The Town Council joined with representatives from the police and Wiltshire Council met with residents of Station Road to discuss issues they are having with anti-social motorists.
From the discussion, there is clearly an issue with the noise from spinning wheels, smoke, loud radios and speed, to the extent that many local residents cannot use their gardens in the evening and have to keep their windows closed. There is also a fear factor that cars are travelling at a high speed, even when pedestrians are in the car park. This behaviour goes on at all times of the night and into the early morning and is evidenced by a recent accident on Station Road, where a vehicle travelling at speed hit a lamp column.
Clearly, there is a policing issue here, and they do acknowledge that and have visited the car park 28 times in the last month.
It is clear that a solution needs to be found to this problem which will involve multiple organisations pooling resources to resolve the issue. What is frustrating is that the number of people causing the problem is quite low, but the impact on the community is so large and the cost of dealing with it falls on the whole community.
I received a not unreasonable complaint that our team were recently out cutting grass where we had let it grow wild and it was felt that we were destroying new habitat. As we maintain land around the town, we have to balance the need for the community to use the space, whether it be dog walking or playing, against creating areas that encourage biodiversity. We also know that nature is not neat and for some, the lack of maintenance reflects poorly on the town when visitors see it.
To balance this, there will always be areas that will be cut short, such as the Greens and playing fields, but where we leave the grass to grow, we will still cut areas, especially around the edges and paths through the middle so that we give an appetence. The sites are managed and we hope walkers will use the path leaving the wildlife to enjoy the longer grass.
We have become aware of a campaign to remind the community where their nearest defibrillators are located, so should you need one in an emergency you know where to go. Over the years we have worked with various organisations to ensure there are plenty of defibrillators in the town and as a reminder, they are listed on our website.
If you are ever unfortunate enough to need one, you should always dial 999. The ambulance service has a full list of defibrillators in town and will direct you to the nearest one. We check these units daily, so we can be confident they will work when needed and should one be out of service for the day, then the ambulance service will know that.
Finally, a reminder that Devizes is the first leg of the Queen’s Baton Relay route on 5 July. Starting in the Market Place at 8am, it will take a journey through the town on a horse-drawn dray towards the Kennet & Avon Canal and then travel by boat and on foot down the towpath towards the famous Caen Hill Locks.
People from Devizes and further afield are encouraged to come along, get involved with the celebrations and cheer the Baton on its final journey towards the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Spectating opportunities will be available in the Market Place and along the canal towpath.
Town Clerk, Simon Fisher.