Author: Highworth Town Council

Notice of Carriageway Patching: High Street Highworth

Essential carriageway patching work is programmed in the High Street Highworth on Wednesday 19th February 2020.

In order to carry out the works, it will be necessary to prevent vehicles from parking in this street from 08:00hrs to approximately 15:00hrs; parking in the Market Square will not be affected. It is our intention to allow vehicles to pass through the High Street, but progress may be delayed by the ongoing work.

Advanced signage will be placed on the road as soon as possible and on the day before the work, ‘No Parking’ signs and cones will be placed on the road.

Swindon Borough Council commits to carbon neutrality by 2030

Swindon Borough Council has committed to going carbon neutral by 2030 as councillors step up the fight against climate change.
At a meeting of the Full Council last night (23 January 2020), members unanimously agreed a motion committing the Council to reduce its corporate carbon emissions, with the aim of making the Council’s estate and activities carbon neutral by the end of the decade.
Members voted to ensure the Council’s strategic decisions, budgets and approaches to planning decisions are in line with a shift to zero carbon by 2030.
By taking a lead in the climate change movement, it is hoped that the Council can inspire local businesses, residents and other organisations to take a similar approach.
In a show of widespread unity, the motion was supported by the Council’s Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat Groups.
Councillor Garry Sumner, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, said: “I am extremely pleased that this important motion, which demonstrates our commitment to protecting the environment, was passed unanimously by all members last night.
“Climate change is, justifiably, right at the top of the political agenda at the moment, and this Council recognises how important it is for everybody to do their bit for the benefit of present and future generations.
“We sincerely hope that this significant vote will inspire other businesses and organisations to work towards full carbon neutrality. We all have a long way to go but the will and commitment is there and the target has been set.”
The commitment to going carbon neutral by 2030 follows a number of actions the Council has taken in recent months to play its part in protecting the environment.
A special Climate Change Working Group was established last year and quickly began thinking of actions. New parking standards in Planning will require every new house built in the borough to include charging points for electric vehicles; further investments in solar energy have been made; the Council has bought electric vehicles for its corporate fleet; installed electric vehicle charging points on the Civic campus; is investing in LED street lighting to save energy and has introduced a food waste trial to ensure that discarded food is properly disposed of.
Important links with organisations such as the Woodland Trust and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust have been forged with plans to increase tree cover across the borough over the next decade.
There is more to do and work has already started on assessing available options, but a carbon neutral Council will be a reality by 2030.

Mannington road improvement scheme complete

Shoppers using Mannington Retail Park are benefitting from a scheme which will significantly improve congestion at a major Swindon roundabout.

A new slip road from the retail park directly onto Great Western Way has just been opened, which will reduce the amount of traffic leaving the shopping area at the Wootton Bassett Road exit and entering Mannington Roundabout.

Within the retail park itself, Telford Way has been widened to allow for a two-way flow of traffic and new signs have been installed to improve the internal layout, making it more efficient and simpler for motorists to navigate.

The latest improvements are part of an overall package of works at Mannington Roundabout, designed to improve traffic flow and alleviate congestion at peak times.

The overall £3.2m scheme has been funded by Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP).

Earlier phases of the work included the removal of the Wootton Bassett Road bus lane between Mannington Roundabout and the railway bridge to create extra queuing capacity, while the roundabout itself was widened near the Fish Brothers garage to improve traffic flow.

Councillor Maureen Penny, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and the Environment, said: “Mannington Roundabout is a key junction in Swindon so it is incredibly important we keep traffic moving as best we can with the increasing number of vehicles on our roads.

“We now have more queuing capacity on Tewkesbury Way and Wootton Bassett Road and the latest work to build the new slip road from the retail park onto Great Western Way will enable people to exit the shopping park without having to go all the way back out onto the roundabout.

“This is just one of a number of improvement schemes we are carrying out in Swindon as we continue to invest millions of pounds upgrading our road network for local residents.”

John Mortimer, chairman of Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) is investing £8.92m in three schemes in the Swindon area to improve the quality and efficiency of bus routes serving strategic housing developments.

“We are pleased that the completion of work at Mannington roundabout brings to a conclusion the first of these schemes, improving bus links between the town centre and the growing Wichelstowe development.

