inform Neil if we see anything that needs to be done.  This includes the drains. If residents see straw and leaves blocking the drains and are able to clear the grates easily themselves, that would help.

The Duck Street sign has been stolen.  It is on a list with the Council to be replaced.

Neil has spoken to the organiser of the Audi event held in Winterbourne Stoke as there were a lot of speeders through the village that day, many going in excess of 50mph.


Speedwatch – Carolyn MacDougall

45 sessions have been held to date in 2015.  2421 cars have been through the village during these sessions, of which 197 vehicles were travelling at 36mph or more.

There is 1 new volunteer to the program, Ian Gibb, and any other volunteers would be most welcome.  Carolyn thanked PC Ivor Noyce for his support and attendance at some of the speedwatch sessions.


Neighbourhood Watch – Chairman

There was a theft of oil from the Guides Centre recently.  Mike Doggrell had noticed 2 men acting suspiciously near the centre during the day and the feed pipe from the oil tank was cut that night.  John Stephenson had also noticed a similar car coming up his drive on the same day and occupants behaving strangely.  The police were notified and the car's registration number obtained from John’s security camera footage.  The driver has been traced.  The moral is that we need to be aware at all times – if we see something that isn't right, call Neil or 101, or 999 if you believe a crime is being committed, but don't just leave it. 


Any Other Business

PC Noyce will get the date of the next Audi event to be held in Winterbourne Stoke and come to Berwick with his speedgun.


The date of the next meeting is to be confirmed but provisionally will be on 14th January 2016.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:17pm.




Neil MacDougall

Chairman Berwick Parish Meetings

 [O1]Neil to chk spelling – some in audience muttered Bibby..




Minutes of Berwick St. James

Village Meeting

Thursday, 19th March, 2015


In attendance: Neil MacDougall (Chairman)

                           Olivia Marchant (Deputy Chair)

                           Bill Hiscocks (Treasurer)

                           Helen Riding (Parish Clerk)

Total in attendance:  33

Summary of issues discussed and decisions made                                                












Introduction and Apologies For Absence – Chairman

The Chairman opened the meeting at 7pm.  He extended apologies from Cllr Ian West who unexpectedly was no longer able to attend. 


Apologies for absence

Received from Toby & Sarah Humphreys, Chris & Anika Lange, Lyanne Street, Robin Richards, Ian Gibb, John Coleman, Sally Hiscock, Jane Lock-Smith, Marie Perry, Barbara Last, James Hardy, Ian Fisher still in hospital, Gabrielle Smith, Jean Hibberd.


Minutes of Last Meeting and Matters Arising

a.     Chris Brain should be finished repairing the bus shelter by the end of the month.

b.     The BT green box is repaired.  The second box is a "DSLAM" box for superfast broadband.  The box has been installed but the cabling goes under the road and that hasn't been completed yet.  This is supposed to be imminent.

c.      One correction to the minutes was made and agreed.  Stephen Bush said he was happy with the correction.

The minutes were agreed as a correct record of the last meeting.

Proposed: Stephen Bush   Seconded: Olivia Marchant


















Council and A303 Update – Chairman on Ian West's behalf.

A303: Ian wanted the residents to know that the request for a huge roundabout, about 1 mile in diameter, around Stonehenge has been turned down by Wiltshire Council.


Village Emergency Planning Team

Wiltshire Council has asked all villages for an emergency plan.  Charlie Street (Community Emergency Volunteer), Sally Hiscock (medical), Chris Lange (police), Ian Gibb (military), James Hardy (Flood Warden), Ian Rennie from Winterbourne Stoke (Fire) and Neil MacDougall make up the committee to draw up the plan.  They will keep the plan up to date and have a list of residents' phone numbers in case of emergency.



























































































































Village Open Gardens Presentation

Debbie White from Witchampton was present to give us an idea of what they do for their Open Gardens day.  She said that our advertising and publicity have been much more extensive than theirs and to expect large numbers as a result.  Parking and the safety of pedestrians must be considered, given the layout of the village.


The committee organising the Open Gardens weekend is:

Carolyn MacDougall – Publicity and Advertising

Keith Lovett – BBQ and Pimms stand

Gill Brasher – Cakes and Tea

Olivia Marchant – Gardens Co-ordinator

Ian Gibb  – Logistics

Bill Hiscocks – Finance, Insurance and Tickets

James Hardy – Duck Race

Nicky Street – Events in the Reading Room

Neil MacDougall - Overall event organiser


Eleven gardens will be open that weekend. Robin Richard's field will be the main car park and will be able to take approximately 200 cars.  Any overflow will go into the Humphrey's field.  There will also be a car park at the north end of the village around the Druid’s Lodge barns.  This would hold about 40-50 cars.

Predicting numbers is very hard, but there could be as many as 2,000 people attending the event.  Both car parks will have attendants.  There will be a ticket booth at the main car park and mid-village.  People will be given a map with information on the reverse when they buy a ticket.

The question was raised – why not move the ticket booth in mid-village to the north end car park?  The committee will consider all suggestions, including whether or not each OG has a few tickets as well. There is also the question of tearing off a portion of each ticket, which could prove awkward.

There will be a Bottle stall, a Raffle stall with great prizes, and a Plant stall.  The  Duck Race will be on the Sunday morning.

The question was asked whether a licence would be needed to sell alcohol at the bottle stall but as it will be conducted in the form of a raffle, this circumvents the need for a licence.

Carolyn: The target audience for the Open Garden weekend is different to that for the fete.  With this in mind, the Wiltshire Post, South Wiltshire Magazine, Salisbury Journal and 5 other publications have been approached to put articles in their magazines.  There will be an announcement in the Parish magazine nearer the time.  There is a lot of information on the Village Website.  Posters have been designed and will be printed by Jane Lock-Smith, free of charge.  Tickets will go on sale at the end of April.  Ken Woodford will help with boards for the notices.  There will be notices at both ends of Berwick and, nearer the time, possibly a scarecrow with a sign placed on the bench at the bus stop. 

Bill: The village has an existing insurance policy for the Council members.  There will be no extra cost in order to be covered for public liability during the Open Garden weekend.  The insurers only require some extra paperwork from Bill.  Risk assessments have been carried out on each of the gardens to be opened; which will be retained for village use only.  A disclaimer will be put on the back of the tickets and the wording is being cleared by a lawyer.


