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Mike Benke

Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author

Mike Benke LATEST

Scheme that helps troubled families hailed as success

Swindon Advertiser: Swindon Borough Council is looking for someone to serve on an independent panel  to decide pay for councillors

2:48pm Friday 26th June 2015

NEW figures show the lives of more 350 families with a number of problems have been turned around in the last three years.

Pop nightclub goes bust in spite of getting a makeover

Swindon Advertiser:

6:11pm Tuesday 23rd June 2015

ONE of the town’s most well-known night venues has closed down yet again – barely 12 months after undergoing a major refurbishment.

Cricklade leisure centre upgrade sparks fears over site

Swindon Advertiser:

4:19pm Sunday 21st June 2015

CRICKLADE Leisure Centre is set for an upgrade as part of Wiltshire Council’s ongoing community campus scheme.

Averies smoke reached danger level at times, says expert

Swindon Advertiser:

6:04pm Thursday 18th June 2015

ALMOST 70 people and businesses contacted the council or hospital to say they were suffering from health issues related to the huge fire at Marshgate last summer.

No need to hang on to your paper driving licence from today

Swindon Advertiser:

8:12am Monday 8th June 2015

TODAY sees changes to driving licences introduced which will see the paper element of the licence no longer needed - but what do you need to do?

Signal Point tower could become flats

Swindon Advertiser:

5:00am Monday 8th June 2015

A LANDMARK tower block which has stood empty for years could soon be turned into flats if a planning application is successful.

No change in booze illness among teens

Swindon Advertiser:

6:01pm Wednesday 3rd June 2015

NEW figures show the number of Swindon youngsters being admitted to hospital for alcohol-related illnesses remains the same, despite a fall across the rest of the country.

Six Swindon homes declared as no-go for medics without police escort

Swindon Advertiser:

4:20pm Friday 29th May 2015

SIX properties have been declared no-go areas by paramedics unless they are escorted by police.

Father of legal high victim welcomes new law

Swindon Advertiser:

4:05pm Friday 29th May 2015

THE father of a Swindon man who died in 2013 after taking a legal high is overjoyed that the substances are set to be banned.

Funding given for pilot to prevent mentally ill being held in police cells

Swindon Advertiser:

5:10pm Wednesday 27th May 2015

EXTRA steps are being taken to cut the number of people being detained under the Mental Health Act being kept in prison cells when there are no care facilities available.

Long-awaited Sussex Square project back on track

Swindon Advertiser:

6:16pm Tuesday 26th May 2015

WORK has started on the first stages of the Sussex Square regeneration project which will see new flats and shops built.

Bid to ban legal highs is welcomed

Swindon Advertiser:

5:58pm Tuesday 26th May 2015

THE father of a Parks man who died in 2013 after taking a legal high has welcomed calls from councils asking the Government to ban the substances entirely.

Swindon misses out on £12.5 million lottery bid for new museum and art gallery

Swindon Advertiser:

7:30am Wednesday 20th May 2015

SWINDON has failed in its first attempt to secure lottery funding for a new museum and art gallery but says it will try again next year.

UPDATE: Rail disruption eases as line between Bristol Temple Meads and Bath Spa reopens

Swindon Advertiser:

10:52am Tuesday 19th May 2015

THE main railway line between Bristol Temple Meads and Bath Spa, which was closed in the London-bound direction, has reopened.

Political stalwart discusses his book

Swindon Advertiser:

5:46pm Thursday 14th May 2015

ONE of the country’s most popular politicians took time away from the turmoil in his party to talk at Swindon Festival of Literature yesterday.

Drop in number of town's jobless

Swindon Advertiser:

4:23pm Wednesday 13th May 2015

NEW figures out show Swindon has seen yet another drop in the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance.

No trains... but Swindon Town supporters are planning to make that Wembley play-off final by hook or by crook

Swindon Advertiser:

6:21pm Tuesday 12th May 2015

FANS travelling to Wembley for Swindon’s play-off final against Preston are being urged to make sure they plan their trip in advance.

