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Calls for better wheelchair access for disabled shoppers

The festive season is well and truly upon us - and with just two shopping weekends until Christmas, disabled rights campaigners are calling for better wheelchair access.

The disability minster, also a Swindon MP, says retailers who don't cater for people who are less able, are missing out on a combined spending power of more than 200 billion pounds.

Matt Price reports.

Appeal for witnesses after two women injured in fight in Wiltshire

Credit: Wiltshire Police

Wiltshire Police are appealing for witnesses after two women were assaulted outside a fast food outlet in Swindon. The incident happened in and around Korky's Grill in Fleet Street on Thursday 8th October 2015 at around 2.45am. An argument took place between a group of women and two women received injuries to their faces.

Local Crime Investigator Hayley Westlake said: "We would like to speak to anyone who may have seen this argument or anything suspicious around this area. We have released a CCTV photograph and would also like to speak to the woman in the green gillet (in a red circle on the photo). If you can help please call me on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."


Poor eyesight causes 3,000 accidents each year

Credit: ITV news

Drivers in Wiltshire are being offered on-the-spot eye tests to ensure they are fit to drive. Police warn some drivers are failing to get their eyes tested regularly putting themselves and others in danger. Poor vision is estimated to cause nearly three thousand casualties on the roads every year.

Currently, drivers of cars, vans and motorbikes are only required to have their eyesight checked once, when they take their driving test, by reading a number-plate. Beyond this, when they hit age 70, drivers must simply declare their vision meets legal requirements. The project is a joint initiative between Wiltshire Sight, Wiltshire Police, Wiltshire Fire & rescue, Wiltshire Council, Swindon Borough Council, opticians Haine & Smith and ROSPA. Organisers say the aim is to highlight the importance of good eye health and getting your eyes tested and to reinforce the message that people need to stop driving if their eyesight is deteriorating and cannot be improved by corrective lenses.

Credit: ITV news

The Campaign coincides with the clock change. Less hours of daylight has been shown to have a significant impact on road traffic accidents, as many journeys become more challenging in the dark whilst people adjust to the reflective glare from on-coming headlights.

The roadshows take place in · Salisbury - outside the Guildhall Tuesday 27th October · Swindon - Wharf Green 29th October

Tributes to motorcyclist who died following crash

Simon Brinkley died following the crash on Wharf Road last week Credit: Wiltshire Police

Friends of a motorcyclist from Swindon who died in a crash last week have paid tribute to him.

Simon Brinkley was pronounced dead at the scene of the collision on Wharf Road, near Wroughton on Thursday afternoon.

"Simon was much loved and respected and will be missed daily. He will never be forgotten as my best friend and comrade in arms. He will always be in our hearts forever. You will always be a part of me. I’ll make you proud as I was of you."

– Wayne Russell

"Simon wasn’t just my friend, for 22 years he was my second brother. He was always smiling and lit up the room when he was around. He touched so many peoples lives and will never be forgotten. He wanted his black belt and given the chance he would have done it. We are completely devastated by his loss. Love you player."

– Marc Russell (Chopper)

"Simon was a great guy with a huge heart, his charisma was beyond epic. He was very helpful with me and others with martial arts and his passion and determination for Jun Fan was awesome. He would always make me laugh and we would have a lot of banter about football."

– Jonny Simpson - Friend from Martial Arts


Wiltshire family get a surprise garden visitor

Credit: Family photo

A Wiltshire family was surprised when they spotted this inquisitive baby otter scurrying around their garden. The secretive creatures usually don't venture away from the safety of the river bank, and are rarely spotted by people. This young animal was seen pottering around the garden in Swindon and sniffing around the homeowner's patio and lawn. The family managed to get a few photographs before the little animal scurried out of sight.

Credit: Family photo

The rare sighting was logged by the Wiltshire and Swindon Biological Records Centre, and manager Purgle Linham said "Otters, despite their fairly large size and occurrence throughout all of Wiltshire and Swindon's waterways, are rarely themselves seen. Once widely hunted, this alongside habitat destruction and pollution of watercourses and fish caused a dramatic decline in their numbers and led to their protection under UK law. Although populations are slowly recovering, otters remain a priority for conservation efforts. More usually, an otter's presence is made known by other signs such as footprints, feeding remains and their sweet-smelling droppings which they regularly leave in prominent positions to mark their territories. It's not clear what brought this individual, likely to be a juvenile, into a garden but the presence of a nearby watercourse and a garden pond may well have had something to do with it as it was probably searching for food. This unusual and very fortunate sighting was reported via our Living Record online recording system, which is a great way to share your wildlife sightings with us. A garden or local greenspace can be a haven for wildlife and if you keep your eyes peeled you might see something amazing or strange or unusual."

Hunt under way after cat found with nine inch kitchen knife in its back

Police want to track down the person responsible for deliberately stabbing a cat with a large kitchen knife in Swindon.

It was found in Spindle Tree Court, Pinehurst this morning sat amongst bushes, with a knife handle clearly seen sticking out of its back.

The cat was found with a knife clearly visible sticking out of its back

Despite this, the it was still able to move around.

After police caught the cat, it was confirmed that a large, nine inch knife had deliberately been driven through its shoulder.

It would appear that this poor cat has been deliberately stabbed... The knife blade was approximately nine inches long with a two inch brown handle and was dragging along the floor as the cat moved.

– PC Jon Mapson, Wiltshire Police

The cat is currently recovering at the local vet, where it was sedated and the knife was removed.

Unfortunately, the cat is not chipped and police are appealing for help to track down the owner.

'Blood donations are so important, transfusions keep our child alive'

Family share their experience of how blood donations have helped them

The number of people donating blood has fallen dramatically across the region. The blood supplies are essential for the health service to save lives, so a campaign has been launched to find a new generation of blood donors.

Figures released by the NHS Blood and Transplant service show fewer than three per cent of us donate regularly. As Caron Bell reports, the organisation hopes more young people will come forward.

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