MARKET Place parking will end in Devizes as the Town Council takes control of the area from Wiltshire Council.

Taxi ranks and disabled parking will remain and a space for hosting events and activities will be created to boost tourism and footfall in the town.

Assets previously controlled by Wiltshire Council will be devolved to the Town Council from April.

The Market Place changes will take place over a phased period as work begins on the facelift.

As well as the Market Place, the Shambles indoor market will be taken over alongside grounds maintenance, Drews Pond Wood and road cleaning in the town.

12 parks will also come under the council’s care and Devizes Town Council will pay Wiltshire Council £170,000 for its current contract with maintenance firm IdVerde until June 2020.

Cabinet member for housing, Cllr Richard Clewer said: “I think one of the most exciting parts of this is empowering the Town Council to control the really important parts of their town so it can be a really thriving and run by the best people to do it, who are Devizes Council.”

Simon Fisher of Devizes Town Council asked to have extra time to make the Market Place ready.

He said:“We have been pragmatic about the change. It has taken a long time but sped up towards the end.

“We welcome this opportunity to empower the town. These services are the ones that shape our town and how people feel about how they live and that should be delivered by the town council. However we need to carefully manage the transition of the Market Place and it would be better if it was phased. We do not want people to be able to park there on March 31 and then on April 1 you cannot park there.”

Wiltshire Council’s cabinet agreed to allow the town council more time to plan how to phase out free parking in the Market Place.

Cllr Laura Mayes said: “I fully support this move and believe the town council should take on responsibility. It is a really exciting opportunity and I look forward to supporting it.”