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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

Museum is costly

IN response to ‘Villages can help’, please may I just clarify that the Museum cost to Trowbridge residents is £172,000pa. Hilperton Parish Council currently contributes nothing.

The Friends of Trowbridge Museum donated £150,000 towards the project and as volunteers their assistance in the day to day operation is fundamental. I am not on the Museum Committee, but it is my understanding that the volunteers will only support the project if entry remains free, therefore charging for entry would not make economic sense.

Personally, I believe at least a proportion of these funds from Trowbridge residents would be better spent on providing core services like street cleaning, new play equipment in our park and retaining and not demolishing our public toilets.

However, I must accept the democratic process of our Council and therefore the museum project in its entirety and the loss of our only public toilets. Perhaps, if there was at least one Town Councillor with young children decisions would be different.

Edward Kirk, Town & Wiltshire Councillor for Trowbridge Adcroft

Thanks 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) a charity helping to improve the quality of life of working animals in some of the world’s poorest communities.

Roger Challoner Green, Church Lane, Wingfield, Trowbridge

No Nanny State

REFERENCE the piece in Wiltshire Times (Friday June 7th page 8), I feel sorry for the couple who will be without their Parking Blue Badge because they did not get a reminder from The Department for Transport this year, as they have stopped sending them out to save money.

However, sending out reminders is a waste of public money when the expiry date is clearly shown on the front page of the Badge in 9mm high bold letters. People have got to take responsibility for such things themselves and not rely on Nanny State thinking.

My wife (83) and myself (84) have badges and we both know when they expire.

Peter Collins, Trowbridge

Shake up the BBC

I HOPE that our MP Dr Murrison will do his utmost to ensure that the BBC is prevented from re-introducing TV license charges for the Over 75s.

It is an inefficient, financially incapable organisation & it should be told in no uncertain terms to get its act together.

Why should the BBC be allowed to re-introduce these charges to cover its failure to control costs, be it inflated pay deals or, as with EastEnders, substantially over budget & way behind completion dates, etc.

Take away their monopoly & give them the shake up that they need.

Philip Withers, Trowbridge

Poor standards

IT IS either the work force who may be partially blind or its the council not paying the company enough money.

The greenery around the council offices is well kept, but alas after 40 yards down Lambrok Road they have stopped cutting the houses side of the road.

Also on the Frome Road they have stopped at Fleur-De-Lys on one side but the bus stop area is still two foot high, down Bradley Road Southwick the grass is that high you can’t see the footpath as the greenery is even growing in the gutter of the road they have just re-surfaced further up around the bend.

Either that or they ran out of time and forgot to go back and finish it all off.

Ian Sampson, Southwick

Library neglected

I SENT a letter in May asking the council to explain what they had against Westbury library and why they blatantly lied about it being a `well maintained` building - their arrogance at staying silent was not surprising.

The weeds are once again growing through the wall in the area where the computers are - hardly what I call well maintained, Wiltshire Council. This is typical of your response to the public - completely ignore them and carry on regardless.

A letter in another paper summed you lot up perfectly - it stated that Wiltshire Council hold consultations so that they can tell you what they are going to do.

Whatever the public say, if you don’t agree with it, you totally ignore it - how arrogant can you get. Wiltshire Council wouldn’t recognise the truth if it came and smacked them in the face - if the truth could get past the arrogance.

It’s a shame we don’t have a choice but to pay the council tax - I highly object to putting money in for it to be wasted on people who couldn’t care less about the people they are supposed to work for.

Ms Stroud, Warminster Road, Westbury

Shame on them

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 their heads in total shame.

Terry Chivers, Eden Grove, Whitley, Melksham

Lay off our MP

I WAS surprised when I opened my copy of the Wiltshire Times on the weekend, to find an attack on our MP. Please lay off Dr Andrew Murrison Mr Withers – he’s one of the best.

Philip Fowler, Victoria Road, Trowbridge

Booze ban call

IN congratulating the LibDems in winning the local election I trust that we. the residents, can look forward to an early introduction of an alcohol ban in Westbury Gardens. The Tories said they could not afford it. Please prove them wrong.

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

Thanks for advice

I SPENT Saturday morning knocking doors in the late Cllr Graham Payne’s Trowbridge Drynham ward in support of Conservative candidate Kam Reynolds. Thank you everyone who stopped to chat. Thanks too for all the helpful advice on Brexit and leadership hopefuls - much appreciated.

Graham was my longstanding friend, colleague and general election agent. He liked to quip, especially over a tot, that I owed my selection as Conservative candidate back in September 2000 to his lobbying in favour of a fellow Navy man. Then, as now, it’s important that political parties select candidates in a fair and transparent way. That process has to be based on merit and open to all.

I’m truly delighted that Kam was selected to be my party’s candidate. His infectious enthusiasm, energy and qualities as a people-person have clearly made a big impact already in the ward he’s seeking to represent.

Andrew Murrison, MP for South West Wiltshire, House of Commons

Call for 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 subsequent 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


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