PLAY areas will not be given to Warminster Town Council despite the town council's bid to run the parks locally.

Instead, they will be leased to the town council for seven years by Wiltshire Council. The town council applied to take ownership of eight parks including Fore Street, Portway Lane and Pound Street, after a public consultation revealed they were important to residents.Despite the refusal to carry out an asset transfer, Warminster town council confirmed that work would begin on running the play parks.Pressure on legal services at Wiltshire Council has caused a back log in asset transfers, as town councils bid to take over community services.

Cllr Denis Brett said: “It is disappointing that Wiltshire Council will only give us this lease and we did not have that constructive dialogue. I am very concerned that if we do invest in the play areas and make improvements we need to be savvy and remember that the council can take them back in seven years time.” Speaking at an overview and scrutiny meeting, cabinet member John Thompson assured councillors that the assets would not be taken by the by the council down the line.He said: “I can assure you we do not want them back, we want to get rid of them. the proposal coming before cabinet next week will make the process a little less legalistic but it is a challenge because the team are concerned that someone might come out and suddenly say that they own parts of the land. We want to speed up the process.”