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Recent updates

  • Article: Mar 2, 2015

    An outline application to build 300 houses on land east of the A350 on the edge of Westbury submitted by Robert Hitchens Homes is to be considered by WC's Strategic Planning Committee on March 11th. The site would extend from Bitham Park to the railway line, opposite the already permitted site at The Mead on the other side of the main road.

  • Article: Mar 2, 2015
    By WC

    5 percent of Wiltshire children will not be attending their preferred secondary school this September according to the latest figures.

    4,600 children applied to start secondary this September with 98.7% being given one of their preferred schools and 95% being offered their first choice school. 65% of the applications were completed online.

    Every applicant can name up to three preferences.

    Secondary admissions are co-ordinated across county boundaries. Wiltshire's admissions team deals with applications for all Wiltshire secondary schools including the two grammar schools in Salisbury and applications from Wiltshire residents wishing to attend schools outside the county. This year 305 Wiltshire residents will be offered schools outside the county and approximately 300 children will come into Wiltshire schools from other areas.

  • Article: Feb 28, 2015

    The closure of part of the A36 near Bath from Monday 2 March will seriously affect bus service 265 provided by First West of England.

    First has been working closely with the local authorities in the past few weeks to finalise plans for diversion routes, and temporary shuttle bus services.

    The following will be in place from Monday 2 March:

    · Most Service 265 (Bath - Bradford-on Avon - Trowbridge - Warminster - Salisbury) - with the exception of those noted below - will be diverted via the A363 "Sally-in-the-Woods' road to travel between Bradford on Avon and Bath. They will not serve Bathampton, Winsley village, Limpley Stoke or the Winsley Road in Bradford on Avon.

    · A special shuttle bus service (Service 266) will provide journeys between Bradford on Avon and Winsley during the day, Monday to Saturday.

    · One Monday to Friday Service 265 journey - the 1642 departure from Warminster to Winsley - and two Saturday journeys - the 0722 Saturday departure from Winsley to Warminster and the 1640 Saturday departure from Warminster to Winsley - will continue to operate throughout the closure, providing direct journeys to and from Winsley.

    · On Sundays and Public Holidays, a revised Service 265, will provide short journeys between Bath and Trowbridge, diverting via Winsley and Bradford on Avon, alternated with longer journeys between Bath, Warminster and Boreham via Bradford on Avon, Trowbridge, White Horse Business Park, Yambrook and Westbury. A special timetable has been created for the duration of the road closure, which is available to view here: http://www.firstgroup.com/ukbus/bristol_bath/travel_news/service_updates/?item=80391&conf=1

    · People wishing to travel to or from Limpley Stoke for the duration of the closure will need to use Libra Travel's Service 94 for journeys towards Bath or Trowbridge (buses will run Monday to Saturday).

    · Through tickets where necessary will be available to buy on the buses.

    Simon Ford, Commercial Manager for First West of England says: "We have worked hard with our partners at Wiltshire Council to finalise the arrangements for this significant diversion of one of our most important services in the county.

    "Unfortunately Brassknocker Hill itself cannot be used as a diversionary route for buses due to its extreme gradient and tight bends. This means that a large part of the route between Bradford-on-Avon and Bath will be missed, as we take steps to divert our services via the A363 'Sally-in-the-Woods' road to travel between Bradford on Avon and Bath. This means that buses will not serve Bathampton, Winsley village, Limpley Stoke or the Winsley Road in Bradford on Avon.

    "Successful partnership working with Wiltshire Council has ensured that a solution has been found though and that Winsley, which was in danger of being cut off from bus services altogether, retains access to them by means of a shuttle bus."

  • Article: Feb 25, 2015

    The Highways Agency reports that work to stabilise the embankment along the A36 near Bath will start on March 2nd. Whilst the official diversion uses the Warminster - Chippenham route, drivers will be looking for ways through to Bath on the local road network.

    The £2.3 million scheme, on a three mile section of the A36 between Brassknocker Hill and Hantone Hill, is being carried out to correct geotechnical faults in the bank underneath the road that are resulting in damage to the road surface. While the work is taking place it will be necessary to close the road completely. Brassknocker Hill will remain open to vehicles below 7.5 tonnes but road users are advised to expect increased volumes of traffic . Vehicles over 7.5 tonnes will be required to travel via the diversion route, due to weight restrictions on this road.

    Highways Agency Project Sponsor, Rachel Scott, said, "We have considered the works very carefully but a full closure of the road will be necessary to accommodate the size of equipment needed to complete this very important work.

    "Everything possible is being done to keep disruption to an absolute minimum and complete the works as quickly as possible. We would like to thank road users for their patience while we carry out this essential maintenance work and remind them to plan their routes, allowing around 30 minutes extra to complete their journeys."

    Work starts on Monday 2 March and is expected to be completed by the middle of June. While the closure is in place northbound through traffic will be diverted from the A36 just west of Warminster to take the A350 north to Chippenham where traffic would join the A4 west to Bath.

