City council seeks to ‘welcome’ people back to the city

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WESTBURY City Council have discussed ways to celebrate and promote Westbury after receiving a £10,000 grant from Wiltshire Council, through the government’s ‘welcome fund’, which is designed to support the safe return of the inhabitants of the city after the Covid pandemic.

Some of the ideas discussed at the Westbury City Council Policy and Resources Committee meeting on June 6 included putting up colorful banners throughout Westbury that promote town events such as the Westbury Festival, the Chilli Fest and historical sites of interest such as the blue plates. A pop-up park in the gardens of Soisy is another idea and can include the planting of wildflowers and a new seating area for families to enjoy.

Other ideas also include the creation of information boards in the town center that point to places of local interest, as well as publicizing City Council priority projects, such as the Vision for Westbury and Neighborhood Plan documents.

Other ideas were recommended which would require Westbury City Council to provide additional funding, but this was refused by the local authority. One idea was for an £1,800 ‘dinosaur trail’ (an educational celebration of Westbury’s famous pliosaur, Doris), but the artwork would only be in town all summer and councilors have so decided it wouldn’t be a good use of the money.

Councilor Mike Sutton summed up councilors’ feelings by saying, “I’d rather spend money on things that will stay in the city for the long term. Things like the dinosaur trail may be of interest to our local history, but I think it’s too expensive, especially if it’s only staying in town for a few months.

As part of the government’s ‘welcome fund’, local authorities have been given a share of £50m to spend to help support the safe return of local people to high streets and help local councils better rebuild after the pandemic.

This is the second round of funding made available by the government and builds on the 2020 fund for ‘reopening the main street safely’.

A representative from City Dressing, the company tasked with bringing these ideas to life, recently met with Westbury City Council Clerk Deborah Urch to discuss the city’s needs. The city council says the ideas can be implemented “almost immediately”, once they give City Dressing the green light.

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