Bill will be happy to pre-sell tickets and keep a record of who takes bundles of tickets to sell.  Richard Brasher will look after ticket sales on the day.  The location of sale points was discussed and will be finalised by the O.G. committee.

A proposal was made to distribute the first £3000 raised and to hold back any further funds raised.  24 voted in favour – motion carried.

Keith: The BBQ will be in the area next to the Farm Shop.  There will be sausages and burgers on sale.  Charlie Street will help on the day.  The beer tent will be run by the Pub.

Olivia: Descriptions (for publicity purposes) have been written of all the gardens and risk assessments undertaken. No owners have problems so far but will need plenty of assistance on the day.  Olivia would also be grateful for donations of plants for the plant stall.  Robert Drake needs greenhouse space for his hanging baskets for up to a month before the event.

Gill: Gill proposes to do tea and soft drinks, unless the BBQ stall will have soft drinks (only need 1 stall to sell them).  Donations of cakes to serve and to sell will be much appreciated. Rectangular tray bakes are easy to cut and serve but ANY and all cakes, sweet and savoury, will be welcomed.  Could they please be delivered, covered, to Gill at Springside on Saturday and Sunday mornings.  Gill will make aprons for all the stalls.  There are 8 volunteers to help with the stall but Gill would be happy to have more.

Ian:   There are requests for 7 gazebos so far.  If anyone has any that could be borrowed, please let Ian know.  The hiring of Portaloos is being investigated.  These could be costly but will be necessary if numbers are high.

Nicky:  There will be an Art and Photo exhibition in the Reading Room, with items both for viewing and for sale.  There are also several authors who will be present during the weekend, including Barbara Last, Claire Whatley, Olivia Marchant and Nigel Rodgers.  Nicky would also like to have a section of children's art so please ask any budding artists if their work could be displayed.  They would also like to sell postcards and notelets.  Nicky asked for any pictures of Berwick and the surrounding area, digital and in high resolution, to be sent to Anika Lange ( by Easter Monday 6th April.  The Reading Room will cover the costs to have them printed.  The profits of any sold during the Open Garden weekend will be given to the village.  Any cards and notelets remaining will be sold later on behalf of the Reading Room.

General discussion: Michael Mertens has not yet decided whether or not the path through the field on the opposite side of the river to the village will be open.

Jane Campbell-Johnson wanted it to be made clear that parents are responsible for their children when visiting the gardens, especially since several have long stretches of unfenced river frontage.


Reviews and Updates

a.                Village Diary – Nicky Street

The next film at the Reading Room will be Belle on Thursday 26th March.

There will be a coffee morning at the Berwick Farm Shop on 19th April.

The Annual Church meeting is in the church at 7pm on 21st April.

The Reading Room AGM will be on 12th May (provisional date).

The team organising the film evenings will probably have a poll in the summer to select films for the next season.  The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything have already been suggested.


Special thanks were extended to Nigel Rodgers for his talk on Trees. It was suggested that Nigel lead a walk to show us where the trees can be found.

Thanks were also extended to the team organising the film evenings.

b.                Village Website - Chairman

The village needs a volunteer to keep the village website up to date.  A suggestion was made to outsource the work and pay for it to be done.  Another

suggestion was to look at what methods other villages use and possibly do something similar, and finally that a general email should be put out to everyone in Berwick asking for a volunteer to update and then maintain the site.


Any Other Business

Charlie Street said the grass margins around his fields are for wildlife and NOT for the public to walk on.  He can be inspected by DEFRA with minimal notice and heavily fined if there is evidence of misuse of the margins.  Charlie would expect the culprit(s) to pay the fine.  He asks that we please keep off the margins.




























































The Chairman said that the next meeting is the village AGM.  At this meeting the committee members are voted in.  He asked for any nominations to any of the positions to be handed to him by 1 May.  The AGM will be on 14th May.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:15pm.





Neil MacDougall

Chairman Berwick Parish Meetings










Berwick St James

Village Meeting – 17th Jan ‘13


The next village meeting will be held on Thursday 17th January 2013 in the Reading Room at 7 o’clock PM.


I apologise that we have had to set a date for the next meeting only some six weeks after the last one.  However, Wiltshire Council require us to set the Precept for 2013 / 2014 by 21st January, and as a village we need to decide the amount we require.  Apart from updates on several of the activities currently running and planned for the next year, there are also two or three other financial matters to debate and resolve.  It is hoped that the meeting will be significantly shorter than the last one.


Agenda items should be submitted to the Village Secretary, Mrs Emma Smith at The Lodge Cottage, no later than two weeks before the meeting. Telephone no is 792849 and email is



Neil MacDougall                                                                           

Chairman Berwick Parish Meetings                                                





Berwick St James

Village Meeting


The next village meeting will be held on Wednesday 5th December in the Reading Room at 7 o’clock PM.

The meeting will be run along similar lines to the last, starting with a 15 min presentation on Neighbourhood Watch.  This will be given by PC Mark Steele, who produces the amusing monthly bulletins, and PCSO Wendy Leat who was at our last Village Meeting. As usual, it is intended to keep the rest of meeting fairly short, and finish by 8:30pm at the latest.  Finally, there will be a glass or two of wine available at the end. 

Agenda items should be submitted to the Village Secretary, Mrs Emma Smith at The Lodge Cottage, no later than two weeks before the meeting. Telephone no is 792849 and email is

Neil MacDougall

Chairman Berwick Parish Meetings





Annual General Meeting

Wednesday 2nd May 2012 - 6PM - in the Reading Room


  1.  Apologies for absence
  2. Wiltshire Council Update - Ian West
  3. Notes of last meeting and matters arising
  4. Election of Officers for 2012/13
  5. Accounts - Tina Woodford
  6. Village Fund Motion - A payment of of £1200 to the Church and a payment to the Cricket Club for new gates
  7. Village Survey Update - Chris Lange
  8. Village Party to celebrate the Queens Diamond Jubilee - Rod Crossley
  9. Any Other Business

NB Anyone wishing to arrange an item should inform Richard Brasher with at least 48 hours notice


Notes of the Berwick St James Parish Thursday 12 January 2012  No 38

30 present including Chairman, Richard Brasher, Clerk, Jacqueline Webb and Treasurer, Tina Woodford.    Twelve apologies for absence

1. Wiltshire Council Update provided by Councillor Ian West

£952,000 of the £3,000,000 deposited by Wiltshire CC with the Landsbanki Bank has now been repaid.  The Council should retrieve 98% of monies deposited.

