TWO will become one next spring when Devizes and Roundway merge to create a super council ready to take over a number of services now run by Wiltshire.

Devizes Mayor Jane Burton and Roundway parish chairman Chris Callow believe the merger, which will come into force on April 1, 2017, will make it easier for it to take on responsibility for everything from litter and grass cutting to public toilets and play areas.

Deputy town clerk Simon Fisher said: "At the moment people come in to the town hall to complain about all kinds of things that are really Wiltshire Council's job.

"If we possibly can we will deal with it anyway but in the future we will be taking over these sort of responsibilities. The other week someone told us a mattress had been dumped in Snuff Street very close to the Wiltshire Council office.

"They didn't have anyone to deal with it but we were able to get someone there almost straight away even though it wasn't really our job. It makes sense for these things to be dealt with locally where we have a vested interest in keeping our town looking clean and smart and making it a pleasant place for our own residents and tourists."

But the change will mean a rise in council tax for people living in Roundway. At the moment they pay an average of around £50 in precept to Wiltshire while Devizes people pay an average of £148.

But those behind the deal say that Roundway's council tax would have had to rise dramatically in coming years if it was to take on the jobs that Wiltshire can no longer afford. Roundway has no full-time employees but Devizes has a staff of 25.

The merger will mean that the new council is likely to have 21 councillors serving four wards. At the moment Devizes has three wards with 17 councillors and Roundway has 13 councillors. But a number of councillors serve on both councils.

Elections for the new council will take place on May 5 and it is expected the seats will be hotly contested. But Mr Callow will not be standing for re-election after 14 years on Roundway and a period when he served on both.

He said: "I wanted to driver the merger ahead and now this has happened I feel in many ways my work is done."

Mrs Burton believes the change will be good for both areas. She said: "Lots of people think that many parts of Roundway such as Broadleas are in Devizes. It is a very strange boundary and the merger will create an area that makes much more sense."

As part of the changes Bishops Cannings Parish Council will also see some changes to its boundary including the move of Hopton Industrial Estate to the new council.

Mr Fisher said: "We find ourselves in challenging times, with Wiltshire Council being forced to find further savings meaning more cuts in spending on services. Of course, those services which protect the most vulnerable in our society take priority and most of Wiltshire Council’s money funds Adult Social Care and Children’s Services.

"This means that gradually other services are being delivered at the minimum standard required or not at all."