More support for town hall proposals(April 12, 2009)
OUR campaign to restore civic pride in Warminster and the town hall is building up a head of steam.
"I agree that something needs to be done and urgently," said Warminster Cllr. Paul Batchelor about the town hall.
"You have pointed out that it need not cost the local council a lot of money. I would look to lottery money to help."
"Its like you have said there needs to be an overall vision," added the councillor who chairs the town council finance committee.
"I agree that it is not just about the town hall but as you say much more in Warminster."
The issue has been made a major talking point by visionforwarminster.co.uk co-authors Steve Dancey and Paul Macdonald.
They ran a poll that showed overwhelming support for the idea and they have made it a symbol of their positive view of the way forward for the town.
"I think this is the best way forward for the town hall because having spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on town centre improvements when they are finished the the current blot on the landscape will be a real eyesore," said Cllr. Batchelor.
Cllr. Batchelor joins three former mayors, Stephen Pearson, Richard Phillips and May Law, as well as strong public support, for a new civic role for the town hall.
His response comes in stark contrast to others on the town council who stated their lack of support and opposition in the letters page of the Warminster Journal until this week when a more conciliatory approach appeared.
They even claimed that the building had never been a town hall (Hot topic - April 5th).
'This is a matter of civic pride,' writes Cllr. Chris March (which is a chapter heading on the website). 'I could not agree more.
'All of us want to see the building restored to its former glory and used for the benefit of the community.'
This contradicts the views of fellow Conservative councillor Pip Ridout two weeks ago and comes too late after her comments were the final straw for the independent minded residents.
On April 4th they announced there would be Independent candidates for the local elections to secure a mandate to take their ideas as amended by public responses to their website forward.
* Note - Earlier this month a pair of small Hampshire villages, the Wallops, were awarded £244,000 from the Big Lottery Fund to restore their wartime built village hall.