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Recent updates

  • Article: Jan 13, 2021

    The problem of providers profiteering and giving out junk food parcels has resurfaced, this time in the context of Free School Meals, with the national media picking up on the story. Wiltshire Council as the Local Education Authority has striven to distance itself from the debate, blaming school governors for letting down their pupils. Here's the WC statement:

  • Article: Jan 12, 2021
    By WC (edited)

    Wiltshire Council wants to build a big road with lots of housing on fields around Chippenham, and is inviting residents and businesses to comment on the proposals.

    During an eight-week consultation period, which starts on Friday 15 January, people can view and comment on three distributor road options and two link road options to Pewsham Way.

  • Article: Jan 9, 2021
    By WC (edited)

    Wiltshire Council's Conservative administration has lost control of the planning process by failing to keep a five year land supply. Also the government is promoting increased housebuilding, so a Plan Review is in process.

    An online consultation runs from Wednesday 13 January until Tuesday 9 March.

    Wiltshire residents, businesses and town and parish councils can sign up for online events. Each event relates to a particular settlement, and there are also two events for rural areas, which include all other Wiltshire villages and settlements that are not covered in the other 15 events. The online events will be held from 7pm-8pm on the dates shown:

  • Article: Jan 9, 2021

    Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service is planning to remove the Technical Rescue Units from Trowbridge and Chippenham Fire Stations.

    The petition against this is at: https://www.change.org/p/dorset-wiltshire-fire-authority-stop-the-removal-of-vital-rescue-equipment-from-wiltshire-92ff7833-55e3-41ce-b9ae-f417b1ba0192/w?source_location=petition_nav

  • Article: Jan 7, 2021
    By WC

    There's an order and collect service, with bookable computers, at a number of libraries across the county.

    The exact opening days and times of each library are at https://pages.wiltshire.gov.uk/librarylocations.htm.

    Here's how to work the Order and Collect service:

    • Let your local library know what kind of books you enjoy. This can be done by completing an online form or by phoning the library during their opening times
    • The council will need to know your library card number and phone number
    • Twelve books will then be selected on your behalf or 20 for a family - audiobooks can also be selected if you have an audiobook subscription or membership exemption
    • When the books are available, the council's library team will contact you to arrange collection.
    • When you arrive, a librarian will ask to see your library card, and will then pass on the books
    • If you wish to reserve a specific book, you can use the council's normal reservation service. Books can be reserved via the online catalogue for 95p
    • Books are loaned for three weeks and will need to be renewed, if you wish to keep them longer. They can be returned through the library letter box at any time
    • All returned books will be stored for 72 hours before being put back on the shelves.
  • Article: Jan 5, 2021
    By WC

    New one-off grants will be available to closed businesses as follows:

    • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
    • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
    • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

    A discretionary fund is being made available to support other impacted businesses - Wiltshire Council is awaiting details from the government on these schemes before rolling them out.

    If you have already applied for the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme, you do not need to apply again. If your businesses was closed as a result of the restrictions in November 2020 and you have not yet applied for a grant, please complete the application form as soon as possible.

  • Article: Jan 5, 2021

    Wiltshire Council leader Philip Whitehead has announced that questions or statements from members of the public which are critical of his cabinet and its members won't be accepted in future.

    The decision at the January 5th cabinet meeting was in response to a submission from Adrian Temple-Brown on the Stonehenge road scheme. It questioned in forthright terms the cabinet's commitment to the council's environmental goals, comparing the Stonehenge plans to those for Chippenham via the Housing Infrastructure Fund.

  • Article: Jan 5, 2021
    By Wilts Police

    Wiltshire and Swindon's Police and Crime Commissioner is asking residents for feedback on the proposed policing precept for 2020/21.

    Conservative PCC Angus Macpherson has launched a survey to collect feedback on policing: what is being done well and where improvements could be made, as well as a proposed increase in the policing element of the council tax.

    The suggested increase equates to £15 a year on a band D property.

    This follows a recent national government funding announcement which was based on the assumption that all PCCs would increase precepts.

    Mr Macpherson warned that if the policing part of the precept is not increased next year, Wiltshire Police would need to find savings of more than £3m and would have to reduce staff.

    The extra £15 means that Wiltshire Police will recruit 46 additional officers in 2021/22. The Force is also on track to recruit this year's target of an additional 65 police officers by March 2021.

    This will take officer numbers to 1,050 - the highest in six years. The additional 46 officers in 2021/22 would see officer numbers rise to 1,096 by March 2022.

    The 'consultation' is open from Tuesday 5 January to Tuesday 2 February.

    Further information can be found in the PCCs 2021 Policing Precept video.

  • Article: Jan 5, 2021
    By WC

    Wiltshire Council is urging residents to stick to the latest COVID-19 rules, following confirmation from Government that national lockdown measures are now in place.

    The restrictions outlined include:

    • People must not leave their home except where they have a 'reasonable excuse' which includes work (if you cannot work from home), volunteering, visiting shops, educations and childcare, visiting people in support and childcare bubble, exercise, medical reason, harm and compassionate visit, animal welfare, and communal worship.
    • It is against the law to meet socially with family or friends unless they are part of a household bubble
    • Weddings can only take place in exceptional circumstances and only for six people. Funerals can take place for a maximum of 30 people. (sic) Wakes and other linked ceremonial events can continue in a group of up to six. For more information call 0300 003 4570 or email ceremonies@Wiltshire.gov.uk
    • Schools and colleges are to close to the majority of children and will provide remote learning until at least February half-term
    • Nurseries can remain open
    • Everyone who can work from home, should do so
    • Non-essential retail must close
    • Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through
    • Accommodation venues must close
    • Leisure centres will close (a range of resources can be found at https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure-active-communities)
    • Market stalls selling essential retail may stay open
    • Some Libraries will be opening to provide an order and collect service and also access to some digital services (more information on this in due course)
    • The Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre is closed. Any enquiries can be sent to heritageadmin@wiltshire.gov.uk . Customers can go to the website at www.wshc.org.uk to find out about online resources.
    • Household recycling centres remain open. People can book a slot at https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/household-recycling-centres-book
    • Those identified as clinically extremely vulnerable must shield - a letter will be sent to them from the government shortly
  • Article: Dec 26, 2020

    As part of the Government's Future High Street Fund, Wiltshire has been provisionally awarded £16,347,056 for Trowbridge and £9,355,731 for Salisbury.

    The Future High Streets Fund was launched by the government in December 2018 to help revitalise town centres to ensure they can respond to the ongoing impact of both online shopping and out of town shopping.