Back at the end of 2021, many of the town’s residents took part in a town-wide sustainability survey which was designed to act as a bit of a barometer about how concerned the local community were about how sustainably many of us lead our lives and what some of the priorities should be going forward. Based on the wide diversity of responses received, working with the sustainability group, a number of actions were put together to develop strategies on how to improve how we lead our lives more sustainably within the Devizes community. Many of the strategies will take years to deliver, whilst others are more easily achieved and as such, after the first year they have now been ranked as either red, amber or green, with red being no plans developed yet and green being plans on the way to be delivered. There were 13 priorities in all, ranging from planting more trees and more wildflowers, which is flagged as green due to the work undertaken in plating over 130 trees last year, to reducing traffic in the town centre to improve air quality. This is flagged red, as no significant changes have been made and more work is needed on a cohesive strategy that provides an alternative to car use.
Tackling the traffic issues is complex and needs to involve not only Wiltshire Council, the Town Council and partners such as Sustainable Devizes, but also all members of our community. An event in the Corn Exchange on Saturday 1st April called “Keep Devizes Moving” will be an opportunity for you to come and hear about plans for improving cycling and walking infrastructure, transport and air quality. You can also have your say, so make a note in your diary and keep an eye out for further publicity towards the end of February.
Finally, on all things sustainable, Sustainable Devizes are running a “Think Energy Devizes” event in the Corn Exchange this Saturday 28th January to help those who need help with their energy bills and for those who want advice on how to improve their home, so that it uses less energy. This free event will run from 10am to 2pm and you will be able to hear from experts on how to save energy, available grants and low-carbon alternatives.
If you live in East Ward, then a provisional date has been set for the election to agree a new Councillor for the vacant seat. The next stage will be the nomination stage, where those interested in becoming a town councillor will need to seek nominations. In February more information will be available and I will share it as I receive it.
The issue of anti-social behaviour in the town is of concern for a lot of people, the town council included. On Thursday 2nd March, there will be a Market Day drop-in event in the Corn Exchange where representatives for the Police, the Safer Streets Team, Youth Street Workers, Wiltshire Council and the Town Council will be present. In addition, there will be an opportunity to see what the town’s CCTV covers with some live streaming of the town centre. Again, this is another note to put in your diary and drop in if you can.
Town Clerk, Simon Fisher