Ernie Clark. Hilperton Division, Wiltshire Council.

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Saturday December 01, 2018 My December/January e-newsletter.

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Wiltshire Council news from Ernie Clark.

Your Independent councillor for Hilperton.

Firstly, although a little in the future, I hope that everyone has a Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year.

I have no idea what 2019 will bring but I am sure something ‘interesting’ will develop.

The Hilperton Neighbourhood Development Plan (HNDP) received a massive vote of confidence at the referendum with over 90% support from those who voted and with a very pleasing 32% turnout. My thanks to everyone who took the time to vote. The Plan was officially ‘made’ by Wiltshire Council on the 5th November and so now has ‘full weight’ for all planning matters concerning Hilperton Parish. Anyone who feels that there was a legal fault during the process has six weeks from 5/11 to challenge the Plan in the High Court – I don’t expect though that even the likes of HGT llp, Persimmon, or Barratt are that profligate with their money.

Discussion is underway regarding the fact that WC spatial planners want still more housing in the Trowbridge Area and so a first review of the HNDP might be a lot sooner than originally timetabled!!

The budget setting process for 2019/20 is underway at County Hall and it will be interesting to see where the Conservatives will wield their axe this time. As ever, WC is holding ‘public consultations’ but will then ignore anyone who dares to say anything that the WC grandees disagree with.

Special Needs Education is the most recent case in point – despite public complaints it would seem that Larkrise is scheduled to close within a few years with pupils being expected to travel to the Devizes area. WC is planning to spend £20million on two new schools, neither of which will be in the county town!!

As mentioned above, WC seems hell bent on more housing in the area but our schools cannot cope, our GP service is below standard, our road structure is almost antediluvian, our hospital service is going backwards, our maternity service is being cut yet again, and our transport links lag far behind the expansion in population that we have already accepted.

The frustrating thing is that most of these problems are managed by ‘outside bodies’ who seem to have a totally different agenda to that of the WC planning department.

Sorry to end the year on such a downbeat note!!