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Area boards

Introduction

Area Boards are a way of working to bring local decision making into the heart of the community. There are 18 Area Boards across Wiltshire, with each one holding delegated powers and devolved budgets to facilitate community action at a local level. Residents and local organisations are encouraged to engage with their local Area Board by contacting their local Councillor or Strategic Engagement and Partnership Manager or by attending one of the local business meetings, community events, working groups or activities.

The Area Board Handbook 2022 (PDF) [3MB] (opens new window) provides a comprehensive account of the Area Board model in Wiltshire.

What area boards do

Area boards exist to work alongside other organisations to make things happen in the community. These groups can include town and parish councils, voluntary and community groups, youth organisations, sports clubs and local charities. Area boards wouldn't be able to achieve what they do without these partners working on the ground with them. The Area Boards host regular business meetings, engagement activities, events, surveys and working groups to stimulate and support local community action.

Area boards agree local priorities based on local data and intelligence. They discuss the priorities with their local communities and then work hard with local residents and partners to develop projects that will address them.

An important role of the Area Boards is to provide grants to community groups. There are three main funding streams which include community capital grants, youth grants and older and vulnerable adults grants.

The overall focus of the Area Boards is to:

  • develop a strong, well established and highly functioning network of local partners, organisations and residents
  • generate an in-depth understanding of our local communities, including the demographics and the issues faced by the residents
  • empower and facilitate community led action
  • recognise the talents, expertise and knowledge of our communities, trusting and supporting them to co-deliver local services
  • ensure decisions are taken in consultation with and close to the residents that they affect
  • effectively share data and intelligence at a local level
  • provide a local platform for local engagement and conversation
  • deliver an opportunity for residents to gain an understanding of the way the council works
  • help deliver the Wiltshire Council business plan at a local level with the involvement of communities.

Wiltshire Area Boards community area map (PDF) [5MB] (opens new window)

Scheduled meetings

Priority themes

Each Area Board has reviewed available local data and evidence, and integrated this with local knowledge and community conversation to agree up to five local priority themes. Each priority theme has a series of more specific local actions that the Area Board will undertake to positively address them.

You can contact your local Strategic Engagement and Partnership Manager for more information - Find your local SEPM or Councillor.

Find your local SEPM or Councillor

Engagement and Partnerships Team

The Engagement and Partnerships Team work closely with residents, volunteers, local partners and Councillors of the Area Board to help facilitate community led action. The team ensure that the boards use a variety of engagement platforms such as business meetings, working groups, events, workshops and surveys, to develop a strong network of local partners and to deliver to local priorities. They work closely with their communities and really get to know local residents and partners. They are experienced in developing projects, building relationships and putting together funding to deliver to local outcomes.

In each area there is a Strategic Engagement and Partnerships Manager (SEPM), an Area Board Delivery Officer and an Area Board Support Officer. Please find your local SEPM using the tabs below.

For news, updates and information across our 18 community areas in Wiltshire, please follow us on social media:

Facebook: Wiltshire Council Area Boards (opens new window)

X : Wiltshire Area Boards (@WiltsAreaBoard) / X (twitter.com) (opens new window)

Area Board Grants

Wiltshire Council devolves significant funding to the Area Boards in order for them to invest in local community projects and initiatives that meet local priorities and deliver exceptional outcomes for residents. Grant applications must demonstrate how they will improve the local communities by addressing priorities and help to deliver to the council's Business plan.

The Area Boards aim to work in partnership to achieve maximum value for its investment. They take a long term view to invest in prevention and early intervention, focusing on tackling inequalities and improving social mobility.

To be considered for a funding award, applications must be received at least 4 weeks before an Area Board business meeting.  

Types of grant

Area Board grants are split into 4 funding schemes:

  • Community grants - capital funding to help provide facilities and equipment for projects that are important to the local community. Capital funding can be used to purchase assets or the significant refurbishment of existing assets. Capital items are expected to have a lifespan of at least 5 years.
  • Youth grants - revenue funding for projects that provide positive activities for young people aged 13-19 or up to 25 years old with special educational needs and/or disabilities. A positive activity can be any educational or recreational leisure-time activity including arts, sports, leisure and informal education and community based which helps young people achieve healthy and safe lifestyle outcomes. 
  • Older and Vulnerable adult grants - revenue funding to support projects that benefit and improve older and vulnerable residents health and wellbeing. Reducing social isolation and loneliness and supporting people to maintain independence at home for as long as possible are key drivers for this funding.
  • Councillor Led initiatives- these can only be submitted by Area Board Councillors to enable Area Boards to tackle local projects which have been initiated by the community to meet local priorities. It is not used to fill gaps where there are service shortfalls or where it is possible for the matter to be resolved through use of the community funding scheme.

