Minister impressed by Wiltshire's £70m campus project

Oliver Letwin, minister for government policy, Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott and Michelle Donelan, prospective Parliamentary Conservative for Chippenham, take a look at campus plans at County Hall, Trowbridge

Oliver Letwin, minister for government policy, Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott and Michelle Donelan, prospective Parliamentary Conservative for Chippenham, take a look at campus plans at County Hall, Trowbridge

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Wiltshire Council’s £70 million campus project is at the forefront of the government’s plans for a Big Society, according to a leading Conservative minister.

Dorset MP and minister of state at the cabinet office Oliver Letwin visited County Hall in Trowbridge today to hear how the council was restructuring its facilities.

Along with prospective Chippenham parliamentary candidate Michelle Donelan he met council leader Jane Scott, who discussed plans for the 18 new campuses the council was building.

He said: “It is very exciting.

“It seems to be it’s not just a question of bringing things together, though that itself is very useful, but there is clearly huge scope for efficiencies and savings, as well as improving the services the council offers.

“What is really exciting is it sounds like the beginning of a whole new model.”

Plans are currently under way to construct campuses in all 18 of the county’s ‘community areas’, with the first part of Corsham’s due to open in June, and construction work expected to start shortly in Melksham.

The campuses will provide council services like libraries and sports facilities, as well as offer a new base for Wiltshire Police’s neighbourhood policing teams.

Councillor Scott said: “In June we will open a brand new community facility in Corsham which will increase library and youth facilities, and we’ve had interest from the hospice movement in working there.

“I also want the youngster that goes for the free swimming to come in and say ‘I have never been to a library’, and mum to say ‘there is pilates here, I want to do a bit of that’, so people get a lot more use of it.

“If we as the public sector invest in a community it does raise the morale of that community. It’s all about civic pride.”

Miss Donelan said: “It’s about localism, which is what the Conservatives stand for, and what I stand for.”

Comments (4)

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12:08pm Tue 15 Apr 14

MDP says...

Really, it's enough to make you weep. Having spent a fortune on County Hall, sacked all the staff, they close down and sell off all the ex-district council buildings, then spend a fortune on constructing a whole lot of new ones in their place. Except they are now called 'campuses', of course 'campuses' are a lot more exciting. Hoorah, for the 'Big Society' and 'localism', isn't it all wonderful? How lucky we are to have Ms Scott and her crew in charge of our lives.
Really, it's enough to make you weep. Having spent a fortune on County Hall, sacked all the staff, they close down and sell off all the ex-district council buildings, then spend a fortune on constructing a whole lot of new ones in their place. Except they are now called 'campuses', of course 'campuses' are a lot more exciting. Hoorah, for the 'Big Society' and 'localism', isn't it all wonderful? How lucky we are to have Ms Scott and her crew in charge of our lives. MDP
  • Score: 11

1:12pm Tue 15 Apr 14

kimcrawley says...

'Big Society and Localism'.
The biggest urine take ever. Scott and her crooked friends are asset stripping the authority to line their own pockets. They were not mandated to cut the authority to death nor are they acting democratically.
Talk to the senior officers of neighbouring authorities our hopeless, inept and bent cabinet are a laughing stock.
Only a tory could describe the utter mess they are making as a success, quite how the 'hardworking, tax paying' constituents will benefit from this short term stupidity is impossible to see.
'Big Society and Localism'. The biggest urine take ever. Scott and her crooked friends are asset stripping the authority to line their own pockets. They were not mandated to cut the authority to death nor are they acting democratically. Talk to the senior officers of neighbouring authorities our hopeless, inept and bent cabinet are a laughing stock. Only a tory could describe the utter mess they are making as a success, quite how the 'hardworking, tax paying' constituents will benefit from this short term stupidity is impossible to see. kimcrawley
  • Score: 8

3:11pm Tue 15 Apr 14

vox sanitatem says...

Bearing in mind Olivers grandiose job title perhaps he should be known as Mr. Letwin(d) !!
Bearing in mind Olivers grandiose job title perhaps he should be known as Mr. Letwin(d) !! vox sanitatem
  • Score: 7

1:58pm Wed 16 Apr 14

brandx says...

Can any Conservative please explain to us mere mortals how "Localism" has resulted in large scale housing developments being imposed on Wiltshire market houses against the wishes of local people?
Can any Conservative please explain to us mere mortals how "Localism" has resulted in large scale housing developments being imposed on Wiltshire market houses against the wishes of local people? brandx
  • Score: 3

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