Read what our columnists have to say

James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire - I want EU negotiations to fail so people vote to leave

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: James Gray MP (11687139)

12:00pm Thursday 30th October 2014

Those who believe in ‘ever-closer union’ in Europe (there are precious few of them, most certainly not including me) must be tearing their hair out at recent European events.

Duncan Hames - Join my campaign for a new direct rail service

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Duncan Hames MP

12:00pm Thursday 30th October 2014

For several years now – even before my election to Parliament – I have been working with campaigners in Corsham to get the station in the town re-opened.

Claire Perry - Decision on Coate Bridge is a triumph for localism

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Devizes Claire Perry MP

12:00pm Thursday 30th October 2014

This week, my postbox brought some very good news for those of us who passionately believe in localism. I received a letter saying that Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has refused to overturn Wiltshire Council’s decision not to grant planning permission for 350 homes at Coate Bridge in Devizes. The proposed development did not conform to the detailed development work in the Devizes area neighbourhood plan. Led by Laura Mayes, Wiltshire councillor for Roundway, many people in the town and at Wiltshire Council have worked for months on both the Wiltshire Core strategy and the more detailed neighbourhood plans. Much work had been done to identify the required land supply and appropriate building sites for badly needed housing in Wiltshire. The issue at stake here was a development proposal that delivered houses on a site not in the local plan, as opposed to building on many more suitable sites.

Farming Diary - Cows come in from the cold

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

10:00am Sunday 26th October 2014

Once again air pressure is rising! Mid-week, another trip to Devon began in very wet weather, clearing when I arrived at Taunton.

My Word, by John Craig, ex-Wiltshire fire chief - Immigration is election winner

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

8:00am Sunday 26th October 2014

About 20 years ago, I regularly met with a colonel in the United States Army who was in England on a two-year secondment. He lived in Devizes and we worshipped at the same church.

Walk in wonder

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Autumn colour at Castle Howard

10:00am Saturday 25th October 2014

So it’s official – a walk to take in the seasonal colours of autumn is good for our wellbeing, according to new research by the National Trust.

James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire - Honour those who serve us, both in the past and present

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: MP James Gray

12:00pm Thursday 23rd October 2014

It was a great privilege last Thursday to attend the Laying up of Colours service and ceremony in St Margaret’s Westminster for the Normandy Veterans Association.

Duncan Hames - Schools must not pay for tax cuts for high earners

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Duncan Hames MP

12:00pm Thursday 23rd October 2014

Local head teachers increasingly tell me of the squeeze their sixth form budgets are feeling.

Claire Perry - Joy in explaining an MP’s life to the next generation

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Devizes Claire Perry MP

12:00pm Thursday 23rd October 2014

What do MPs do? That is the question I get asked most often when I visit schools across the constituency.

Farming Diary - Machines and herd moving on

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

10:00am Sunday 19th October 2014

The line on the barograph took a sudden dive at the beginning of the week, seemingly awakening from its recent becalmed state.

Zena Robson, Woodborough Garden Centre - Call in troops to fight off baddies

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

9:00am Sunday 19th October 2014

If you have patches in your lawn that are looking pale and sick for no apparent reason, it may be there are some bad guys down there munching away at the roots.

My Word, by Don Jones, of CAMRA - Names will never hurt me

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

8:00am Sunday 19th October 2014

Quite unusually for me, I found myself standing at a bar the other night. As I was waiting to be served, another chap came in and stood not far away.

James Gray, MP for Noth Wiltshire - We must listen carefully after the Clacton result

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: James Gray

12:00pm Thursday 16th October 2014

Which of the following is most important to you: ebola, ISIS, or UKIP? Does it matter more that some experts predict a worldwide epidemic claiming perhaps one million lives, that at this moment innocent women and children are being murdered in their thousands because of their ethnicity or beliefs; or that a maverick Tory MP won a by-election in Clacton?

Duncan Hames - Other parties welcome to share in our policies

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Duncan Hames MP

12:00pm Thursday 16th October 2014

On Monday, I was Wiltshire’s only MP in the Aye Lobby for a historic vote, as the House of Commons passed a motion to recognise without pre-conditions the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel.

Claire Perry - Economy is now in good shape to reduce the deficit

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Devizes Claire Perry MP

12:00pm Thursday 16th October 2014

There has been much to cheer this week with the latest figures showing that unemployment has had its largest annual fall since records began – with a record number of people now in work, meaning more people with the security of a good job and a regular pay packet.

Farming Diary - Next year’s crop grows well

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

10:00am Sunday 12th October 2014

Another week of favourable weather has enabled planting next year’s crops here and on Stowell Farm to be almost completed.

Zena Robson, Woodborough Garden Centre - Trees will need your protection

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

9:00am Sunday 12th October 2014

If you are an apple grower, you should have had a bumper crop this year.

