2020, What a Year!
We would like to say thank you to you all for showing support to others and helping when you can. We also give thanks to our Councillors and staff for adapting to changing circumstances throughout the year and still delivering our services to the Chippenham community.
2020 has been an extremely challenging year for everyone. We just wanted to take a moment of reflection to remember a few of the key moments for us that took place during the year.
January 2020 started with our annual Wedding Fair at the Neeld Community & Arts Centre. We were joined with several wonderful vendors from photographers and florists, to cake makers and decorators.
February was a wonderful month for Chippenham Museum as the highly anticipated Goldiggers exhibition opened. The exhibition followed from a two year project in collaboration with Media Production students at Wiltshire College and University Centre and saw 170 people come through the door on opening day alone to view memorabilia and memories from the iconic venue.
Chippenham Museum were also awarded the ACE Accreditation. The accreditation scheme is the UK industry standard for museums and galleries which encourages museums to do the right things to help people access and engage with collections and protect them for future generations. Well done Chippenham Museum!
We also hosted the Annual Pancake Race in the High Street with Chippenham Bid. It rained so hard we nearly had to cancel the event, but lots of you turned up to take part in the fun race.
The Community Donations were also announced in February with 10 organisations receiving a grant, and over £12000.00 being awarded in total.
March saw us announce that we were upgrading the CCTV cameras in Chippenham. The original scheme was installed in the late 1990’s and the picture quality albeit state of art at the time, was not suitable for detailed evidential purposes. Technology has now become more sophisticated and imagery can now be transmitted wirelessly, which the 8 new camera solutions provided.
April arrived and we all took to doing what we can to help the community, whilst working remotely. The Environmental Services team carried on providing their essential service of keeping Chippenham clean and tidy whilst we faced national lockdown.
In May we could not hold our big event as planned for VE Day 75 so we produced a video with our local community to commemorate this special anniversary (available to watch HERE) and everyone could safely celebrate from home.
June saw us host our Full Council meeting virtually via Zoom, all committee meeting after that were held in the same way and continue to do so.
Councillor Teresa Hutton was virtually sworn in as the new Mayor of Chippenham and began her service as Mayor of Chippenham in a new virtual way and socially distanced way.
Our Environmental Services team invested in new battery powered equipment, which produce zero emissions making them environmentally friendly and their uniform had a revamp and they can now be spotted easily in their yellow hi-vis. (No, they are not the new Ghostbusters)
A proud moment for us in July as we were awarded the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) Quality Gold Award. We demonstrated that we are at the forefront of best practice and achieve excellence in governance, community leadership and council development.
August saw Chippenham Museum open again, under new restrictions through an online booking system. New exhibition ‘Spotlight On’ introduced a newly acquired collection of locally produced artwork spanning 100 years.
Before we knew it, September arrived, and we were able to announce the 5 Civic Award winners for 2020. Chippenham Salvation Army Community Work – Foodbank, Chippenham and District Talking Newspapers, Chippenham Lions Club, 11-year-old Alfie Lennon and Melanie Vickery and the North Wiltshire Badminton Project all received an award for their outstanding citizenship.
In October we announced that Matthew Kirby would be joining us as the new Director of Community Services and his wealth of experience and knowledge would allow him to fit right in when he started at the end of November 2020.
John Coles Park received the Green Flag Award for the second year in a row and was one of 2,000 sites to receive the award, which recognises well-managed parks and green spaces, therefore setting the benchmark standard. (photo 2019)
In November we worked with the Royal British Legion to commemorate Remembrance Sunday in a socially distanced way with a small group of attendees and we live streamed the service via our You Tube channel. We were so pleased to be able to pay continue with this very important event in our Civic calendar, just in a much smaller way.
Work was completed in November to install a Borehole at Stanley Park Sports Ground. The 95 metre water well won’t only reduce running water costs, but will also reduce the impact on the environment as water will come from a naturally sustainable source.
Social Media has been full of The Joy of Christmas in December as we celebrate the local communities artwork, which has been shared via a virtual advent calendar and a trail around the town. All entries will feature in a virtual exhibition celebrating what The Joy of Christmas means to Chippenham.
Overall, although all faced with challenges it has still been a busy and enjoyable year here at Chippenham Town Council and we look forward to seeing what 2021 will bring. If you would like to see more details on the news from2020, you can take a look at the News Archive page which you can access HERE.
On behalf of all staff, Councillors and volunteers here at Chippenham Town Council, we wish you all a very safe Happy New Year and our best wishes for 2021.