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What does the Parish Steward do?

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

The Parish Steward scheme was introduced in 2006 by Wiltshire Council to assist local parishes in essential seasonal maintenance works.



The type of work varies from month to month depending on requirements.


In the early months of the year there is often an increasing focus on potholes and the need to deal with damaged road surfaces. In the autumn keeping drains and culverts clear is a priority. In the winter the Parish Stewards are often involved gritting the roads and other winter maintenance operations.


The work of the stewards helps to restore the appearance of many areas, a process often regarded as crucial in protecting civil pride.

Planned works

Typical planned local highway work undertaken by Parish Stewards includes (but is not exclusive to):

  • Hand clearing and cutting of growth from drainage grips and drain gully covers.

  • Hand clearing of blocked gullies.

  • Rodding of drainage systems.

  • Clearing of small culverts, pipes, and pits.

  • Clearing storm debris.

  • Trimming encroaching hedges and vegetation from around road signs and railings.

  • Cleaning and straightening small road signs.

  • Hand cutting small visibility areas.

  • Reactive emergency repairs, including pothole repairs (In accordance with Wiltshire Councils Highways Inspection Manual).

  • Find, fix and record potholes.

  • Responding to road closure requests from the emergency services.

  • Removal of ragwort (hand pulling or strimming of defined areas).

  • Treatment/removal of weeds.

  • Graffiti and fly-posting removal.

  • Clearance of debris and materials from scenes of road traffic collisions including clinical waste.

  • Siding out of footways and carriageways.

  • Clearance of small fallen trees or minor overhanging branches/limbs.


Emergency works

Examples of types of emergency reactive local highway work undertaken by Parish Stewards includes (but is not exclusive to):

  • Resolving flooding issues – clearing drainage grips and drain gully covers, clearing of small culverts, pipes, and pits etc.

  • Placing emergency signage and traffic management.

  • Clearing structures and fixings and making them safe.

  • Reactive pothole repair.

  • Responding to road closure requests from the emergency services.

  • Small masonry type works, such as repairs to slabs and damaged kerbs.

  • Clearance of debris and materials from scenes of road traffic collisions, including clinical waste.

  • Clearance of storm-damaged trees from the highway, including the use of a chainsaw (where this work is extensive, further support may be required).



The stewards are equipped with a purpose–built vehicle, which is clearly marked and fully equipped to attend to most events. Satellite tracking and mobile communications enable the stewards to respond rapidly to a wide variety of problems, which occur on the highways and countryside.



Parish Programme


There are currently 20 Parish Stewards, one for each community area, who work with representatives in their parishes to log work requests for review. A support gang works with the Parish Stewards on larger-scale projects, based on demand.


Each parish has a planned visit each month, with the programme set in advance over a three-month period.


Villages are visited on a monthly basis, in a programme sent to each parish council, in advance of the visit. The duration of each visit is varied to meet the needs of each local Council. For Sutton Mandeville and Chicksgrove Parish, this normally entails two days work in the community per month.





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