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Town Clerk’s Musing

This week I attended the Sustainable Devizes AGM and heard a talk from Peter Macfadyen a former Councillor in Frome Town Council and the leader of the Flatpack Democracy movement.  It was a fascinating talk and as you can imagine there was much lively debate afterward.  Flatpack democracy is a particular take on how a council is made up of elected members, and as town clerk, it would be quite wrong for me to express any view on that other than to say it is my role to work and support all elected members of any admiration; however, what my take away key message was local councils are for local people.  At a town council level we are seeing the tide of centralisation is turning and local decision-makers are now much more accountable and in control of local decisions and as such, I feel that Devizes Town Council is at the forefront of that, but it’s important that we have elected members who are empowered to make decisions and those decisions are based on community needs and aspiration,  therefore I would strongly urge all of us who live in Devizes to take part with any consultation that is asking about our town so our voices are heard.

Changes in the way Devizes and indeed the whole of Wiltshire is promoted as a tourism destination is about to change and the town council has been clear that it wants to do all that it can to make sure Devizes remains visible as a great place to visit and stay.  To better understand the changing needs of tourists, we will shortly be launching a short consultation seeking views on what our community thinks are the most important elements of Devizes as a tourist destination so that these can be effectually promoted. Keep your eyes on our social media links for more information.

On Sunday 4th February Cycle Friendly Devizes is holding an organised bike ride from the Market Place through town ending up in Hillworth Park, where cyclists will be able to relax and eat a packed lunch if they have brought one.   The ride is called Kidical Mass and is a family-friendly bike ride that promotes cycling as an enjoyable, low-cost, sustainable means of transport to get around town and will hopefully provide some confidence for those who leave their bike in the shed, as they don’t like the thought of cycling in traffic.  The ride starts in the Market Place at 11am and I plan to join the ride, shorts and all!

If you have something you would like to get off your chest about any aspect of Devizes, good or bad, Town Councillors are always keen to chat about it.  On Saturday 10 February, we will be running our first Councillors Roadshow of the year between 10am-1pm in the Market Place. The roadshow is an opportunity for you to meet councillors who are all local residents and ask them any questions you may have about the town council and the services it runs. Don’t worry if it’s raining, as all they will do is move into the Shambles so everyone can stay dry, so why not take the opportunity to pop into town, browse the shops, say Hi to a Councillor or two, then treat yourself to a coffee in one of our great coffee shops.

Town Clerk, Simon Fisher