Agenda and minutes

Devizes Area Board - Monday 5 December 2022 6.30 pm

Venue: Needham House, Victoria Road, Devizes SN10 1FA

Contact: Tara Hunt  Email:

Note No. Item




To welcome those present to the meeting.


The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and invited Members to introduce themselves.


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


There were no apologies from Devizes Area Board Members.


Apologies were received from the following regular attendees:


·       Albert Wooldridge

·       Cheverell Magna Parish Council

·       Councillor Julia Ford, Chair of West Lavington Parish Council

·       Georgina Keily-Theobald (Headteacher, Downlands School)

·       Mark Lascelles (Headteacher, Dauntsey’s School)

·       Simon Fisher (Devizes Town Council Clerk)

·       Steve Dewer (WFC)





To approve and sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 5 September 2022.

Supporting documents:


The minutes of the last meeting were presented for consideration, and it was,




To approve and sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 5 September 2022.


Declarations of Interest

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



There were no declarations of interest.



Chairman's Announcements

To receive the following announcements through the Chairman:


·       Community First update

·       Wiltshire Council Grants for Electric Vehicle Chargers

·       Wiltshire Climate Strategy Delivery Plans

·       Building Bridges, support for unemployed / not in education

·       FUEL Camps: holiday activities and food provision - FUEL programme - Wiltshire Council

·       Temporary Events Notices

·       Wiltshire Families and Children’s Transformation (FACT) – Family Help Project

·       Anti-Social Behaviour Update (follow up from last meeting)

Supporting documents:


The Chairman referred the meeting to the written updates in the agenda pack.


In addition, the Chairman gave a brief update on Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) as the topic was discussed in detail at the previous meeting. Since then, Area Board Members and town councillors had met with officers and the police and were exploring the possibility of a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO). They would look at the geographic areas it could be applied to and where problems might be displaced to. The implementation of a PSPO would be up to Wiltshire Council and resources might be an issue.


The Chairman also announced that the Devizes Twining Associations were coming to Devizes in June 2023.





Partner Updates

To receive updates from the following partners:


·       Fire and Rescue Service

·       Wiltshire Police

·       Healthwatch Wiltshire

·       BSW Together (Integrated Care System) including an update from Dr Richard Sandford-Hill on the Devizes Health Centre

·       Schools updates

·       Town and Parish Councils

·       Sustainable Devizes – Making Devizes Cycle Friendly


Supporting documents:


In addition to the written updates in the pack, the following verbal updates were given:


·       Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service

Station Manager Andrew Laskey gave an update to the meeting. The cost of living crisis had resulted in an increase in people using open fires and candles which could be dangerous. People were encouraged to speak to the service for advice. The service had been working hard to recruit on call fire fighters and quite a few new recruits had been found, which would be positive in terms of crewing appliances. It did create additional demand on existing crews in terms of training the new recruits. Two fire fighters were thanked for their long service, one who had 40 years’ service and one 30 years.


·       Wiltshire Police

Acting Inspector Luke Atkinson gave an update to the meeting, he had been newly appointed to the team and to the acting inspector role. There had been a 13% increase in crime compared to the previous year, this was a national trend and was due to lock down ending. Devizes, along with Pewsey and Marlborough was the safest area in Wiltshire in terms of crime.


There had been numerous reports of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) and a number of arrests had been made. Several older teenagers were on bail. The police were working with partners to put long term interventions in place. ASB was taken very seriously, and they had a zero-tolerance approach.


The staff on the Community Policing Team (CPT) had changed, Inspector Al Lumley had moved on to Swindon and Sergeant Gareth Cole had moved on as well. PC Sarah Hardwidge was now Acting Sergeant. A new Inspector should be in place in January. They team were hoping for an uplift in staff as at present there were 3 community police officers policing 3 towns which was difficult.


The Station Road Car Park closure order had worked well and had been extended until January 2023. Attendees were urged to report any crimes or ASB that they saw.


Street drinkers in the Market Place were an ongoing issue, the police were trying to obtain evidence to help secure a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), however the PSPO process would be council led. If and when one was in place the police would enforce it. 


In response to a question from councillors regarding the removal of the benches in the Market Place, the Acting Inspector felt that the benches should not be put back in as in his many years of experience removal of street furniture did reduce ASB. He stated that they were struggling to police the area without a PSPO in place. However, PSPO’s took time, there were resource implications for the council and there could be issues with where the street drinkers were displaced to.


