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Hotels are getting ready to re-open

With the governments announcement that Hotels can begin to re-open from the 4th July 2020, work is starting to get busy again.

We will be getting ready to complete a Wireless network installation for a hotel in Hertfordshire that was mid-way through a refurb in the next few days.

Free Wifi

Tomorrow we will begin to power up some systems at another hotel where we manage their infrastructure, ready to bring the network and server estate back online.

Away from hotels we have a group of 10 gyms who want to be able to live stream their classes both inside their gyms and also to the wider public. We are working on integrating into their Signage Live digital signage to make this possible at each of the sites, and link to youtube for live broadcast.

I have responded to an enquiry from a local Swindon school looking to upgrade their existing aging Ruckus Wireless network. Once we have floor plans we can map out existing, and make a proposal for new Access Points. We will also review their switching infrastructure.

The first task for tomorrow will be to open up and retest all the equipment for the managed offices in Leeds, where we have Zoom Rooms conferencing installation to complete.

When your life has flashed before you

It was Thursday the 18th June 2020. A week to the day after my birthday. It was 6am, and I was up and ready for a Zoom Rooms video conference installation up in Leeds. I was leaving early so I could get there and get back in decent time.

I put all the equipment in the car, and took the normal route out towards Leicester where I could catch the M1 North.

Following an Audi, and a lorry for a couple of miles the road opened up to 2 lanes near Stow on the Wold. The Audi in front went past the lorry and I followed. It was wet and raining. The Audi pulled in front of the lorry and I did not wish to continue past as the road would narrow back to a single lane shortly. I maintained my position in lane 2 as the Audi and I pulled away from the lorry slowly.

All of a sudden the Audi aqua-planned, braked hard and was in my lane. I had no where to go as he swerved into me, sending me across the road through the oncoming lane, and straight into a telegraph pole. The car tipped as it hit the curb, and rolled into a wall.

As everything went quiet I realised I was upside down. I could hear the wipers going. I somehow thought I should switch them off, so I did. I pressed the ignition button to turn the car off. I cannot recall if the engine was running or not.

All of a sudden I heard a female voice. I could only see out of the passenger window, but there was no one there. It was the onboard computer, which had opened a call to the BMW control centre. The car had sent my location, and help was on the way. She asked me how I was, where I was, and which services I needed. I recall just saying “send everyone I am upside down”.

Another voice, this time a male. I saw a face at the passenger door. It was the lorry driver and he had also called 999 and told me to stay still as help was on the way.

I was in agony hanging from the seatbelt. I unbuckled it and fell into the roof of the car. My legs still suspended in the footwell of the car. My right leg wedged into the steering wheel.

There was some blood, and I was hurting all over. I could move most of my body though. A lady appeared at the passenger door and said just stay still. The fire brigade arrived first. Unbeknown to me at the time around 20mins had passed since the accident. Police and Ambulance arrived soon after. The fire brigade had secured the car to stop it from rolling over anymore, as it was wedged against a tree, but on top of a small Cotswold Stonewall.

The paramedics asked about my back, where I could feel pain etc. They did feel down my back and again said just stay still. By this time I had manoeuvred myself out of the footwell and was almost on my hands and knees sat on the inside of the roof.

Time passed, the fire brigade covered me in a thick sheet and begun cutting the passenger door open. I don’t know how long this all took, but I am told by the paramedics it took them around 20mins to secure and open.

Once the door opened a gush of fresh air came in, hitting me in the face hard. My life had flashed before me. I crawled to the opening and with the help of a couple of fire men, climbed out. Everyone stood shocked and amazed. None of them expected me to be able to do that. The paramedics were unsure, but they quickly put me onto a board and in the ambulance strapped me down. They begun assessing me. The police came and and asked for my details. They took my license, and they breathalysed me. Of course I had not been drinking so I was all clear.

