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Recent updates

  • Article: Oct 18, 2016

    In February this year the government set out a new procedure for funding local councils, based on a four year plan.

    The deal includes a commitment to increase council tax by 4% a year, as happened when the current year's budget was set. As the 4% is of course cumulative it means that by 2020 your bill will have increased by 22% over its 2015 level.

  • Article: Oct 17, 2016

    ... is this Saturday 22nd at Trowbridge Town Hall from 11am to 3pm. There will be live music, sheet music sales, opportunities to try that instrument you always wanted to have a go at, refreshments and activities.

    All welcome.

  • Article: Oct 17, 2016

    Plans for a new home for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance, including administrative office space, operational offices, training facilities and associated spaces on a site south of the Police HQ at Melksham have been submitted. The scheme includes a hangar, medical storage, helipad, approach strip, fuelling and vehicle wash facilities.

  • Article: Oct 13, 2016

    Department of Health proposals for 'efficiencies' in community pharmacy in England would be a very false economy and would end up putting more pressure on the NHS. Here's a message from the National Pharmacy Association:


    Cuts to local pharmacy services could begin as early as 1st December, just weeks away, and at the worst possible time in terms of loading winter pressures onto GPs and hospitals.

    Community pharmacies play a far bigger role than many people realise. Along with dispensing medicines they play a key part in providing local healthcare, from treating minor ailments through to healthy living support programmes tailored to the communities they serve.

    We need people to campaign to stop the closure of local pharmacies at the heart of the community. We are pleased to have the support of politicians from all parties, in parliament and in councils across the country.

    You can help to secure this vital local health resource. Please:

    Contact your local MP

    • Spread the word on social media - using the infographics here. Use #lovemypharmacy to be part of the nationwide conversation.

  • Article: Oct 6, 2016

    A report to the Wiltshire Council cabinet spells out the latest plans for cuts to bus services in the county. This follows a 'consultation' on the proposed cuts which got more than 11,000 responses.

    The 'Option 24/7' bus franchising scheme was not supported by the council as they say it's too risky and they want others to try it first: "Given the risks involved, Wiltshire Council will not be pursuing the franchising option at this stage, but would be prepared to consider it at a later date when there is sufficient experience of its introduction from other Local Authorities."

  • Article: Sep 30, 2016

    Wiltshire Council's ruling trinity has been reduced to a twosome as corporate director Maggie Rae has left the council in mysterious circumstances.

    Here's a terse message from the so-called 'corporate leadership team'.

    "We can confirm that Mrs Maggie Rae is leaving her employment as corporate director with the council with effect from 30 September 2016. The council wishes Mrs Rae well for the future."

  • Article: Sep 26, 2016

    An application has been submitted by Network Rail to rebuild and extend both platforms. The impetus for this is the introduction of replacement train units on the route. According to NR:

    "The electrification of the Great Western Main Line ...permits the introduction of electric multiple units (EMU) and the replacement of DMUs (Class 165 and 166) on suburban services in the Thames Valley. The DMUs are then to be released to the South West in order to help deliver increased capacity in the Bristol and Exeter travel to work areas as well as on the Cardiff - Portsmouth service group which has experienced significant growth."

  • Article: Sep 25, 2016

    According to Wiltshire Health & Care (WHC), which manages Trowbridge Minor Injury Unit (MIU), not enough people are getting injured in the area to justify keeping the unit staffed overnight.

    In a report paradoxically entitled, "A proposal for a secure, sustainable and consistent Minor Injuries Unit service for Wiltshire", WHC explain that only 2.3 people visit on average per night, and some of these are sick rather than injured. This means each visit costs £117, compared with £21 during the day, when people can get injured more efficiently.

  • Article: Sep 22, 2016

    "Your help is needed.

    Additional information has been added by the applicant for the proposed housing , you can view it on the Wiltshire Council Web site.

    At a meeting of the Hilperton Gap Action Group it was decided that there was no information that materially changed the group's views against the application and a further response on the application will be sent by the group.

  • Article: Sep 21, 2016

    The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has published a technical consultation on the 2017/18 local government finance settlement. The consultation closes on Friday 28 October 2016.

    Local authorities will as usual be capped at a 2% increase in Council Tax, with councils which deal with social care, such as Wiltshire, being allowed 4%. Any authority wishing to go higher would have to hold an expensive referendum.