Swindon Area Weekly News sections – archive 1

To see the current Swindon & Surrounding Area Weekly News section, please click here.

Please note that this section is presented as an archive of past columns and is not updated. Some web links may no longer be active (usually indicated by a score-through), for instance when draft parish council minutes are replaced by adopted ones or when a consultation has closed.

Thursday 12 May 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 216 CV-19 cases in Swindon in the week 29 April to 5 May, down 92 from the week before. This equates to 97 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 198 (123 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• This weekend Swindon’s Croft Playgroup will be celebrating its 50 year anniversary by hosting an open event for past, present and future families of the group from 10am to 11.30am on Saturday 14 May. There will be several fun activities and a chance to see what the group is like. Visit their Facebook page for more information about the playgroup. Bring some change and help support this wonderful charity playgroup.

Humanitarian Aid Ukraine is hosting an exciting charity Charity Fundraiser Evening with dinner, drinks and dancing, live music  and a charity auction with fabulous prizes. Tickets cost £50 and 100% of proceeds will go to Humanitarian Aid Ukrainian, helping to provide food, water, clothes and first aid to those worse effected by the crisis. You can also purchase a ticket to be donated to an NHS worker. The fundraiser will take place on Friday 10 June at the Alexander House Hotel. For more information and buying tickets visit their website.

• The annual Flower Show in Bishopstone Village Hall is this Saturday 14 May from 10am until 11:30am (plant drop off will be at 8:30am). Come along to stock up your garden with locally sourced plants. All donations will go towards the Gardening Club, please note this is cash only.

• As mentioned last week, several major organisations in Swindon have backed Swindon Borough Council’s bid to make Swindon the new headquarters of Great British Railways (GBR).  If successful, this would see Swindon becoming the home for the new public body responsible for running Britain’s railways. The town is competing with a total of 42 other towns and cities around the country, who have also submitted bids to host the GBR. A shortlist of locations will be announced later this month and a deciding vote will take place. If you yourself would like to support this bid, they you can also submit your response to the survey here.

Sustainable Shrivenham is still fundraising to open a Sustainable Community Hub in a vacant building on Shrivenham High Street for a clothing and toy exchange; a monthly repair café; a tool library; a scrap store; a recycling collection (for items not collected curb side); as well as workshops, talks and information for sustainable living. They need to raise £16,000 for the initial set up and first year of running costs. The Hub aims to open up this summer and are currently running a GoFundMe page, so if you are interested in the Sustainable Community Hub becoming a reality, please consider donating.

• Steam train enthusiasts – listen up: The Duchess of Sutherland will be making its first trip of the year through Swindon on May 21. The locomotive is a Coronation class, built in the 1930s by the London Midland and Scottish Railway in streamlined condition. Exact timings are yet to be announced.

• Calling all swimmers: The Rotary Club of Swindon have announced that their charity Swimathon is returning on Sunday 22 May. Members of the public are being invited to help raise money between 10am and 2pm. You can find out more here.

• Swindon has an existing, well-established Warm Welcome Team, set up in 2021 to support the arrival of refugees and asylum seekers from Afghanistan. The team is extending its offer to welcome refugees arriving from Ukraine and are getting prepared to provide a comprehensive support service. Please see more details here

Community notices

• Calling all swimmers: The Rotary Club of Swindon have announced that their charity Swimathon is returning on Sunday 22 May. Members of the public are being invited to help raise money between 10am and 2pm. You can find out more here.

• Swindon Big Knit at the Orbital make blankets for the homeless. If you would like to knit squares or help sew them together please sign up to their newsletter here.

• Swindon’s Croft Playgroup is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Sat 14 May from 10am to 11.30am. If you have any information about their history please contact 01793 512882, admin@croftplaygroup.co.uk or via Facebook.

• Swindon Borough Council has advised the public on how to stay safe and other information during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations here.

• Sustainable Shrivenham is looking for shelf donations and someone to fit them for their next book swap.

• The Swindon Food Collective (Swindon’s food bank) has multiple drop-off points for non-perishable food and toiletries in Swindon as well as The Royal Oak in Bishopstone. Financial donations are also very welcome to help cover operating costs including our essential warehousing, staff, insurance and transport.

• Commuters please note that GWR has announced that the train timetable changes due to be in place until January 23 will now remain in place while crew shortages continue due to the ongoing Omicron crisis.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Sat 14 May Annual Plant Sale, at the Bishopstone Village Hall, 10am to 11:30am.

• Sat 14 May The Croft Playgroup Anniversary Event, Marlborough Lane, Swindon, 10am to 11:30am.

• On now Exhibition: Local Legacies Ceramics  at Highworth Visitor Centre Museum. Until 14 May.

• On now Exhibition: The Art of Industry  at STEAM Museum of the Great Wester Railway. Until 30 July.

• On now Exhibition: A Celebration of Colour  at Swindon Borough Council Civic Offices. Until 31 July.

• Sat 11 June Wiltshire Steam and Vintage Festival, Lydiard Park. Until 12 June.

• Regular events

• Visit the What’s On Swindon Guide Facebook page to keep up to date with what’s on in and around Swindon.

• Total Swindon expresses a range of local events taking place in and around Swindon, see here for a full list of those.

• North Dorcan’s Senior Citizen Club has restarted and now meets on Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm at St Paul’s Church. More information can be found on this Facebook post or call Dot Crook on 01793 824572.

• Click here for a brief overview of Swindon’s museums from Swindon Link.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• For information about Swindon Borough Council, please click here. For details of the various council and committee meetings, please click here. To see the dates of future Council meetings (including committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Watchfield Parish Council took place on  19 April and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council took place on 11 April and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council took place on 4 April and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council took place on 17 March and you can download the minutes here. To see the dates of future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shrivenham Parish Council took place on 3 March and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council took place on 28 February and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the most recent agendas, please click here.

• Swindon area council contacts

Thursday 5 May 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 258 CV-19 cases in Swindon in the week 24 to 30 April, down 174 from the week before. This equates to 116 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 123 (200 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• Several major organisations in Swindon have now backed Swindon Borough Council’s bid to make Swindon the new headquarters of Great British Railways (GBR). So far, sixteen organisations in and around the town have signed an open letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, to demonstrate their full support for the bid. If successful, this would see Swindon becoming the home for the new public body responsible for running Britain’s railways. The town is competing with a total of 42 other towns and cities around the country, who have also submitted bids to host the GBR. A shortlist of locations will be announced later this month and a deciding vote will take place. If you yourself would like to support this bid, they you can also submit your response to the survey here.

• It’s that time of year where beautiful bluebells are lining our woodland trails. Take to opportunity to get outside and appreciate our wonderful natural world, before the flowering season ends. You can read our article here to find out where your nearest bluebell walk is.

• On a similar note, the annual Flower Show in Bishopstone Village Hall is taking place on Saturday 14 May from 10am.

Sustainable Shrivenham is currently fundraising to open a Sustainable Community Hub in a vacant building in Shrivenham High Street for a clothing and toy exchange; a monthly repair café; a tool library; a scrap store; a recycling collection (for items not collected curb side); as well as workshops, talks and information for sustainable living. They need to raise £16,000 for the initial set up and first year of running costs. The Hub aims to open up this summer and are currently running a GoFundMe page, so if you are interested in the Sustainable Community Hub becoming a reality, please consider donating.

• As previously mentioned, work on the Fleming Way improvements are underway and Cheltenham Street car park is now permanently close. Pedestrian routes across Fleming Way will remain open throughout the project, while motorists will be directed around the town centre along signed routes. The total work is scheduled for completion in Autumn 2024. More details will follow about these in due course, in the meantime you can read more about this on the Council’s website.

• Have you heard of Be The Change? This is Swindon Borough Council’s initiative to act on climate change, which includes both projects by the council itself, as well as suggestions for how local individuals, groups, schools or businesses can help. The current aim is for the Council to achieve net zero within their organisation by 2030, and to support the community achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, which links to the UK-wide same date target set by the UK Government. To find out more visit their website and find out what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint.

• Steam train enthusiasts – listen up: The Duchess of Sutherland will be making its first trip of the year through Swindon on May 21. The locomotive is a Coronation class, built in the 1930s by the London Midland and Scottish Railway in streamlined condition. Exact timings are yet to be announced.

• Swindon has an existing, well-established Warm Welcome Team, set up in 2021 to support the arrival of refugees and asylum seekers from Afghanistan. The team is extending its offer to welcome refugees arriving from Ukraine and are getting prepared to provide a comprehensive support service. Please see more details here

Community notices

• Calling all swimmers: The Rotary Club of Swindon have announced that their charity Swimathon is returning on Sunday 22 May. Members of the public are being invited to help raise money between 10am and 2pm. You can find out more here.

• Swindon Big Knit at the Orbital make blankets for the homeless. If you would like to knit squares or help sew them together please sign up to their newsletter here.

• Swindon’s Croft Playgroup is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Sat 14 May from 10am to 11.30am. If you have any information about their history please contact 01793 512882, admin@croftplaygroup.co.uk or via Facebook.

• Swindon Borough Council has advised the public on how to stay safe and other information during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations here.

• Sustainable Shrivenham is looking for shelf donations and someone to fit them for their next book swap.

• The Swindon Food Collective (Swindon’s food bank) has multiple drop-off points for non-perishable food and toiletries in Swindon as well as The Royal Oak in Bishopstone. Financial donations are also very welcome to help cover operating costs including our essential warehousing, staff, insurance and transport.

• Commuters please note that GWR has announced that the train timetable changes due to be in place until January 23 will now remain in place while crew shortages continue due to the ongoing Omicron crisis.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• On now Exhibition: Local Legacies Ceramics  at Highworth Visitor Centre Museum. Until 14 May.

• On now Exhibition: The Art of Industry  at STEAM Museum of the Great Wester Railway. Until 30 July.

• On now Exhibition: A Celebration of Colour  at Swindon Borough Council Civic Offices. Until 31 July.

• Sat 11 June Wiltshire Steam and Vintage Festival, Lydiard Park. Until 12 June.

• Regular events

• Visit the What’s On Swindon Guide Facebook page to keep up to date with what’s on in and around Swindon.

• Total Swindon expresses a range of local events taking place in and around Swindon, see here for a full list of those.

• North Dorcan’s Senior Citizen Club has restarted and now meets on Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm at St Paul’s Church. More information can be found on this Facebook post or call Dot Crook on 01793 824572.

• Click here for a brief overview of Swindon’s museums from Swindon Link.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• For information about Swindon Borough Council, please click here. For details of the various council and committee meetings, please click here. To see the dates of future Council meetings (including committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Watchfield Parish Council took place on  19 April and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council took place on 11 April and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shrivenham Parish Council took place on 4 April and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council took place on 17 March and you can download the minutes here. To see the dates of future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council took place on 7 March and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council took place on 28 February and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the most recent agendas, please click here.

• Swindon area council contacts

Borough council: Swindon Borough Council.

Other councils, each of which covers part of this area: Vale of White Horse District Council and Wiltshire County Council.

Parishes: Royal Wootton Bassett Town CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilShrivenham Parish CouncilWatchfield Parish CouncilWanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council and Ashbury Parish Council.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 28 April 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 432 CV-19 cases in Swindon in the week 17 to 23 April, down 312 from the week before. This equates to 194 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 200 (305 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• Swindon Borough Council’s local elections for 2022 are coming up on the 5 May. Take a look at Swindon Borough Council’s website for more information about the election, candidates and where to find your nearest polling station.

•  Sustainable Shrivenham is currently fundraising to open a Sustainable Community Hub in a vacant building in Shrivenham high street. Once opened the Hub aims to set up: a children’s clothing and toy exchange; a monthly repair café; a tool library; a scrap store; a recycling collection (for items not collected curbside); as well as workshops, talks and information for sustainable living. They also hope to expand facilities further once they are full established. In order for all this to become possible they need to raise £16,000 for the initial set up and first year of running costs. The Hub aims to open up this summer and are currently running a GoFundMe page, so if you care interested in the Sustainable Community Hub becoming a reality, please consider donating.

• As previously mentioned, work on the Fleming Way improvements are underway and Cheltenham Street car park is now permanently close. Contractor’s for the new bus interchange will be working in the area until February 2023, with some diversion routes being in place throughout the work.  The total work is scheduled for completion in Autumn 2024.

Pedestrian routes across Fleming Way will remain open throughout the project, while motorists will be directed around the town centre along signed routes.  Swindon bus station will also remain open throughout, with the Fleming Way stop being redirected to other bus stops around town. More details will follow about these in due course, in the meantime you can read more about this on the Council’s website.

• Have you heard of Be The Change? This is Swindon Borough Council’s initiative to act on climate change, which includes both projects by the council itself, as well as suggestions for how local individuals, groups, schools or businesses can help. The current aim is for the Council to achieve net zero within their organisation by 2030, and to support the community achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, which links to the UK-wide same date target set by the UK Government. To find out more visit their website and find out what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint.

• Steam train enthusiasts – listen up: The Duchess of Sutherland will be making its first trip of the year through Swindon on May 21. The locomotive is a Coronation class, built in the 1930s by the London Midland and Scottish Railway in streamlined condition. Exact timings are yet to be announced.