Re-elected MPs vow to work hard for the benefit of town

Swindon Advertiser:

4:02pm Sunday 10th May 2015

AS THE dust settles on a dramatic general election, Swindon’s re-elected Conservative MPs say the mandate given to them by voters will allow the party to finish what it started.

Conservative Robert Buckland holds South Swindon with increased majority

Swindon Advertiser:

3:26am Friday 8th May 2015

Despite preditions of a close contest Conservatiove Robert Buckland held off Labour's challenge to hold his South Swindon seat with an increased majority tonight.

Tory Justin Tomlinson 'overwhelmed' to retain his seat in North Swindon

Swindon Advertiser:

2:20am Friday 8th May 2015

JUSTIN Tomlinson said he was ‘overwhelmed’ to have been returned as the MP for North Swindon at the next parliament.

Election 2015: People of Swindon have a big responsibility, says Ed Balls

Swindon Advertiser:

7:50am Wednesday 6th May 2015

THE Shadow Chancellor says there is a ‘big responsibility’ on the people of Swindon at tomorrow’s election.

Election 2015: Let's create a Swindon 1,000 Jobs Club

Swindon Advertiser:

1:48pm Monday 4th May 2015

WITH only a few days until the polls open, the issue of jobs is likely to be a key factor for people when they vote.

Prime Minister wins over Swindon youngster with 'thank you' card

Swindon Advertiser:

5:19pm Sunday 3rd May 2015

A YOUNG girl got a surprise in the post last week when she received a personal letter from the Prime Minister.

No regets over PFI for shadow healthy secretary

Swindon Advertiser:

5:17pm Sunday 3rd May 2015

THE Shadow Health Secretary says he does not regret using a PFI deal to fund the Great Western Hospital - but will seek to renegotiate the deal if Labour wins the election.

Passions rise over Trident and Immigration as South Swindon candidates debate

Swindon Advertiser:

10:22pm Tuesday 28th April 2015

IT WAS the turn of candidates looking to win the South Swindon seat to face public questions at the Wyvern on Tuesday.

LIVE BLOG: South Swindon hustings from Wyvern Theatre

Swindon Advertiser:

6:28pm Tuesday 28th April 2015

The South Swindon candidates at the General Election on May 7 will be answering questions at the Wyvern Theatre from 7.30pm

Exclusive: Moving into Number 10? It hasn't crossed my mind, says Justine Miliband

Swindon Advertiser:

4:08pm Wednesday 22nd April 2015

JUSTINE Miliband, the wife of Labour leader Ed, says she is not thinking about the impact of moving to Number 10 should her husband win next month’s election.

Council counts the cost of waste site clear-up

Swindon Advertiser:

5:39pm Tuesday 21st April 2015

WORK has begun on analysing how much it will cost to clear thousands of tonnes of waste at the former Swindon Skips site, at Cheney Manor.

Air pollution levels in Swindon set to reach high levels

Swindon Advertiser:

7:31am Friday 10th April 2015

HEALTH experts are warning people to take care as unusually high levels of air pollution are expected today.

Health alert over air pollution: Warning for Wiltshire and Swindon

Swindon Advertiser:

6:18pm Wednesday 8th April 2015

POLLUTION levels are set to rise in the coming days, reaching a peak on Friday, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

UPDATE AND VIDEOS: Labour's Ed Balls announces rates cut for small businesses during Swindon visit

Swindon Advertiser:

10:44am Tuesday 31st March 2015

THE election campaign rolled on today as the Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls visited Swindon to announce a major new Labour policy.

Is £12m car park a very expensive waste of space?

Swindon Advertiser:

5:00am Tuesday 24th March 2015

A MULTI million-pound car park heralded as the start of a major town centre regeneration project might not return a profit to council coffers until the end of the century.

Union may intervene in Holy Cross school sites dispute

Swindon Advertiser:

6:29pm Monday 23rd March 2015

THE country’s largest teaching union has said it is ready to help staff at Holy Cross Primary in their row over plans to split the school across two sites.

