CHIPPENHAM Town Council is set to take on a raft of services from Wiltshire Council as the local authority hands over more decision making power to local communities.

The asset transfer of Chippenham services follow behind Salisbury and Devizes, which both saw street cleaning, cemeteries, Market Place and playground handed over to local councils.

The move has been made to “empower communities to control their own destiny” say Wiltshire Council.

Assets to be transferred include the Neeld Hall, Monkton Park Open Space, Golf Centre, management of the Friday and Saturday markets, maintenance of the play areas and street cleaning.

During today’s Cabinet meeting in Couny Hall, Cllr Claire Cape of Chippenham council said: “The Town Council welcomes this opportunity.”

Cllr Richard Clewer said: “Towns are beating our door down to take on these assets and services. So far they are all taking that opportunity to provide enhanced services beyond what we are providing.”

Chippenham’s take over will save Wiltshire Council around £300k. Devizes will create around £18k of savings.

Cllr Sandie Webb, leader of Chippenham Town Council. “The transfer of valuable and historic assets from Wiltshire Council will benefit our community for years to come, while the ownership of Monkton Park will enable council to maintain this beautiful area and work with the Environment Agency to implement improvements the river Avon that meanders its way through the centre of Chippenham."

The asset transfer is due to take place on June 1.

Chippenham agreed to put precepts up by 37.5 per cent, or an increase of £65.41 a year for an average Band D household taking it from £174.20 to £239.61 a year to cover increased costs to run the exra assets.

The process will take place in several other towns including Melksham and Corsham with councillors keen to find out when towns will be prioritised.

Leader of Wiltshire Council Jane Scott confirmed the council has taken on four extra members of staff to speed up the process. She said: “We knew there was a blockage there just wasn’t the resource that’s why we had papers where and agreed to resource if further. They’re coming on stream much quicker now.”