The Boundary Commission’s final recommendation to incorporate Berwick St James into a newly created Warminster and Shaftesbury Constituency has to be made by 1 October 2013.  Written representations about the changes will be published in Spring 2012 when constituents will have a further opportunity to comment on these submissions.

The A303 will be closed from 8pm to 6am between Winterbourne Stoke and Boscombe Down from 30 January until approx 23 March 2012.  Details on the notice board.

2.  Notes of last meeting and matters arising

Tina Woodford to make minor changes to Parish Meeting No 37 Notes.  Chris Lange to await results of Parish Survey to see if there is a demand for a First Aid Course before arranging one.

3.  Accounts provided by Treasurer, Tina Woodford

Balance currently £544.66.  Receipts include £750 Precept paid April 2011 which brought balance to £1537.19. Outgoings have been various insurances, WALC membership, auditors, donations to Reading Room and Parish Magazine and replacing playground gate.

As, this year, there will be no revenue producing fete, income is not likely to cover expenditure.  Mrs Woodford proposed that the precept be increased to at least £1250.  She will investigate the savings made by reducing the insurance cover for the bus stop and marquee to third party only.

4.  Village Community Fund

Chris Lange reported that there was currently £2787 in the account.  He also made two proposals - votes were taken after a wide ranging discussion homing in on the following points:-

Stephen Bush held up a chart showing the history of village fund raising and where the money goes.  The chart demonstrated that monies are available from the Precept for running costs of the Reading Room but not for the Church. He reported that without money from a village fete church expenditure would be more than income. He also told the meeting that the Church Architect predicted that over the next few years £73,000 would be needed to maintain its fabric.  He went on to propose that £1000 from the Community Fund be given to the church and a further £1000 to the Reading Room and that the Community Fund be capped at £500.  No vote could be taken as Chris Lange’s proposals (of which the meeting had due warning) would, if carried, make this suggestion invalid at this meeting.

Tina Woodford stated that auditing costs would not increase if the Community Fund was managed separately but alongside the Village Account.

Susan Grant stated that if the profits of the Fun Run were removed the Community Fund the would look less healthy and she, as a major subscriber to the event, wanted monies to go to the Fund not the Church. 

Chris Lange reported that the Community Fund had engendered enthusiasm and thus profits at recent events and both the Reading Room and the Church can benefit from the Fund’s success. 

Jacqueline Webb felt that the community benefited from having earmarked funds.  The fabric of the Church and Reading Room were areas of expenditure which could soak up funds for miscellaneous community projects.  

The point was made that it was useful to have a substantial nest egg which could be used for match funding. 

The question was posed as to why the only substantial drawing from the Community Fund had been £300 to refurbish the war memorial in the church.  The response was that the monies would have been used to move the children’s play ground.  However, plans were abandoned when no site could be found for the play area so money is still available for alternative projects to benefit villagers.   For example, money might be needed to top up the costs of the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations.

Neil MacDougall asked if donations to the Church and Reading Room were customarily promised before the profits of the fete were known.   Charles Street confirmed that they were not.

Chris Lange’s 1st Proposal was that the Community Fund should be kept in a separate account managed by Tina Woodford, Village Treasurer and be audited along with Parish monies.   This proposal was passed overwhelmingly.

The 2nd Proposal was that payments over £500 should be approved by the community at a Parish Meeting and that applicants for funds exceeding £500 should give warning of the request 10 days before a Meeting.  The proposal was passed 16 in favour, 5 against with 6 abstentions.

5.  Community Plan

The Committee has met a few times and the questionnaire is being trialled in certain homes.


6.  Planning Application for Stonehenge Campsite – update

The WCC Planning Committee has delayed a decision to the next meeting on 26 January 2012 to give time for some legal technicalities to be sorted out.

Neil MacDougall was assured by William Grant that the public path beside the campsite has now been cleared of the fence stakes which blew down in the gales. 

7.  The Reading Room

Ian Fisher stated that Wiltshire County Council have awarded £5000 towards improvements to the Reading Room.  A second grant has been applied for to make up any shortfall in capital costs.    The grants are for capital expenditure (including furniture and fittings) but not running expenses.  The building work is planned to start 23 January when the Reading Room will be closed for a month.  The refurbishments include building what is in effect a ‘inner room’ to hide the damp walls. 

Rod Crossley asked what the Reading Room is used for and how often. Ian responded that it is used for Parish Meetings and let out for private events.   After the refurbishments it is hoped that it will be used for film shows and ‘meet your neighbours’ evenings.  It also provides a service to the community by renting out its chairs and tables.

Due to the lack of a 2012 Village Fete Ian stated that to cover running costs he would like to request £750 from the Parish Account plus a £500 payment from the Community Fund.  The proposal for a £500 grant from the Community Fund was passed with 28 residents agreeing, one abstaining and none disagreeing. 

8.  The Village Precept

The Chairman stated that there was a clear shortfall in monies available for running expenses for the Church and Reading Room.  A solution could be to increase the Precept.  Tina Woodford, Treasurer proposed and Rod Crossley seconded that it be increased from £750 to £1250.  The motion was passed 19 for, 4 against with no abstentions.

9.  Jubilee Celebrations update provided by Nicky Street

There will be no charge for attending the Village Party.  The aim is for the event to be funded by a raffle, an auction of promises and a duck race.  The committee has applied for a £500 grant towards the cost of the celebrations. It will ask some residents to donate salads, puddings etc.  

There has been no decision yet as to whether children should be given Jubilee mugs.  The cost of hiring a marquee will be £350.  The committee will consider Lyanne Street’s suggestion of ringing the church bell.    Alistair Smith has offered to arrange a fishing trip to catch fish for the barbecue.


10.  Any other business

Mike Bucknell (who used to farm land in Berwick) has died.  Charles Street asked anyone who would like to go to the funeral to contact him and he would arrange for minibus if appropriate.

Richard Brasher reported that there had been further complaints about speeding and off-roading.  Chris Lange said it was not a pretty solution but roadside car parking reduces speed.   Complaints about speeding should be addressed to the Community Speed Watch Team.  Rod Crossley said that there was a fine line between appropriate parking and obstruction.  The maximum speed allowed between Stapleford and the Berwick is now 50 miles per hour though Diana Gifford Mead and Michael Weismuller felt the limit should be lower.   Cllr Ian West stated enforcement is the priority, the speed limit will not be reduced further. 

