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Recent updates

  • Article: Mar 1, 2021
    By Your WC

    This year 34 children are not being offered any one of their preferred choices of secondary school from this September, with 377 not receiving an offer for their first preference school. The introduction of a 'fourth preference' this year makes the figures appear not quite so bad.

    The number of parents applying online has risen again, with 96% of applications being made online, compared to 97% last year. The percentage drop is due to the increase in overall numbers, with a higher proportion of people submitting paper applications

  • Article: Feb 28, 2021
    By Trevor Carbin

    Older lorries and buses will be charged £100 per day to go into the city, with older vans and taxis having to pay £9.

    There's no charge for private cars or motorbikes.

    Will it send more traffic into West Wiltshire? We don't know yet - it's difficult to work out what proportion of HGVs are affected. WC traffic counts should be able to tell us if there's a drastic change in traffic movements.

  • New barrier on cycle track
    Article: Feb 28, 2021
    By Trevor Carbin

    As well as wasting tens of thousands of pounds on rubbish cycletracks and then wasting more money to take them away again, WC is still behind the times with its policy of impeding cycling.

    The rest of the country, from the PM down, is more progressive. Recent government guidance has emphasised the importance of removing unnecessary stoppers and barriers on cycle roads. WC has responded by erecting unnecessary new barriers on cycle routes - here's a picture of one recently installed on a designated cycle track in Hilperton.

  • Article: Feb 25, 2021
    By WC

    The consultation closes on Tuesday 9 March, and although there will be a further consultation later in the year, people should take this opportunity to have their say about the future of housing, infrastructure and land for employment in their area.

    Toby Sturgis (Con, Brinkworth), Cabinet Member for Planning, said: "We have had an excellent response to the consultation so far, with more than 500 submissions, but with less than two weeks to go until the closing date, we're asking anyone that hasn't already responded to do so by 9 March.

  • Article: Feb 22, 2021

    Two years ago a Liberal Democrat proposal to declare a Climate Emergency went through at Wiltshire Council with cross-party support, despite opposition from the Conservative administration, with all the Cabinet members voting against.

    This was a great success at the time, and interestingly the Conservatives now claim credit for the Declaration. However the progress to make the council environmentally aware has been slow and painful, with quite a lot of greenwashing by the council's wonderful PR department involved.

  • Article: Feb 18, 2021

    The Wiltshire Local Plan review has been strongly criticised by environmental groups. Here's a message from them to local councillors:

    .............................................................................

    We are writing to you to share our grave concerns about Wiltshire Council's proposals for the Wiltshire Local Plan (2016-36), which is now, and for the first time, being consulted upon.

    We believe that the proposed Plan would be severely damaging to the Climate and to our County's natural environment and long-term sustainability.

    In fact, what is being proposed would promote physical development on some of our most precious countryside and farmland, destroying natural capital, removing carbon sinks and releasing millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases, as a result of concreting and asphalting over green fields. In some areas, extended, and completely unnecessary, 'flyovers' are being proposed that would traverse flood plains, rivers and historic canals. In others, valued heritage and green spaces used for leisure, cycling and walking would be permanently damaged or lost. Many of the proposed expanded settlements would simply increase reliance on cars and lock in huge quantities of tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions as a result of even more commuting.

    By agreeing to the Government housing numbers (calculated by an outdated [2014] formula that places high housing targets on rural counties) Wiltshire Council is putting unsustainable pressure on our towns and parishes' ability to cope, and abusing the very concept of 'sustainable development'. Worse still, Wiltshire Council has agreed to take on an additional 5,000 houses above the approximately 41,000 prescribed under this formula, putting yet more pressure on our Climate and environment. It even proposes to accommodate some of this by selling off County farms for short term gain, whilst neglecting to consider brownfield development or include as part of its housing figures.

    This myopic focus on excessive housing numbers at the expense of all else, is at the heart of the problem, and we will be urging Wiltshire Council to make Climate Change and the environment the priority it needs to be, in order to secure our future and that of generations to come. We are therefore asking you to consider the adverse impact of Wiltshire Council's proposals as a whole, in addition to those affecting your town, parish or wider local area.

    In particular:

  • wysplimit
    Article: Feb 16, 2021
    By WC

    This is on the A350 going towards Trowbridge. Here's the WC justification:

    The introduction of a 40 mph speed limit on the A350 Trowbridge Road to the north of The Mead Roundabout, Westbury, is to encourage and reduce approach speeds into the recently constructed Millbrook Roundabout serving new housing development on the east side of the A350. Since its construction there have been numerous reported instances of sharp braking due to excess speed on both the northbound and southbound A350 approaches to this junction. This is caused in part by the offset nature of the roundabout, with drivers failing to appreciate the sharpness of the deflection to the right on the northbound approach from Westbury, but equally the degree of offset to the left on the fast, straight, southbound approach. Mitigation works to date have included additional signage on the northbound A350 approach and installation of bollards to emphasise the 'kick-over' of the carriageway to the right in this direction. The introduction of a 40 mph speed limit is considered an essential part of the package of highway safety measures necessary to combat excess driver speeds into this roundabout.

  • Article: Feb 15, 2021

    Or to be pedantic, money to buy materials and labour to fill potholes. Here's the WC announcement:

    Wiltshire Council has been awarded £22,924,000 from the Government's Highways Maintenance Fund for 2021/22 to pay for a range of highways maintenance and improvement programmes, including resurfacing, re-signing, new road markings, traffic signals and filling potholes.

  • Article: Feb 11, 2021

    Construction is set to start on 1 March.

    The campus will include a gym, pool, sports hall, library, and meeting space.

    The work is being carried out by Pellikaan Construction Ltd, which specialises in the construction of sports and leisure facilities.

    There will be some disruption during construction.

    • The car parks on the site will be closed and access will be restricted to construction/maintenance vehicles only. Access arrangements will be in place for the on-site clubs.
    • Pedestrian routes around the site will remain open. These will be clearly signposted, but access to the Market Place through the construction site will not be possible.
  • Article: Feb 10, 2021

    Wiltshire's Conservative administration wants to put your Council Tax up by 5%, which along with police and fire increases will mean a hike of around £100 on many household rates. The 5% includes 3% for social care, which the government has said can be imposed over two years. The Tories want to grab it all now, whereas the effect of the Lib Dem amendment would be to spread it over two years, thus lessening the impact at what is a difficult time for many families.