“As well as specific improvements around the Mannington roundabout area, this project will improve access to the town centre for Swindon residents, reduce journey times, support economic activity in the town and help to lower Swindon’s carbon footprint.

“It is the most recent example of investment from SWLEP’s £169m Local Growth Deal with Central Government to develop a growing and sustainable economy in the Swindon and Wiltshire area.”

 

Views sought on future coffee shop provision at Swindon Central Library

 

The future of the coffee shop space inside Central Library is the subject of a consultation which opened 6 Jan.

The former coffee shop in the Regent Circus library closed just before Christmas following a reorganisation of the Council’s in-house catering arrangements.

But now library users and the wider public are being asked by Swindon Libraries and Information Service what they would like to see replace it.

The consultation will be open until Friday, 31 January.

After the feedback from users has been collated, the library service will invite expressions of interest from the market to run the coffee shop facility. It is hoped a new coffee shop provision could open in the spring.

Councillor Keith Williams, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for libraries, said: “Although the former library coffee shop was much loved by some of our library users, it wasn’t used by enough people to make it cost-effective. We therefore need to make sure we have the right provision in place that will appeal to more people so it remains financially sustainable.

“This is why we are really keen to find out what local people want as we can ensure that any new services meet people’s needs. We want to hear from as many people as possible so we have a wide cross section of views, so if you can spare a few minutes please fill in the survey and tell us what you think.”

The consultation is available online at: www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/CentralLibraryCoffeeShopConsultation and paper copies will be available inside Central Library.

Swindon Job Fest: Tuesday, 4 February from 2.30pm until 6pm

Swindon’s STEAM Museum will be packed out when one of Wiltshire’s biggest career events returns for its sixth year.
Young jobseekers will be greeted by a host of local businesses at JobFest from a range of different industries including Catalent, Capita, Barclays and National Trust among many others.

The event, which is expected to attract around a thousand young people, will take place at the railway museum on Tuesday, 4 February from 2.30pm until 6pm. Organised by Swindon Borough Council, it will bring together employers from across Swindon who are offering apprenticeships and employment opportunities in the local area.

JobFest has fast become an important platform for Swindon employers to reach out to local young people and meet their future workforce.
The event, which is sponsored by Catalent and Capita, will inform and engage young people about the apprenticeships and career options available to them in the Swindon area.

JobFest 2020 will also bring together many businesses from a wide range of industries including engineering, social care, hospitality and finance as well as national and local apprenticeship training providers.

Students from secondary schools have been invited earlier in the afternoon while members of the public are welcome to go along from 2.30pm.
Throughout the school session there will be motivational talks from employers and young apprentices. Later on in the day, during the general public session, attendees will have the opportunity to attend drop-in sessions to improve their CV and speak to young apprentices.
Councillor Russell Holland, Swindon Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and the Cabinet Member responsible for education, said: “JobFest is a great way to bring local employers and young people together into one space to have meaningful conversations that could pave the way for future job opportunities.

“This year we want to highlight all the options available to young people, including less traditional, but still highly desirable career pathways, like apprenticeships.

“We would encourage all young people and jobseekers in Swindon and its surrounding areas to come along to JobFest and find their dream career.”

Daniel Busson, Operations Director at Capita Workforce Management, said: “Capita has been lucky enough to have been involved from the start of JobFest and we’ve seen how big the event has grown over the years.

“We use the opportunity to both speak to young people about careers in technology while advertising any apprenticeships we have open at the time.

“Three of our last five apprenticeships have been filled from candidates we met at JobFest!”

This year JobFest coincides with National Apprenticeship Week and local employers will be encouraging attendees to explore all their options, including apprenticeships and training opportunities.