There are continuing concerns about the lack of water in the River Till.  Charles Street stated that  Wessex Water have finally acknowledged that they are partially responsible for low water levels in Wiltshire rivers and villagers need to complain about the problem to them.  He stated however that the water level in his bore hole is rising. 

Diana Gifford Mead is concerned about the state of the kissing gate at the top of the footpath leading out of Winterbourne Stoke.  The Council may take responsibility to maintain it if the Druids Lodge Estate gives them permission to do so.

Richard Brasher announced that he will be standing down as Chairman after the next AGM.  Neil MacDougall volunteered to take on the role for a maximum of two years if elected to the AGM in May.

Jacqueline Webb has had to resign as Clerk, Tina Woodford will take over until after the AGM when a volunteer wil be needed.



Thursday 12th January 2012, 6.30 in Reading Room


1.       Apologies for Absence

Jacky Webb

2.       Wiltshire Council - Update    

Cllr Ian West

3.       Notes of last meeting and matters arising


4.       Accounts

Tina Woodford

5.       Precept for 2012/13

Tina Woodford

6.       Village Fund

Chris Lange

7.       Community Plan

Chris Lange

8.       Planning Application for Stonehenge Campsite   – update


9.      Reading Room Application for grant from Village Fund and Wiltshire Council

Sarah Humphreys

10.               Village Party to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Nicky Street

11.                 Any other business




NB  Anyone wishing to raise an item should inform Jacky Webb at least 48 hours before the meeting




Monday, 14th November 2011, 6.30 in Reading Room


1.         Apologies for Absence          

2.         Wiltshire Council - Update       Cllr Ian West

3.         Notes of last meeting and matters arising         

4.         Accounts         Tina Woodford

5.         Precept for 2012/13    Tina Woodford

6.         Village Fund    Chris Lange

7.         Community Plan           Chris Lange

8.         Planning Application for Stonehenge Campsite

9.         Any other business      

NB  Anyone wishing to raise an item should inform Jacky Webb at least 48 hours before the meeting



At the village meeting which was held on 13th October a proposal was made for the way in which future vi;;age meeting official would appointed. Here is a copy of the document which was circulated for consideration at the next meeting in January 2012


As a result of what happened at the last village meeting, it is considered that some form of charter would be advisable for the election of the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary of the Village Meeting.

Ideally, as has happened for some considerable time, in a small village the positions mentioned above have been elected without opposition.  However a mechanism should exist whereby anybody who wishes to hold one of the positions should be able to put their name forward for possible election.

Other than for resignation, sudden ill health or death, once elected, a position would be held for 12 months with effect from May each year.

A suggested charter would be as follows:

  • By 1 March anyone wishing to stand in the place of the current incumbent of any of the positions would forward their name to the Village Secretary.
  • By 1 April the current incumbent of each of the posts would declare to the Village Meeting Secretary whether they wish to stand for re-election; in the event of no other members of the village offering their services they would also state whether they are prepared to continue in the office.
  • If on 2 April more than one person wishes to be considered for any of the positions, then a secret ballot would take place so as to ensure that everyone can feel free to vote the way they wish without concern of causing ill feeling to any of the candidates. It also ensures a genuine outcome. A Village Meeting would take place to agree the names of the people who would manage the voting process.
  • Members of the village unable to attend the election meeting in the Reading Room (in late April/May) but still wishing to cast a vote would be given the equivalent of a postal vote which would be managed by 2 people agreed in advance by the Village Meeting. These votes would be made prior to the village Meeting so that the decision can be announced at the Village Meeting after the votes have been cast and counted by the same 2 people that counted the postal votes.


Notes of the Berwick St James Parish Thursday 13 October 2011 No 36

23 present plus Chair, Richard Brasher and Clerk, Jacqueline Webb.   8 apologies for absence.

Notes of last meeting agreed - Matters Arising

Chris Lange’s has been unable to arrange a  first aid course but he will ask the St John’s Ambulance Association if they can provide one.


Village Treasurer, Tina Woodford reported the account to be £1249.87 in credit.  Chris Lange reported a credit balance of £2787.30 in the Community Fund.

Reading Room – feedback from Nicky Street and Sarah Humphreys

No news yet on the application for a £10,000 grant towards the cost of refurbishment.  Details of the proposed work to be given at the next meeting.           

Church – Report given by Stephen Bush                                                                      

Work on the church roof has started.  On the advice of the church architect and the roofer a decision had been taken to increase the height of the steps in the gutters to reduce the chance of water ingress into the church.  This work involves raising the roof a few inches and will cost a further £5000, but is within the monies raised by the roof appeal.  Additionally and not unsurprisingly on lifting the lead in the gutters rotten timbers have been found and are being rectified.  The aim is that the new roof will, hopefully, last 100 years with no problems.  Work should be completed by the end of November.

2012 Village Fete and Queen’s Jubilee

The overall consensus was that the village could not sustain a fete and jubilee celebrations.  The Queen’s Jubilee will be celebrated by a self funding event, free to all villagers, but there will be no fete next year.  Stephen Bush reminded the meeting that fete profits go to the Church and the Reading Room so both will lose out if the fete is not held.  He wanted a guarantee that the Church be paid £750 from village funds.  Sarah Humphreys stated that donations could not be assured any year because the financial success of the fete is uncertain.  Possible sources of funding to replace the shortfall were discussed.  Sarah Humphreys suggested that that the Precept should be increased and Gill Brasher proposed that the village apply for a WCC Jubilee Celebrations grant (though she feared that the village might find that it could not comply with the conditions of the grant).  Tina Woodford and Richard Brasher to investigate the precept option.  After discussion it was decided to delay any decision about payments to the church until the January village meeting.  Nicky Street, Sarah Humphreys, Gill Brasher, Ailsa Bush and Olivia Marchant will set up a Jubilee Celebrations Committee and bring some ideas about the event to the next meeting. It was agreed not to have a village Beacon to celebrate the Jubilee. 

