Wiltshire Council has responded to criticism of Trowbridge which referred to the town as the 'county litter bin'.

Wiltshire Times reader Jim Day, of Whiterow Park,  lamented the historic buildings that no longer exist and claimed that plans to improve the area are focusing on the wrong ideas.

Mr Day disagreed with Cllr Caroline Thomas' claim that improving Wicker Hill will provide a better route for pedestrians from the railway station to the town centre.

Cllr Thomas,  Wiltshire Council's cabinet member for transport, street scene and flooding, has now written a response which highlights the improvements that have been made around the area.

Cllr Thomas wrote: I refer to the article published on January 25 about Jim Day’s comment that “Trowbridge could be re-named as the County Litter Bin”.

"I disagree. Trowbridge town centre is already benefiting from over £16 million investment from the government’s Future High Streets Fund.

"He may remember that during 2022, local people had the opportunity, twice, to comment on the emerging proposals and the schemes now being delivered were shaped by this feedback.

"The refurbished Grade II listed Town Hall will reopen next year as an eye-catching live music venue and cultural/creative hub for the local community.

"We aspired to refurbish Market Chambers too, but reduced government funding, inflation and cost of living increases meant we couldn’t bring forward a viable scheme.

"We will continue to explore funding opportunities as they arise.

"The completed improvements to Castle Street and the junction of Union Street/Church Street provide a safer and accessible pedestrian route through to the town centre and gives greater prominence to many listed buildings in the area including St James Church.

"The works just started at Manvers Street and Wicker Hill will also provide an improved experience for pedestrians.

"Mr Day refers to the “awful cobbled pavements outside Parade House”; these form part of the Grade 1 listing for the building and the adjacent listed buildings.

"This protected heritage has inspired the current works, with the adjacent highway being improved to complement this historic parade of buildings.

"Of the 24 grants approved to bring vacant commercial units back into use in the town centre, seven retailers have already opened their doors and are flourishing with more opening soon.

"The Vibrant Wiltshire town centre grants also supports businesses across Wiltshire, including Trowbridge, to open a vacant unit and early indications are this scheme could be as popular.

"This summer, works to enhance the River Biss corridor could begin, subject to planning approvals, creating more pleasant and accessible places for walking, cycling as well as engaging more with the river and nature increasing our wellbeing.

"While litter collection in Trowbridge is the responsibility of the town council; we spend over £1.5m each year cleaning up litter across the county and have invested a further £510,000 over the next two years to reduce littering throughout Wiltshire.

"The £16m investment is one of several big investments and development opportunities in and around the town. For many this is leading to a new sense of confidence for the town’s future, but clearly not to the satisfaction of everyone."