Some more time passed in the ambulance. I don’t really know how long. Cheltenham hospital which was the nearest did not have an open A&E dept. It had closed a week earlier. Remember we are in the middle of COVID19!

So it was a 45 min drive to Gloucester hospital. Through the journey, I was feeling more and more pain all over. Once we arrived I was greeted by a nurse putting a mask on me, and checking my temperature, before we could enter the trauma unit.

More tests, bloods were taken, body parts were being checked and some pain killers administered. I had a whole host of scans all which showed no broken bones or serious injury.

How did I survive? How did I not get injured. Everyone I spoke to said seeing the car they were expecting the worst case. scenario.

To walk out of hospital a few hours later is a pure miracle. I have cuts, bruises, aches and pains, but I am alive. I am not sure how but I am.

Casterbridge Road Traffic Regulation Order – Double Yellow Lines

Back in July 2019 Cllrs Faramarzi, Davies and I wrote to residents following ongoing complaints about parking on a section of Casterbridge Road.

Following this consultation, and the majority in support, the scheme has now progressed to final consultation on the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO).

Copies of this are being sent to residents in the area.

This is the final opportunity to share your views.

If approved the scheme as outlined in the image will go ahead.

If you would like to submit feedback you can do so to vmanro2@swindon.gov.uk

Calls for even more action to tackle speeding on Thamesdown Drive

“Speeding along Thamesdown Drive and other roads is something which concerns many residents in Priory Vale and surrounding areas, myself included. 

In the summer of 2019 Swindon Borough Council Highways undertook some traffic monitoring following Councillors requests and in response to residents concerns.

I recall discussing some of the police enforcement action from 2019, and was surprised at the high percentage of those stopped for speeding being local residents from Priory Vale, St Andrews, Haydon Wick, Blunsdon. 

The results highlighted a low percentage of issues, given the high traffic volume which uses the road daily. However, it did bring about some changes to traffic light timings to assist with improved traffic flow.

I continue to work with PCC Angus MacPherson and Wiltshire Police to push for proportionate responses to speeding and red light jumping on Thamesdown Drive.

Our local officers in North Swindon and the Traffic Team are doing a fantastic job to address concerns. I fully support the increased enforcement on Thamesdown Drive.”


Post Office cash delivery offer is not a hoax, confirms Swindon councillor

An offer to deliver cash to vulnerable people who have to totally shield themselves is genuine, a Swindon councillor has confirmed.

The Department of Work and Pensions has contacted a number of people, mainly elderly or vulnerable, telling them the Post Office can make deliveries of cash to its card account customers who are in quarantine – about 27,000 people in England.

Account holders are being contacted by the DWP and can arrange for their pensions or benefits to be delivered by post the next day.

With fraudsters reportedly trying to take advantage of the lockdown crisis, a number of Priory Vale residents contacted their councillor Vinay Manro.

Coun Manro said he had checked and it is a genuine offer.

He said: “Vulnerable Post Office customers who need to shield during Covid-19 pandemic can have their pensions and benefits payments delivered in cash to their homes.

“Thank you for the Post Office, our local postmasters, and their teams for their continued hard work to support our communities”


Point to point Wifi at local farm

Today we planned and installed a point to point link.
It is only a short one, but from the planning stage, we wanted stability over speed, so only went with 40Mhz channel width, which would reduce throughput from 600Mbps+ down to 300Mbps. This speed would be ample for the required application.

Upon installation, we hit the expected speeds with only minor tweaks. A consistent 300Mbps capacity up/down over the link.

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No photo description available.

New electric vehicle charging points to be install at Orbital Shopping Park.

British Land are planning to install some additional electric vehicle charging points over at Orbital Shopping Park.

2 units (4 vehicles) in the top corner of the soon to be Lidl side of the car park, near to McDonalds.

2 units (4 vehicles) in the top corner of the car park opposite Next, by the disabled bays.

3 units (6 vehicles) in the rear car park (customer services hub and gym), by the existing disabled and motorcycle bays.