• Swindon has an existing, well-established Warm Welcome Team, set up in 2021 to support the arrival of refugees and asylum seekers from Afghanistan. The team is extending its offer to welcome refugees arriving from Ukraine and are getting prepared to provide a comprehensive support service. Please see more details here

Community notices

• Calling all swimmers: The Rotary Club of Swindon have announced that their charity Swimathon is returning on Sunday 22 May. Members of the public are being invited to help raise money between 10am and 2pm. You can find out more here.

• Swindon Big Knit at the Orbital make blankets for the homeless. If you would like to knit squares or help sew them together please sign up to their newsletter here.

• Swindon’s Croft Playgroup is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Sat 14 May from 10am to 11.30am. If you have any information about their history please contact 01793 512882, admin@croftplaygroup.co.uk or via Facebook.

• Swindon Borough Council has advised the public on how to stay safe and other information during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations here.

• Sustainable Shrivenham is looking for shelf donations and someone to fit them for their next book swap.

• The Swindon Food Collective (Swindon’s food bank) has multiple drop-off points for non-perishable food and toiletries in Swindon as well as The Royal Oak in Bishopstone. Financial donations are also very welcome to help cover operating costs including our essential warehousing, staff, insurance and transport.

• Commuters please note that GWR has announced that the train timetable changes due to be in place until January 23 will now remain in place while crew shortages continue due to the ongoing Omicron crisis.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• On now Exhibition: Ukraine Photography by Vadym Gurevych at Swindon Central Library. Until 30 April.

• On now Exhibition: Local Legacies Ceramics  at Highworth Visitor Centre Museum. Until 14 May.

• On now Exhibition: The Art of Industry  at STEAM Museum of the Great Wester Railway. Until 30 July.

• On now Exhibition: A Celebration of Colour  at Swindon Borough Council Civic Offices. Until 31 July.

• Thurs 5 May Swindon Borough Council Elections check website to find your local polling station.

• Regular events

• Visit the What’s On Swindon Guide Facebook page to keep up to date with what’s on in and around Swindon.

• Total Swindon expresses a range of local events taking place in and around Swindon, see here for a full list of those.

• North Dorcan’s Senior Citizen Club has restarted and now meets on Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm at St Paul’s Church. More information can be found on this Facebook post or call Dot Crook on 01793 824572.

 Art History Talks are being held on Zoom. See Faringdon Art Society’s page for further details.

• Click here for a brief overview of Swindon’s museums from Swindon Link.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• For information about Swindon Borough Council, please click here. For details of the various council and committee meetings, please click here. To see the dates of future Council meetings (including committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Watchfield Parish Council took place on  19 April and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council took place on 11 April and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council took place on 17 March and you can download the minutes here. To see the dates of future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council took place on 7 March and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shrivenham Parish Council took place on 3 March and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council took place on 28 February and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the most recent agendas, please click here.

• Swindon area council contacts

Borough council: Swindon Borough Council.

Other councils, each of which covers part of this area: Vale of White Horse District Council and Wiltshire County Council.

Parishes: Royal Wootton Bassett Town CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilShrivenham Parish CouncilWatchfield Parish CouncilWanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council and Ashbury Parish Council.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 21 April 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 742 CV-19 cases in Swindon in the week 10 to 169 April, down 316 from the week before. This equates to 333 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 305 (446 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• This is your last chance to enjoy in the Spring Safari Trail all around Swindon town centre. Safari booklets can be downloaded from the in Swindon BID website here, and will be open until 24 April

• Work on the Fleming Way improvements have just started, and members of the public may experience some disruption as Cheltenham Street car park is now permanently close. Contractor’s for the new bus interchange will be working in the area until February 2023, with some diversion routes being in place throughout the work. The main part of the scheme will get underway from this September, with Fleming Way closed to all traffic between the Milford Street and the Whalebridge junctions. The total work is scheduled for completion in Autumn 2024.

As mentioned previously, pedestrian routes across Fleming Way will remain open at all times throughout the project, while motorists will be directed around the town centre along  signed routes.  Swindon bus station will also remain open throughout, although buses currently stopping on Fleming Way will be redirected to other bus stops around town, including some new ones to be provided by the Council. More details will follow about these in due course, in the meantime you can read more about this on the Council’s website.

• Have you heard of Be The Change? This is Swindon Borough Council’s initiative to act on climate change, which includes both projects by the council itself, as well as suggestions for how local individuals, groups, schools or businesses can help. The current aim is for the Council to achieve net zero within their organisation by 2030, and to support the community achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, which links to the UK-wide same date target set by the UK Government. To find out more visit their website and find out what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint.

• Steam train enthusiasts – listen up: The Duchess of Sutherland will be making its first trip of the year through Swindon on May 21. The locomotive is a Coronation class, built in the 1930s by the London Midland and Scottish Railway in streamlined condition. Exact timings are yet to be announced.

• Swindon Borough Council’s local elections for 2022 are coming up on the 5 May. Take a look at Swindon Borough Council’s website for more information about the election, candidates and where to find your nearest polling station.

• Swindon has an existing, well-established Warm Welcome Team, set up in 2021 to support the arrival of refugees and asylum seekers from Afghanistan. The team is extending its offer to welcome refugees arriving from Ukraine and are getting prepared to provide a comprehensive support service. Please see more details here

Community notices

• Calling all swimmers: The Rotary Club of Swindon have announced that their charity Swimathon is returning on Sunday 22 May. Members of the public are being invited to help raise money between 10am and 2pm. You can find out more here.

• Swindon Big Knit at the Orbital make blankets for the homeless. If you would like to knit squares or help sew them together please sign up to their newsletter here.

• Swindon’s Croft Playgroup is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Sat 14 May from 10am to 11.30am. If you have any information about their history please contact 01793 512882, admin@croftplaygroup.co.uk or via Facebook.

• Swindon Borough Council has advised the public on how to stay safe and other information during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations here.

• Sustainable Shrivenham is looking for shelf donations and someone to fit them for their next book swap.

• The Swindon Food Collective (Swindon’s food bank) has multiple drop-off points for non-perishable food and toiletries in Swindon as well as The Royal Oak in Bishopstone. Financial donations are also very welcome to help cover operating costs including our essential warehousing, staff, insurance and transport.

• Commuters please note that GWR has announced that the train timetable changes due to be in place until January 23 will now remain in place while crew shortages continue due to the ongoing Omicron crisis.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• On now Exhibition: Ukraine Photography by Vadym Gurevych at Swindon Central Library. Until 30 April.

• On now Exhibition: Local Legacies Ceramics  at Highworth Visitor Centre Museum. Until 14 May.

• On now Exhibition: The Art of Industry  at STEAM Museum of the Great Wester Railway. Until 30 July.

• On now Exhibition: A Celebration of Colour  at Swindon Borough Council Civic Offices. Until 31 July.

• Thurs 5 May Swindon Borough Council Elections check website to find your local polling station.

• Regular events

• Visit the What’s On Swindon Guide Facebook page to keep up to date with what’s on in and around Swindon.

• Total Swindon expresses a range of local events taking place in and around Swindon, see here for a full list of those.

• North Dorcan’s Senior Citizen Club has restarted and now meets on Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm at St Paul’s Church. More information can be found on this Facebook post or call Dot Crook on 01793 824572.

 Art History Talks are being held on Zoom. See Faringdon Art Society’s page for further details.

• Click here for a brief overview of Swindon’s museums from Swindon Link.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• For information about Swindon Borough Council, please click here. For details of the various council and committee meetings, please click here. To see the dates of future Council meetings (including committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council took place on 11 April and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council took place on 17 March and you can download the minutes here. To see the dates of future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Watchfield Parish Council took place on  15 March and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council took place on 7 March and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shrivenham Parish Council took place on 3 March and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council took place on 28 February and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the most recent agendas, please click here.

• Swindon area council contacts

Borough council: Swindon Borough Council.

Other councils, each of which covers part of this area: Vale of White Horse District Council and Wiltshire County Council.

Parishes: Royal Wootton Bassett Town CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilShrivenham Parish CouncilWatchfield Parish CouncilWanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council and Ashbury Parish Council.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 14 April 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 1,049 CV-19 cases in Swindon in the week 3 to 9 April, down 678 from the week before. This equates to 471 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 446 (712 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• Did you know Swindon Borough Council is running free skateboarding and scooter sessions over the Easter break? This is part of the Swindon Holiday Activities and Food Programme. These sessions include fun games, prizes to be won, free hire and plenty of healthy snacks. These sessions are aimed at kids aged 5-16, between 10am and 1pm – no booking required. Sessions are being held at the Skate Parks at Haydon Wick, Covenham and Buckhurst. Dates for each location can be found here and for further information, please email sales@atbshop.co.uk or call 01793 523 255.

• Work on the Fleming Way improvements are due to start from next week, and members of the public may experience some disruption as Cheltenham Street car park will permanently close from next Tuesday 19 April. Contractor’s for the new bus interchange will be working in the area until February 2023, with some diversion routes being in place throughout the work. The main part of the scheme will get underway from this September, with Fleming Way closed to all traffic between the Milford Street and the Whalebridge junctions. The total work is scheduled for completion in Autumn 2024.

Pedestrian routes across Fleming Way will remain open at all times throughout the project, while motorists will be directed around the town centre along  signed routes.  Swindon bus station will also remain open throughout, although buses currently stopping on Fleming Way will be redirected to other bus stops around town, including some new ones to be provided by the Council. More details will follow about these in due course, in the meantime you can read more about this on the Council’s website.

• Congratulations to The Hop Inn pub, which has been named The Campaign for Real Ale’s Pub of the Year 2022 for the Swindon and North Wiltshire region. Well done to Pub owners, Jason and Ben Putt as well as the staff team who made it possible.

• With Swindon Borough Council’s local elections for 2022 are coming up, so now is a good time to familiarise yourself with your area’s candidates, as well as making sure you are eligible to vote. The deadline to register for in-person voting has now past, but there is still some time left to register for the postal vote on the 19 April. Click here to see the list of nominees and click here if you still need to register to vote. Take a look at Swindon Borough Council’s website for more information about the election and to find your nearest polling station.

• As mentioned previously, Swindon town centre has become home to a Spring Safari Trail. The Safari opened on March 28 and will be running until Sunday 24 April and features 10 animal characters all over the town centre. Safari booklets can be downloaded from the in Swindon BID website here. The trail is supported by the Government’s Welcome Back Fund, via Swindon Borough Council.

• So far, many Swindon households have officially registered to share their homes and been matched with refugees fleeing Ukraine. If you wish to consider offering  your home, you can register your interest on the government website here. To find out ways you can offer your support, you can also contact the Swindon Council Warm Welcome team at WarmWelcome@swindon.gov.uk or visit their page for more information.

Community notices

• Calling all swimmers: The Rotary Club of Swindon have announced that their charity Swimathon is returning on Sunday 22 May. Members of the public are being invited to help raise money between 10am and 2pm. You can find out more here.

• Swindon Big Knit at the Orbital make blankets for the homeless. If you would like to knit squares or help sew them together please sign up to their newsletter here.

• Swindon’s Croft Playgroup is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Sat 14 May from 10am to 11.30am. If you have any information about their history please contact 01793 512882, admin@croftplaygroup.co.uk or via Facebook.

• Swindon Borough Council has advised the public on how to stay safe and other information during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations here.

• Sustainable Shrivenham is looking for shelf donations and someone to fit them for their next book swap.

• The Swindon Food Collective (Swindon’s food bank) has multiple drop-off points for non-perishable food and toiletries in Swindon as well as The Royal Oak in Bishopstone. Financial donations are also very welcome to help cover operating costs including our essential warehousing, staff, insurance and transport.

• Commuters please note that GWR has announced that the train timetable changes due to be in place until January 23 will now remain in place while crew shortages continue due to the ongoing Omicron crisis.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Sat 16 Apr Children’s Easter Egg Trail at Town Gardens Park.

• Sun 17 Apr Ed Gamble Comedy show at Wyvern Theatre.

• Mon 18 Apr Live Wrestling  at Boom Battle Bar, Victoria Road. from 3pm. Suitable for families.

• Thurs 5 May Swindon Borough Council Elections  check website to find your local polling station.

• Regular events

• Visit the What’s On Swindon Guide Facebook page to keep up to date with what’s on in and around Swindon.

• Total Swindon expresses a range of local events taking place in and around Swindon, see here for a full list of those.

• North Dorcan’s Senior Citizen Club has restarted and now meets on Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm at St Paul’s Church. More information can be found on this Facebook post or call Dot Crook on 01793 824572.

 Art History Talks are being held on Zoom from the end of 2021 to the start of 2022. See Faringdon Art Society’s page for further details.

• Click here for a brief overview of Swindon’s museums from Swindon Link.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• For information about Swindon Borough Council, please click here. For details of the various council and committee meetings, please click here. To see the dates of future Council meetings (including committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council took place on 17 March and you can download the minutes here. To see the dates of future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Watchfield Parish Council took place on  15 March and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council took place on 14 March and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council took place on 7 March and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shrivenham Parish Council took place on 3 March and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council took place on 28 February and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the most recent agendas, please click here.

• Swindon area council contacts

Borough council: Swindon Borough Council.

