Council Spotlight: Cirencester Town Council
Cirencester Town Council has an estimated population of 20,000 residents, with a precept of £908,895. There are 15 locally elected councillors – two representing the wards Abbey, Beeches, Chesterton, Four Acres, St Michaels, Stratton and Watermoor, and one councillor representing New Mills Ward.
The council is proactive in providing local services, including a Local Information Centre, green spaces and play areas, the Market Place, allotments, youth and community initiatives and a number of regular events; it encourages proactive involvement from the community.
Cirencester Town Council encourages citizenship and localism and is dedicated to meeting the needs and aspirations of the whole community by providing cost-effective services, promoting a safe environment, supporting local activities and facilities, and the local economy.
The council undertakes a role of leadership on behalf of local people and businesses; working together not only with the community but with other partners such as Cotswold District Council and Gloucestershire County Council.
In 2017, a major regeneration of the town’s Market Place was completed. The aim of the scheme was to redesign the Market Place to reduce unnecessary traffic and provide a space for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles. The scheme delivered the Our Future Cirencester Community Plan, the Town Centre Supplementary Planning Document and the Local Transport Plan; all of which were respectively adopted following a public consultation by the council, Cotswold District Council and Gloucestershire County Council.
The regeneration created a large, pedestrianised area in front of the impressive Parish Church providing the Council with an opportunity to reinvigorate the Charter and Farmer’s Markets and to maximise the space for the benefit of the community.
An innovative partnership between Cirencester Town Council, holders of the Charter, and Cotswold Markets Ltd has transformed the Market shopping experience. The Charter Markets, among the oldest charter markets in the country, are held each Monday and Friday and the ever-popular Farmers’ Market is held twice monthly. Specialist Markets and events are held on a number of weekends throughout the year. The markets provide a great shopping opportunity and act as a community hub, being utilised by a range of local organisations wishing to engage with the community.
The number of traders has increased by roughly 700% on a Friday, and there is a currently a waiting list. The Monday Charter Market, which had been ceased due to lack of traders, has now reopened and boasting approximately 25 stalls the Farmer’s Market has also increased significantly. Speciality Markets offering international food and local arts and crafts are regularly held as well as stand alone events such as classic car shows, Food Festival, the Fleece Fayre, a community event celebrating Cirencester’s wool trade history, and Advent Festival. The regeneration has also enabled the historic Mop Fair to return to the town centre.