My Word, by By Lisa Lewis of Doorway - Now singing to a different tune

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

8:00am Sunday 12th October 2014

This year the Doorway team celebrate its ten-year anniversary, which is somewhat ironic since in an ideal world there would never be any need for our service.

James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire - Confidence grows as town recovers from its bad times

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: James Gray

12:00pm Thursday 9th October 2014

One of the things I like best about North Wiltshire is its very diversity. Cricklade and Malmesbury, Luckington and Yatesbury; Royal Wootton Bassett and Marston Meysey; Box and Lydiard Millicent. Diversity and geographic spread, yet so much in common as well. We all want to live in more-or-less preserved Wiltshire market towns, surrounded by countryside and villages; with a distinct military flavour; a bit West country (NOT South West); dairy farming and woodland. You get the general picture, I am sure.

Duncan Hames - Vision is to lift country from recovery to renewal

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Duncan Hames MP

12:00pm Thursday 9th October 2014

I am writing this week’s column from the Liberal Democrat Party Conference in Glasgow.

Claire Perry - We are cooking up a new generation of Masterchefs

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Devizes Claire Perry MP

12:00pm Thursday 9th October 2014

The next six months will be busy as we run up to the General Election and I work on a super-busy rail portfolio alongside my local priorities. One of these has been to get more services back into Savernake Hospital where the operation was senselessly hollowed out under the last government.

Farming Diary - New calves make progress

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Two cows were rescued from rivers in Herefordshire over the weekend.

10:00am Sunday 5th October 2014

Following the torrential rain in the storm last week the weather has been somewhat quieter, with a mixture of sunshine and cloud, and the occasional shower.

Zena Robson, Woodborough Garden Centre - Useful plants to put on your list

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

9:00am Sunday 5th October 2014

I have been reviewing plants of merit, as in those that give loads of flowers for a long time.

My Word, by Ed Deedigan, of Kandu Arts - Bitter sweet effects of sugar

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

8:00am Sunday 5th October 2014

If just a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down what, I wonder, will take away the taste of the bitter pills that will inevitably be needed to counteract the effect of too much sugar?

Simon Cooper, the Tax Expert - Manifesto shows huge appetite for regionalised hubs

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Corsham Farmers’ Market shuts down

8:00pm Saturday 4th October 2014

The publication of the manufacturing manifesto by the MHA group of accountants, of which Monahans is a member, makes for interesting reading.

James Gray, MP for Noth Wiltshire - Local engagements take precedence over conference

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: James Gray

12:00pm Thursday 2nd October 2014

What a week it’s been. The aftermath of the Scottish referendum rumbles on, with the focus firmly on the English Question.

Duncan Hames - Air strikes may buy the Iraqi government time

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Duncan Hames MP

12:00pm Thursday 2nd October 2014

MPs returned to Westminster last Friday for a special sitting to consider the Iraqi government’s request for Britain to join an international coalition to defend their country from the violent terrorist militia ISIL.

Claire Perry - Long-overdue investment on transport is paying off

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Devizes Claire Perry MP

12:00pm Thursday 2nd October 2014

For the seventh year running I packed my suitcase this weekend and headed to the Conservative Party Conference, this year held in Birmingham. This was also the location for the first conference I ever attended, although back then I was a worker in the then Shadow Chancellor’s team, helping with the analysis on the costs and benefits of a proposed council tax freeze. This became government policy after the election and has meant that here in Wiltshire we are paying council tax this year at 2010/11 levels – a saving worth almost £400 over the past five years to the average local household.

Zena Robson, Woodborough Garden Centre - Grass-free lawns a refreshing idea

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

9:00am Sunday 28th September 2014

I have been reading again – this is a dangerous activity as we know as it opens up new horizons – and this time it was about lawns.

Farming diary - Weather takes sudden turn

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

9:00am Sunday 28th September 2014

What an end to the week! The line on our barograph has continued to follow an unwavering route, but Thursday night proved that even in its becalmed state the weather can suddenly change.

My Word - By John Craig, ex-Wiltshire fire chief - We must get priorities right

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

8:00am Sunday 28th September 2014

I can recall a very experienced local government officer saying, “don’t look for logic in politics, you will never find it.”

James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire - We want leadership, not a vote on going to war

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: James Gray

12:00pm Thursday 25th September 2014

There can be no doubt that the heart-wrenching scenes emerging from Iraq and Syria demand urgent Western action. How can we stand by as children are beheaded by ISIL because they refuse to renounce Jesus? What civilised nation would not act – and act with urgency – to stop this humanitarian catastrophe?

Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham - Distribution of power debate is far from over

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Duncan Hames MP

12:00pm Thursday 25th September 2014

We had another round of good jobs figures last week, with the number of jobseekers in the Chippenham constituency falling by more than a third in the past year, to its lowest level in more than six years.

Claire Perry, MP for Devizes - Arab states working with West to reduce threats

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Devizes Claire Perry MP

12:00pm Thursday 25th September 2014

When I sit down to write my latest column I always scan my previous copy to make sure that I am not repeating myself and boring my constituents to bits. Some themes do end up recurring, however, either because they are important locally, or they are key national events.

Zena Robson, Woodborough Garden Centre - Magazines don’t give full picture

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

4:00pm Sunday 21st September 2014

I have seen those bulb-planting baskets that are available – the idea is you plant bulbs into the basket, put the whole lot in the ground, cover in soil, leave to flower and then lift the whole lot out once they’re over.

Farming diary - Maize looks good this year

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

10:00am Sunday 21st September 2014

While the weather remains in its becalmed state, the work preparing the fields for planting continues.

My Word by Don Jones, of CAMRA - Time for a change on buses

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

8:00am Sunday 21st September 2014

As most of us pay Wiltshire Council upwards of a grand a year in council tax, I’m sure that we’re all glad that they’re always looking for ways to save money. Some of the cost-saving changes, like the move to fortnightly rubbish collections, seem fair enough; others, such as the cuts in frontline staff numbers, smack of ill-considered short-termism.

MP Claire Perry column: We need cool anlaysis not party bags to appease Salmond over Scottish vote

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

11:50am Thursday 18th September 2014

Today the people of Scotland (although not those living south of the border thanks to an active SNP policy of disenfranchisement) will be going off to vote. 

Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham - Many would rather we work together in future

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Duncan Hames MP

12:00pm Thursday 18th September 2014

I’m writing this week’s column from Scotland, where I’ve joined the campaign for a ‘No’ vote in the referendum, to help keep our country together and save us from a messy divorce.

James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire - The people of England must speak and be heard

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: James Gray

12:00pm Thursday 18th September 2014

The Scottish Referendum is an event with such seismic consequences that it is hard to think of anything else. However, by the time you read this, the die will have been cast in one of three ways.

Zena Robson, Woodborough Garden Centre - A lovely surprise at Co-op car park

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

9:00am Sunday 14th September 2014

There's usually not a lot to say about car parks – other than the spaces are getting smaller and/or some cars are getting bigger.

My Word - Glimmer of hope in the dark. By Lisa Lewis of Doorway

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

8:00am Sunday 14th September 2014

In the summer of 2010 I asked one of our guests to write about his personal journey for our newly created blog.

Farming diary - New recruit is keen to learn more about livestock

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

12:56pm Wednesday 10th September 2014

What a generally dull and depressing week it has been! The sun has barely shone, with the line on the barograph tracing an unwavering line for the entire week.

Farming diary - Peas please at harvest time

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

10:00am Sunday 7th September 2014

Another week of mixed weather – windy, stormy and dull, with some short periods of warm sunshine, including an inch of rain falling in 24 hours.

Zena Robson, Woodborough Garden Centre - Lasagne idea to plant bulb pots

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

9:00am Sunday 7th September 2014

Lasagne. I can hear what you said! To elaborate, bulb-planting in containers is now called ‘lasagne planting’. An explanation follows: This is the perfect time to start planning and planting your containers and pots for a good spring show. I love doing this – it’s all anticipation and lots of choice so I have to control the urge to buy far too many.

My Word - By Ed Deedigan, of Kandu Arts - Some are still missing out

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

8:00am Sunday 7th September 2014

As the school holidays draw to their inevitable end and the temperature hints at autumn, families across the county will be preparing for the new term with a mixture of joy and trepidation.

James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire - What to do about breach of law and UN charter?nts

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: James Gray

12:00pm Thursday 4th September 2014

Parliament’s back - but only for two weeks before we all break up again for the party conferences and Scottish Referendum. It’s all a little unsatisfactory, as there is a huge amount to be discussed.

Claire Perry, MP for Devizes - Extra train capacity and woman drivers needed

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Devizes Claire Perry MP

12:00pm Thursday 4th September 2014

I get many opportunities to talk to passengers as I travel up and down the line to London, or off on ministerial visits, and when we get on at Pewsey or Bedwyn we can usually manage to get a seat.

Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham - Embracing project which helps pupils concentrate

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Duncan Hames MP

12:00pm Thursday 4th September 2014

As promised in my column last week, I took the Ice Bucket Challenge in Parliament on Tuesday, to raise money and awareness for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Zena Robson, Woodborough Garden Centre - Some thoughts as autumn nears

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

9:00am Sunday 31st August 2014

Where is the time going? Hard to believe that it’s nearly September.


Wiltshire Gazette columnists

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