Our highlights from 2021!
As 2021 comes to an end, we would like to take the opportunity to reflect on the past year and the many highlights that have featured.
The year started quietly with Civic Award nominations going live on New Year’s Day and ran throughout January and February and ended on 28 February 2021.
We will be launching Civic Awards 2022 on January 1. If you would like to nominate someone, the details will be on our website.
January also saw us offer the Neeld Community & Arts Centre as a vaccination site to support the COVID 19 Vaccination programme. Although vaccination sites were already designated in Chippenham it was important to support the Clinical Commissioning Group.
February, we released the highlights of the past four years, looking back from 2017 all the way through to the end of 2020 and focused on brilliant work that has achieved across our venues, services and projects to improve the quality of town life for our residents and local community. We are nearing the completion of the Corporate Strategic Plan 2018-2022 and preparation work has already begun for the next plan.
We were also able to congratulate Angela Powell, who was awarded the title of Honorary Freeman. Honorary Freeman is the highest honour the Council can award to a member of the local community. Angela has devoted most of her life to improving and promoting Chippenham and helping the community. You can find out more about Angela’s fantastic story HERE.
March started with the adoption of a 5-year management plan for Monkton Park in partnership with Wiltshire Wildlife Trust after recognising the potential Monkton Park has to provide a haven for the local community and to support biodiversity, enabling opportunities for the environment to thrive! You can read the Management Plan HERE.
In April the Junior Park Run was able to restart in Monkton Park following an easing of restrictions and at Stanley Park Sports Ground the 3G football pitch achieved the FA Standard Code of Rules and use of 3G Football Turf Pitches, which has allowed Stanley Park to host matches for another three years!
The Democratic Services Team were busy announcing the 2021 Civic Award winners, following a popular year for nominations and awarded five Civic Awards to deserving individuals, groups and organisations who continued their essential work and made a challenging period easier for the local community. Three Certificates of Appreciation were also awarded for those who have also contributed to the wellbeing and welfare of the people of Chippenham. Find out about the winners HERE.
April also saw a first for the Council as we held our virtual Award Ceremony to bestow the Honorary Freeman award to winner Angela Powell. An opportunity for Angela’s friends and family to congratulate and pay tribute to her services to Chippenham. You can watch the tribute HERE.
Chippenham Museum reponed to visitors in May with “Spotlight On” a Modern & Contemporary Art from the Collection of Chippenham Museum. It is the second part of the museum’s exhibition series celebrating North Wiltshire’s creativity. In celebration of this, Chippenham Museum launched Art in the Parks in May in collaboration with our Environmental Services Team. An opportunity for walkers to scan a QR code and look at an interactive map giving additional information about the artists and trees at each location in John Coles Park and Monkton Park.
We welcomed Councillor John Scragg as the new Mayor of Chippenham through a virtual Mayor’s Investiture Ceremony on Zoom. Councillor John Scragg has been a Councillor for 34 years and this is his fourth term as Mayor of Chippenham. Council meetings were able to return in person starting with Full Council, which was held socially distanced in the Neeld Community & Arts Centre. This allowed us to introduce live streaming via our YouTube channel. You can catch up on Council meetings HERE.
June was a busy month across the Council. Stanley Park Sports Ground took delivery of its first electric mower, a fantastic addition to the equipment used at Stanley Park and has a great run time of four hours. Forest Green Rovers also began their fourth season using Stanley Park Sports Ground as their home training facility.
Stanley Park’s Head Groundsman also completed his Level 3 Technical Diploma in Turf Management; a qualification recognised not only at grassroots but within the professional game.
Civic events were able to return in person starting with Armed Forces Day, an opportunity to show support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces Community. We celebrated with a flag raising ceremony on the Town Hall steps.
Our Environmental Services Team had some fantastic feedback from a resident about our wildflower area on the piece of land on the roundabout at Avenue La Fleche in partnership with Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. This area has taken a long time to cultivate, and we are pleased with how it is progressing.
July started with a flag raising ceremony for NHS, Social Carers & Frontline Workers Thank You Day. A day to celebrate all those who have worked so tirelessly to help our country through the Coronavirus crisis, and who continue to support some of the most vulnerable people in society. This was such an important day, and we gladly supported this national event.
