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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Devizes Community Hub and Library, 25 Sheep Street, Devizes, SN10 1DJ

Contact: Tara Shannon  Democratic Services Officer

Note No. Item




To welcome those present to the meeting.


The Chairman welcomed those present to the meeting.


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence had been received from Cllr Anna Cuthbert, Police Inspector Chris Martin, Devizes Fire Station Manager Andy Green, Head teacher of Devizes School Phil Bevan, Cllr Nigel Carter of Devizes Town Council.



To approve and sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 19 March 2018.

Supporting documents:




To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 19 March 2018.


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.



There were no declarations of interest were received.



Chairman's Announcements

To receive the following announcements through the Chairman:


·         The Big Pledge 2018

·         Becoming a Foster Carer

Supporting documents:


The Chairman made the following announcements:


·         The Big Pledge 2018 was to return on 14 May, the meeting was encouraged to sign up on The Big Pledge website to undertake sport or activities to complete ‘active minutes’, with the possibility of winning a Fitbit or trophy for the most active team.

·         The Salisbury Recovery was going well and Salisbury was to host the grand final of the elite cycling OVO Energy Series Tour on 31 May 2018. Free Parking hours had been adjusted to after 12pm weekdays and all day on the weekends.

·         Becoming a Foster Carer – Cllr Laura Mayes introduced this item which included a written report in the agenda pack and a video. Cllr Mayes explained that Wiltshire Council is keen to recruit Foster Carers.

Members of the public expressed concern regarding Unitary Councils overspending on Social Care and using reserves. Cllr Whitehead explained that Wiltshire Council was not overspending but rather had been making savings. Reserve money had not changed much as some years reserves were used but other years monies were paid back into reserves.  

In response to questions regarding the level of Wiltshire Council reserves, now at 4%, compared to other Councils, Cllr Whitehead stated that although at the lower end of the spectrum, the 4% figure covered free reserves and there are other allocated reserves.






Partner Updates

To receive updates from the following partners:


a.    Wiltshire Police

b.    Fire and Rescue Service

c.    Health Services

d.    Devizes Community Area Partnership

e.    Schools updates

f.     Town and Parish Councils

g.    Devizes Community Area Wellbeing Group

Supporting documents:


Written updates were available in the agenda pack from Wiltshire Police, Fire and Rescue Services and Health Services.


Pip Flowers, Watch Manager Devizes Fire Service gave an update stating that the service had attended 60 incidents between 1 March 2018 and 25 April 2018 and that their 1st appliance is in use approximately 93% of the time. In response to questions from the Chair it was stated that recruitment was acceptable but that they needed younger people coming through.


Market Lavington School gave an update regarding their national citizen service scheme. 56 pupils had signed up to do good works during the school holidays and the scheme was running at capacity. They would work in partnership with Matravers School to run a Satellite 6th Form Centre at Lavington which would offer 9 subjects, with more available at Matravers School. The Board congratulated the school.


Mike Challinor, Older Persons Champion, Devizes Community Area Wellbeing Group gave an update, the Devizes Community Area Wellbeing Day was due to take place on 23 June 2018 and the film club was becoming established and doing well. Devizes Men’s Shed was also doing well, with about a dozen regular members and  regular commissions for bird boxes and bat boxes.



Local Youth Network

·         There are no LYN grant applications.

·         To receive any update on the budget for the coming year.


The next meeting of the Local Youth Network would be held in June, so there would be a full report at the next Area Board meeting.



Update on Electoral Review

Councillor Clewer to update on Electoral Review


The Area Board received a presentation from Cllr Clewer, Cabinet member for Corporate Services, Heritage, Arts & Tourism & Housing about the Electoral Review being undertaken by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, (LGBCE) to determine both the overall number of councillors on the Council, and the pattern of divisions within the Council.


Cllr Clewer explained that the Review was required because 25 Divisions within Wiltshire had a variance from the average in the size of their electorate of more than 10%, and 2 Divisions had a variance from the average of over 30%. In particular Cllr Clewer referred to the current electorate for Devizes and the projected electorate for 2024 along with the projected numbers for 2024 in each Parish.