To find out more about JobFest 2020 visit www.swindon.gov.uk/jobfest. For information on current apprenticeship vacancies in Swindon visit www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsearch

 

Important changes to your waste and recycling Christmas and New Year collections

Important changes to your waste and recycling Christmas and New Year collections

Households in Swindon are being reminded about some important changes to waste and recycling collections over the festive period.
There will be no waste and recycling collections on Christmas Day (Wednesday, 25 December 2019) or Boxing Day (Thursday, 26 December 2019) and residents are advised to put their waste and recycling out by 6.30am on Monday, 23 December 2019 and leave it out until it is collected. The crews are expected to have cleared all the waste by Saturday, 28 December 2019.
Waste and recycling crews will be working as normal on New Year’s Day (Wednesday, 1 January 2020) so there are no changes to this collection day.
If a resident is on the food waste trial and their food waste is due to be collected on Christmas Day their revised collection date will be Tuesday, 24 December 2019. Food waste collections due on Boxing Day will be collected on Friday, 27 December 2019. Food waste collections due on New Year’s Day will be collected on Thursday, 2 January 2020.
Residents on the food waste trial are reminded not to dispose of any bones from meat, poultry or fish in their caddies. Bones aren’t recyclable and must be put in the black wheelie bin/blue bag.
There will be no blue bag collections on Christmas Day (Wednesday, 25 December 2019) and residents are advised to put their waste out by 6.30am on New Year’s Day. Those whose usual blue bag collection day falls on Boxing Day (Thursday, 26 December 2019) are advised to put their blue bags out by 6.30am on Thursday, 2 January 2020. Both days will receive a double collection of up to four bags.
Clinical waste collections due to be collected on Christmas Day will be collected on Friday, 27 December 2019. Residents with regular scheduled collections will be given advance notice of changes.
All residents who are affected by the changes in collections will be notified in advance.
Garden waste collections will be suspended for two weeks between Monday, 23 December 2019 and Friday, 3 January 2020 as per the service terms and conditions. Collections will resume on Monday, 6 January 2020.
Real (not artificial) Christmas trees will be collected between Monday, 6 January 2020 and Saturday, 1 February 2020. Christmas trees must be visible from the road with all decorations and lighting removed. Larger Christmas trees must be cut down into manageable pieces.
From Monday, 16 December 2019 to Friday, 31 January 2020 the recycling crews will be collecting additional recycling, providing it is presented in sturdy containers. Excess cardboard must be broken down into manageable pieces and bundled neatly next to recycling boxes ready for collection.
Additional recycling may be collected by a second vehicle at a different time. The crews will not be collecting additional non-recyclable waste.
Councillor Maureen Penny, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and the Environment, said: “Christmas is a busy time for our crews, they work tirelessly over the festive period to collect Swindon’s waste and recycling and provide additional Christmas services to help residents recycle as much as possible.
“In order to ensure our crews receive a well-deserved break, some of our collection days will change over the festive period, however revised collection days have been put in place.

“If you see the crews out and about this holidays make sure to give them a wave and spread the Christmas cheer.”
For more information on Christmas and New Year waste and recycling services please visit www.swindon.gov.uk/christmaswaste

 

CONSULTATION on Local Plan and how it affects Highworth

 

A copy of the draft Local Plan can be found at: www.swindon.gov.uk/localplan and people can submit their comments via: https://swindon-consult.objective.co.uk/portal/ or by e-mail to forwardplanning@swindon.gov.uk

 

Public to be asked for their views on updated Local Plan.

An important consultation which will shape and guide future housebuilding in Swindon over the next 20 years will open tomorrow (17 Dec).

Local people will be asked for their views on the Draft Local Plan Review, which sets out where 20,450 homes could be built in the Borough up to 2036.

The six-week consultation, which was approved by the Council’s Cabinet earlier this month, follows a similar exercise last summer where people were asked for their views on the preferred and ‘emerging’ options for the Local Plan. At that time more than a thousand comments were received from around 400 individuals and organisations.

A large proportion of the 20,450 homes required over the next 20 years are already in the pipeline within large-scale new communities allocated for development in the current Local Plan, including the New Eastern Villages, Wichelstowe and Kingsdown. More than £100m has also been secured from the Government to invest in major road improvements before the houses have been built.

In order to reach the required housing target and, following the consultation earlier this year, a number of urban housing sites have been added to the draft Local Plan including land at the former Stratton Education Centre, Moredon Recreation Ground, the former Windmill Hill School and at North Star House.

In addition, a number of sites have been identified for future housing growth outside of the Swindon Urban Area in Highworth, Wroughton and other Swindon villages.

By identifying a range of sites in a large number of locations, the draft strategy supports a wider range of builders and diversifies the development of sites in the Borough. It is likely to encourage an increase in housebuilding in the short-term supporting the Council’s ability to maintain a five-year housing supply.

