Some boaters may have noticed a group of smartly dressed people having their picture taken at Dundas Aqueduct on Monday 21st June. Thanks to the Wiltshire Times, we now know who they were. Yes, they are the Valley Parishes Alliance, a group of nine parish councils who have joined forces to present a unified view on local issues across the B&NES/ Wiltshire boundary. The issues they are concerned about include “the canal”. When you put together the words “parish council”, “concerned” and “canal”, it doesn’t take much imagination to translate that into “boater-hating NIMBY”. I hope my translation is wrong, as boaters have had some good and productive meetings with representatives of parish councils recently, and we have succeeded in breaking down some of the barriers between us. Some parish councillors have expressed their support for boaters and dismay at BW’s attempts to make us homeless (see previous post, Limpley Stoke Councillor Speaks Out
The alliance, a union of union of Bathampton, Batheaston, Bathford, Claverton, Freshford, Limpley Stoke, Monkton Combe, Westwood and Winsley “will focus on issues such as housing, roads, employment and tourism, managing the Kennet and Avon canal, protection of the green belt and renewable energy opportunities”. Let’s hope their concern extends to some careful scrutiny of BW’s actions.
“We want to make sure if we have concerns in common that they are heard by both Wiltshire and B&NES, and that we don’t get lost down the cracks,” said Simon Coombe, the alliance’s chair, who is also a Limpley Stoke parish councillor. The full text of the Wiltshire Times article, and the photo, can be found here