Other councils, each of which covers part of this area: Vale of White Horse District Council and Wiltshire County Council.

Parishes: Royal Wootton Bassett Town CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilShrivenham Parish CouncilWatchfield Parish CouncilWanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council and Ashbury Parish Council.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford areaMarlborough areaNewbury areaThatcham areaCompton and DownlandsTheale areaWantage areaSwindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 7 April 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 1,726 CV-19 cases in Swindon in the week 27 March to 2 April, down 681 from the week before. This equates to 774 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 712 (909 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• Swindon Borough Council’s local elections for 2022 are coming up, so now is a good time to familiarise yourself with your area’s candidates, as well as making sure you are eligible to vote. The election will take place on 5 May, and the deadline to register for voting will be 14 April (deadline to register for postal vote is the 19 April). Click here to see the list of nominees and click here if you still need to register to vote. Take a look at Swindon Borough Council’s website for more information about the election and to find your nearest polling station.

• The beautiful Lydiard House Museum will be hosting several fun events over the Eater period. Following a winter hiatus, the State Rooms will be re-opening on Saturday 9 April and events occurring in the coming weeks include: an an Easter-themed art and craft workshop, a trail of displays and exhibits, a puzzle trail and a potion workshop. Check out their website for details and dates.

• So far, nearly 50 Swindon households have officially registered to share their homes and been matched with refugees fleeing Ukraine. However, the local council have been notified that there are reports of some people attempting to use Facebook to contact and organise with refugees and the Council are urging the public not to do this. If you are interested in potentially hosting refugees, then please do so through the official government channels. This is for the mutual safety of both the refugees and the homeowners – as appropriate safeguarding measures need to take place as well as assessing home suitability.

The Ukrainian refugees have not yet arrived in Wiltshire, due to on-going administration issues and safeguarding checks, but the Council’s Warm Welcome team are currently making the preparations, ready to support them. If you wish to consider offering  your home, you can register your interest on the government website here. To find out ways you can offer your support, you can also contact the Swindon Council Warm Welcome team at WarmWelcome@swindon.gov.uk or visit their page for more information.

Phoenix Enterprises have now sent an incredible 113 pallets of aid, donated by the local community, to those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. As mentioned in a previous report, the company became so overwhelmed with support, that they had to temporarily refuse donations to cope with the incredible load. However, they are now once again open to accepting public donations for essential items such as bedding, toiletries, hygiene and sanitary products and first-aid supplies. If you are interested in possibly donating keep an eye on the updates on their Facebook page for updates. Also, here is our summary of other local and national appeals you can consider supporting.

• As mentioned previously, Swindon town centre has become home to a Spring Safari Trail. The Safari opened on March 28 and will be running until Sunday 24 April and features 10 animal characters all over the town centre. Safari booklets can be downloaded from the in Swindon BID website here. The trail is supported by the Government’s Welcome Back Fund, via Swindon Borough Council.

• As mentioned previously Swindon Borough Council unveiled plans for a brand new sports hub, located off Akers Way, Moredon. The project will cost approximately £3.6 million and will include facilities for football, cricket and cycling, and aims to be inclusive to all members of the community, regardless of age and ability. The plan has been approved by the council, with some details still being finalised, and work is due to start in the autumn of this year. See here for more information.

• Swindon Borough Council is also reportedly in the last stages of finalising plans for the development of the Oasis Leisure Centre. Keep an eye out for updates on the councils website.

Central Swindon North Parish Council is currently running an appeal for donations to help the Red Cross in Ukraine. To find out how you can donate, visit their fundraising page here.

• You can click here to see Swindon Council’s web pages devoted to its town-centre regeneration programme.

• Click here for details of Covid lateral flow tests in Swindon.

• Click here for information from Swindon Council about how Coronavirus is affecting its services as well as other useful information.

Community notices

• Calling all swimmers: The Rotary Club of Swindon have announced that their charity Swimathon is returning on Sunday 22 May. Members of the public are being invited to help raise money between 10am and 2pm. You can find out more here.

• Swindon Big Knit at the Orbital make blankets for the homeless. If you would like to knit squares or help sew them together please sign up to their newsletter here.

• Swindon’s Croft Playgroup is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Sat 14 May from 10am to 11.30am. If you have any information about their history please contact 01793 512882, admin@croftplaygroup.co.uk or via Facebook.

• Swindon Borough Council has advised the public on how to stay safe and other information during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations here.

• Sustainable Shrivenham is looking for shelf donations and someone to fit them for their next book swap.

• The Swindon Food Collective (Swindon’s food bank) has multiple drop-off points for non-perishable food and toiletries in Swindon as well as The Royal Oak in Bishopstone. Financial donations are also very welcome to help cover operating costs including our essential warehousing, staff, insurance and transport.

• Commuters please note that GWR has announced that the train timetable changes due to be in place until January 23 will now remain in place while crew shortages continue due to the ongoing Omicron crisis.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Sat 9 Apr Swindon Jazz & Soul Festival 2022 at Christ Church.

• Weds 13 Apr Easter-themed nature crafts at Lydiard House.

• Sat 16 Apr Children’s Easter Egg Trail at Town Gardens Park.

• Sun 17 Apr Ed Gamble Comedy show at Wyvern Theatre.

• Regular events

• Visit the What’s On Swindon Guide Facebook page to keep up to date with what’s on in and around Swindon.

• Total Swindon expresses a range of local events taking place in and around Swindon, see here for a full list of those.

• North Dorcan’s Senior Citizen Club has restarted and now meets on Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm at St Paul’s Church. More information can be found on this Facebook post or call Dot Crook on 01793 824572.

 Art History Talks are being held on Zoom from the end of 2021 to the start of 2022. See Faringdon Art Society’s page for further details.

• Click here for a brief overview of Swindon’s museums from Swindon Link.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• For information about Swindon Borough Council, please click here. For details of the various council and committee meetings, please click here. To see the dates of future Council meetings (including committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council took place on 17 March and you can download the minutes here. To see the dates of future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Watchfield Parish Council took place on  15 March and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council took place on 14 March and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council took place on 7 March and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shrivenham Parish Council took place on 3 March and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council took place on 28 February and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the most recent agendas, please click here.

• Swindon area council contacts

Borough council: Swindon Borough Council.

Other councils, each of which covers part of this area: Vale of White Horse District Council and Wiltshire County Council.

Parishes: Royal Wootton Bassett Town CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilShrivenham Parish CouncilWatchfield Parish CouncilWanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council and Ashbury Parish Council.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford areaMarlborough areaNewbury areaThatcham areaCompton and DownlandsTheale areaWantage areaSwindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 31 March 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 2,401 CV-19 cases in Swindon in the week 20 to 26 March, up 264 on the week before. This equates to 1,077 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 909 (868 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• A memorial service held for the Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey included representation from Swindon as the event was attended by Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Mrs Sarah Troughton, and Staff Cadet Sergeant Major Thomas Hearn, who are both from Swindon. A full report can be found on Swindon Link here.

• Swindon is to be home to the latest attraction from the Local Business Improvement District, a Spring Safari Trail. The Safari will be open on Sunday 24 April and will feature 10 animal characters in and around the town centre. Safari booklets can be downloaded from the inSwindon BID wesbite here. The trail is also supported by the Government’s Welcome Back Fund, via Swindon Borough Council.

• As mentioned by Swindon Advertiser here, Hobley Drive, Swindon is now home to a new Greggs store, which created 12 new jobs.

• Since the easing of Covid restrictions just over a month ago, cases have continued to steadily rise again throughout the country. Several Swindon schools have now been forced to return to online learning due to staff and pupil shortages. In many cases, it is not the entire school, but particular year groups which is back to online learning. More information on which school and year groups are currently not in school can be found here. You can see the up-to-date BBC reports here  and also See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

Swindon Borough Council unveiled its plans for a brand new sports hub, located off Akers Way, Moredon. The project will cost approximately £3.6 million and will include facilities for football, cricket and cycling, and aims to be inclusive to all members of the community, regardless of age and ability. The plan has been approved by the council, with some details still being finalised, and work is due to start in the autumn of this year. See here for more information.

• In addition, Swindon Borough Council is also reportedly in the last stages of finalising plans for the development of the Oasis Leisure Centre. The facility, which his a listed building, has been closed since November 2020 and there has been much discussion regarding the site’s future. the Oasis Task Group have made several recommendations, which have been approved by the council, however the exact plans have not yet been revealed. Keep an eye out for updates on the councils website.

Central Swindon North Parish Council is currently running an appeal for donations to help the Red Cross in Ukraine. To find out how you can donate, visit their fundraising page here.

• An update to the previously mentioned endeavours of  Phoenix Enterprises, who have been aiding with the Ukraine crisis by using their large warehouse to accept donations of essential items, helping those fleeing the conflict. The group has become so overwhelmed by the generous support of the community, that they have had to temporarily pause donations to help manage the current load. Donations will likely open-up again in the coming weeks, so if you’re interested in possibly donating keep an eye on the updates on their facebook page. In the meantime, here is our summary of other local and national appeals to support.

• You can click here to see Swindon Council’s web pages devoted to its town-centre regeneration programme.

• Click here for details of Covid lateral flow tests in Swindon.

• Click here for information from Swindon Council about how Coronavirus is affecting its services as well as other useful information.

Community notices

• Calling all swimmers: The Rotary Club of Swindon have announced that their charity Swimathon is returning on Sunday 22 May. Members of the public are being invited to help raise money between 10am and 2pm. You can find out more here.

• Swindon Big Knit at the Orbital make blankets for the homeless. If you would like to knit squares or help sew them together please sign up to their newsletter here.

• Swindon’s Croft Playgroup is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Sat 14 May from 10am to 11.30am. If you have any information about their history please contact 01793 512882, admin@croftplaygroup.co.uk or via Facebook.

• Swindon Borough Council has advised the public on how to stay safe and other information during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations here.

• Sustainable Shrivenham is looking for shelf donations and someone to fit them for their next book swap.

• The Swindon Food Collective (Swindon’s food bank) has multiple drop-off points for non-perishable food and toiletries in Swindon as well as The Royal Oak in Bishopstone. Financial donations are also very welcome to help cover operating costs including our essential warehousing, staff, insurance and transport.

• Commuters please note that GWR has announced that the train timetable changes due to be in place until January 23 will now remain in place while crew shortages continue due to the ongoing Omicron crisis.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Sat 2 Apr Wilko Johnson Band at Wyvern Theatre.

• Sat 9 Apr Swindon Jazz & Soul Festival 2022 at Christ Church.

• Sun 17 Apr Ed Gamble Comedy show at Wyvern Theatre.

• Regular events

• Visit the What’s On Swindon Guide Facebook page to keep up to date with what’s on in and around Swindon.

• Total Swindon expresses a range of local events taking place in and around Swindon, see here for a full list of those.

• North Dorcan’s Senior Citizen Club has restarted and now meets on Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm at St Paul’s Church. More information can be found on this Facebook post or call Dot Crook on 01793 824572.

 Art History Talks are being held on Zoom from the end of 2021 to the start of 2022. See Faringdon Art Society’s page for further details.

• Click here for a brief overview of Swindon’s museums from Swindon Link.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• For information about Swindon Borough Council, please click here. For details of the various council and committee meetings, please click here. To see the dates of future Council meetings (including committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council took place on 17 March and you can download the minutes here. To see the dates of future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shrivenham Parish Council took place on 3 March and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council took place on 28 February and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the most recent agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Watchfield Parish Council took place on  15 February and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council took place on 14 February and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council took place on 7 February and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Swindon area council contacts

Borough council: Swindon Borough Council.

Other councils, each of which covers part of this area: Vale of White Horse District Council and Wiltshire County Council.

Parishes: Royal Wootton Bassett Town CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilShrivenham Parish CouncilWatchfield Parish CouncilWanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council and Ashbury Parish Council.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford areaMarlborough areaNewbury areaThatcham areaCompton and DownlandsTheale areaWantage areaSwindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 24 March 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 2,137 CV-19 cases in Swindon in the week 13 to 19 March, up 638 on the week before. This equates to 959 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 868 (661 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• This is the last chance to have your say regarding creative inspiration to improve and revamp the parks in Swindon to try and attract tourism in the area. You can see more here or you can send your ideas to the Council before midnight on Friday 25 March by emailing strategicparks@swindon.gov.uk for an application form.

• This weekend, Swindon Borough Council is holding its first Volunteer day on Saturday 26 March between 10am and 3.30pm at TWIGS in the Manor Garden Centre on Cheney Manor Road. The day is intended to help those that want to volunteer to find their feet and find what is best suited for them and those in need. Places are limited so those interested should email Matt Leather at comms@southswindon-pc.gov.uk.

• There will be a Mothering Sunday Remembrance service at the chapel of Westerleigh Group’s North Wiltshire Crematorium on Mother’s Day for anyone who has lost their mother. The service will also be available on the Westerleigh Group’s YouTube channel. The doors open at 10.30am and the service is due to start at 11am. See here on Swindon Link for more information.

• The Council are also still seeking views regarding Street Trading Policy, and what the public believes it offers the town and whether it is fit to be in place or needs to be updated. See here for more information. The deadline is 28 March.

