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Overflowing bins attracting 'rats and flies'

Bins are overflowing in Bond Street
Local Democracy Service

Overflowing bins are attracting rats and flies say neighbours living near the row of uncollected rubbish waste on Bond Street in Trowbridge.

Locals have called for something to be done to clear up the mess outside flats in the Old Rose’s Bakery on Bond Street, which bin men now refuse to take.

The management company which run the flats on behalf of the landlord has been told to sort out the mess by the council, who this week put its foot down after receiving complaints.

Bin men can refuse to take refuse if bin lids are not properly closed on bin days. However after not getting collected, the waste situation has been left to get worse and worse.

Brian Francis lives nearby and said: “Wiltshire Council needs to empty the bins and then provide education to the residents so that the problem does not happen again. Instead they are issuing court orders or similar, which the residents don’t understand.

"There is a total lack of understanding and empathy from the council and the rest of the community is suffering as a result due to rats and smells.”

A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “Our contractors cannot safely empty bins which are overflowing.

"We have been working with the management company who own the property and they are arranging for the bins and the bin store to be cleared and are making plans to avoid a similar incident in the future.

"We will continue to work with the management company involved and monitor the situation.”

BBC local radio headlines across the West

Studio
BBC

Radio Bristol: First Bus says it has deployed extra Metrobuses on the M1 route to address recent reports of over-crowding. Passengers have told the BBC they're frequently unable to get on the service because they're full up by the time they arrive at their stop.

BBC Somerset: A mother from West Somerset has been on hunger strike in Taunton to try and raise awareness of climate change. Penny Holmes - who's a member of the group Extinction Rebellion - hasn't eaten since Sunday lunchtime and has been peacefully protesting on the high street.

BBC Gloucestershire: A secondary school in Gloucester is warning parents about the dangers of fake social media accounts.It follows several reports of pupils at Severn Vale School in Quedgely being contacted by an adult posing as a teenager online.

BBC Wiltshire: A warrant's been issued for the arrest of a man for the manslaughter of a woman at a slapping therapy workshop in Wiltshire. Danielle Carr-Gomm, 71, died at Cleeve House near Melksham in 2016 during the controversial therapy - to help her deal with her diabetes.

Manslaughter charge issued after death of woman in 2016

A charge of manslaughter has been issued following the death of a woman in Seend.

Danielle Carr-Gomm, aged 71, died at Cleeve House, on October 20, 2016.

The Crown Prosecution Service have now authorised a charge of gross negligence manslaughter against Hongchi Xiao, aged 56, whose registered address is in California.

A warrant for his arrest was issued at Salisbury Magistrates Court on October 4.

Two other people arrested at the time of the incident have been released with no further action.

Police car
BBC

Swindon Morrisons to shut five years after opening

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Morrisons
BBC

The Morrisons supermarket in the town centre will close on November 3.

One of the own centre’s ward councillors Stan Pajak had tried to keep the store open, presenting a petition to the chain’s bosses.

But the company has confirmed it will be shutting.

An email to Coun Pajak from the chain said: “We have been heartened by the support shown towards our store colleagues by shoppers and the surrounding community over the past few weeks however I can confirm that we will close our Regent Circus store on Sunday 3rd November.

“This decision follows our comprehensive consultation period with store colleagues and union representatives to investigate ways forward for the store.”

Coun Pajak said: “This is terrible news and a massive blow to the town centre community and the very viability of the town centre as a shopping destination.” The closure will cost 113 jobs

Parents urged to take up children's flu inoculations

Flu spray
BBC

Public Health England is urging parents in the West to take up the offer of free childhood flu vaccinations in school this year.

Immunisation is now being offered to all primary-aged children for the first time.

The vaccine is administered through a free nasal spray in schools and parents are being advised to make sure they sign and return consent forms

Eleven more arrested in police county lines crack down

Image of police sign on a hi-vis jacket
BBC

Eleven more people have been arrested as part of a Wiltshire Police crack down on county lines drugs gangs.

Included in today's arrests was a 16-year-old boy arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.

Paul Franklin from Wiltshire Police said it is "disturbing" to hear arrests include people as young as 16-years-old.

He added the police are focusing their work to "stop the exploitation of these young and vulnerable people".

It is now week 33 in the operation and 50 officers have been involved so far.

Police are asking If you have information about drug dealing in your area to call 101 where you can report anonymously.

