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Burying is best

IRRESPECTIVE of the environmental advantages or disadvantages of the proposed Westbury gasification plant, the Climate Change protesters have shown once again that they will use fatuous arguments to bolster their cause. Objecting to an underground electrical cable on the grounds of environmental damage to the “pristine” countryside seems at odds with the usual norms. Would they prefer a set of pylons instead? Although, whenever this option is offered the “auto-protesters” sally forth on grounds of aesthetics and health risks.

If they were sit back and be more objective they would realise that the country is criss-crossed by underground electric cables, natural gas pipelines, water pipelines and fuel/oil pipelines. None of which despoil the countryside. Environmental remediation goes hand in hand with infrastructure projects that lay services beneath the ground. When the work is completed you would be hard pressed to know what had taken place beneath your feet.

If the anti-cable protesters wish to look beyond Wiltshire I recommend that they look at the Llyne Brianne-Upper Towy buried cable project, and the Derwent-Charnwood Forest water pipeline as two excellent examples of where major infrastructure projects installed buried services in areas of real outstanding natural beauty. In the case of the Derwent-Charnwood Forest water pipeline, the pipes were over 2 metres diameter, not the relatively small electrical cables being proposed for the Westbury-Frome project.

Clive AdamsNoyes Close

Chippenham

Priorities wrong

SO the arrogant B.B.C. has decided to scrap the free television licence for the over 75s. Is this to prop up the large salaries of some so called celebrities, the early morning sofa sitters and the likes of Mr Huw Edwards.

I understand that there are good actors that can command very high fees but then good programs, dramas and comedies can be sold to other networks here and abroad. But I am sorry Mr Edwards there is no value in day old news.

Jim Day

Whiterow Park

Trowbridge

Well done NHS

AS A visitor from Devon, I’d like to register my appreciation of the prompt and effective treatment I received from staff at Trowbridge Health Centre while staying with family in the town.

An insect bite on my foot - a souvenir of a recent Greek holiday - had become septic and painful, so I visited the centre, where within a few minutes the receptionist had registered me as a temporary patient and offered me an appointment with a paramedic for half an hour later.

In fact I had barely sat down in the waiting room when the paramedic called me in to see him, diagnosed the problem and prescribed an anti-bacterial cream, which I collected within the hour from the Boots pharmacy on the site. By the next day, the pain was already starting to ease.

As a lifelong supporter of the NHS, I am pleased that my experience has been so good. Thank you to everyone concerned!

Tim Hall

Grays Court

Wray Barton

Moretonhampstead

Newton Abbot

D-Day memories

IN these days of political unrest it has been good to step back and pause to remember the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, a time when so many thousands of loyal servicemen and women gave their lives to save us from a Nazi regime. The names of those who gave their lives in that conflict stand proudly on the War Memorial in Trowbridge Park, along with those who died in the First World War. After so many years families are still grieving over the loss of loved ones.

I have already shared some memories on Facebook Historical Trowbridge of a schoolboy living in Trowbridge at the time of D-Day. As I played in the back yard through the open window I could hear the voice of John Snagge reading the six ‘clock evening news that D-Day had commenced.

British and American troop were landing in France and I could see lines of gliders going up from Keevil. After so many years memory can we know play tricks but your recent excellent article on wartime RAF Keevil confirmed many gliders carrying British troops were going up that evening, and would arrive over the beaches after midnight.

Large parts of Union Street and what is now St Thomas’ Road had for many months been lined with American half tracked vehicles and tanks. Now they had completely gone. I think of the large tank parked outside of our house.

From my bedroom window I could almost look down into the turret as the men prepared for war. No more would the call go up ‘Any gum chum?’ as the GIs walked back to camp in the grounds of Bellefield House.

Or the Christmas gifts be given the the children at Parochial School then in Church Street.

Stanley H. Jones

Horse Road

Hilperton Marsh

Hunt for Kathleen

I AM trying to find any information about one Kathleen Ann Legg, who was married at St Cyriac’s Church, Lacock in 1970. She at that time was 19 and lived on the Lackham Estate. Friends from 50 years ago are trying to make contact with her.

Peter Louch

pandmlouch@btinternet.com

Wasting our cash

I READ with interest the article that the last 12 Planning Applications refused by Councillors against the recommendations of Planning Officers, costing Council Officers extra work and the Council extra costs.

