townviewHot TOPICS town h clean 

No money to buy Town Hall - all been spent on Assembly Rooms, trust informed

(July 26, 2011)
WARMINSTER'S town councillors have decided not to help the town's preservation trust acquire the Town Hall at auction at Bristol Zoo tomorrow.
Trust members had been hoping for at least some gesture of support and some cash to spend as a result of  the special town council meeting but were left disappointed by the response - but not surprised.
Even if councillors had wanted to help they were informed by a brought in specialist accountant that their reserves were so depleted by the million pounds earmarked for the Assembly Rooms fiasco that no money was available.
''It seems that only two town councillors - Chris March and Paul Batchelor - really comprehend the importance that building has for the future of the town,'' said former county councillor Steve Dancey.
''We badly need an infusion of new investment to provide meaningful employment in Warminster but would companies of the stature of say Dyson (Malmesbury) or Vodafone (Newbury) have gone to those towns if their councils has allowed their town halls to fall into decay and be a sore in the centre of the town? Of course not.
''The building scares away inward investment and if councillors think spending a million pounds on the Assembly Rooms will do anything to counter that negativity then they are even more feeble minded and lacking in vision than I thought.
''We also had cllr Humphries admitting that the pigeon mess came under his portfolio (at Wiltshire Council) and that 'his officers' would be enforcing the environmental health legislation on the new owners from day one.
''It begs the question why hadn't they been enforcing the legislation for the past two years? I asked, but Humphries said a letter had been sent!!!
''The meeting as a whole was something of a shambles with no clear direction over councillors' interests and a lack of clarity about what constituted an amendment and a substantive motion.''
Although we only have to put up with these clowns until May 2013 we  will be cleaning up their mess and paying off the bill created by the Assembly Rooms loan for many years to come.
"Tonight was undoubtedly a trial for Warminster Town Council and if I was presiding magistrate then I would have held many of those who spoke in contempt," says Paul Macdonald.
"They are in contempt of their public who clearly understand the issue. They badgered a key witness who was their most experienced member threatening him, I am told, with removal by the police
"This is mostly a group who have been thrown into the role of town councillor with almost no previous experience having learnt very little since, having outstayed their welcome, and it shows.
"They do not listen to their senior members and they have no interest in listening to those they represent.
"Bradford-on-Avon has a street named The Shambles. Let's hope North Row does not become known as the same!"
(Some older readers may recall that the area behind the Town Hall used to be known as The Shambles - very appropriate).

Click here to return to the HOT TOPICS page