Paul ShimellMarlborough’s Chamber of Commerce has given its full support for the town council’s bid to introduce a start-up high-powered, quality CCTV system to cover the High Street shops and businesses.
But it fears that any continued debate on the proposal for a £20,000 initial scheme with four cameras will end up with further delay, the town council having first discussed CCTV 11 years ago and failed to take decisive action.
“It’s great, a fabulous idea which the Chamber fully supports but I fear we shall be in the same position 10 months from now and nothing will have happened,” Paul Shimell, the Chamber’s president, told Marlborough News Online.
“We are the only market town in Wiltshire without CCTV. Everyone knows it. That’s why we are being targeted and hit by gangs and thieves. Shops are suffering and CCTV is what we need to fight crime.”
“If the latest report to the town council shows it is such a good idea, then why haven’t they not introduced it? Why have they suddenly found the finance to do it when before they said it was too costly?”
He remains concerned that opponents to “Big Brother” CCTV as an intrusion into people’s lives will prevent the project going ahead, and added: “We have to ensure that any scheme does not invade people’s privacy.”
With other Marlborough organisations, including Marlborough town councillors, the Chamber is currently supporting the creation of a Business Improvement District to cover the town, which would eventually result in a Neighbourhood Plan being introduced.
This would include a wide-range of improvements for transport and parking, energy consumption, culture, tourism, telecommunications and Marlborough’s historic streetscape.
“If we can get that going then may be it will be the method by which we can fund CCTV ourselves,” he declared.
Mike GattingFormer England cricket captain Mike Gatting OBE has been confirmed as guest speaker at the inaugural Marlborough Sports Forum fundraising dinner in October.
The batsman will give the after-dinner address, sharing anecdotes from his colourful 23 year first class cricket career with Middlesex and his 18 years with England.
Mr Gatting served as captain from 1986 to 1988, and he led the national side in 23 test matches. He is now a cricket coach and commentator.
The Sports Dinner will be held at Marlborough Town Hall on Thursday, October 25 from 7pm. Tickets costs £35, which includes a drink on reception and four-course dinner.
The funds raised will support the young sports people of Marlborough, helping them to participate in sports or to further the careers of those competing at the highest levels, by contributing to the costs of equipment, travel or tour accommodation.
Marlborough Sports Forum is a representative body made up of most of the town's sports clubs and associations.
For tickets, send a cheque made payable to Marlborough Sports Forum to Cllr Andy Ross, Marlborough Sports Forum, c/o Marlborough Town Council, 5 High Street, Marlborough SN8 1AA.
Dr Patrick HazlewoodPraise for his sixth form students came today (Thursday) from Dr Patrick Hazlewood, headmaster of St John’s, Marlborough, as it rejoiced in spectacular A level results.
With 53 per cent of grades achieved at A* to B, Dr Hazlewood confirmed that he was delighted with the performances of many individual students and the Sixth Form as a whole.
And he told Marlborough News Online: “This is one of the best performances that the school has achieved and it is the result of very hard work on behalf of both students and teachers”.
Another very successful summer for St John’s students sees them now well set in the fight for university places.
Following on from the school’s best ever International Baccalaureate results received in July, more students than ever have achieved top grades at A-level.
This year’s high achieving students at A-level include Katie Mills with three A* grades and an additional two A grades at AS level and Dan Jones with three A* grades plus an A at A-level.
Dan is off to Cambridge to read Computer Science whilst Katie will take a year out before applying to university.
Other students achieving at least three A* or A grades are Andrew Butler, Sam Chapman, Leo Dennis, Andrew Elia, Josh Eustace, Charlotte Farrell, George Fry, Oliver Hudson, Sam Keith, Emmie Price-Goodfellow, Dave Reynolds and Jack Smith.
Lionel Grundy, the Wiltshire Council cabinet member for children’s services, told Marlborough News Online: “I would like to offer my congratulations to all those who have received their results today and I am delighted that so many young people have done so well.
“To gain these results young people have worked extremely hard throughout their studies and it is also a tribute to the support and guidance they have received from their teachers, lecturers and those around them, all of which will have contributed to this success.”
Carolyn Godfrey, corporate director for children and education, said: “The feedback we have received to date confirms there are some outstanding individual and school results and it is fantastic to hear about the achievements of many young people across all the qualification pathways.
“While these performances reflect individual skills and talents of young people, they also reflect the high quality teaching in the schools and colleges. I would like to congratulate the students and thank all those who have supported them to secure their achievements.
“There is a range of support on hand if young people require further advice and guidance regarding their next steps. The schools, Wiltshire College and Ucas helpline all have advisers and a wide range of information on hand to support young people.”
The Ucas website (www.ucas.ac.uk) has lots of advice available for young people who have received their A Level results today including information on clearing and options available to them. On Twitter it is advising applicants to follow @ucas_online and @ucasclearing to get up-to-date information.