The large number of sites in the strategy reduces the risk of making existing congestion and air quality worse, while also reduces the need for significant new infrastructure.

The proposed employment land identified in the draft Local Plan includes 1.52 hectares at the historic former GWR Carriage Works in the Town Centre, land north of Barnfield Close and 1.7 hectares at the former Groundwell Park and Ride.

In light of comments from last summer’s consultation, an existing policy with clear links to how the Plan is meeting the climate change challenge will be reinstated. The safeguarded route for the canal through the Town Centre has been retained and an enhanced heritage policy to reflect the newly-created Heritage Action Zone in the Railway Village has been added.

Councillor Gary Sumner, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, said: “The importance of having an up-to-date Local Plan cannot be underestimated as it helps us to plan Swindon’s growth in a targeted way.

“A large proportion of the homes we have to build as part of the targets set by government have already been identified in major developments such as the New Eastern Villages and Wichelstowe.

“This new draft Local Plan would see houses built across the Borough on smaller sites within existing communities, reducing the need for major new infrastructure and encouraging developers to start building in the short term. This will help us to maintain our five-year land supply and help us ward off unwanted development.

“I would like to thank everyone who took part in our consultation earlier on this year because their feedback was really important in helping us shape this draft Local Plan. But the process is still not finished and it is equally important that we hear the views of local people on this latest stage of the process before we submit the final Local Plan for examination next year.”

Members of the public have until 31 January 2020 to give their views on the draft Local Plan.

 

 

Pride of Swindon Awards returns as search for community champions continues

Pride of Swindon Awards returns as search for community champions continues

The annual search for Swindon’s unsung heroes has begun following the launch of the latest Pride of Swindon Awards.

The awards, now in their 12th year, recognise and celebrate the many selfless people in Swindon who go above and beyond to help their local communities.

People are encouraged to nominate someone they think deserves an award. Maybe they regularly give up their free time to volunteer, have overcome adverse circumstances or have consistently been a strong role model for others?

This year’s awards were launched by Mayor of Swindon Cllr Kevin Parry at the Civic Offices on Friday (30 Nov).

Cllr Parry said: “I am delighted to be able to launch these awards which recognise the fantastic work done by so many people in Swindon.

“I am sure the judges will have as difficult a time as ever in picking the winners and I wish the best of luck to everybody who is nominated.”

A team of judges will be assembled to assess the nominations and a special ceremony will be held where the winners will be presented with their awards.

Those wanting to nominate individuals or teams have until Friday, 24 January 2020 to get an application in.

The winners will have their names permanently on show on a plaque at Swindon Central Library.

To nominate someone, follow this link and complete the form.

 

NHS – Help Us To Help You!

Look after yourself this winter:

As the dark nights draw in across Swindon and winter really starts to bite, it’s worth thinking about how we can all make sure we’re looking after ourselves and staying well over the cold winter months.

The NHS recently launched its annual winter campaign – Help Us Help You– which is here to help make it easier to understand the things you can do.

We all know hospitals and surgeries can be especially busy during the winter months and it can often be tricky to know the best place to go for help, so here’s some handy tips to see you though until spring:

1. It’s not too late to get your flu jab
The free flu vaccination is offered to those who are at increased risk from the effects of flu, including people aged 65 and over, pregnant women, those with underlying health conditions and children aged 2-10. If you’ve not had one yet, it’s not too late.

2. Call 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk online
If you’re unsure where to go and think you need urgent medical attention, but it’s not life-threatening, contacting NHS 111 can help you make sure you reach the most suitable NHS service for your needs.

3. Ask a pharmacist for advice before minor ailments or winter illnesses get worse
Community pharmacists are qualified healthcare professional who can offer clinical advice and over the counter medicines to safely manage things like coughs, colds and sore throats.
It’s quick and convenient to see a pharmacist– you don’t need to book an appointment and can often be seen in a private consultation room.

4. See your GP in the evening or weekend if you can’t see them during the day
If you need to see a GP but find it hard to find the time during routine hours, appointments with a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional are often available in the evenings and at weekends through many local practices or other local NHS services.
For more information about services in your area visit:

http://swindonccg.nhs.uk/