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The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.

Devizes Constituency covers the towns of Devizes, Marlborough, Ludgershall and Tidworth, together with the large villages of Bulford, Durrington and Pewsey.

Devizes Constituency News

  • Devizes Town Centre
    Article: Dec 3, 2018
    By Jo Waltham in Marlborough News

    Last week Wiltshire Council's cabinet voted to close three special schools. Larkrise (Trowbridge), St Nicholas (Chippenham) and Rowdeford (Devizes) will be replaced by one new, academy-run, special school in Devizes.

    The vote was unanimous even after many heartfelt pleas - from teachers, governors and parents -expressing concerns over increased travel times, lack of an A&E facility in Devizes, reduction of parental choice and the education of their children outside their communities.

    A three-school solution was supported by 71 per cent of respondents to a consultation on these changes. So why did the cabinet vote for a single school instead?

    Wiltshire Council needs more places for children with Special Education Need and/or Disability (SEND) and they need to improve the quality of that provision. The council also wants to reduce the cost of having Wiltshire children placed in independent and out of county schools.

    They believe that one "centre of excellence" will solve these problems and that the only real question was where it should be. The Rowdeford site, in Devizes, was selected as it has excellent outdoor education facilities, room for growth, and is a central location for the whole of North Wiltshire.

    I've been following this consultation closely as I've been campaigning to reduce the travel times SEND children in Marlborough experience. It is not just the time to travel from Marlborough to Devizes but the fact that these minibuses travel around the county picking up many children, resulting in some highly vulnerable children being on the bus for nearly two hours, each way, every day.

    On hearing that the location of the new school was to be Devizes I felt relief that our Marlborough children will not have to travel even further to school, as would have happened if their school had been relocated to Chippenham or Trowbridge. But I do feel for the parents and children in Chippenham and Trowbridge who are now faced with the prospect of their children having to travel so far to school.

  • Jo Waltham, Cllr Ian Thorn, Cllr Jon Hubbard, Cllr James Sheppard (speaking), Cllr Jane Davies, Cllr Nick Fogg
    Article: Jul 17, 2018
    By Jo Waltham in Marlborough.News

    Wiltshire Council are holding a three-month pre-consultation on the future of the county's special schools - for children with Special Education Need and Disability (SEND). On Monday (July 16) a meeting was held in Marlborough to discuss the consultation and to hear the views of Wiltshire councillors and parents.

Upcoming Events in the Devizes Constituency

    National Lib Dem News

    • Article: Oct 15, 2019

      During the recent online hustings, the chair Lorely Burt produced a horribly complicated diagram from a few years back showing how the Liberal Democrats are structured. It's a good point - our organisation can be complicated, confusing and even hazardous to navigate.

      Looking at the diagram, I did a quick mental tally of how many of the bodies shown on it I've served on at some point in my many years as a party staffer, including running the party's digital operation for Charles Kennedy, and as a volunteer, as a local party officer, regional officer, English party committee member and federal committee member.

    • Article: Oct 14, 2019

      Today, Her Majesty The Queen opened the new parliamentary session. But we have exactly the same problems as we did in the last session: a government with no majority, no leadership and no realistic plan for our country.

      I used my speech in Parliament today to give a warning to my fellow MPs.

      Here's my speech in full:

    • Article: Oct 13, 2019

      I know it's tempting fate and that I shouldn't really, but this week I have not been able to resist the temptation to think what life might be like if I were to win the Presidency.

      So I decided to think what a week might be like in this possible future, combining my job as MP with the job of President.

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