Nabil Najjar - Report - September 2021
A few months have passed since I was elected as your Councillor and I thought I would write to you and update you on the progress I've made since I was elected.
It has been a busy few weeks! Since my last update, I have worked hard to support all 16 villages in my division, and I do my best to maintain an active presence at Parish Council meetings and other community events.
When I was first elected, I set out my key priorities, one of which was a focus on speeding and road safety, and we have already made major progress on this. At the September Area Board meeting, we successfully lobbied for funding to buy and install three new speed indicator devices (SIDs) in Fovant. The SIDs will play a major role in helping us identify exactly where and when speeding through the village is at its worst, and this data can be handed over to the police to make sure we enforce the speed limits.
I have had conversations with our newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner, and he has assured me that, where we can demonstrate a speeding problem, he will make resources available to enforce the law.
I am also working with other Parishes, including Barford St Martin, to try and bring this solution to some of the other villages in the division.
By working with our Community Area Transport Group (CATG), we have funded ‘unsuitable for HGV’ signs for Sutton Mandeville and Swallowcliffe, helping keep heavy vehicles off our narrow, single-track roads, improving road safety and keeping our roads in decent condition.
I have also worked hard to make sure our fantastic community assets are well resourced, so they can continue to deliver for our residents. We were fortunate to secure almost £3,000 of funding for the Chalke Valley Sports Centre in Broad Chalke, to help them expand their local sports provision, and over £4,000 for the Fovant Youth Club, to help them improve their accessibility. I know that this will make a real difference to these two great local organisations.
I am also committed to working to protect our environment and our beautiful natural landscapes, and this month, I met with the team at Cranborne Chase AONB, to discuss their plans for the coming year. They have some particularly interesting ideas for the Dark Skies Reserve, and much more in the pipeline. I also led an Area Board discussion around eco-friendly local initiatives for parish councils, local community groups and interested residents across South West Wiltshire, and we are committed to supporting these locally-led interventions wherever we can.
Finally, as many of you will know, an independent remuneration panel recommended that the Council should adopt plans to increase our pay by around 5%, to reflect the work we do. At a time where our economy remains uncertain, and we are all having to do more with less, my colleagues and I did not feel this was fair or justifiable, and so we voted against these proposals, and instead voted to only increase our allowances in line with the pay rises we give our staff at Wiltshire Council.
There remains a lot more to do, and please feel free to get in touch if you’d like any more information on the work we’re doing, or if I can help.
Councillor Nabil Najjar
Fovant and Chalke Valley division – Wiltshire Council
Portfolio Holder for Arts, Heritage and Tourism