• Cllr Josh Charles
    Article: Jul 13, 2018

    Lib Dems in Wiltshire are celebrating following another election victory with the election of Josh Charles to Westbury Town Council.

    The by-election saw the Lib Dems win with over 40% of the vote, ahead of a sitting Conservative Wiltshire Unitary Councillor in second place with Labour trailing in third

  • Article: Jul 11, 2018

    Wiltshire Council this week voted against backing a Lib Dem proposal to advocate a minimum of a 25% canopy of trees be planted in any new housing estate.

    Despite gaining cross-party support, including from members of the Cabinet, the Lib Dem motion to amend the council's core strategy was narrowly voted down by the Conservatives.

    Cllr Pat Aves who proposed the motion was disappointed that it had not been taken forward. Commenting on the decision she said, "This is a sad day for the people of Wiltshire and their future health and well-being. This was an opportunity for the Council, which claims to be for "Everyone", to be genuinely forward-looking and take a lead in promoting and addressing an inspired plan to make life better for all of us, as several other councils have already done."

    "I am especially disappointed in view of the fact that in a recent Freedom of Information request by a leading newspaper, WCC freely admitted to having cut down, 4,778 trees in the last three years. Whatever the reasons they were cut down, justified or not, I know of no plans to replace any of them. A recent experience in which we succeeded in saving a row of poplars in King George V Park in Melksham does not inspire me with confidence," said Lib Dem councillor Aves.

    Cllr Brian Mathew who seconded the motion was equally disappointed he said, "considering that Bristol City Council in partnership with the Woodland Trust are planning to go for 30% tree cover, it's a shame Wiltshire couldn't have been as equally aspirational."

  • Braeside Outdoor Education Centre
    Article: Jun 13, 2018

    The Conservative cabinet this week refused to guarantee the future of Wiltshire's two outdoor education centres beyond December.

    While we are pleased to hear there have been four expressions of interest in the two centres and that they will remain open until December, it is disappointing that the Conservatives have failed to appreciate the need to secure their long-term futures. This means any school looking to book trips for the summer of 2019 have no certainty over their ability to do so.

  • Cllr Eve Silvester
    Article: Jun 9, 2018

    Last night Eve Silvester and the Royal Wootton Bassett Liberal Democrats celebrated their second by-election victory in the town in less than a year.

    The by-election saw local resident Eve Silvester elected to Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council with just over 50% of the vote, ahead of the Conservatives in second place with Labour trailing in third.

  • Cllr Ian Thorn
    Article: Jun 5, 2018

    Proposals to end private pre-meetings of Wiltshire Council Planning Committees between Councillors and Planning Officers were rejected by Conservative Councillors.

    In a recorded, named vote all Conservative members of Wiltshire Council's Scrutiny Committee rejected the proposal. It was put forward by the cross-party Planning Committee System Task Group.

  • Cllr Ian Thorn
    Article: May 24, 2018
    By Cllr Ian Thorn

    The success of the campaign run by Lucy Gomes to reverse the potential closure our County's two Outdoor Education Centres at Braeside and Oxenwood is a great example of "people power". I congratulate Lucy, all those who spoke in support of the petition she organised and presented to last week's full Wiltshire Council meeting and all 16,000 Wiltshire residents who signed it.

  • Alan Rankin Wiltshire Council speech
    Article: May 23, 2018

    Potterne resident and local campaigner Alan Rankin spoke out in support of the campaign to save Oxenwood and Braeside at the full Council meeting of Wiltshire Council on 22 May 2018. To view Alan's speech visit this link, or a transcript is avaliable below.

    A recent National Audit Office report on the financial sustainability of Local Authorities describes the financial background in which Wiltshire Council is making difficult decisions. A background of a real-terms reduction of government funding and increasing statutory service demands and inflationary pressures.

  • Cllr Brian Mathew
    Article: May 22, 2018

    Tuesday's Council meeting saw the Lib Dems propose a motion to start a feasibility study into using waste plastic to repair our county's roads. This both environmental and economically beneficial motion has been passed to the overview and scrutiny committee to assess its use in Wiltshire.

    Cllr Brian Mathew proposing his motion argued that while, "parts of our planet are starting to drown under a sea of waste plastic, and with UK waste plastic no longer going to China for recycling, we have to find another way and find a use for this material here at home. What is less known is that it is already underway in the UK. And if this was extended to all local Authority areas, a productive use for as much as 60,000 tonnes of waste plastic could be found each year in UK roads."

  • Braeside Outdoor Education Centre
    Article: May 22, 2018


    The strength of community campaigning was once again demonstrated with the protest against the decision to close Braeside and Oxenwood at today's full Council meeting. The Conservative administration accepted a Lib Dem amendment that in referring the decision back to cabinet that it should be open and transparent and use every "best effort" to ensure these two sites remain in use for outdoor education.

  • Article: Apr 25, 2018

    Wiltshire Liberal Democrats are fully behind the community protest, organised by the 'SAVE Braeside & Oxenwood' community group for the 28thApril in Devizes, against the closure of the county's two outdoor education centres.

    The protest will be enthusiastically attended by a number of Lib Dem councillors and the party hopes that the Tory cabinet will rethink their heartless decision to close these two valuable community assets. Liberal Democrat councillor Jon Hubbard, who chairs the council's Children's Select Committee has attacked the council's closure decision saying that it "fails the young people in our communities and yet again puts the purse before the people."