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Town Clerk’s Musing

At the end of last week, along with a representative from our Indies Group, I met with Wessex Water to discuss the next phases of the programme to install the new mains water pipes within the town centre, which will provide clean drinking water. Whilst it is recognised this is vital work and will update our water supply network, not unreasonably local businesses want to be sure that any disruption to the normal flow of people coming in and out of the town centre will be kept to a minimum.  The work Wessex Water has done so far in replacing the water main piping from Sidmouth Street as far as Long Street, we believe has been well managed and Wessex Water’s site manager has worked with local businesses and residents to do what he can to minimise any disruption. It has been explained to Wessex Water that it is essential that local residents are kept informed about the work and you may have already received a letter from Wessex Water, setting out information about the next phase of the work.  If you haven’t then I will summarise it for you.

Phases two and three of the project will see a new water main being laid between the Town Hall and bus island towards the northern end of the Market Place and will be done in sections between March 2024 and May 2024. The new main will be laid under the road, much as has been done in Long Street already and the traffic will be controlled by lights during this phase of the work.  Following this next phase, work will move into the Market Place itself, the High Street, Wine Street, and part of Station Road, but the impact on any traffic for these sections of work should be minimal. There is never a good time for road works we know, and if by way of demonstration, only this week the old water main in St John’s Street burst, causing a disruption to the local water supply as well as requiring traffic management.  If you have any questions about the work, the team from Wessex Water will have a stall on the Market on Thursday 1st February between 9am and 3pm, and again at a drop-in session at the Town Hall, between 4pm and 6pm.  If you aren’t able to meet with Wessex Water in person, you can contact them on 0345 600 4 600 or through their website

It is important to remember that all car parks will be open during the works and by using New Park Street you will keep away from any traffic lights that may be used during the works.  Remember Devizes has a great selection of local businesses that will still be here for you.

You may have read in the Gazette this week, a story about the Market Place and the importance of ensuring the vibrancy of the Town Centre.  Whilst we do need to look at the Market Place, this is not a project that we have plans to start on just yet and before we do, we will want to know what our community thinks the role of the Market Palace should be in our changing towns, and if any change is to be made, what will be the benefit of those changes and is there a business case to do anything. When the council is ready to think about this phase of the town’s history, you can be assured we will be seeking the community’s views on the matter.

In one of my previous musings, I explained that the town council was exploring how it could cut down on its single-use plastic. I also hoped that many within our community would join us on this journey by taking on a New Year’s resolution by signing the “Plastic Free Pledge” which is on our website. The pledge is now live and you can view a list of suggestions as well as tell us what you aim to do or are already doing to reduce your use of disposable plastic. Whether it’s taking a reusable bag when you do your weekly shop or investing in a refillable water bottle, every small action adds up to make a big impact. If you want to know more visit click here.

Town Clerk, Simon Fisher