·       BSW Together, Devizes Health Centre

Dr Richard Sandford Hill gave an update on the Devizes Health Centre. The health centre was complete, and people had started attending the previous week, which he was really  ...  view the full minutes text for item 115.



Cost of Living

To include updates from local organisations whose work covers, or is affected by the rising cost of living, such as:


·       Wiltshire Council

·       Devizes and District Foodbank

·       Warm Spaces – Sustainable Devizes

·       Energy – Sustainable Devizes

·       Housing – Opendoors (Devizes Town Cllr Richard Oliver, Trustee)

·       Business – Cllr Simon Jacobs


Followed by:


·       Group discussions with an emphasis on what the local priorities are and what can be done to help

·       Feedback

·       Open general discussion


Information to support you through the rising cost of living can be found online here: 

Supporting documents:


The Chairman explained how the agenda item would run, with updates from organisations first, followed by group discussions, feedback from groups and then general discussion.


·       Wiltshire Council

Andy Brown, Corporate Director Resources & Deputy Chief Executive (S.151 Officer) gave an update to the meeting highlighting the report in the agenda pack at pages 49-51 which sign posted to various sources of help available, these could also be seen online here. Wiltshire Council itself was also suffering from the cost of living with inflation having been estimated at 4% but now running in double digits. The Council had been coordinating support from government such as the £150 council tax rebates. £2.7 million would be going to those most vulnerable and in need. The household support fund would continue into next year. The Council were looking at using some of its estates such as the libraries as warm spaces and were looking to support businesses, staff and residents.


·       Devizes and District Foodbank

Alex Montegriffo of the Devizes and District Foodbank gave an update to the meeting and highlighted the report at pages 53-56 of the agenda. The foodbank had supported over 1200 people between April and October 2022. The report included details on their support for a cash first approach, such as that used in the household support fund. Many people were really struggling and needed more money. Further details on the cash first approach used by other authorities were given and an indpendent evaluation had stated that this was very successful, people did spend the money on the right things. The hope was that Wiltshire Council would consider adopting this approach more in the future. The Autumn statement which included uprating benefits in line with inflation was welcomed. Warm spaces alone were not felt to be a long-term solution to the issues faced.


·       Warm Spaces Devizes

Graham Martin gave an update to the meeting. In the past community groups had come together to create warm spaces, there were multiple groups, some of which were siloed. No one organisation had the capability or capacity to solve the problem. The scale of the problem was also unknown.


In the present the vision was the community provision of safe, welcoming warm spaces that are open to all. The spaces would provide a warm location, refreshments, companionship and information on how to weather the cost of living crisis. The goals were to:


o   Establish a list of warm spaces that could be communicated to all.

o   Develop and deliver communications about the warm spaces and, collate and deliver information that will assist in weathering the cost of living crisis.

o   Establish the need for volunteers and prepare to recruit if required.

o   A list of warm spaces could be found online here: Warm Spaces Devizes | Devizes Town Council (

o   There was a need for some form of coordination regarding:

§  Information management

§  Feedback from venues

§  Anticipating demand


The future would be challenging, how would community resilience be increased? Adaptable and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 116.



Local Highways and Footpaths Improvements Group (LHFIG)

To consider the update and the following funding recommendations arising from the Local Highways and Footpaths Improvements Group (LHFIG):


·       06-21-11, Rowde A342 - SID Infrastructure: £1,500 (75% of £2,000)

·       6-21-16, Wedhampton – road layout change: £6,000 (75% of £8,000)

·       06-21-12, New Road, Bromham – 30mph repeater signs: £1,875 (75% of £2,500)

·       06-21-13, Devizes, Bus stop clearway: £1,500 (75% of £2,000)

Supporting documents:


Councillor Dominic Muns as Chairman of the LHFIG gave an update to the meeting.


All 13 high priority schemes as detailed below were progressing well:


·       Speed limit review, A342 Lydeway: Works order was being prepared.

·       Speed limit review, A342, Bromham: Recommendations of new 40mph south of Sandy Lane then 50mph to St Edith’s Marsh. Bromham Parish Council were discussing with neighbouring parish.

