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Town Clerks Musing

Tourism, be it visitors staying or day visitors is a vital element of our local economy and whilst we work with organisations like Visit Wiltshire to make sure those who are thinking of spending some time in the South West have Devizes on the list of places to visit, we want to make sure we are doing all we can to promote the town to as wide an audience as possible.  We are currently reviewing our tourism plan and to do that we need to go back to fundamentals by understanding both what we as a town have to offer visitors as well as ensuring how we promote that the town aligns with what potential visitors are looking for when it comes to going out for the day or staying away for a few days. We have put together a short community questionnaire which we hope will help shape this plan and will help us better understand what you would be looking for if you were planning to go away for a few days and see a town and how we would meet those needs. We won’t be doing this work alone, as we have already started to talk to businesses that supply goods and services to develop a local tourism partnership. Complete the questionnaire. 

Over the last couple of weeks, our park’s team has been planting over 120 trees across the town, in public areas, car parks, and along road verges.  The work falls within our Greening Devizes campaign, which seeks to plant over 100 new trees each year as well as replace any that we have had to take down.  A big thank you to those members of our community who have helped find locations for these trees.  Our next campaign will be “No Mow May”. Whilst we won’t be letting all our areas go wild, places such as the Green, Hillworth Park, and playing fields will continue to be cut, but we will be leaving strips of uncut grass, so these areas can be monitored for wildlife.

If you have any comments about highway issues where you live or more generally across Devizes, why not come along to the “Highway Matters” meeting at Needham House in Victoria Road on Monday 26th February starting at 6pm where Councillors and colleagues for Wiltshire Council will be giving a brief presentation on highways issues to provide some context on the work and strategic direction of the council in this important area; however,  the majority of the sessions will be dedicated to answering questions from people sent in by email in advance or in attendance.  Questions can be on road safety, air quality, speeding and congestion.

You may have heard that the centre of Devizes between Southgate Roundabout and Brewery Corner is due to become a 20mph zone.  I met with one of our local highway engineers this week to better understand the timetable for the implementation of this change and as I understand it, it will be introduced soon after Easter.  As part of the work, there will be warning signs as you go into the 20mph zone and these will be supplemented with repeated 20mph signs along the road.

This week the town council considered a request by Devizes Eisteddfod for further support for their annual events, which promote participation in performing by young people. The Town Council recognises that we have a wealth of young people within our community who have exceptional skills in Music, Speech, and Drama, therefore, it’s important that we support the organisers of the Eisteddfod to encourage local schools and individual teachers to promote performance for young people, therefore it will be providing our venues free of charge for their events.  For more information about how you could put someone forward for the Eisteddfod, visit their website  https://www.devizes-eisteddfod.org.uk/