The Kilvert Diaries returned to Chippenham as part of an exhibition at Chippenham Museum “Kilvert’s World” which featured two of the three surviving diaries. An amazing honour for the Councils Museum and a wonderful addition to a thoughtfully curated exhibition.
Stanley Park Sports Ground worked with Up and Under Sports to produce four free sports days in four of the parks in Chippenham. This was an opportunity for young people to get out and have some fun, let off some steam and enjoy the sports on offer.
Plenty of activities and events happened in August. The Neeld Community & Arts Centre were delighted to welcome audiences back safely with two sell out entertaining performances with music and dancing from Jive Talkin’ and dry witted humour from Jack Dee.
The Town Council hosted a promotional weekend with the English Civil War Society’s Civil War Encampment, which was an introduction to the large-scale re-enactment planned for 2022. This popular event welcomed hundreds of visitors to take a glimpse of life in year.
On Saturday 7 August we celebrated with Wiltshire & Swindon Pride, and showed our support with a flag raising ceremony of the Rainbow Flag outside the Town Hall followed by a buglers fanfare from the Buglers of Chippenham Air Scouts and Guides.
Stanley Park Sports Ground made an additional environmental improvement with the introduction of LED Floodlights which will enhance lighting during the dark evenings.
In September, we awarded our Civic Awards and Certificates of Appreciation to the winners at Civic Sunday. Local community groups, Councillors and dignitaries gathered for the celebration which consisted of a service at St Andrew’s Church followed by an Awards Ceremony at the Neeld Community & Arts Centre.
Brilliant news arrived in September! Chippenham was awarded its renewed Purple Flag Accreditation. Chippenham is one of the smallest towns in the UK to attain this tremendous achievement for the sixth year running. The Town Council works in partnership with local stakeholders to retain this accreditation which supports the night time economy, for more details, click HERE.
Youth Councillors visited the CCTV offices in October and found out the importance of having CCTV cameras and what they mean to the community and nighttime safety. The Town Council plans major improvements to the CCTV in the town working closely with Wiltshire Police with new cameras enabling footage to be used for evidential purposes.
On the topic of night time safety, we hosted our annual Purple Flag Business Event in celebration of retaining the award for the sixth year running with inspirational guests to discuss the “Past, Present & Future” of general community safety and well-being, current Purple Flag activities.
Our Environmental Services Team had a fantastic month for awards as not only were we awarded a Green Flag Award for John Coles Park for the third year running but also a Gold Award for South West in Bloom. Both awards highlight the hard work and dedication our Environmental Services Team put into making the Town award winning.
November saw the completion of the programme of CCTV installations at Town Council sites including, John Coles Park, Stanley Park and Chippenham Museum. This has allowed us to expand our team of officers to include the recruitment of a CCTV Supervisor and CCTV Volunteers from our local community! Interested in becoming a volunteer? More information HERE.
Youth Council were busy visiting local charity Doorway to explore what they can do in the future to help young people understand more about homelessness, especially within young people and producing ways to fundraise to help the charity.
We were able to welcome the Royal British Legion to the Town Hall alongside local dignitaries and invited guests to commemorate Remembrance Sunday with the annual Service of Remembrance at St Andrews Church followed by an Act of Remembrance at the War Memorial.
November ended with the launch of “Festival of Christmas” a programme of free events for the residents and community to enjoy, starting with our festive filled day which including Fire Performers in the Market Place, Artisan Market, Community Performers and sold-out activities Meet Santa at the Yelde Hall and Snow Globe Photo Experience.
December saw our Festival of Christmas programme of events continue with the popular free Gingerbread Window Trail and spectacular Enchanted Light Trail in Monkton Park. The Neeld Community & Arts Centre finished the year with two festive sell out performances whilst Chippenham Museum are preparing for their newest exhibition “Wiltshire on Paper” launching on Saturday 8 January 2022.
We would like to take the opportunity to thank all staff, Councillors and volunteers who have continued to adapt throughout the challenges of lockdown. We also thank the residents of Chippenham and the local community for being patient with us during these difficult times. From all Councillors, staff and volunteers we wish you all a Happy New Year and best wishes for 2022.