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Recent updates

  • Article: Jan 9, 2019

    The WC Conservative administration's decision to save money by closing Larkrise and St Nicholas special schools is now out to consultation. Please note that only representations in favour of the project will be taken any notice of. Here's the WC official release. Note that the £20m figure is what would have been spent anyway, less savings, and whilst the new facility is stated to have 'Great' teachers. It's not clear how these will be recruited, or how they differ from current staff.

  • Article: Jan 7, 2019

    An application has been approved by Wiltshire Council for the demolition of the disused golf club and driving range buildings at Thoulstone Park, to be followed by construction of self-catering holiday accommodation, with a restaurant, a farm shop, conference space, spa treatment rooms, a leisure pool and a community hall. There would also be staff accommodation, car parking and associated landscaping works.

  • rubbish
    Article: Dec 30, 2018

    The government has published a 'resources and waste strategy', which it describes as ambitious. The document is a blueprint not for action, but for consultation. This means there will be plenty of opportunities for the semi-noble aspirations to be watered down. Here's a review of the document, with direct quotes in italics.

  • Article: Dec 23, 2018

    When the folk song collector Herbert J H Hunt visited Somerset in 1912 he was struck by the survival of the most extraordinary oral traditions.

    "One lady of a good eighty years," he noted, "could recite her own ancestry for some forty generations through the male line. I was particularly excited by the way her stories matched events in the history of our nation. Not just recent events like the French wars, but those occurences deeper in history such as the civil wars, the great plagues, and even the Norman occupation."

  • Article: Dec 22, 2018

    The Local Government Association and the BBC report that a High Court judge has overturned Wiltshire Council's ban on motor vehicles using byways around Stonehenge.

    The Trail Riders Fellowship had challenged the ban, which the council imposed in June.

    Anyone who has ever been involved in a WC 'consultation' will appreciate the irony of the judge's reasoning: Mr Justice Swift found that the council had failed to comply with a legal requirement to consult the Freight Transport Association and the Road Haulage Association, and had failed properly to consult with Wiltshire Police.

  • Article: Dec 15, 2018

    A report to the Bath cabinet recommends putting off any decision on the CAZ until March. This is allegedly due to the high number of responses (over 8,000) received to their recent consultation, and the need to analyse those responses before finalising the plan.

    Although not mentioned in the report, many of the responses came from the West Wiltshire area.

  • Article: Dec 5, 2018
    By Your WC

    Wiltshire Council joined local authorities from across the region to be updated on the South West Armed Forces Covenant Project and discuss its support for the military community.

    The councils are working together to improve the delivery of the Armed Forces Covenant, to raise awareness and promote understanding to benefit military communities.

  • Article: Dec 4, 2018

    Wiltshire Council is going to convert its street lighting to LED at a cost of £12million.

    The decision follows a Lib Dem budget amendment in February 2012 which stated: Street lighting - It is proposed that in addition to the administration's proposals to turn off street lights, half of those remaining lit will be transferred onto LED bulbs to yield a saving in energy costs. This will require capital investment of around £2.800m with a borrowing cost of circa £0.250m. As such this proposal will be cost neutral for 10 years after which point it will yield payback or £0.250m per annum.

  • Article: Dec 4, 2018
    By Your WC

    A team who help rough sleepers turn their lives around has played a big part in reducing the numbers of people living on Wiltshire's streets.

    The outreach workers are part of a wider initiative by Wiltshire Council to work closely with those sleeping on the streets.

    Tackling rough sleeping is a priority for WC which wants to provide appropriate support to improve health and wellbeing.

  • Article: Dec 4, 2018

    A report to next week's WC cabinet reveals the council is spending over £2million more than budgeted. The figures would have been much worse were it not for an increase of £7million in government grants. Against that many of the increased costs are associated with government policy.

    There are overspends in adult and childrens' social care. These include spend on agency workers because WC is unable to recruit enough social workers. The overspend on childrens' services is caused by the sheer number of young people coming into the system. More children are being looked after by the council, more have child protection plans, and the number of children in need in the county has shot up from 1,975 in August 2018 to 3,269 now.