• Since the easing of Covid restrictions just over a month ago, cases have continued to steadily rise again throughout the country. Several Swindon schools have now been forced to return to online learning due to staff and pupil shortages. In many cases, it is not the entire school, but particular year groups which is back to online learning. More information on which school and year groups are currently not in school can be found here. You can see the up-to-date BBC reports here  and also See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• A deal has been approved by Swindon Borough Council for Country Ground Stadium to be bought by Swindon Town Football Club through a joint venture. The purchases has been agreed at £2.3 million and will give the club and fan group a 50% stake in the grounds ownership. There are plans in the works for the future which involve large investments into the stadium. More information can be found on the BBC website.

Swindon Borough Council unveiled its plans for a brand new sports hub, located off Akers Way, Moredon. The project will cost approximately £3.6 million and will include facilities for football, cricket and cycling, and aims to be inclusive to all members of the community, regardless of age and ability. The plan has been approved by the council, with some details still being finalised, and work is due to start in the autumn of this year. See here for more information.

• In addition, Swindon Borough Council is also reportedly in the last stages of finalising plans for the development of the Oasis Leisure Centre. The facility, which his a listed building, has been closed since November 2020 and there has been much discussion regarding the site’s future. the Oasis Task Group have made several recommendations, which have been approved by the council, however the exact plans have not yet been revealed. Keep an eye out for updates on the councils website.

Central Swindon North Parish Council is currently running an appeal for donations to help the Red Cross in Ukraine. To find out how you can donate, visit their fundraising page here.

• An update to the previously mentioned endeavours of  Phoenix Enterprises, who have been aiding with the Ukraine crisis by using their large warehouse to accept donations of essential items, helping those fleeing the conflict. The group has become so overwhelmed by the generous support of the community, that they have had to temporarily pause donations to help manage the current load. Donations will likely open-up again in the coming weeks, so if you’re interested in possibly donating keep an eye on the updates on their facebook page. In the meantime, here is our summary of other local and national appeals to support.

• You can click here to see Swindon Council’s web pages devoted to its town-centre regeneration programme.

• Click here for details of Covid lateral flow tests in Swindon.

• Click here for information from Swindon Council about how Coronavirus is affecting its services as well as other useful information.

Community notices

• Calling all swimmers: The Rotary Club of Swindon have announced that their charity Swimathon is returning on Sunday 22 May. Members of the public are being invited to help raise money between 10am and 2pm. You can find out more here.

• Swindon Big Knit at the Orbital make blankets for the homeless. If you would like to knit squares or help sew them together please sign up to their newsletter here.

• Swindon’s Croft Playgroup is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Sat 14 May from 10am to 11.30am. If you have any information about their history please contact 01793 512882, admin@croftplaygroup.co.uk or via Facebook.

• Swindon Borough Council has advised the public on how to stay safe and other information during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations here.

• Sustainable Shrivenham is looking for shelf donations and someone to fit them for their next book swap.

• The Swindon Food Collective (Swindon’s food bank) has multiple drop-off points for non-perishable food and toiletries in Swindon as well as The Royal Oak in Bishopstone. Financial donations are also very welcome to help cover operating costs including our essential warehousing, staff, insurance and transport.

• Commuters please note that GWR has announced that the train timetable changes due to be in place until January 23 will now remain in place while crew shortages continue due to the ongoing Omicron crisis.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

•  Sun 27 Mar Mothering Sunday Remembrance service 10:30am, at the chapel of Westerleigh Group’s North Wiltshire Crematorium.

• Sat 2 Apr Wilko Johnson Band at Wyvern Theatre.

• Sat 9 Apr Swindon Jazz & Soul Festival 2022 at Christ Church.

• Sun 17 Apr Ed Gamble Comedy show at Wyvern Theatre.

• Regular events

• Visit the What’s On Swindon Guide Facebook page to keep up to date with what’s on in and around Swindon.

• Total Swindon expresses a range of local events taking place in and around Swindon, see here for a full list of those.

• North Dorcan’s Senior Citizen Club has restarted and now meets on Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm at St Paul’s Church. More information can be found on this Facebook post or call Dot Crook on 01793 824572.

 Art History Talks are being held on Zoom from the end of 2021 to the start of 2022. See Faringdon Art Society’s page for further details.

• Click here for a brief overview of Swindon’s museums from Swindon Link.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• For information about Swindon Borough Council, please click here. For details of the various council and committee meetings, please click here. To see the dates of future Council meetings (including committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shrivenham Parish Council took place on 3 March and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Watchfield Parish Council took place on  15 February and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council took place on 14 February and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council took place on 7 February and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council took place on 3 February and you can download the minutes here. To see the dates of future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council took place on 24 January and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the most recent agendas, please click here.

• Swindon area council contacts

Borough council: Swindon Borough Council.

Other councils, each of which covers part of this area: Vale of White Horse District Council and Wiltshire County Council.

Parishes: Royal Wootton Bassett Town CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilShrivenham Parish CouncilWatchfield Parish CouncilWanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council and Ashbury Parish Council.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Marlborough area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Theale area; Wantage area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 17 March 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 1,497 CV-19 cases in Swindon in the week 6 to 12 March, up 512 on the week before. This equates to 672 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 661 (423 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

Phoenix Enterprises who offer adults with learning difficulties work experience in mail fulfillment have re-invented themselves in response to the Ukraine crisis. When the Polish Community Centre in Swindon became overwhelmed with donations, Phoenix offered their much larger warehouse for storage. Listen to Phoenix trustee Mike Bowden explain the details here with Chris Capel on 4LEGS Radio. To support them, donations are very welcome here. Here is our summary of other local and national appeals to support.

• Work has just started on the eight-storey high Premier Inn hotel and steakhouse building on Regent Street after planning permission was granted back in June 2020. Along with the 18-20 month construction time and £17m investment, there is a proposed 45 new jobs that the building will create. The full report can be viewed here on Swindon Advertiser.

• There will be a Mothering Sunday Remembrance service at the chapel of Westerleigh Group’s North Wiltshire Crematorium on Mother’s Day for anyone who has lost their mother. The service will also be available on the Westerleigh Group’s YouTube channel. The doors open at 10.30am and the service is due to start at 11am. See here on Swindon Link for more information.

• Swindon Borough Council is challenging Wiltshire residents to take part in this year’s Active Swindon Challenge. There is a new app and all new prizes available for the people who participate. The app is available on any app store and more information can be found here.

• As we have mentioned before, Swindon Borough Council is holding its first Volunteer day on Saturday 26 March between 10am and 3.30pm at TWIGS in the Manor Garden Centre on Cheney Manor Road. The day is intended to help those that want to volunteer to find their feet and find what is best suited for them and those in need. Places are limited so those interested should email Matt Leather at comms@southswindon-pc.gov.uk.

• There is still time to have your say on Swindon Borough Council’s gambling premises policy. The survey results will be presented to the Licensing Committee for consideration on 22 March 2022.

• More views are being sought by the Council, this time about the Street Trading Policy, what the public believes it offers the town and whether it is fit to be in place or needs to be updated. See here for more information. The deadline is 28 March.

• The Council is also seeking creative inspiration to improve and revamp the parks in Swindon. There is much consideration towards the views of the public to try and attract tourism in the area. You can see more here or you can send your ideas to the Council before midnight on Friday 26 March by emailing strategicparks@swindon.gov.uk for an application form.

• You can click here to see Swindon Council’s web pages devoted to its town-centre regeneration programme.

• Click here for details of Covid lateral flow tests in Swindon.

• Click here for information from Swindon Council about how Coronavirus is affecting its services as well as other useful information.

Community notices

• Calling all swimmers: The Rotary Club of Swindon have announced that their charity Swimathon is returning on Sunday 22 May. Members of the public are being invited to help raise money between 10am and 2pm. You can find out more here.

• Swindon Big Knit at the Orbital make blankets for the homeless. If you would like to knit squares or help sew them together please sign up to their newsletter here.

• Swindon’s Croft Playgroup is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Sat 14 May from 10am to 11.30am. If you have any information about their history please contact 01793 512882, admin@croftplaygroup.co.uk or via Facebook.

• Swindon Borough Council has advised the public on how to stay safe and other information during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations here.

• Sustainable Shrivenham is looking for shelf donations and someone to fit them for their next book swap.

• The Swindon Food Collective (Swindon’s food bank) has multiple drop-off points for non-perishable food and toiletries in Swindon as well as The Royal Oak in Bishopstone. Financial donations are also very welcome to help cover operating costs including our essential warehousing, staff, insurance and transport.

• Commuters please note that GWR has announced that the train timetable changes due to be in place until January 23 will now remain in place while crew shortages continue due to the ongoing Omicron crisis.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Sat 2 Apr Wilko Johnson Band at Wyvern Theatre.

• Sat 9 Apr Swindon Jazz & Soul Festival 2022 at Christ Church.

• Sun 17 Apr Ed Gamble Comedy show at Wyvern Theatre.

• Regular events

• Visit the What’s On Swindon Guide Facebook page to keep up to date with what’s on in and around Swindon.

• Total Swindon expresses a range of local events taking place in and around Swindon, see here for a full list of those.

• North Dorcan’s Senior Citizen Club has restarted and now meets on Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm at St Paul’s Church. More information can be found on this Facebook post or call Dot Crook on 01793 824572.

 Art History Talks are being held on Zoom from the end of 2021 to the start of 2022. See Faringdon Art Society’s page for further details.

• Click here for a brief overview of Swindon’s museums from Swindon Link.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• For information about Swindon Borough Council, please click here. For details of the various council and committee meetings, please click here. To see the dates of future Council meetings (including committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council took place on 14 February and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council took place on 7 February and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shrivenham Parish Council took place on 7 February and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council took place on 3 February and you can download the minutes here. To see the dates of future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council took place on 24 January and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the most recent agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Watchfield Parish Council took place on  14 December and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Swindon area council contacts

Borough council: Swindon Borough Council.

Other councils, each of which covers part of this area: Vale of White Horse District Council and Wiltshire County Council.

Parishes: Royal Wootton Bassett Town CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilShrivenham Parish CouncilWatchfield Parish CouncilWanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council and Ashbury Parish Council.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Marlborough area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Theale area; Wantage area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 10 March 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 1.047 CV-19 cases in Swindon in the week 28 February to 6 March, up 253 on the week before. This equates to 470 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 423 (305 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• There has been a considerable outpouring of support for Ukraine. Here is our summary of local and national appeals to support.

• Swindon Borough Council is holding its first Volunteer day on Saturday 26 March between 10am and 3.30pm at TWIGS in the Manor Garden Centre on Cheney Manor Road. The day is intended to help those that want to volunteer to find their feet and find what is best suited for them and those in need. Places are limited so those interested should email Matt Leather at comms@southswindon-pc.gov.uk.

• Swindon Borough Council have also released the latest plans for Swindon’s County Football Ground which will see a £22.5 million pound transformation. The transformation is all reliant on a deal between Swindon Town FC and the Council on 16 March. The project is set to start in 2026/27 and will see a new Town End. See the whole report here.

• An update on the tree planting appeal for the Wiltshire Nepalese Association: The planting took place at Buckhurst Field, behind the Buckhurst Community Centre in Walcot and around 300 trees were planted to mark International Women’s Day. Great job guys. You can see the whole report here.

• The Rotary Club of Swindon have announced that the charity Swimathon is returning on Sunday 22 May. Members of the public are being invited to help raise money between 10am and 2pm. You can find out more here.

• Unfortunately, due to fact that key committee members retired last year, Swindon’s 2022 Pride will not be taking place this year. For the last 12 years, this festival has been a key part of the LGBTQIA+ community in Swindon and Wiltshire. The committee members who remain have said it will continue to fundraise for the charity.

Swindon Council Leader David Renard answers more questions here on swindonlink about what is being done to support the town centre, including changes to Fleming Way and plans for a new Cultural Quarter.

• There is still time to have your say on Swindon Borough Council’s gambling premises policy. The survey results will be presented to the Licensing Committee for consideration on 22 March 2022.

• More views are being sought by the Council, this time about the Street Trading Policy, what the public believes it offers the town and whether it is fit to be in place or needs to be updated. See here for more information.

• The Council is also seeking creative inspiration to improve and revamp the parks in Swindon. There is much consideration towards the views of the public to try and attract tourism in the area. You can see more here or you can send your ideas to the Council before midnight on Friday 26 March by emailing strategicparks@swindon.gov.uk for an application form.

• The Swindon Hub is the host of a new international Pop Art exhibition titled Dedications to Pei. The artworks on display were inspired by Italian artist, architect and photographer Pei Pegata. The Hub will be open between the usual hours from Tuesday to Saturday.

• Follow the progress on the plans to save The Oasis on Twitter at @SaveOasis and on the Save the Oasis’ FB page.

• You can click here to see Swindon Council’s web pages devoted to its town-centre regeneration programme.

• Click here for details of Covid lateral flow tests in Swindon.

• Click here for information from Swindon Council about how Coronavirus is affecting its services as well as other useful information.

Community notices

• Swindon Big Knit at the Orbital make blankets for the homeless. If you would like to knit squares or help sew them together please sign up to their newsletter here.

