Trowbridge has been recognised by central government as a community demonstrating an excellent partnership between the Town Council and the unitary authority – Wiltshire Council.
Our Place Trowbridge is part of a four year plan to take on the management of local services as part of a place-based strategy. Wiltshire Council is open to the devolution of power and transfer of assets to the local level which has already seen the transfer of the town’s park over to the control of the Town Council, who immediately set about a programme of improvements which have been well received by local people. This has been achieved on a budget 11.25 per cent lower than Wiltshire’s maintenance estimate, and the town council is currently running beneath its own budget.
The impact of this work in the community is shown by the creation of a ‘Friends of Trowbridge Park’ group to build on the council’s work. The group is currently consulting to “inform residents about our proposals to transform Trowbridge Town Park during the next five to eight years and to establish what their wishes and priorities are. Proposed projects include remodelling of the lake, improving the bandstand, creating and erecting a major art installation and introducing an ‘Art in the Park’ for schools project. Other intended activities include a fitness trail, constructing a community lodge/ youth meeting place, improving the kiosk and its immediate surrounding area.
Potential future asset transfers include:
- car parks – Wiltshire Council is consulting on future arrangements for car parking. It recognises that the existing standard charging regime across the county is inappropriate and fails to recognise substantial differences between the requirements of different towns. The town council is confident that it can introduce a new regime which will encourage greater use of car parks and increase revenue. They envisage the Business Improvement District taking a role in deciding charges and length of stay, so that local businesses will have direct input into an issue which has an impact on the local economy;
- recreation grounds and children’s play areas – these could be part of the car park deal, whereby Wiltshire would be foregoing revenue from car parks but also transferring the recreation grounds and play areas and their associated costs. Wiltshire’s openness to this ’cost-neutral’ approach is extremely supportive of the town council’s place-based strategy; and
- further in the future, the town council want to discuss the possibility of taking over responsibility for bus shelters from Wiltshire Council to make a direct local contribution to the street scene, public transport and the environment
Who can I contact?
Lance Allan, Town Clerk, Trowbridge Town Council,