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Zero shop a success

THANK you to all the people who have kindly donated their time and expertise over the past six weeks at the ‘zero’ pop-up shop in Emery Gate.

Visitors to the shop have welcomed the opportunity to talk with like-minded people from environmental organisations including Zero Chippenham and Refashion My Town, and to gain new insights and skills in sustainable living. Many thanks, too, to the pop-up shop’s sponsors: Chippenham Borough Lands Charity, Chippenham BID and Emery Gate

Sue Cassell, Founder, MAD about Waste

Comon sense rules

REGARDING the a recent decision by the Local Government Electoral Commission to not allow Wiltshire Council to change an electoral boundary in Chippenham: Wiltshire Council wanted to cut Monkton Hill, Station Hill and St Mary’s Place from the Monkton ward.

Quite why they wanted to do this is unclear but it simply didn’t make any sense, whatsoever. This is a great victory for local democracy and shows that Wiltshire Council cannot always impose its will, especially when other official organisations are involved.

It was encouraging to see that Chippenham Town Council also supported the campaign to retain these areas within the Monkton ward.

Fortunately my local councillor, Nick Murry, contacted me about the matter and I was one who wrote to object to the Boundaries Commission. A clear example as to why I did object was hearing of the crazy decision to build a multi-story carpark in Sadlers Mead by The Olympiad. Many Chippenham residents still probably don’t know of this ridiculous plan.

If my councillor changed to the one who covers the Hardenhuish ward I would probably not even been informed of this poor, ill-conceived plan.

I am glad that good sense has prevailed and our community interests are put ahead of political considerations.

Ewan Mackintosh, Monkton Hill, Chippenham

Is bridge a joke?

I FELT I had to write in after seeing the front page on October 10, the date should have read April 1. A bridge to connect shoppers from the railway to the town, and in doing so missing out half of the town’s shops and businesses in Hathaway, New Road and Station Hill.

The town already has seven bridges, spend money on their maintenance, the Town Bridge for example is filthy, the wooden bridge on Island Park needs cleaning and tidying up.

The two jetties for people to fish from collapsed long ago and were never replaced, sort out the areas’ seagull and pigeon problem.Tidy up and maintain what we already have.

Mrs L Burnett, Chippenham

We deserve better

THE Home Office has recently confirmed the recruitment targets for police forces across the country for the first year of the unprecedented drive to increase the number of police officers by 20,000 over the next three years. Wiltshire Police has been allocated an extra 49 officers in year one out of the 6,000 being deployed up and down the country.

This Government’s firm commitment to law and order can be seen in in this unprecedented bolstering of police officer numbers and the provision of funding to support their recruitment.

Additional police officers are a key element of the Prime Minister’s investment in our country, and the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has recently echoed what I have been saying since I was nominated to stand for election as PCC, “The public are clear they want to see more police officers on their streets, whether they live in the city or in the countryside.”

Despite the overall commitment to policing by the government, which is very welcome, I can’t hide my disappointment that less than 1% of the first year’s allocation of new police officers has been given to Wiltshire Police.

We currently have almost the worst funding in the country and amongst the lowest numbers of police officers per head of population in the country. Failure to address this over the last seven years has kept Wiltshire at the very bottom of the funding league table.

I know the lack of officers is an immense source of frustration amongst police officers and staff, and local people who know that cutting crime and protecting people at risk can only be achieved with more officers.

I will continue to campaign for a fairer allocation of funding and officers for Wiltshire and Swindon, as that’s what will help to reduce crime and provide reassurance to local residents.

Jonathon Seed, Conservative Party PCC Candidate for Swindon and Wiltshire

Musicians matter

WE already know the damaging effects that will follow Brexit in the event of a No Deal.

The scenario outlined by Yellowhammer is now common knowledge.

However, little or no attention has been given to the major disruption that will severely affect the livelihoods of our musicians.

In brief, a no-deal Brexit will incur many additional costs for both professional and freelance musicians travelling both within Europe and between the EU and Britain.

