Assembly rooms a money pit???(September 05, 2009)
TOWN councillors are being asked to plough yet more money into the Warminster assembly rooms that they took over from the former cash strapped district council.
They have made little progress so far in deciding what to do in the long term with the building.
A leak under the floor of the main hall it is going to be the latest drain on resources.
It was a regular venue for major events before successive Tory administrations hiked the cost of using community hall.
Town councillors will be told on Monday that the source of the leak has not been found and that they will have to splash out more cash on what is increasingly looking like a white elephant.
The current situation is that the main water supply comes in to the Ladies rest rooms and disappears buried in concrete underneath the dance floor as it heads for the kitchen area.
A report claims that the council are baffled as to what is wrong but also asserts that it is 'normal wear and tear'.
Councillors are being offered a quick fix. Stop up the supply and find £5,000 to have a new supply and meter put in by Wessex Water.
The flow of money will continue with an undisclosed sum of money set aside for repairs and maintenance paid to Ringway Parkman to do the trenchwork.
This tide of spending comes shortly after the council was told earlier this year that all the furniture needs replacing at a substantial cost.
This all comes as the only people who show any real enthusiasm for using the formerly popular assembly hall are the town council themselves who are working towards moving their offices there.
"We have repeatedly called for a full town appraisal to be undertaken to establish needs and resources that the town already have and match them up," says former town and district councillor Paul Macdonald.
"There could be an exciting positive future for the civic amenities in the town including this building, the Town Hall, the use of Kingdown Community college and the numerous smaller halls.
"If substantial local taxpayers money is going to be used over the next decade then let's get away from this piecemeal approach and start making a proper job of everything," added the co-author of visionforwarminster.co.uk.
Steve Dancey, added: "The Assembly hall used tobe popular venue for wedding receptions but not so today as times have changed.
"There are far more places geared up to provide a more sophisticated, if more expensive, wedding reception experience and many venues are also licensed for the wedding itself.
"The question is whether the Assembly Rooms is a pig in a poke or a white elephant - in business terms the building might add to the council's balance sheet but it does nothing for the profit and loss account."