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Recent updates

  • Article: Nov 28, 2020
    By Howard Sykes

    The LGA's "cross party" briefing and comments can be seen here - but the following things are worth mentioning:

    • No extra Public Health funding for councils. As the Association of Directors of Public Health said, it is "completely incomprehensible" that the Government is not increasing the public health grant during a major pandemic.
    • Social care will still have a funding gap of billions of pounds and of what has been promised only £300 million appears to be genuinely new grant funding and is for both children's and adult social care. So guess who will pay for the Chancellor's largesse to make up the rest of the funding he announced ? That's right, the council taxpayer. The social care precept of the council tax bill provides limited means to raise additional funding, but it is not sustainable; it raises different amounts of money in different parts of the country, and it doesn't take into account the ability to pay. What is needed is a long term plan for social care funding.
    • No extra money to fund a pay rise for public sector workers who have worked so hard and been clapped so well during the demic.
    • Of the £100 billion to be invested in the UK's infrastructure, only a fraction seems destined to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
    • The Government's "Levelling up" fund, to which any local area can bid for the funding of local projects will need the local MP's sign off. Councils are no longer trusted to make a bid themselves.
  • Article: Nov 28, 2020
    By WC

    All council-run leisure centres will reopen on Thursday 3 December, following the lifting of national restrictions.

    The centres will reopen with the same facilities and services as before the national restrictions, which were brought in on 5 November.

    Amesbury Sports and Community Centre and the newly refurbished Calne Leisure Centre, now known as Calne Community Campus, will also be opening their doors.

  • Article: Nov 26, 2020

    The town will double in size if Wiltshire Council gets its way, bursting out in all directions. To the south as far as the K&A, westwards outside of the A350 towards Broughton Gifford, and on a swathe of greenfield sites to the north and east.

    The new county plan allocates housing up to 2036. A further 2585 homes are to be built around Melksham in that period, in addition to those already allocated or under construction.

  • Article: Nov 26, 2020
    By WC (edited)

    Wiltshire has been confirmed to be in the government's COVID-19 Tier 2 'high' category, which will replace the national restrictions on 2 December.

    This means that from 2 December:

    • You must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble, in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.
    • You must not socialise in a group of more than six people outside, including in a garden or public space.
    • Businesses and venues can remain open in a COVID secure manner, other than those which are closed by law.
    • Pubs and bars must close, unless they are operating as restaurants.
    • Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals.
    • Hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to provide table service only. In premises which sell alcohol, they need to close between 11pm and 5am with some exemptions, and stop taking orders after 10pm
    • Education settings remain open
    • Council services such as leisure centres and libraries will be able to open to the public again. Leisure centres are due to open on 3 December and a date for libraries to reopen will be confirmed in due course.
    • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees - 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events.
    • Outdoor street markets will be able to sell a full range of items, not just food
    • Places of worship remain open, but people must not attend or socialise in groups of more than six people whilst there, unless there's a legal exemption.
  • Article: Nov 26, 2020
    By WC (edited)

    Wiltshire Council and the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) are planning the works, which will allow traffic to go faster, as part of the Chippenham Station Hub project.

    A 'consultation' runs from 19 November until 14 December. You can email comments to

  • Article: Nov 24, 2020
    By WC

    More businesses could benefit from financial support from the government's new Additional Restrictions Grant scheme.

    This cash injection comes after Wiltshire Council received £10 million of Government funding. This new grant scheme is a discretionary scheme that will help those businesses required to close, or that have been severely affected by the national restrictions and are outside of the business rate system.

  • Article: Nov 23, 2020
    By WC (edited)

    Wiltshire Council will be broadcasting its second live public COVID-19 update next month, to provide the latest information and to answer residents' questions.

    The broadcast takes place on Tuesday 8 December at 5pm.

    Chief Executive of Wiltshire Council Terence Herbert, and Director of Public Health Kate Blackburn, will help guide people through the latest information and regulations.

  • Article: Nov 20, 2020
    By WC (edited)

    Wiltshire Council has taken the decision to scrap People Friendly Salisbury.

    The decision follows a meeting with Salisbury City Council where they refused to support the scheme. Salisbury Business Improvement District (BID). has also requested the scheme be suspended.

    Given the lack of support from the city council and the Salisbury BID, Wiltshire Council is unable to continue with the scheme.

  • Article: Nov 20, 2020
    By WC (edited)

    Wiltshire Council has received £681,000 from the second tranche of the Department for Transport's (DfT) Active Travel Fund to progress cycling schemes in the county.

    The award is less than the £908,000 that the council originally bid for, and so to establish which schemes to take forward, WC is holding a consultation on the options, and on the first tranche of temporary schemes, which are already in place.

  • Article: Nov 19, 2020
    By WC

    Wiltshire Council's winter maintenance team are ready to keep the county's roads running.

    After the end of every winter, council teams service 26 gritting vehicles, amend and test gritting routes, and develop closer working arrangements with parishes and other agencies.

    The council has more than 13,000 tonnes of salt in stock strategically placed throughout the county in six storage sites. It also has weather stations that provide real-time information and assist in producing accurate forecasts to ensure gritters are sent out at the right time.