DEVIZES TOWN Council has vowed to listen to members of the public and open up discussions on the Market Place to more options but warned the outcome could give control back to Wiltshire Council.

Town clerk Simon Fisher said this week that a vote taken at last week’s contentious meeting was binding and would lead to wider consultation and more time to debate it.

But he said some proposals put forward by members of the public and the Market Place Future group could only happen if the town gave up its plan to take over the running of the Market Place from Wiltshire Council.

Mr Fisher said: “We can’t go back to how it was with free parking and we can’t keep it like it is with paid-for parking across the whole Market Place.

“If the whole Market Place is paid for parking it becomes a strategic asset of Wiltshire Council and cannot become part of our asset transfer.

“This would mean that Wiltshire would want us to pay for spaces for community events and there would not be enough if our free allocation for all of the things that are planned.

“We are willing to look at other options and we are planning to hold a meeting with the Market Place Future Group as soon as possible.

“We will then have a special town council meeting to debate what should happen. Some people may not think we are listening but we are.”

Iain Wallis from the Federation of Small Businesses has created his own poll of Facebook which includes the two options for the layout of the Market Place with half for parking and half for community events which already form part of the town council’s poll plus a third.

The extra option is to leave the square as it is now with paid for parking across the area.

Mr Fisher said: We are between a rock and hard place.”

A town council roadshow will be held today in The Shambles from 10am to 1pm.