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Town hall owner needs careful watching

(September 16, 2011)
NEWS that Warminster Town Hall has a new owner is not necessarily reason to put out the bunting and shout 'hurrah'.
Previous sour experience has shown that people try (and fail) to make money out of this building which then rots further.
The latest owner - subject to contract - is Peter Caldwell through his specially created company Devo Developments.
Never heard of him or it ? neither have we.
Steve Dancey, who has been one of those making waves about the Town Hall for years, says we need to subject Mr Caldwell and his company to rigorous scrutiny and if he passes this then perhaps we could welcome him.
''There are lots of questions that need answering,'' he said.
'How does he intend to balance his books and make a profit. The building needs a great deal of work and only a local authority or not-for-profit trust, with access to significant charitable grants, can make a go of this project.
''Does Mr Caldwell have a track record in this field and can he give us some examples of his past work? - this would help a lot.
''If he does complete on the purchase he can at least show good faith by removing the pigeons and cleaning up the facade.''
''However the odds are stacked against him and unless I'm very much mistaken we could be back to square one in a year's time.''
But what a wasted opportunity - the Town Council, run by visionless people, could have snapped this up and pleased most of the population of the town instead of frittering our money and future generations' money away on the Assembly Hall. Come 2013 there will need to be some big changed at the town council to pay for this folly.
As Paul says in his letter in the Warminster Journal, the town and its hall have been 'sold down the river by the council'.

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