• Swindon’s Croft Playgroup is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Sat 14 May from 10am to 11.30am.If you have any information about their history please contact 01793 512882, admin@croftplaygroup.co.uk or via Facebook.

• Swindon Borough Council has advised the public on how to stay safe and other information during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations here.

• Sustainable Shrivenham is looking for shelf donations and someone to fit them for their next book swap.

• The Swindon Food Collective (Swindon’s food bank) has multiple drop-off points for non-perishable food and toiletries in Swindon as well as The Royal Oak in Bishopstone. Financial donations are also very welcome to help cover operating costs including our essential warehousing, staff, insurance and transport.

• Commuters please note that GWR have announced that the train timetable changes due to be in place until January 23 will now remain in place while crew shortages continue due to the ongoing Omicron crisis.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Sun 13 Mar Iain Stirling Failing Upwards Comedy show at Wyvern Theatre.

• Sat 2 Apr Wilko Johnson Band at Wyvern Theatre.

• Sat 9 Apr Swindon Jazz & Soul Festival 2022 at Christ Church.

• Sun 17 Apr Ed Gamble Comedy show at Wyvern Theatre.

• Regular events

• Visit the What’s On Swindon Guide Facebook page to keep up to date with what’s on in and around Swindon.

• Total Swindon expresses a range of local events taking place in and around Swindon, see here for a full list of those.

• North Dorcan’s Senior Citizen Club has restarted and now meets on Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm at St Paul’s Church. More information can be found on this Facebook post or call Dot Crook on 01793 824572.

 Art History Talks are being held on Zoom from the end of 2021 to the start of 2022. See Faringdon Art Society’s page for further details.

• Click here for a brief overview of Swindon’s museums from Swindon Link.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• For information about Swindon Borough Council, please click here. For details of the various council and committee meetings, please click here. To see the dates of future Council meetings (including committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council took place on 14 February and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council took place on 7 February and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shrivenham Parish Council took place on 7 February and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council took place on 3 February and you can download the minutes here. To see the dates of future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council took place on 24 January and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the most recent agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Watchfield Parish Council took place on  14 December and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Swindon area council contacts

Thursday 3 March 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 795 CV-19 cases in Swindon in the week 21 to 27 February, down 334 on the week before. This equates to 357 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 305 (421 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• South Swindon residents are asked to help this Saturday 5 March plant 600 trees dubbed a Tiny Forest in an area no bigger than a tennis court, as part of the national Tiny Forest ecological scheme. Please click here to find out more.

• There has been a considerable outpouring of support for Ukraine. Here is our summary of local and national appeals to support.

• We mentioned last week about the mystery 6-year-old Joe who sent a heartbreaking letter to Swindon Town player Harry McKirdy about his mother not being able to afford tickets. Whether the letter was genuine or not, £10,300 was raised on the JustGiving page set up for Joe and the Council has stated that half the funds will go to the Swindon Food Collective which supports up to 7,500 people a year and the rest will go to the Swindon Town Community Foundation which sees families in a similar situation to Joe given an opportunity to experience a matchday as well as working with local schools to help identify families experiencing financial hardship. Overall, a fantastic endeavour from the community.

• A reminder that The National Literacy Trust’s Swindon Where’s Wally Weekender is on for the weekend of 19 March 2022. You can find more on the wonderfully weird event, here on the Literacy Trust site.

• The Rotary Club of Swindon have announced that the charity Swimathon is returning on Sunday 22 May. Members of the public are being invited to help raise money between 10am and 2pm. You can find out more here.

• Swindon Borough Council is holding its first Volunteer day on Saturday 26 March between 10am and 3.30pm at TWIGS in the Manor Garden Centre on Cheney Manor Road. The day is intended to help those that want to volunteer to find their feet and find what is best suited for them and those in need. Places are limited so those interested should email Matt Leather at comms@southswindon-pc.gov.uk.

Swindon Council Leader David Renard answers more questions here on swindonlink about what is being done to support the town centre, including changes to Fleming Way and plans for a new Cultural Quarter.

• There is still time to have your say on Swindon Borough Council’s gambling premises policy. The survey results will be presented to the Licensing Committee for consideration on 22 March 2022.

• More views are being sought by the Council, this time about the Street Trading Policy, what the public believes it offers the town and whether it is fit to be in place or needs to be updated. See here for more information.

• The Council is also seeking creative inspiration to improve and revamp the parks in Swindon. There is much consideration towards the views of the public to try and attract tourism in the area. You can see more here or you can send your ideas to the Council before midnight on Friday 26 March by emailing strategicparks@swindon.gov.uk for an application form.

• The Swindon Hub is the host of a new international Pop Art exhibition titled Dedications to Pei. The artworks on display were inspired by Italian artist, architect and photographer Pei Pegata. The Hub will be open between the usual hours from Tuesday to Saturday.

• Follow the progress on the plans to save The Oasis on Twitter at @SaveOasis and on the Save the Oasis’ FB page.

• You can click here to see Swindon Council’s web pages devoted to its town-centre regeneration programme.

• Click here for details of Covid lateral flow tests in Swindon.

• Click here for information from Swindon Council about how Coronavirus is affecting its services as well as other useful information.

Community notices

• Swindon Big Knit at the Orbital make blankets for the homeless. If you would like to knit squares or help sew them together please sign up to their newsletter here.

• Swindon’s Croft Playgroup is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Sat 14 May from 10am to 11.30am.If you have any information about their history please contact 01793 512882, admin@croftplaygroup.co.uk or via Facebook.

• Swindon Borough Council has advised the public on how to stay safe and other information during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations here.

• Sustainable Shrivenham is looking for shelf donations and someone to fit them for their next book swap.

• The Swindon Food Collective (Swindon’s food bank) has multiple drop-off points in Swindon as well as The Royal Oak in Bishopstone. They welcome donations of non-perishable food items and toiletries. Financial donations are also very welcome to help cover operating costs including our essential warehousing, staff, insurance and transport.

• Commuters please note that GWR have announced that the train timetable changes due to be in place until January 23 will now remain in place while crew shortages continue due to the ongoing Omicron crisis.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Sun 13 Mar Iain Stirling Failing Upwards Comedy show at Wyvern Theatre.

• Sat 2 Apr Wilko Johnson Band at Wyvern Theatre.

• Sat 9 Apr Swindon Jazz & Soul Festival 2022 at Christ Church.

• Sun 17 Apr Ed Gamble Comedy show at Wyvern Theatre.

• Regular events

• Visit the What’s On Swindon Guide Facebook page to keep up to date with what’s on in and around Swindon.

• Total Swindon expresses a range of local events taking place in and around Swindon, see here for a full list of those.

• North Dorcan’s Senior Citizen Club has restarted and now meets on Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm at St Paul’s Church. More information can be found on this Facebook post or call Dot Crook on 01793 824572.

 Art History Talks are being held on Zoom from the end of 2021 to the start of 2022. See Faringdon Art Society’s page for further details.

• Click here for a brief overview of Swindon’s museums from Swindon Link.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• For information about Swindon Borough Council, please click here. For details of the various council and committee meetings, please click here. To see the dates of future Council meetings (including committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council took place on 14 February and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shrivenham Parish Council took place on 7 February and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council took place on 3 February and you can download the minutes here. To see the dates of future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council took place on 24 January and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the most recent agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council took place on 10 January and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Watchfield Parish Council took place on  14 December and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Swindon area council contacts

Thursday 24 February 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 1,124 CV-19 cases in Swindon in the week 14 to 20 February, down 493 on the week before. This equates to 504 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 421 (538 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• A reminder that The National Literacy Trust’s Swindon Where’s Wally Weekender is on for the weekend of 19 March 2022. You can find more on the wonderfully weird event, here on the Literacy Trust site.

• Back to road closures in Swindon as the A419 northbound carriageway from White Hart junction to Rat Trap junction is to be closed overnight between 9pm to 6am every night until 25 February.

Swindon Borough Council posted a statement on their facebook page this week explaining why they charge for parking in the town centre:“It is important to explain that any money which is raised from town centre parking is spent on parking-related services. This includes the running of the car parks, blue badge schemes, restrictions, permits and parking enforcement.” Needless to say this post has attracted many comments from disgruntled residents and business owners who still resent the charges.

Swindon Council Leader David Renard answers more questions here on swindonlink about what is being done to support the town centre, including changes to Fleming Way and plans for a new Cultural Quarter.

• Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Serivce is looking for more female on-call firefighters with two have-a-go sessions just for women this Saturday 26 February at Swindon Fire Station. Sign up for the event here if you live or work near a fire station and fancy a change of lifestyle or just want to do something different. “While a good level of fitness is needed, we also need people with common sense, the ability to work as a team..”

• Great news for the LGBTQ+ community as Thames Water in Swindon has been listed in the charity Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers thanks to their commitments to the community in their workspace. At exactly 100th place they exceeded their hopes of being in the list by 2025. For a full list of examples as to why Thames Water believe they were deserving, see here on the Swindon Link page.

• Swindon Borough Council is seeking thoughts and opinions on the gambling premises policy. You can read more on this here and the council will be judging the feedback on 22 March. You can enter the survey here.

• The Council is also seeking creative inspiration to improve and revamp the parks in Swindon. There is much consideration towards the views of the public to try and attrac tourism in the area. You can see more here or you can send your ideas to the Council before midnight on Friday 26 March by emailing strategicparks@swindon.gov.uk for an application form.

• More views are being sought by the Council from the public, this time about the Street Trading Policy, and what the public believes it offers the town and whether it is fit to be in place or needs to be updated. See here for more information.

• Swindon is now home to a cat only vet clinic, Thameswood Vets with “specific equipment with separate reception, consulting rooms, dental prep, operating theatre and a new luxury cattery” which will make the process of taking a cat to the vet a lot easier for the owners. See more here on Swindon Link.

• The Swindon Hub is the host of a new international Pop Art exhibition titled Dedications to Pei. The artworks on display were inspired by Italian artist, architect and photographer Pei Pegata. The Hub will be open between the usual hours from Tuesday to Saturday.

• Follow the progress on the plans to save The Oasis on Twitter at @SaveOasis and on the Save the Oasis’ FB page.

• You can click here to see Swindon Council’s web pages devoted to its town-centre regeneration programme.

• Click here for details of Covid lateral flow tests in Swindon.

• Click here for information from Swindon Council about how Coronavirus is affecting its services as well as other useful information.

Community notices

• South Swindon residents are asked to help plant 600 trees dubbed a Tiny Forest in an area no bigger than a tennis court, as part of the national Tiny Forest ecological scheme. The planting will be on Saturday 5 March and those interested can click here to find out more.

• Swindon Big Knit at the Orbital make blankets for the homeless. If you would like to knit squares or help sew them together please sign up to their newsletter here.

• Please send photos and locations of your favourite snowdrop spots to penny@pennypost.org.uk to add to our local snowdrop guide here.

• Just like we mentioned last week, Swindon’s Croft Playgroup is marking the 50th anniversary this year, with celebrations to be set on 14 May from 10am to 11.30am. The group are appealing for as much information as possible on the Croft to help promote the history. Please contact them at 01793 512882, at admin@croftplaygroup.co.uk and via Facebook.

• Swindon Borough Council has advised the public on how to stay safe and other information during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations here.

• Sustainable Shrivenham is looking for shelf donations and someone to fit them for their next book swap.

• The Swindon Food Collective (Swindon’s food bank) has multiple drop-off points in Swindon as well as The Royal Oak in Bishopstone. They welcome donations of non-perishable food items and toiletries including tinned foods, squash and long life juice, toothpaste, soap, washing up liquid, pet food. Financial donations are also very welcome to help cover operating costs including our essential warehousing, staff, insurance and transport.

• Commuters please note that GWR have announced that the train timetable changes due to be in place until January 23 will now remain in place while crew shortages continue due to the ongoing Omicron crisis.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Sat 26 Feb The Bowie Experience at Level III.

• Sat 26 Feb The Bob Marley Experience at M E C A Swindon.

• Sun 13 Mar Iain Stirling Failing Upwards Comedy show at Wyvern Theatre.

• Sat 2 Apr Wilko Johnson Band at Wyvern Theatre.

• Sat 9 Apr Swindon Jazz & Soul Festival 2022 at Christ Church.

• Sun 17 Apr Ed Gamble Comedy show at Wyvern Theatre.

• Regular events

• Visit the What’s On Swindon Guide Facebook page to keep up to date with what’s on in and around Swindon.

• Total Swindon expresses a range of local events taking place in and around Swindon, see here for a full list of those.

• North Dorcan’s Senior Citizen Club has restarted and now meets on Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm at St Paul’s Church. More information can be found on this Facebook post or call Dot Crook on 01793 824572.

 Art History Talks are being held on Zoom from the end of 2021 to the start of 2022. See Faringdon Art Society’s page for further details.

