How council meets town hall owner(July 19, 2013)
This week a letter to the editor of the Warminster Journal from Cllr. Paul Macdonald has been published.
Paul explained his reasons for saying 'I object' three times walking away immediately after a council meeting is put under the 'gavel'.
This action by the chairman of the meeting then was allowed by all but one of those present the oppoortuntiy to allow the owner of the most prestigious and most controversial listed building in the town a special opportunity to speak to the remaining planning committee members with no press or public present .
"I felt I had to make sure that the public realised that this was not an official meeting with any authority after it was headlined on the front page of the Warminster Journal even though the press were not present," says Paul. (Press cutting left)
Last week's front page news report about the town hall has caused a lot of people to approach me for an account of what went on and what is going on.
I wish to make it quite clear that I was not party to discussions that were held by a number of councillors and the owner of the town hall.
It is true that I attended the planning advisory committee meeting to make representations about two of the planning applicattions in particular and listen to those made by two members of the public as allowed at the start.
They left when the town council voted favourably about the matters they were interested in. The press benches were empty.
There was another member of the public who I did not know who sat through the meeting but did not speak. The end of the meeting was signalled.by the gavel being brought down and the chairwoman then invited 'Mr. Peter Caldwell' to speak.
I objected and said that I would not take part in this previously unannounced meeting. I was then asked by two councillors to stay as it was about the town hall.
I made it quite clear that I objected to doing things this way, would not stay, and left the meeting to them. I therefore cannot comment on the figure of £400,000 that is being quoted.
Councillors Jamie Cullen, Steve Dancey and Nick Dombkowski have also asked that it is made clear that they were not in attendance.
Yours faithfully, Cllr. Paul Macdonald (Warminster East Ward)