A valid objection to a planning application includes: Loss of light or overshadowing; Overlooking/loss of privacy; Visual amenity (but not loss of private view); Adequacy of parking/loading/turning; Highway safety; Traffic generation; Noise and disturbance resulting from use; Hazardous materials. There may well be other local issues.

Planning Officers make their recommendations in good faith having tested the applications against the Planning Regulations and generally get it right.

Councillors on the other hand are obliged to heed local concerns from the residents who elected them and therefore have to be seen to be acting in support of them, perhaps sometimes for electoral reasons.

Quite often objections from well meaning local residents do not come under the allowable objections to Planning Applications and are doomed to failure; the Planning Inspectorate then overturn the Council’s refusal decisions.

A total of 12 overturns in a row is costly for Wiltshire Council and it is clear that instead of Councillors just supporting local residents’ objections by calling the application in and then refusing it, they would best serve the community by explaining to local residents that the grounds for a particular application are not allowable.

If the Planning Regulations are seen to be unfair as to what is a valid objection then the perhaps the law needs to be reviewed and they should make representations to their MP to get it done. In the meantime time, effort and money is being wasted.

Peter L Collins

Chilmark Road

Trowbridge

Theft on High St

ONCE again the hypocrisy of petrol and fuel suppliers in the UK can be clearly seen, telling us that they are reducing prices in line with the current 10% reduction in the cost of Crude Oil in the last couple of weeks.

Tell us another one when the true fact is, a penny here and a penny there in no way reflects the real reduction in costs.

It really is theft on the High Street when they retain so much profit at the expense of the motorist.

Overnight the price of Crude has dropped over 4% how long before that reduction is seen, unlike the swift actions to increase prices at the pumps from early May.

£1.29 for diesel and £1.26 for petrol currently should in fact be £1.20 for petrol and £1.23 for diesel, noting of course that the diesel production is less expensive than petrol, but many are being punished for diesel car ownership.

That is the case with Supermarkets but if we examine costs from other suppliers the case is even more disgusting.

We were told many moons ago that there was an enquiry into the fuel supply companies and their cost factors, have I missed something or did it never get completed?

Kenneth F. Mitchell

High Street

Uffiington

Peace comes first

I COMMEND and thank the Wiltshire Times for the article featuring Veterans for Europe last week.

Whilst politicians debate the economic aspects of leaving the EU, the primary reason why Brexit is the most damaging and dangerous thing our country has ever done is that it puts at risk peace in Europe.

Veterans for Europe have reminded us of the reason why the European Project was created in the first place.

That was to create the conditions of cooperation between the European nations that it would become unthinkable for them to go to war. The EU is the biggest and most successful project for peace that the world has ever seen.

I hope that people who voted leave will have read the article and have had pause for thought. Just maybe they will reconsider Brexit from this perspective and understand the best way to continue the peace in Europe, that they have enjoyed the benefits of, for future generations.

Julia Underwood

Address supplied

We want Final Say

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.

Vivienne Kynaston

Elms Cross Drive

Bradford on Avon, on behalf of:

Bath for Europe

Bradford on Avon and Trowbridge for Europe

North Wilts & Chippenham for EU

Salisbury for Europe

Swindon for Europe

What’s important

IT WAS an amazing piece of spin by Wiltshire Council in an article in this week’s Wiltshire Times in which they praised themselves for having a budget under spend on public services of £357k.

Yet in the same accounts it shows an over spend of £900k on transport for Educational Care plans alone. Which is the more relevant £900k or £375k? The Council in the same budget period closed 5 Children’s Centres across Wiltshire and saved £250k in the process.

That seems a lot of money until you read that they also put away into the reserve fund for emergencies a whopping £2.1 million making a total of £15m in that fund.

But wasn’t it an emergency to keep much needed services like the Children’s Centres open? £250k would not have made a big dent in the £15 million fund.

Tony Free

Warminster

Why the delay

EVERY few years we have a general election, involving every adult in the country and we are able to carry out the voting process on a single day, with the results known within 24 hours.

We are now holding an election for a new prime minister, involving a small number of voters but spread over a number of weeks.

Can anyone explain the reason for this - other countries vote in new presidents in 24 hours and it seems quite unnecessary for the UK to require such a lengthy process.

Geoffrey Richards

Ashton Road

Hilperton

Trowbridge

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