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Store staff went the extra mile

I WANT to let everyone know about the wonderful staff at Tesco in Marlborough. Two days ago I had a car accident (nobody else involved) about 50 yards up Posterne Hill when I hit a curb stone on the left hand side and had 2 blow outs and water trickling from beneath the car.

Naturally I could get no phone signal to phone my insurance company, a pick up truck ,or anyone else. I locked up the car, put my hazard lights on and walked back down to Tesco.

I explained the situation at the Customer Services Desk, to Ann and Jodie, who could not have been more helpful. They gave me a chair to sit on, a mug of tea and the full use of Tesco’s own phone (thank you Tesco). Then Ann’s son who works there walked back to my car to help me carry all my shopping.

I simply can’t thank them enough. They were quite amazing, and I sat there for an hour and a half whilst they looked after me until my pick up truck arrived.

I just thought I would like everyone to know how kind the staff at Tesco are. I shall for ever be in their debt. With my best wishes and grateful thanks.

CAROLINE BALCOMBE, Marlborough

Money well spent

IN these days of austerity, with so many schools short of money and parents often having to raise funds for just the essentials, it’s so good to see that John Bentley in Calne is doing remarkably well financially and could afford to spend £20,000 of (obviously) ‘spare’ cash to ‘rebrand’, plus a further possible £190,000 for new uniforms, should local businesses not be willing or able to sponsor these.

Presumably, whatever prompted Ofsted to rate the school as ‘requiring improvement’ will now magically have gone away and it will miraculously improve without the need to invest in any of the usual resources which schools require, such as teachers.

Looking at the figures given in your article (6th June 2019), the ‘consultant’ clearly took a substantial part of the cost but that’s OK, because she was ‘exceptional value’ according to the Principal. No doubt, parents of pupils at that school will now witness significant benefits from this ‘investment’.

Perhaps we, the Council Tax payers of Wiltshire, can look forward to a reduction in our bills as, clearly, this school doesn’t need all the public money paid to it each year.

DAVID MYERS, The Orchard, Urchfont

Shameful decision

THE Cabinet at Wiltshire Council where we are told everyone matters, have voted unanimously to close special schools in Chippenham and Trowbridge.

This decision has been made after a so-called consultation with parents and public, it would be interesting to know how many replies to this supported closure. We will never know.

Can it ever be right that such a small number of Conservative councillors of the cabinet is allowed to make such an important decision, after all we have 98 members of Wiltshire Council.

The Cabinet and every Conservative councillor at Wiltshire Council should hang there heads in total shame.

TERRY CHIVERS, Eden Grove, Whitley, Melksham

Slow down with care

YOUR correspondent Jim Andress makes some relevant and useful points about saving fuel, however I have to disagree with his recommendation to drive at 40-45mph on A roads.

This will inevitably cause a huge queue of traffic to build up behind him and sooner or later some frustrated idiot will attempt to overtake in an inappropriate place with the potential to cause a serious accident.

JIM TERRY, Corsham

Cash is needed now

I WELCOME the support that some candidates in the contest for Leader of the Conservative Party are giving to increasing police budgets. Whilst the policy of austerity was brought in to safeguard our economy, it has come at a cost of being able to safeguard our streets and I am pleased that Government Ministers and senior Conservative colleagues are now pledging to rebuild police budgets. This will go some way to restore confidence in our police policy makers in Whitehall.

I attended a meeting in London last month with the Home Secretary and he reiterated his determination to continue to increase the police budget even beyond the £1billion increase he secured from the Treasury this financial year - but what are we seeing of this funding in Wiltshire?

I, and others, have been asking the current Police & Crime Commissioner regularly for updates on how he is getting on with his lobbying of the Home Office for a fairer funding settlement for Wiltshire, which is one of the poorest funded forces in the country per head of population with some of the lowest numbers of police officers available to police our county. As yet this lobbying appears to have been unsuccessful however I am hopeful that whoever becomes our new Prime Minister will increase the number of officers on the front line and champion the men and women who are keeping us safe despite the enormous strain that increases in demand put them under.

JONATHON SEED, Conservative Candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon

Call for old remedies

IN the British Isles, local farmers and vets used to use plants to treat their livestock. Information was passed from one generation to the next, and often was not written down. How much of the knowledge now remains in the population?

The use of wild or cultivated plants as animal medicines (Ethnoveterinary Use) is common across the world. Some species used by farmers in British Columbia also exist in the British Isles. For example, Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is used to treat mastitis and sternal abscesses, Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) to treat zinc deficiency, Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris) to treat wounds, and Juniper (Juniperus communis) to treat endoparasites and liver fluke in ruminant animals.

The Ethnoveterinary Medicine Project, established by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, aims to record the remaining knowledge before it disappears. Some data have already been collected, mostly previously published information from the past. However, but we also interviewed rural people for existing knowledge. Duncan Matheson, from Kyle of Lochalsh, explained that the Rosebay willowherb (Chamaenerion angustifolium), which used to be rare, is now extremely common.

Similarly, wild plants used as feeds were thought to influence the health, behaviour or flavour of the meat or milk.

