The Devizes community will be managing markets, play areas, parks and streetscene services from the spring now a transfer package has been agreed.
The town council has worked with Wiltshire Council on the agreement which will empower the local community to decide how best to provide a range of assets and services for the future benefit of the town.
Under the package Shambles Market and the outdoor market will be part of the transfer which will also include:
- Grounds maintenance
- Responsibility for amenities including parks
- Street scene assets on the highways
- Management of the weekly market
- Management of the Shambles indoor market
- Management of the woodland parks/nature reserves
They will also agree to the transfer of the Market Place car park with all associated conditions being met by the town council. Parking at the Market Place will stop at a date to be confirmed. The space will be converted for community use.
Devizes will also benefit from £480k in Section 106 money for developments in the area. The transfer was agreed by cabinet at a meeting today (15 January 2019).
Richard Clewer, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for corporate services said: “Local communities are best placed to know what will make their towns thrive and this transfer will empower the Devizes community to ensure the future success of the town. We have worked closely with Devizes Town Council to prepare this transfer and I’m sure this will benefit residents.
“We know providing services locally is effective and the transfer of assets to Salisbury in 2017 is a great example of this. We are now looking forward to achieving the same success in Devizes.”
Town Clerk, Simon Fisher said “Devizes Town Council has been working closely with Wiltshire Council to deliver a package of services which is affordable for the Town Council but which will provide real cost savings in the long term for Wiltshire.
“We believe that this decision is the start of a programme that will support local communities to have greater control over services that help shape their towns and we look forward to the challenges and the possibilities this package of transfers will yield for Devizes.”
Town Mayor, Andy Geddes said “This is an important step for both the Town Council and the people of Devizes, bringing control of services and activities closer to where they are delivered and to the community which pays for them. We expect to face some challenges, but are determined to use this as an opportunity to be able to respond better to local needs and priorities and to maintain both quality and value for money.
A number of other town and parish councils are also working with the council on transfer packages this year.