Application process

  1. Speak with your local Strategic Engagement and Partnership Manager (SEPM) and local Wiltshire Councillor (opens new window) regarding your project.
  2. When you are ready to start your application visit the Area Board online grants portal (opens new window).
  3. The system guides applicants through the process giving advice and help as you complete the short application form. You can save an application at any stage and return to it later.
  4. Once submitted, you will be notified via e-mail on next steps or whether further information is required. 
  5. Funding decisions are taken at each Area Board business meeting, which take place 4 times per annum.
  6. Applicants are expected to attend to provide an overview of the project and answer any questions from the local Councillors who allocate the funding awards.
  7. Successful applicants are required to accept the terms and conditions of the grant which is received via e-mail. The grant can only be drawn down when all award criteria has been met e.g. matched funding is in place and your project is ready to proceed within three months of receiving your award.
  8. A project evaluation survey will be issued to each successful applicant. Failure to complete the survey will prevent you from being eligible to apply for a further grant in the future.

Make an application

Apply for an Area Board grant (opens new window)

Related documents

Grants criteria (PDF) [1MB] (opens new window)

Guide to identify what is capital and revenue (PDF) [266KB] (opens new window)

Local Highway and Footway Improvement Groups

Local Highway and Footway Improvement Groups (LHFIGS) have replaced Community Area Transport Groups (CATGs) and are sub-groups of the area boards. They aim to find solutions for local transport issues such as road repairs, traffic problems, road layouts and parking. More details on the type of measures which can and cannot be considered for funding can be found in the LHFIG Terms of Reference April 2022 (PDF) [106KB] (opens new window) . Each group has about 10 members including area board members, town and parish council members and community representatives.

The meetings are also attended by relevant officers from Wiltshire council including a senior transport planner, a senior traffic engineer and a local highway maintenance engineer as necessary. Their key purpose is to offer advice and support to the group but they do not vote on the issues raised. The LHFIG may also invite representatives from local organisations to its meetings to give technical advice or to share local knowledge. Further information on the LHFIG decision making process can be found in the  LHFIG Guidance Notes April 2022 (PDF) [182KB] (opens new window) .

Funding allocation

The amount allocated is dependent on the geographical size and population for each community area and is shown in the terms of reference. The funding allocation is for capital expenditure and can only be used to provide new and improved highway infrastructure. The funding is suitable for small scale schemes which improve safety, increase accessibility and sustainability by promoting walking, cycling and public transport and improving traffic management. It cannot be used to fund revenue functions such as maintenance schemes or the provision of passenger transport services.

Raising an issue

Individuals may  Report a highways improvement issue (PDF) (PDF) [123KB] (opens new window)   which should then be submitted to their town or parish council. The form includes a hyperlink to the town and parish council contact details webpage. Only those issues which are supported by the town or parish council may be considered by the LHFIG.

Further information about how the groups operate, including membership, meeting schedule and the decision-making process, can be found on the Local highway and footway improvement groups.

Report a highways improvement issue (Word document) (Word doc) [38KB] (opens new window)

Traffic Survey Request Process & Information April 2023 (OpenDocument text format) [1MB] (opens new window)

Traffic-survey-request-form February 2022 (OpenDocument text format) [109KB] (opens new window)

Community Asset Transfer

Who can do what

Wiltshire Council recognises that many community groups occupy land or buildings that are owned by the Council but wish to take them over (ownership and or management) or wish to take over other buildings owned by the Council within their community. The Council agreed its Community Asset Transfer (CAT) Policy (opens new window) at the July 2011 Cabinet Capital Assets Committee.

Essentially this policy means the Council can transfer the management and/or ownership of the asset to the community and may do so in some instances, at less than market value, if sufficient social or economic benefits can be delivered by the proposal.

The process

Following receipt of a CAT Request Form (Word doc) [223KB] (opens new window) , Strategic Engagement and Partnership Managers work with Estates to produce a covering report for the Area Board to consider the application. The Area Board make a decision on the CAT. If the property is classed as being of strategic importance to the council, the Cabinet have the final say, taking into account the recommendation of the Area Board. This is explained further in diagram form in the CAT Process Flowchart (PDF) [101KB] (opens new window) . In most cases the transfer of management / ownership will be through the grant of a 125 year lease, but discussions with the applicant will take place to ensure the right agreement is put in place.

 

Latest Area Board news stories

Contact us

Area Boards
Wiltshire Council
County Hall
Bythesea Road
Trowbridge
Wiltshire
BA14 8JN

areaboards@wiltshire.gov.uk (opens new window)

 

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