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Town Clerk’s Musing

Before Christmas, we had a number of birds including Swans die in quick succession on the Crammer. At that time, we reported the deaths to DEFRA as they met the criteria for collection. In our conversation with DEFRA, we were advised collection would be made.

However, over the Christmas period, no such collection was ever arranged.

Given the time period and the level of decay that had started to set in, sadly we needed to dispose of the carcasses in line with DEFRA’s guidance. We are pleased that since these initial incidences, there have been no more deaths on the Crammer, but only today have we been made aware that a further Swan has died on the Canal overnight.

We do understand the desire to ensure the birds are fed and are seeking advice from the Wetland Trust on the best way to feed the birds whilst minimising the risk of potentially spreading disease. We are looking to feed the birds ourselves as part of a controlled programme.

Another area we have had to make a difficult decision on is in relation to a circle of trees on Green Lane. Our original plan was to undertake extensive surgery to the trees, but following conversations with both our Arboriculturist and the Tree officer, it was agreed that the now poor condition of the trees which will require more and more work needing to be done to them is signalling their end of life. We have therefore decided that in the interest of public safety, it is time for them to be replaced. It is never easy making these decisions even when it is the most practical thing to do as we know they are used by birds for roosting and are a landmark feature of the area. Morally and legally we need to replace the trees with new species and ones that are more suitable to the location so we will be talking to local residents later in the year about this.

As we are in a Coronation year this year, you will be pleased to hear we are already in the planning stage of organising a great community event for the town centre. It’s too early to give too many details yet but we are confident it will be a great day.

Later in the year, we will be hosting guests from our twin Towns of Mayenne in France and Waiblingen in Germany. It is a great way to make new friends, share cultural experiences and join in community events. Don’t believe language is a barrier as my French is rudimentary at best, but when I visit my hosts in France we always get by with the use of technology and translation dictionaries and soon discover that the hopes and fears we have for our communities, families and work are very much the same and often our solution on how to put them right don’t differ that much either. If you would like to know more about how to get involved with twinning email .

Following the untimely death of Councillor Jane Burton, we have been left with a casual vacancy that the council will want to fill. It takes ten electors’ requests and an election which is done by writing to the Returning Officer at Wiltshire Council.

Finally, now that the memory of Christmas is fading fast and we have passed the 12th night, we haven’t forgotten about the festive decorations and our contractors will be back early next week to remove them which will set us firmly on the journey through 2023.

Town Clerk, Simon Fisher.