    Southbound through traffic will be diverted at Bath to take the A4 east towards Chippenham and then south on the A350 to join the A36 west of Warminster.

    Access will be maintained for residents and local businesses.

    During the closure buses on route 265 will need to use the A363 "Sally-in-the-Woods" road to travel between Bradford on Avon and Bath. As this service does not stop at Winsley village, Limpley Stoke or the Winsley Road in Bradford the Highways Agency will be providing a special shuttle bus service between Winsley and Bradford on Avon, which will connect at Bradford with buses to Bath, Trowbridge and Warminster with transfer tickets available.

    General enquiries

    Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000

  • Article: Feb 25, 2015

    Last week, George Osborne claimed that tackling tax dodging isn't his job. But he's the Chancellor of the Exchequer: he's in charge of our economy. This week, he's already started to backtrack, talking up his promises to fine tax dodgers.

    The pressure's working. He's realised that he can't get away with staying silent. But now he needs to get the message that this spotlight won't go away until he actually closes tax loopholes.

  • 2010 hustings in Warminster (warminster people)
    Article: Feb 25, 2015

    The Swallowcliffe Debating Society has held a Question Time evening during the run up to all of the elections this century, and this year will be no exception. It will be free (with a collection for Hope and Homes for Children), and on 29th April.

    Hustings have also been arranged at the following venues:

  • Camra
    Article: Feb 24, 2015
    By SWWLD

    Trevor Carbin, Lib Dem General Election candidate for South West Wiltshire, has today pledged to support local pubs and breweries.

    The three pledges are highlighted in the Manifesto for Pubs and Real Ale by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, which sets out a package of reforms they are seeking from the next Government. These important pledges are to:

  • Article: Feb 22, 2015

    Dear South West Wiltshire,

    I have been contacted by many residents over the last week expressing concern and anger at the Conservatives' proposals for the introduction of a new Garden Waste Tax in Wiltshire.

    Like them, I am outraged by this ill thought through proposal that will result in increased fly-tipping, higher land-fill tax bills for Wiltshire, more anti-social behaviour complaints through people having garden bonfires and unnecessary increased hardship for people across the county.

  • Sheep are the most susceptible to bluetongue disease of Britain's famed animals.
    Article: Feb 22, 2015
    By Trevor Carbin

    Many constituents have written to me about the campaign by Compassion in World Farming to ask that new parliamentarians promote a humane and sustainable farming system.

    In a wide-ranging briefing, CWF say that we need to introduce high standards of farm animal welfare. Here's their manifesto:

    "It is time to phase out production that uses cages and crates as they thwart the basic instincts of many animals to roam, forage and explore.

    Animals should be kept in outdoor systems or, if they are housed, they should be kept in large barns with ample space, plenty of straw, natural light and effective ventilation. Genetic selection for fast growth or high yields should be avoided if this results in compromised welfare and systems should not be used if they require mutilations.

    We need to encourage the adoption of balanced diets with a lower proportion of meat. This would deliver health benefits by reducing the incidence of heart disease, obesity and certain cancers; it would also lower greenhouse gas emissions. Although more crops would be needed for direct human consumption, this would be outweighed by a reduction in demand for feed crops.

    Farming provides valuable income to many rural communities. There should be a particular focus on higher welfare production that delivers a better quality of food and a higher income to those farmers at the farmgate, benefitting both the farmer and the wider community through added value.

    Much livestock production in the UK is industrial in nature. 60% of EU cereal is used as animal feed. For every 100 calories that we feed to animals in the form of human edible crops, we receive on average just 17-30 calories in the form of meat and milk. We need to avoid excessive use of cereals and put more emphasis on restoring the link between animals and the land.

    We need to promote diets that include less but higher welfare meat in order to deliver a farming system that is less intensive, with less reliance on fertilisers and pesticides. This would mean reduced degradation of water, soil and air and lower use of water, land and energy as well as biodiversity gains. It would also enable animals to be kept to higher welfare standards.

    Across Europe, around 700 million farm animals (hens, sows, rabbits, ducks and quail) spend some or all of their life confined in cramped, often barren cages. Cages should be consigned to the history books and food production should be developed using extensive, outdoor and cage free systems.

    Sustainable farming that nourishes our health, the environment and promotes higher animal welfare must become the rule, not the exception."

    For further information on these issues, Compassion in World Farming has produced a Charter which sets out a proposed future direction of travel. It can be found here http://www.ciwf.org.uk/charter and is supported by further details in briefing notes, which can be found here: http://www.ciwf.org.uk/charter-briefing-notes

  • Liz notes Shenfield issues when out walking her dog and reports them in herself or with Cllr Graeme Clark every day
    Article: Feb 21, 2015

    Royal Mail have pointed out that some 3,000 postmen and postwomen suffer from dog attacks in the course of their duties each year. They've also reminded us that parliamentary candidates and political activists are similarly at risk. The much-derided Dangerous Dogs Act (1991) has recently been amended so that postpeople are protected by the legislation should they be attacked by a dog on private property. RM will be holding a 'Dog Awareness Week' in July to encourage responsible dog ownership.

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