The incorporated Society of Musicians has estimated that musicians who travel to the EU and carry an instrument will incur additional costs of up to £1000 per year. This will affect freelancing, touring musician who are already on low incomes, very hard.

In addition, musicians will need to purchase private medical insurance, additional Driving Permits, and if A1 forms become obsolete on November the first, they will need to ensure that they are not liable for double deductions or social security payments in other EU countries.

As the widely acclaimed English classical violinist Tasmin Little OBE states: “A musician’s life is based around travel, therefore, ease of movement is an essential requirement…’

Musical communities remain international: and this can only happen if there is absolute freedom to travel, both with regard to planned tours as well as last-minute engagements.”

The UK’s music industry is worth £4.5 billion pounds to the UK economy. Considering this, the Incorporated Society of Musicians is calling for the Government to cover the additional costs that musicians will incur should we leave the EU without a deal.

Yvonne Forsey, Wayside Drive, Devizes

Part of our heritage

COULD someone explain why the monument at Cherhill is still under refurbishment? It’s taking years to complete.

Who’s responsible for its maintenance?

It’s such a cherished part of our landscape, it would be a travesty if it were to fall down.

Mrs Stella Turner, High Street, Corsham

Help Poppy Appeal

IT IS nearly time for the Annual Poppy Appeal. Devizes people should feel proud of themselves as a town and surrounding areas for raising almost £40,000 in the September 2018- September 2019 Appeal.

The 2019-2020 Appeal starts on October 25. Poppies will be in the shops, schools and work places. The street collections start on October 25.

We always need extra 5 help. If anyone would like to help in either street collections, delivering poppies and boxes to shops and offices, please let me know.

If there any organisations who need a wreath please5 contact me.

Without your support we would not be able to help those members of our armed forces, veterans, and their families.

Franklin Richmond, Devizes Poppy Appeal Organiser, The Royal British Legion, 01380 726472

It’s our own fault

I WAS amazed at Dr Martin Parson’s letter which claimed that unknown persons came up to him whilst he wandered unattended through Devizes and told him “Let’s Get on with it and end Brexit now”! How do they recognise this man? Is he painted bright blue? Does he wear numerous badges or an old bowler hat with Leave badges attached?

He goes on to blame every other party for the problems we now face instead of looking at the ERG who have blocked movement since this advisory referendum was first called. Thank heavens that some sensible members of the Conservative party realise that the far right has captured its soul and they are fighting back.

I and others would love to meet him on his lonely rambles and point him in the right direction.

Roger Day, Wedhampton

We won’t miss EU

RE 11 October letter from Devizes for EU and Kate Freeman: so a new vote is vital? What would you say, as the polls predict, that a new vote, with all you say we have learnt over the past three years, was the same, Leave?

I suspect you are aligned to the Liberal “Democrats” who quite clearly say they would not accept it and have gone further now in saying they are standing at any future election that might happen on No further vote, just Staying in the EU.

Benefits of membership you say are, stopping climate change? Really? Doesn’t appear to be working so well after 40 years does it?

Driving licences and the freedom to drive in any EU country without restriction continues to increase the level of accidents and illegal incidents.

Of course you mention the freedom to travel, work, holiday, study, wherever we want, you steer clear of migration, immigration and asylum which are still three separate issues and parachute deals are already in place to cover much of this. Spain has clearly told the EU it cannot afford to lose UK holiday makers? BMW have told Merkel extra tariffs on cars to the U.K. would cost German jobs?

If your EU is so great, why are migrants leaving France, a safe EU country, and risking their lives to cross the channel to get to the UK. You have to answer this?

You say in three years we have learnt what we would miss if we left? What I have learned is how hostile and vitriolic the rhetoric from the unelected EU has been over three years. They are afraid of us leaving. Our contributions are higher than all bar Germany’s and even more than theirs to NATO, which really keeps us safe and more than the bottom 10-12 other countries combined, knowing full well, because the likes of Greece, Italy and Spain have told the EU that they will not be making up the difference.

