Read what our columnists have to say

Claire Perry, MP for Devizes - Best way to increase pay is to grow the economy

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Devizes Claire Perry MP

12:15pm Thursday 21st August 2014

We got home from our holidays with no recall to Parliament, although with the situation in Iraq worsening and the repugnant development of apparently British citizens engaged in horrific public acts like beheadings, there is a frantic level of Government activity going on and we will stand by ready for any recall ahead of the official return date of September 1.

Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham - Mental health issues hit those already struggling

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Duncan Hames MP

12:12pm Thursday 21st August 2014

Work to extend the dual carriageway on the A350 north of Chippenham from Jackson’s Lane to the Badger roundabout is now well underway.

Zena Robson - A great year for flowering plants

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

9:00am Sunday 17th August 2014

My Jasminum x stephanense was fabulous this year – absolutely festooned with pale pink fragrant flowers that wafted their scent in the early morning and late evenings.

My Word By Lisa Lewis - A little faith can be rewarding

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Lisa Lewis

8:00am Sunday 17th August 2014

Last month one of our guests, Corky, stumbled upon my monthly newspaper column for the first time and the end result of our subsequent conversation turned out to be my offer to publish whatever he chose to write for this edition.

James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire - There must be no let-up in efforts to prevent war

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: James Gray

2:11pm Thursday 14th August 2014

I’m just back from a fascinating walking and climbing expedition with my friend and Box constituent David Hempleman-Adams in the Altai Mountains in Siberia. We were private guests of a friend in this, one of the remotest places on the globe, where Siberia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and China meet. Refreshing and invigorating, if not exactly most people’s idea of a holiday.

Duncan Hames - Surprise guest sees how town centre is improving

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Duncan Hames MP

12:00pm Thursday 14th August 2014

Last Wednesday, I organised a meeting with the Local Enterprise Partnership, Network Rail, Wiltshire Council and local businesses to discuss how we can get some real benefit for Chippenham town centre from the Local Growth Deal announced by Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable last month. We were joined by a surprise guest: the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg.

Claire Perry - MPs at ready for crucial Parliamentary debate

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Devizes Claire Perry MP

12:00pm Thursday 14th August 2014

Will we or won’t we be needed back in Westminster? With many MPs away on family holidays and the situation in Iraq unraveling by the day, the question as to whether Parliament should be recalled is an urgent and important one,.

Look at station plan

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Letter: They’ll always find a way

6:00pm Sunday 10th August 2014

Open letter to Claire Perry Firstly, many congratulations on your appointment as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport. It reflects the hard work that you have done for Devizes and in Parliament.

Does he understand?

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Letter: They’ll always find a way

6:00pm Sunday 10th August 2014

I was surprised at the letter (Gazette, July 31st) from Liberal Democrat town councillor Nick Watts and his seemingly blasé, uninformed and uncaring attitude with regard to the 750,000 sq ft proposed business development by Range off West Cepen Way, Chippenham.

We live on a rat run

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Letter: They’ll always find a way

6:00pm Sunday 10th August 2014

With regard to the Cepen Park Residents’ Association walk of protest. In your article on page 3, Thursday July 31, they have said that they are concerned about traffic and light pollution were their major concern.

James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire - Time for new approach on decision to go to war

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: James Gray

3:00pm Sunday 10th August 2014

It's less than a year since Parliament decided not to use military force against Syria. I still think that was the right decision, since no-one could really contemplate the consequences had we done so.

Farming diary - Puncture delays slurry work

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

10:00am Sunday 10th August 2014

Firstly, I make no apologies for straying from farming as I write the first few sentences of this week’s diary.

Zena Robson, Woodborough Garden Centre - Tulips are back in favour again

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

9:00am Sunday 10th August 2014

It’s interesting to watch which plants become in vogue and which fall out of favour.

My Word - By Ed Deedigan, of Kandu Arts - What the big idea for youth?

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

8:00am Sunday 10th August 2014

With the warmest start to the school holidays for a long time, so begins the first real test of the community’s resolve in providing the shortfall in hands-on support for young people, now the youth service has all but vanished.

Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham - Regional growth is vital to the continued recovery

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Duncan Hames MP

12:00pm Thursday 7th August 2014

With many home nation competitors basing their training nearby in Bath, it was wonderful to see a number of local athletes enjoy success at the Commonwealth Games: culminating in Hilperton’s Danny Talbot bringing home the English 4x100 sprint relay to claim a silver medal.

Claire Perry, MP for Devizes - Poignant reminders of county’s military history

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Devizes Claire Perry MP

12:00pm Thursday 7th August 2014

With Parliament in recess I am now based at home in Wiltshire and am able to spend a few weeks doing what feels like a normal job, where I start and end the day in the same place.

Farming diary - Among the fields of barley

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

10:00am Sunday 27th July 2014

Harvesting our winter barley is now in full swing. The weather has remained reasonably favourable, hot and sunny, with only a few light showers during the week, although the sky has looked quite threatening at times.