The Area Board noted that the LGBCE draft recommendations for the number of Councillors for Wiltshire Council had been delayed. Once the draft recommendations had been released there would be a period of public consultation, prior to final recommendations from the LGBCE and Parliamentary approval. The review’s outcome, if implemented, would apply from the next elections in May 2021.


In response to questions Cllr Clewer stated that there were likely to be significant changes to division boundaries in the Devizes Area and that it was possible that the Devizes Area Board membership would go down from 7 Cllrs to 6 Cllrs. Members of the public and parish councils were encouraged to take part in the consultation when it starts.



Make Devizes a Makaton Friendly Town

A presentation from Lucy Heasman on the campaign to ‘Make Devizes a Makaton Friendly Town’. Makaton is a simple sign language used by children and people with special educational needs.


Lucy Heasman presented on the campaign to ‘Make Devizes A Makaton Friendly Town’. Makaton is a simple sign language used by children and people with special educational needs or communication difficulties. In order to become ‘Makaton Friendly’ a business would have to learn 30 signs; 20 general ones and 10 specific to their business. In order to become Makaton friendly 30 businesses in Devizes had to sign up and get their certificate. To get the certificate/licence costs the business £50. Interest had been received from about 45 businesses so far as well as from 2 national  Makaton tutors and 1 regional Makaton tutor. Lucy needed support to promote the idea, to recruit tutors to teach people Makaton and to find rooms to rent for sessions. The Area Board and the Town Council were very supportive and stated that they would help with venues. The Area Board advised that Lucy could attend the Business Forum which may help in recruiting businesses, and that the Board may be able to offer grants to cover the cost of the licence.



Waste Services Presentation

A presentation from Waste Services regarding service changes.


Vicki Harris, Principal Waste Services Officer gave a presentation on changes to Waste Services. From 30 July 2018 waste services would change to include more recycling; you would then be able to recycle plastic posts, tubs and trays, drinks and food cartons in your blue lidded bin along with the usual plastic and cardboard. These changes would help Wiltshire Council to meet their target of recycling 50% of waste by 2020. Hills Waste is the new provider of this service. These changes would help to save energy, reduce costs and reduce landfill.


In response to questions from the audience Vicki advised that;

·         Collection days will not change.

·         They are always aiming to improve the service offered and will work with the new provider Hills to achieve this.

·         Members of the public could sign up for a newsletter on the Wiltshire Council website to be kept up to date with service changes.

·         It was stated that although we have reduced the amount of waste going to landfill from 60% to 20% there are no exact figures of the savings this has made. Although the percentage of recycling has gone up the overall amount of waste collected generally has also gone up and the cost of managing that waste has increased.

·         The provider was changed to Hills after they were assessed both economically and for the service they offered. Cllr Whitehead stated that Hills won the procurement process scoring for cost and quality.

·         It was stated that you should not mix your recycling as you are able to do at Household Recycling Centres, as these were run by a different provider who managed the waste differently.

·         Contractors at Recycling Centres were committed to helping customers as necessary.

·         They are working towards using the black box just for glass in the future.

·         Hills process the waste that is collected and it is split into different items and then sent around the world to be recycled. The Council receives an income share if there is one although normally we have to pay for the service.

·         The Environment Agency is responsible for checking the  recycling service.




Update on Plans for Windsor Drive Works

Councillor Whitehead to update on the planned works for Windsor Drive.


Cllr Whitehead presented plans for the upcoming Windsor Drive works. Windsor drive was used as a ‘rat-run’ by people bypassing the traffic, as they had priority at the roundabout. The roundabout was to be removed and replaced by traffic lights. A bus layby would also be installed, a no stopping ‘hatched box’ would be introduced at Foley Road and the 30mph limit would be extended.


The works were scheduled to take place in the summer holidays, starting 23 July 2018 for 6 weeks. Temporary traffic lights installed during this time would be manually controlled to react to live traffic situations.


In response to questions Cllr Whitehead stated that the air quality should improve dramatically after the planned works.



Open Floor

Residents are invited to ask questions of their local councillors.


There were several questions from members of the public regarding the closure of the Outdoor Education Facilities Braeside, in Devizes and Oxonwood, in Marlborough.


