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  • Article: Jun 22, 2021
    By Trevor Carbin

    Wiltshire Council's Strategic Planning Committee met on Tuesday (June 22) to decide on the application from Northacre Renewable Energy Ltd to build what the committee report describes as a "moving grate combustion plant for the 'recovery' of energy from residual waste (Energy from Waste (EfW)). Moving grate combustion is a thermal process to break down waste into a fraction of its original size. The plant generates baseload renewable energy (i.e. steam, which can then be used for other purposes such as electricity generation and heating) and uses a flue gas treatment system to reduce the resultant flue gas emission concentrations to below (sic) environmental standards."

  • Westbury Incinerator ()
    Article: Jun 22, 2021
    By South West Wiltshire Liberal Democrats
    On behalf of local Wiltshire Liberal Democrat's we have written to the strategic planning committee councillors registering your/our objections to the proposed incinerator in Westbury.
    Additionally we've written to the Secretary of State requesting he consider calling this application in. The strategic planning committee is meeting today to consider the application (amongst others) you can view the agenda and follow along here Agenda for Strategic Planning Committee on Tuesday 22 June 2021, 10.30 am | Wiltshire Council
  • Happy Solstice
    Article: Jun 21, 2021
    By Bryan Lewis

    The 2021summer solstice will occur on Monday 21st June at 4.32 am BST.

    On the day of the summer solstice the number of hours of daylight are at their maximum while the number of hours of night are at their minimum.

    Many people consider the summer solstice to be a day but in reality it is the exact moment when whichever hemisphere you're in is most tilted towards the Sun.

  • Boris Johnson innocence
    Article: Jun 20, 2021

    The obvious answer to that question is of course that us taxpayers are paying, but that assumes that the government can find the money in the first place after a fiscal-busting pandemic and facing a war-footing-style out-of-control national debt. Over the last year, all the fiscal rules set down by Gordon Brown, George Osborne and their successors have been smashed as the country struggles to emerge from its covid-induced coma with an intact economy. At some stage we are going to have to either start tightening our belt and paying off the debt, or write a new set of rules that allows for the sort of investment needed without worrying about the consequences.

    Unsurprisingly, Boris Johnson appears to be a subscriber to the latter philosophy, not because he has no regard for consequences, though that trait has defined his personal and political life, but because he is a popularist, and knows that big projects and liberal largesse wins votes. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, because he is the one who ultimately has to deal with the consequences is in the first group. And so we are back to the normal tensions of government, in which the Treasury is pitched against the Prime Minister for control of policy, or are we?

    The loose cannon in all of this is Boris Johnson himself, who apparently thinks he cannot be restrained by the normal rules of government, hence we get articles such as this one in the Times, where the Prime Minister is painted as having gone rogue, leaving his colleagues to play catch-up:

    When Boris Johnson recently pledged to buy a new royal yacht and set up a 21st-century version of the postwar Marshall Plan to fund green growth in the developing world, the ideas were hailed in Downing Street as evidence that post-Brexit Britain is playing a global leadership role again. A picture was painted of a royal flagship touring the world as a visible symbol of Britain's soft power, drumming up trade.

    The only problem? Key people had no idea the announcements were going to be made and no one in government now wants to pay for them. Under the surface, both have instead become high-profile symbols of growing tensions at the top of government over public spending, which now threaten to dominate Whitehall for the next six months.

    "No one in the Treasury had a clue about the new Marshall Plan until it appeared in the media," said a senior Whitehall official. That included the chancellor, Rishi Sunak. Insiders say no spending request has even been received. A No 10 source admitted: "The Treasury seems to be getting increasingly irritated that we keep announcing things without telling them."

    The Conservatives' loss in the Chesham and Amersham by-election on Thursday, where the Liberal Democrats overturned a Tory majority of 16,000 on a 25-point swing, has rendered the philosophical differences between Johnson and Sunak more acute.