Zena Robson, Woodborough Garden Centre - Tour of gardens deep in Suffolk

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

9:00am Sunday 27th July 2014

I have been visiting gardens lately – this time in Suffolk, which, I was informed, is the driest county in England.

My Word - Rubbish ways let you down. By Don Jones of CAMRA

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

8:00am Sunday 27th July 2014

There seems to be a whole world of people out there that we never really get to know. These people live among and alongside us and we hear a lot about them. We encounter them almost daily and so do our friends; yet we seldom know their names. You log on to social media and a fair few of the topics seem to be moans about them. You stand in any pub long enough and someone will come in ready to vent their frustration at what these people have done. The readership figures for this paper, so the editor assures me, run well into the millions, but not one of us would consider ourselves to be part of the group. It’s not a small or particularly exclusive group, either. Membership is easily conferred, if not actively sought. In fact it’s most of us who decide who’s in – few nominate themselves.

Claire Perry, MP for Devizes - New role will allow me to represent local interests

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Devizes Claire Perry MP

12:00pm Thursday 24th July 2014

The phrase “vertical learning curve” characterises the last few days as I get to grips with my new job, although I have been helped by the local work we have already done on rail services.

Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham - Parliament needed more time to consider data law

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Duncan Hames MP

12:00pm Thursday 24th July 2014

The Liberal Democrats are working to build a stronger economy here in Wiltshire and across the UK, and last week’s new jobs figures brought more good news on that front.

James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire - Spare a thought for the millions who are suffering

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: James Gray

12:00pm Thursday 24th July 2014

Phew! So that’s it, then. The House has risen for the long summer recess. MPs have packed their bags and escaped from the hot and smelly, crowded, bad- tempered London to look for inspiration and solace, relaxation and refreshment in the green fields of home (in my case bar a small expedition which I will tell you about when I get back), at assorted destinations.

Farming diary - Baling up as heifers bail out

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

10:00am Sunday 20th July 2014

Richard was left in charge when Ian and Jenny went away for the weekend.

Zena Robson, Woodborough Garden Centre - Vegetables soon come to fruition

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

9:00am Sunday 20th July 2014

It’s harvesting time! If you grow your own vegetables then you will be reaping the rewards now – early potatoes will be ready but check by lifting one plant.

My Word - Installing spikes is not the point. By Lisa Lewis, of Doorway

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Lisa Lewis

8:00am Sunday 20th July 2014

Random acts of kindness and generosity by the local community are regularly witnessed by us at Doorway.

James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire - Dynamic new faces will be front window of party

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: James Gray

12:00pm Thursday 17th July 2014

Reshuffles have to be brutal to be effective. I grieve with so many of my friends who have left the Government after many years of hard labour before the mast. Nothing hurts more than being made redundant.

Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham - Turf-cutting at new college campus was very satisfying

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Duncan Hames MP

12:00pm Thursday 17th July 2014

Politicians love a good photo opportunity, and given the necessary emphasis on building a stronger economy, hard hats and hi-vis jackets have become de rigueur of late. But the invitation for me to take part in the ceremonial turf-cutting to mark the start of construction at Wiltshire College in Chippenham was too hard-won to turn down.

Claire Perry, MP for Devizes - Cast your vote for the best independent shop

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Devizes Claire Perry MP

12:00pm Thursday 17th July 2014

As I mentioned a few columns ago, one of my local priorities is to see healthy and vibrant High Streets across the Constituency as not only does this make for vibrant local communities but also offer business opportunities for many talented local entrepreneurs.

Farming diary - Cows wander via open gates

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

10:00am Sunday 13th July 2014

The week began with torrential storms, accompanied by thunder, lightning and hailstones!

Zena Robson, Woodborough Garden Centre - Take cuttings to create new lives

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

9:00am Sunday 13th July 2014

If you had trouble with runner beans, either finding plants to buy or growing them from seed, do not despair.

My Word - By Ed Deedigan, of Kandu Arts - Life is poorer without the arts

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

8:00am Sunday 13th July 2014

I am sure that many readers of this fair tome found the comment of one of the contributors to the letters page suggesting prioritising the funding of Chippenham Folk Festival instead of contributing to the likes of Doorway (the Chippenham homeless initiative) somewhat alarming.

James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire - Scandals undermine confidence in hard work

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: James Gray

12:00pm Thursday 10th July 2014

Cabinet Office Minister, Greg Clark has announced a £129 million investment package for Swindon and Wiltshire.

Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham - Ambitious plans become a reality with extra funding

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Duncan Hames MP

12:00pm Thursday 10th July 2014

New facilities for students, better transport links, town centre redevelopment, even a digital hub: exciting, ambitious plans are becoming a reality across our part of Wiltshire.

Claire Perry, MP for Devizes - Scandal is that victims’ voices were not heard

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Devizes Claire Perry MP

12:00pm Thursday 10th July 2014

What next? After the shattering of our 1970s innocence with the revelations about serial predator Jimmy Saville and the conviction of a groping Rolf Harris plus a line-up of other former celebrity names being investigated by the police, we now hear allegations that during those years of tie dye, glam rock and power cuts (and indeed more recently) those in positions of national responsibility, including Members of Parliament, the police themselves and the judiciary also have questions to answer about their conduct around children.

