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Recent updates

  • Article: Sep 27, 2021
    By Trevor Carbin

    Despite being partly responsible for events in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence is refusing to help with the consequences of those events.

    There are 1,325 empty MoD properties in Wiltshire. These are all outside of the secure areas of Military Bases and many have been empty for years. The MoD have told Wiltshire Council that none are available for Afghan refugees.

  • Article: Sep 23, 2021
    By Trevor Carbin

    Wiltshire Council's Conservative administration has been severely criticised for the way it's dealt with the residents of Furlong Close in Rowde.

    Now the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published an inspection report on Furlong Close today after inspectors visited the site recently.

    In a statement WC reports that "The council funds 19 residents at Furlong Close, with 13 other residents funded by 12 other local authorities." Note the emphasis on funding.

  • Article: Sep 21, 2021
    By WC

    Today, there has been a significant update by the Counter Terrorism Policing network in relation to their investigation in to the Salisbury Novichok attack.

    They have now identified a third Russian national believed to be responsible for this attack - 'Sergey FEDOTOV' (alias for Denis SERGEEV). The CPS have announced that sufficient evidence has been secured in order to authorise a number of charges against him.

    CTP have also released images of 'Sergey FEDOTOV'.



  • Article: Sep 18, 2021
    By Lib Dems

    NHS workers face a £940 hit to their incomes next year due to Conservative plans to increase national insurance to 13.25% and cut Universal Credit, analysis published by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

    The figures show that the 3% pay rise for NHS workers announced earlier this year will be more than wiped out by the combined impact of the tax hike and slashing of support to working households.

    Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said the government's proposals were a "slap in the face for our NHS heroes" and accused ministers of launching an "unfair tax raid on nurses and others on the frontline of the pandemic." He was speaking as the Liberal Democrats met for their Autumn Conference this weekend.

    The research, conducted for the Liberal Democrats by the House of Commons Library, shows that a typical NHS worker on £19,330 who claims Universal Credit will see their net income fall by £941 in 2021/22, or almost £80 a month.

    The 3% pay rise will be more than offset by the £1040 hit from the Universal Credit cut and £200 in additional national insurance contributions.

    The figures are based on a typical NHS employee (Band 2 healthcare assistant with two or more years' experience), who is a single parent with two school-age children and renting an average two-bed private sector home.

    Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

    "These figures show that many NHS workers will see their meagre pay rise wiped out by the Conservatives' heartless proposals.

    "For a working parent with children struggling to make ends meet, the impact of this could be devastating.

    "It is a slap in the face for our NHS heroes and all those working families who Boris Johnson is taking for granted.

    "The Liberal Democrats will keep fighting this unfair tax raid on nurses and others on the frontline of the pandemic.

    "The government must work with us and other opposition parties to find a long-term solution to the social care crisis, one which is fair, sustainable and doesn't disproportionately hit those on low incomes."

    Here are the details:

    For an NHS worker claiming UC, what will be the net effect of:

    • The 3% pay rise for NHS staff
    • The UC cut
    • The NI rise

    The 2021/22 NHS Agenda for Change pay rates in England, incorporating the backdated 3% pay rise for this year, are set out here on the NHS website.

    Many different scenarios could be devised to illustrate the interaction of the above points. One possible scenario is set out as follows:

    Band 2 healthcare assistant with 2+ years' experience, single parent with two school-age children and renting a 2-bed private sector dwelling at the median Local Housing Allowance rate for England in 2021/22). Gross pay in 2021/22: before pay rise = £19,337; after pay rise = £19,918. Increase in gross pay: £581 (+3%). (sources: 2020/21 and 2021/22 NHS England pay scales).

    The table below sets out the net effect of all of the above factors on this illustrative NHS employee, using 2021/22 values (assuming all impacts, including the NI rise and the UC cut, are applied throughout 2021/22 in the 'After' scenario).

    The overall net effect is a reduction in income of £941.73 on an annualised basis. This is the result of the withdrawal of the UC uplift (worth £86.67 per month or £1,040.04 annualised) which more than offsets the increase in net earnings from the pay rise.

  • Article: Sep 17, 2021
    By WC

    An Amesbury tree surgeon has been prosecuted by Wiltshire Council for fly-tipping hazardous construction waste on a farm in Collingbourne Ducis and committing multiple other environmental waste offences.

    Daniel Waters, of The Old Dairy, Amesbury, appeared at Salisbury Magistrates Court on 14 September and pleaded guilty to fly-tipping hazardous construction rubbish on farmland. He also failed to provide waste transfer notes to the council when requested to do so and therefore failed in his duty of care in relation to his business waste.

  • Trowbridge Town Hall
    Article: Sep 16, 2021
    By WC

    These include mending the roof to prevent leaks and repairing the stonework on the front facade.

    Safety hoarding has been erected around the building.

    The work will take place from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and will take around three months to complete.

    The Town Hall's programme of events and activities are unaffected by the works and people using the Town Hall can continue to access the building using the existing entrance. A temporary section of footpath has been installed to ensure the safety of pedestrians.

  • Article: Sep 16, 2021

    funding for enforcement officers and cameras to tackle speeding has been announced by the Police and Crime Commissioner.

    Wiltshire Police has one civilian Community Enforcement Officer, recruited earlier this year, to help support the county's network of Community Speed Watch volunteers.

    The additional investment in enforcement will see two new Community Enforcement Officers recruited, alongside the purchase of additional camera equipment.

  • Article: Sep 16, 2021
    By WC (edited)

    Just 7000 Afghans made it to the UK and now require support and resettlement. This month a small number of Afghan adults and children including families were given temporary accomodation in a hotel in Wiltshire following a period of quarantine.

    The Home Office is currently unclear on how long each person will have leave to remain for before being thrown out of the country. This could be between six months and up to five years and will be dependent on the scheme they are part of.

    All the refugees are being registered with a GP. The CCG is co-ordinating Covid-19 vaccinations alongside other immunisations and screening.

    Childcare and education for the children may be a possibility.

  • bb
    Article: Sep 16, 2021
    By WC (edited)

    The Building Bridges Programme is offering free support to people in Swindon and Wiltshire facing barriers in entering employment or education. It educates participants to access education or move towards work.

    The programme gives people the confidence and experience they need to be able to progress towards, achieve and sustain employment. A worker is assigned to each participant to develop a plan to demolish their barriers and support them at a pace they feel comfortable with.

  • Article: Sep 14, 2021

    The Trowbridge site has seen various schemes come and go over the years. A new planning application has gone in to WC and is out for consultation until October 10th. Here are the details, plus a link to the planning portal:

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

    PL/2021/08064: Innox Mills, Stallard Street, Trowbridge BA14 8HH
    Proposal: Hybrid (full and outline) planning application descriptions (i) & (ii).