·       New 20mph limits, various roads, Devizes: Awaiting TRO publication.

·       New warning signage for pedestrians in road, Bromham: New signage installed and work – Completed.

·       High-friction surface to be installed – High Street, Seend: Provisional date of 1st week in September – Completed.

·       Speed limit review, Horton Road: Review is complete and parish council is now in the process of agreeing contributions.

·       New SID sockets & posts, Worton: Parish council working with engineer to confirm the placement of a 5th post.

·       30mph repeater signs for New Rd, Bromham: The work was scheduled for March 2023

·       Bus clearway, Eastleigh, Devizes: Work programmed in – completed.

·       Parking concerns, West Lavington: New double yellows to be installed. Work scheduled into 2022/23 programme.

·       New street lights, Roundway Park, Devizes: Expected implementation in October – Completed?

·       Request for direction signs, Southbroom Centre, Victoria Road: implemented in October – Completed


The next meeting of the LHFIG would take place on 17 January on MS Teams.


Cllr Dominic Mayes, proposed a motion to note the discussions from the LHFIG meeting on 4 October 2022, confirm the progress of the 13 high priority schemes agreed by the LHFIG and confirm the LHFIG’s funding contributions. This was seconded by Cllr Laura Mayes. It was,




·       To note the discussions from the LHFIG meeting of 4 October 2022.

·       To confirm the progress of the thirteen high priority schemes agreed by LHFIG

·       To confirm LHFIG’s contribution to SID Infrastructure in Rowde (A342) : £1,500 (75% of £2,000)

·       To confirm LHFIG’s contribution to road layout change in Wedhampton: £6,000 (75% of £8,000)

·       To confirm LHFIG’s contribution to New Road, Bromham - Request for 30mph repeater signs: £1,875 (75% of £2,500)

·       To confirm LHFIG’s contribution to Devizes – Bus stop clearway: £1,500 (75% of £2,000)


Councillor Muns then gave details regarding a petition received from Lorna McIlroy and residents in Avon and Bath Road requesting traffic calming on Bath Road. It was explained that the best way to progress this was for residents to go to their local town or parish council, who then debate the issue and if in agreement submit a request to the LHFIG, where it is considered.


Cllr Iain Wallis as the resident’s division Member for Devizes Town Council stated that he would raise this with Devizes Town Council to ensure it could be brought forward to the LHFIG.



Air Quality and Sustainable Transport

To receive any updates and consider any recommendations from the Devizes Air Quality and Sustainable Transport Group.

Supporting documents:


Councillor Tamara Reay as Chair of the Air Quality and Sustainable Transport (AQST) Group gave an update to the meeting.


Air Quality

·       A project was taking place to replace the equipment in Sidmouth Street.

·       The Council’s revised air quality action plan was in draft form and would go out for consultation.

·       A bid had been submitted to DEFRA which included the air quality action plan delivery for Salisbury as well bus marketing. A decision was expected early in 2023.

·       Real time data was available via the Air Quality England web site -  


Active Travel

·       Devizes LCWIP draft to be consulted on.

·       London Road “Alternative Route” to be taken to LHFIG by Devizes Town Council and Bishops Cannings Parish Council.



·       A bus survey asking about what services people would like to see in the town was available on-line and in hard copy.

·       A new service should be added by Easter 2023 to serve Lay Wood.

·       Wiltshire Connect should also start operating from March 23 to improve demand responsive services in the Pewsey Vale.

·       £600k was being invested in upgrading real time information particularly in main hubs which includes Devizes town centre.


Car and Bike Share Schemes

·       A survey to assess demand for e-cars and e-bikes in the Devizes area would go live in January 2023.


The next AQST meeting would take place on 9 February 2023, at Devizes Town Council.


It was,




To note the discussions from the ASQT meeting of 3 November 2022.



Youth Updates

To receive any updates on youth work in the area.


Councillor Dominic Muns as area board lead Member for children and young people gave an update to the meeting stating that youth projects in the area were growing. West Lavington Youth Club was doing so well that they had taken on additional staff and were opening a satellite evening in Market Lavington. New projects regarding youth engagement in Devizes were also emerging.