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No photo description available.

Haydon Farm proposed development refused by planning department S/19/0625

Earlier this year an application for planning was submitted to build homes and offices on part of Haydon End Farm, which is sited between Haydon End Lane, and Casterbridge Road/Lucetta Rise.

The proposed development was for 12 new homes and 2 office units (converting the old barn).

No photo description available.

Having looked at the plans and spoken with local residents, questions and objections were raised.

My comments can be seen in the attached images, along with some of the plans.

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The full plans can be seen  https://pa1.swindon.gov.uk/publicaccess/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=PQF5UHPTG2G00

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Image may contain: text

Now I am glad to see this planning application has been rejected. However, I do not wish to see this land left empty forever, as the farm is no longer operational, it is a good location for houses, whilst keeping a good proportion of green space, the designs must be high quality and sustainable. They should fit with the existing surrounding homes.

I am certain we will see a future planning application for this land, at which point I will once again engage to ensure it meetings planning regulations and fits with the area.

Litter fears raised after bin is removed from bus stop in Haydon Wick

A resident contacted the Swindon Advertiser about a recently removed bin yesterday. The journalist got in touch to ask for my side of the story.

Haydon wick parish council is currently undertaking a bin review across the parish. Some bins are in a state of disrepair, some are too close together and some too far apart.

Part of the review is rationalising the 200+ dog waste bins across the parish, as dog waste is no longer classified as hazardous, so can be placed in a normal bin. We have many locations where a dog waste bin is right next to a normal waste bin, or in very close proximity.

I think this message has not been widely advertised so the parish have been making use of social media to inform our residents that dog waste can be placed in a normal bin, provided it is bagged.

Any bin that is removed is done so on the basis there is another within a few mins walking distance.

Haydon wick parish inspect all 200+ bins daily and they are emptied as required.The daily inspections have played a big part in rationalising the bins in the parish.

The plan is to reduce the number plastic bin bags, and also a lot of stopping and starting of the vans as they are inspected or emptied. This is just a part of the parish reducing its carbon footprint.

Another part of the inspections has shown we need to look at bins with no cover, and look at replacing those with newer ones with lids.


Swindon Advertiser quoting me in regards to a residents planning application, but not quoting directly

I was quoted in the Swindon Advertiser today. It would have been nice if they actually quoted, even partially, what I wrote, or even called to speak with me.

My full comments can be seen published on the public planning portal: https://pa1.swindon.gov.uk/publicacc…/applicationDetails.do…

“I write in reference to planning app S/LDP/19/1756 35 Voyager Drive.

I would like to register the following comments.

Voyager Drive and Apollo Close have limited parking.

Voyager Drive itself is a main through road to other parts of Oakhurst. Parking on this road is not easy and causes issues for passing traffic.

Apollo Close is a narrow and short cul-de-sac. It provides access to a few Voyager Drive residents parking and garages, along with Apollo Close residents.

Having spoken with the residents their plan is to create 2/3 parking spaces in the indicated area on their property, in order to reduce the need for the family to have to park on Voyager Drive or Apollo Close. This will compliment the 2 existing parking spaces the resident has, and make more space available road side to other neighboring residents.

The resident will try to keep some of the more mature green foliage along 2 sides of the area. This is important as we are losing too much green space to development.

I have spoken with some residents in the area and the general view is it will help the parking situation.

I do have the following questions:

Is a dropped curb required to correctly designate this as an off road parking? This could be important in future if there were enforcement action required due to access being blocked.

I would like to see some of the green space retained. I appreciate this is not public land, but when built it was designated as green space on their plot. Can a condition be placed that a percentage of the land remains green space?

I would like to see access to the parking spaces be located so it has minimal impact on others who may need to park road side.

I have attached an image with my thoughts on how best to implement, with minimal impact on other residents, whilst maintaining some green space.

Overall I am in support of the application and see no reason why we should not grant a certificate, provided it meets planning requirements.”