During the project we will be collecting data with interviews of knowledgeable people. We need to record this information, which forms part of the traditional rural culture, before it is lost.

This knowledge could also be used practically in animal management to improve their health and the economy. Over-use of antibiotics in veterinary use, for example, can generate antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Finding new plant-based treatments could also help support Soil Association Organic Standards, which restrict the use of antibiotics and chemically synthesised allopathic veterinary medicinal products for preventive treatments. Some companies in Britain are already supplying plant-based treatments for animals, including Nettle (Urtica dioica), Plantain (Plantago major), Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis), Elderflower (Sambucus nigra) and Thyme (Thymus spp.).

If you have any information about ethnoveterinary medicines, feed supplements or other information relating to plants/fungi and animal health from the British Isles, please contribute.

WILLIAM MILLIKEN, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Wakehurst Place, Ardingly, RH17 6TN

email: ethnovet@kew.org

Day was a success

CHIPPENHAM Lions estimate that more than 2,000 people were present at their Cherished Vehicle and Family Fun Day held on Sunday 2 June in the fields of Meadow Farm Nurseries at Langley Burrell.

This was the eighth year the club had run this fundraising event and, very importantly, the first year they had held it at this new venue so they had to plan from scratch. Nonetheless, they had success to build on and like the previous years were able to deliver an event which had something for everyone - the cars, the food village, the arena, the fairground and the stalls.

There was a full arena programme with entertainment and they were visited for the first time by The Sahara Sisters, The Britannia Majorettes and Minorettes, Dee Dee Wilde with Pam’s Fans and Expression Street Dancers. And in-between times, the 4+1 Jazz band entertained.

The cherished cars started to arrive from about 9am and by 9.30am there seemed to be a never ending stream of vehicles of all types. One of the great things which makes this event so popular is that there is no restriction on vehicle type or age and as a result there is a huge diversity from classics, kit cars, working vehicles, muscle cars and rare breeds.”

Everything was nicely in place when the doors opened at 11am and the event was then formally opened a little later by Lions Club President Sue Gilbert and their guest Chippenham Mayor, Cllr Desna Allen.

Always good to see the cars were meticulously turned out and we are always pleased to host owner’s clubs with marques as diverse as TVR, Jaguar, MG, Marcos, and Morgan. Many clubs now use the event as a scheduled club meet. It was a wonderful day all round, and we are particularly grateful to Derek and Alison Upton of Meadow Farm for the use of their fields and for the work that they personally put into the event. All monies raised will go to Lions Charities and a highlight of our year comes soon after the show when we hold our annual Presentation Evening where local charities are the beneficiaries of the show’s success.”

MARTIN HORTON & IAN GILBERT, Chippenham Lions Club

It’s all bunkum

FOLLOWING the EU parliamentary elections, the Liberal Democrats are crowing over their perceived success in combating the Brexiteers. But their title is an oxymoron since they are defying the result of the 2016 referendum which produced a majority of over a million people in favour of withdrawing from the EU. That was true democracy in action but they won’t have it will they; they know better. They have a nerve to claim to be democrats.

So what are the LibDems about? They sneer at populism; they sneer at nationalism; they sneer at patriotism and above all they are intent on wresting away this one and only chance for the British people to regain full sovereignty over their affairs. They are clearly totally ignorant of the British Constitution, notably recorded in the Bill of Rights 1689 which states that “no foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate hath or ought to have any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence or authority within this realm” (William and Mary).

Thus, being subservient to a foreign power aka the EU is illegal under our constitution! Even the Queen has shown that she is subservient when opening Parliament in 2017. See what she is wearing - noticeably not her crown. So the LibDems along with the other political parties (and the establishment generally) will continue to keep the British people in ignorance of their birthright due to deliberately keeping it out of the school curriculum.

Constitutionally it is the imperative and paramount duty of the government to repair, recover and correct any and all breaches of sovereignty at the earliest moment. This is compulsory according to our law. The treaties that have enabled this unconstitutional intrusion can only have been agreed in error. They are in conflict with our constitution so far as any breach of Sovereignty is created or enabled. Effectively the Crown has been deceived in its grant.

In their piousness, the LibDems are apparently leading the charge in “tackling climate change” - probably the most fatuous phrase ever made up; they have been persuading councils to declare a “climate emergency” thus setting them up to waste time and money on a completely pointless exercise. The western world is now being driven by hysteria and wildly dramatic predictions of doom.

The use of school children in promoting these predictions is despicable and I hope they will come to realise that they have been irresponsibly deceived if they just take the time to do a bit of research. The powers that be are in a complete funk when confronted by the ever growing band of eco-loons as they have boxed themselves into a corner by accepting all the claptrap about human induced climate change.

All the predictions of doom in the last fifty years or so have proved to be wrong. Now we are being told that the end of the world is due in about twelve years time! What total and utter bunkum! Climate is the most complex, non-linear, chaotic system known to man and therefore cannot be predicted. To ignore chaos is fraud. To claim that any extreme weather event is due to man’s emissions of carbon dioxide is fraud.

