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Recent updates
  • Article: Nov 6, 2021
    By Liberal Democrats

    Owen Patterson has resigned in a cloud of Tory sleaze. He's handed us a golden opportunity to send a message to this Conservative government - but we need to grab it now.

    This by-election is a chance to embarrass the Tories in what was one of their safest seats.

    It's a chance to demand a better class of MP to represent us. We want to create a more free, fair and open society. Not one shrouded in secrecy and backhanded deals.

  • Hilperton gap planned homes ()
    Article: Nov 6, 2021
    By Matthew McLaughlin in Wiltshire Times

    CONTROVERSIAL plans to build nearly 200 houses in the Hilperton gap have been green lit by the council.

    Councillors sitting on the strategic planning committee this week approved plans by Barratt Homes to build 187 houses on land at Elizabeth Way in the parish.

    Planning officers recommended that the plans be approved.

    Trowbridge Town Council lodged its objections to the plans last December due in part to the density of the development.

    The case officer for the bid said that the site would go towards helping the council's lack of a demonstrable five-year housing land supply.

    Elected representative for the area, Cllr Ernie Clark noted that a planning inspector said that 355 houses could be built across the site, however, council officers determined that 423 could fill the land.

    This was a seriously contentious matter for residents and the councillors due to the density of the proposed development.

    The committee heard that at the time when the site was allocated for development the neighbourhood plan had already been made.

    This meant there was no opportunity to protect the land or restrict development planned for the site.

    Mike Townley, a resident of Albert Road which backs onto the proposed development said he was not opposed to the site being built on.

    However, he did say that the detail regarding carbon capture, car movements and EV chargers was light on the ground. A representative for the developer said it was contributing to improving local infrastructure as well as around £830,000 in S106 funds.

    Barratt Homes plans for 187 houses in Hilperton gap approved | Wiltshire Times

  • Article: Nov 5, 2021
    In New Valley News

    Since the train accident between a South Western Railway and Great Western Railway train at Salisbury Tunnel Junction on Sunday evening, a Rail Accident Investigation Branch has investigated the scene, and new details have emerged.

    According to the investigators, the most probable cause of the accident has been low adhesion between the wheels and the track, which has caused trains breaks not to function correctly.

  • Article: Nov 5, 2021
    In Wiltshire Times

    Councillors in Westbury unanimously agreed on Monday to approve a 'fighting fund' of up to £100,000 to stop a controversial energy from waste incinerator being built in the town.

    The council had already approved £10,000 for legal fees to pay for a solicitor, barrister and expert witness to represent the town's case.

  • hh5s (Photo by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash)
    Article: Nov 4, 2021

    Three separate news stories in the last day or two have reminded us that for politicians talk is easy. You have to watch their actions to see how much of what they say should be believed. The evidence from these three unrelated stories suggests when it comes to the Conservatives the gap between the two is pretty wide

  • Article: Nov 3, 2021

    Steve Mason - Day Three

    'Day Three #COP26Glasgow

    Demo by Friends of the Earth, a hob nob with the Times and a quick chat with Dale Vince of Ecotricity.

    The take away moment from today?

    Arctic base camp.

    "13,000,000 litres of water melts every second in Greenland alone..."

    Just think on that...

    If we lose this battle, then we can kiss goodbye to the UK Climate, it will not be as is now.

  • COP26 - Day 2 (COP26)
    Article: Nov 2, 2021

    Amid powerful pleas heard in Glasgow yesterday, world leaders, young people and campaigners all stressed the urgency of taking tangible action to keep the prospect of holding back global temperature rises to 1.5C and building resilience to climate impacts. Today countries have made unprecedented commitments to protect forests, reduce methane emissions and accelerate green technology.

  • Article: Nov 2, 2021
    By WC

    Train services in Wiltshire may be facing the axe, but the campaign to re-open Corsham station continues.

    The bid to the Department for Transport (DfT) for funding to develop a feasibility study for a new station in Corsham, as part of the Restoring Your Railway Ideas Fund, has been approved.

    The proposed two-platform station would be situated on the Great Western Main Line, with potential links to London Paddington, Bristol, Swindon and Reading. It would help to reduce traffic volumes in Corsham and along the A4, and provide easy access to and from MOD Corsham, the largest employer in the town.

  • Article: Oct 30, 2021

    Here's a summary of the Spending Review from the Local Government Association Lib Dems:

    • It ignores the climate emergency. Working with local government to tackle this was given a very low profile in the budget and the reduction in Air Passenger duty while hiking up rail fares is laughable for a Government pledging to tackle global warming, all on the eve of the COP26 conference. What a massive own goal!
    • It lets our kids down. Only £1.8 billion in extra catch up funding which is a pittance, but the Government found £3.8 billion to reduce the banking surcharge and give tax cuts to their friends, the bankers.
    • It says nothing about the underfunding of social care, letting our elderly and vulnerable down. Care services have been on the frontline throughout the pandemic and it is a real tragedy (but no surprise) that no extra funding to address existing pressures on care and support have been provided. Not caring for those in need just puts more pressure on the NHS. Again the council taxpayer will be expected to foot the bill. How many times do we need to tell them that we need £1.1 billion a year just to cover existing costs?
    • No increase in public health funding to stop people getting ill in the first place, despite this incredibly challenging period. It runs contrary to addressing the stark health inequalities exposed by COVID-19 and levelling up our communities. Local authorities' public health grant has been cut by 24 per cent on a real-terms basis since 2015.
    • Police continue to be underfunded. In March 2021, there were 135,301 full time equivalent police officers. Ten years earlier in March 2011, there were 139,110. Factor in staff turnover and those leaving the force and numbers are not likely to rise. When Ministers talk about extra officers they don't count the ones who leave.
    • Councils will be expected to raise council tax by 3 per cent every year to meet what Government believes they should be able to spend. So it is a real "trick" budget ....
  • Article: Oct 28, 2021
    In Wiltshire Times (Edited)

    Councillors in Westbury are being urged to approve a 'fighting fund' of up to £100,000 to stop a controversial energy from waste incinerator being built.

    The council's Northacre Renewable Energy Task & Finish Group is recommending they appoint a preferred solicitor to represent the town council should Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, call in the NREL waste incinerator planning application.