PLEASE keep your letters to 250 words maximum giving your name, address and daytime telephone number - even on emails. Email: Write: Gazette and Herald, 1 Newmarket Avenue, White Horse Business Park, Trowbridge, BA14 0XQ. Phone: 01225 773600.

Anonymity is granted only at the discretion of the editor, who also reserves the right to edit letters.

Thanks for stopping

Thank you to all the shoppers who donated to Home-Start Kennet or stopped to chat to us at Morrison’s, Devizes on the 28th September. We raised an incredible £284.66!

Home-Start helps local families facing tough times by giving 1-1 emotional and practical support in the home.

Our wonderful team of volunteers visit families every week for 2 hours. Our support is free and as individual as the families we support.

We help families from all walks of life and by being there when they need us most, we help parents give their children the best start in life.

We’re holding our next Volunteer training course in Devizes in October. If you’d like to find out more, please call Home-Start Kennet on 01672 569457 or email

Joanne Kent, Home-Start Kennet

A valuable lesson

I was astonished to read the letter sent in by Marina Fogle on above.

I am 84 and attended Hartfield Crescent Secondary Modern School, Acocks Green, Birmingham from 1939-1940 1942-1950 ( with absence in Shropshire 1940-1942).

In 1947 I had First Aid lessons and sat a test St. John Ambulance Certificate for First Aid at aged 12.

My task was to carry out ( at that time ) an eight bandage spinal Task. I still have that certificate today.

Shirley Matthews, Devizes, Hillworth Road, Wiltshire

No consultation

I read in your paper last week that Wiltshire Council have bid for £75m from the Housing Infrastructure Fund to provide infrastructure in Chippenham to support housing development.

From the article I gather Wiltshire Council proposes a ring road to the east and south of the town. I appreciate there is a need for more housing, particularly affordable housing, and that the traffic problems in Chippenham need to be addressed. Looking at the Housing Infrastructure Funding information on the government’s website it states bids should have support locally.

There has been no consultation with Bremhill Parish Council which lies to the east of Chippenham and would be affected by an eastern ring road to the east of Chippenham.

As far as I am aware there has been no public consultation with either the residents of Chippenham or the surrounding parishes who would be affected by these proposals so how can the bid be said to have support locally ?

If the bid is successful this would mean our taxes being used to subsidise developers. In return for this developers must be made to provide sufficient affordable housing to meet Chippenham’s needs with financial penalties for not doing so.

Isabel McCord, Bremhill Parish

Testing is vital

On behalf of Wiltshire Freemasons and the Loganberry Trust, I would like to thank the Conservative Club in Devizes for once again hosting our free PSA testing day on Saturday 28 September.

It was gratifying to see 273 men turn up to be tested. This was, by far, the most popular testing session we have had in Wiltshire thus far. Sadly, one man dies every 45 mins from prostate cancer. We want to change that.

PSA blood testing, we know, is not an infallible test, but it is the best we have got at the moment. It helps diagnose benign conditions such as BPH and prostatitis which need treatment. It also helps in the detection of prostate cancer which if found early, can be one of the easier cancers to treat with a high success rate. The next testing days in Wiltshire can be found on the Loganberry Trust web site at

The next testing day in Devizes will be on Saturday 26 September 2020, once again at the Conservative Club, Long Street Devizes.

Les Welling, Devizes Freemasons and the Loganberry Trust

Future-proof roads

Councillor John Boaler (October 3) makes the point that extending Calne’s bypass will be likely to involve housebuilding and new traffic using roads around Calne. This is a problem, as Calne’s A-roads (A4, A3102) have seen no modernisation and are both deemed not fit for purpose for today’s traffic. However, the new houses are coming anyway, en masse and all around Wiltshire.

Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) projects are in the process of raising Swindon and Wiltshire’s populations dramatically as part of a plan to radically upgrade Swindon and Wiltshire’s economies.

This is an ongoing programme to change Swindon and Wiltshire’s role in the UK economy, which will create further self-sustaining Wiltshire population growth far into the future. Surrounding towns (eg. Chippenham/ Melksham) have been and are still undergoing considerable transport modifications to support this population growth and enhance their transport networks. Calne is not and already suffers from traffic congestion.

Calne needs to be proactive now in identifying and funding a complete and long-term future-proof traffic solution. A long-term future-proof traffic solution does mean a fully functioning bypass. Failure to act will have negative social and economic consequences for Calne.

Oliver Rawle, The Green, Calne

Heads over hearts

Dr Martin Parsons (October 3) makes it clear that he just wants to get on with it and that “MPs are defying ordinary people who three years ago voted by a majority of one and a quarter million to leave”.

