PLANS by Bradford on Avon Town Council to take over the Culver Close playing field from Wiltshire Council are progressing, with councillors continuing to negotiate for the best deal on the transfer.

The recreational space is one of several hundred services which are likely to be transferred by the county authority to town and parish councils across Wiltshire.

Town Council leader, Cllr Dominic Newton, says that councillors are ‘very aware’ of the need to plan for the long-term future of the facilities, and the negotiations with Wiltshire Council look for the best possible outcome for the town.

He said: “This is an ongoing negotiation, so it would not be in the public interest to give details at this stage – we are aiming to ensure we can take on the area in a sustainable way, rather than create a long-term financial burden on the town.

“We are keen to bring this area into our control so that we can secure the future of the whole green area around Barton Farm.

“We are confident we can come to an agreement on this site that fits with both party’s needs – for Wiltshire to reduce their property liabilities and for us to protect and improve the places and spaces we all use.”

A Wiltshire Council spokesperson said: “We are working with communities across Wiltshire to transfer assets so they can be looked after locally and tailored to meet local need.

“We are working closely with Bradford on Avon Town Council on transfer of ownership and a number of issues to ensure the transfer is carried out correctly.”

The town council has allocated £60,000 to take on services being transferred by Wiltshire Council, including Culver Close playing field and play areas.

Cllr Newton said: “Last year, we were asked by Wiltshire Council to contribute to the maintenance of Barton Farm play area on a ‘fund it or lose it’ basis, and a similar line has been taken on Poulton Skate Park.

“Rather than continue to subsidise through the ‘back door’, we have set aside a specific funds to prepare for the transfer of those assets and services, starting with Culver Close, and including the sports facilities and Barton Farm Play area.

“Top of our list will be our play areas, to make sure that children in the town have safe and well-maintained places.”

Along with Victory Field, Culver Close is one of the town’s main playing fields and is home to the Bradford on Avon Cricket Club.

The space is used for cricket and football and also includes a play area and river frontage.