Down Hatherley Parish Council (official website)

OPEN DOCUMENT from George Sharpley

TWIGWORTH let down by borough council.doc

           VACANCY for Parish Council Clerk.

 The clerk for Twigworth and Down Hatherley Parish Councils is retiring at the end of September. These are entirely separate councils who could engage their clerk separately, but for a number of years the same clerk, David Bayley, has worked for both.  It would be ideal if both parishes could again employ one clerk, but the parishes would be equally happy to separate the posts.

The parishes are adjacent and it is not uncommon for a clerk to
work for more than one parish.

The positions can be applied for jointly or individually; each appointment remains the responsibility of the separate councils.

These are small population parishes and the weekly hours for the clerk are about four per parish.

Candidates must have a home computer and printer & typing ability. Duties include attending council meetings (maximum 2 hours in duration), producing minutes, letter writing, liaising with local people/organisations as required and servicing the notice boards. Each council has a website but these are not administered by the clerk. 
Accounting is on a simple payments and receipts basis.

A petrol and a cycling allowance is payable.
Closing date for applications: August 25th

Twigworth salary is £1100 p.a.(gross), with 6 meetings a year.
Down Hatherley salary is £1250 p.a.(gross) for 8 meetings a year.

If you are interested in either position or both please contact:-
For both positions the clerk (tel: 01452 501796) or on either
        or  <downhatherleyparishcouncil@gmail.com>

For one position only the relevant chairman:-
     For Twigworth PC, Helen Ford (tel.07974 559873)
     For Down Hatherley PC, Dave Evans (tel.01452 730729)  
                                                                  (mob: 07970 966741)






All are welcome to attend






“ If I may explain in a little more detail my reasons for mentioning the airport in our last inTouch leaflet as a possible alternative localtion for housing. I grew up on air bases as my father was in the RAF, so aircraft and aircraft noise doesn’t bother me or cloud my viewpoint.

The three local councils Tewkesbury, Cheltenham and Gloucester have been tasked with building 35,000 new dwellings and have come up with a combined plan they call the Joint Core Strategy (JCS). In this they currently plan 3,500 dwellings to meet Gloucester City’s need in the greenbelt/flood plain between Churchdown and Gloucester, both sides of Cheltenham Road East (by the fire station and up to John Daniel’s) for 1,100 and off Innsworth Lane for 1,300 more with 995 just north of that. I believe these developments are flooding risks and would clog up Innsworth Lane, Cheltenham Road East and Pirton Lane virtually bringing Churchdown to a standstill.

In my opinion a ‘Garden Village’ with direct access to the A40 is a preferable option (although I would be happier if we didn’t have to do either). This would increase revenue for the local Council’s and the public transport advantages would be huge.

The airport site is big enough to take much of the housing currently proposed at Innsworth, Twigworth and Churchdown. it is afar better location with it being next to the A40 and the main commuter routes. It doesn’t flood. It would not use up green belt agricultural land. It’s location is in a part of the greenbelt now heavily degraded by existing and proposed developments, including on the airport site itself.

I would also like to stress that this article is my opinion and, although supported by some, is not necessarily the view of all Churchdown Conservative councillors or the Conservative Party in Tewkesbury

It is an option I believe people should be aware of and I wanted to gauge public opinion (hence the feedback request). Rest assured that I will continue to fight against these other
developments as I too live in Churchdown and wish to protect it from becoming part of Gloucester’s urban sprawl. "


I had the misfortune to be sitting in the public gallery, and observing our Borough Council at work questioning and debating the amendment to the Joint Core Strategy.

Basically, although a previous meeting (25 October 2016) had democratically rejected the inclusion of Twigworth in the JCS plan, this amendment proposed to bring Twigworth back into the plan.

The amendment was passed with a vote of 19 for and 14 against.

If Twigworth was unsuitable last time, why had it become suitable this time, admittedly with a lower number of homes proposed?

No satisfactory explanation was given as to why the resolution from 25 October had not been complied with. Pro-development councillors argued that the JCS Plan would only be sound with Twigworth in, yet the 25 October resolution had asked for Twigworth to be removed and replaced with allocations from elsewhere to make the Plan sound.


The question and answer session went into detail with experts giving their opinion about flood risk and traffic flow with technical documents beyond the comprehension of the average person. The hydrology consultant had been commissioned from a consultancy which advises developers, and was given freedom to critique the advice of the hydrologist advising the Neighbourhood Development Plan who has advised against developing at Twigworth because of the degree of risk. Twigworth Parish Council had asked for this adviser to be present to brief the councillors but this request had been refused.

Three main issues emerged …

1. Flood Risk (see also above and below)

2. Traffic Flow ( all questions on the lack of up to date traffic modelling, costs of the mitigation measures, and the nature and affordability of a new road, bringing a grotesque intrusion in the Severn Vale, were comprehensively fudged by a County Council official).

3. Loss of Green Belt (see also below)


The debate after the Q&A session, largely forgot the three main issues, and descended into a debate about the consequences of not passing the amendment.

The issues were …

1. The site at Ashchurch was no longer going to be released by the MOD for development, so the JCS were desperate for new sites.

2. The allocation at Twigworth was for Gloucester City’s needs not for Tewkesbury Borough’s needs.

3. If the JCS did not meet their quota of sites for housing need, the Council would lose their ‘New Homes Bonus grant’ (a sizeable amount). This dominated many pro-development Councillors’ arguments even though it is not a planning matter and should not influence the actual decision.

4. If the JCS did not finish their plan, the Government could take direct control, and the Council would lose their power.

5. The new houses at Twigworth could not have water run off connected to the sewage network. No practical solution about drainage and long term maintenance was forthcoming. The can was kicked down the road to be decided later in the Planning Application stage.

6. This loss of Green Belt could be appealed, and the JCS would be delayed by a call in, which is precisely what the Councils seek to avoid.


I must applaud the 14 councillors, who stood their ground, and voted against this amendment.

Sadly, the rest of the Council were more concerned about revenue, power, and lethargically ending the JCS planning exercise than serving the residents of Twigworth and the commuters on the A38.

One issue never raised – the destruction of a village by being engulfed in suburbia, and impacts on downstream communities.

It will flood.

There will be traffic chaos.

But maybe you will be reassured by the words of Tewkesbury’s monotone planner who kept insisting it’s “deliverable and sustainable”…