THE management of Monkton Park, as well as play areas, street cleaning and grass cutting, could soon be taken over by Chippenham Town Council.

The town council is negotiating with Wiltshire Council on taking over the running of a package of assets and services in the town, against a background of cost-saving measures by Wiltshire Council.

An agreement could be reached as soon as early December with a view to a transfer taking place on June 1 - but first the town council is assessing the cost of the extra responsibilities.

Town council leader Sandie Webb said she believed taking control of more assets in the town is the right thing to do for the people of Chippenham.

“We are already delivering many of these services to a high standard for both our residents and visitors with top-up cleaning throughout the town and high-quality play areas and parks,” she said.

“An extension to this will not only ensure that our streets are clean, parks maintained to a high standard and pride in our town reinforced but we can also assist our principal council in their difficult work of caring for the most vulnerable in our county.”

At present the council maintains only some of its play areas and other assets like bus shelters. Coun Webb says having all of them under control of the town council would ensure a consistent level of service, and people coming into the town hall could raise issues with staff about grass cutting, street cleaning and maintenance would get an immediate response, instead of having to wait for referrals to Wiltshire Council.

She said: “Chippenham Town council will become the single point of contact for the delivery of a clean, green, and safe town.”

Wiltshire Council leader Baroness Jane Scott of Bybrook said the move would help the council, which has to save £25 million over the next two years, balance its books.

“We need to focus on aligning our resource to meet the needs of those who are most vulnerable in the county,” she said.

“Working with local communities, we know that many services benefit from being delivered locally, particularly those that require attention every day, such as parks and street cleaning. We have always had a close working relationship with Chippenham Town Council and I look forward to discussing and agreeing the transfer of the services and assets that will be best delivered by them in the future.”