• Click here for a brief overview of Swindon’s museums from Swindon Link.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• For information about Swindon Borough Council, please click here. For details of the various council and committee meetings, please click here. To see the dates of future Council meetings (including committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council took place on 14 February and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council took place on 3 February and you can download the minutes here. To see the dates of future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council took place on 24 January and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the most recent agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council took place on 10 January and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Watchfield Parish Council took place on  14 December and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shrivenham Parish Council took place on 6 December and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• Swindon area council contacts

Thursday 17 February 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 1,616 CV-19 cases in Swindon in the week y to 13 February, down 670 on the week before. This equates to 725 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 538 (805 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• The National Literacy Trust’s Swindon Where’s Wally Weekender is back on for 2022 on for the weekend of 19 March 2022. You can find more on the wonderfully weird event, here on the Literact Trust site.

• A recent (3.20pm on 17 February) announcement from GWR says that the red warning concerning storm Eunice will lead to “significant changes to rail services” from 4am on Friday. This is expected to last throughout the day and will result in some cancelled services. Passengers are advised to consult Journey Check before setting out. GWR is also accepting rail tickets booked for Friday 18 February for travel over the weekend or on Monday and will issue full refunds to anyone choosing not to travel at all. GWR will also need to check for any damage before re-opening so there could therefore be further delays and changes to services over the weekend.

• Swindon Borough Council is seeking thoughts and opinions on the gambling premises policy. You can read more on this here and the council will be judging the feedback on 22 March. You can enter the survey here.

• The Council is also seeking creative inspiration to improve and revamp the parks in Swindon. There is much consideration towards the views of the public to try and attrac tourism in the area. You can see more here or you can send your ideas to the Council from now until midnight on Friday, 26 March by emailing: strategicparks@swindon.gov.uk for an application form.

• More views are being sought by the Council from the public, this one about the Street Trading Policy, and what the public believes it offers the town and whether it is fit to be in place or needs to be updated. See here for more information.

• Swindon Young Arts Leaders is joining with National Literacy Trust to hold free storytelling workshop events at Prime Theatre this half term. There will be multiple workshops, including storytelling through stop motion, rap, film and BSL. It’s worth noting that the only workshop available to all ages is stop motion, all others are 13+. See here for more information or our events section below.

• In a new bid to try and encourage the women of Wiltshire to ‘have a go’ at being an on-call firefighter, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service will be holding two sessions will be held at Swindon fire station on Saturday 26 February. You can see more on how to sign up for the event here if you’re fancying a change of lifestyle or just want to do something different.

• If you would like to donate to the Swindon Food Collective they have multiple drop-off points in Swindon but you can also drop them off at The Royal Oak in Bishopstone. They are Swindon’s food bank and welcome donations of non-perishable food items and toiletries including tinned foods, squash and long life juice, toothpaste, soap, washing up liquid, pet food. Financial donations are also very welcome to help cover operating costs including our essential warehousing, staff, insurance and transport.

• Unfortunately, due to the rise in Covid cases in Swindon, General Practices have been having to cancel appointments as doctors are falling ill. Telephone appointments are being offered as an alternative, you can find more information here in the full article from Swindon Advertiser to see whether your GP has been affected.

• Art collections from The Swindon Museum and Art Gallery will be going on display in three new exhibitions around the borough at Steam Museum, the Civic Offices and Highworth Museum as part of the “Art on Tour” programme.

• Swindon’s Bus Company has helped revive a playground at Westlea Primary School for the pupils to enjoy more outside learning. The company offers two applications per year to help fund projects up to £500. See here for more.

Where’s Joe?

Few people, certainly few football fans, will be unaware of the story of the six-year-old Swindon Town fan Joe who wrote to the club apologising that he couldn’t come to matches at the County Ground because his mum was strapped for cash. He also enclosed a donation for his favourite player, Harry McKirdy.

The sum provided was 26p. Though I’m sure this wasn’t Joe’s intention, few investments will have reaped such a return. The Daily Mirror reports that £4,000 has already been raised online with donations coming in from as far away as Texas and it’s unlikely to end there. The club itself has offered him a role as a team mascot and doubtless other benefits as well: it’s all too easy to picture young Joe proudly clutching a complimentary season ticket when the new campaign kicks off in August. With the Robins currently one place away from the play-off zone this could be in League One.

There’s one problem, though: no one knows who or where Joe is. His letter had no surname and he gave no address. The club says that it’s making efforts to find him and I’m sure that newspapers are doing likewise. So, Penny Post offers its own appeal – if you know a six-year-old called Joe (who might often west a red football top with “McKirdy” written on the back) and without any loose change rattling in his pocket, he could be your man. Tell him to get in touch with STFC as there are a lot of people there wanting to give him things.

As for Harry McKirdy, I hope he spends his windfall wisely. The life of a lower-league footballer is precarious so he might be wise to put it aside for a rainy day. Alternatively, he could give it away and hope for some good karma to kick in. As young Joe has taught us all, spontaneous acts of generosity are their own reward. On occasions – and usually when the giver least intends it – the generosity can be returned, sometimes on a disproportionately lavish scale.

Community notices

• Swindon Big Knit at the Orbital make blankets for the homeless. If you would like to knit squares or help sew them together please sign up to their newsletter here.

• Please send photos and locations of your favourite snowdrop spots to penny@pennypost.org.uk to add to our local snowdrop guide here.

• Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is challenging all Wiltshire residents to the fifth year of the Waste-Free Feb challenge. Last year saw 250 residents save four tonnes of rubbish from going to their bins. The challenge at hand here is to try to produce as little rubbish as possible and instead reduce, reuse, recycle and compost where possible.

• Just like we mentioned last week, Swindon’s Croft Playgroup is marking the 50th anniversary this year, with celebrations to be set on 14 May from 10am to 11.30am. The group are appealing for as much information as possible on the Croft to help promote the history. Please contact them at 01793 512882, at admin@croftplaygroup.co.uk and via Facebook.

• Swindon Borough Council has advised the public on how to stay safe and other information during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations here.

• Sustainable Shrivenham thanks their supporters on the White Horse Lottery which brings them £728 a year. If you would like to support to their goal to set up and run an actual Sustainable Shrivenham Hub (ideally in the ex-Lloyds Bank premises in the High Street) and be in with a chance of winning prizes and cash, please buy your tickets here.

• Commuters please note that GWR have announced that the train timetable changes due to be in place until January 23 will now remain in place while crew shortages continue due to the ongoing Omicron crisis.

• The Swindon Hub is the host of a new international Pop Art exhibition titled Dedications to Pei. The artworks on display were inspired by Italian artist, architect and photographer Pei Pegata. The Hub will be open between the usual hours from Tuesday to Saturday.

• Follow the progress on the plans to save The Oasis on Twitter at @SaveOasis and on the Save the Oasis’ FB page.

• You can click here to see Swindon Council’s web pages devoted to its town-centre regeneration programme.

• Click here for details of Covid lateral flow tests in Swindon.

• Click here for information from Swindon Council about how Coronavirus is affecting its services as well as other useful information.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Tue 22 Feb 1.30pm Storytelling through Stop-Motion Animation at Prime Theatre.

Wed 23 Feb 1.30pm Storytelling through Film at Prime Theatre.

Thu 24 Feb 1.30pm Storytelling through BSL at Prime Theatre.

Thu 24 Feb 4pm Storytelling through Rap at Prime Theatre.

• Sun 13 Mar Iain Stirling Failing Upwards Comedy show at Wyvern Theatre.

• Sat 2 Apr Wilko Johnson Band at Wyvern Theatre.

• Sat 9 Apr Swindon Jazz & Soul Festival 2022 at Christ Church.

• Sun 17 Apr Ed Gamble Comedy show at Wyvern Theatre.

• Regular events

• Visit the What’s On Swindon Guide Facebook page to keep up to date with what’s on in and around Swindon.

• Total Swindon expresses a range of local events taking place in and around Swindon, see here for a full list of those.

• North Dorcan’s Senior Citizen Club has restarted and now meets on Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm at St Paul’s Church. More information can be found on this Facebook post or call Dot Crook on 01793 824572.

 Art History Talks are being held on Zoom from the end of 2021 to the start of 2022. See Faringdon Art Society’s page for further details.

• Click here for a brief overview of Swindon’s museums from Swindon Link.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• For information about Swindon Borough Council, please click here. For details of the various council and committee meetings, please click here. To see the dates of future Council meetings (including committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council took place on 10 January and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council took place on 10 January and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Watchfield Parish Council took place on  14 December and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council took place on 9 December and you can download the minutes here. There have also been a couple of extraordinary minutes since then. To see the dates of future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shrivenham Parish Council took place on 6 December and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council took place on 25 October and you can read the minutes here. There was also an extraordinary meeting on 8 November and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the most recent agendas, please click here.

Thursday 10 February 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 2,282 CV-19 cases in Swindon in the week 31 January to 6 February, down 608 on the week before. This equates to 1,024 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 805 (1,062 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• Following from community loved activities, the National Literacy Trust’s Swindon Where’s Wally Weekender is back on for 2022 on for the weekend of 19 March 2022. You can find more on the wonderfully weird event, here on the Literact Trust site.

• We reported a little while ago that Swindon has considered becoming the spot for the Great British Railways headquarters. Swindon Borough Counil has recently announced that they’re on track to bid for that decision. There is a list of criteria and a full plan from the council here on the Swindon Link site.

• The Rotary Club in Swindon has donated £1,000 to help fund the Brighter Futures’ Hickory Dickory Dock dementia project. The project is hoping to replace the clocks with dementia clocks, which display information such as letters, numbers, morning or afternoon status and also the current month. Read more here on the Swindon Link site.

• Swindon Borough Council is seeking thoughts and opinions on the gambling premises policy. You can read more on this here and the council will be judging the feedback on 22 March. You can enter the survey here.

• Analysis was announced last week for the Beat the Street Swindon game which encouraged thousands to be more active last year. 63% of Swindon adults and 32% of children who previously considered themselves ‘inactive’ increased their activity levels after the return of this fun, live action game in 2021.

• If you would like to donate to the Swindon Food Collective they have multiple drop-off points in Swindon but you can also drop them off at The Royal Oak in Bishopstone. They are Swindon’s food bank and welcome donations of non-perishable food items and toiletries including tinned foods, squash and long life juice, toothpaste, soap, washing up liquid, pet food. Financial donations are also very welcome to help cover operating costs including our essential warehousing, staff, insurance and transport.

• Unfortunately, due to the rise in Covid cases in Swindon, General Practices have been having to cancel appointments as doctors are falling ill. Telephone appointments are being offered as an alternative, you can find more information here in the full article from Swindon Advertiser to see whether your GP has been affected.

• Art collections from The Swindon Museum and Art Gallery will be going on display in three new exhibitions around the borough at Steam Museum, the Civic Offices and Highworth Museum as part of the “Art on Tour” programme.

• Swindon’s Bus Company has helped revive a playground at Westlea Primary School for the pupils to enjoy more outside learning. The company offers two applications per year to help fund projects up to £500. See herefor more.

Community notices

• Swindon Big Knit at the Orbital make blankets for the homeless. If you would like to knit squares or help sew them together please sign up to their newsletter here.

• Please send photos and locations of your favourite snowdrop spots to penny@pennypost.org.uk to add to our local snowdrop guide here.

• Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is challenging all Wiltshire residents to the fifth year of the Waste-Free Feb challenge. Last year saw 250 residents save four tonnes of rubbish from going to their bins. The challenge at hand here is to try to produce as little rubbish as possible and instead reduce, reuse, recycle and compost where possible.

• Just like we mentioned last week, Swindon’s Croft Playgroup is marking the 50th anniversary this year, with celebrations to be set on 14 May from 10am to 11.30am. The group are appealing for as much information as possible on the Croft to help promote the history. Please contact them at 01793 512882, at admin@croftplaygroup.co.uk and via Facebook.

• Swindon Borough Council has advised the public on how to stay safe and other information during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations here.

• Sustainable Shrivenham thanks their supporters on the White Horse Lottery which brings them £728 a year. If you would like to support to their goal to set up and run an actual Sustainable Shrivenham Hub (ideally in the ex-Lloyds Bank premises in the High Street) and be in with a chance of winning prizes and cash, please buy your tickets here.

• Commuters please note that GWR have announced that the train timetable changes due to be in place until January 23 will now remain in place while crew shortages continue due to the ongoing Omicron crisis.

• The Swindon Hub is the host of a new international Pop Art exhibition titled Dedications to Pei. The artworks on display were inspired by Italian artist, architect and photographer Pei Pegata. The Hub will be open between the usual hours from Tuesday to Saturday.

• Follow the progress on the plans to save The Oasis on Twitter at @SaveOasis and on the Save the Oasis’ FB page.

• You can click here to see Swindon Council’s web pages devoted to its town-centre regeneration programme.

• Click here for details of Covid lateral flow tests in Swindon.

• Click here for information from Swindon Council about how Coronavirus is affecting its services as well as other useful information.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 12 Feb The Leylines at The Hop Inn.

Sat 12 Feb Boom Street Food Sessions at Boom: Battle Bar.

Sat 12 Feb Youth superhero community litter pick at Haydonleigh Skatepark

• Sun 13 Feb Wiltshire in Film and Song at Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre.

• Sun 13 Mar Iain Stirling Failing Upwards Comedy show at Wyvern Theatre.

• Sat 2 Apr Wilko Johnson Band at Wyvern Theatre.

• Sat 9 Apr Swindon Jazz & Soul Festival 2022 at Christ Church.

