Area Boards – in a nutshell

The Area Board is a formally constituted arm of Wiltshire Council, and will have delegated authority assigned to it to act as a local executive arm of Wiltshire Council. In the longer term, the hope is for other key organisations providing public services to the area, – such as the Health, Police and Fire Services – to be represented on the Area Board and for them to make executive decisions at these meetings too.

See a short video about Area Boards by clicking here.

An introductory leaflet about Area Boards is here.

A more detailed Area Board Handbook is here.

Contact Details for the members of the  Southern Wiltshire Area Board are here.

Functions

Membership

The Southern Wiltshire Area Board

The new Southern Wiltshire Area Board covers the area shown in the map below:

From the Wiltshire Council website, June 17th 2009: Area boards take shape

NEW area boards – where local decisions are made in the heart of the community – are taking shape ready for their launch later this month.

Area boards will form a key part of the decision making structure of Wiltshire Council and ensure local decisions about local issues are made locally. These new style meetings will identify issues of genuine local concern and respond quickly and effectively with practical local action.

Eighteen area boards will be set up across the county from June. This will give residents a major voice within their local communities and the chance to influence the decisions which affect their areas.

Dates have been set for all 18 area boards where parish councils, partners and the public will be able to refer issues for consideration.

The boards will meet every two months and will be encouraged to reach decisions by consensus, where possible, so that all participants are involved in the process subject to the final approval of the democratically elected unitary councillors.

Local people will be able to sign up for e-mail alerts about what is happening with their local area board and a forward plan of forthcoming agenda items will be available.

The area boards are being set up following a nine month trial period where communities in 13 areas across Wiltshire took part in a pilot scheme. The findings were detailed in a final report which went to councillors in May. They agreed that where possible approaches that worked well during the test phase should be adopted by the area boards across the county.

The pilots showed that facilitated round-table discussions were popular with both the public and councillors and that meetings in the evening at accessible local venues with light refreshments were preferred by the majority of participants.

Members of the public also welcomed the opportunity to discuss issues directly with councillors and partners before decisions were taken.

Sue Redmond, Corporate Director for Community Services said: “The pilot phase of the area boards was extremely useful in terms of finding out what works best for local people. We have made sure that all the positive feedback is taken on board when setting up the area boards across the county.

“These meetings will provide an opportunity for local people to take part in discussions about important local issues and offer possible suggestions and solutions.”

Southern Wiltshire Area Board Homepage…

This can be found here

The homepage contains a link to the most recent agenda.

On the Southern Wiltshire Area Board homepage there are 7 linked pages containing relevant and useful info about the Southern Wiltshire Area Board. Below is a description of some of the features:

How can you get involved;
There is an online contact form which means you can be added to the mailing list for agendas, minutes and consultation.  The online contact form can be found here

Report an issue in your community;
Click here to view an online form which can be filled out at your computer and submitted (it is also available in hard copy from the meetings and public places and as an attachment to print off – attached to this email).

It asks you a short series of questions about the community issue. An issue can be submitted by an individual, a parish council, community group, service provider, practically anyone. It is important to report issues affecting your community as a whole.

However in some cases there are particular avenues you should go down before using an issue sheet. For example – to report a specific highway problem or enquiry you would use the CLARENCE system – see link . Here you can report a fault online.

Similarly with fly tipping here is the link to the page that deals with this and where you can report a problem.

We are not saying that highways problems or fly tipping are not problems for the Southern Wiltshire Area Board, what we would like to do is use the issue process for dealing with persistent or systemic problems – eg. persistent fly tipping because of a lack of waste facilities or lack of knowledge about the service provided by the Council.

Issues will be logged, shared with the Southern Wiltshire Area Board Chairman and relevant ward member/s and action will be taken to try to find ways of resolving the problem. Issues will be displayed online and you will be able to see how your issue is evolving (this will be displayed on the Issue tracking page) and we will be in close contact with the originator of the issue and where necessary further consultation will be carried out. Where issues are particularly sticky they could end up at the area board meetings however where possible we will try to resolve issues outside of the meeting process in a cooperative manner with all those involved.

For various reasons community issues might be irresolvable but we will be transparent in communicating why the issue could not be resolved.

For organisations like parish councils or community groups this could be a useful tool in registering community issues that arise out of your parish planning steering groups or tasking groups or you could generate a couple of hot issues that affect your community at your meetings.

Contact Details

Tom Bray
Southern Wiltshire Community Area Manager
Wiltshire Area Boards – South Locality Team

Community, Leadership & Governance
Wiltshire Council
47 Endless St
PO BOX 2117
Salisbury
Wiltshire
SP1 2DF

tel: 01722 434252
fax: 01722 434478
mob:07728727367
email: tom.bray@wiltshire.gov.uk
web: www.wiltshire.gov.uk