Man released after rape arrest

Police van at scene
BBC

A man who was arrested on suspicion of rape after a woman was attacked in Swindon has been released under police investigation.

Wiltshire Police said a 32-year-old man was interviewed by officers following the incident on Saturday night.

A woman in her 40s was assaulted in an alleyway in Victoria Road, Old Town at about 23:00 BST.

Investigations are ongoing, a police spokesperson added.

Every Mind Matters: Help with stress, low mood or trouble sleeping

Every Mind Matters
Public Health England

Every Mind Matters is a new platform which aims to show people simple steps they can take to be better prepared for life’s ups and downs.

It's been created by Public Health England and the NHS.

Users are invited to answer some multi-choice questions before a personalised action plan is created.

In the South West new data from a survey reveals more than 84% of people have experienced early signs of poor mental health in the past 12 months.

These include feeling anxious, stressed, having low mood or trouble sleeping.

Overnight post-natal beds could go under maternity review

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Baby girl sleeping
Getty Images

Overnight post-natal beds at Chippenham's freestanding midwifery unit for new mums could be cut as the maternity consultation moves into the next phase.

The results of a public consultation into plans to close four post-natal beds in Chippenham community hospital are currently being reviewed by NHS England.

Health leaders says the change will mean mums can be helped closer to or in their own homes or in an acute hospital if they need medical care, but some locals argue the beds offer woman a vital support service in the days after giving birth.

The decision also includes plans to stop births at Trowbridge free standing maternity unit.

Lucy Baker from Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group told the health and wellbeing committee at county Hall in Trowbridge said: “We’ve now completed the consultation, there been a full academic analysis of results we have now presented the to an independent expert panel that included service users, to look at are they the right recommendations.

“We are now in the process of making a decision making business case which due to go through scrutiny in October to NHS England.

“The only delay we might have is if a general election is called.”

Wiltshire Council is the 'greenest'

Wiltshire Council sign
BBC

Wiltshire is the most climate-friendly council in England and Wales according to new research.

Friends of the Earth assessed councils in different categories including renewable energy, public transport, lift-sharing, energy efficiency at home, waste recycling, and tree cover.

Wiltshire Council scored more than any other local authority.

You can find out how your local council was rated by looking at the full list by tapping here.

Helping disabled horse riders 'turned my life around'
Despite being treated for cancer, Jo Rutherford has only missed one day at the centre in 11 years.

Disabled riding group volunteer to pick up award

Jo Rutherford
BBC

A riding instructor from Wiltshire is up for a national volunteering award tonight.

Jo Rutherford has been teaching at the Riding for the Disabled Association in Bradford on Avon centre for 12 years.

She's helped people with disabilities overcome a fear of horses, and learn to ride.

The awards will be presented by radio and tv presenter Claire Balding at a ceremony in London tonight.

Tributes paid to former Swindon Town goalkeeper Peter Downsborough

Tributes paid to "all-time great" goalkeeper

Peter Downsborough: Swindon 'devastated' as ex-goalkeeper dies

Peter Downsborough
Getty Images

Former Swindon Town, Bradford City and Halifax Town goalkeeper Peter Downsborough has died aged 76.

Downsborough played in the 1969 League Cup final, giving a man-of-the-match performance to help third-tier Swindon beat top-flight Arsenal.

Tap here to read more.

Missing woman from Trowbridge found safe and well

Carol Brown, 68, was found safe and well at about 8am, Wiltshire Police said.

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Free 'post-Novichok' park and ride to stop

Salisbury
PA Media
Free parking was introduced to support businesses affected by the city centre closures and cordons in March 2018

Salisbury's park and ride is no longer free from today.

Wiltshire Council dropped the charges after the Novichok attacks 18 months ago in a bid to bring people back into the city.

The council feels it has worked well but now it's time to charge again.

For the next month, it's half price - that's £1.50 per person and from the 4th of November it reverts to the usual charge.

Ambulance crews to be given body cameras

South Western Ambulance Service staff are to wear bodycams for a trial period.

It's hoped it will reduce the number of crews being assaulted and abused.

Staff will start wearing the cameras for three months from next month.

There were more than 1,000 incidents of violent or aggressive behaviour towards staff in the South West in a year.

