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Agenda item

Partner Updates

To receive updates from the following partners:


·       Wiltshire Police

·       Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service

·       Schools Update

·       Town and Parish Councils

·       Steve Dewar – Pop Up Youth Café


Updates were received from the following Partners:


·       Wiltshire Police

Acting Inspector Leighton Williams gave a brief update, Devizes Police had recently held their tasking briefing, which set priorities for the upcoming few weeks. Priorities included: Anti-social behaviour patrols; speed checks and beauty spot patrols. A community consultation event had taken place recently which was well attended and allowed the community to raise any concerns. The next community consultation event would be on 24 September between 9am and 11am in the Market Place in Devizes. Several drug warrants had recently been implemented.


The Chairman raised the issue of speeding and anti-social behaviour at Station Road car park, which the officer stated he would raise at their next tasking briefing.


·       Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service

Station manager Phil Peaple gave a brief update. The service was moving back into more business as usual. Recruitment was ongoing and positive action was being used to target more underrepresented sections of society, which seemed to be working well. Stations were working in a COVID safe manner, response had not changed but this meant that stations could not let in the general public. There had been an increase in road traffic collisions once lockdown eased. The force was proactive in trying to prevent these and used social media to try and push the road safety message.


·       Schools Update

Mark Lacelles, headteacher of Dauntsey’s gave a brief update. The situation regarding A level and GCSE results, caused by COVID, had been very difficult. It was hoped that things would be better next year. They had been concerned that international pupil numbers would drop at the school, but this had not been the case. The preparations to open the school had cost around £250,000 and ongoing costs were being accumulated weekly, so the pandemic was having a large effect. Sadly, the school had also had to close their facilities to outside clubs due to the pandemic.


Ralph Plummer, new headteacher of Lavington School gave a brief update. They had also experienced costs due to COVID, but it was positive to have students back at school and they had adapted well to precautions. A number of staff had been off self-isolating which could cause issues. Students were being taught in year group bubbles and teaching zones. Additional catering units had been deployed in order to maintain bubbles/zones. Additional buses had been added to routes to help transport pupils to school, which had caused a few congestion issues, these were being worked on. The school were preparing to teach remotely should that be required.



In response to questions it was stated that the satellite six form was working well, with 45 pupils on their site in the sixth form. The school had looked at staggered starts, however they had a lot of pupils arrive by coach, so this was driven by the logistics of transport.


It was stated that there had now been four outbreaks in Wiltshire Schools and there were concerns regarding the disruption of education. Lavington School had developed a remote working policy; the principles were in place and they were set up to deliver remote learning. Staff training had been increased in order to help with this.


It was clarified that while there had been outbreaks at Wiltshire Schools, none of these were the fault of the school. These were usually caused by 1 pupil testing positive and therefore the whole year group having to isolate.


Thanks was given to the schools for the quality of their communication during lockdown and the summer holidays. Feedback from pupils was that they were enjoying being back at school.


·       Devizes Town Council

Simon Fisher, Town Clerk gave an update. They had worked closely with the team at St James Church on the community response to COVID. They had brought a lot of services in house over the summer, for example open spaces management. They were looking at increasing biodiversity. The market had been kept open over the summer and was now thriving which was essential for Devizes. Plans for the Market Place could be discussed at a future area board meeting. The public were encouraged to contact Devizes Town Council with any comments or questions. They could be contacted by email on  Enquiry@devizes-tc.gov.uk or phone on 01380 723333. Green Lane was another project that the Town Council had been working on. A new 3G pitch had been installed there and the facility was up and running.


Cllr Mayes passed her thanks to Simon Fisher and the Devizes Town Council team for all the work undertaken in responding to COVID and setting up and running the community helpline.


·       Wiltshire YFC

Steve Dewer of the ‘Pop Up Youth Café’ gave an update. The ‘Pop Up Youth Café’ did take place over the summer, with social distancing guidelines and COVID precautions in place. On average around 40-50 young people attended each day. Various activities were undertaken and youth workers present. Any youths struggling with issues could be paired with youth workers, for example from the Motiv8 team and there was a particular instance of a young person with serious issues who was helped and signposted to relevant services. So, it was felt to be a great success. Potterne Youth Club was still shut at present, although there was interest from the youth and the community in when it would open. It was not felt that it was appropriate to open it at the moment due to the possible mixing of young people from different school bubbles. Therefore, Steve was doing some detached work throughout Devizes and the surrounding areas to talk to young people within their settings.


In response to a question from the Chair, Reverend Keith Brindle stated that he was going to be meeting with the head of Devizes School to discuss St James’ Church youth group. The situation was complicated at the moment due to COVID and most schools were not currently running activities/after school groups.


Steve was thanked by Cllr Cuthbert for acting as a role model to vulnerable youngsters and for focusing on mental health.


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