Could he please give us a definition of “ordinary people”. What he doesn’t tell us is what these people thought the implications of leaving would be. Of course not, because they didn’t know.

If we asked all MPs the question “Would it be true to say that you are in politics to do the best for your country and the best for your constituents? Anyone disagree?” Of course they wouldn’t.

Then why was it that at the time of the referendum MPs in all parties were divided? E.g. Theresa May, David Cameron and my MP Claire Perry voted to Remain while Boris Johnson and Michael Gove voted to leave.

Surely it was because they didn’t have a clue what the implication for their constituents of leaving would be and voted with their hearts rather than their heads.

Now we have a much better idea of what leaving the EU will mean for all of us, not least the poorest members of our society, surely we should put it to a second vote so that we can use our heads rather than our hearts.

Dr Nick Maurice, London Road, Marlborough,

How can this be??

THERE is more about the bid for Government funding for Chippenham (£75m bid for new ring road) than meets the eye, or has been reported so far. Simply put, this is a proposal for two massively expensive new roads across the green areas to the east and south of the town, no more no less.

There are some large questions about this seemingly simple plan. As last week’s front page reported, the road to the east would effectively destroy the Avon valley and the green space between Chippenham and Calne and the Avon valley villages of Tytherton Lucas, East Tytherton and Bremhill. That road and the accompanying massive housing development was rejected by the recent lengthy public enquiry.

There is no planning allocation of roads or housing for the Avon valley and east Chippenham, nor to the south. And no allocation of a million square feet of employment land that the Town Council leader has proposed. How then can this road now be approved and built, driving a coach and horses through the normal planning rules and policies?

Crucially, the decisions on this bid have been made in secret, with zero involvement of the people who live in Chippenham, and certainly not of residents of the villages or of Calne (which will be severely affected by the inevitable increase in traffic). According to your article, Chippenham Town Council is supporting this scheme. And this is being taken as the evidence of ‘public support’.

However that Council actually held their discussion of the scheme in a closed session in June, excluding the public! How can secret discussion of £75 million of public money possibly be justified, let alone presented as ‘public support’?

Third, and most shocking perhaps, these millions of public money would be a huge public subsidy, from our taxes, to the developers who would otherwise have to pay for the cost of these roads, in that way bumping up their profits at our expense.

Fourth, and certainly not least, this plan for massive road building is the first big announcement by Wiltshire and Chippenham Councils since they both declared climate emergencies. A perverse moment to be investing in more roads with the inevitable increases carbon emissions!

These plans eventually became public in a remarkable Wiltshire Council press release, a real example of fake news. It talked of funds for improving the high street and town centre, of a multi storey car park and a new leisure centre. All of which is blatantly deceptive. None of these can be funded by this bid if it succeeds.

No wonder the public sometime despairs of local democracy. I am sure local people would have much better ideas for spending £75 million on their local communities. Hopefully there is still time for the public to be properly informed – and properly involved!

Chris Caswill, The Street, Cherhill, Member of CAUSE (the Campaign Against Urban Sprawl to the East)

Thanks for help

ON BEHALF of the The Noise Devizes volunteers, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the following organisations and businesses for their support for our 5th-6th October BIG weekend Community events. This year we have added, Devizes Fence and Landscaping Ltd, Devizes Building Supplies Ltd, Morrison’s Supermarket, Devizes, and B & Q Devizes, to the contacts previously on our list including Shire Garden Machines Ltd, Roses the Ironmongers and Devizes Town Council Hillworth Park Wiltshire Council.

As a result of these partnerships over 90 Noise Devizes volunteers cheerfully tackled 2 main projects over the weekend. These included essential preparation work on the newly purchased St James Centre, Estcourt Crescent and helping with Autumnal tasks at Hillworth Park. The fantastic teamwork involved in these inclusive events enables far more to be accomplished in two days than would be possible by one or two individuals. The opportunity to build enduring friendships whilst helping others in and for the local community has proved another benefit of the Noise Devizes continued success, now looking to a 6th year of volunteering opportunities. We invite those interested in getting involved with further work at the St James’ Centre or ongoing projects such as interior decorating and painting and gardening to contact the St James’ Church Office, 01380 723891, for further information.

Jenny Jones, The Noise Devizes Co-ordinator

Letters to the Editor: What do you think?

Do you have an opinion on our reader letters? Get in touch.

Add your contribution now By uploading a contribution, for use online and in print, you accept our contributor terms. You will either own or have permission to use anything you provide.