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.
– 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 around road signs and railings – cleaning and straightening small road signs – hand cutting small visibility areas – removal of ragwort (hand pulling or strimming of defined areas)
– treatment/removal of weeds
– sanding and painting barriers
– graffiti and fly posting removal
– siding out of footways and carriageways
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.
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.