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Radio is for us all

FURTHER to Councillor Lynch’s correspondence, I am delighted that he is in favour of a community radio station for Bradford on Avon. It is a brilliant idea put forward by committed volunteers, including two sitting councillors, who are leading by example in their involvement in this project.

So how this has become misconstrued as a move by Ideal Bradford councillors to “control” the station is quite beyond us.

Perhaps setting out the full context will help clear up the confusion.

As Jim notes, the proposal, which does not involve any financial outlay from the Town Council, merely use of a room, involves community radio broadcasts and working with young people. Such stations – internet based – operate effectively in Westwood School and Christ Church School. Supporting these types of activities is exactly what the Town Council should do to to serve the town.

The station will be operated as a Company Limited by Guarantee – which is a common structure for community enterprises where no sharing of profit is contemplated. All revenue earned is invested back into the company, and, as with all listed companies, accounts will be open to public inspection. Jim has been involved in many community projects and should be more than aware of this.

Both Cllr Garwood and Cllr McNeill-Ritchie have also signalled their intent to go for an OfCom licence in the near future. This means that like all the big broadcasters, even this small community station will need to have demonstrated political neutrality in its editorial standards.

How Cllr Lynch and others think this will be a Bradford on Avon version of Radio Tirana is, frankly, a mystery.

The more proposals such as this that we can bring forward to benefit the town, the better. In the last two years, we’ve sought to work with all parties on projects, including support for some of our most vulnerable residents, and on highways, and I hope that this will continue.

As we approach a by-election I’d urge all parties, councillors and candidates to focus on what can be achieved, rather than attacking their peers representing the town.

If all our energies could be directed to coming up with new solutions, even more could be done to make Bradford on Avon an even better place to live, work and play. Let’s make it local - not politics.

Dom Newton, Town Councillor, Bradford on Avon (North Ward), Leader of Bradford on Avon Town Council, Leader of Ideal Bradford

Kill the speed

RE THE recent crash on Frome Road: all the highway people have to do is cut the 40mph zone, which I would say is only 400 yards or so long, make the whole Frome Road through Southwick 30mph.

Then put a light on the bend, as when we go home late at night you get drivers that have got their headlights blazing as it is so dark in the region of the bend.

Ian Sampson, Southwick

How is this right?

LAST Thursday evening there was a meeting at County Hall as part of the extended consultation between Wiltshire Council and local special schools threatened with closure. It was attended by parents from Larkrise and St Nicholas, and a small group of parents from Rowdeford.

Rowdeford parents are clearly in favour of the Council’s plan - they see the proposal as an enhancement of the school their children already attend so it’s not hard to see the motivation behind their support.

However, this issue should not be about any individual child, family or even school - this is about equality and parental choice for everybody’s child. If this plan goes ahead, every child with a special need in the north of the county will be sent to this one-size-fits-all Superschool. How can this possibly be right or fair?

More investment should mean more schools, more community integration, more opportunities and more choice.

Also at the meeting, a Larkrise parent questioned the validity of the consultation process when we have no information at all about post-16 provision - he was absolutely right. Wiltshire Council have at least acknowledged that they will have to offer something to our post-16 students but we have no idea what form that will take, sadly, right now they don’t seem to know either.

The consultation process should be informative and transparent but it feels like we are being asked to sign a blank sheet of paper on which Wiltshire Council will then write a contract.

Jane Scrivener, Parent of Larkrise student

Keeping us safe

YOUR front page (April 26) features protestors wanting changes and or improvements to the A36.

Fatalities are of course dreadful for the affected families, but why do we always blame the roads. The A36 and connecting roads are excellent. 100,000s of journeys over 5 years has lead to 10 fatalities, apparently all blamed on the roads.

What about the appalling standard of today’s driving. I do hundreds of miles on these roads and am by no means Reginald Molehusband, but I do pay attention to the road and especially other road users. All my lights, indicators and speed indicators also work and are used.

Speeders are increasing. The use of mobiles at the wheel is increasing, drink and drugs go undetected, the school rush to drop off kids, and mainly by female drivers is getting ever faster and more careless, and so it goes on.

Of course, we never see a police officer, speed van, many speed cameras don’t work and the multitude of awful drivers know they will never get caught.

Protestors once called speed cameras “cash cows”, but deaths and accidents decreased. Every 30mph stretch should be camera controlled and all accident blackspots also camera controlled and for heavens sake let’s make the punishments worthwhile and fit the crime.

Mark Griffiths, Pavely Gardens, Trowbridge

Action needed

AS councils up and down the land, including Wiltshire, declare a ‘climate emergency’ we need to see action at all levels. There is much we can do as individuals and as families to reduce our carbon footprints. Local councils can help too, by recycling more waste; supporting public transport, cycling and walking; by additional tree planting etc.

But it is only through central Government policies and actions that we will be able to meet the ambitious targets that are needed to transform the U.K. to a zero carbon economy.

