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Devizes News

  • COVID-19 hospital beds graph
    Article: May 30, 2020
    By David Waltham

    Dominic Cummings famously declared that he didn't care about appearances-he'd stuck to the letter of the law and that's all that matters. It sounds like an unsympathetic insurance company wriggling out of a claim but I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt because the real issue, for me, is that appearances do matter. And we'll be able to tell in about a week's time whether I'm right.

  • john Gillet
    Article: May 29, 2020
    By John Gillet

    This is Aldbourne resident John Gill- ...Aldbourne? Village. Near Ramsbury. No? Near Hungerford? Ring any bells? No? Oh well, it's in Wiltshire, and like most other Wiltshire villages, is packed with people who unthinkingly vote Tory and think Boris is "a right laugh". I've lived in a beautiful 17th-century cottage here for 10 years. My name's John Gillett. But locally I'm known as "John the actor". Probably other things too, but mainly that one, because.... well, because I'm an actor. I'm known as Aden Gillett when I swan about the stage, but John the Actor when I swan about The Blue Boar or Crown in Aldbourne.

  • Boris Johnson, Danny Kruger and Dominic Cummings
    Article: May 28, 2020
    By David Kinnaird

    Dear Mr Kruger,

    Your unconditional acceptance of the behaviour of your friend Mr Dominic Cummings is profoundly disappointing. In your tweets, and in your letter to the Gazette you have sought to downplay his actions and cast them as just the sort of action any man in that position would undertake.

    This is an admirable defence, but it misses the whole point. He is not just any man - he is the most senior advisor to the PM. He apparently did not consider, in his carefully weighed analysis, how his breaking and bending of the rules would look to a national population who had been instructed to abide by them. This alone marks down his judgment below any acceptable level - He doesn't care about a "good look" when that is exactly what he should care about. He set the rules, he must be seen to abide by them, not use cunning artifice to conveniently set them aside. There was no extreme emergency that justified his flight to Durham. He had no reasonable excuse to leave his house, despite his lawyered-up statement delivered on Monday.

  • Jo Waltham
    Article: May 25, 2020
    By Jo Waltham, Parliamentary Spokesperson

    Dear Mr Kruger,

    As public figures, neither yourself nor the Prime Minister should allow loyalty to a friend and colleague to cloud your judgement concerning reports that the Prime Minister's Senior Adviser, Dominic Cummings, has wilfully disregarded the lockdown rules.

    Poor decisions on this matter have real consequences; people will die unnecessarily in the weeks to come unless the clear message is re-established that it is unacceptable for symptomatic individuals to drive hundreds of miles across the country. It cannot be one rule for senior government officials and one rule for everyone else.

  • Stay at Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives.
    Article: Apr 25, 2020
    By Lisa Kinnaird

    Across the country, people are volunteering to help their communities through the Coronavirus outbreak.

    The Liberal Democrats are dedicating resources to supporting that community effort.

    That's why we're making this page with links to online resources produced by volunteers and public bodies available.

  • Jo Waltham at Polling Station
    Article: Dec 15, 2019
    By Jo Waltham

    With a total 51,223 votes cast, the result was:

    1. Danny Kruger (Conservative Party) - 32,150 (63.1%)
    2. Jo Waltham (Liberal Democrats) - 8,157 (16.0%)
    3. Rachael Schneider (Labour Party) - 7,838 (15.4%)
    4. Emma Dawnay (Green Party) - 2,809 (5.5%)

    Thank you to everyone who voted for us and congratulations to Danny Kruger.

  • Article: Sep 7, 2019
    By Jo Waltham

    Claire Perry-Conservative Member of Parliament for the Devizes constituency-announced yesterday (Friday, 6th September) that she will not seek re-election but will instead concentrate on her role as President of next year's major UN conference on climate (COP 26). There is no bigger or more important political job for Claire to take on. I wish her every success in COP 26's task of extracting detailed greenhouse gas reduction plans from the world's governments.

  • Protest in Devizes
    Article: Sep 2, 2019
    By Jo Waltham

    For the past three years, while the Conservative Party has torn itself apart over Brexit and Labour has dodged, ducked and danced around it, Liberal Democrats have been delivering a clear, consistent message: that Britain's best future is to remain in the EU and that crashing out without a deal would be disastrous for our country.

  • Caroline Voaden
    Article: Jun 4, 2019
    By Parvis Jamieson

    While the European elections were a great success for us, the risk of a disastrous no-deal break from Europe is now greater than ever.

    We need to do more. Nigel Farage and his crew crafted a powerful message, but with the European elections out of the way, the greater risk is from a different source - from a failed and divided Tory party.

  • Europe on a globe (Photo by Tom Grimbert (@tomgrimbert) on Unsplash)
    Article: May 5, 2019
    By Parvis Jamieson

    The Government has dragged the country towards a disaster. While the Tories push for a deal just to avoid a party split, local plans and priorities in Wiltshire are being distorted to favour a Brexit that nobody wants.

    Does anyone believe the Government's promises to end austerity? In the last year, support for local services have continued to be cut with schools and local NHS trusts suffering at every point. Despite clever words, our road budgets are being reduced, police and fire services cut while investment in social and community care is at rock bottom.

  • Jo Waltham - Devizes Liberal Democrats Prospective Parliamentary Candidate
    Article: Mar 12, 2019
    By Jo Waltham

    At the weekend, Jo Waltham was selected by the Devizes Constituency Liberal Democrats to be their Prospective Parliamentary Candidate.

    Local party chair James Kay said:

    I am very pleased to announce on behalf of the Executive Committee that members selected Jo Waltham to the position of Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Devizes Constituency. Jo lives in Marlborough and has worked hard for the local Party since joining during the General election campaign in 2017. We look forward to giving her our support in building the Liberal Democrat vote within the constituency in the run up to the next General Election, whenever that may be.

  • Karyn Perlejewski-Shah
    Article: Jan 29, 2019
    By Jo Waltham

    I love living in Devizes having moved here 20 years ago. My son Henry and daughter Verity both went to Wansdyke Primary and Devizes School. Verity is still there, studying hard for her A levels. She wants to be a doctor. Henry is in his second year at Southampton University.

    I work as the Deputy Manager of Townsend Barn Nursery at Poulshot. In 2016 I graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Early Years Education and Development. It was a struggle working, studying and, as a single parent, making a home for my children but I'm very proud of this achievement.

  • 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.

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