Community Plan – report given by Chris Lange

A draft questionnaire designed to capture what all residents over 10 years of age want of the village has been devised.   Chris said that further work is needed to shorten the document and create a modified version for 10-18 years olds.  Diana Gifford Mead and others felt that residents had the option of making their views known at village meetings already.   Chris made the case that the views of those who did not attend meetings is of interest and assured the meeting there will be no financial outlay associated with the project.

Village Website – report given by Chris Lange

3 or 4 comments sent in each month and the website has many hits.  The Clerk to advertise village meetings on Website.

Procedure for Appointing Chairman and Officers

A decision was made to discuss the proposals in a handout distributed at this meeting at the next meeting. (See above)

Cricket Club – feedback by Rod Crossley

The cricket field gate has been locked because vandals have raced vehicles around the outfield.  Currently it is impossible to take pushchairs into the playground. Nicky Street proposed, and the meeting agreed, that the Community Fund pay for a pedestrian-only gate.  Chris Lange urged residents to report future incidents as ‘off roading’ is a treated as a priority matter by the Community Policing Team.

Duck Lane - feedback given by Rod Crossley

The surface has now been re-metalled.  Rod reminded residents that vehicles are not allowed past the first bridge unless they are visiting the houses along the lane.

Switchover to Digital TV

This should take place in June 2012.    Visit for more details.

Change of Constituency Boundaries 

A vote was taken which showed that residents were unhappy about proposals to move Berwick from the Salisbury to the Warminster constituency.  Richard Brasher tol write to the Boundary Commission reporting residents’ displeasure.

Any other business

Following recent theft of items from unsecured outhouses Ian Fisher recommended that residents fit their sheds with a screech alarm costing £6 and available for Salisbury Police HQ.


Notes of the Berwick St James Parish Meeting  12 May 2011  No. 35

31 present plus Chairman, Richard Brasher and Clerk, Jacqueline Webb.  2 apologies for absence.

Minutes of Last Meeting Agreed

Matters Arising

Chris Lange to book a date for a First Aid Course in the Reading Room.  Course free but £100 to be donated to the Air Ambulance Fund.

Planning application - Summerfields House and Stonehenge Campsite (S 2011/518/FULL)

Stephen Bush listed his objections to the plan citing inaccuracies in the application and further points mentioned in the first of the voting proposals below.  William and Susan Grant used maps to show the proposed location of the new house, stables, office block and driveway.  They stated that the perceived inaccuracies in the planning application were matters of opinion, not fact and put forward their stand point why the demolition of the Dutch barn, a shed and the existing bungalow had to be delayed. The following proposals were voted on:

The location of the access should be as in the plan agreed by the Inspector in February 2008 (APP/T3915/A/07/2058432) and not as in the current application through the agricultural field.  All existing buildings on the site (two buildings and the poultry sheds) should be demolished before the house and office building commences.                                                                          15 votes

Wilthire County Council Planning and Development Authority should be left to decide the position of the access and whether all existing buildings should be demolished on the site before any building commences.                                                                                                  9 votes

Election of Officers

Diana Gifford Mead proposed that the Chairman and committee should be reinstated on block.  Chris Lange put himself forward as chairman and was seconded by Tina Woodford.  Richard Brasher and Chris Lange absented themselves from the room and a vote was taken by those present on the Berwick electoral register.  The result was:

Chris Lange                                                                                                    9 votes

Richard Brasher                                                                                             13 votes

The previous chairman, clerk and treasurer agreed to continue in their posts.  A suggestion was made that the election of new officers should be advertised earlier and more widely.

Accounts/Financial matters

The treasurer, Tina Woodford, reported that the year-end accounts showed a balance of £798.19. Annual receipts were £1421.40 and payments £1701.75. 

Chris Lange reported that there was £2365 in the Village Fund.

Report on Village Royal Wedding party

Nicky Street thanked all helpers and Olivia and Tim Marchant for use of their lovely garden.  Tina Woodford thanked Nicky for being the event’s driving force and the cooks for the lovely puddings!  It was agreed that the Village Fund would be used to subsidise the deficit of £23.30 (plus any further small bills).

Village Fete and Dog Show (4th June 2011)

Sarah Humphrey’s proposed, and residents agreed, that any profits should be distributed equally between the Reading Room, Church and Village Fund.  She asked for strong volunteers to help set up the fete at 5pm, Friday 3rd June and suggested that brick-a-brac be delivered straight to Berwick House to save double handling.  She can also store plants and produce if delivered no sooner than Friday 3rd June.


Mary Gatling reported that she was nearly knocked over by bicyclist who failed to slow down when descending from the farm track near her house.  Rod Crossley reported that bicycles are not allowed on the track.  A general discussion on speeding ensued.  Neal McDougall commented on the danger for pedestrians caused by the lack of a pavement north of the Boot Inn.  Rod Crossley suggested fixing 30 mile per hour stickers on wheelie bins, this could help, all be it, only one day a week. 

Community Plan

Chris Lange suggested the Community Plan on the Village Website should be used as a starting point for further discussion.  He will put together a questionnaire aimed at finding out the views of all villagers.  Jacky Webb, Mark Woodward and Nicky Street offered to ‘knock on doors’ and encourage less vocal residents to complete the questionnaire.

Any Other Business

Derek Hardwick would like a bench erected in memory of his sister somewhere in the village.  Various sites were discussed.  Ownership of suitable land to be investigated.

Church Insurance:  At Neal MacDougall’s suggestion Stephen Bush to investigate if insurance on the fabric of the church continues to be as low as £5000 now that lead had been replaced with steel on the roof.


Next Berwick Meeting - 6.30pm Thursday 12th May 2011


  1. Wiltshire Council Update  - Ian West
  2. Apologies for absence - Jacqui Webb
  3. Minutes of last meeting and matters arising
  4. Election of officers
  5. Accounts - Tina Woodford
  6. Planning Applications
  7. Speeding - Mary Gatling
  8. Village Fete - Sarah Humphreys
  9. Community Plan - Chris Lange
  10. Any Other Business

If you are unable to speak on items against your name please let Richard Brasher know.


Notes of the Extraordinary Berwick St James Parish Meeting 11th April 2011 

35 present plus Chair Richard Brasher and Jacqueline Webb, Clerk.  8 apologies for absence.


