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Clarification about Chippenham Town Council’s involvement in Wilshire Council’s bid to the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF BID)

25th January 2021 / News archive

Clarification about Chippenham Town Council’s involvement in Wilshire Council’s bid to the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF BID)

In the interests of clarity and transparency, the Town Council would like to clarify the speculation about communication(s) between Wiltshire Council and the Town Council and the Town Council’s involvement in the HIF BID process to date.

In November 2018 the Leader and Chief Executive of the Council were approached by Wiltshire Council seeking a letter of support to accompany their bid to Government requesting £75M of funding under the Housing Infrastructure Funding scheme. Wiltshire Council explained to the Chief Executive and the Leader at the time that the matter could not be in the public domain due to the confidential bidding process to Government.

The Leader and Chief Executive understood that if the Bid were successful, it would bring about significant advantages to the Town including additional parking, town centre investment and increased leisure facilities. Therefore, the Leader and Chief Executive in their respective roles wrote a letter of support dated 26th November 2018 on behalf of Chippenham Town Council.

The letter clearly indicates the Leader and Chief Executive were supportive of the broad principle of a funding bid to Government which would deliver substantial short and long-term benefits to the town based on infrastructure, future community consultation and would of course be subject to a full planning process.

You can read the letter HERE

 

Wiltshire Council officers provided a confidential informal briefing to the Town Council on 9th May 2019. At the briefing Councillors and officers from Wiltshire Council explained the rationale for their bid to government for £75M of grant funding to fund the construction of a distributor road to the east and south of the town.

At a regular meeting of Full Council on 19th June 2019 the Chief Executive presented a confidential report to Full Council to determine whether Council wished to submit a retrospective letter of support to Wiltshire Council, supporting the principle of their bid to secure £75M of government grant funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) for infrastructure development in Chippenham.

You can read the report HERE

You can read the minutes of the meeting HERE

 

The minutes from the meeting clearly show the majority of councillors present at the meeting were in favour, with several councillors speaking positively for the Bid. At the meeting it was agreed that delegated authority be given to the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader of the Council to write formally to Wiltshire Council. The singular purpose of this letter was to enable Wiltshire Council to demonstrate Chippenham Town Council’s support for the Bid to Government. The letter was sent on the 24th June 2019.

You can read the letter HERE

 

On the 11th July 2019 the Chief Executive sent a further letter to Wiltshire Council as a result of a motion that was raised at the meeting on the 19th June 2019.

You can read the letter HERE

 

On Friday 15th January 2021 Wiltshire Council commenced the formal public consultation ‘Future Chippenham’ which closes at 5pm on Friday 12th March 2021.

On Thursday 21st January 2021 Wiltshire Council officers presented the Future Chippenham consultation information at a Chippenham Town Council Extraordinary Full Council meeting which was held in public via Zoom.

As a consultee, the Town Council can now respond to the consultation and shall be formulating a response to Wiltshire Council prior to the close of consultation.

To be clear, Future Chippenham is a Wiltshire Council public consultation, not a Chippenham Town Council consultation. We would urge all our residents to take the time to respond to this consultation.

 

If you have any questions regarding the HIF BID and/or the consultation process, please contact Wiltshire Council directly:

futurechippenham@wiltshire.gov.uk
0300 456 0100
customerservices@wiltshire.gov.uk

www.wiltshire.gov.uk