A new planning application displayed on inaccessible lamp postMarlborough town councillors clashed yet again with Marlborough College last night (Monday) when the Planning Committee recorded its unanimous opposition to proposals for a new Puffin crossing within yards of the College’s immaculate gates.
They declared the plans “invalid” because they failed to reveal all the information posted on lamp posts, which include cutting a hole in the listed College boundary wall and widening the already narrow pavement.
And they blamed Wiltshire Council for the errors – and the College for submitting an erroneous report from consultants claiming that the town council approved the plans.
“This is going to be a nightmare for the people living there,” protested former mayor Councillor Nick Fogg, one of Marlborough’s two Wiltshire councillors. “This has been a big cock up by Wiltshire.”
The row follows in the wake of the town council’s objections to the College buying the nearby Ivy House Hotel, now in the process of conversion into a hostel for 60 girl students at the College, where the Duchess of Cambridge was a student.
It is for them that the College is seeking a safe entry into its grounds despite the fact that there are two Pelican crossings further down the Bath Road specifically for the use of students.
The situation is further embarrassing for the College as Councillor Margaret Rose, who chairs the Planning Committee, is an employee of the College and had to leave the council chamber while colleagues roared their opposition.
The Ivy House Hotel swathed in scaffolding as work proceeds on its conversion“This town supports the people,” declared Councillor Marion Hannaford-Dobson, who pointed out that the town council had twice before objected to similar proposals. “The College is in the town. The town is not in the College.”
Councillor Stewart Dobson, leader of the council’s Tory group, agreed. “They can’t possibly have three crossings within such a short space. It is desperately unfair on the people who live in the west end of the town and will cause total traffic confusion.”
But it was Councillor Fogg who led the fray by revealing that the planning application before the committee – for a controlled Puffin crossing with footpath widening at the junction with Bridewell Street – was not the same as that posted on lamp posts, which also showed plans to breach the College’s listed boundary wall.
A resident had pointed this out to Wiltshire last Thursday and received an admission that an error had been made. New details had been posted and this alone made the whole process “invalid”, insisted Councillor Fogg.
He raised other issues including the disturbing noise made at night by Pelican/Puffin crossings and potential serious danger of a juggernaut jumping the pavement, as well as extending back to the High Street/Pewsey Road junction and causing traffic chaos.
He read to from a report submitted to Wiltshire by consultants hired by the College saying : “It has been an objective of the council to provide a pedestrian crossing arrangement in Bridewell Street.”
And he added: “Well I don’t recall that at all. The College has a wonderful capacity for producing consultants to say what they pay for. This case is no exception.”
It was estimated that some 1,400 people would use the Bridewell crossing, many at peak times when commuters were driving in and out of Marlborough yet the space available for them to stand on the pavement was limited.
“I think the Guinness Book of Records should be notified about this because there is no place for them to stand,” he protested.
“We have to put all these points in as part of a massive objection. We have an obligation to protest as vociferously as possible.”
Travellers parked on College MeadowPolice announced this morning (Friday) that they can take no action against travellers who encamped at around 6pm last night on a sports playing field alongside the Memorial Hall in the grounds of Marlborough College.
“It is private land and the College is dealing with it,” Police Inspector Ron Peach told Marlborough News Online. “The College is seeking legal advice.”
“We are aware that it happened and that there are 12 vehicles parked on the field. We can only act if they cause some damage or any offence is committed.”
The travellers are believed to have been evicted from an illegal site in Newbury and were monitored moving across the county border into Wiltshire by Thames Valley Police, who warned Wiltshire Police of their presence.
A police car drove on to the site late yesterday afternoon and officers talked to the travellersThe playing field, used last week by those attending the Marlborough College Summer School for parking, is usually where students at the independent public school play hockey, rugby and lacrosse.
Jonathan Leigh, the new Master of the College, who moved in only last week, told the BBC: "We are pursuing all legal steps to remove these people as soon as possible."
One witness said: “Horses grazing on the land are clearly visible from A4. Security Guards now blocking gateway in and on duty checking but I wonder how quickly they’ll be able to get them off.”
Courtney Goodwin, a passer by said "I first noticed the ponies chomping at the lacrosse pitch, then saw all the caravans round the edge of the field and the police vehicles parked outside the main gate. Didn't look like nomal Summer School activity."
A convoy of a dozen caravans were first spotted on the road to Beckhampton before they doubled back on to the Bath Road and drove straight through the gates of the College, whose famous pupils in the past have included the Duchess of Cambridge and other members of royal family.
Ponies grazing on the College's lush turfThey are now parked on the far side of the field and their horses, dogs and children have been seen playing in the field.
Friday afternoon: a local resident reported seeing several more vans attempting to enter the college premises, but being blocked from doing so by College security staff with Police in attendance. One long caravan being towed by a Transit tipper truck, unable to turn into the college because of the blockage, was seen attempting a three-point turn on the A4 at the Manton crossroads.
The travellers are reported to have told Wiltshire Police they intend to move on "no later than Sunday".
One of the travellers ponies enjoys a run