• Sun 17 Apr Ed Gamble Comedy show at Wyvern Theatre.

• Regular events

• Visit the What’s On Swindon Guide Facebook page to keep up to date with what’s on in and around Swindon.

• Total Swindon expresses a range of local events taking place in and around Swindon, see here for a full list of those.

• North Dorcan’s Senior Citizen Club has restarted and now meets on Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm at St Paul’s Church. More information can be found on this Facebook post or call Dot Crook on 01793 824572.

 Art History Talks are being held on Zoom from the end of 2021 to the start of 2022. See Faringdon Art Society’s page for further details.

• Click here for a brief overview of Swindon’s museums from Swindon Link.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• For information about Swindon Borough Council, please click here. For details of the various council and committee meetings, please click here. To see the dates of future Council meetings (including committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council took place on 10 January and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council took place on 10 January and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Watchfield Parish Council took place on  14 December and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council took place on 9 December and you can download the minutes here. There have also been a couple of extraordinary minutes since then. To see the dates of future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shrivenham Parish Council took place on 6 December and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council took place on 25 October and you can read the minutes here. There was also an extraordinary meeting on 8 November and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the most recent agendas, please click here.

Thursday 3 February 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 2,895 CV-19 cases in Swindon in the week 24 to 30 January, down 220 on the week before. This equates to 1,299 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 1,062 (1,062 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• Analysis is now in on the Beat the Street Swindon game which encouraged thousands to be more active last year. 63% of Swindon adults and 32% of children who previously considered themselves ‘inactive’ increased their activity levels after the return of this fun, live action game in 2021.

• Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is challenging all Wiltshire residents to the fifth year of the Waste-Free Feb challenge. Last year saw 250 residents save four tonnes of rubbish from going to their bins. The challenge at hand here is to try to produce as little rubbish as possible and instead reduce, reuse, recycle and compost where possible.

• It’s so lovely to be starting snowdrop season now and Lydiard Park and The Lawns in Old Town are great places to find them in Swindon. Did you know that snowdrops can often be found in graveyards because monks first brought them to this country from Europe in the late 16th century and planted them in monastery gardens? It took them about 200 years to become a wild plant and our common wild snowdrop is called Galanthus nivalis. Victorians also planted them extensively on graves as a symbol of eternal life. And snowdrops planted in ‘holy ground’ or graveyards have been undisturbed and able to flourish ever since. Please send photos and locations of your favourite snowdrop spots to penny@pennypost.org.uk to add to our local snowdrop guide here.

• If you would like to donate to the Swindon Food Collective they have multiple drop-off points in Swindon but you can also drop them off at The Royal Oak in Bishopstone. They are Swindon’s food bank and welcome donations of non-perishable food items and toiletries including tinned foods, squash and long life juice, toothpaste, soap, washing up liquid, pet food. Financial donations are also very welcome to help cover operating costs including our essential warehousing, staff, insurance and transport.

• Swindon Big Knit at the Orbital make blankets for the homeless. If you would like to knit squares or help sew them together please sign up to their newsletter here.

• Unfortunately, due to the rise in Covid cases in Swindon, General Practices have been having to cancel appointments as doctors are falling ill. Telephone appointments are being offered as an alternative, you can find more information here in the full article from Swindon Advertiser to see whether your GP has been affected.

• And following shortages of staff, it has been revealed that recycling bin collections are being halted this week as a result of the same problem. I believe we’re all starting to ponder on why Boris hasn’t announced another lockdown to try and support the infrastructure in this country.

• Art collections from The Swindon Museum and Art Gallery will be going on display in three new exhibitions around the borough at Steam Museum, the Civic Offices and Highworth Museum as part of the “Art on Tour” programme.

• Swindon’s Croft Playgroup is marking the 50th anniversary this year, with celebrations to be set on 14 May from 10am to 11.30am. The group are appealing for as much information as possible on the Croft to help promote the history. If you or someone you know, knows about the playgroup, you can contact them at 01793 512882, at admin@croftplaygroup.co.uk and via Facebook.

• Swindon’s Bus Company has helped revive a playground at Westlea Primary School for the pupils to enjoy more outside learning. The company offers two applications per year to help fund projects up to £500. See here for more.

• Commuters please note that GWR have announced that the train timetable changes due to be in place until January 23 will now remain in place while crew shortages continue due to the ongoing Omicron crisis.

• The Swindon Hub is the host of a new international Pop Art exhibition titled Dedications to Pei. The artworks on display were inspired by Italian artist, architect and photographer Pei Pegata. The Hub will be open between the usual hours from Tuesday to Saturday.

• Swindon Borough Council has advised the public on how to stay safe and other information during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations here.

• Sustainable Shrivenham thanks their supporters on the White Horse Lottery which brings them £728 a year. If you would like to support to their goal to set up and run an actual Sustainable Shrivenham Hub (ideally in the ex-Lloyds Bank premises in the High Street) and be in with a chance of winning prizes and cash, please buy your tickets here.

• Follow the progress on the plans to save The Oasis on Twitter at @SaveOasis and on the Save the Oasis’ FB page.

• You can click here to see Swindon Council’s web pages devoted to its town-centre regeneration programme.

• Click here for details of Covid lateral flow tests in Swindon.

• Click here for information from Swindon Council about how Coronavirus is affecting its services as well as other useful information.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Fri 4 Feb RWB Arts Festival Highlights Concert 2022 at Wootton Bassett Memorial Hall.

• Sun 6 Feb Stacey Dooley at Wyvern Theatre.

• Sat 29 Jan Aldbourne Band in Concert 7pm Immanuel Church, Upham Road, Swindon.

• Regular events

• Visit the What’s On Swindon Guide Facebook page to keep up to date with what’s on in and around Swindon.

• Total Swindon expresses a range of local events taking place in and around Swindon, see here for a full list of those.

• North Dorcan’s Senior Citizen Club has restarted and now meets on Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm at St Paul’s Church. More information can be found on this Facebook post or call Dot Crook on 01793 824572.

 Art History Talks are being held on Zoom from the end of 2021 to the start of 2022. See Faringdon Art Society’s page for further details.

• Click here for a brief overview of Swindon’s museums from Swindon Link.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• For information about Swindon Borough Council, please click here. For details of the various council and committee meetings, please click here. To see the dates of future Council meetings (including committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council took place on 10 January and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Watchfield Parish Council took place on  14 December and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council took place on 9 December and you can download the minutes here. There have also been a couple of extraordinary minutes since then. To see the dates of future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council took place on 6 December and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shrivenham Parish Council took place on 6 December and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council took place on 25 October and you can read the minutes here. There was also an extraordinary meeting on 8 November and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the most recent agendas, please click here.

Swindon area council contacts

Borough council: Swindon Borough Council.

Other councils, each of which covers part of this area: Vale of White Horse District Council and Wiltshire County Council.

Parishes: Royal Wootton Bassett Town CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilShrivenham Parish CouncilWatchfield Parish CouncilWanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council and Ashbury Parish Council.

Thursday 27 January 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 2,855 CV-19 cases in Swindon in the week 17 to 23 January, up 339 on the week before. This equates to 1,181 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 1,002 (926 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner (DPCC) Russell Holland took a trip down to Foundation Park in Swindon to see for himself how the £25,000 of funding was being put to use. He expressed his delight at what he saw, with around 150 children between eight to eighteen years old taking part in free football sessions run by Swindon Town Community Foundation. The sessions are jointly funded by the Premier League and Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), each contributing £25,000 to the PL Kicks programme, which (by providing community activities, workshops and football sessions) aims to reduce any risk of children being exploited or caught up in crime and improving overall community safety.

• Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is challenging all Wiltshire residents to the fifth year of the Waste-Free Feb challenge. Last year saw 250 residents save 4 tonnes of rubbish from going to their bins. The challenge at hand here is to try to produce as little rubbish as possible and instead reduce, reuse, recycle and compost where possible.

• If you would like to donate to the Swindon Food Collective they have multiple drop-off points in Swindon but you can also drop them off at The Royal Oak in Bishopstone. They are Swindon’s food bank and welcome donations of non-perishable food items and toiletries including tinned foods, squash and long life juice, toothpaste, soap, washing up liquid, pet food. Financial donations are also very welcome to help cover operating costs including our essential warehousing, staff, insurance and transport.

Swindon Big Knit at the Orbital make blankets for the homeless. If you would like to knit squares or help sew them together please sign up to their newsletter here.

• An unfortunate yet realistic take on Swindon has been branded across the front of Swindon Advertiser: “If I didn’t live here I wouldn’t come to Swindon, nothing’s like it used to be”. After a recent request by the Advertiser, the public’s views were sought regarding the empty shops. Most people claim it was empty before and are sick of seeing vape shops and one pound stores. There is to be a £100m investment into the refurbishment and upkeep of Swindon town centre which will hope to be the facelift Swindon needs.

• Art collections from The Swindon Museum and Art Gallery will be going on display in three new exhibitions around the borough at Steam Museum, the Civic Offices and Highworth Museum as part of the “Art on Tour” programme.

• A burst water mains on Thames Avenue at the junction with Blunsdon Road Tuesday morning resulted in a huge new “water feature” as it was put here. A spokesperson has told the Advertiser that it will be fixed in a few days.

• Swindon’s Croft Playgroup is marking the 50th anniversary this year, with celebrations to be set on 14 May from 10am to 11.30am. The group are appealing for as much information as possible on the Croft to help promote the history. If you or someone you know, knows about the playgroup, you can contact them at 01793 512882, at admin@croftplaygroup.co.uk and via Facebook.

Commuters please note that GWR have announced that the train timetable changes due to be in place until January 23 will now remain in place while crew shortages continue due to the ongoing Omicron crisis.

• This is the final opportunity to express your thoughts as Swindon Borough Council is contemplating the implementation of CCTV in the back of taxis. Members of the public will have until Monday 31 January 2022 to submit their views via an online survey.

• Good news that Coate Water is set to be refurbished with a new children’s play area and some love given to the iconic diving board. As stated by Swindon Link: “if plans applications are successful the Council says it hopes to bring the much-loved landmark back to its former glory this spring”.

• The Swindon Hub is the host of a new international Pop Art exhibition titled Dedications to Pei. The artworks on display were inspired by Italian artist, architect and photographer Pei Pegata. The Hub will be open between the usual hours from Tuesday to Saturday.

• Sustainable Shrivenham thanks their supporters on the White Horse Lottery which brings them £728 a year. If you would like to support to their goal to set up and run an actual Sustainable Shrivenham Hub (ideally in the ex-Lloyds Bank premises in the High Street) and be in with a chance of winning prizes and cash, please buy your tickets here.

• Follow the progress on the plans to save The Oasis on Twitter at @SaveOasis and on the Save the Oasis’ FB page.

• You can click here to see Swindon Council’s web pages devoted to its town-centre regeneration programme.

• Click here for details of Covid lateral flow tests in Swindon.

• Click here for information from Swindon Council about how Coronavirus is affecting its services as well as other useful information.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Fri 4 Feb RWB Arts Festival Highlights Concert 2022 at Wootton Bassett Memorial Hall.

Sun 6 Feb Stacey Dooley at Wyvern Theatre.

• Sat 29 Jan Aldbourne Band in Concert 7pm Immanuel Church, Upham Road, Swindon.

• Regular events

• Visit the What’s On Swindon Guide Facebook page to keep up to date with what’s on in and around Swindon.

• Total Swindon expresses a range of local events taking place in and around Swindon, see here for a full list of those.

• North Dorcan’s Senior Citizen Club has restarted and now meets on Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm at St Paul’s Church. More information can be found on this Facebook post or call Dot Crook on 01793 824572.

 Art History Talks are being held on Zoom from the end of 2021 to the start of 2022. See Faringdon Art Society’s page for further details.

• Click here for a brief overview of Swindon’s museums from Swindon Link.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• For information about Swindon Borough Council, please click here. For details of the various council and committee meetings, please click here. To see the dates of future Council meetings (including committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council took place on 10 January and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council took place on 9 December and you can download the minutes here. There have also been a couple of extraordinary minutes since then. To see the dates of future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council took place on 6 December and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shrivenham Parish Council took place on 6 December and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Watchfield Parish Council took place on  16 November and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council took place on 25 October and you can read the minutes here. There was also an extraordinary meeting on 8 November and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the most recent agendas, please click here.

Swindon area council contacts

Borough council: Swindon Borough Council.

Other councils, each of which covers part of this area: Vale of White Horse District Council and Wiltshire County Council.

Parishes: Royal Wootton Bassett Town CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilShrivenham Parish CouncilWatchfield Parish CouncilWanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council and Ashbury Parish Council.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Marlborough area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Theale area; Wantage area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 20 January 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 1,128 CV-19 cases in Swindon in the week 10 to 16 January, down 1,065 on the week before. This equates to 1,128 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 926 (1,447 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

• 2022 is a special year for Threshold Housing Link as it marks their 50 year anniversary as Swindon’s principal homeless charity providing street outreach, specialist rough sleeper support service and supported accommodation for homeless people.. They are thrilled to announce an exciting new partnership with Swindon Town FC Community Foundation to co-deliver programmes that will deliver social good within the Swindon community.

