What we've been doing in our villages 2019/2020

SCHOOL TRANSPORT: In August 2020 I was approached by some worried parents who have been concerned about their son or daughter entering Sixth Form at Ridgeway School being unable to find space on the school buses to the Ridgeway School for September.


All have been aware of the need to pay post-16, but it's the spaces.


I contacted James Povoas (Ridgeway Head) and SBC's Transport Manager and I'm pleased to say that the R6 students have now been found space. An extra stop has been added for the R25 so they can all be together. There are still a couple of concerns to address but I’m still working on those for two parents (since concluded happily).


Gary Sumner

Ridgeway Ward Councillor

Badbury Park: Day House Lane will be closed from Monday 10th August 2020 - this was originally envisaged in the consent for Badbury Park and is implemented as part of the works to upgrade Junction 15 of the M4 as part of the £17.2m project.


Signage will reflect this and I hope that once the M4 Junction 15 scheme is completed we can all use this beautiful lane for safer walking, cycling and horse-riding.


In March 2021 I visited and have asked that we get the developers to repair the verges where construction traffic has churned them up.


we are looking at further measures to make the lane safer. 


Gary Sumner

Your Ridgeway Ward Borough Councillor



JANUARY 2020: In order to improve visibility at a dangerous road junction (Callas Hill crossroads) we cut back some overgrown highways verge to assist in safely using the crossroads.


Working positively with Liddington Parish Council


I volunteer with Community Speedwatch in Liddington and following residents and Parish Council's concerns about speeding motorists, I arranged a meeting with a senior SBC Highways manager & Parish Councillors (ironically on a July morning last year when the M4 was closed due to an accident)! 

We discussed crossing safety, speeds and signage and the potential location for Parish Council funded flashing speed signs. 

2020: The speed activated signed have now been installed and speeds detected over 90mph - the police have been informed!


Ridgeway Ward residents let me know if you have any questions:




Gary Sumner – your Ridgeway Ward Councillor


January 2020I met Highways Officers and Consultants inWanborough to discuss some of the issues which may be addressed as part of the 'Measures to minimise rat running' which is a policy within the existing Local Plan to mitigate the effect of the new house-building to take place in the New Eastern Villages.


It was useful to explain about safe crossing places on the High Street which would be desirable to both slow traffic and to make the safety of pedestrians (and particularly children) when crossing from the Village Hall and Chapel Lane access points to the Lower Rec.


We looked at Burycroft and The Marsh and what can be done to deter through traffic.


We looked at parking on the High Street just by the Rotten Row roundabout. We looked at pedestrian safety when crossing the road to Hooper's Field - particularly as that is now a 'Park & Stride' location.




October 2019: All villages - I had a meeting with UK Broadband (now Three) to discuss some issues with the 4G Superfast Broadband system avaialble to the villages.


Some fixes have been implemented and I identified current issues raised by residents and we discussed possible solutions and a Communications plan for residents to keep them up to date.


Update: works completed December 2019 to upgrade hardward to improve customer speeds and experience.




September 2019: During both my Ward meetings and directly, I was able to help concerned residents who wanted to make submissions on the 'Local Plan Review' sites in Wanborough, Badbury and in Bishopstone. I was able to offer some useful tips on the best policy areas to highlight to make their case.


September 2019 - Bishopstone:

I organised a site meeting with a senior Highways officer, Parish Councillors and residents to look at speeding and Highways Safety at the junction of West End Lane & Icknield Way. Plan of action agreed including a suggestion of a mirror and road markings and speed signs subject to Parish funding.


Wanborough July 2019:

Recent Ward works have included meetings with Highways officers responsible for road maintenance to look at the conditon of Wanborough's High Street and Rotten Row.


I had some patching works done and they replaced some topsoil to a grass verge in Rotten Row where poor soil had meant grass didn't grow.


Having discussed the wider road surface I am aware it is not yet due for major work and have a good understanding of where the thresholds are.