In response to a question regarding whether Wiltshire Council had lobbied the Government for further funding to support essential services, Cllr Laura Mayes stated that Wiltshire Council always provided enough spaces for children in schools, as this was a statutory requirement. Statutory requirements, including looking after children in care would always be a priority for the council. Braeside and Oxonwood were non-statutory, losing money, and did not provide a modern facility, 70% of Wiltshire schools already do not use the centres. The meeting was advised children would still have access to Outdoor Education from different providers.   


A member of the public stated that they do not agree with the Council costing for repairs to the buildings and that Braeside and Oxonwood returned a £20,000 profit last year. It was commented that children with special education needs benefitted the most from the small set up at Braeside and Oxonwood.  In response to questions it was confirmed that residential occupancy rates were 29% and to keep the centres open would cause a substantial loss to the Council. There had been however a number of expressions of interest from outside providers to run these facilities, these would go to Cabinet on 18 June to determine if any were viable.


In response to a question regarding the process of decision making, Cllr Whitehead and Cllr Mayes stated that every decision is advertised. The decision was advertised as a full Cabinet decision however it had to be held in private (part 2) as staff were involved. The agenda had been publicised and all statutory requirements had been met.


Cllr Whitehead made an announcement regarding parking in Devizes. A meeting had been held with Devizes Town Council regarding the issue and the town council had come back with various suggestions and ideas. A further meeting was to be held. There had been an enormous response to public consultation and people’s views would be taken into account.



Wharf Theatre Update

To receive an update from representatives of the Devizes Wharf Theatre following a grant previously awarded.



A presentation was given by the Chair and Treasurer of the Devizes Wharf Theatre following a grant previously awarded. The Board was thanked for the  grant funding. The theatre had previously been looking very tired and the grant from the Area Board had helped with maintenance and refurbishment. Before and after pictures were shown, detailing the transformation. Membership of the theatre had gone up and ticket sales had also gone up. The theatre was a good resource for people interested in amateur dramatics and also for young people and for lonely people.



Area Board Funding

To consider the following applications to the Community Area Grants Scheme:


·         Devizes Outdoor Celebratory Arts (DOCA) - £5000 for signage, t-shirts and materials;

·         Devizes Cricket Club - £2000 for a new mower.



Supporting documents:


Applications to the Community Area Grants Scheme were considered.


The Chair of the Devizes Cricket Club spoke in support of the application for a new mower.


Graeme Morrison, Community Engagement Manager for Devizes detailed a grant application from Market Lavington Parish Council, for £1,100 to run a steam fair that came in too late for the agenda. However the next Area Board would be too late to grant the funding as the event would have taken place  this application would therefore be considered between meetings.


An update was requested on an application from Devizes Open Doors, a charity that helps homeless people, who are planning to open a night shelter. Graeme Morrison stated that the application had not been completed as yet.


It was resolved to:


Grant Devizes Cricket Club £2,000 towards a new mower with the condition that the club proves some free taster sessions to children who have not played cricket before.


Defer the application from Devizes Outdoor Celebratory Arts (DOCA) until  a representative of DOCA is there to explain the application and speak in support of it.


To note that Graeme Morrison, Community Engagement Manager will use delegated powers to determine the application from Market Lavington Parish Council for £1,100 towards running a steam fair, after consulting fully with the Board.





Community Area Transport Group (CATG)

To consider the update and any recommendations arising from the Community Area Transport Group (CATG).


The last CATG was cancelled and had been rescheduled for 16 May 2018. There would be an update at the next Area Board.



Air Quality

To receive any updates from the Devizes Air Quality and Transport Strategy Group.


In Cllr Cuthbert’s absence Graeme Morrison gave an update from the last Air Quality meeting. The Air Quality group has increased in number. They discussed the transport strategy, the group would be looking at recommendations and would be doing a similar exercise annually. Air Quality projects were looking at doing another phase on towpaths. The Homerun app that the group invested a small amount of money in had been really successful. They were going to try to make the app more fun for people to use to increase take up. The overall trend was that air quality had improved slightly. They were waiting for final figures and Graeme would update the group when he had them.



Urgent items

Any other items of business which the Chairman agrees to consider as a matter of urgency.


There were no urgent items.




The next ordinary meeting of the Area Board will be held on 16 July 2018.


The next meeting of the Area Board was to be held on Monday 16 July, 6.30pm  at Devizes Hub and Library.




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