Covid lessons ignored

In Feb and March 2020, when countries around the world were shutting down their borders and airports to try and stop the spread of Covid-19 this inept Tory government was letting thousands of people a day fly into the UK's airports and letting thousands of spectators attend sporting venues.

Move forward twelve months to Feb 2021, it was common knowledge that India was suffering from a huge amount of Covid-19 cases and Covid deaths.

Instead of stopping flights from the country they once again allowed thousands of people a day to fly into the UK's airports from mentioned country, bringing with them the variant we now know as the Delta variant.

It's really no surprise to see that the Government had to backtrack on its promise to open up the country on 21st June. To allow travel from India to the UK to continue was completely and utterly reckless.

Has Boris Johnson and his government of buffoons learned nothing about Covid-19 over the last fifteen months?

Mark and Martin Webb

Wellington St


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Need for intelligent speed cameras

I was pleased to read of the efforts being made by the community speedwatch team in Royal Wootton Bassett. Readers may be interested to hear that the issue of targeting dangerous speeders will be central to my campaign if I manage to get elected as Wiltshire and Swindon’s next Police and Crime Commissioner in the By-election to be held on the 19th of August.

What I will be bringing is a commitment to raise the issue of the use of community owned intelligent speed cameras. From the work already undertaken in our county it has been shown that this technology generates really useful intelligence not only on who speeds, but where they speed and what time they speed. I am not talking about those who may stray just a few miles an hour over the speed limit, but those who have been recorded driving in excess of 60mph in 30MPH zones. Clearly these drivers who are often found to be un-insured, and un-taxed are a menace to other road users and to pedestrians and everything must be done to catch them and take them off the road.

Intelligent speed cameras can help communities identify these criminals. However, up until now the offices of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable have been reluctant to engage with those communities that have employed such measures. If I am elected, I will ensure that they do. The intelligence collected can then be used by the police’s own camera units to target the real criminals on our roads. I have already raised this as a member of the Wiltshire and Swindon Police and Crime Panel, it will be a pleasure to see it implemented as policy.

Dr Brian Mathew

Liberal Democrat Candidate for Wiltshire and Swindon Police and Crime Commissioner

& Wiltshire Councillor

A plea from Jenny Agutter

Even before coronavirus hit more than four million children were living in poverty in the UK. Now our most vulnerable children and families face the toughest of challenges, as the financial and emotional impact of this horrible pandemic truly hits home. Action for Children - an amazing charity I’ve worked with for many years – is determined not to let this generation of lockdown children become a lost one.  

For over two decades now I’ve taken part in the charity’s annual sleepout. Before the pandemic this meant bedding down in a London location, getting very little sleep and always being chilled to the bone by the time the sun rose. Yet I would get to go home and have a shower, something to eat and very soon would be feeling normal again.

For the vulnerable families that Action for Children works with hardship is their ‘normal’ – fear and worry over paying their bills, not being able to put food on the table or clothe their children. I’ve been privileged to see the work Action for Children do every day to change people’s lives. Last year alone, their Coronavirus Emergency Fund provided essentials, like food and warm clothes, to around 20,000 children and young people. Frontline key workers kept 99 per cent of services open. And Parent Talk, an online support service, was a vital lifeline for more than 350,000 children and families.  

They are doing all they can but now they need your help. They need you to Boycott Your Bed to raise money for some of the country’s most vulnerable kids.  This July 9th they – and I – are asking families in your area to ditch their duvet and bunk down somewhere unusual in their homes or gardens. Last year I slept out in my treehouse! Everyone who signs up will get an exclusive invite to a night of incredible virtual entertainment, raising desperately needed money. Because no child should go to bed hungry. And no child should lie awake feeling frightened about how their family is going to cope.

Please do sign up at 

Jenny Agutter

Action for Children Ambassador

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