Reason for meeting

Meeting called because several Berwick residents wished to discuss the proposed Article 4 Direction due to be considered by the Southern Area Planning Office for the Stonehenge Campsite and Summerfields House

Article 4 Directions – Explanation by Stephen Bush

Article 4 Directions are issued by the Council to control development, primarily where the character of an area of acknowledged importance would be threatened by development.  They are commonly applied to conservation areas.  Wiltshire Planning have acknowledged the damaging visual impact of caravans on the site. The effect of the Direction is to remove Permitted Development Rights necessitating a planning application for any work or activity which would otherwise have been treated as permitted development. 

Article 4 Direction – The Developers Point of View

William Grant, the owner of the site, confirmed that the Direction applies to the activities and developments on the camping and caravan fields and the proposed house.  He confirmed that contrary to what he believes to be common sense the whole site is now being treated by the planning authorities as one planning unit.  He commented on the unfairness of the Directions complaining that the restrictions had not been imposed on other camping sites such as the Guide Centre.  He also stated that the Direction would make trading impossible.  Currently 3 caravans and a variable number of tents are allowed on the site 28 days a year.  Should the Direction be imposed he would have to reapply for planning consent.   Planning permission would take about eight weeks to process.  He already has bookings for the Summer Solstice weekend which would have to be cancelled should the Direction be enforced because of a lack of time to reinstate the permission.  This would result in him losing income for the best weekend of the year for his business.

Questions and comments

The majority of the comments from the floor demonstrated the strong feelings of antipathy to the development.  Diana Gifford Mead commented that the caravan site spoiled the beauty and tranquility of the countryside though others mentioned that the work done to screen the caravan site was acceptable to them. Michael Merten stated that William Grant had already flouted many regulations.  David Dowse described the nuisance and distress caused by the positioning of tent pitches adjacent to his boundary.  Rosey Gairdner cited the breakdown of trust caused by the manner Mr Grant has gone about things and his disregard of previous planning directives.


The chair, Richard Brasher suggested that the meeting should take a vote the result of which would be sent to the Wiltshire Council Southern Area Planning Office who will inform the Southern Area Planning Committee which meets Thursday 14 April 2011.  He emphasised that only those on the Berwick St James electoral role were allowed to vote.  The result was:

Those in support of the Article 4 Direction                                    21

Those against the Article 4 Direction                                             3

Those who wish to abstain                                                            2


Notes of the Berwick St James Parish Meeting  20 January 2011 

25 present plus Chair Richard Brasher and Jacqueline Webb, Clerk.  8 apologies for absence.


1.      Minutes of Last Meeting Agreed

2.      Matters Arising

Discussion re pros and cons of keeping a village defibrillator in the Reading Room. The cost is about £1200 and trained volunteers are needed to use it.  A decision to have one was deferred.  Meanwhile Chris Lange asked to find costs etc of running a First Aid Course for village residents in the Reading Room.

3.      Wiltshire Council – Latest News from Ian West (County Councillor)

Work costing £4.63m installing lights at the Countess Roundabout starting soon. Theoretically the traffic lights will reduce accidents (27 accidents from 2005 to 2009). Regulating the flow of traffic should also reduce traffic jams where A303 changes from dual to single lane east of Stonehenge.

Assuming a secure storage area is available villages can have a ton of salt for use on public lanes and  roads (contact person or ring 01225 713377).

4.    Accounts/Financial matters

The treasurer, Tina Woodford, sent message to state £798 in Parish account.  Sarah Humpheys proposed and it was agreed that the parish precept (portion of council tax paid to village) should remain at £750. Chris Lange reported £2365 in Village Fund (includes substantial contribution from the Village Run).

5.    Planning applications

Asserton House - Extension to drawing room, applied for but not yet approved – listed building so process convoluted and time consuming. 

The Leat House - Two small windows – permission granted.  Permission pending to enlarge the garage.

2 Hazel Cottage - Charles Street, who is renovating the cottage, reported that he needs arboriculturalist’s advice before trimming yew tree on a boundary with Berwick House .

Update on Stonehenge Caravan and Camp Site

There will be a full 2-3 day public enquiry at the City Hall. Date TBA.  William Grant is appealing against the decision to refuse ‘change of use’ permission and against a Council enforcement notice re days permitted for temporary events on the site.  A request to update planning permission to build a house, office and ménage on the site, granted in February 2008 will be considered separately as will a second enforcement notice re operational use of the land.

6.      Village War Memorial (a brass plaque situated inside the church) and Church Roof Appeal

The memorial has now been refurbished.  Stephen Bush reported that £754.65 will need to be found after receipt of a grant from the War Memorial Trust and a refund of VAT from the Inland Revenue. He proposed that Berwick Church and the Village Fund should split the cost.  All present accepted proposal. Stephen and Henry Coulthurst thanked all residents for giving so generously to the successful church roof appeal. In turn the Chair thanked Stephen for his hard work raising funds and organising the remedial work.  Stephen reported that the latest quotes for mending the church roof have been about £24,000. Permission to replace the stolen lead with steel has been favourably received by the Wiltshire CC and the CofE but has to be OKed by English Heritage before work can proceed.  Stephen has arranged for more £10 trips to view the Salisbury Plain bustards. The bustard charity and the church roof appeal will halve the proceeds.

7.      Any Other Business

·         All present agreed that the village should do something to mark the Queen’s Jubilee in 2012.  William Grant suggested planting trees to commemorate the event.

·         Nicky Street will arrange a meeting to form a committee to organise a street party to celebrate William & Catherine’s Wedding 29 April 2011.  It was agreed that the event should be admission free.

·         Sarah Humphreys asked the meeting if it wanted a fete this year.  A vote was taken which showed overwhelmingly that those present wished to have one.

·         Amesbury Carnival will be raising money for Help for Heroes this year.  Durrington Council is hosting a wine and cheese evening in their Village Hall at 7pm, 19 March if you would like to learn more.

·         Work has gone ahead to restore the verges of the triangle at the top of Duck Street.  The Chair has spoken to Nick Cowen of Wiltshire Council Bridleways about the dangerous potholes at the start of the lane.  Druid’s Lodge Estate may be responsible for repairs further down the lane.

·         Rod Crossley believes more people would attend the Parish Meeting if it was advertised better. The Clerk stated that she would ‘twitter’ dates for the next Meeting on the parish website.  The Chair will try to let Nicky Street know Meeting dates before the printing deadline for parish magazine.

·         At the request of the Wiltshire County Council Richard Brasher and Stephen Bush have put together a ‘community plan’.  This is available on request from Richard.