Farming diary - Making hay while sun shines

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

10:00am Sunday 6th July 2014

The continuation of fine weather, forecast for the beginning of the week, allowed us to continue making silage and a few small bales of hay.

Zena Robson, Woodborough Garden Centre - Suckers should be cut right out

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

9:00am Sunday 6th July 2014

At this time of year you may be noticing suckers appearing on some plants, especially those that are grafted like roses and some trees such as contorted hazels and willows.

My Word - By John Craig, ex-Wiltshire fire chief - Don’t let loneliness be deadly

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

8:00am Sunday 6th July 2014

A few days ago an elderly lady was discovered in her flat in Bournemouth. She had been dead for six years.

James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire - Election’s end result must be our exit from the EU

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: MP James Gray

12:00pm Thursday 3rd July 2014

Here are a few quotes from newly-elected President of Europe, Jean-Claude Juncker: “The Constitutional Treaty was an easily understandable treaty. This is a simplified treaty which is very complicated.”

Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham - Moving around our county quickly is vital for economy

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Duncan Hames MP

12:00pm Thursday 3rd July 2014

For us to have a stronger economy and thriving local communities, it’s vital that, in a large rural county like Wiltshire, people can get about quickly for both work and leisure.

Claire Perry, MP for Devizes - Summer can be a time of pitfalls for busy MPs

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Devizes Claire Perry MP

12:00pm Thursday 3rd July 2014

This is one of the busiest times of year for Members of Parliament as we grind through the Parliamentary schedule but also accept the invitations to the many fetes happening locally.

Zena Robson, Woodborough Garden Centre - Think ahead to fill in floral gaps

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Bishop of Llandaff is a favourite variety of dahlia

9:00am Sunday 29th June 2014

If you grow big oriental poppies, they will have gone over by now and the leaves will be starting to look really tatty, so shear them right to the ground. They will grow a new mound of neater leaves.

My Word - County must embrace change. By Don Jones, of CAMRA.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The model of the proposed St Mary’s cloister extension. It is hoped this will help support the application at the appeal in August

8:00am Sunday 29th June 2014

Last weekend, I visited Richmond Castle in North Yorkshire. It’s an imposing medieval structure that dominates the market town beneath it. As a castle, it’s of no real practical use any more but it’s an attractive part of our heritage. Within the walls, English Heritage has created a beautiful and modern garden that complements the whole. It’s not a pastiche or something that should have ‘ye olde’ stuck in front of the name. The garden is of our time and is evidence that old and new can work alongside each other – indeed they always have.

James Gray - Pulling up a drawbridge at Dover is not answer

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: James Gray

12:00pm Thursday 26th June 2014

I do love the natural cycle of the year – in weather, nature and human activities terms. ‘Blazing June’ has lived up to its name this year, yet the promise of showers for Glastonbury and, no doubt, the Wimbledon final, is very traditional.

Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham -

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Duncan Hames MP

12:00pm Thursday 26th June 2014

I left Westminster early last Thursday and headed to Monkton Park in Chippenham, where I met the local businesses exhibiting at Wiltshire Council’s Business Expo.

Claire Perry, MP for Devizes - New award will honour the independent retailers

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Devizes MP Claire Perry signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment in the House of Commons

12:00pm Thursday 26th June 2014

Almost every week I visit one of the small and medium-sized businesses in the Devizes constituency to see what they are doing and how I might help them grow.

James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire - We could live to regret cuts to our armed forces

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: James Gray

3:00pm Sunday 22nd June 2014

As chairman of the All Party Group for the Armed Forces, I was glad to welcome 120 soldiers from 7th Armoured Brigade who marched into Parliament on Monday, led by The Band of The Brigade of Gurkhas.

Farming diary - Future is looking brighter

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: In-calf heifers about to be moved across the road

10:00am Sunday 22nd June 2014

Weather forecasters are saying that we are due for a warmer, drier spell.

Zena Robson, Woodborough Garden Centre - A full-scale war with slug pests

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The Clematis ‘Warsaw Nike’ has put on a spurt of growth

9:00am Sunday 22nd June 2014

It’s a war out there! The slugs – I don’t think I’ve seen so many, and they are huge.

My Word - Change can affect everybody. By Lisa Lewis, of Doorway

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Lisa Lewis

8:00am Sunday 22nd June 2014

When we work with a person, is there only an individual in front of us? Initially, one could answer this question with a simple “yes”. However, if you were to look a little deeper, you could begin to acknowledge that an individual is not an isolated being.

Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham - Victims of floods must benefit, not their insurers

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Duncan Hames MP

12:00pm Thursday 19th June 2014

Amongst the raucous noise at Prime Minister’s Questions every Wednesday, there are always a few MPs trying to catch Mr Speaker’s eye, hoping to get the chance to raise an issue directly with the Prime Minister.




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