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Recent updates

  • Article: Oct 11, 2019

    On 10 October 2019, Dyson announced its Board's decision to close the project as it's not commercially viable. Wiltshire Council is now looking to help cover the consequences of that decision.

    Dyson will continue its £2.5bn investment programme, continuing to expand at Malmesbury and Hullavington, concentrating on manufacturing solid state batteries and other technologies.

    The company has said it has 'exciting plans' for Hullavington which it will outline in due course.

    As the site was bought primarily for automotive development (requiring extensive test tracks) it'll be interesting to see what those are.

    Wiltshire Council worked closely with Dyson to secure their further development at Malmesbury, when there was a threat to move activity elsewhere. As part of that development WC built a new roundabout on the A429 using LEP funding. WC also helped to initiate the electric car project by finding Government investment, helping to secure Hullavington by negotiations with the MoD, and working on a masterplan for the site.

    This has involved considerable officer support, with an account manager and senior planner leading the engagement.

    Despite the subsidies from local and national taxpayers, WC were not informed of the decision beforehand, though the company have committed to engage 'in the near future'.

    WC has offered 'task force' support should any redundancies follow, to help match skilled people to known demand from other employers (as was done with Cooper Tires, and Honda).

    Dyson are keen to emphasise that Hullavington is an important R&D site for the company and has a bright future, and that the Home business has the capacity to absorb most of the automotive staff.

  • Article: Oct 11, 2019

    Following the recent resignation of Roy While (Melksham Without South), Deborah Halik (Trowbridge Lambrok) has also quit. The by-election will be the fifth to be held in West Wiltshire this year.

  • WC
    Article: Oct 11, 2019
    By Trevor Carbin

    After ten years, and with a new leader in place, WC has decided to make the 'where everybody matters' strapline redundant. It won't be replaced.

    The slogan has often been made fun of over the years by all the various people who saw themselves as being treated as non-material by the administration.

    The logo is also being varied. It's not known how much it cost to produce the new version.

  • Article: Oct 9, 2019
    By WC (edited)

    Visitors can fill up their bottles with water at County Hall in Trowbridge.

    Wessex Water has provided the tap, which is directly linked to the WC plumbing, as part of the partnership bid to encourage people to avoid single-use plastics and promote hydration. Installation of the tap has taken many months.

  • Article: Oct 9, 2019

    A Bradford on Avon town councillor tells a story of how he was walking up Mason's Lane in the town when a passing person who was driving up the road leant out of his car window and shouted, 'Oi, what are you going to do about the traffic?'

    And here's a quote from the This is Wiltshire website about the scheme to build a big new road around Chippenham: 'But some back the idea, saying that daily traffic already blights their morning commute.' In other words, 'Other people on the roads get in the way of me on the roads. Take away the other people and I'll have an uninterrupted journey'

  • Article: Oct 7, 2019
    By Trevor Carbin

    Senior councillors and officers met on Monday (Oct 7) to consider a report on the problems the council could face on November 1st. The report is being kept strictly confidential, and is immune to Freedom of Information requests. Previous information though suggests the county could be faced with problems in the fields of education and social care in particular, with the added possibility of temporary disruption to food and fuel supplies. Longer term increases in costs could cause particular problems for more vulnerable members of society.

  • Article: Oct 3, 2019
    By Trevor Carbin

    Here's more detail on the research by Friends of the Earth referred to below. They say

    The Wiltshire area's performance on climate change is better than most compared to similar local authority areas. But Wiltshire Council's consistent support for climate-wrecking road schemes and their opposition to wind farms demonstrates that even the better scoring local authorities need to do much better if climate catastrophe is to be averted. Wiltshire also needs to do much better on increasing the use of public transport, cycling, and walking.

  • Article: Sep 29, 2019

    Recommendations to exempt cars from being charged to drive in the proposed CAZ in Bath were previously agreed by Bath and North East Somerset councillors.

    So as of the end of 2020 charges will apply to lorries, buses, taxis and vans unless their exhaust emissions are clean enough to be exempted.

    'Vans' includes pick-ups, some 4x4s, campervans, motorhomes and horse boxes.

  • Article: Sep 25, 2019
    By WC

    Wiltshire Council has relaunched the Connecting Wiltshire website to give people transport information that is simple to find, understand and use.

    The refreshed site, which has been updated and improved, is designed to help people find ways to travel that save time and money, while also improving their personal wellbeing and the environment.

  • Article: Sep 24, 2019

    Despite having declared a climate emergency earlier in the year, Wiltshire Council still sees more roads, more car-based housing estates and more 'growth' as the way forward. Here's the press release. Note the greenwash, in that a tiny fraction of the bid is for 'cycling and walking routes' , which will probably be inconvenient, unnecessary, or in the wrong places. Anyone can walk and cycle in and around Chippenham at the moment.