• If you would like to donate to the Swindon Food Collective they have multiple drop-off points in Swindon but you can also drop off at The Royal Oak in Bishopstone. They are Swindon’s food bank and welcome donations of non perishable food items and toiletries including tinned foods, squash and long life juice, toothpaste, soap, washing up liquid, pet food. Financial donations are also very welcome to help cover operating costs including our essential warehousing, staff, insurance and transport.

• Art collections from The Swindon Museum and Art Gallery will be going on display in three new exhibitions around borough at Steam Museum, the Civic Offices and Highworth Museum as part of the “Art on Tour” programme.

Commuters please note that GWR have announced that the train timetable changes due to be in place until January 23 will now remain in place while crew shortages continue due to the ongoing Omicron crisis.

• Thoughts are being sought by Swindon Borough Council on the implementation of CCTV in the back of taxis. Swindon Borough Council’s consultation will run for eight weeks and members of the public will have until Monday 31 January 2022 to submit their views via an online survey.

• Good news that Coate Water is set to be refurbished with a new children’s play area and some love given to the iconic diving board. As stated by Swindon Link: “if plans applications are successful the Council says it hopes to bring the much-loved landmark back to its former glory this spring”.

• Residents are being reminded that during January, people who have extra recycling which won’t fit into recycling boxes are able to use other sturdy containers from their homes that will then be collected. This goes alongside the real Christmas tree recycling offer from the council which will last until 31 January. See here for the whole post from the council.

• Sustainable Shrivenham is asking that people join its volunteer list to help find items for the hub, join a cleaning party for the day, donate time to help run events, put up posters, post flyers or even make tea for an afternoon of working.

• Follow the progress on the plans to save The Oasis on Twitter at @SaveOasis and on the Save the Oasis’ FB page.

• You can click here to see Swindon Council’s web pages devoted to its town-centre regeneration programme.

• Click here for details of Covid lateral flow tests in Swindon.

• Click here for information from Swindon Council about how Coronavirus is affecting its services as well as other useful information.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Fri 21 Jan 80s Mania at Wyvern Theatre.

Sun 23 Jan Circus Of Horrors at Wyvern Theatre Theatre Square, Swindon.

• Sat 29 Jan Aldbourne Band in Concert 7pm Immanuel Church, Upham Road, Swindon.

• Regular events

• Visit the What’s On Swindon Guide Facebook page to keep up to date with what’s on in and around Swindon.

• Total Swindon expresses a range of local events taking place in and around Swindon, see here for a full list of those.

• North Dorcan’s Senior Citizen Club has restarted and now meets on Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm at St Paul’s Church. More information can be found on this Facebook post or call Dot Crook on 01793 824572.

 Art History Talks are being held on Zoom from the end of 2021 to the start of 2022. See Faringdon Art Society’s page for further details.

• Click here for a brief overview of Swindon’s museums from Swindon Link.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• For information about Swindon Borough Council, please click here. For details of the various council and committee meetings, please click here. To see the dates of future Council meetings (including committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council took place on 9 December and you can download the minutes here. There have also been a couple of extraordinary minutes since then. To see the dates of future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council took place on 6 December and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shrivenham Parish Council took place on 6 December and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Watchfield Parish Council took place on  16 November and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council took place on 8 November and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council took place on 25 October and you can read the minutes here. There was also an extraordinary meeting on 8 November and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the most recent agendas, please click here.

Swindon area council contacts

Borough council: Swindon Borough Council.

Other councils, each of which covers part of this area: Vale of White Horse District Council and Wiltshire County Council.

Parishes: Royal Wootton Bassett Town CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilShrivenham Parish CouncilWatchfield Parish CouncilWanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council and Ashbury Parish Council.

Thursday 13 January 2022

This week’s news

• The BBC reports that there were 3,570 CV-19 cases in Swindon in the week 3 to 9 January, down 805 on the week before. This equates to 1,602 cases per 100,000. The average area in England had 1,447 (1,729 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a more local level to be obtained.

Swindon Advertiser informs residents on Country Road that they could see potential delays or disruptions as the council continues its £6.9 million LED street light project this week. Works are to take place from 7pm to 11pm all week.

• If you would like to donate to the Swindon Food Collective they have multiple drop-off points in Swindon but you can also drop off at The Royal Oak in Bishopstone. They are Swindon’s food bank and welcome donations of non perishable food items and toiletries including tinned foods, squash and long life juice, toothpaste, soap, washing up liquid, pet food. Financial donations are also very welcome to help cover operating costs including our essential warehousing, staff, insurance and transport.

• Any of our readers with little ones going into primary school next September need to have submitted an application for their child’s preferred school by this Saturday 15 January, as reported by Swindon Borough Council.

• A small note here that the Post Office in West Swindon shopping centre has now closed. See here for further information.

• Continuing from that, Royal Mail has issued a response as householders in Swindon and Royal Wootton Bassett are still without mail since last year (that joke sounded funnier in my head). In brief, a spokesperson said: “In the local area, we have been experiencing some delays to service due to high levels of sickness absence and Covid related self-isolation. We would like to apologise to customers for any inconvenience experienced.” See here for the full response on Swindon Advertiser.

• Some historic news from Swindon Link as a Hills Quarry Products’ quarry unveiled Neanderthal hand tools alongside the remains of at least five Ice Age mammoths, marking this as one of Britain’s largest mammoth graveyards. The research team, which received funding from Historic England and was led by archaeologists from DigVentures, believe that both the artefacts and mammoth remains date to around 210,000 to 220,000 years ago.

• In complete contrast, some mythical news as Swindon’s Charlie the Unicorn becomes an instant social media sensation. After Charlie was found in a recycling bin in West Swindon Asda, members of the public have been taking Charlie around the town to help him along with his adventures in a very comedic style. You can see the amusing pictures and keep up to date here on his Facebook page.

• Thoughts are being sought by Swindon Borough Council on the implementation of CCTV in the back of taxis. Swindon Borough Council’s consultation will run for eight weeks and members of the public will have until Monday 31 January 2022 to submit their views via an online survey.

• Sticking with the council, residents are being reminded that during January, people who have extra recycling which won’t fit into recycling boxes are able to use other sturdy containers from their homes that will then be collected. This goes alongside the real Christmas tree recycling offer from the council which will last until 31 January. See here for the whole post from the council.

• Sustainable Shrivenham is asking that people join its volunteer list to help find items for the hub, join a cleaning party for the day, donate time to help run events, put up posters, post flyers or even make tea for an afternoon of working.
• Some fantastic news here from Wiltshire Air Ambulance as it releases the statistics for 2021. The statistics include a total of 1,104 missions of which 653 were by helicopter and 451 were in the Rapid Response Vehicles. See here on the Swindon Link page for more.
• Follow the progress on the plans to save The Oasis on Twitter at @SaveOasis and on the Save the Oasis’ FB page.

• You can click here to see Swindon Council’s web pages devoted to its town-centre regeneration programme.

• Click here for details of Covid lateral flow tests in Swindon.

• Click here for information from Swindon Council about how Coronavirus is affecting its services as well as other useful information.

Not up for the cup this time

Most of Penny Post’s football predictions go wrong so in our preview of this match last week (see below) we avoided making one. Instead we offered the vague hope that some repeat of Swindon Town’s miracle 1969 League Cup run might be in prospect. It wasn’t.

The Robins’ FA Cup journey was perhaps predictably abruptly ended by an emphatic Manchester City side, who beat them 1-4 on 7 January. The third round tie saw a packed-out County Ground, with plenty of hope and excitement. That feeling was dented after 14 minutes as Portuguese international Bernardo Silva scored a well-worked goal. Despite the eventual scoreline, Swindon fans did have reasons to cheer including a second half penalty save from Town’s goalkeeper Lewis Ward as well as a well-taken 78 minute goal from Harry McKirdy. You can re-watch the action on YouTube or via BBC website. The TV revenue may have been compensation for the defeat, given the club’s parlous finances. Fifth in an admittedly tight League Two goves them a realistic chance of the play-offs where perhaps a more realistic Wembley date awaits.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 15 Jan Swindon Nursery Open Day at Little Pioneers Nursery & Pre-school.

Sat 15 Jan January Messy Church at Parish Church of St Augustine of Canterbury.

Sat 15 to Sun 16 Jan The Great Western Wedding Show at STEAM Museum.

• Fri 21 Jan 80s Mania at Wyvern Theatre.

Sat 29 Jan Aldbourne Band in Concert 7pm Immanuel Church, Upham Road, Swindon.

• Regular events

• Visit the What’s On Swindon Guide Facebook page to keep up to date with what’s on in and around Swindon.

• Total Swindon expresses a range of local events taking place in and around Swindon, see here for a full list of those.

• North Dorcan’s Senior Citizen Club has restarted and now meets on Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm at St Paul’s Church. More information can be found on this Facebook post or call Dot Crook on 01793 824572.

 Art History Talks are being held on Zoom from the end of 2021 to the start of 2022. See Faringdon Art Society’s page for further details.

• Click here for a brief overview of Swindon’s museums from Swindon Link.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• For information about Swindon Borough Council, please click here. For details of the various council and committee meetings, please click here. To see the dates of future Council meetings (including committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council took place on 9 December and you can download the minutes here. There have also been a couple of extraordinary minutes since then. To see the dates of future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council took place on 6 December and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shrivenham Parish Council took place on 6 December and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Watchfield Parish Council took place on  16 November and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council took place on 8 November and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council took place on 25 October and you can read the minutes here. There was also an extraordinary meeting on 8 November and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the most recent agendas, please click here.

Swindon area council contacts

Borough council: Swindon Borough Council.

Other councils, each of which covers part of this area: Vale of White Horse District Council and Wiltshire County Council.

Parishes: Royal Wootton Bassett Town CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilShrivenham Parish CouncilWatchfield Parish CouncilWanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council and Ashbury Parish Council.

Thursday 6 January 2022

This week’s news

• Prospect Hospice has teamed up with the charity Just Helping to collect real Christmas trees from homes and businesses in Swindon and the surrounding area for the first time, in return for a donation. The collections will be on 8 and 9 January 2022.

• Some updates on road closures here as the A419 and M4 are to be closed this week. See here for more information from Swindon Advertiser.

• A small note here that the Post Office in West Swindon shopping centre has now closed. See here for further information.

• Any of our readers with little ones going into primary school next September need to have submitted an application for their child’s preferred school by Saturday 15 January, as reported by Swindon Borough Council.

• Thoughts are being sought by Swindon Borough Council on the implementation of CCTV in the back of taxis. Swindon Borough Council’s consultation will run for eight weeks and members of the public will have until Monday 31 January 2022 to submit their views via an online survey which can be found here.

• Sustainable Shrivenham is asking that people join it’s volunteer list to help find items for the hub, join a cleaning party for the day, donate time to help run events, put up posters, post flyers or even make tea for an afternoon of working.

• Follow the progress on the plans to save The Oasis on Twitter at @SaveOasis and on the Save the Oasis’ FB page.

• You can click here to see Swindon Council’s web pages devoted to its town-centre regeneration programme.

• Click here for details of Covid lateral flow tests in Swindon.

• Click here for information from Swindon Council about how Coronavirus is affecting its services as well as other useful information.

1969 revisited for the Robins?

• The FA Cup Third Round kicks off on Friday 7 January with Swindon Town hosting last season’s Premier League champions and UEFA Champions League finalists, Manchester City. The Robins are expecting a sell-out crowd at the County Ground although some fans are still yet to receive their tickets. The club has said that “if by Friday you have not received your ticket, please visit us in STFC Store from 10am-8pm where we can issue a reprint for you” and reminded fans that “you must have ID in order to receive your reprint.”

The two clubs have contrasting fortunes both on and off the pitch. Manchester City’s wealth and success is well-known: Swindon Town, on the other hand, is currently attempting to defend itself from a winding up petition (as reported by SwindonAdvertiser). 71 league places separates the two sides. A glimmer of hope might be shining through for the Wiltshire-based side, as the Citizens will be without star manager Pep Guardiola, assistant manager Juanma Lillo and seven first team players because of “positive (Covid) cases within the City first team bubble.” Unlike many other smaller clubs dreaming of Wembley, Swindon have lifted major silverware. However, one has to go back to 1969 and their unlikely 3-1 victory over Arsenal (who were to win the double two years later) in the League Cup Final. On that occasion, the Gunners partly blamed their defeat on a flu-like bug which had affected their squad – could history be about to repeat itself?

Anyone wishing to watch the match live can do so by tuning into ITV1 for an 8pm kick off or following updates via Swindon Town’s website.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• For information about Swindon Borough Council, please click here. For details of the various council and committee meetings, please click here. To see the dates of future Council meetings (including committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council took place on 9 December and you can download the minutes here. There have also been a couple of extraordinary minutes since then. To see the dates of future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shrivenham Parish Council took place on 6 December and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Watchfield Parish Council took place on  16 November and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council took place on 8 November and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council took place on 25 October and you can read the minutes here. There was also an extraordinary meeting on 8 November and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the most recent agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council took place on 1 November and you can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

To see earlier Swindon & Surrounding Area Weekly News columns, please click here.

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Covering: Newbury, Thatcham, Hungerford, Marlborough, Wantage, Lambourn, Compton, Swindon & Theale