Lydiard Millicent is a parish in North East Wiltshire, approximately 4.5 miles west of the centre of Swindon, and 4.3 miles north east of Wootton Bassett.
It has a population of 1,570, according to the 2011 census.
Administration of Lydiard Millicent
Lydiard Millicent is a parish in the administrative county of Wiltshire. Lydiard Millicent Parish Council comprises the first, or lowest, tier of local government. Above this is Wiltshire Council, a unitary authority. Within Wiltshire, Lydiard Millicent forms part of the council district of Wootton Bassett East. Molly Groom (Conservative) is currently its elected county council representative. At the national level, Lydiard Millicent in the electoral division of North Wiltshire, currently represented at Westminster by James Gray (Conservative).
Within Wiltshire, there are 18 area boards, and Lydiard forms part of the Royal Wootton Bassett and Cricklade Area Board. It is classed as a small village in the Wiltshire Core Strategy.
Although part of Wiltshire, Lydiard Millicent borders the urban area of Swindon, another Unitary Authority. Fear of coalescence, the desire to maintain a rural buffer and a separate village identity are major concerns, voiced in the Parish Plan.
Lydiard Millicent, demographics
Despite popular conceptions, the population of Lydiard Millicent is not as aged as it may, at times, appear. There is some evidence that the number of families with children are increasing slightly, although the cost of affordable housing appears to be a concern for a significant number.
Approximately 22% of the population is 18 or under, although only 6% is aged between 19 and 30.
Approximately 30% are aged between 30 and 50.
28% of the population is over 60, about 4.5% higher than the average for the south west as a whole. (Figures based on 2011 census).
Lydiard Millicent, one village or many hamlets?
Many villagers take pride in the (semi-) rural nature of their environment, vigorously resisting the urban sprawl of Swindon.
Parts of the historic parish have become subsumed in West Swindon (notably parts of Roughmoor and Nine Elms). However, Lydiard precariously clings to its distinctive village character.
The main part of the village centres around the church and historic manor. However, there are several other distinct areas of settlement within the parish; Holborn, Lydiard Green, Common Platt, Washpool, Green Hill, and parts of Greatfield. Each has its own unique character.
Lydiard Millicent, the physical environment
Limestone and some mudstone tend to dominate the North Wiltshire area, although there are corallian deposits around Lydiard Millicent, and some chalky outcrops in the Green Hill area. (Corallian deposits are classed as a minor aquifier and can be associated with springs and perched water – typically water pools on top of clay, which inhibits it seeping down to the groundwater).
Lydiard Millicent, facilities
Lydiard Millicent has a well attended and active church, All Saints. It also has a preschool (30 places), and primary school, Lydiard Millicent Church of England (197 pupils recorded on the roll, 2014).
Community facilities include a Parish Hall, and the Jubilee Club House and sports ground.
The Sun Inn enjoys a prominent place in the Street, providing meals as well as a range of wines and beers. However, Lydiard has two other hostelries, albeit at its extremities. The Riff Bar in Greatfield combines live gigs and open mic sessions with a bar, and occasional tapas. In Common Platt, former pub, the Foresters, has become a popular Italian restaurant, Casa Paola.
Lydiard Millicent no longer has a village shop, nor a post office. However, it has two small business parks. In keeping with its market garden heritage, it also has a number of garden centres, nurseries and timber suppliers, notably Toomers in Stone Lane.
There is a bus service into Swindon and Cricklade, which runs several times a day (but not on Sundays). And a cemetery.