THE local elections on Thursday had a particular significance for the people of Roundway who, for the first time, will be represented by Devizes Town Council rather than their own parish council.

Many years of conflict, which at one time in 2001 was dubbed the second battle of Roundway as people fought to keep the parish's own identity and lower council tax, were put behind the two councils as voters in most areas of the new council went to the polls.

But although a new town council has been chosen with 21 people now serving the merged councils, the people of Roundway did not have to turn out to vote as only six people stood for the Roundway ward which has six seats.

It meant that Roger Giraud-Saunders, Andy Johnson, Rick Rowland, Kathleen Shaw, John Stevens and Jeannette Von Berg became the first to serve the new ward without opposition.

But over the years the area has seen plenty of conflict. In the Domesday Book Roundway is included in the estate of Bishops Cannings but it rose to prominence in its own right in 1643 when the Royalists and Parliamentarian forces met on Roundway Down. The battle was won by the Royalist forces and directly led to the capture of the port of Bristol shortly afterwards.

The modern Parish of Roundway was created in 1894 containing the villages of Roundway and Nursteed Village, Le Marchant Barracks and Roundway Hospital.

The parish wrapped around the north, east and south of Devizes, split in the middle by the parallel Kennet & Avon Canal and London Road. The hospital and barracks were converted into housing and new estates built bringing its population up to 3,500.

The strange geography of the parish led to confusion with many householders not realising they even lived in Roundway rather than Devizes and last year it was finally decided that it made economic sense to merge the two.

But Chris Callow, who was Roundway's final chairman, is proud of the its many achievements which included helping with the creation of a new White Horse ready for the millennium, battles to stop a seagull invasion, the creation of new allotments, the fight to stop housing at Coate Bridge and involvement in the neighbourhood plan.

The final Roundway Parish Council meeting was held on February 20 when one of its final tasks was to agree to give £1,000 towards a defibrillator for Nursteed School – where for many years the council held its meetings.

After six weeks of joint working with Devizes the new council came into force on April 1 with all the parish councillors and town councillors still serving.

But it is the election that has finally shaped the council that will take it forward possibly into the next century.