It could, for example, be made mandatory for every new building to be fitted with solar panels. And for all new houses to have electric vehicle charging points installed.

A quick win, that would be popular too (Clare Perry MP please note), would be to ban fracking.

A nationwide programme to retrofit home insulation would radically reduce the energy we use, and lose, heating our homes; as well as creating many new jobs.

As a country we need to invest much more in public transport, to provide viable alternatives to car use.

In recent months urgent concern about climate change has moved rapidly up the political agenda. Many of us feel that if the Government does not act now, it will be too late.

John Boaler, Chairman, Calne Branch Labour Party, Woodland Park, Calne

Make May purple

ACROSS the country thousands of people will Make May Purple for stroke and we’d love to invite your readers to join in the fun.

When stroke strikes, part of your brain shuts down. And so does a part of you. That’s because a stroke happens in the brain, the control centre for who we are and what we can do. Recovery is tough, but with the right specialist support and a ton of courage and determination, the brain can adapt.

The Stroke Association rebuilds lives and with your help we can support even more stroke survivors. It couldn’t be easier. All you have to do is wear purple in May, and every penny you raise will help us.

You can wear purple to work, or at community event – wherever you are, we’re asking you to turn all your activities purple during the month of May. Whether that means wearing purple for a month or a day, or hosting a dress down day at work,

Get more purple inspiration and find out how you can have fun while helping stroke survivors on our website www.stroke.org.uk.

Joanna McGuinness, Head of Regional Fundraising, Stroke Association

Indians on attack

NO sooner do the cowboys leave their corral and head for the hills than a tribe of Indians, Mohicans I believe, descend on Westbury Gardens with their squaws. I have yet to see any wigwams nor any smoke lighting up the sky at night.

Word must have got around, smoke signals no doubt, that Westbury Gardens was a great place to set up camp.

The lawns and flower beds are a joy to behold. There is even a tourist information centre.

Mind you, you won’t have the pleasure of watching the toddlers from the nursery school enjoying themselves, they have been kicked out.

I attended the meeting at St Margaret’s Hall on April 18, a pity there weren’t many people in attendance, and came to the conclusion that the Lady Mayor just did not want the expense of having an alcohol ban in Westbury Gardens.

£30,000 on solar panels for St Margaret’s Hall. Peanuts.

Gareth Jones, Abbey Mills, Church Street, Bradford on Avon

Why stop Brexit

I’VE come back from university to de-stress for a few weeks before my final exam, to find Vivienne Kynaston still harping on about Brexit. I guess some things never change.

I would like to ask Vivienne, along those lines, what her reasons for wanting to stop Brexit actually are. For transparency, my 3 main reasons for voting to leave were:

1. Sovereignty - unless we are talking about fundamental issues such as human rights, even one law that governs Britain which isn’t made in Britain is one too many. By and large British laws should be made in Britain.

2. The Commission - whilst we do elect MEPs, we don’t get to vote for who actually sits at the top table ourselves. We cannot vote out Juncker in the same way we can vote out the Maybot.

3. Its handling of the migrant crisis - now, I am no xenophobe. If people want to come here, work hard and benefit the country then I am fine with that. But at the same time, there is a limit to how many people Europe can take and the EU’s handling of the migrant crisis has been woefully inefficient.

And obviously since the vote, the Copyright Directive has come in too, which whilst undoubtedly overblown will still have a negative impact on independent creators and the concept of fair use on the internet by allowing corporations more power.

Has Ms Kynaston thought through her positions in this way, or did she cast her vote based on economic worries (which, fair enough, is a good reason to vote Remain). Then again, why should she listen to me - I’m just someone who didn’t know what I was voting for.

James Bools, Melksham

Farage’s time?

IN the 2017 general election we were told by the right wing press & some politicians that over 80% of voters cast their votes for the 2 main parties because of their stance on Brexit. Just not true. The majority of people always vote on their usual party lines not one issue.

The recent local elections showed a very large swing to parties with anti Brexit views.

Now the right wing press & certain politicians tell us that this swing to more sensible parties is somehow telling the Government to get on with Brexit??

Incredible how they expect us to believe this twisting of the facts.

Sadly, if we do have European elections later this month Mr Farage will have his time in the limelight & do well. After all he does speak with the loudest voice.

I still firmly hope that we can remain in the EU. Either way another chance for people to vote again on the facts not fiction is essential . If the vote is for leave again I promise that I will say no more on the issue because, at least, people will have a clearer idea of the consequences.

Gary Hunt, Chippenham

MPs should pay

THE country voted to leave the EU and here we are years later and after wasting millions of pounds.Now we are to waste more money on more elections for the European Parliament, I think the members of the government should pay out of their personal pockets.

With hospitals and schools having to rely on charities to get money for equipment why don’t they get on with it and give the people what they voted for.

Robert Knight, Submitted via email

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