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You pay £4,000.a year to maintain the town council's quality status

(November 11, 2010)

WARMINSTER Town Council likes to promote itself in public through a glossy propaganda sheet called Engage.

At Monday’s meeting of the finance and assets committee cllr Paul Batchelor suggested ceasing publication of the leaflet to save £4,000.

Nobody  would miss it and that would mean at least £4,000 less on our precept.

But his idea wasn’t taken up by the ruling axis because it would mean the end of the town council’s much hyped ‘Quality Status’.

The very idea that Warminster has a quality town council would amuse anyone who has ever really looked at what they get up to but they like to think of themselves as ‘quality’ – but it is an expensive joke costing us four grand a year.

If they lost this quality gloss what would we as a community lose?

The answer is almost nothing,” said Steve Dancey who has been investigating this latest piece of wasteful hogwash.

“It seems that the idea of the 'quality council' was brought in about eight years ago by the discredited Labour Government.

‘’I have tried to find whether it actually means anything but have drawn a blank.

‘’Most clerks I have spoken to say it has no benefits other than to look good in the eyes of the community.

“The most positive response was that ‘It looks good on the clerk’s CV’ and that it could potentially ‘assist you in your dealings with the principal authority in the event of that authority wanting to pilot new schemes of delegation in your area’.

“But that is about it. No material benefit to local people whatsoever. I should be amazed that our local town council was bamboozled by this piece of Labour Party nonsense but I’m not.

“There is only one way to see what people think of their local council and that is through the ballot box and hopefully the current team will get a nasty shock in 2013 (assuming the election isn’t combined with a national political one)

“I can assure readers that if, in the fullness of time I have anything to do with taking these decisions, ‘Engage’ will soon become disengaged.”

* An interested footnote is that communities secretary Eric Pickles has decreed that no local authority can produce more than four information sheets a year – four is also the minimum requirement for the ‘Quality’ council mark.

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