Just before the Easter break, the Town Council gave out 15 Civic Awards to local people who have volunteered and made a real difference to our community. There are several categories for the awards, including Service to the People, Environment award, Young Persons award, and Community award. Whilst Devizes Town Council promotes and coordinates the awards, it is very much down to the community who is nominated and judging is undertaken by a panel of local people, who are not Councillors. This year’s awards were as usual very mixed and included the recognition of the many years of work undertaken by the former chairman of Opendoors, plus the support members of our community give to the Sidmouth Street Club, which helps those suffering from dementia. Awards were also given to Sustainable Devizes and the Quakers Walk Group for the work they do in helping to protect and enhance our local environment and we also recognised the voluntary work undertaken by a young person to help out at the local Air Training Corps.
The wide variety of arts events in the town is one of the things that helps Devizes stand out from many other towns in the area and we are grateful and proud of so many groups that deliver the annual programme of events that we all enjoy. One of the key organisations in the town is DOCA and we are teaming up with them to create a community hub for artists and art-based organisations, which will provide a collaborative space, where artists share ideas and skills. We are very much looking forward to developing this project and we hope this will provide a springboard for our local artistic talent to showcase their work.
You may have read that we have now taken back the 7-day operation of the Shambles. For many years the Shambles was hired out for several days a week by market promoters, with the aim that they would use the building to provide a good variety of stalls. However, over recent years, these hire days have become the day that we have seen a gradual reduction in the number of stalls, therefore following discussion with traders, it was generally felt it would be better if the Council took over full control of the building and after making a case at a recent meeting, it was agreed that from the beginning of April, all bookings would come through the Town Hall.
Over the Easter weekend, Hillworth Park saw some highs and lows with a great event during the day and vandalism at night. The lovely weather we enjoyed on Easter Sunday saw hundreds of people visiting the park to take part in the annual Easter egg hunt, with nobody going home disappointed and no doubt eating more chocolate than they should. Over the weekend we also had a break-in at the café and whilst nothing was stolen, there was quite a lot of damage caused. Thanks to the new CCTV system in the park and its link to the wider town system, our local CCTV team was able to track those involved throughout the town and they were identified and later arrested.
Finally, we have just started a new consultation exercise and we want to hear what local residents and businesses think about Devizes and what we, as your Council, need to do in the future to benefit our community. We have teamed up with a market research company called Common Places, but anything you say will only be shared with us. Whilst there is an option to give an email, so we can keep in contact with you, don’t feel you need to, as we want for you to tell us what is important to you and what you think we should be doing and not knowing who you are does not listen to the importance of what you have to say.
You can visit the consultation site by clicking here.
Town Clerk, Simon Fisher