    Behind the scenes, tensions are growing over the gargantuan bill looming for Covid recovery. Sunak is among several cabinet ministers who are letting it be known privately that, when the government is facing a year of crunch spending pledges, important decisions need to be made by the cabinet, rather than by a small clique in No 10.

    The Treasury is under pressure to find more for Covid education catch-up, to help pupils who have fallen behind during the pandemic; for health catch-up, to fund operations and cancer treatments that have been neglected; and to pay for the huge backlog of court cases that have built up.

    It is not only No 11 that does not want to find the £200 million needed for the replacement for the Royal Yacht Britannia, which was decommissioned in 1997. The Cabinet Office, which was originally asked to devise the plans, the Department for International Trade, which was originally expected to benefit from them, and the Ministry of Defence, which has now been saddled with the project, are all in the dark about where the money is coming from, not least because the MoD is fighting to plug a £16 billion black hole in its annual budget.

    "There is a huge row going on about the royal yacht and who is going to fund it," said one senior Tory who is close to several cabinet ministers. "The seeds are being sown for an almighty set-to between Boris and Rishi over spending."

    Another official confirmed: "The royal yacht is a complete and utter shitshow. When it was first floated, the PM wanted it to be built in Britain. It was given to [Cabinet Office minister Michael] Gove to sort out, but it became clear that under procurement rules it could only be built here if it was a navy thing with a bunch of fake weapons on board. So Gove passed it on to the MoD. The Treasury stayed out of it."

    A cabinet source, reflecting on Johnson's initial plan to get others to pay for the renovation of his Downing Street flat, joked: "Perhaps Boris can get someone to set up a trust to pay for it."

    As the article points out these tensions have been exasperated by last weeks by-election result with Tories now facing the reality that levelling-up means taking money from voters in places like Chesham and Amersham and giving it to places like Hartlepool.

  • Article: Jun 18, 2021

    Sky and the BBC have led with our story all day, we are cutting through.

  • rt53
    Article: Jun 18, 2021

    It has been fashionable in recent years to talk of the "red wall" seats, Labour constituencies in the midlands and north of England that have traditionally voted Labour.

    These seats are in areas where economic growth has been less strong, where an older and. More socially conservative population voted in big numbers for Brexit and where at the last election having been taken for granted for years by Labour they did the unexpected and voted in Conservative MPs

    This has seen a pivot of government attention towards these new constituencies with their vague talk of levelling up ( still pretty policy free but a great ambition)

    What has been less commented upon is the internal tensions this causes inside the Conservative party and in particular in its traditional heartlands of southern England (the Blue Sea). Here there is a greater concentration of university educated, socially liberal people who voted remain.

    It is against this background that we should view last nights stunning victory for the Liberal Democrats in the Chesham and Amersham parliamentary By election

  • C & A Thank You ()
    Article: Jun 17, 2021

    Chesham and Amersham

    I'm writing this month's report before we know the result. But we do already know that we've had the best candidate in Sarah Green, run the best campaign and had an awesome amount of help from people all around the country. Wiltshire Liberal Democrats have been part of the volunteer effort giving up their time and skills over the past few weks of the campaign. It has truly been a wnderful sight to see the proliferation of the Lib Dem Diamonds literally everywhere within the constituency.

  • UK & EU flags
    Article: Jun 16, 2021

    The Conservative press has been full of stories during the G7 summit summit of French intransigence and lack of pragmatism over the UKs desire to change the Northern Ireland protocol. Despite all the bluster and attempts to divert attention and blame the bloody French we are left with the hard fact that the deal agreed by Mr Johnson was the one that Theresa May had said no British Prime Minister could ever sign when she ruled out a border in the Irish Sea.

  • Article: Jun 15, 2021
    Warminster Town Council is inviting community groups that work for the benefit of all or part of the Warminster area and/or some or all of its inhabitants, to apply for a grant of up to £2000.
    Terms and conditions and application forms are available from the Civic Centre or can be downloaded from the Town Council's website.