·         The Chair asked Ian West to pass on the meeting’s objection to excessive planning bureaucracy.




Minutes of Village meeting 28th January 2010

Notes of the Berwick St James Parish AGM held on 28th January 2010    No. 30

33 present plus councillor Ian West, Chairman Richard Brasher and Secretary Jacqui Webb.

1.         Wiltshire Council Update

Ian West reported that refuse collection, car parking charges and planning applications are soon to be harmonised (the new local government buzzword).  The Airman’s Corner Stonehenge Visitors Centre has been approved.  Stephen Bush asked individuals to send letters of support for a Traffic Regulation Order banning four wheel drive vehicles on certain local byways (for further details see village notice board).  As a result of a unanimous vote, Chairman to write letter to support ban.

2.         Apologies for Absence

Frank & Lou Whiting, Henry & Sophie Colthurst, Bill Hiscocks, Peter & Gabrielle Smith, Will & Sophie Simpson Gee, Jean Hibberd, David Street and Ann Hughes.

3.         Minutes of Last Meeting

The statement that Chris Lange will chair the 2010 Fete Committee was incorrect.

4.         Precept for 2010 and current Bank Balance

Bank balance just over £608.  Precept (portion of council tax rates paid directly to parish) of £750 has been requested (same as last year).

5.         Planning Applications

i)          Gryphon cottage – plans not yet submitted but available to inspect at meeting

ii)         The Black Barn outbuildings and decking – Diana Gifford Mead and Michael Mertens         objected to proposals on grounds of disturbance of natural habitats.  Chris Lange has             sought advice of English Nature, they reported that the proposed work should not upset the   local eco-system.

iii)         Caravan Park -application to permit 25 extra caravans.  Many objections voiced including           the following:

            Steven Bush asserted the site was an eyesore, spoiling the view from many vantage points.

            Jane Rowe would like the number of tents to be limited

            George Campbell-Johnson felt that the development flies in the face of Rural Stewardship Scheme of Practice.

            Chris Lange expressed a counter argument that expansion would benefit local businesses.

William Grant, the applicant, stated that he had spent a considerable amount of money contouring the land and planting trees to hide the site.  He also felt that caravan owners are responsible people who will not have a negative impact on the community.  A vote was taken and passed proposing that the Chairman should write to the planning authorities objecting to the change of use of the land at the site.

6.         Relocation of Playground

The Guinness family have turned down the request to donate land behind the Guide Centre for use as a playground on the grounds that road access is dangerous.

7.         Adoption of Telephone Kiosk

The kiosk is listed so does not need to be adopted.  A letter has been written to BT to request that the telephone be kept in working order.

8.     Wylye Valley Association

Eight village chairmen, Ian West and Karen Linaker attended.  Chairman reported that speeding through villages, the lack of police presence and planning applications were the main discussion topics.

9.         2010 Village Fete

All present wanted a fete.  Sarah Humphreys agreed to take on the role of fete committee chair, providing more people joined the fete committee to share the burden.  Janey Campbell-Johnston, Rosie Gairdner, Chris Lange, Ian Fisher, Tim Marchant, Ailsa Bush and Gill Brasher agreed to help out.  The fete will take place on 12th June 2010 and the Duck race on Sunday 13th June.  The Committee will put forward a proposal for distributing fete profits.

10.       Any Other Business

There have been two recent incidences of heating fuel thefts.  People should watch out for tankers which may be taking, not delivering fuel.  There have been incidences in nearby villages of thieves posing as policemen.

11.       Next Meeting Thursday 15th April 2010 

River Till water level will be discussed with representatives from the Environment Agency and Wessex Water.

The next Village meeting will be held on Thursday 14th January 2010 at 6.00pm


  • River Till Water Level
  • Wiltshire Council Update
  • Apologies for Absence
  • Minutes of the last meeting and matters arising
  • Precept for 2010 and current bank balance
  • Planning Applications
  • Relocation of playground
  • Village Fete
  • Adoption of Telephone Kiosk
  • Wylye Valley Association
  • Any Other Business


The last meeting was held on Wednesday 15th October 2009

Here are the minutes

Notes of the Berwick St James Parish AGM held on 15th October 2009    No. 29

Apologies for Absence    

George Campbell-Johnston, Jean Hibberd, Ian West, Gabrielle Smith, Margaret Mustill, Ken Woodford.

Minutes of the Last Meeting          

Minutes were read, approved and signed.  

Matters Arising        

Wilts Council have stated that 40mph speed limit signs between the village and Stapleford would probably be superfluous – careful drivers will observe them, others may not.

The regulations which apply to Restricted Byways state motorised vehicles should only use them for access and will be printed in the parish magazine.    

Appointment of Clerk/Secretary    

Tina Woodford who has retired after 12 years as Clerk/Secretary was thanked her for the excellent service.  Jacqueline Webb was proposed and seconded as replacement.

Planning Applications

Three applications for cutting down trees were discussed.  No-one expressed any objections to:

1.     The Woodford’s application to take down a tree which is destabilising a wall.

2.    Diana Gifford Mead cutting down an acacia which is rotten and dangerous.

3.     The Marchants cutting down a tree which they have been advised cannot be pruned.

The fourth application concerned the Simpson-Gees’ wooden fence. The planning officer has indicated that the application would be disallowed.  The family’s original planning application had been to build a wall but this was rejected.  They have therefore planted a hedge along the boundary and erected a temporary fence to protect the hedge, prevent egress by their small children and to provide privacy.  A letter has been sent to the planning authorities to support the application to retain the fence. 

Ian West (local County Councillor) and Richard Brasher intend to meet Brad Fleet, head of the Wilts Council Planning Department, about concerns held by many villagers about planning decisions. 

Relocation of Playground

Lou Whiting reported that she had obtained a quote for £3000 to move the playground equipment to an alternative venue and that the idea of moving the playground from the cricket field to the pub garden seemed less attractive than when first discussed.  Even if Wadworths agreed there is no guarantee that a future landlord would continue the arrangement and considerable expense would be incurred moving the equipment again.  Ian Fisher stated that SWAG (South Wilts Area Grants) would be a likely source of funding for the move but they would only make funds available if the venue was permanent.

Stephen Bush said the best spot for the playground (the venue next to the churchyard having been turned down by the land owner) was behind the Guide Centre on Guinness Family Trust land.