You can change the words, “second referendum”, “people’s vote” and now saying it is “never undemocratic to vote”, it’s laughable.

You still have time, if things are so great, off you pop. Over the Channel, where I am sure you will be welcomed? Or will you?

Mark Griffiths, Pavely Gardens, Hilperton

It’s our turn at last

HAS Chippenham’s time come at last? I see from articles in the G&H over the last three weeks that there appears to be the beginnings of a new strategic vision for the town with much needed infrastructure at the core.

The link roads to ease congestion, talk of the multi-storey car park to ease town centre parking, and most recently the possibility of an exciting and innovative treetop bridge to link the town centre and the station, which could bring life and people to Island Park and the river and bring on the redesign of Emery Gate to face the river instead of turning its back on it, as at present.

What is most exciting is that I sense a new era of cooperation between Wiltshire Council and Chippenham Town Council working together for the good of the town and, if I am right, the time is coming for the people of Chippenham to get involved and make their contribution, not to stop change, as has happened so often in the past, but to embrace it and shape it.

We all know this type of infrastructure comes with the price of new houses and while some people may be uncomfortable with this, which I fully understand, we must learn from previous mistakes and recognise the houses will come anyway – BUT this is our opportunity to get something significant in return for our Town.

This is why I started Cherish Chippenham back in 2012 later leading to the Chippenham BID and why I became a Councillor – because I have always believed in this town and the enormous potential it has. The people of Chippenham have a voice in the infrastructure, investment and new vision for our Town. I hope the silent majority will embrace these opportunities by speaking up so we can all hear the many positive voices for a change.

Cllr Melody Thompson, Hardenhuish Ward Chippenham

Good news for town

I HAVE to say I am excited that at long last there seems to be the beginning of a strategy for our town. I have lived in Chippenham all my life and run a transport business; I have watched in despair as Chippenham is left behind other Wiltshire towns like Salisbury and Trowbridge but now Wiltshire Council and Chippenham Town Council appear to want to work together for the good of the town.

We should all get behind them and get involved to shape an exciting future – we have waited long enough and if the price is more housing so what – we need them.

Dave Rousell, Sandown Drive, Chippenham

Rail hurts our roads

FURTHER to my letter published in your paper some months ago regarding works being carried out by British Rail on the cutting between the Roebuck bridge and Corsham: we are now left with two massive heaps of spoil near the Roebuck bridge, which I presume they intend to shift by road transport.

On two occasions recently there has been a fleet of large lorries pounding up and down Lacock Road for hours on end, with very little impression on the size of the mounds. It is a bit like trying to empty a gallon container with a teaspoon.

Why do we have to tolerate this damage to our road system when there is a simple answer to the problem right on their doorstep.

There are two large voids, mostly on land already owned by the railway, almost adjoining the present works, which could have been filled in by this spoil. If they do hknow where they are I would be quite happy to show them.

Tom White, Brook Drive, Corsham

Direct action wrong

LIKE a lot of people, I think climate change is an issue. I’m not sure just how big an issue it is or whether it will truly be as apocalyptic as is being made out, but I still think it is something which should be tackled.

Which is why it is particularly galling to me to see the likes of Extinction Rebellion using idiotic tactics to try and address the situation. Perhaps the worst of these, and the one which is the most highly publicised, is their constant blocking of roads and stopping of traffic in an attempt to ‘grab the public’s attention.’

Not only does this prevent people from getting to work - which, especially in the case of shift workers who are paid hourly or paid based on how long they are at work for, can be extremely financially damaging - but it also has the effect of making climate change WORSE through forcing drivers to use more fuel - and therefore pump more CO2 into the atmosphere - by either keeping their engines on idle or constantly stopping and starting their cars.

A lot of their members are very well off I know but they need to consider the consequences of their actions and how they might possibly affect people who aren’t as fortunate as them.

I understand that they are concerned about climate change but the way they are going about trying to tackle it at the moment only causes disruption and, ironically enough, even more environmental damage, and risks driving people like me who might otherwise support them away from their cause.

James Bools, Melksham

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