For collectors of WCisms, there's a nice example in this release - "utilised to support other operations" means "closed".
Wiltshire Council is seeking feedback from taxi drivers and the public on proposals to change the county's taxi licensing zones.
At present, the council area operates four zones - north, south, east and west - and it is proposing to change this to one single licensing zone that covers the whole Wiltshire Council area.
Each zone represents an area that a taxi can accept fares in - for example, a taxi in Chippenham would be licensed to the north, which means they could only take fares in this area. If the licensing area is changed to one council-wide zone, that operator could then accept fares in any part of the Wiltshire Council authority area.
This could save them money and reduce fuel consumption, as if they were dropping off in one area outside of their current zone, they wouldn't have to travel back to their original area to pick up a new fare, as they currently do. This would be particularly useful for taxi drivers that take and collect school pupils, as they could take the pupils to school, work for the day in the same area if they wish, before collecting the pupils at the end of the school day.
As part of the current system of four zones, the council also has to keep four workshops open to inspect the vehicles. When the proposals go ahead, some of these workshops could be utilised to support other operations.
The consultation is open until 5pm on Friday 10 June. People can have their say on a number of options, including keeping the licensing zones as they currently are, moving to a single zone, or moving to two zones - north and south. People can also share their views about the proposals.
An online event will be held at 6:30pm on Monday 16 May for people to find out more information and ask questions on the support available locally.
There will be updates on the work to support refugees including accommodation checks and payments for sponsors through the Homes for Ukraine scheme and help with school places. There will also be discussion of community support and how people can be involved.
About 12% of families* in Wiltshirerely on heating oil to keep their homes warm, meaning they aren't protected by the energy price cap and are vulnerable to soaring prices.
Prices of heating oil have more than doubled to around 95p a litre, compared to 45p in August 2021. It means the cost of heating oil for the average household is expected to increase by between £700 and £1,700 this year.
A previous meeting of Wiltshire Council's Strategic Planning Committee saw a split between the Conservative councillors, who all voted in favour of the incinerator, and opposition ones who all voted against. Since then there's been a lot of lobbying, including from Andrew Murrison MP, so when it went back to committee they voted to defer the application, against the officer recommendation to permit it.
Wiltshire Police is looking for people to 'be the difference they want to see' in their communities. The Force opens police officer applications on Monday 25 April, the last round of recruitment in Wiltshire as part of the Government's pledge to recruit an additional 20,000 police officers by March 2023.
Since the start of the national Uplift recruitment drive in autumn 2019, Wiltshire has welcomed 297 student police officers, with a further 140 places available over the next 12 months. The three-year Uplift programme is funding an additional 163 police officers in Wiltshire, over and above the Force's normal recruitment to replace leavers and retirees.
Wiltshire has made good strides in improving workforce diversity, encouraging more women and ethnic minority communities - who are underrepresented in policing - to consider a career in policing, but there is still more to do.
After some uncertainty about the process, Wiltshire Council has started to pay out the £150 government energy rebate to some households, but residents are asked to be patient as this will take time.
In February, the Government announced that all households in England whose primary residence is in council tax bands A to D are entitled to a one-off council tax energy rebate payment of £150. Around 150,000 households in Wiltshire are eligible.
Taxi drivers are disappearing, so Wiltshire Council is trying to get people to take up the trade.
Not only are taxi drivers needed by the community, but Wiltshire Council also needs drivers to fulfil its growing number of SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) school and social care contracts. These contracts offer regular work and hours.
Wiltshire Council has lots of contracts available which start at around £30 a day for short routes, increasing to £250+ a day for longer routes. Drivers are free to combine these contracts with rank work.
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