ROWLAND PANTLING, Broomcroft Road, Pewsey

Honour for Mr May

WHEN Mrs May retires as Prime Minister, she might have a resignation Honours list. It seems time to honour the four former Prime Ministers with seats in the House of Lords as viscounts, which would be a significant step up from ordinary working peers, if this is possible.

I understand that some of these gentlemen do not approve of the hereditary [principle but I’m sure a vicountancy for life could be arranged.

Mr Farage needs a life peerage and at some time in the future, and on a different occasion, Mr May deserves a knighthood, his job is not an easy one.

NICHOLAS SMITH, Clevancy Farm, Hilmarton, Calne

Ask vital questions

NOW another Conservative leader has left her post with tears in her eye and the jockeying for her post is underway, will your newspaper (always a campaigning paper eager to get at the truth) ask all those seeking to lead Wiltshire into the future the following questions.

A will they and their fellow councillors try and get to County Hall to conduct their business by public transport.

B Will each of them be asked to show their library membership card.

C Will each of them tell us if they, their children, or friends’ children have ever been on a course at Braeside.

D Will they promise to do their upmost to prevent traffic air pollution in Wiltshire towns.

It would be good if your paper interviewed all those wishing to achieve this high office.

ROGER DAY, The Barn, Wedhampton

Put it to the test

IN the South West, the biggest story of the Euro-election results was the unexpected surge of the pro-remain vote. 49% of the votes were cast for a party unequivocally supporting a People’s Vote on Brexit and only 41% were for leaving the EU.

Cross-party groups like ours in the South West campaigned to encourage people to vote for parties that support a Final Say for the public. We did so because we are democrats. Now that we know more about the consequences of Brexit, it’s only right that the people, having decided on the principle of leaving the EU, should be asked to express their opinion on the terms of departure.

The election results show that people in the South West agree with us. We can all see that the promises made during the Brexit campaign in 2016 are undeliverable. It is increasingly clear that no deal is not an option: it would cause an economic earthquake and imperil livelihoods and our way of life, disrupt the lives of the three million EU citizens, who have chosen to make the UK their home, and the 1.3 million British citizens in the EU, and further damage our standing in the world. Even the no dealers now talk slyly of a ‘managed’ no deal. This will lead only to years and years of further negotiations from a much weaker position that we are in now.

We continue to campaign in our communities for the people to have the Final Say on the terms of Brexit – the democratic option that will help the country to break the never-ending deadlock.

KATE FREEMAN, Devizes for EU, Bradford on Avon and Trowbridge for Europe, North Wilts & Chippenham for EU, Swindon for Europe and 14 SW groups with identical aims

Let’s all get physical

THE new guidance from NICE (06/06) suggesting that every workplace promote physical activity couldn’t have come sooner.

We work with businesses around the UK, encouraging walking to, from and during the working day. We see staff reap huge benefits from being more physically active – both to their physical and mental health. Employees in turn witness higher productivity levels and reduced absenteeism.

NICE’s recommendation that parents be encouraged to walk or cycle children to school is also vital if we want to reduce childhood obesity and cut pollution outside school gates. We would urge local authorities to act on this advice and make our streets safer and more attractive to encourage more parents to walk their children to school.

STEPHEN EDWARDS, Director of Policy and Communications, Living Streets

Do you know her?

MANY years ago, I found this photograph in an old chest of drawers. I have no connection to the girl and now, in my 85th year, I found it again in some old papers and would dearly like it to be returned to anyone who may be related.

The photographer who took the picture was Macphotos, 45 Highworth Road, Stratton St Margaret, Swindon.

MICHAEL DOREY, Address supplied

Well done Bob

LOCAL Liberal Democrat Councillor Bob Brice was honoured for 50 years service to the Ten Tors Challenge at this years’ event in Okehampton, Devon. On 12th May 2019 Bob became the first individual ever to receive the Ten Tors Tungsten award and was given a long standing ovation by the several hundred Team managers and Army leaders present at the presentation.

Over the past half-century Bob has worked with students from The Clarendon Academy and The John of Gaunt School to prepare them for the gruelling annual challenge set on Dartmoor and as an unpaid volunteer, kindly given up countless weeks of his time.

Bob has attended weekly workshop sessions in which he has taught skills such as First Aid, navigation and campcraft, advised students on equipment and aided students in their route-planning. He has also supervised and monitored students during their practice weekends on Dartmoor, manning checkpoints and shadowing students on their routes several weekends a year.

He recently single-handedly trained the John of Gaunt School’s first successful 55-mile team, and this year his entire 45-mile team completed the route in style. Bob is a remarkable man who has worked tirelessly over the past 50 years to help give young people in the area an experience to cherish and one which enriches them and has a huge impact on their lives.

From all of us at The John of Gaunt School, and on behalf of all the John of Gaunt and Clarendon students whose lives Bob has changed a massive thank you is fully deserved.

Stuart Gray, Director of Learning for Humanities and Ten Tors team manager, The John of Gaunt School, Trowbridge

Thanks to shoppers

I WOULD like to thank the people of Trowbridge for raising £51.52 during my street collection on Saturday 8 June in aid of Brooke (Action for Working Horses and Donkeys).

ROGER CHALLONER GREEN, Church Lane, Wingfield, Trowbridge

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