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Recent updates

  • Article: Sep 22, 2017

    Universal Credit may in itself be a good thing, but the incompetent way it's being implemented by the government is causing hardship for many people. Here's a message from the Trussell Trust:

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    Universal Credit was designed to simplify a welfare system and make work pay for people, which we welcome. However, the roll-out has caused significant problems, with delays of six weeks and more to payments. Such delays can plunge people into crisis and foodbanks across the country have reported an increase in the number of emergency food supplies being issued, which corresponds with areas that have introduced Universal Credit.

    At The Trussell Trust, we constantly seek to highlight and challenge the circumstances that lead to people using foodbanks in the UK. In April we issued an Early Warnings report, giving a series of informed recommendations to ease the transition.

    The Trussell Trust is now calling for a pause in the roll-out of Universal Credit so that these problems can be fully addressed.

  • Article: Sep 21, 2017

    Hilperton thinks Wiltshire Council has failed the people of West Wiltshire when it comes to allocating land for more housing. Here's the parish council's response to the consultation on the WC housing allocations plan:

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    Hilperton Parish Council is of the opinion that the Wiltshire Council (WC) Draft Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan is unsound for the following reasons:

  • Stonehenge by Vera Carbin
    Article: Sep 14, 2017

    The Transport Secretary has announced the preferred route for the A303 Stonehenge, Amesbury to Berwick Down scheme.

    It follows the public consultation Highways England (HE) held earlier this year and marks a major step forward in the plan to rebuild this section of road.

    HE say they've analysed over 9,000 consultation responses which, along with further studies and assessments, have influenced the route decision. The scheme includes a twin-bored tunnel at least 1.8 miles long through the World Heritage Site, and revised junctions with the A360 and the A345. It also includes a northern route for a Winterbourne Stoke bypass.

  • Article: Sep 12, 2017

    Wiltshire Council's 'cabinet' is considering the introduction of parking charges in a number of car parks around the county which are currently free to use. These include Devizes Market Place, the station car park in Melksham, Southwick Country Park, Westbury Leigh and Smallbrook Meadows in Warminster.

  • Article: Sep 11, 2017

    When Lafarge was operating in Westbury there were concerns about potential pollution from the chimney affecting the health of the population. Now similar questions are being asked about the Northacre incinerator.

    Here's a message from Friends of the Earth:

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    "In 2015 Wiltshire Council gave planning consent in principle for the building of a "Renewable Energy Plant" (incinerator with electricity generation) at Northacre, Westbury. This waste disposal plant will burn mixed Wiltshire waste (paper, cardboard, food waste and mixed plastics) which have been converted into a pelletised "fuel" at the adjacent Hills Waste plant in Westbury. The Westbury "Renewable Energy Plant" is awaiting construction.

  • Article: Sep 11, 2017

    An outline application for what's described as a new hotel resort including a water park and business conference facility, submitted by Longleat Estates, has been approved by Wiltshire Council planners. It's for an area south of the Warminster bypass at Tascroft Farm.

    The site will include an 'immersive animal experience', and it will be necessary to rearrange the local footpath and bridleway network.

  • Article: Sep 11, 2017

    Wiltshire Council's Conservative cabinet is looking to resort to Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology for use in residents' parking zones. A vehicle equipped with the kit would be able to whiz down the road checking parked cars as it went, stopping to ticket any cars lacking a permit. The £40,000 cost of the equipment would, the council hopes, soon be recovered in fines.

  • Article: Sep 10, 2017

    Cash-strapped Wiltshire Council wants to make more money from car parking, and has come up with a number of possible ways to do this. These include:

    - Applying an 'inflationary' increase of around 10%

    - Charging for Sundays and Bank Holidays

    - Charging in those car parks which are currently free

    - Increasing season ticket prices

  • Article: Sep 5, 2017

    A report to the WC cabinet (agenda) shows a deficit on the current account of nearly four and a half million pounds. Council officers say they hope to have the accounts back under control by the end of the financial year, preferably without having to raid the reserves yet again.

    The main red areas are:

  • Article: Aug 30, 2017

    In August 2016 Wiltshire Council introduced a new system of charging for adult care which resulted in many people paying more for the services provided by the council.

    About 3,500 people are potentially hit by the changes. However they first have to have an assessment of their financial circumstances, with assessments being done annually thereafter. By early July though only about 600 assessments had been completed. So in this case the council's internal slowness and incompetence is working to the benefit of its customers!