Why I voted against - cllr Paul Batchelor(January 25, 2010)
THE only town councillor to vote against the proposal to commit Warminster to a loan application that will cost over £1.5million has explained more of his reasons.
"A Parish Poll is an interesting idea which should be explored," said Paul Batchelor after learning that visionforwarminster.co.uk were looking into asking the public to call one.
"A couple of things I think went over the heads of some (or all) of the councillors that voted for the loan is that it's a flat rate, attractive enough at the present time but not as the outstanding balance reduces," explains the councillor who chairs their finance committee.
"So in the last year we are paying 4%+ interest on £800k (in excess of £36,000) even though the balance will be down to only a few thousand.
"I hate to think what that annual percentage rate works out at! Those City bankers will be in line for another big bonus.
"The total for refurbishing the hall is more than the cost of the town centre works. How can they justify such a disproportionate expense?"
In reports carried in the local press other councillors tried to justify the expense with one in particular arguing they should keep up the Jones'.
"Chris March (Con-Warminster East) had said that we need to keep up with other towns," says Cllr. Batchelor.
"The other towns are Westbury and Trowbridge. Westbury has the Laverton a listed building that like our town hall ideally needs to be preserved.
"Trowbridge Council is in rented offices above a shop so will save on rent and their Civic hall, a very busy venue, is falling down so has to have money spent on it.
"Lets see what the public reaction is during the week. I've had people contact me only an hour after the Journal came out."