Monday night at Devizes Hub saw the last area board meeting of this financial year. With a large audience to hear proceedings, the majority of the night was taken up with finding out about the future of Devizes Market Place.
It’s only days away until Devizes Town Council takes over the ownership and running of the market place, the Shambles and other assets around town on the 1st April. There have been fears amongst the community about what will happen to the market place, especially parking, once Devizes TC take over the running of it. The town council would like to see the space better used for community events. A popular petition about this subject called on the area board to discuss the matter at this meeting and the views of residents was clearly put across by local traders. These included changes to the free parking status on the market place, the numbers of car parking spaces and how long people could stay in them, along with the need for better enforcement by wardens.
Devizes Area Board and the town council both accepted these concerns. Some of them were addressed by the town council in the presentation they gave on their ideas for the market place. They were very clear that nothing had been agreed yet and that they would be carrying out wide consultation on these ideas. This would include focus groups made up of different stakeholders and a survey of residents that would include options on the use of the space and how parking might change. These focus groups will take place very soon and once analysed, those finding will feed into the wider consultation.
Being the final meeting of the financial year, there were plenty of grant applications to be decided and were made up of seven applications to the Local Youth Network, another seven requesting capital funding and two more that will support older people’s health and wellbeing. After hearing short presentations from all the applicants, Devizes Area Board awarded all the funding requested. This amounted to a very impressive £39,500!