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Man charged after death of woman in 2016

A man has been charged by 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

Swindon Morrisons to shut five years after opening

Local Democracy Reporting Service


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

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

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

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

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

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

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.


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

Local Democracy Reporting Service

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

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.

Wiltshire Police

Dog found in Pinehurst area

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A tan coloured Stafford/Bullmastiff cross was found in the Pinehurst area.

The owner cannot be located as the chip data is not up to date.

The dog is currently in the care of Swindon Borough Council's dog warden. The owner can contact the council on 01793 445501.

Campaign begins to find hundreds of new police officers

Police officer on a bike

A campaign to find hundreds of new police officers in Wiltshire starts this morning.

Budget cuts have led to nearly 250 being lost here in the last decade.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently pledged to recruit 20,000 more officers.

GWR offers alternative trains after Thomas Cook collapse

Andrew Segal

BBC South West

GWR passengers affected by the collapse of Thomas Cook can use alternative services on its routes, the South West and West of England rail operator says.

Bosses said those "unable to make their booked train will be permitted to travel on the next suitable service by providing reasonable evidence of a Thomas Cook booking".

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Meanwhile, the rail operator is calling out to Thomas Cook employees, saying it "would love to hear" from those affected as part of moves to recruit new staff.

The tour operator's failure puts 22,000 jobs at risk worldwide, including 9,000 in the UK.

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Amazing marathon effort by runners

Watch: Swindon half marathon

Nearly 2,500 people completed the Swindon half marathon on Sunday.

It started outside the County Ground and the course wound its way around both old and new town before finishing up in the town centre.

It was won by Christopher Wood in just over 1 hour 13 mins.

Next year's race will go ahead with new organisers.

Pair to be sentenced over Sala mortuary photos

Emiliano Sala

A man and woman from Wiltshire will be sentenced today, after admitting leaking photos of the post-mortem of the footballer Emiliano Sala on social media.

It's been delayed from Friday.

The Cardiff City player died when a private plane crashed into the English channel earlier this year.

Sherry Bray, 49, from Corsham, and 62-year-old Christopher Ashford from Calne illegally accessed footage from a mortuary in Bournemouth.

Equinox celebrated at Stonehenge

Watch: Equinox celebrated at Stonehenge

Hundreds of people have gathered at Stonehenge to mark the autumn equinox.

Each year druids and pagans gather at the historic monument early in the morning to mark the occasion, and to see the sunrise above the stones.

The autumn equinox is when the day is the same length as the night, heralding the descent into winter darkness and chillier temperatures.

Stop and search warning after catapults cause damage in city

Wiltshire Police

Criminal damage caused by catapults has lead police to stop and search "any individuals found near where damage has been caused".

Officers in Salisbury said they would be "adopting a robust approach" following the "recent spate" in the past few weeks.

Acting Insp John Hutchings, from Wiltshire Police, said he was "taking a parental approach to this problem".

"I would not expect my child to be in possession of a catapult and ammunition in a public place, because what possible reason could a child have for carrying such a weapon?

“My officers will stop and search individuals where damage has been caused in recent weeks and should any person be found in possession of such weapons they can expect them to be seized. This action is not restricted to children," he said.

Acting Insp Hutchnigs added: "Damage caused by a catapult is very similar to a firearm and could lead to catastrophic results either on purpose or accidentally."