Councillor Muns gave a summary of progress over the past 12 months. The Board had helped to kick start youth clubs in Bromham, Great Cheverell and West Lavington. Parish councils had been supported with new play areas. Sports initiatives had also been supported. A total of £61,000 had been awarded in the past year to support youth work in the area.


Local knowledge of issues and grassroots passion to fix problems created a firm foundation for projects to thrive. Councillor Muns thanked the Board for supporting the projects and expressed thanks to everyone in the community who helped with the projects. 



Health and Wellbeing Group

To receive an update on the Health and Wellbeing group.


To consider the following application for Older and Vulnerable Adults funding:


·       Think Energy Devizes, £300 towards Think Energy Devizes community event.


More details available in the grant report at item 12.



The board considered the application for Older and Vulnerable Adults from Think Energy Devizes for £300 towards a community event.


Lorna Dixon, who had spoken earlier in the meeting regarding Think Devizes and the event gave some more details in support of the application.


Cllr Tamara Reay, seconded by Councillor Kelvin Nash proposed that the grant be awarded in full, it was:




To grant Think Energy Devizes, £300 towards the Think Energy Devizes Community Event.



The application met the grant criteria for 2022/23.



Area Board Funding

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


·       West Wilts Ramblers Work Party, £249 towards equipment and clothing.



Supporting documents:


The Chairman introduced the application for Community Area Grant funding from West Wilts Ramblers for £249 towards equipment and clothing.


Dave Yearsley of the West Wilts Ramblers spoke in support of the application, highlighting that the application would help fund a Stihl battery and blade amongst other items.


Mr Yeardsley also highlighted that he felt footpaths in Wiltshire were not in a good state and that a lack of attention was paid to them. He felt that they should be prioritised more as a cost-effective way to help encourage active travel, work towards carbon neutrality and to increase health and wellbeing. He felt there was also a lack of support for volunteering in this area.


A debate followed, the Board were interested to hear the comments and highlighted that wanting to include footpaths was part of the reason that the Community Area Transport Groups (CATG’s) had changed to Local Highways and Footpath Improvement Groups (LHFIG’s). The Board agreed with his comments on the benefits of footpaths and stated that it was financially difficult for the Council, but it was an important issue. The Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy and LCWIP were also highlighted. Cllr Laura Mayes as Deputy Leader of the Council agreed to take this issue on board and would take it forward outside of the meeting.


At the conclusion of the debate, Councillor Kelvin Nash, seconded by Councillor Dominic Muns proposed that the grant be awarded in full, it was:




To grant the West Wilts Ramblers Work Party, £249 towards equipment and clothing.



The application met the grant criteria for 2022/23.






Open Floor

Residents are invited to ask questions of their local councillors.


The Chairman invited attendees to ask questions of the Board and asked people about the format of the Area Board and whether they had any suggestions regarding the format or agenda items.


Issues raised included bridleways which were also considered as not being fit for purpose but were key routes for active travel from one community to another.


Further comments were made regarding the Bath Road traffic calming petition, explaining that the reason for the petition was that a member of the public had been walking their dog on the pavement on a lead, when a car had mounted the pavement and hit the dog, resulting in the death of the dog. Councillors expressed their sympathy and further explained the LHFIG process.


Dunkirk Hill was raised as another road where there were safety issues. Councillor Wallis as the Devizes Town Council division member for the area had submitted a Highways Improvements Request Form and got this issue onto the Devizes Town Council Planning Committee agenda for 6 December 2022, so it would hopefully be brought forward to the LHFIG for consideration.


A suggestion was received from the audience to make Area Boards hybrid meetings so that people could also join online.


Graham Martin of Sustainable Devizes requested that a future meeting be themed around climate change and climate plans.


Graham Martin also queried the Wiltshire Council policy that cars should not be impeded. Councillors questioned which policy this was included in. Councillor Philip Whitehead stated that there was no car preference policy in Wiltshire and that each case was decided on its own merits.


Keith Brindle of St James’ Church stated that the Board had funded £5,000 towards an intern doing outreach work at Devizes School, who was now being employed full time and was undertaking vital work. He thanked the Board for the funding. A youth group which had been stopped due to the pandemic had been restarted which was good for everyone, particularly the young people it supported.



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 6 March 2023.



The Chairman thanked everyone for attending, and as this was the last meeting of the year, wished everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


The next meeting of the Board would be held on 6 March 2023.