Lou Whiting to write to the Trust to ask if they would donate the land to the village.  Sarah Humphreys suggested that Lou write direct to some Guinness family members who use the shoot facility and are no doubt familiar with the village.

Lou Whiting reported that the cost of replacing one of the children’s swing seats at the existing playground with a support seat suitable for toddlers would be up to £250.  It was agreed that the Local Amenities Fund be made available.

Pumpkin Run Report

Lou Whiting was thanked for organising such a successful event (profit c £460).  Lou thanked Charles and Nicky Street for allowing the race to be held on their land and the race marshals for all their help.  She reported that there had been excellent feedback about the event in Runners World.  It was agreed that it should become an annual Berwick St James event.  Lou stated that she will take responsibility for organising next year’s race.  It will be held on the last Saturday of September to coincide with Pumpkin Day.

Village Fete and Duck Race Report

Chris Lange said, and all present agreed, that the event had been a fantastic success this year (profit £2300).  He thanked the Humphreys for use of their garden and said that there was a full list of people to thank on the village website.  Chris agreed to head up the team running the fete next year but said it was a lot of work and hoped there would be more volunteers next year.  He will arrange a meeting in January.

Wylye Valley Association

A meeting will be held in the Reading Rooms at 6 o’clock Tuesday 3rd November 2009 for chairs of the villages.  It was agreed that low water level in village rivers and streams should be discussed.

Neighbourhood Policing

Ian Fisher stated there was nothing to report.

Any Other Business

Community Account Fund  For administrative ease the account has been set up in Chris Lange’s name but subtitled Village Community Fund account.  The village marquee (purchased from the proceeds of past fete) has been borrowed four times, donations have been paid into this fund as has £519.29 of the fete profit.  The only money debited from the account during the year was £100 for signs for the fete.

Stephen Bush commented that if the proposed move of the playground does not go ahead the village may find that it has too much in the fund.  Chris Lange reported that it was prudent to have a substantial sum in the fund because project funding organisations often ask for match funding and the money could be spent any way that the villagers saw fit.  Tina Woodford mentioned that, for example, funds were needed to renovate the Cricket Pavilion.

Low Water Levels  Richard Brasher stated that he had followed up a suggestion at an earlier parish meeting to contact the Environmental Agency and Wessex Water about the lack of water in rivers and streams.  Wessex Water had told him that the water level was due to a dry winter and empty aquifers.

Charles Street reported that there is still an impasse about how to remedy the problem of the water level being too low to drive his watermill wheel.  The mill should create the power to take water from his bore hole for use on his farm.  In the absence of enough water to drive the wheel he has to use electricity.  Mary Gatling stated that the Environmental Agency had fitted a meter down her well – she was told that the lower the water level gets the more leverage can be put on Wessex Water.

It was agreed that representatives from Wessex Water and the Environmental Agency be invited to the next Parish meeting.  A mutually convenient date for the organisations to attend in January or February 2010 will be arranged.  Diana Gifford Mead will invite Peter Hayes of the Fishery’s Association so that he can share his expertise on the matter and chairs of surrounding parishes will also be invited to the meeting. 

Asserton Signpost

The signpost needed repainting.  Richard Brasher will follow up.

Garbage Bins

There was a complaint that bins were left outside some of the terraced houses in the High Street.  A request to put bins out of sight will be put in the parish magazine.

Village Website

Chris Lange reported that the website gets hundreds of hits.  Rotas for locking up the church, church cleaning and church flowers to be on the site.  There is now a facility for anyone who lives in the village to have a web name on the village website.  Contact for more information.



Here are the minutes of the

meeting was held on Wednesday 24th September 2008 at 6.30pm

Berwick St James Parish Meeting 24th September 2008.

Speeding.  Rumble strips were not approved by Highways authority.

A303.  Ian West and Colin Mills proposal to dual the A303 in conjunction with the plans for the new Visitor Centre for Stonehenge by 2012 was heartily approved and a letter signed by the meeting will be sent to Stonehenge Planners asking to please not treat the Visitor Centre as a separate issue as the traffic chaos will only increase especially when they close the A344.  Ian West attended the meeting and read a most negative letter received from Robert Key which says that a dual carriageway will never be approved and that we should not hope for one.

Unitary Council.  Top Tiers of the new council already appointed.  Elections for councillors will be June 2009.  Vesting Day is 1st April 2009 when all councils’ property devolves to the new council.  Salisbury’s Area Committees will become Area Boards sited at Salisbury, Devizes, Trowbridge and Chippenham.  It is hoped that the draft proposals for Planning will be agreed by 31st October 2008.  Council tax bands will be “harmonised” throughout the county and as ours is the lowest it will be harmonised in an upward direction.

Berwick St. James Fete.  A great success especially the Dog Show and the Duck Race.  We had a professional judge for the dog show and it felt just like being at Crufts!  After expenses, including the purchase of a marquee, we made £1009.00 which is split between the church and reading room.  Many thanks to the Fete Committee for all their work.

R2 Money.  Our anticipated R2 Money is about £1,583.02 and as before has to be spent on outside recreation facilities split between adults and children’s facilities.  Suggestions put forward are A baby swing, more rubber matting, Cricket Pavilion maintenance after vandalising, cricket nets and ambitiously, a tennis court.  If you have any suggestions (or land) please let the parish clerk know.

Planning Application.  We have only one application for a wildlife pond in Washpool Field.  Water table is high so river level will not be affected.  No objections.

Marquee Hire.  Our marquee is available to for village hire for a donation.  Chris Lange is the contact point.

Dog Fouling.  Can we ask villagers to clear up after their pets.






  1. Apolgies for absence
  2. Minutes of the last meeting  and actions arising -     RB/TW
  3. Dualling of A303 past Stonehenge and Winterbourne Stoke Bypass Petition - SB
  4. Update on Unitary Council for Wiltshire - Ian West
  5. Report on Church and Reading Room fete - CL/NS
  6. Allocating anticipating R2 Money - RB/SB
  7. Petition re Notice on Track alongside Northview - Mary Gatling
  8. Planning Applications - RB
  9. Management of Village Marquee
  10. Any Other Business

Please contact Richard Brasher or Stephen Bush if you wish to include items under 'Any other Item' - Alternatively go the contact us page and any message will be passed to them