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Agenda item

Partner Updates

To receive updates from the following partners:


·       Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service

·       Wiltshire Police

·       Schools updates

·       CCG B&ANES, Swindon and Wiltshire

·       Devizes Medical Centre update

·       Town and Parish Councils

·       Devizes indies

·       Sustainable Devizes

·       Devizes Opendoors



In addition to the written partner updates in the agenda the following verbal updates were given:


·       Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service


David Geddes, Station Manager, DWFRS referred attendees to the report on page 15 of the agenda. He highlighted that Devizes fire station had good cover at present. It was an on-call fire station with members of the community coming in to provide cover. He stated that the service could always do with more on-call fire fighters so people were encouraged to sign up and further information could be found online at www.dwfire.org.uk/workingfor-us/on-call-firefighters.


There had been a steady rate of calls in the past 2 months with a couple of serious incidents. The service was moving back to a more business as usual model and were hoping to catch up on safe and well checks. The service was still providing support to partner agencies like the ambulance service. 


·       Wiltshire Police


Inspector Allen Lumley gave an update to the meeting, highlighting particular areas of the report in the agenda pack. There was one change to the Devizes Police Team, with Sgt Gareth Edwards moving to a different role and a new team member who would be starting late September; Sgt Gareth Cole.


Statistics were shown highlighting that crime rates in Devizes were comparable with the Swindon and Wiltshire Force as a whole. Stop and Search statistics showed that 70% of stop and searches did not find anything.


Local Priorities were Speed Enforcement; ASB; E-Scooters; Rural Crime and the Night Time Economy.


Speeding had increased during lock down due to their being less traffic and despite the increase in traffic as restrictions were eased this was still an issue. The public were encouraged to report hotspots to 101.


ASB increased when the weather was good. So, the force were keeping an eye on that with extra patrols and were trying to engage and prevent.


E-Scooters were growing in popularity but were illegal on public paths and roads. In Devizes they were dealing with the issue in a tapered approach, educating first time offenders but enforcing with repeat offenders.


Rural Crime increased in the summer months and people were encouraged to keep an eye out.


Night-Time Economy. As pubs and clubs re-opened and patrols were being increased and preventative work was being undertaken.


Cllr Iain Wallis highlighted some issues in his division, Station Road car park being a particular issue with “Boy Racers” in the car park and a rough sleeper residing there. It was hoped a multi-agency approach could be taken to help the rough sleeper and ensure they were safe. There had also been some night time economy issues in Sidmouth Street and residents were unhappy as they did not feel their complaints had been dealt with. Inspector Lumley encouraged these people to keep complaining as intelligence would be useful. Simon Fisher, Devizes Town Clerk stated that they had replaced some signage due to ASB and wondered if there could be feedback on whether measures they had taken were working.


·       Schools Update


Mark Lascelles, Headteacher, Dauntsey’s gave a brief update stating that A Levels and GCSE results had been much smoother this year which was positive. The school had reopened the week before the area board, over 600 lateral flow tests had been completed and there had been no positive test results. Mr Lascelles stated that it was very good to be back and busy again. The school was full and in good health.


·       Devizes Medical Centre


Dr Richard Sandford-Hill of the Market Lavington Surgery gave an update. There was good news as building had started on the new medical centre for Devizes. A video was shown to the meeting which could be viewed here. It had taken about 8 years and a lot of hard work to get the project to this point. The overall project cost was about £10.9 million. The centre would provide sustainable health care with allied professionals working alongside the primary care team. Consultants could bring clinics to the centre. Bringing the care back into the community would reduce pressure on hospitals. The building would be net-zero carbon in operation. There would be cycle parking and charging points for electric vehicles. The build was on track and it was hoped that it would be operational at the beginning of August 2022.  


Thanks was given to Dr Sandford-Hill by Devizes Area Board for his perseverance and hard work in bringing this project so far.


·       Town and Parish Councils


Simon Fisher of Devizes Town Council (DTC) gave a brief update to the meeting. DTC were working on a Neighbourhood Plan and had met with Stakeholders and interested parties. DTC were now looking for community engagement. On 28 July a consultation event was held and the presentation could be found via a link on the DTC homepage. A community survey was also underway which could feedback into the plan. DTC were looking to purchase some benches for the Market Place to replace the ones there as these were rented.


·       Devizes Indies


Devizes Indies had sent apologies for the meeting.


·       Fulltone Festival


Jemma Brown gave an update on the Fulltone Festival. Ms Brown thanked everyone who had supported the event. The event was held outside and run in a COVID secure manner. Live music was provided for around 1500 people. There had been positive feedback and Ms Brown was hoping this could be an annual event and there were talks underway about possibly working with DOCA. Although the event was a commercial event, they ensured that just enough money was generated to enable everyone involved be paid and the event helped to support artists who had struggled to work during the lock downs.


·       Sustainable Devizes


Graham Martin gave an update stating that the Area Board had been invited to come on a cycle ride and some Area Board Members had taken part in that which had opened a dialogue about cycling. A food growing group had been started. A plastic free group had also been started and it was hoped that they could work together with Devizes Indies and their sustainable high street initiative on that front. Sustainable Devizes had also been invited to take part in a Devizes Town Council sustainability working group. They were participating and looking at the wider plans for sustainability and building strong and resilient communities.


·       Devizes Opendoors


Noel Woolrych gave an update regarding work on the newly refurbished Soutbroom Parish Centre which was underway and progressing well. Facilities such as a shower and office had been added. It was hoped that works would be complete mid-September and the building could start being used by Devizes Opendoors, a charity supporting the homeless, from the beginning of October. 


·       Library Update


Market Lavington Library remained closed due to long term issues with damp. A move was being considered to the Old School House, a community run facility owned and managed by Market Lavington Parish Council. This would provide better access and facilities. A recent consultation event had unanimous support in favour of the move from attendees. This issue would be discussed again by the parish council on 7 September.


Cllr Dominic Muns thanked Wiltshire Council officers, the library team, Market Lavington Parish Council and volunteers involved. If had been a difficult situation and real community spirit was being shown as a result. 


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