Town Council Tory Patronage(December 21, 2016)
Warminster Town Council agreed in October that its Neighbourhood Plan Working Group had completed its task after three years' work and closed it down after a successful referendum vote.
"I proposed that and thanked the chairman who as an unelected Conservative Councillor and all members of the working group for their work in October," said Independent Cllr. Paul Macdonald.
"Now the Conservative town council want to create an unjustifiable working group in its place which has been suggested as more Tory council patronage." adds Paul.
"These are the minutes that I have just read!"
'The members wished to thank NPWG Chairman Tony Nicklin for his services to the NPWG and Town Development Committee.
'He was incredibly knowledgeable and a great diplomat and it would be a great shame if this council lost his invaluable input.
'Conservative Councillor Davis proposed that since the Town Development Committee needed a third co-opted member. Tony Nicklin should be invited in his own right. Seconded Conservative Councillor Fraser.
"Let me not make any bones about it," reacted Paul.
"It took far too long for the unelected chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan Working Group to do its work and it has failed the town in the first few weeks of it becoming adopted.
"I have heard the words of this former councillor in a planning advisory committee town council meeting using it to support developers aginst the wishes of residents.
"I have asked for this to be discussed at the next Warminster full town council meeting."
Fellow independent councillor Steve Dancey, added: "I tend to agree with Paul.
"If Tony wants to put himself forward at next May's elections, and on this occasion, the electors decide to recognise his much admired talents, then so be it.
"However, until then perhaps he should bide his time and wait for democratic mandate rather than be put in place by the votes of those councillors who were not themselves chosen by the electors."
Readers please be aware that the four Tory councillors 'elected' in west ward in 2013 were returned unopposed and so lack the democratic stamp of approval ejoyed by all the independent members.