UPDATE: First Great Western extend franchise until 2019 - largest train fleet upgrade in generation

Swindon Advertiser: The first train of an improved First Great Western rail service between Westbury and Swindon, which includes extra trains through Trowbridge, Melksham and Chippenham, will run on Sunday

7:14am Monday 23rd March 2015

FIRST Great Western will continue to operate trains through Swindon and Wiltshire until 2019 after an agreement was made with the Department of Transport.

Highworth Town still in with a shout for FA Vase in spite of 1-0 first leg loss

Swindon Advertiser:

5:30am Monday 23rd March 2015

THERE is still hope for both sets of fans who packed the Elms on Saturday to watch Highworth Town’s FA Vase semi-final match against North Shields.

Fresh hopes for Oasis site

Swindon Advertiser:

5:30am Monday 23rd March 2015

PLANS for a new leisure complex at the North Star site have been given the thumbs-up by most people who have viewed them.

Red Arrows to star at Royal International Air Tattoo

Swindon Advertiser:

5:30am Monday 23rd March 2015

THE Red Arrows are set to return once again to perform at this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo.

Record crowd fills the Elms for Highworth Town match

Swindon Advertiser:

8:06pm Saturday 21st March 2015

THERE is still hope for both sets of fans who packed the Elms today to watch Highworth Town’s FA Vase semi-final match against North Shields.

New £5m home on cards for Swindon Robins Speedway team

Swindon Advertiser:

5:30am Saturday 21st March 2015

THE Swindon Robins Speedway team will have a £5m new home in 2016 after plans for a new stadium were announced yesterday.

Plans finally unveiled for ambitious leisure site

Swindon Advertiser:

5:30am Saturday 21st March 2015

“SWINDON will be the place everyone wants to visit” is the bold claim being made by those behind proposals to regenerate the North Star area.

New venue for Swindon Robins speedway team

Swindon Advertiser:

8:45am Friday 20th March 2015

PLANS have been unveiled for a brand new speedway stadium meaning the Swindon Robins will have a new home from next year.

Solar farm on former airfield gets nod

Swindon Advertiser:

5:30am Friday 20th March 2015

WROUGHTON is set to become home to one of the country's largest solar farms following a government decision.

Council signals all-clear for superfast broadband link

Swindon Advertiser: ElectionsModule Candidate photo

5:30am Friday 20th March 2015

A CONTROVERSIAL plan to introduce superfast broadband across the town has been approved by Swindon Borough Council cabinet.

Patients locked up due to lack of beds

Swindon Advertiser:

5:30am Friday 20th March 2015

A SWINDON patient had to spend almost two days in a police cell under the Mental Health Act because there was nowhere else for them to go.

Wroughton solar farm given the go-ahead

Swindon Advertiser: Steve Harcourt who is in favour of the solar farm plans with Wroughton Airfield in the distance

10:49am Thursday 19th March 2015

PROPOSALS to build one of the country's largest solar farms in Wroughton has been given the go-ahead.

Town-wide broadband deal agreed

Swindon Advertiser: HELP: Superfast Business aims to showcase benefits of broadband

7:05pm Wednesday 18th March 2015

A CONTROVERSIAL plan to introduce superfast broadband across the borough was tonight given approval by the cabinet.

VIDEO: Pre-election Budget a bitter-sweet affair

Swindon Advertiser:

5:30am Thursday 19th March 2015

THERE were mixed fortunes for Swindon residents yesterday as the Chancellor George Osborne announced his final Budget before the election later this year.

Voters on a roll for polls day

Swindon Advertiser:

5:30am Thursday 19th March 2015

ALMOST every voter registered in Swindon at the last election has transferred to the new system introduced last year – bucking the national trend.

Labour MP calls on council to offer living wage

Swindon Advertiser:

5:30am Wednesday 18th March 2015

A SENIOR figure in the Labour Party has called on Swindon to introduce the living wage for all of its employees.

Rare chance as solar eclipse takes place on Friday

Swindon Advertiser:

5:30am Wednesday 18th March 2015

ENTHUSIASTS of all things celestial will be looking to the skies this Friday as a partial eclipse bathes the region in darkness.

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