Devizes and Roundway council merger could be on cards

This Is Wiltshire: Devizes councils merger could be on cards Devizes councils merger could be on cards

Twelve years after a bid to merge Devizes town and Roundway parish councils failed, the councils are discussing the possibility again.

Back in 2002 the proposal, put forward by Devizes Town Council, was seen by Roundway Parish Council as a hostile takeover, resulting in bigger council tax bills for their residents. They opposed the idea, eventually ending in Kennet District Council vetoing the bid.

But in recent years Devizes and Roundway councils have been working together on projects including the Devizes Neighbourhood Plan, and councillors on both sides sense a sea change.

After a request by Wiltshire Council to review the boundaries of Devizes and Roundway parishes, the councils set up a joint working party to discuss merging. Bishops Cannings Parish Council has also been invited to be part of the discussion.

At the first meeting last month the working party came up with three options – no change, merge all of Roundway with Devizes or merge Roundway with the exception of Roundway Village with Devizes.

A meeting of the town council’s planning committee discussed the options last week and some councillors spoke in favour of option two, including Albert Wooldridge who is a member of both councils.

Town councillor Nigel Carter said: “I’m minded to suggest we pursue the Roundway option. We seem to have got to a quite remarkable stage where there’s a considerable degree of co-operation between the two councils. I think we have found there is logic in merging the two councils.”

The committee agreed to let the working party continue talks with the two parish councils.

Roundway Parish Council discussed the options but made no decision. The issue will be further discussed at a future meeting.

Parish council chairman Chris Callow said: “We are not dismissing anything but we need to make sure it’s in the interests of the people of Roundway. We intend to do consultation. We are doing a lot of joint working with Devizes at the moment and in many ways we are closer than we have ever been.”

Comments (5)

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9:37am Fri 15 Aug 14

kimcrawley says...

Here we go again, by merging these authorities are the councillors of the unified authority going to increase their allowances because of greater responsibilities.
Sounds silly, but in essence that is exactly what useless Queen Jane did.
Here we go again, by merging these authorities are the councillors of the unified authority going to increase their allowances because of greater responsibilities. Sounds silly, but in essence that is exactly what useless Queen Jane did. kimcrawley
  • Score: 2

8:13pm Fri 15 Aug 14

ace reporter says...

Kimcrawley totally misses the point! It's not about Wiltshire Unitary Council boundaries, existing unitary division already includes Roundway with Devizes South. The issue is why should Roundway residents enjoy all the facilities Devizes Town Council provides while paying half the parish precept of their neighbours across the road due to totally arbitrary historical boundaries drawn up when it was all fields. Potentially, Devizes residents could pay a lower Town Council precept as a result. The major hurdle is the consultation, who currently in Roundway, would voluntarily increase their Council Tax by joining Devizes. It!ll all be determined by NIMBYism, not local identity or democratic representation.
Kimcrawley totally misses the point! It's not about Wiltshire Unitary Council boundaries, existing unitary division already includes Roundway with Devizes South. The issue is why should Roundway residents enjoy all the facilities Devizes Town Council provides while paying half the parish precept of their neighbours across the road due to totally arbitrary historical boundaries drawn up when it was all fields. Potentially, Devizes residents could pay a lower Town Council precept as a result. The major hurdle is the consultation, who currently in Roundway, would voluntarily increase their Council Tax by joining Devizes. It!ll all be determined by NIMBYism, not local identity or democratic representation. ace reporter
  • Score: 4

9:33am Sat 16 Aug 14

kimcrawley says...

I did not refer to the unitary authority that is WC, I have not missed the point I was referring to the smoke and mirrors fondly used by the tories to grab more of our money on the flimsiest grounds. There is a case to consider regarding the levels of council tax paid. However, the Parish precept is not the major constituent of council tax.
To pretend that this process will be determined by nimbyism is ridiculous, we have seen many consultation processes over the last few years that have totally ignored the wishes of the majority of citizens.
This is just another attempt to increase council tax for every body.
I did not refer to the unitary authority that is WC, I have not missed the point I was referring to the smoke and mirrors fondly used by the tories to grab more of our money on the flimsiest grounds. There is a case to consider regarding the levels of council tax paid. However, the Parish precept is not the major constituent of council tax. To pretend that this process will be determined by nimbyism is ridiculous, we have seen many consultation processes over the last few years that have totally ignored the wishes of the majority of citizens. This is just another attempt to increase council tax for every body. kimcrawley
  • Score: -4

12:24pm Sat 16 Aug 14

ace reporter says...

What utter rubbish! What's the Tories got to do with it and Town/Parish councillors don't even have allowances solely expenses! The Parish precept is the only part of the council tax bill that will be affected by amalgamation of the two parishes, typical band D in Devizes pays £81.78 more than Roundway and almost £100 more than a Bishops Cannings resident. If it goes ahead Devizes TC would get more revenue so would either have more to spend or be able to cut their precept and hence reduce CTX for everyone ( except those formerly in Roundway). My point about NIMBYism is that, although the terms of reference of the Community Governance Review (CGR), is to take account of effective local government , community identity, natural boundaries etc...if you do ask Roundway residents in a consultation they will invariably be against any change solely as it will affect them financially. However, I do accept your general point on "consultations", and whether either local or national governments take a blind bit of notice what the public think!
What utter rubbish! What's the Tories got to do with it and Town/Parish councillors don't even have allowances solely expenses! The Parish precept is the only part of the council tax bill that will be affected by amalgamation of the two parishes, typical band D in Devizes pays £81.78 more than Roundway and almost £100 more than a Bishops Cannings resident. If it goes ahead Devizes TC would get more revenue so would either have more to spend or be able to cut their precept and hence reduce CTX for everyone ( except those formerly in Roundway). My point about NIMBYism is that, although the terms of reference of the Community Governance Review (CGR), is to take account of effective local government , community identity, natural boundaries etc...if you do ask Roundway residents in a consultation they will invariably be against any change solely as it will affect them financially. However, I do accept your general point on "consultations", and whether either local or national governments take a blind bit of notice what the public think! ace reporter
  • Score: 1

4:15pm Sat 16 Aug 14

kimcrawley says...

All of these problems could be solved if we undertook the neglected re-evaluation of the property/tax bands. At the moment the people with mansions are getting away with paying a proportionately pitiful rate of council tax. The concept that 80 odd pounds on a bill of £1200 will somehow address these iniquities is facile. Ultimately this will be just another gerrymandering con trick.
All of these problems could be solved if we undertook the neglected re-evaluation of the property/tax bands. At the moment the people with mansions are getting away with paying a proportionately pitiful rate of council tax. The concept that 80 odd pounds on a bill of £1200 will somehow address these iniquities is facile. Ultimately this will be just another gerrymandering con trick. kimcrawley
  • Score: -1

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