Imaginative start for town initiative(April 29, 2009)
A TOWN council initiative made an imaginative start towards addressing the sight of empty and decaying shops at a private seminar for specially invited guests which included Paul Macdonald, co-author of visionforwarminster.co.uk.
The hall at Dewey House saw just over a dozen members of public sit alongside half a dozen councillors and a couple of town council staff.
It had a very simple agenda with a getting to know each other session being encouraged during a very early coffee break.
"I did not realise that it was a private meeting when I accepted the invite and I could only stay for an hour but this could be yet another testing of the water and practise run for something that could be very positive," said Paul Macdonald.
"There was a very good idea for replacing the look of empty shops filled with fly-posting by a really good looking official town large scale version that any bill poster would be proud of."
A local businessman unveiled it with the help of a town councillor bringing many nods of approval.
"It was a complete surprise to discover that there is really good official guide of Warminster which are currently gathering dust in the offices of the town council," discovered Paul.
"It was a private meeting so I must respect that but for my part I suggested that the town council look at renting one of the empty shops.
"It would be for ten years with the aim of a competition inviting innovative proposals from anyone thinking about taking the next step of setting up a small business.
"The successful idea would be given two years support to establish themselves and then invited to take over the lease or move on.
"Then the council would repeat the process and in those ten years we would see five new business created."
The invite to the seminar is another recognition of the visionforwarminster.co.uk website run independently and set up to complement the town council 'Wishes for Warminster' 'scoping' study of the town centre by looking at wider issues.
Promoted and published by Steve Dancey of 21 Newport, Warminster, and Paul Macdonald, of 144 Boreham Field, Warminster.