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Town council is getting ever more extraordinary

(October 11, 2010)
WARMINSTER Town Council has apparently backed down after planning to hold an important meeting on a Thursday in a room that can accommodate just a dozen people  when more than 100 are likely to want to attend.
The Town Council almost never hold meetings on a Thursday - or were they trying to accommodate the needs of unitary councillors who might well have other meetings to attend.
''At the very least the latest episode of poor management of the town council makes them look even more ridiculous in the eyes of the public and no amount of glossy spin in the expensive 'Engage' leaflet will make people think otherwise,'' said VFW's Steve Dancey.
''Now we have to ask ourselves, in the light of Wiltshire Council's interest in the Assembly Hall  building whether dual-hatted unitary councillors who also sit on the town council should be allowed to vote on this matter.
''When I was a councillor the country secretary and solicitor, Nicol Smith, used to say 'if you think you have an interest then you have an interest' - I think the unitary councillors have an interest and if they are allowed to vote and talk then there could be a legal challenge to any decision they make.
''I have the funds to make such a challenge if necessary.''
Former councillor Paul Macdonald who served on the town council previously says the council is deviating from its usual practice.
"So they they still want to rush this decision. What I do not understand about all this is the change from normal procedure," says Paul Macdonald.
"When I was on the council I am almost sure that the results of the consultation would have been referred to the relevant committee first.
"In this case the Finance and Assets for consideration. Views would have been then been sent to full council with a recommendation."
The next scheduled meeting for this committee is on Monday November 8th.
"This allows for a proper period of councillor and public scrutiny," adds Paul who has over 35 years of committee experience.
"This continual holding of extraordinary meetings is now completely unprecedented.
"Unless it is because of the extraordinary way this current set of councillors are behaving!"

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