Wiltshire Publications

The BA13 Community Area Partnership to disband

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WESTBURY’S community project, the BA13 Community Area Partnership, has decided to fold.

Carole King reports, “This is not a negative response to Covid-19, though that has certainly played a part, but mainly because the usefulness of producing the Westbury Area Community Plans has been superseded by the Neighbourhood Plan, started by the town council a few years ago, which covers most of the themes covered by our Community Plans.

“I’d like to play tribute to our three wonderful and able administrators. Miriam Zaccarelli started with us in around 2004, followed by Shona Holt, who started in the summer of 2011 and stayed for two years, and then Phil McMullen who has been with us from early 2014. They played a significant part in organising and producing our three Community Plans. Our Treasurer, Michael Walter, has been with us for many years and we have been very grateful for his reports. I’d also like to play tribute to the early Chairs of BA13 CAP, which were performed by the Vicars of All Saints Church, Rev Paul Richardson, and Rev Jonathan Burke.

“Historically, we were a community project that Wiltshire County Council wanted to initiate in all areas, kind of a precursor to the areas covered by the area boards now. 

“Our first name was Westbury Area Action Group and we started shortly into the Millennium. We were assisted by a Wiltshire Council community worker, Jacqui Abbott. The County and Town/Parish Councillors joined the meetings and we started working on our first Community Plan. We obtained our funding from the Coastal and Market Towns Initiative.

“Working alongside us was another organisation, started by John Rogers alongside Alison Irving and Ivan Clark, called The Community Development Trust. By 2006, we were discussing dissolving the Westbury Area Action Group and joining them. Sadly, Wiltshire Council did not support their model and insisted, instead, that all the Area Groups became Community Partnerships. And we certainly were a partnership, with our meetings well attended by representatives from the Town & Parish Councils, The Wiltshire Federation of Community Area Partnerships, Schools, Churches, The Police, Surgery, Bypass Alliance, Youth Group, The Library, and other interested individuals. 

“We held our first Community Partnership meeting on 14th October 2009 in Bratton Primary School, and we continued to meet in various venues throughout the BA13 area. We also became a regular participant of the Westbury Area Board Partner Updates alongside the Police, Fire Authority, Health, and town/parish council reports.

“In all, we produced two Community Plans April 2005-2011 and 2012-2017 and we have the draft of our third plan. The themes covered were around the areas of Health, Transport, Environment, Housing, Economy, Arts, Culture & Leisure, Children and Young People and Crime & Community Protection. Out of all these areas we held themed community events and brought the initiatives of Safe Places, Dementia Friendly Westbury to the town. We had our own litter teams or worked alongside the Town Council on Clean for the Queen followed by three years of the Great British Spring Clean. We were on the brink of employing Restorative Practice trainers to work with Matravers School in 2012 till several years of changes in leadership within the school ended that dream. 

“We took over chairing and taking minutes for the Neighbourhood Task Group in 2014, renamed the Quarterly Safety Meetings, where we met with the Police, Neighbourhood Watch and Speed watch volunteers and other representatives.

“After John Rogers died and The Community Development Trust folded, we were privileged to receive the remaining funds from that organisation in 2010, which put us in a unique position compared to the rest of Wiltshire’s Community Area Partnerships. We could give grants as our own funding by now was coming from the Town Council. We encouraged community groups to apply. So far, we have given just over £10,000 to groups in our BA13 area. 

“Some of the grants were for organisations not based in our area, such as the Scouts and a Counselling Group, but they did provide evidence of how our community benefited from their services. We had an ambitious project for Restorative Justice also, but after pursuing and trying to encourage various Wiltshire organisations to use the money, they did not pursue this, so we gave our pot of £2,607 to Erlestoke Prison Friends for a market garden project. We do have some money left, but I will leave that for a further appeal in the WHN, if necessary.

“Last, but not certainly least, our thanks go out to the BA13 Community for all their support over the years. We still have a supply of red plastic ICE cards (in case of emergency) and some Neighbourhood Watch stickers and literature. Please get in touch if you need any.”

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