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Recent updates

  • Article: Dec 1, 2016

    The Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire revealed in November that a proposed collaboration with police forces in Gloucestershire and Avon & Somerset will not now go ahead.

    Avon & Somerset has pulled out of the Tri-Force Collaboration Programme after previously having signed up to the project.

  • Stonehenge by Vera Carbin
    Article: Nov 20, 2016

    Wiltshire Councillor Ian West is calling for an inquiry to be set up over the practices at the Stonehenge site. He has written to John Glen, MP for Salisbury, seeking support and asking him to question the appropriate departments and ask questions in Parliament.

    Cllr West said "English Heritage seems to be running out of control having breached three planning conditions by the removal of trees, permissive footpath use, and work on a turning circle for buses on the former county highway, now closed, and trying to cover them up with implausible answers."

  • Article: Nov 10, 2016

    Many new housing estates are not designed to cope with bin lorries. Because they're also not designed with adequate parking arrangements the problem for waste collection vehicles is compounded. Some new properties are so cramped it may even be difficult to find somewhere for the inhabitants to store their wheelie bins and black boxes. So Wiltshire Council is producing a document advising developers how to avoid such problems in future.

  • Article: Nov 9, 2016

    Just a few months into the financial year Wiltshire Council has announced an overspend of £8,300,000 on the revenue budget. Managers have been told to repair the damage before the end of the financial year. Should they not be able to do so then the council's dwinding reserves will have to be raided again.

  • Article: Nov 8, 2016

    The NUT and ATL unions have produced a website:


    which gives details of how government cuts to education impact on local schools.

    Just type in "Wiltshire" or your postcode.

  • Article: Nov 4, 2016
    By Trowbridge correspondent

    The answer is "Wiltshire Health and Care", which recently arbitrarily closed the only all night MIU in North and Central Wiltshire.

    Wiltshire Health and Care is a limited liability partnership. Such a partnership is set up as a profit-making business - they cannot be used for non-profit enterprises or charities. In other words, Wiltshire Health and Care is set up to make a profit - the assumption must be that Trowbridge MIU was closed at night because its running costs cut into those profits.

    Moreover there is a massive accountability deficit with Wiltshire Health and Care. Not only was there no public consultation over the closure, the WHC has NO lay [community] representatives,and NO GP representatives on their Board as is required. They are supposed to have a Public and Patient Advisory Network chaired by a lay representative - this is also not in place.

    WHC has been in existence for four months. If there have been Board meetings held during this period, no agendas or minutes are reported on its website.

    This secrecy was apparent from the start. All discussions about its formation by the Board of the Great Western Hospital were held behind closed doors with both public and press excluded.

    Wiltshire Health and Care is simply not fit for purpose. The necessary checks and balances to protect the public interest have not been put in place. They are spending tax payers' money

    but seem to be deliberately avoiding any kind of accountability. They are cutting services without reference to the people they are supposed to be serving.

  • Bishopsmead
    Article: Nov 4, 2016

    During World War 2 street names in Britain were removed to confuse any invaders. In subsequent decades many of them were put back, and the old District Council made sure all new developments in West Wiltshire were properly equipped with name plates.

    But now WC has decided the time for confusion has returned. When street name plates get damaged - and those on street corners are vulnerable to careless motorists - they will not be replaced. Here's what the Conservative authority says:

  • Article: Nov 4, 2016

    An appeal by Gladman Homes to build houses on land west of Melksham was dismissed by Planning Inspector Karen Ridge. The key factor in the appeal was whether Wiltshire Council's inability to provide a five year housing land supply in the North & West Wiltshire Area outweighed the fact that the site was in the open countryside where large scale development would not normally be permitted.

  • Article: Oct 27, 2016

    Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson is seeking the views of the public, as researchers gather opinions from the community during a large-scale phone survey which started on Monday24 October.

    Around 2,000 householders across the Wiltshire Police area will be getting a call via their landline in the coming weeks. The calls will be completed by 19 December.

    A similar number of people were contacted during a phone survey in June.

    Mr Macpherson said: "I was elected to represent the communities across Wiltshire and Swindon so it is important to me that I know what you think about the service you receive from your police force. I always welcome contact from the public through my website, email or on social media but the survey is a good opportunity to gather the opinions of a large number of people across the county. It gives me a better picture about the themes and specific issues and if people feel they are receiving the effective policing service they deserve. The views of the public are always important. They help to inform the Police and Crime Plan and identify the required services to commission from Wiltshire Police and partners. As I begin to review my Police and Crime plan the information we receive from the public will enable me to set priorities that continue to reflect the needs of the communities of Wiltshire and Swindon. The information gathered in the survey is shared with Wiltshire Police as it is important that we continue to work together to improve services for the public and the survey gives the Force insights into public satisfaction. However, all personal information collected during remains confidential. If you are contacted as part of the survey I ask that you please take this opportunity to give us your views."

    Assistant Chief Constable Kier Pritchard, chair of the Public Service and Quality Board at Wiltshire Police said: "Through the Police and Crime Plan, this survey helps to shape the future priorities for Wiltshire Police. I would encourage residents from across Swindon and Wiltshire, if you do receive a phone call inviting you to take part please use this time to give honest feedback about the service you receive from Wiltshire Police. It is a really useful survey and directly impacts on local community policing"

    The research is being conducted by a company called Information by Design and the questions should take about 15 minutes to answer.

    If you receive a call and have any concerns about the validity of the caller, please call Wiltshire Police on 101.

  • Article: Oct 27, 2016

    Uber is an online company, with its headquarters in San Francisco. The Uber smartphone application allows consumers to submit a trip request which is then routed to the drivers signed by Uber. These drivers use their own cars and are all licensed private hire drivers.

    Wiltshire Council, as the local authority, has a legal responsibility to regulate all hackney carriage and private hire licensing, and anyone who makes provision for the invitation or acceptance of bookings for a private hire vehicle must hold an operator's licence.