Liddington - July 2019:  We had a meeting with Highways Officers in Liddington to look at road safety and road signage and markings.



Bishopstone March 2019:

After two years of chasing I finally got the New Road re-surfacing carried out about which Bishopstone Parish Council and residents were very pleased.  


Wanborough Primary School Parking/Safety July 2019: I arranged for Highways officers to meet school representatives to discuss the issues on site in July 2019. Some positive initiatives were discussed.




2019 Ward events I attended and supported included the Wanborough May Day Fayre (with my wife and son we manned the barbecue all day - so apologies if we didn't chat much), and as usual I took the official photos for the Wanborough Scarecrow Trail (for which my company also sponsors first prize).


Attended the Bishopstone & Hinton Parva Country Garden Fete, Liddington Fete, Wanborough Primary's Summer Fete, whilst my son and I marshalled for the Wanborough Fun Run.


We also (through my company) sponsored the Dog Show at the Wanborough Spring Show.


We attended & loved the brilliant 'International Pig Racing' in Bishopstone hosted by Helen Browning & Tim Finney at the equally fabulous Royal Oak in Bishopstone.






As one of a group of volunteers we give up our time to be a visible presence to speeding motorists in Liddington.


Data about speeding motorists is passed to Wiltshire Police and those motorists can expect to hear from the police.


The data has also helped us get permission to site movable vehicle activated speed signs on Purley Road funded by the Liddington Parish Council.


Swindon Borough Council role


Delighted to be appointed to Swindon Borough Council's Cabinet as Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning 2018/19 and re-appointed 2019/20 and 2020/21:


A great opportunity to work in a field where I have 35 years experience - the Housing industry has been my life since I was 18.


I fully intend to deliver on the ambitious plans for Swindon with good housing developments but will work with residents to define the benefits to their community and try to secure infrastructure in a timely fashion.





My son Will and I removed grafitti - cleared pavements of leaves and fallen branches and removed grass growing alongside the road on the Purley Road (B4192).


Great to look back and see what we achieved in doing this - a very tidy street scene afterwards.


We were just one part of the effort with other Liddington residents concentrating on other areas.


We brought in a leaf blower from home to speed the task!


Swindon Borough Council work


I have beeen the representative for Swindon on the Council of Partners of the North Wessex Downs AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty).


This is an organisation created to protect and enhance the Nationally protected & designated landscapes which surround us.


My family and I enjoy the beauty & diversity of our countryside and The Ridgeway! 


We walk lots and have a demanding dog 'Coco' who also enjoys our countryside!



Archaeological Advisory Body of the Swindon Development Trust:


I have been the Chair of this fascinating group for four years, considering the important archaeological findings often discovered as a result of developments, monitoring the Swindon Museum and we have held meetings and worked with the National Collections Centre at Wroughton.




We planted 4000 trees at 'Manners Wood', Pack Hill, Wanborough in the AONB in November 2018 & more in February 2019 and November 2019:


Together with the Woodland Trust, staff from Nationwide Building Society and the Landscape team at Swindon Borough Council we planted 4000 trees in land aquired by SBC alongside an existing woodland scheme in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at Pack Hill, Wanborough.


Staff and pupils from Years 3&4 at Wanborough Primary were able to join us and Nationwide were good enough to lay on the coach to get them there and back safely! They were incredibly enthusiastic planters and trees were planted so quickly that more had to be brought to site! They will watch this special new woodland grow and know they helped create it in 2019.




Gary Sumner – your Ridgeway Ward Councillor



LIVING IN A RURAL AREA - we do enjoy our pubs:


In Wanborough we have some fantastic pubs - the New Calley Arms, Plough Inn, Harrow Inn, Brewers Arms and Cross Keys + The Burj Indian Restaurant at Foxhill.


In Badbury we have the Bakers Arms and in Liddington we have The Village Inn. Bishopstone has the fantastic Royal Oak.



Cllr Gary Sumner

Ridgeway Ward



Tel: 01793 790814


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