Ambulance
BBC

Wiltshire Council uses bailiffs to collect £2m of owed council tax debt

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Money
Getty Images

Bailiffs have been called in to collect nearly £2m in unpaid council tax arrears.

Last year £1,806,000 was collected from people who had not paid their regular council tax bill. A total of 7,714 cases were dealt with by using the bailiffs.

Wiltshire Council also sent round the enforcement officers to business owners on 153 occasions, resulting in £153,000 picked up by the enforcement agents.

A further 188 housing benefit arrears was sent to enforcement agents and £12,582 was collected in 2018. There has been a 6% rise in the number of times bailiffs were used by the local authority compared to two years ago.

The council said sending in the bailiffs is a last resort to ensure vital services can keep going.

It added that repayment plans are regularly put in place for people to help manage their finances and avoid enforcement officers knocking on their door.

Joanna Elson, chief executive of The Money Advice Trust debt charity, said: “Bailiff action is harmful to people in debt, and these findings should concern us all.

“Reforming the law around bailiff action itself is vital if we are to protect people from harm. Of equal importance, however, is reducing the number of debts that are being passed to bailiffs in the first place.

“Bailiff action should only ever be used as a last resort, and can be avoided by early intervention, providing free debt advice, and agreeing affordable repayment arrangements.

“We will continue to work constructively with councils to help them reduce their bailiff use, and to impress upon central government the urgent need for the national policy changes that are required to quicken the pace of change.”

The Local Government Association argued that councils “have a duty to their residents” to collect unpaid debts, but said it was working with Citizens Advice to develop fairer recovery and enforcement policies, including exemptions for vulnerable families.

Wiltshire Police open officer recruitment

Wiltshire Police will start recruiting officers, and will aim to begin training in June next year.

The force offers three training routes; a three-year-long apprenticeship, a two-year postgraduate degree and an undergraduate degree in professional policing.

Applications close on 13 October.

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New road could 'unlock' land for thousands of new homes

"Indicative" map
Wiltshire Council

A proposed new road to the east and south of Chippenham will help alleviate the "serious congestion" in the Wiltshire town, council leaders have said.

The road will link the A350 at the northern and southern ends of the town and there will also be improvement work at junction 17 of the M4.

It will also "unlock" development land which could see up to 7,500 new homes.

Wiltshire Council has applied for £75m of infrastructure from the government to support the potential long term growth of the town.

Council leader, Philip Whitehead, said some of Chippenham’s infrastructure is already at capacity "which causes problems for the residents every day of the week..

"This investment is essential not only to provide a sustainable network fit for the 21st Century but also to enable growth both in employment and housing in Chippenham."

Lost cows being herded around Devizes

Devizes Police were herding lost cows around Devizes this morning.

The police says it is only a matter of time before someone's garden gets nibbled on...

If you are the owner, call 101 and quote Log 98.

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Family pay tribute to 'much-loved' A303 motor-home crash victim

Jean Cooksey
Family photo

The family of an elderly woman who died in a motor-home crash last week have paid tribute to her.

Jean Cooksey, 83, from Taunton, was killed on the A303 near Chicklade in Wiltshire on Wednesday. Her dog Barley Brown also died in the accident.

Her family said she was a "much-loved" mother of Jill, Michael and David, as well as a grandmother of six and great-grandmother of four.

"She was very active and loved taking her dog Barley Brown out in her campervan.

"In her later years, although her body was slowing down, she still had a very active mind and was always making sure she was kept busy.

“She travelled extensively, including to Brazil, Israel and India, and was passionate about helping out her family and friends whenever she was needed."

Wiltshire Police is investigating the accident and has appealed for witnesses to come forward.

Sentimental war medals stolen in Swindon burglary

Medal
Wiltshire Police

Sentimental war medals have been stolen in a house burglary in Swindon.

The incident occurred on Monday morning at an address in Beaulieu Close, Toothill.

Wiltshire Police said a window was forced open and a selection of miniature war medals were stolen.

Five of the medals are identical, bar the dates, and reflect service in Oman.

PC Kevin Payne said: “I find it abhorrent that someone could take items which are obviously held in high regard by the elderly owner. Medals like these are a symbol of bravery and active service in the armed forces.

"For someone to take these from a person who has served their country is beyond comprehension and I would urge the public to get in touch if they have any information about the break in, or if they have seen the medals for sale."

Officers are asking anyone with information to contact the force.

Medal
Wiltshire Police