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Recent updates

  • Article: Aug 21, 2020

    Wiltshire Council's Conservative administration is using the opportunity of the Covid crisis to diminish oversight of the executive by backbench councillors.

    Whilst other council meetings are proceeding as on-line events, public meetings of the Health, Environment and Children's committees scheduled for September have been axed. In their place there will be strange secret meetings of committee members with officers and cabinet members. No further formal public meetings of the committees are scheduled.

  • Article: Aug 17, 2020

    In reply to a question from Cllr Steve Oldrieve, Toby Sturgis, the cabinet member for planning at Wiltshire Council, has admitted that neither he nor his officers twigged that a planning failure had occurred at the council until a planning inspector brought it to their attention.

    The lack of a five year supply of building land tilts the balance heavily towards developers in deciding where to build in the county, and away from the council and local communities.

  • Article: Aug 13, 2020
    By WC

    Wiltshire Council has submitted a second bid to the Department for Transport (DfT) for funding of up to £1.7m to reallocate road space to prioritise cycling and walking in the county.

    The bid comprises five projects around Wiltshire, which meet the DfT aims for cycling to replace journeys previously made by public transport and deliver significant health, environmental and congestion benefits.

  • Article: Aug 13, 2020

    Many towns and villages across Wiltshire have invested a lot of time and effort and money in producing Neighbourhood Plans, which are supposed to help steer the way housing and other development takes place.

    Now though the concept of neighbourhood planning in the county has suffered a double blow. Firstly Wiltshire Council planners have lost control of housing allocations at a strategic level, which means the balance of power tips towards developers in choosing which greenfield sites to build on. Secondly the government has decided that in such circumstances Neighbourhood Plan designations only have a two year lifespan - a shorter time than many of them take to produce.

  • Article: Aug 12, 2020
    By WC (edited)

    Wiltshire Council has received a new planning application from Land & Mineral Management, on behalf of Northacre Renewable Energy Limited (NREL), for a revised 'energy from waste' facility in Westbury.

    The plans, which would replace the originally approved application, set out NREL's intention to change the technology from advanced thermal waste treatment gasification to conventional waste combustion, and are now subject to the statutory planning process.

  • temporary cycle track
    Article: Aug 4, 2020
    By WC

    The first of Wiltshire Council's projects to make it easier and safer for pedestrians and cyclists to access shops, businesses and places of work has been completed in Chippenham.

    The scheme, along part of the A420, has created a segregated cycleway to help link Bumpers Farm to the town centre, giving cyclists easy access to the centre of the town.

  • Article: Jul 30, 2020
    By WC

    Wiltshire Council will need to find another employment use for a site at Sadlers Mead, Chippenham, after local company Good Energy pulled out.

    COVID-19, and the rise in homeworking, have contributed to the decision, which will see Good Energy expand into another floor at the council's Monkton Park offices, and also repay fees the council spent on designing the building.

  • Article: Jul 24, 2020
    By Wiltshire Lib Dems

    A resolution to support Wiltshire Air Ambulance's fight for proper compensation after the Novichok attack has won the backing of Wiltshire Council. The motion was put forward by Salisbury Lib Dem Councillor Brian Dalton.

    Reacting to his success, Brian said,

    "I am delighted that my motion got overwhelming cross-party support from my fellow Wiltshire Councillors. We all know how important our Air Ambulance is, how brave their whole team is and that they have not got fair treatment from the promises made by the Government.

  • Article: Jul 24, 2020
    By Wiltshire Lib Dems

    After a two-hour debate involving more than 20 Wiltshire Councillors, WC voted by 52 to 31 to reject a resolution encouraging cycling, walking and horse riding.

    The surprise result comes as town and parish councils put forward over 200 new schemes to do just that. The government has also provisionally awarded the council £900,000 to support these schemes.

  • Article: Jul 24, 2020
    By WC (edited)

    For our libraries WC is running a phony consultation as an excuse to delay re-opening, unlike other local authorities which have just gone ahead. No such duplicity with leisure centres, where there's a bit of dosh to be made: re-opening will take place as soon as possible. Here's the announcement: